Politics & the Nation
  • Indigenous T-90S tanks rolled out
    • The first indigenously built T-90 S tanks (Bhishma) rolled out of the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi, near Chennai on Monday, marking a significant phase of the indigenisation of the production of the state-of-the-art tanks in India.
    • The process of indigenisation was set in motion in 2004 after HVF gained experience in assembling the tanks following an agreement between the Indian and Russian governments.
  • Air India employees on strike
    • Angry over delay in payment of their salaries by cash-strapped Air India management, over 20,000 members of airlines' employee's unions have decided to go on a three-day hunger strike from today.
Finance & Economy
  • Know Nouriel Roubini?
    • He is the New York Professor who is credited with having predicted the onset of the global financial crisis. He is not new to us, as we have been following his articles from The Project Syndicate for quite some time. High funda finance though.
  • Banking Correspondents to further financial inclusion?
    • Just two years from now, that is if the RBI's plans go right, the institution of banking correspondents is going to be heralding financial inclusion in India on a scale unheard of before.
    • Currently, self-help groups, certain companies and NGOs are allowed to function as BCs in areas without bank branches. Besides enabling opening of accounts for new customers, BCs are permitted to undertake activities such as disbursal of small value credit, recovery of dues and collection of small-value deposits among others.
  • Country to take longer time to witness 9% growth
    • Faced with the impact of the global downturn as well as drought, the government said on Tuesday it would take "longer time" for the country to achieve the 9 per cent growth as witnessed before the financial crisis hit the world in September 2008.
    • With 246 districts out of a total of about 600 facing drought, the growth rate is estimated to decelerate further to little over 6 per cent. The Reserve Bank of India in its first quarterly review of the credit policy projected 6 per cent growth rate for the current fiscal with upward bias.
  • Bid to save endangered Karanjali and Adimundan
    • Two critically endangered trees of Kerala will be pulled back from the brink of extinction if efforts to reintroduce them in the wild fructify.
    • Karanjali (Dipterocarpus bourdillonii) and Adimundan (Humboldtia bourdillonii) are endemic to the Western Ghats.
    • If the reintroduction is successful, their saplings will grow in protected areas and the trees will be re-categorised in the Red Data Book of the IUCN. Now, they are on the critically endangered list.
  • Hillary Clinton, the diplomat
    • Some of you at least, if not many, surely would be aspiring diplomats. This article is for such people. See how subtly changes are brought about in the way diplomacy is practiced by the US! After reading this article you should be in a position to comprehend what is meant by ' soft' power as opposed to 'hard' power.
    • A very good read. Take a look.
  • Know Caster Semenya?
    • She is the 18-year-old from South Africa who took gold in the 800 metres in the recently concluded world track championships at Berlin, Germany. Her victory came after world athletics officials said they were conducting gender tests after questions arose about her muscular build and deep voice.
Language lessons
  • dodgy: Adjective
    • Of uncertain outcome; especially fraught with risk; Marked by skill in deception; Of doubtful quality or legality
    • eg: A tumultuous year, which saw the collapse of western economies and businesses due to dodgy and reckless market investments, also saw the emergence of a breed of companies and individuals who braved all odds to emerge victorious.
  • coroner: Noun
    • A public official who investigates by inquest any death not due to natural causes
    • eg: Los Angeles County coroner rules Michael Jackson's death a homicide.
  • juxtapose: Verb
    • Place side by side
    • eg: Juxtapose that with our spectacular failure to make any headway at all with the Swiss authorities and it’s the old familiar story: of our not doing our homework properly.
  • smoke and mirrors
    • deception and confusion. (Said of statements or more complicated rhetoric used to mislead people rather than inform. Alludes to the way a magician uses optical illusion to create believability while performing a trick. Fixed order.)
    • eg: Most people know that the politician was just using smoke and mirrors to make things look better than they really were.
    • eg: Her report was little more than smoke and mirrors. No one will believe any of it.
  • riposte: Noun
    • A quick reply to a question or remark (especially a witty or critical one)