31.08.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • Article 243D of the Constitution and why is it in the news:
    • WITH last Thursday’s Cabinet approval of the proposal for 50% reservation for women in panchayats, a significant step forward has been taken on the issue of women’s empowerment. This decision to enhance the reservation for women in village councils across the country — around 2,52,00 of them — from one-third to 50% will entail an amendment to Article 243D of the Constitution.
Finance & Economy
  • Pepsi decides to hold its board meet in India
    • PEPSICO will hold its annual global meet for the first time in India, marking only the second occasion that the $43-billion beverages and snacks company will take the event outside the US.
    • The mid-November three-day event, coming five years after the board met in Mexico, demonstrates India’s importance in the company’s future, said PepsiCo India chairman and CEO Sanjeev Chadha.
    • The company has made $1 bn investment in India till date.
    • Take a look at the composition of the board of this high profile company!
      • The high-profile names that make up PepsiCo’s board includes Shona Brown, senior vice-president, business operations, Google, Ian M Cook, president & CEO, Colgate-Palmolive, Dina Dublon, former executive vice-president and CFO, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Victor J Dzau, president & CEO, Duke University Health Systems, Ray L Hunt, CEO, Hunt Oil Company, Alberto Ibarg├╝en, president & CEO, John S and James L Knight Foundation, Arthur C Martinez, president and CEO, Sears, Roebuck and Co, Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president & CEO, WETA Public Stations, James Schiro, CEO, Zurich Financial Services, Lloyd Trotter, partner, Gen-Nx360 Capital Partners and Daniel Vasella, chairman & CEO, Novartis.
  • What is a zombie bank?
    • A bank with little or no net worth, but treated as if it is a viable institution.
  • Namibia to fuel our nuclear reactors?
    • It is the sixth largest producer of Uranium. Australia, the largest producer of Uranium in the world is dilly dallying on Uranium supplies to India in spite of the clearance from the NSG.
    • Therefore, India is forced to look at alternate sources of supply. Namibia came to the fore in this regard and its President Mr. Hifikepunye Pohamba is currently on a visit to India to sign an MoU on mining. The MoU is expected to cover not just Uranium but also other minerals like copper and diamonds.
International
  • America's socialism
    • Joseph Stiglitz has always been a hard-hitting writer when it came to criticizing American administrations. He now finds fault with the bail outs extended by American administration to banks, insurance companies and automobile companies. Take a look at it here.
Miscellany
  • Wedding dogged by going bust
    • We have heard about some wedlocks bringing bad luck to one of the partners or their families. But ever heard of wedlock that brings bad luck to all those who are associated with the wedding? This is exactly what happened to Kenneth Porter and Karen Cauwood’s wedding day.
    • It almost turned into a disaster after almost every company involved in their big day celebration went bust. First, the hotel booked for their reception was put into administration, second, a shop supplying bridesmaid dresses went bust and third, the airline taking them on honeymoon collapsed. Despite the bad luck, the couple still managed to get hitched. “Everybody who's dealt with us has had bad luck. It's been a nightmare. But the wedding was perfect,” Porter said. The couple had also paid for tickets to see Michael Jackson as a post-honeymoon treat but the King of Pop died suddenly.
Sport
  • Force India creates history
    • It heralded the entry of India err an Indian promoted motor sporting team into the international speed racing sporting circuit by securing points for the first time in 30 attempts.
    • The Indian team finished second at Belgian Grand Prix, just 0.9 seconds behind the Champion Kimi Raikkonen.
    • Take a look at the timings recorded:
      • Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) - Ferrari 1hr 23mins 50.995secs
      • Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) - Force India-Mercedes +00:00.939
      • Sebastian Vettel (Germany) - RedBull - Renault 00:03.875
      • Robert Kubica (Poland) - BMW Sauber 00:09.966
      • Nick Heidfeld (Germany) - BMW Sauber 00:11.276
    • For those of you who are clueless as to what is Force India, it is the motor racing team from India and is promoted by Vijay Mallya, the liquor baron from the South of the country.
Language lessons
  • jilt: Verb
    • Cast aside capriciously or unfeelingly
    • eg: "jilt a lover or a bride"
  • pony up: Verb
    • Give reluctantly
    • eg: The taxpayer has had to pony up billions, and has provided billions more in guarantees — bills that are likely to come due in the future.
  • ersatz
    • Adjective: Artificial and inferior
    • Noun: An artificial or inferior substitute or imitation
    • eg: But this new form of ersatz capitalism, in which losses are socialised and profits privatised, is doomed to failure.

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