Politics & the Nation
  • Satyam's recovery posing problems
    • Even as the government is willing to rescue the company, the revelations from the ongoing investigations appear to be making the rescue effort more daunting.
    • With PwC, the statutory auditors of the company saying that they did in fact check with the banks about the existence of Rs. 3,300 crore of fixed deposits, serious doubts are arising about the veracity of claims made by Ramalinga Raju that it was a case of overstatement of revenues and creditors and debtors.  The doubt is now about whether or not there is any case of diversion of funds by the promoters to their pet projects.
  • Satyam's case is now being investigated by SFIO 
    • Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is a multidisciplinary body with officials from various government arms having expertise in finance, capital market, accountancy, forensic audit, taxation, law, information technology, company law, customs and income tax.  It is headed by Mr. Ajay Nath.
  • Will Satyam fiasco affect Indian IT?
    • Take a look at this debate on this issue from two of the experts from the IT field in our country.
    • Though I would like to say that the jury is still undecided, there is nothing wrong in looking at experts opinions.
Finance & Economics
  • Fuel prices to be deregulated?
    • The government is reportedly toying with the idea of deregulating the fuel prices.  The proposed deregulation will allow public sector oil companies to independently fix fuel prices in line with the price of imported crude. 
    • It will also create a level playing field for private oil marketing companies such as Reliance Industries and Essar Oil. The private companies had been unable to match the subsidised prices fixed by their public sector rivals when global crude oil prices surged last year, and were forced to shut their petrol stations. 
    • The oil ministry, however, is not keen to link pump prices to the market immediately because government-run oil companies are still losing money on retail sales of kerosene oil and cooking gas. At present, profits from petrol and diesel make up the loss they bear on LPG cylinders and kerosene sold through ration shops. 
  • Is India, a services powerhouse?
    • We have all been fed by the papers that India is a services powerhouse; aren't we?
    • Read this article; we will come down from our flights of fancy.  Strongly recommend a read.
    • Against the world average of 69% for services in GDP, India's is at 53%; far behind low/middle income countries.
  • Can there be a environmental cost to your Google searches?
    • I was surprised at first to even contemplate this.  But when I read this BBC report, I was convinced that it cannot be a joke.
    • Research conducted by US physicist Alex Wissner-Gross proved that a search query at Goolge's site produced about 7 gms of Carbon dioxide.  The Harvard academic argues that these carbon emissions stem from the electricity used by the computer terminal and by the power consumed by the large data centres operated by Google around the world.
  • Slumdog Millionaire sweeps Golden Globes 2009
    • Slumdog Millionaire received in all four Golden Globes in Los Angeles.  It got the globes for Best film, Best Director (Danny Boyle), Best Screenplay (Simon Beaufoy) & Best original score (AR Rahman).  The film depicts the moving story of a slumdweller Jamal, played by young debutant Dev Patel, who goes on to win USD 20 million on Indian reality show ‘Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?’ in a bid to win his love back.  It is loosely based on a novel by Indian diplomat Vikash Swarup.
    • The highlight of this achievement is that AR Rahman became the first Indian ever to have won the Golden Globe for Best original score.
    • You can see the full list of awards here.