Politics & the Nation
  • Are BSNL and MTNL being pressured into doing something that they can't like in the interest of their business?
    • Read this news report. That's the impression you will get. Couple this with the political gyan that you would have gained in the last few years; we are sure that you will get a hazy picture of what is brewing.
    • BSNL chairman and managing director: Kuldip Goyal
  • Supreme Court moves Delhi High Court over RTI case
    • You might as well remember what we noted about this issue in our blog earlier on 03.09.2009.
    • Last month, Justice R Ravindra Bhatt of Delhi High Court in a landmark verdict had said, “The CJI is a public authority under the RTI Act and the CJI holds the information pertaining to assets declaration in his capacity as Chief Justice. That office is a public authority under the Act and is covered by its provisions”.
    • Now the issue is in the news again because the Supreme Court of India has gone in appeal against this order. The appeal against the single bench verdict would be heard by a division bench of the high court.
    • The main line of argument taken by the Supreme Court registry before the Delhi High Court now is that the registry is separate from the Court. Both of them are not one single public authority.
    • The CJI has all along been maintaining that the office of CJI does not fall within the purview of the RTI Act.
  • We have noted about Dolphin being declared as national aquatic animal yesterday. More on it...
    • Dolphin is considered a flagship species. It means that their strength in river system would indicate its health.
    • The freshwater dolphin, a blind species, is mainly found in the Ganges and Brahmaputra river systems in India. Construction of dams and barrages, increase in pollution-levels, indiscriminate fishing, the dreadful prospect of the mammal getting entangled in nets — all these factors have contributed to a reduction in their numbers in two river systems.
    • With the Centre declaring it as a national animal, hopes that more steps would be taken to protect them have soared.
Finance & Economy
  • Trai to unveil pay per second regime
    • TELECOM regulator Trai has unveiled plans for a radical overhaul in the way India’s mobile phone industry bills customers, a welcome tone for the country’s 450 million cellphone users, but a jarring note for telcos that could see their revenues fall by up to 15%.
    • Trai did not specify the timeframe for implementing the per-second billing plan.
    • Under the ‘per second’ model — already being followed by Tata DoCoMo — if a telco were to offer a tariff plan that provided calls at 60 paise per minute, a customer speaking for 20 seconds would only be charged 20 paise for the call rather than the full 60 paise charged currently.
    • At present, all operators, except Tata DoCoMo, Shyam Sistema and Aircel (in a few circles), follow a per-minute-billing system. Here, the customer is charged for the full minute, irrespective of whether the call lasts the whole minute.
    • TRAI Chairman: JS Sarma
  • India fares poorly on Human Development Index
    • India's new-found position as an economic superpower doesn’t find reflection in the quality of life enjoyed by its 1.2 billion people, showed the human development index (HDI) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which ranked the country at a lowly 134 among 182 countries.
    • Neighbouring states China (92), Sri Lanka (102) and Bhutan (132) were ranked higher than India while Pakistan (141), Nepal (144) and Bangladesh (146) were ranked lower.
    • Norway continued to top the chart, with Australia, Iceland, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, France, Switzerland and Japan making the top 10. The US is ranked 13, while Britain and Germany are further down at 21 and 22, respectively.
    • The index takes into account a host of parameters including poverty levels, literacy and gender-related issues to measure the quality of life. The index is being published from 1990.
    • Take a look at this picture which gives some highlights from the report.
  • Portfolio inflows into the country
    • Portfolio investments by FIIs in the Indian equity market amounted to $13.6 billion between April 1-September 18, 2009 as against outflows of $5.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2008 reflecting a turnaround of almost $19 billion.
  • Are there any ceilings on managerial remuneration a.k.a corporate salaries?
    • Yes, the Companies Act 1956 (Section 198) does lay down a ceiling on managerial remuneration (not more than 11% of the net profits of that company for that financial year) and on the salaries of top company officials (not more than 5% of the net profits for a whole-time/managing director and not more than 10% if there is more than one).
    • But these limits serve largely on paper. Since they often proved an obstacle in tapping and retaining the right talent, companies invariably found ways to get around them. Increasingly they began to pay in kind rather than in cash, defeating both the purpose of the legislation and giving rise to the infamous fringe-benefit tax.
  • ICC Champions Trophy
    • Australia beat NewZealand to retain the trophy.
Language lessons
  • whopper: Noun
    • A gross untruth; a blatant lie; Something especially big or impressive of its kind
  • snooty: Adjective
    • (used colloquially) overly conceited or arrogant
  • griddle: Noun
    • Cooking utensil consisting of a flat heated surface (as on top of a stove) on which food is cooked

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

In the first bullet story:-Are BSNL and "VSNL" being pressured into doing something that they can't like in the interest of their business?
VSNL should be MTNL....VSNL is no longer a state-owned company....vsnl is now TATA Communications.