Politics & the Nation
  • Govt. caves in to opposition onslaught on cane controversy
    • The issue has snowballed into a major controversy, with thousands of farmers converging in the streets of Delhi on Thursday to demand the scrapping of the ordinance, which has put the onus on state governments to pay farmers the difference between the state advisory price (SAP) and the central government-administered fair and remunerative price (F&RP).
    • The latter, created by the ordinance, replaces the statutory minimum price.
    • The government will have a difficult time in limiting the damage as the ordinance is already in place. It will now have to bring forward a bill to cut its losses.
  • World Toilet Day: November 19
    • It is an initiative by the other WTO — the World Toilet Organisation — which campaigns across the world for better toilet facilities.
    • Drawing together 215 member organisations from 57 countries, the WTO has come up with the idea of publicising November 19th as World Toilet Day in order to break through the reluctance that most of us have to discuss proper sanitation.
  • Want to see politicians hauled over the coals?
    • You can't get it better than this one. This is from Mumbai High Court which put lot of inconvenient and embarrassing questions to Narayan Rane and the Shiv Sena.
    • Makes an interesting reading. Read it here.
Finance & Economy
  • Whoa, what an article!!
    • It is in a very long time that we are reading such an article which presents ideas so forcefully and describes a situation so succinctly. This is from GN Bajpai, former Chairman of SEBI. While we do recommend strongly that you should read this article in full and even perhaps keep it for reference, we can't restrain ourselves from giving you some excerpts:
    • On how faulty regulatory design led to the present global economic crisis:
      • One of the common identified causes of the global economic crisis from which the world is yet limping out is the inefficacy of regulatory design — a permissive regulatory regime based on excessive reliance on the private sector, leading to ineffective oversight. Apparently, this permissive approach was prompted by a yearning to promote creativity. Ineffective oversight was, inter alia, rooted in the underpinning belief that markets are a better regulator, which was further compounded by the multiplicity of regulators and inefficacious coordination amongst them.
      • There is a rethink on the regulatory design. In fact, there is now a coordinated and concerted attempt among regulators in all geographical jurisdictions not only to revisit and reengineer but comprehensively revamp the regulatory approaches, frameworks and processes. Knee-jerk reactions in some countries are also perceptible. Actually, some jurisdictions want to further burden already overburdened central banks with the responsibility of regulating financial institutions even beyond pure banking.
    • On regulatory gaps / arbitrage:
      • Though each regulator, in his anxiety to comprehensively and assiduously regulate, eventually tends to tread on the turf of other regulators, he still leaves regulatory gaps with ample scope for misconduct in the absence of coordination among regulators. This is being termed as regulatory arbitrage. Regulatory gaps have been an area of serious concern.
  • Is the UK learning from India?
    • We will be left to so wonder when we look at the recent legislative developments in the UK.
    • The UK came up with a bill that gave more power to its financial services regulator to curb short selling. The bill proposes to give the Financial Services Authority jurisdiction to impose “emergency restrictions” on short selling. The FSA would also have powers to force all institutions to permanently disclose short positions in markets.
    • It also proposes a law requiring British banks to disclose salaries and bonuses given to their best-paid traders and executives.
    • There are plans for a Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which aims to cut in half the budget deficit over next four years.
    • Remember the ruckus made by champions of capitalism when our own government imposed ban on short selling in certain commodities? Especially wheat?
  • An excellent editorial advice to India on how it should respond to the joint US-China statement on enlarging the role of China in South Asia.
    • A must read. Do it here.
    • There can be very divergent opinions on this. We recognize that.
  • EU chooses Belgian PM as its new President
    • The EU leaders agreed on Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton of Britain as the EU’s new foreign policy chief and Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy as its President.
    • Their appointments suggested the need for compromise outweighed the desire for big names like Tony Blair, the former British leader who was once considered a leading contender for the Presidential job.
    • Read the full story about it here.
  • Sheikh Hasina chosen for Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace
    • Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been chosen for the prestigious Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development this year.
    • Ms. Hasina was chosen for her “outstanding contribution to the promotion of democracy and pluralism, her determined drive to alleviate poverty and secure social and economic justice for her people through inclusive and sustainable development, and her consistent commitment to peace,” the statement said.
    • The award, carrying a cash prize of Rs.25 lakh and a citation, will be presented to her at a function to be held at a later date.
Language lessons
  • spook: Noun
    • Someone unpleasantly strange or eccentric
    • eg: ...Nor does India lose anything by quietly asserting its exorcist capabilities, should any venturesome spook be tempted to waft this way.
  • wonk: Noun
    • An insignificant student who is ridiculed as being affected or boringly studious
    • eg: There has been much excitement in the media and among some policy wonks over an alleged American attempt to appoint Beijing as a cop on the Indo-Pak beat.
  • befuddled: Adjective
    • Stupefied by alcoholic drink; Perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements; filled with bewilderment; Confused and vague; used especially of thinking
    • eg: When gun-toting terrorists rampaged through Mumbai on November 26 last year, attacking soft targets, the never-say-stop megacity stood befuddled.
  • bankroll: Verb
    • Provide with sufficient funds; finance
  • doughty: Adjective
    • Resolute and without fear

1 Comment:

Abhishek jaiminee said...

hi this is very good blog regarding current affair of Indian politics.