15.07.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • Manmohan Singh is Chief Guest at French Day celebrations
    • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attended the National Day celebrations of France as the Chief Guest, the first Indian leader to have such an exceptional honour, on the invitation of French President Nicolas Sarkozy.
    • Manmohan Singh's visit is expected to help India and France "build" a strategic partnership in atomic energy, defence, trade and other key areas.
    • For the first time ever, a 400-strong Indian military detachment (Maratha Regiment) took part in the Bastille Day parade. France celebrates this parade each year on July 14, the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris by revolutionaries on July 14, 1789.
    • The visit will in all probability have much more to it than mere exchange of courtsies. The French President was the guest of honour at India's Republic Day celebrations in 2008. He reciprocated the warmth by extending an invitation to Prime Minister Singh to be the guest of honour in France.
    • The significance arises out of the fact that the recent G8 summit has put some restrictions on India's ability to get nuclear fuel supplies by recommending that such supplies be allowed only to NPT signatories. As India is not a signatory, the Indo US nuclear deal also would not help India much if the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group) decides to accept the G8 recommendation. So France's help in this regard would be not only welcome but desperately needed. You might rememer that it is France which was the first to signal nuclear fuel supplies to India soon after the Indo US nuclear deal was signed.
  • 15th NAM summit
    • The Prime Minister who is on a visit to France will be going to Egypt from there to attend this NAM summit.
    • NAM has certainly lost all its relevance after the end of the cold war. Perhaps Cuba and Egypt may continue to hold the forte. The 15th NAM summit doesn't even have a web site of its own.
Finance & Economy
  • FM reassures on divestment
    • Replying to the budget debate, the Finance Minister emphasized that disinvestment as envisaged in the Presidential speech is very much on track. This, coupled with some news on global recovery, have pepped up the markets.
  • The case against a DMO
    • We have been noting with lot of enthusiasm about the formation of a separate debt management office and divesting the debt management functions from the RBI. But today's ET editorial argues against the establishment of a DMO. Take a look at its solid reasoning. Worth a read.
  • Now an institute for Valuation Professionals
    • The need to professionalise valuers came into focus after Price Waterhouse, a renowned audit company, landed in trouble after its alleged involvement in the inflated valuation of two group companies of erstwhile Satyam Computer Services.
    • The government has already set the ball rolling on this sphere. The Valuation Professionals Bill, aims at making the business of asset valuation ahead of corporate mergers, acquisitions and restructuring more organised and transparent. The draft bill covers valuation of all tangible and intangible assets, including intellectual property rights and goodwill.
    • The government envisages creation of a council of valuation professionals that would issue licences for professionals to practice. Passage of the Valuation Professionals Bill and setting up of the valuers’ institute forms the ministry of corporate affairs’ agenda as part of UPA’s 100-day package.
International
  • Hillary Clinton on a strategic relationship building visit to India
    • Ahead of her visit to India, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that she is travelling to New Delhi to start a strategic dialogue with it which will include issues like climate change and clean energy.
    • Parrying questions on making India and China commit to some carbon reduction targets, she described them as "bell cows." Look at this sentence:
      • "Of course, it's true more generally than India and China, but they are going to be the "bell cows," if you will, you know, a lot of the developing countries will look to them," she added.
    • What is a 'bell cow'?
      • This is a term that describes a team's lead runner. In the context of India and China, the team refers to the developing nations.
Environment
  • Cooking fires weakening Indian monsoon?
    • Soot from the wood-based cooking fires used by 70% of Indians is forming a cloud of pollutants that is impeding the monsoon winds, according to a senior scientist.
    • The Asian Brown Cloud, as the blanket of pollutants over South Asia and the Tibetan plateau is called, is not only weakening the monsoon but is responsible for half the warming observed in the Himalayas, according to Syed Iqbal Hasnain, senior fellow at The Energy and Resources Institute. He explained that black carbon, as the soot is called by scientists, is reducing albido—the ability of snow to reflect heat—and thus accelerating melting of the glaciers.
Health
  • Swine flu unstoppable: WHO
    • The swine flu pandemic is described as "unstoppable" by a WHO official, as 12 new deaths were reported and a study raised fresh concerns.
    • Britain, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand all reported deaths on Monday, while Saudi Arabia shut an international school after 20 students were diagnosed with the A(H1N1) virus.
Culture
  • Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards presented
    • Sangeet Akademi Ratna conferred on:
      • Sitara Devi: Kathak exponent
      • Khaled Chowdhury: Stage designer
      • Bhupen Hazarika: Musician
      • RC Mehta: Performing arts scholar
    • The President also awarded Akademi Fellowships (Akademi Ratna Sadyasta), which carry a purse money of Rs one lakh besides a citation, an angavastram and a tamrapatra.
    • The Akademi fellowship is restricted to 30 living persons at any given point of time.
    • Besides this, 34 practitioners of music, dance and theatre were awarded the Akademi Award which carries a purse money of Rs 50,000.
Language lessons
  • hand over fist: Adverb
    • At a tremendous rate
    • eg: Private non-life insurers are losing money hand over fist, as cut-throat competition and losses in motor third-party insurance wipe out all margins.
  • brio: Noun
    • Quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous
    • eg: Dhen te Nan, a bouncy song in Vishal Bhardwaj’s Kaminey, is India, a brash celebration of Indian brio.
  • rambunctious: Adjective
    • Noisy and lacking in restraint or discipline
    • eg: "a social gathering that became rambunctious and out of hand"
  • gallivant: Verb
    • Wander aimlessly in search of pleasure

1 Comment:

D@ttu said...

its good but please post current affairs of andhra pradhesh