24.12.2008

Politics & the Nation
  • The collective outrage at the political class that pored over its usage of NSG for its protection, seems to have had a sobering effect on the government 
    • The four regional NSG hubs that are being established to respond to terror strikes anywhere in the country appear to be spared of the VIP duties.
    • The hubs are coming up at Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
    • And there will be a plane in standby mode, stationed at Delhi to take them anywhere in the country with least administrative delays.
  • Did you ever do a mock parliament in your school or college days?
    • I was reminded of the one session that we had during my college days.
    • We had a gala time, a la our political class today, and had lot of fun.  We were all thrilled and tried our best to be as inventive as possible in creating shock and awe to the Speaker and the visitors in the gallery.
    • What we are seeing in today's real Parliament is a re-enactment of our mock Parliament.  Only ours was for fun; but this one's for real.  It's a free-for-all.  BJP shouts against Antulay.  Left shouts against BJP and Congress.  And the government goes about its legislative business unperturbed by any of this noise and passes 8 bills!
  • Want to get a picture of how oil money is used for financing terrorism?
    • This piece from Brahman Chellany offers a very valid point.  Quite plausible.   Take a look.
Finance & Economy
  • What is our fiscal deficit (the money spent beyond the state’s revenue and other receipts)?
    • If you go by Arvind Virmani's speak, it is likely to go up to 5% this year.
    • But do you know where the Economist magazine keeps our fiscal deficit figure?  It is 8%.  That includes the off-budget subsidies like oil bonds.
  • Thanks to Yusuf, we lay our hands on an excellent slide that explains the current global recession
    • Take a look.  It is here.  It is from Jeff Frankel's weblog.
  • There appears to be no end to the Satyam saga
    • World Bank has reportedly banned Satyam from doing business with it for its questionable business practices.  The details of the practices have not yet tumbled out in full measure.
    • Some are saying it is about corruption, allotment of preferential shares to World Bank officials responsible for allotting work to Satyam etc., but full details are yet to be known.
  • In defence of FDI in insurance sector
    • We have somehow missed noting about this.
    • The government on Monday introduced a Bill to hike foreign direct investment in the insurance sector to 49% from 26% at present. By going ahead with the Bill that was pending for the past four years due to opposition from Left parties, the government has made its intention clear on its reform agenda.  An excerpt from today's ET editorial on why this measure is not a bailout of the foreign insurance companies:
      • Many Indian partners in private insurance companies have been unable to bring their share of capital in insurance joint ventures. Therefore, it made eminent sense to raise the FDI limit to 49% in an Indian venture. How does that amount to a bailout of the foreign company? 
    • Those opposed to liberalisation of the insurance sector must realise that insurance coverage is very poor in India.  Insurance penetration — a ratio of premium underwritten to GDP — rose to 4.8 in 2006 from 2.3 in 2000. But as much as 90% of the population — people who are not part of the organised sector — do not have any kind of insurance cover. To reach out to the millions who desperately need some kind of life and non-life insurance, we need more players in the market; companies with resources, innovative product and distribution ideas, and experience in penetrating markets. 
International
  • A look at petro-dollars
    • Even if the price of crude were to stay at $50 a barrel, the oil sheikhdoms of the Gulf will still receive more than $350 billion a year at their current rate of production. And if the price spirals to $150, their oil revenue will surpass $1 trillion a year. 
Sport
  • Want a good round-up of India's sports achievement in the current year?
    • You can't get a better piece than this one that appeared in today's ET.  Take a look.
    • An excerpt worth our noting:
      • Recently, the media was abuzz with the news of two young lads from rural India — Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel — who became the first baseball players from India to sign a professional baseball contract in the US. 
Language lesson
  • munificence
    • Noun: Liberality in bestowing gifts; extremely liberal and generous of spirit

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,

This is an excellent blog and i visit everyday here.

"You can't get a better piece than this one that appeared in today's ET".this link is not working.could you please take care of it.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Good

kuldeep said...

Hello,
It's very interesting and informtive blog which I see almost regularly.
Kuldeep Arya.