Politics & the Nation
  • India China decide to cooperate on climate change issue
    • India and China have been negotiating on climate change as part of the bloc of 131 developing countries, commonly known as the G-77.
    • The agreement signed by the two countries called for cooperation on addressing climate change. The two countries will cooperate on mitigation policies, programmes, projects, technology development and demonstration relating to greenhouse gas emission reduction, which will extend to the areas of energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energies, clean coal, methane recovery and utilisation, afforestation and sustainable management of forests and ecosystem, transportation and sustainable habitat.
Finance & Economy
  • India poised to growt at 6.5% in FY10
    • The Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, headed by former Reserve Bank of India governor C Rangarajan, said it sees gross domestic product (GDP) expanding by 6.5% in 2009-10.
    • The RBI had in July forecast that India’s economy this fiscal would grow by 6%, with an upward bias, and the Planning Commission said in early September that it sees GDP growth at 6.3%. The economy expanded by 6.7% in 2008-09 after three years of growing at over 9%.
    • Take a look at this graphic to get a picture of the key growth drivers. And this one gives you the big picture about our state of economy.
  • It is a trend that is sure to cause some heartburn in India, as it gives some comfort for the regulators
    • Take a look at this story about global accounting firms tweaking their organisational structures to increase accountability. Reportedly they are bringing in global heads to oversee their India operations.
  • What's the difference between whisky, brandy and rum?
    • India’s whisky consumption was pegged at over 120 million cases last year. Estimates of annual sales of rum are pegged at 45-46 million cases; while that for brandy are at around 44-45 million cases.
    • With so much consumption happening in India, isn't it reason enough for us to know the basic difference between the three of them? Take a look at the definitions that we fetched for you from the web below. But for the impatient: Rum is from sugarcane; Whisky from grains / malts; Brandy is from fermented fruits -- esp. grapes/apples.
    • Rum: Rum is the magical and versatile spirit of the Caribbean. Born out of the production and refinement of sugar cane. Rum was an important trading commodity in the 17th and 18th centuries. Most often made from molasses, Rum can be both light and dark with the later gaining color from being aged in wood casks.
    • Whisky: In simple terms it’s Whisky made in Scotland and by law it must be aged in wood cask for no less than three years. The vast majority of Scotch Whisky is the blended variety meaning it is a blend of predominately grain Whisky with malt Whisky. Single Malt Scotch has gained a huge global following and it most often represents Scotch Whisky in its highest form.
    • Brandy: A spirit created by distilling any fruit wine or fermented fruit base such as cider. Cognac and Armagnac are two of the most popular Brandies. Calvados is a popular example of a brandy made from cider based on apples and pears.
  • We may see grain prices increasing in the coming months
    • Take a look at this story; you will get the picture.
  • RBI to ask banks to hold securitised debt for 6 months
    • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) may ask banks to hold securitised debt for six to seven months on their books before selling them to other market players.
    • In securitisation, an originator bank repackages loans in the form of marketable securities. These marketable securities are in the form of pass through certificates (PTCs), these are like bonds, issued by a special purpose vehicle (SPV) holding the loan.
    • The RBI’s proposed move is in keeping with action taken by regulators across the world to ensure that originators of securitised instruments continue to have what is referred to as ‘some skin in the game’. For instance, regulators in both the EU and the US now insist that the originator retain a minimum of 5% of issued securities on his own book, before sale. This they believe will lead to “ensuring material interest in the performance of the proposed investments”.
Science & Technology
  • Somehow we missed noting about the world's first underwater cabinet meeting
  • What is the feat achieved by Bhutia that needs emulation?
    • Having achieved the rare milestone of playing 100 international matches, Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia said he wanted to see more players replicate his feat.
    • He was presented with a gold coin, a plaque and a cheque of Rs five lakh by All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel.
    • Chief Coach of the Indian football team: Bob Houghton
    • On the occasion of felicitation of Bhutia, goalkeeper Subrata Pal received the Best Footballer of the Year 2009 award. He got a plaque and a cash reward of Rs five lakh.
Language lessons
  • skulduggery: Noun
    • Verbal misrepresentation intended to take advantage of you in some way
    • eg: ...That boast rests on the index the Railways employs to determine its safety standard: the number of accidents per million train kms, which has, according to the Economic Survey, come down from 0.55 in 2001-02 to 0.20 in 2008-09. But that can well be called statistical skulduggery.