30.12.2008

Politics & the Nation
  • Military might of India and Pakistan; a comparison
    • In times of talk about war, it does pay to learn a bit about our might.
  • USOF:  Universal Service Obligation Fund
    • Perhaps you can recollect what we noted about this fund back in 2006, in Discover It blog.
    • Take a look at this graphic  which gives the amounts collected and disbursed over the years through this fund.
    • Isn't it time the Government utilizes the fund for the stated purposes?
  • It is not all about gloom and doom, as we pass 2008.
    • We did have some memorable moments in 2008.  A recap.
  • BIJLEE: Berkeley-India Joint Leadership on Energy and the Environment
    • Under this programme the US government will spare its top scientists and engineers to develop sustainable energy solutions for India.
    • BIJLEE will attempt to find sophisticated ways to lower energy consumption across a range of industrial processes and could potentially benefit everything under the sun from building houses and cars to consumer electronics, lighting systems and water purifiers. 
  • Government schemes fail to deliver goods
    • A PROGRESS report on 18 social welfare schemes shows that 8 of them were way off the mark in the first quarter of the current fiscal. 
    • Some of them missed the targets by 90%. 
    • Major schemes which missed the targets include Rajeev Gandhi Grameen Vidyutkarana Yojana and Prime Minister's Grameen Sadak Yojana.
    • Other programmes that have missed the targets include welfare schemes addressing poverty alleviation, employment generation in rural areas, housing, education , family welfare and health, protection of environment and many other schemes having a bearing on the quality of life, especially in the rural areas.
Finance & Economy
  • Take a look at what a downturn can do to the job markets!
    • Indian companies are increasingly resorting to temporary hiring of highly skilled professionals, such as scientists and engineers, as they try to rein in costs in a slowing economy, staffing firms and human resource management professionals say. 
    • Retailers, business process outsourcing providers and project-led organisations and industries have been among the early adopters of the temporary hiring model. 
    • Temporary employees are seen as a cost-effective solution because they are typically on the payroll of the staffing service provider and do not burden the company with benefits that permanent staff are normally provided with. Moreover, they give companies the flexibility to quickly alter the size of their workforce, depending on business needs. 
  • Even a company like RIL is looking at cost cutting measures
    • What made this company resort to cost cutting?  Reportedly, it is a possible huge loss that is staring in its face on some forward contracts on crude.
    • The company had reportedly booked at least three contracts at $120 a barrel, $100 a barrel and $80 a barrel, respectively, in the middle of 2008. But while the first contract had an exit clause at $100 a barrel, which allowed RIL to cancel the contract, the other two had no such option. The fall in crude oil prices by almost 61% in the past few months has changed the arithmetic of these contracts. 
  • What is a mid-cap stock?
    • One of today's ET op-ed pieces says that mid-cap companies won't be shining forever.  So, what basically is a mid-cap stock?
    • Based on market capitalization companies are classified as large cap, and mid-cap and small-cap stocks.  If you want a more detailed explanation of this terms look at this
Society
  • An interesting aside about getting sacked
    • Know how did the phrase originate?
    • It dates back to a ruthless industrial revolution legacy. Back then, factory workers would literally carry their tools in a sack with them as they went out in search of work.  Work meant daily wages and when a factory owner no longer had use for a workman, he would be returned his sack of tools. 
Obituary
  • Manjit Bawa
    • A renowned artist, who displayed his exceptional artistic talent through motifs of birds, animals and Indian mythology, died in the national capital on Monday after a prolonged illness. The 67-yearold painter from Punjab's Dhuri district was in coma for the past three years, shuttling between hospital and his Delhi home after suffering from a stroke. His paintings attracted both Indian as well as international buyers with one of his paintings selling recently for $360,000.

1 Comment:

akhilesh said...

http://epaper.timesofindia.com/Default/Scripting/ArticleWin.asp?From=Archive&Source=Page&Skin=ET&BaseHref=ETM/2008/12/30&PageLabel=6&ForceGif=true&EntityId=Ar00600&ViewMode=HTML&GZ=T

this link is not working.. recap of 2008