Politics & the Nation
  • AP, Karnataka witness massive floods
    • Both the states have seen the fury unleashed by the retreating monsoon. The floods have claimed more than 240 lives and caused widespread destruction of property.
    • Rescue and relief operations are on. Let us pray for all those that have lost their lives and for the bereaved families.
  • The Indian Summer
    • It is movie which reportedly has some scenes suggesting the relationship between India’s charismatic first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, and the charming last Vicereine, Lady Mountbatten.
  • Dolphin is our national aquatic animal
    • Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said that like the tiger as the national animal and peacock as the national bird, the government had declared dolphins as the national aquatic animal as it represented the health of the rivers, particularly the Ganga.
Finance & Economy
  • Interview with Jeff Immelt and Mukesh Ambani
    • Students of business and current affairs cannot afford to miss such interactions. Take a look.
  • IRDA says no to register all financial advisors
    • Insurance regulator IRDA has reportedly shot down a proposal to register all financial advisors with the Financial Well-Being Board of India (FINWEB), an agency to write rules on the common minimum standards for over 3 million sellers of insurance, pension and mutual fund products.
    • The proposal, aimed at protecting the interests of 188 million investors in the country, features in a consultation paper of a panel set up by the High Level Committee on Financial Matters (HLCCFM), an apex forum for financial sector regulators.
    • Currently, IRDA has powers to licence insurance agents and brokers. The proposal is being interpreted as a back-door entry for FINWEB to take over this function. Going by the consultation paper on ‘minimum common standards for financial intermediaries and financial education’, FINWEB will also have a self-regulatory arm to bring all financial advisors under one common standard.
Science & Technology
  • Nobel Prize announcement season has come
    • First to be announced is for Medicine
      • Australian-American researcher Elizabeth Blackburn and Carol Greider and Jack Szostak of the United States won the Nobel Medicine Prize on Monday for identifying a key switch in cellular ageing.
      • The trio were honoured for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the role of an enzyme called telomerase in maintaining or stripping away this molecular shield.
      • The three won the 2006 Lasker Prize (often dubbed America's Nobel prize), one of the most prestigious US science awards, for the same work.
      • Blackburn and Greider are only the ninth and tenth women to win the Nobel Medicine Prize since 1901 -- out of a total 195 medicine laureates -- and this is the first time two women have shared the honour.
    • But Nobel committee secretary Goeran Hansson said gender played no part in the decision.
    • The Physics Prize is to be announced on Tuesday followed by the Chemistry Prize on Wednesday. The Literature Prize will be announced on Thursday and the Peace Prize on Friday.
    • The Economics Prize will wrap up the awards on October 12.
    • The laureates receive a gold medal, a diploma and 10 million Swedish kronor (1.42 million dollars, 980,000 euros) which can be split between up to three winners per prize. The prizes are awarded in Stockholm and Oslo on December 10.
  • Many of you might have heard of or know about Citrix.
    • This is a company which specializes in virtualization. Wait a minute. What is virtualization?
    • A method of partitioning one physical server computer into multiple “virtual” servers, giving each the appearance and capabilities of running on its own dedicated machine. Each virtual server functions as a full-fledged server and can be independently rebooted.
    • This is old. What’s the latest in virtualisation? (As excerpted from an interview by the CEO Citrix)
    • An emerging development is client virtualisation. It will allow you to have multiple virtual machines on your personal desktop or laptop or even a handheld device. You will have your corporate and personal information on this single device. Your company can control one of the virtual machines in the device, with the necessary security, to enable a person to do all her official work as well as personal work on the device.
    • Multiple types of machines — with different applications — are possible within a single device. Say in a training institution, if some people are to be trained on web programming and others on desktop publishing, the same device can be used. In a government set up, a single device can be used for regular office work as well as to do highly classified work. In short, it can significantly reduce the requirement for personal devices. A company can even ask its employees to bear a part of the expense towards their official laptops and allow them to use it also for personal purposes. This can even be bigger than server virtualisation.
  • Why does the presence of North Korean ships in international waters raises the hackles of international comity of nations?
    • We all know that North Korea is a renegade state because of its nuclear ambitions. It has been brushing aside the saner counsel that is given from the UN system.
    • UN member states are authorised to inspect North Korean cargo and seize and destroy any goods transported in violation of a Security Council resolution in June after it conducted nuclear tests.
    • North Korea had fired a barrage of short-range missiles in May and exploded a nuclear device.
    • Many countries therefore, are suspicious of any movement -- especially undeclared or clandestine -- of North Korean ships in international waters and pounce on them to inspect and find out whether they are carrying out any nuclear trade related goods.
    • It was as part of such efforts that India had to detain two North Korean ships recently.
    • A North Korean ship headed for Pakistan was detained by the Navy and Coast Guard for dropping anchor off the Kerala coast without taking permission. The vessel, Hyang RO, was on its way from Sri Lanka to a Pakistani port.
    • In August, a North Korean ship M V Mu San was detained in the Bay of Bengal when it dropped anchor off Hut Bay in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands for days as it was suspected to be carrying nuclear cargo. It was found later to have genuine merchandise.
    • India had once detained a North Korean ship that was carrying missile components for Pakistan.
  • Rest of India lift Irani Cup 2009
    • They beat Mumbai at Nagpur.
Language lessons
  • feckless: Adjective
    • Not fit to assume responsibility; Generally incompetent and ineffectual
    • eg: ...the feckless Prince Harry and his (non)role as the ‘Spare to the British throne’.
  • vein: Noun
    • A distinctive style or manner
    • eg: "he continued in this vein for several minutes"