Politics & the Nation
  • Indian embassy in Kabul attacked yet again
    • The Indian embassy in Kabul was the target of yet another terror attack early Thursday morning after a suicide bomber drove a car loaded with explosives into the embassy building, killing 17 people and injuring 80, including three ITBP personnel. Twelve Afghan nationals were killed and three ITBP personnel suffered slight injuries in the blast, but the embassy staff was safe.
    • The Taliban immediately claimed responsibility for the terror attack.
    • This blast was more or less similar to the July 7, 2008, bombing, in which two Indian diplomats were killed.
  • Maoists kill 17 police personnel in Maharashtra
    • A DAY after Union home minister P Chidambaram appealed for peace, Maoists in Vidarbha launched a massive attack on the state police, killing at least 17 and injuring half a dozen security personnel. One of the most daring attacks on security forces came just four days before the state goes to polls on October 13.
    • A police team of 45 personnel was reportedly on patrolling duty near Laheri in the farflung region of Gadchiroli district when it was ambushed by the Maoists at around 1 pm on Thursday. The incident sparked a gunbattle between the two sides which lasted for more than four hours.
    • 17 policemen, including sub inspector CS Deshmukh, were killed in the ambush by more than 150 Naxals, they said. The Naxals were in police uniform. According to the police, Naxals also suffered some casualties, but the exact number of casualties is not known.
Finance & Economy
  • PEs queue up to wind up India operations
    • EUROPEAN buyout specialist Candover and the UK firm Strategic Value Partners (SVP) are the latest in a growing list of private equity (PE) funds leaving the country without making any significant investment.
    • While Candover has already shut down its operations in India, Strategic Value Partners (SVP) is close to winding up operations, said two industry insiders.
    • A number of private equity players, who came into the country in the past couple of years, are leaving now, after failing to make any deal, as the global recession hit them hard with values of many of their investments crashing, affecting their fund base and making them extremely cautious
    • about investments.
  • Panel of watchdogs to tally ICAI’s auditing guidelines
  • In the wake of the Satyam fiasco, the government appears to be learning some quick lessons. Now it is going to see to it that the auditing norms prepared by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) are vetted by an umbrella body consisting of various regulators.
  • The National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards (Nacas), has representations from the Reserve Bank of India, Securities Exchange Board of India and Comptroller & Auditor General of India, besides the three professional institutes of accounting, company secretaries and cost accounting.
  • Nacas was established in 2001 and functions under the ministry of corporate affairs.
  • Auditing standards are independent of accounting standards and are currently used as a best practices directive to be followed. While non-conformity with accounting standards makes a company liable for regulatory action in accordance with the Companies Act, non-adherence with auditing standards does not entail regulatory action.
  • Takaful
  • It is the insurance equivalent of Shariah-compliant Islamic banking.
  • LIC and SBI are reported to be looking at this for introduction in India, as they don't want to miss out on the 142 mn strong Muslim community's potential.
  • But it is interesting to note that a working group that was recently constituted by RBI under the chairmanship of Anand Sinha, an executive director, concluded that Shariah-complaiant instruments are not feasible in the current regulatory framework.
Science & Technology
  • A device to check fake drugs?
    • Surprising but true. Read this news report in full. It is interesting.
    • Analysts estimate fake drugs to have penetrated up to 30% of the domestic market. Globally, the turnover of counterfeit drugs is expected to reach $75 billion the end of 2010, up 90% from 2005 levels, as per estimates by World Health Organisation (WHO).
    • Another technology-led innovation to check counterfeiting of drugs, is multi-colour tablet coating. It is easy for counterfeiters to duplicate both packaging and colour of an original product. Multi-colour coating is reportedly more complex to copy.
  • Is it any wonder Indians have to flee India to win a Nobel? (An excerpt from today's ET editorial.)
  • A sharp cleavage exists between teaching, done in universities, and research, housed in specialised state research outfits. Universities and research organisations do not interact. Faculty pay is at a steep discount to what comparable skills would fetch in industry, ensuring that very few of those who fill academic posts embody first rate talent. Those who do, migrate to a few centres of excellence, leaving the bulk of Indian students to the tender mercies of mediocrity.
Language lessons
  • candid: Adjective
    • Characterized by directness in manner or speech; without subtlety or evasion; Informal or natural; especially caught off guard or unprepared; Openly straightforward and direct without reserve or secretiveness
    • eg: "I gave them my candid opinion"
  • mirth: Noun
    • Great merriment
    • eg: Sometimes the sniping that can attend the media war between conflicting zones lets slip a little gem of unforeseen mirth.


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