09.02.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • Leading political parties splash it big on advertising
    • The BJP and the Congress are reportedly spending about Rs. 200 to Rs. 250 crore on ad campaigns for the upcoming general elections.
  • Employment scene really becoming bleak
    • While the placement season in our ivy league schools is seeing many a corporate entity staying away from recruitment, expat Indians are reportedly looking homeward for employment.  This is happening even as there are reports that the unionized workers in the US are opposing outsourcing/offshoring in a bid to protect their jobs.  A really bleak scenario indeed.
  • FBI to depose as witness in 26/11 trial
    • FBI of the US is set to appear as witness in the trial of Ajmal Amir Kasab.  Apart from providing crucial help with the investigation of the attacks, they have come up with inputs to the dossier handed to Pakistan.  
    • This is the second time that FBI will be deposing as a witness in an Indian case.  Earlier, an FBI official had deposed before a court hearing the trial of alleged kidnappers of shoe baron Partha Pratim Roy Burman. 
  • Country's first lesbian helpline in Chennai
    • India got its first dedicated lesbian helpline as the Indian Community Welfare Organisation (ICWO) launched the service in Chennai on Saturday. 
    • Triggered by the tremendous social stigma that the lesbians face in the country, the helpline (044-65515742) has also roped in Action-Aid, a service organisation, to provide technical expertise and train the counsellors. 
    • The helpline will be available between 9 am and 6 pm on working days, and is aimed at stopping the ill-treatment that the lesbians face, identifying and referring need-based services, providing counselling services, dealing with suicidal tendency among members of the community and referring them livelihood opportunities. 
Finance & Economics
  • On LPs and 'draw downs' in private equity parlance
    • We have noted about 'private equity' in our notes sometime back.  These are two terms that appeared in today's news that deserve our attention.
    • LP stands for 'limited partner.'  LPs are the investors in a PE fund; not the PE itself.  A private equity firm establishes/manages a number of funds.  LPs are investors in these funds.  In contrast, GPs (General Partners) are the real fund managers and are owners/investors of the PE firm itself.
    • 'Draw down' refers to the commitments made by LPs.  Every fund that is proposed to be established by the PE firm need not be having all the capital it requires at the time of establishment itself.  Some of it may remain as commitments from the LPs.  Depending on the time at which this additional capital is required the PE firm will ask the LP to come up with its committed capital.  This is called the 'draw down' of capital.
    • Many PE firms are reportedly now seeing their LPs going back on the investments committed.
    • Take a look at this wikipedia picture that explains the structure of a typical PE firm.
International
  • Bush fires kill 96 in Australia
    • At least 96 people were killed in one of the worst bushfires in Australia that ripped across the southeastern state of Victoria. Ninety-six people are confirmed dead, surpassing the state’s toll of 75 in the 1983 Ash Wednesday (explained below) blazes. 
  • Problems/issues concerning the US economy bailouts 
    • The stimulus packages announced will help only if credit starts flowing again 
    • $300 billion TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Programme) funds remain; $1 trillion more may be needed 
    • Round One of TARP did not help enhance credit flows 
    • A Congress panel said govt overpaid for stakes in banks
Religion
  • Ash Wednesday
    • In the Western Christian calendar, Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and occurs forty days before Easter (excluding Sundays). It falls on a different date each year, because it is dependent on the date of Easter; it can occur as early as February 4 or as late as March 10.
Bollywood
  • Slumdog Millionaire wins Bafta awards
    • It has bagged seven awards at the Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) awards on Sunday night. The awards included best film, best original score (A R Rahman) and best director (Danny Boyle), cinematography (Anthony Dod Mantle), editing (Chris Dickens), and adapted screenplay (Simon Beaufoy). Slumdog had 11 nominations. 
    • Resul Pookutty was the second Indian to be honoured at Sunday’s ceremony, for the best sound editing.

1 Comment:

thisisarun said...

Nice Work.
Please keep up good work.