31.12.2008

Politics & the Nation
It's party time for flyers
  • Jet and Air India have reduced air fares steeply.  While Jet Airways slashed its basic price upto 40%, Air India was more agressive in its price reduction -- by up to 82%.  Kingfisher is expected to follow suit by cutting up to Rs. 1000/- per ticket from tomorrow.
  • The reduction by major airlines follows the about 52% reduction in the cost of ATR (Aviation Turbine Fuel) over the last few months.
Maharashtra announces probe panel on Mumbai attacks
  • The Maharashtra government has appointed a panel to find out lapses, if any, of the security apparatus. Formerly governor of Arunachal Pradesh, RD Pradhan will head the panel that will have former IPS officer V Bhalchandra as the other member. 
  • The chairman of the panel enjoys the rank of a Cabinet minister, and hence can summon officers of any rank. Mr Bhalchandra has been granted the status of minister of state.
It's Omar Abdullah at the helm in J&K
  • With Congress having decided to support National Conference, Omar Abdullah is set to become the CM.  He will the youngest CM the state gets.  He is just 38.
  • He is a handsome, highly educated and charishmatic leader who makes all right noises.  Let us hope he will be able to heal the wounds made by decades of militancy in the state.
  • One thing that surprised me was the paper reports on term of the CM.  Is it really 6 years in the state?  The paper reported so.  I was a bit skeptical.  Those of you who are in better know of things can please clarify.

A friendly Bangladesh at last?
  • With Sheikh Hasina Wajed winning the recently held elections in this eastern neighbour, it is hoped that we have at last a friendly neighbour.
  • The elections have taken place after two years of suspended democracy, when an army-backed caretaker government ruled Bangladesh. With a landslide victory of 258 seats out of 300, this is what any civilian government in the country could have asked for.  
  • But what is surprising is that reports are describing the result as 'unofficial' announcement by Bangladeshi Election Commission.  This raises doubts as to who calls the shots in Bangladesh, still.
  • How long will the party last?  It can be anybody's guess.

Debate:
  • Should foreign legal services firms be allowed to operate in India?
  • It is a hotly debated issue.  I gave you some excerpts from an article by Som Mandal on the issue in today's Discover It blog.  Take a look at it here

Finance & Economics

Satyam's troubles seem far from over
  • With its aborted bid to invest in its related firms and its corporate governance image having severely taken a hit, it continues to hog the headlines for all wrong reasons.
  • Now HP is reported to be eyeing a stake acquisition in the company.  The promoters' stake in the company is reported to have fallen below 5%.

Bits and pieces of info on India's poor
  • According to Global Hunger Index of the International Food Policy Research Institute, India is home to the world’s largest food-insecure population with more than 200 million people facing hunger. It ranks 66th of 88 countries, thanks to the high levels of child malnutrition and calorie deficient diets. Even the recent benchmarks revised for poverty estimates at $1.25 and $1.35 per person per day, the World Bank and the ADB, respectively, estimated that 41.6% and 58.4% of the total population in India lived below the poverty line in 2004-05. These figures reflect poor achievements on inclusive growth despite a growth momentum of 8-10% over the past few years. 
  • A poor family in India spends 60-70% of the family income on food-related items. 

Why is the government thinking of promoting wine culture in the country?
  • The government is reportedly toying with idea of allowing departmental stores to sell wine, provided they obtain permission from the respective state governments.
  • Promotion of wine culture will lead to agricultural diversification and employment generation in rural India. With the growing popularity, wine farmers in Maharashtra are shifting from plantation of table grapes to wine grapes. 
  • India’s wine market, which is 1.2 million cases, has been growing at 40% this year compared with 2007
International

Editorial comment on Gaza strikes
  • I couldn't agree more with this assessment that appeared in today's ET:
  • ... the Israeli strikes again showcase the impotency of international bodies and of the Arab regimes. Israel always calculates the point when it will stop its war machine under painfully gradual international pressure. Israel is warning it will be weeks this time. By then, more Palestinians will have died, Israel will have thrown west Asia into another crisis, and there will be another event for Islamist extremists to take sustenance from.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.shvoong.com/social-sciences/psychology/1855425-lives-masters/

akhilesh said...

Article 370 of indian constitution grants special status to J&K.so it has its own constitution. Accorfing to that..
The legislative assembly shall continue for 6 years unless sooner dissolved. This period can be extended by state legislature by law while a proclamation of Emergency(under article 352) is in operation.