03.12.2008

Politics & the Nation

  • KLNLF bomb blast kills two and injures 30
    • The Karbi Liongri National Liberation Front triggered a blast in a passenger train at Diphu in central Assam's Karbi Anglong district.
    • KLNLF has called for an economic blockade of railway tracks and National Highways 37 and 39 in the district demanding responses from political parties to their 10-point demands, which include among others, exclusion of Karbi Anglong land from 'Dimaraji' as demanded by another militant outfit, Dima Halam Daogah (DHD), in neighbouring N C Hills.
  • For any point being made there possibly exists a counter point; ain't it?
    • That is what usually is given by SSA Aiyar. Do read his op-ed piece in today's ET. But then that is no reason for anyone of us to just remain Prof. Godbole's adherents. Fate also 'wills' that we should keep doing whatever we are 'destined' to do. Just because we cannot stop fanatics hell-bent on wreaking havoc, it doesn't mean that we should just sit and pray. While a certain amount of determinism does a little good, it should be no reason for inaction.
International
  • ASEAN summit postponed
    • Scheduled to be held in Bangkok (but later on shifted to Chiang Mai) by the current chair, Thailand the ASEAN summit stands postponed in view of the ongoing agitation there demanding the ouster of the Prime Minister, Somchai Wangsawat.
    • With the Constitutional Court in Bangkok dissolving the three biggest parties in the ruling coalition and banning the Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat from politics for five years, it is inevitable that there will be a change in government.
Finance & Economics
  • Looks like the government is set to pump prime the economy, if today's headlines are to be believed.
    • By this Saturday the government is likely to announce a slew of measures that include cutting repo and reverse repo rates, interest subventions on housing and export credit etc., among others.
    • Let us wait for Saturday to know the full details.
  • PSU babus to get ESOPs
    • About 10-25% of the performance related pay of PSU employees would have to be given in the form of ESOPs (Employee Stock Options) according to the second pay revision committee report of the PSUs.
    • The government has directed all listed public sector undertakings (PSU) to formulate employee stock option plan (ESOP) schemes to retain talent and reward performers. The department of public enterprises (DPE) direction came at a time when domestic private firms are resorting to layoffs to survive economic slowdown.
  • What is quantitative easing? This is one new buzzword that you will have to learn to live with.
    • This is one policy instrument that Japan's central bank had followed in the period 2001-2006.
    • As its interest rates already were close to zero i.e., 0.15% at one time, there was no scope for it to further reduce interest rates to pump prime its economy and fight deflation. Therefore it resorted to open market operations aimed at increasing the money supply and reducing long-term interest rates. It refers to the strategy of injecting more reserves into the banking system than needed to keep the target interest rate at zero.This it did by buying government securities and commercial paper from banks.
    • Now the Fed is reported to be considering such a move. How does it help? It helps by pushing up aggregate demand. This is accomplished by Fed's buying of longer-term Treasury or agency securities on the open market in substantial quantities. As such purchases influence the yields on these securities, it helps spur aggregate demand.
    • I am sure many of you would be confused by the concept as perhaps this is for the first time that we are coming across this phrase. Take a look at this blog post which explains in greater detail. An excellent explanation. Well worth a read.
Environment
  • The Year of the Gorilla
    • Is a year long UN effort that commenced on December 1, 2008 to raise money for primates threatened with extinction from disease, hunting and deforestation.
    • It hopes to raise 0.5 mn euros during the year for projects aimed at fighting the animals' biggest threats.
    • It was formally launched at a ceremony in Rome by Prince Albert II of Monaco.
Culture
  • Indian International Film Festival at Goa concludes
    • TULPAN, a Kazakh film, won the Golden Peacock Award and a cash prize of Rs 40 lakh. Its director Sergei Dvortsevoy was also honoured with Most Promising Director's Award.
    • The special jury award, the Silver Peacock, and a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh, went to Malini Fonseka, director of the Sri Lankan film Akasa Kusum Prasanna Vithanage.
    • According to the latest FICCI PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report, the overseas market is expected to reach Rs 850 crore in 2007-2008 from the Rs 700 crore last year. Indian entertainment industry at 12.82 billion in 2007 is expected to have a steady 17% growth till 2012.
Astronomy
  • A rare celestial phenomenon
    • With the exception of the Sun and the Moon, the planets that appear brightest to the naked eye from Earth are Venus and Jupiter.
    • Starting the day before, the phenomenon is about the conjunction of the Moon, Jupiter and Venus giving a smiley effect. Look at this picture.
    • Europeans will see Moon eclipsing Venus on Tuesday for an hour. This is what is called lunar occultation.

3 comments:

Bharat said...

Dude, jus happen to visit your blog,

"Astronomy
A rare celestial phenomenonWith the exception of the Sun and the Moon, the stars that appear brightest to the naked eye from Earth are Venus and Jupiter"

VENUS and JUPITER are Planets for god's sake and not STARS

Anonymous said...

the current issues should be more explored

ramkyc said...

@Bharat: Yo. Thanks for the correction. Since corrected in the post.