Politics & the Nation
  • The Judges assets imbroglio
    • This is one article that all of you must read. It is about the controversy / debate surrounding the issue of disclosure of assets and liabilities of the higher judiciary. It has many firsts to its credit. In the end, public opinion triumphed and the judiciary had to bow before it. Take a look. Those of you appearing for Civils exams should expect a question or two around this debate.
Finance & Economy
  • The RIL-RNRL dispute
    • We have all been following this dispute for the last few years in our blog. The Government of India has changed its stand before the Supreme Court in the ongoing dispute and appears to have taken a neutral stand in so far as the dispute between the two brothers is concerned. For full details of the issue read this news report. Some excerpts about the change in government's stand are worth our noting:
    • The government in its fresh application has also sought the deletion of three pleas mentioned in its earlier special leave petition filed in the apex court on July 18.
      • First, the MoU in so far as it deals with the rights of the government may be declared null and void.
      • Second, the challenge to the high court order in so far as it gives an overriding effect to a privately arrived at MoU to which the government was not a party.
      • Third, the challenge to the high court order with regard to the interpretation of the gas utilisation policy and the provisions of the PSC and further direction that the said policy and PSC would prevail over any private arrangement or MoU.
    • The above three pleas should be deleted, said the government, adding, “The Union of India would wish to clarify that it is no way concerned with the private dispute between RIL and RNRL or between the Ambani brothers, but it is only concerned with its rights as owner and regulator of natural gas.”
  • What's wrong with handing over of Maytas Infra to IL&FS? Was there transparency in the deal?
    • NO, says an ET editorial today. And we agree with that view. Take a look at the editorial here. There ought to have been an auction among bidders for management control of the company.
  • Did economists fail to predict the current recession?
    • No says Swaminathan Aiyar and backs it up with a decent list of economists who predicted hard times. He also points out how none of us listened. A good read. Read it here.
  • Anand Jon Alexander gets 59 years prison sentence
    • Most probably all of you know by now who this Anand Jon is. He is the Los Angeles based fashion designer of Indian origin who was featured on the TV show "America's Next Top Model". He was accused of raping a number of women by luring them to his apartment.
  • Know anything about the Stockholm Syndrome?
    • Remember the Jaycee Lee Dugard’s story that made waves of late? She was kidnapped when she was a child and was confined to captivity by a couple. The man raped her and as a result she gave birth to two children over the years. Ultimately after 18 years of captivity, she freed herself.
    • After she was reunited with her family, the question that remained on many a lip is as to why she never attempted to escape during 18 long years of captivity.
    • That has led to speculation that Ms Dugard exhibits the classic signs of Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological disorder in which a captive comes over time to feel entirely dependant on, and even affectionate towards, his or her captor.
    • It is named after a bank robbery in Stockholm in 1972 in which the bank workers became emotionally attached to the criminals over a six-day hostage ordeal. Psychologists explain that it is a survival mechanism rather than any expression of real love for the captor.
  • Is internet facing any midlife crisis?
    • We don't know how many of you agree with the question at all. At 40, Internet to us, is going very strong and there appears to be no end in sight for its growth. With IP6, perhaps it should be our imagination which may have some limits on the number / type of devices that can be hooked to it.
    • But, is such an assessment right? What are the threats that it faces? There are some threats -- which may not be all that imaginary. Take a look at this interesting article. It points out some.