19.10.2009

Politics & the Nation
  • Justice Dinakaran: End of the road?
    • Charges of land encroachment against Justice P D Dinakaran, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, have been endorsed by an investigation ordered by the Supreme Court, dealing a serious blow to the prospect of his elevation to the apex court.
    • It is reported that the district collector of Thiruvallur near Chennai, found Justice Dinakaran to have encroached 197 acres of public land around his property in Kaverirajapuram village. In his report to the SC, the collector has also held that the encroachments by Justice Dinakaran have blocked access to government land.
    • Now the Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan and other judges who form the Collegium, may be considering to withdraw their recommendation for Justice Dinakaran’s elevation in the light of the damning findings of the Thiruvallur collector.
    • The Supreme Court Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India comprises Justices S H Kapadia, Tarun Chatterjee, Altamas Kabir and R V Raveendran.
  • US plane carrying marines grounded
    • An American aircraft carrying 205 US marines was forced to land at Mumbai airport on Sunday morning for allegedly violating the Indian airspace. The chartered North American Airlines Boeing 767 was on its way to Bangkok from Fujiriah in the UAE.
    • The transport aircraft reportedly had civilian clearance from the DGCA to fly over the Indian airspace but it was carrying military personnel, for which the aircraft should have obtained Air Operation Routing clearance (AOR), needed for a military aircraft.
    • After remainining grounded from 7.52 am, the IAF allowed the US plane to resume its flight late in the evening.
Finance & Economy
  • Change in India's stand on climate talks?
    • India seems to have begun to shuffle its feet on climate change negotiations. Reportedly, the Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, appears to have suggested to the PM that India should junk the Kyoto Protocol, delink itself from G77 — the 131-member bloc of developing nations — and take on greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments under a new deal without any counter guarantee of finances and technology.
    • This comes just after he reportedly wrote to the PM suggesting India permit strict external scrutiny — as is done under IMF and WTO — of the mitigation measures it takes at its own cost.
    • If accepted by the government, the minister’s proposal will radically shift India’s stand from its position on climate negotiations that governments of all political hues have backed since 1990, and which was defended robustly as recently as at the UN talks in Bangkok earlier this month.
    • In his October 13 letter to the PM, Ramesh argues for a deviation from the Kyoto Protocol under which only the developed countries — listed in Annexure 1 — are required to take obligations for emission cuts, saying that it would also help in a better alignment with the US.
  • Country's largest flyover to be inaugurated today
    • The country’s longest flyover P V Narasimha Rao Expressway will open for traffic from today. Chief minister K Rosaiah will inaugurate the flyover at 4.30 pm.
    • The four-lane 11.633 kms expressway provides faster access to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport.
    • The late CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone for the flyover on March 16, 2006. According to schedule, the project should have been completed within 26 months, but due to various reasons, it got completed in September 2009. Nearly, Rs 600 crores was spent on the flyover.
  • NTPC to raise power tariff due to hike in coal prices
    • NTPC is set to hike the rates charged for supplying power to the distributors. The proposed move comes following an 11 per cent hike in coal prices by Coal India, which in turn would push the power generation expenses higher.
    • Out of a total of 30,000 mw power generated by NTPC, 26,000 mw comes from coal based plants.
  • Henceforth will it be monthly inflation data?
    • The government is likely to clear on Monday a proposal suggesting release of inflation data on monthly basis and not every week for bulk of the items tracked by the Wholesale Price Index (WPI).
    • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) is expected to take up the commerce and industry ministry's proposal, which was finalised on the recommendations of a working group headed by Abhijit Sen, member, Planning Commission.
    • In the first phase, data of only manufactured items, which have a weightage of 63.75 per cent on the WPI, would be released on the monthly basis. On a parallel track, weekly inflation figures would be given for the food articles and fuels.
  • Debit card usage surges ahead; while credit card usage slows down
    • Payments made through debit cards rose over 40% to Rs 9,911 crore in the first five months of this fiscal.
    • However, credit card transactions have slumped by more than 12% in the first five months of this fiscal to Rs 24,427 crore as as against Rs 27,834 crore registered last year for the corresponding period.
    • Credit card usage till the end of the last fiscal was to the tune of Rs 65,355 crore.
Science & Technology
  • GEAC approves Bt Brinjal
    • In a significant first for India, the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, the country’s biotechnology regulator, has deemed Bt brinjal suitable for consumption. That clears the path for it to become the first genetically modified (GM) food crop to be commercially cultivated.
    • Bt brinjal, and by extension all GM food, has been at the centre of a fierce debate over the safety and utility of GM food products. Criticism has focused on the assumption that altering the genetic make-up of a food item is bound to have consequences, which could prove to be deadly.
    • No adverse effects on health have been reported for any transgenic product introduced anywhere in the world so far. GM food has also been found to have the same nutritional value as unmodified food by various studies.
    • The Food and Agriculture Organisation, a UN agency, has warned that worldwide food production needs to increase by a staggering 70 per cent by 2050 to prevent mass starvation.
Miscellany
  • Hank Ketcham: He is the creator of the cartoon character Denis, the menace.
Language lessons
  • bugbear: Noun
    • An imaginary monster used to frighten children; An object of dread or apprehension
    • eg: In his letter, Ramesh emphasizes his concern about India being seen as a bugbear for the developed countries in the climate negotiations.
  • shenanigan: Noun
    • Reckless or malicious behaviour that causes discomfort or annoyance in others; The use of tricks to deceive someone (usually to extract money from them)
    • eg: That Dennis drives his parents crazy is beyond doubt – the Mitchells constantly wear either a harassed or a bewildered look thanks to their offspring’s shenanigans.
  • nettle: Verb
    • Cause annoyance in; disturb, especially by minor irritations

1 Comment:

jayesh said...

i like it veruy good gd