28.04.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • Now Modi gets the boot from Supreme Court
    • A few days ago it was a minister in his cabinet.  Now it is his turn; it looks like.
    • The Supreme Court has taken cognizance of a complaint lodged by the wife of a Congress MP who was killed in the post Godhra riots and has asked the SIT - Special Investigation Team - to probe into the role of Mr. Modi.
    • Read the full report here.
  • Should English language be banned from India?
    • Remember the noting about a debate on banning or not banning English language in India?  Today TK Arun wrote a very good piece arguing that the squeezing of Indian languages into the binary slots of an artificial, mutually exclusive choice, is mistaken.  While explaining his point he dwelt on the oft wondered question: How come Indians alone obsess about English?
    • Colonial baggage is the short answer. But it is too short. A fuller explanation would take into account the highly unjust, unequal distribution of social power in traditional India and the linguistic codes that legitimised and sustained such inequity. 
    • The premium on English grew, for two reasons: the utility of English as the preferred world language and conflation of acceptable teaching standards with English as the medium of instruction. The latter is primarily a function of breakdown of the government school system. 
    • Take a look at the full story here.  Worth a read.
  • CAT goes online
    • ALMOST three lakh students seeking admission into IIMs in November this year will be able to appear for the Common Admission Test (CAT) online, as India’s premier management institutes seek to transform the over three-decadeold examination system and provide more flexibility to IIM aspirants by adopting an internet-based system. 
  • Some excellent editorial commentary on the Lankan Tamil issue
    • With the LTTE’s rout, the militarism of the Rajapaksa regime can transform into a triumphalism that denies — or at least seeks to skirt — the devolution issue. One needs to remember that ingrained Sinhala chauvinism has been an equal part of the problem. Only concerted international pressure, particularly from India, in a post-LTTE scenario can ensure that the issue of sharing of power remains at the top of the reconstruction plan. Colombo’s announcement, after some nudging by New Delhi, that it won’t use heavy weaponry in the NFZ is welcome. But large scale civilian casualties can still occur. Striving to prevent that, and maintaining the political primacy of the Tamil rights issue should now be the task for Tamil Nadu’s politicians. On current form, it seems they won’t be equal to it.
Health
  • Swine flu outbreak 
    • Mexico, the US, Canada and now Spain have reported cases of swine flu.
    • Swine influenza (also swine flu) refers to influenza caused by any virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae, that is endemic to pig (swine) populations.  
    • In humans, the symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of influenza and of influenza-like illness in general.
    • The new strain of swine flu virus called H1N1 has killed 103 people in Mexico. 
    • Look at this Wikipedia graphic for swine flu symptoms.
    • A timeline of events in this outbreak.
    • Indian drug makers are ready to pitch in with the generic version of the antiviral Tamiflu as the world looks for quick, affordable options to counter the infection.
    • The World Bank estimated in 2008 that a flu pandemic could cost $3 trillion and result in a nearly 5% drop in world gross domestic product, damaging prospects of recovery in a world economy deep in financial crisis. 
    • The SARS outbreak, which disrupted travel, trade and the workplace in 2003, cost the Asia Pacific region an estimated $40 billion. It lasted six months and killed 775 of the 8,000 people it infected in 25 countries. 
  • AD syringes to shore up healthcare in the country
    • THE country’s healthcare delivery system is set to get a safety shot, with a government mandate on the use of auto-disable syringes (AD) coming into effect in end-April. A legislation signed late last year requires all central government hospitals under CGHS to use only auto-disable (AD) syringes to avoid the spread of disease. 
    • AD syringes are designed for a single use, with a lock that prevents reuse and eliminates unauthorised packaging or even resale.
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease is better known as the human variant of BSE - Bovine spongiform encephalopathy - or ‘Mad Cow disease’
Finance & Economy
  • This graphic gives an excellent primer on LLPs
    • You might remember that we have noted about Limited Liability Partnerships some time back in our blog.  
  • Why are fiscal stimulus packages a headache for Central banks?
    • Higher deficit financing tends to have an inflationary impact on the economy. Moreover, a reversal of tax sops could derail the pace of growth in the real sector. Unwinding of fiscal policy, therefore, needs to be handled carefully as the economy gradually gets back on track. 

1 Comment:

BK Chowla said...

Does it mean that Modi will be tried till he proved guilty?