04.01.2010

Politics & the Nation
  • India concerned about Chinese arms supplies to Pakistan
    • In the backdrop of Islamabad seeking warships equipped with the latest technology, fighter planes and other arms and ammunition and Chinese intent to supply them, India's Foreign Minister flagged the issue for discussion in his forthcoming visit to China.
    • F22P frigates and JF-17 Thunder fighter planes are two major projects between Pakistan and China. Islamabad has also expressed its intent of procuring more weapons from Beijing. The external affairs ministry and the defence ministry have been closely monitoring the defence cooperation between the two countries.
  • Bihar's turnaround story
    • Bihar's are not empty boasts. According to the CSO data, Bihar’s GDP grew by an astounding 11.03% in the fiveyear period between 2004-05 and 2008-09, much more than the national average of 8.49%, and ranked second only to Gujarat, which recorded a growth rate of 11.05% during the corresponding period.
Finance & Economy
  • BSE and NSE start functioning from 9 AM in the new year
    • What does the advancing of working hours mean for the different stakeholders and how are the markets functioning abroad in different geographies?
    • A very good piece on the subject is here.
  • An interesting argument on why the government should look overseas for improving the country's export performance.
    • Take a look at this ET editorial that appeared today. It argues that domestic policy alone will not be enough to improve our export performance. It says that we should look at the international scenario too and put pressure there to achieve what we intend to achieve on the export performance front. Interesting.
  • An excellent explanation about the demand supply gap in food items that led to inflation
    • Output levels of rice and wheat in 2008-09 were about 2% higher as compared to 2007-08. The output level of pulses, reported to be stagnant for a long period, had marginally declined in 2008-09 and the output of oilseeds declined by more than 5%. On the other hand, during the same period, the per-capita gross income level in nominal terms, broadly representing demand, increased by more than 12%. Here is a clear case of a mismatch between demand and supply, resulting in food inflation.
  • Similarly a very good explanation about the stagnation in agriculture sector
    • In 2004-05, while the non-agricultural sector recorded 9.5% growth, for agriculture, it was a zero-growth year. During the years 2005-06 through 2007-08, growth rate in the non-agricultural sector ranged between 10% and 11%, in agriculture, the growth rate was way down at 4-5%. For 2009-10, a negative growth rate of around 2% is forecast for agriculture while the forecast for the growth rate in non-agricultural sector, in spite of the global recession, is above 8%.
    • That the agricultural sector was lagging way behind even during the first 15 years of the post reform period, is indicated by the Report of the Vyas Committee appointed by Reserve Bank of India. The Report shows that between 1990-91 and 2005-06 while bank credit to the housing sector increased from 2% of total bank credit to 12%, the corresponding share of agriculture declined from 16% to 11%.
  • Take a look at this excellent info on Finance Commission funcitoning
International
  • What is the sum and substance of the Copenhagen Accord?
    • The Accord which could not be adopted due to objection by several countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Sudan was instead “taken note of”.
    • The Copenhagen Accord sets the goal of limiting global temperature increases to 2 degree celsius though it does not set any binding targets for emission reduction. Both developing and developed countries will have to inform UNFCCC of its commitment to reduce emission of greenhouse gases to mitigate the effects of climate change. The accord pledges $30 billion between 2010 and 2012 and $100 billion by 2020 for developing countries, particularly vulnerable countries and small island states, to help adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
  • Burj Dubai is slated for opening today
    • The Burj Dubai is not just the tallest building on the planet but is also the world’s tallest man-made structure.
    • The £1-billion tower is at least 2,683 ft from its base to the tip of its spire — equivalent of three-and-a-half Canary Wharf towers or two Empire State Buildings stacked up.
    • Its final height is being kept a secret until opening, but architects who have worked on the building have hinted it could break the 2,700 ft mark. The tower is more than 1,000 ft higher than its nearest inhabited rival, Taiwan’s 1,671 ft Taipei 101.
    • It surpasses even the 2,063-ft KVLY-TV mast in North Dakota, America.
    • It will be opened by the the Emirate ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum today.
Language Lessons
  • gams: Noun (slang)
    • American tramp slang for "a girl's legs".
    • eg: Men have also risen in the valuation chain since Astaire, with Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley getting his feet insured for $39 million and David Beckham touching $70 million for his gams.
  • diamante: Noun
    • Fabric covered with glittering ornaments such as sequins or rhinestones; Adornment consisting of a small piece of shiny material used to decorate clothing
    • eg: The recent photographs of Jennifer Lopez caused a stir not because the diamante-studded bodysuit she wore turned nearly sheer under stagelights but because she seems to have frittered away her prime asset: her derriere.
  • derriere: Noun
    • The fleshy part of the human body that you sit on
  • bauble: Noun
    • A mock scepter carried by a court jester; Cheap showy jewellery or ornament on clothing

3 comments:

Sreeja said...

Sir,
The daily news are very informative to me.Thank you.
Sreeja

Thunder said...

dear Sri Ramakrishna garu,
Your effort in bringing current affairs is exellent. It is very useful to me as well as many. Hope that I recieve You regularly.
With thanks..
sinecerly,
Sambhaaji

Paramesh said...

Ramakrishna sir, your current affairs r very useful at present & also in future. I request u for an everydays current affairs becoz some days affairs are not there
Thank you