Politics & the Nation
  • Satyam's Ramalinga Raju and his brother arrested
    • The government of AP wasted no time in arresting the Rajus late yesterday night.  The central government also has dismissed Satyam's Board of Directors and announced that a new board will be constituted by it and that the same will meet in less than a week's time.
    • These are no doubt very good and quick steps to contain the damage and ensure that the firm remains a going concern and that the interest of employees and all other stakeholders is protected.
    • I believe this is one of those rarest of rare occasions when the government had to step in to take control of the management of a private company.
    • Let us hope l'affaire Satyam comes to a quick conclusion and all the stakeholders' interests remain protected.
  • Oil officers strike called off
    • Thanks to the government's strong/determined action to end the strike, the officers had better sense prevailing in them and called off the strike.
    • They may have genuine demands, but taking the whole country for a ransom on it is not tolerable.  A committee of ministers headed by P. Chidambaram is reportedly looking into their grievances and was to submit its report in 30 days time.  In spite of that, the resort to by the officers to go in for strike, is deplorable.  In the last couple of days I had seen Hyderabad experiencing a slowdown because of the non-availability of fuels.  True, the government might have been slow in acting on their genuine demands.  This is what the government should be alive to and sort out their genuine grievances.  Everybody should realize that strikes are no panacea for solving their grievances -- real or imaginary.
Finance & Economics
  • See how quickly collateral damage can occur!
    • Firms, even very big names, that had PwC as their auditor have seen a depletion in their share value in the last couple of days, as investors are flocking away from these stocks fearing that their accounting numbers may also be suspect. 
    • Take a look at this graphic to know some of those big names.
  • It is a very important judgment, which all of you, as future public servants should be alive to.
    • The Supreme Court ruled that protection from prosecution to public servants given by Section 197 of CrPC is not automatic. 
    • This section provides for protection to public servants from prosecution, for acts done by them in their official capacity.  The protection is offered in the form of a prior sanction from the higher authorities concerned of the officer.  This sanction is usually never given. Now the Court ruled that prior permission of the superior authorities of the public servant concerned need not be necessary if it is beyond doubt that the action taken by the public servant, even when it is purportedly taken by him in his official capacity, is patently abusive of his official position.
    • The article is worth a read once.
Technology & Computing
  • On Microsoft's Windows 7 and a couple of Microsoft prototypes
    • The forthcoming Windows 7 operating system will have touch-screen capability, side-by-side windows for comparison shopping and a "Peek" feature that makes open windows transparent, allowing users to see the icons on their desktop.
    • Microsoft displayed a couple of product prototypes, including a tabletop-like touch screen and a flexible, wafer-thin digital screen you can roll up like a piece of paper, in the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas.
  • Cancer-free baby
    • Is it possible to have somebody born without cancer?  This is what British doctors claim to have helped happen.  
    • BRCA-1 is a gene that is linked with breast and ovarian cancer.  People with this gene have a 50-80 percent chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer in their lifetimes.
    • British doctors say that a baby was screened in a lab, days after conception, for the presence of this gene.  The screening appears to have confirmed to them that the baby is not carrying this gene.
  • Farewell to Bush
    • Do you know that there is a play running in India titled "The President is coming" by Anubhav Pal?  
    • It is about the visit of Mr Bush to India in 2006 when, among other diplomatic and political forums, there was a meeting scheduled with the bright young things of the New India.  It is about a contest to identify a bright Indian, less than 30 years of age, who will get to shake hands with the president, during his visit.  It is a light hearted satire.
    • Having seen successful runs, the play is now made into a movie with the same name and was released yesterday.
    • The film is produced by Ramesh Sippy and directed by Kunal Roy Kapoor.
    • Have a better way of bidding farewell to Mr. Bush?
  • South Pole record
    • Three Canadian men have claimed a new record for the fastest trek across Antarctica to the South Pole.
    • Ray Zahab, Kevin Vallely and Richard Weber said they had completed the 1,130 km (700 miles) journey in 33 days, 23 hours and 30 minutes beating the previous record of 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes, which was set by American Todd Carmichael just last month.