Politics & the Nation
  • Noting about the failure of a break-through in the talks between the foreign ministers of India and Pakistan on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, we also noticed this picture in the paper.
    • Remember this picture? It is about the retreat ceremony called 'lowering of the flags' that takes place at the Wagah border between India and Pakistan.
    • Are you a novice to this? Don't know anything about Radcliffe line? Then you should take a look at this wikipedia article that explains it well.
  • Are you among the following groups?
    • We are sure many of you are.
    • According to a survey done by Tata Consultancy Services called Generation Web 2.0, students today are shifting their academic and social life online and embracing the digital world as true digital natives. The survey conducted across 14,000 high school children between the ages of 12-18 in 12 cities across India during 2008-09, said 63% of urban students spend over an hour online daily, 93% are aware of social networking, 46% use online sources to access news and over 80% have access to mobile phones.
  • The Prime Minister is reported to have backed the Bharti-MTN merger deal.
Finance & Economy
  • Developments on the Bharti-MTN deal
    • All of you by now, know the issue of dual listing on which the fate of this deal is dependent. With the pressure on Indian government to allow dual listing, the government seems to have come up with an alternative to dual listing.
    • Indian policy makers are reported to have suggested to their South African counterparts that they could consider the option of a structure whereby MTN’s shares could be listed in India in the form of Indian Depository Receipts (IDRs). These are shares issued by foreign companies in India, denominated in rupees and sold to local investors.
    • In a mirror image of Global Depository Receipts or GDRs or American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) — an overseas firm will issue its shares to an Indian depository which will then issue depository receipts to local investors. The IDRs represent the underlying shares of the foreign company.
    • IDRs are fairly close to capital account convertibility (the proceeds are freely repatriable). In the post-global economic crisis scenario, this could send out a politically strong message.
    • However, it is not clear if the two companies are considering the IDR option at this juncture.
  • Tackling the non-tariff barriers in international trade
    • One time or the other you would surely have heard of this phrase 'non-tariff barriers.' Get a lowdown on these NTBs in this article by Prashant Goyal. Worth a read. Perhaps you can keep the article as reference material also.
  • Personality: K. Cherian Verghese
    • This former chairman and managing director of state-owned Union Bank of India, will now head the Board For Industrial & Financial Reconstruction (BIFR).
    • Mr Varghese was a member of BIFR since April 2007. He takes over from Ms Binoo Sen, who retired recently.
  • Personality: Roman Polanski
    • He is in the news for being arrested on the charge of having sex unlawfully with a minor some thirty years ago! He is reported to have had sex with a minor girl by name Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer). He was then 44 and she was 13.
    • Roman Polanski is well known director of movies. One of the films for which he is well recognized is "Rosemary's Baby."
    • He was travelling in Switzerland to collect a ‘lifetime achievement award’ at the Zurich film festival, when the arrest was made two days ago.
    • Want to know more about him and this sordid saga? Take a look at it here.
  • Can IMF be an impartial monitor of national economic policies?
    • In the context of the Pittsburg summit of the G20 anointing the IMF with some primacy, this is the question that has suddenly acquired a huge interest. Three experts debate the issue. Take a look.
Language Lessons
  • helmer: Noun
    • A television or film director
  • snare: Verb
    • Catch in or as if in a trap; Entice and trap
    • eg: The car salesman had snared three potential customers.
  • propitiate: Verb
    • Make peace with