Politics & the Nation
  • Follow up on Justice Dinakaran's impeachment
    • About 75 Opposition MPs submitted a notice of the Motion under the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968, for his removal to Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari. However the ruling Congress party steered clear of the move.
    • The charges levelled against him included: possessing disproportionate wealth, land grabbing, entering into benami transactions, violating human rights of Dalits and poor and misuse of official position.
    • The Rajya Sabha chairman will set up a three-member committee, comprising a Supreme Court judge, a high court chief justice and an eminent jurist to inquire into the allegations.
  • An excellent editorial comment on smaller states
    • There could well be merit in the argument that smaller states can allow for better governance and can help mitigate the sufferings of regions that feel consigned to backwardness. Indeed, there is a global propensity towards forms of local governance. Yet, such crises, therefore, also mean that our own policies on devolution of power and local governance have not delivered. All that can surely be debated. But without being prone to the politics of fissured identities.
Finance & Economy
  • Small villages; big troubles
    • Take a look at these villages! Madhapur and Kumbanad-Kozhencheri. The former from Gujarat and the latter from Kerala.
    • Around 3,000 families live in Madhapar, but the village in Gujarat’s Kutch district holds Rs 5,000 crore as savings in bank and post office accounts — a staggering Rs 1.7 crore per family.
    • Down south in central Kerala, the slightly larger Kumbanad-Kozhencheri belt has Rs 5,400 crore parked in bank deposits.
    • During the boom years, the largely enterprising communities from these two diverse regions poured in money earned in West Asian and North American destinations into these towns, building plush homes and a raft of businesses. But that has now received a rude jolt. The crores are flowing out, and for once, the shoe is on the other foot.
    • As the global financial crisis tipped the West into a painful recession, and with the Dubai crisis now making things worse, the dollar-dirham rich non-resident Indians belonging to these towns are now dipping into these reserves.
  • Inflation worries
    • Inflation, as measured by the Wholesale Price Index, rose to 4.78% in November, from 1.34% in the previous month, government data showed.
    • Prices have been rising at a fast clip in the last few months because of easy monetary policies and falling production of agricultural commodities due to poor monsoon. But the government and the central bank are hesitant to change policy stance fearing that rollback of easy measures could derail the revival of an economy that grew at 7.9% in the second quarter of 2009-10.
    • Policy makers may not be able to hold on for long to the current policies if inflationary expectations remain at elevated levels, experts say.
    • India is the only emerging economy in which inflationary expectation is high and the central bank will be compelled to tighten the liquidity scenario from January onwards to stay ahead of the curve.
  • Gelfand wins Chess world cup
    • Grandmaster Boris Gelfand of Israel won the Chess World Cup, defeating former world champion Ruslan Ponomariov of Ukraine in the tie-breaker of the final held at Khanty Mansiysk.
  • Commonwealth update
Language Lessons
  • roil: Verb
    • Be agitated; Make turbid by stirring up the sediments of
    • eg: Abu Dhabi provided $10 billion to help Dubai World, the state-owned holding company, avoid defaulting on a $4.1 billion bond payment that roiled global financial markets during the past month.
  • sine die: Adverb
    • Without a date fixed (as of an adjournment)
    • ...within hours of the Andhra Pradesh Assembly being adjourned sine die.
  • dicey: Adjective
    • Of uncertain outcome; especially fraught with risk
    • eg: The fact that water supply in upcoming high-rises in the country’s commercial capital is dicey suggests warped policy.