Politics & the Nation
  • Know what is Ruchika case?
    • In 1990, 14-yearold Ruchika Girhotra was molested by SPS Rathore, who was then the Inspector General of Police in Haryana. Continued harrassment of Ruchika and her family led to her suicide three years later by consuming poison.
    • After so many years of investigations and filing of a CBI case, the CBI special court in Chandigarh had sentenced Rathore to six months’ imprisonment and a fine of only Rs 1,000. He got bail the same day and didn’t have to go to prison.
    • What makes a mockery of investigations and justice is the fact that the case was not investigated from the angle of abetment of suicide. The IG went on to become the DGP of Haryana in the meantime and had a peaceful retirement too!! This is what is wrong with the process of law in India. We, no doubt, have rule of law. But the process is so tortuous that it is as good as not having one.
    • Rathore, who got bail, reportedly is going to appeal against the verdict.
Finance & Economy
  • Pranab speak on subsidies:
    • It's fashionable for many (us included) to find fault with give away subsidies. Though we have been targeting our ire at the subsidy delivery mechanism, there is an element against subsidies per se also. But look at it from the point of view of a politician like Pranabda. You will appreciate the other view point also. He was asked the following question by an interviewer...
    • What is the thinking on reforming the pricing of fossil fuels? We have had many committees, but no action so far. The subsidy bill is already very high.
      • Take the case of kerosene, 300 million people have no access to electricity. What would be the material to light their homes? In village areas, where there is no electricity, you have no option but to buy kerosene. (The issue) you are raising, is a failure of the delivery system. But you cannot blame subsidies.
      • If I do not give subsidies, then prices will not come down. Prices will go up because demand and supply will operate there. If I could give them electricity to that extent, I could reduce subsidy.
      • In almost every Five-Year Plan, we have failed to reach the target we have fixed. Take the case of the Eleventh Plan — 78,000 mw of additional power generation capacity was to be added. We have revised the target. It will be about 60,000 mw. It has happened in earlier plans also. These are the problems that we will have to address. To solve one problem, I cannot create problems in other areas.
    • Why should diesel and petrol be subsidised?
      • For the obvious reason that you have to administer a scheme where there is a social acceptability. Diesel is used for public transport, cultivation. During this period of drought, to protect the standing crop in Haryana and Punjab, we had to provide energy at a very high cost because the choice was whether to protect your crops to maintain food production or think of your price of energy. There are various other factors that have to be considered.
  • An excellent primer on GST
    • This ET in the Classroom piece explains us all about questions that many of us wanted to know answers for, but shied away from asking because doing so would have exposed us as ignoramuses. Interesting. Read on.
  • Obama's medical bill is passed by the senate...
    • The US Senate approved President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, backing sweeping changes in the medical insurance market and new coverage for tens of millions of uninsured Americans.
    • On a party-line 60-39 vote, Senate Democrats supported the most dramatic shifts in health policy in four decades.
    • The vote clears the way for tough negotiations in January with the House of Representatives, which approved its own version on November 7 that features different approaches on taxes, abortion and a proposed new government-run insurance programme.
    • Once House-Senate negotiators agree on a single bill, each chamber must approve it again before sending it to Obama to sign into law. Democrats hope to finish work before Obama’s State of the Union address in late January.
    • The overhaul, Obama’s top legislative priority, would lead to the biggest changes in the $2.5-trillion US healthcare system since the 1965 creation of the government-run Medicare health programme for the elderly and disabled.
    • The bill would extend health coverage to more than 30 million uninsured, covering 94% of all Americans, and halt industry practices such as refusing insurance to people with pre-existing medical conditions.
    • It also would require most Americans to have insurance, give subsidies to help some pay for coverage and create state-based exchanges where the uninsured can compare and shop for plans. Major provisions such as the exchanges would not kick in until 2014 but many of the insurance reforms like barring companies from dropping coverage for the sick will begin in the first year.
  • On international mobile workforce
    • An estimate of United Nations Development Programme puts the number of international mobile workforce at more than 200 million people.
  • Want a scathing criticism of the recently held climate summit in Copenhagen?
    • Look no further. What can be better than this one from Jeffrey D Sachs?
  • Social networking is an employer's scourge
    • According to a recent survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, about 12.5 percent of productivity in the corporate sector is misappropriated each day by social networking sites.
    • A new genre of social gaming called “asynchronous” or “appointment” gaming allows people to play with their friends without having to be online at the same time. The low-intensity engagement has made games such as FarmVille, Cafe World, Restaurant City, Pet Society, and Happy Aquarium popular among employees who often log on during office hours.
  • On functional drinks...
    • Take a look at this graphic. It gives us a glimpse about health drinks segment in the country. It is a segment that is generating about Rs. 3,000 crore business in India.
  • diss: Verb
    • Treat, mention, or speak to rudely
    • eg: "the student who had betrayed his classmate was dissed by everyone"
  • floe: Noun
    • A flat mass of ice (smaller than an ice field) floating at sea
  • nitty-gritty: Noun
    • The choicest or most essential or most vital part of some idea or experience
  • polemic: Adjective
    • Of or involving dispute or controversy
    • Noun: A writer who argues in opposition to others (especially in theology); A controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)
    • eg: ...In that context, ramping up the polemic, Prachanda has declared the Maoists wanted to talk to India since it was ‘running the puppet government’ of Nepal.


Niyati said...

I am Niyati and will be appearing for CLAT 2010. must say am reliable on your blog for the current affiars section of the test. you can say, its currently only source of knowloedge for the seubject.
my point in writing this comment is actually a suggestion.
could you please have a "pick your read" section or something like that for a bird eye's view of your blog. so we can select which post to read...! if you can understand what i mean,,, please excuse i have a not-so-powerful explanation skill or ability!


icamaven said...

Sorry Niyati. I can't come up with such a suggestion. The blog is meant to be read everyday. That's why it has got a post a day. Follow it for over a couple of months and you should be reasonably well equipped to stay 'current' with current affairs topics.

Deepa Iyer said...

Hi...I must really appreciate your work in putting up the details so well....Really amazzzzing work:)
Thanks a lot:)
God bless you:)