28.02.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • The BDR mutiny in Bangladesh
    • A mass grave of 66 bodies was discovered by the Bangladesh Army.
    • The mutiny reportedly started on Wednesday over pay rise issue with BDR officers and troops expressing their unhappiness with the pay and service conditions given to them.  People manning the top posts in BDR (which are manned by Bangladesh Army officers) have been targeted by the BDR troops and took them hostage.  Then they were slain over two days of the hostage drama. Even as Sheikh Hasina Wajed, the Prime Minister announced amnesty and ordered the BDR troops to go back to barracks, many of the troops have left the barracks in civil clothes after the scene of the hostage area was surrounded by the Army with tanks.
    • A shocked Hasina had to say that Amnesty will not be extended to those who have taken part in the killing of the Army officers.  A committee is appointed to go into the issue and submit a report in 7 days.
    • It is not normal, at least in the Asian subcontinent, to see uniformed services rising in revolt like this.  If troops that are highly trained in various combat situations go berserk like this, it will not be so easy to put them down.  At least much damage would be witnessed, as happened presently, before the mutiny can be quelled.
  • PIL on right to property
    • The government through Constitution (44th Amendment) Act, 1978 had abolished the right to property from part III of the constitution (which deals with the Fundamental Rights) and made it as a mere legal right. 
    • This has been challenged in a PIL before the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court is reported to have issue notice to the central government asking it it to explain why this cannot be restored as a fundamental right.
    • It assumes lot of significance in the context of governments' frequent use of their power of eminent domain for acquiring private property for purported public use.
    • The petitioners argue that the common law principle of eminent domain is to be utilised for public utilities, highways, rail roads and other measures furthering infrastructure and public works. They contend that over the last decade, this power has been exercised even for propagation of private industry, private housing, private cooperative societies, private recreational projects, private residential development and even golf courses, most of which cater to private and vested interests.
    • It will be interesting to watch the course this case takes in the coming months/years.
Finance & Economics
  • GDP growth slows to 5.3% in Q3
    • The growth recorded in the first two quarters at 7.9% and 7.6% respectively has further slowed down to 5.3% in Q3.
    • Now it is for sure that there will be more calls for further rate reductions and fiscal measures.  But who is to bell the cat?  The model code of conduct for the general elections will kick off the moment the EC announces the election schedule.
    • Take a look at this figure to note the quarter-wise growth recorded in various segments of the economy.
  • What is Treasury stock?  Why should we bother with it now?
    • Papers are agog with the RIL RPL merger.  One interesting thing about this merger issue is the fate of treasury stock - RPL shares owned by RIL.  Treasury stock holders do not have voting rights nor do they receive dividend. 
    • RIL owns 70.3% of RPL, by virtue of it being the holding company.  So, when the merger happens, how should RIL be compensated for the shares held by it?  How can it compensate itself from itself?
    • There are quite a few options floating around.  One is that RIL can cancel the shares held by it in RPL. This would prevent huge equity dilution.  The other is that these treasury stocks can be transferred to a trust.
Science & Technology
  • New fish species discovered
    • A brightly-coloured fish which bounces along the seabed has been spotted by scuba divers off the island of Ambon in Indonesia.  The fish was dubbed "psychedelica" for its psychedelic white and blue concentric stripes on a peach background radiating out from its aqua-coloured eyes.
    • It is a form of frogfish that was reportedly spotted some 20 years ago but the discovery back then was stated to be gathering dust because of some wrong labelling.
Language lessons
  • frisson: Noun
    • An almost pleasurable sensation of fright
    • eg: Besides murder mystery tours and theme events to produce frissons of macabre delight...

1 Comment:

raj said...

it should be also in hindi