Politics & the Nation
  • An excellent round-up of the general election scene in the country
    • Coming from Raghu Krishnan.  Will be highly helpful for the younger generation amongst you.
    • The first two general elections of the 1950s demonstrated the Nehruvian idealism of a nation, as indicated not just by dams and steel plants being defined as the temples of modern India but by cinema-poster titles saying “Phir subah hogi”. There was a souring of this idealism in the wake of the Sino-Indian war of 1962. “Garibi hatao” was the dominant theme of the 1971 general election, which was followed by the liberation of Bangladesh. However, almost as if to demonstrate that you could win a war and still lose the peace, the general elections of 1977 was fought on the premise that this was the “aakhri mouka” or “last chance” to restore democracy after the long, dark night of the Emergency. The Lok Sabha elections of 1984 and 1991 were fought in the wake of the assassinations of first Indira Gandhi and then Rajiv Gandhi. And the last few general elections have all been balancing acts of running the country on the basis of coalition governance and not unilateral party-power. The elections of 2009 could redefine the history of our country in a way which even the pundits may not have anticipated. 
  • Why is that we are not able to tackle ragging in our higher educational institutions?
    • Read today's article by Mythili Bhusnurmath on the subject.  Worth a read.  Some excerpts:
    • The answer to this question is given by Justice Raghavan, who headed the commission set up by the apex court to look into ways to curb ragging.  He says, “Political parties do not seem interested…Also, muscle power is associated with the managements of some private medical and engineering colleges who would like to sweep incidents under the carpet, lest they tarnish their image. (It is their) financial clout that enabled them to start their institutions and this helps them to survive even after proven misconduct and mismanagement. Parents are also not a united body and hence victims lack the required organised endeavour against ragging.” 
    • The commission pointed to the general apathy and failure to sensitise society as one of the main reasons why ragging continues. Less than 10% of the population in the age group of 18 to 23 years is enrolled in higher education institutions, the percentage is even less in professional colleges. Consequently, the public at large does not see it as an issue that involves every one of us.
Finance & Economics
  • What is OOH advertising?
    • OOH stands for 'out-of-home.'  What this form of advertising refers to is the advertising done on billboards that are kept in open spaces, by the side of fly-overs and airports etc.
    • India's costliest OOH ad site is considered to be Mumbai's Patel Bridge where charges for advertising are in the range of Rs. 16 lakh for a one-way 10-day slot. 
  • Independent directors quit in droves from companies
    • In the wake of Satyam scandal, independent directors are quitting companies' boards by droves.  As many as 181 independent directors are reported to have quit companies' boards in the last three months alone.
    • This has raised concerns of the ICAI, the accounting professionals' body in India which has decided to take a re-look at the accounts books of these companies.
    • While the quitting can be because of personal reasons, the scale and timing of the exits has raised alarm bells for the ICAI.
    • According to government rules, independent directors must constitute a third of any listed company’s board if the firm’s chairman is not a part of promoter group or its management. However, if the chairman belongs to the promoter group or is part of the management, independent directors should constitute half the board. 
  • Want an excellent primer on GDP?
    • Look no further.  You have it in today's ET guidebook.
    • In spite of covering it a number of times in our blog, I keep getting questions from many of the new entrants to our blog on this subject.  Therefore, there is nothing wrong in our taking a recap of this concept and some related questions concerning this.  Read it here.  
  • Ice-hockey
    • Is it played in India at all?  Yes; just for about two months in a year.  On natural ice in Ladakh.
    • For the first time ever, India has sent a team of 20 players and five extras to Abu Dhabi, Dubai to participate in the 2009 International Ice-Hockey Federation (IIHF) Challenge Cup. This is the second Asian Ice-Hockey Championship and will be played between March 15 and 21 this year. 
    • Ice-hockey in India has very deep roots. A sport that was played by the Indian Army and local youth with improvised field hockey sticks and shoe polish tins as pucks to occupy themselves in the winter, has now come a long way. 
    • Ladakh is the country’s highest ice-skating rink at 3,483 meters above sea level. The country has no artificial rinks to practice on.
  • Who is Asif Mustafayev?  And why should we care?
    • He is an artist from Azerbaijan.  He has become an instant celebrity in this ex-Soviet Caucasus state for bearing a striking resemblance to US President Barack Obama. 
    • The 31-year-old with tanned skin and curly hair is called ‘our Obama’ by his fellow villagers, who often drop into his place with their guests to show off the local look-alike of the world’s No.1 leader. 

1 Comment:

Ralph Hälbig said...

more about the cucasian area here: http://georgien.blogspot.com