Politics & the Nation
  • Ruchika Girhotra case follow up
    • We have noted about this case sometime back. The case has been hogging headlines for the last month or so for the reason that a former DGP of Haryana is the main accused in the case and the courts have convicted this former DGP in the case. The society at large was upset that he was able to get away with a light sentence after abetting the suicide of an innocent 14 year old girl.
    • The investigating agency (CBI) will now investigate whether Rathore drove Ruchika to suicide after she filed molestation charges against the police officer. Till now an inquiry by the Chandigarh administration has found that Ruchika was unfairly expelled from her school in 1990. The report also concluded that the expulsion took place under pressure from "an external influence."
  • India loses substantial land to Chinese incursions
    • Reports have now confirmed that India has lost “substantial” amount of land along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the last two decades to Beijing.
    • Official sources are blaming the loss on lack of "institutional memory as well as clear policy on this issue ."
    • The loss appears to have happened over time because the country did not retaliate/object to Chinese behaviour in stopping some of our nomadic tribes from accessing the Dokbug area of Nyoma sector during the winter months every year, for grazing purposes.
    • The area of Dokbug and Doley Tango was frequented by shepherds and nomads from December to March every year.
Finance & Economy
  • Ricardian equivalence
    • Postulated back in the 1970s in the US, it suggested that higher government borrowings — and lower taxes — are inadvisable as households would expect higher taxes in the future (to pay for higher government debt) and so avoid consumption.
  • The GOP (Grand Old Party i.e., Congress) seems to be making an attempt at changing its mindset. Watch out...
    • Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government won’t be bound by conventional wisdom and would adopt creative solutions in policy-making to bring smiles to the faces of the poor and unleash the entrepreneurial energy of its 100-crore plus population this new decade. Look at some Pranab speak on the eve of the 11th ET Awards for Corporate Excellence:
    • "Growth in statistical terms is meaningless unless it benefits everyone. Trickle-down is no longer relevant. To me, independence was construction of a good road, which I could cover on a bicycle. That has changed and so has the concept of inclusion. Unlike the early 1970s, the ruling establishment no longer believes in social control of economic resources. Change the parameters, (the) ingredients of inclusive growth. Inclusive growth is to produce enough, manufacture enough and provide entitlement. If we can implement the programmes we have adopted, with resources and technology, it will be possible to achieve growth which is inclusive."
    • What a change! The intent has to be carried out in action.
  • Govt plans Solar Valleys to prop up energy resources
    • The government is reportedly favouring the creation of solar valleys to transform India’s energy prospects besides contributing towards global effort to combat climate change.
    • The government's Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (Solar India) has an ambitious target of adding 20,000 mw.
    • Increased use of solar energy is a central component of the government’s strategy to bring about a strategic shift from the current reliance on fossil fuels to a pattern of sustainable growth based on renewable and clean sources of energy. The government is looking to install 20 million solar lights by 2022.
  • The huge dollops of fiscal aid that cushioned the fall after Lehman promise to make the ride bumpy through 2010 and 2011, and it would be prudent not to buy into any blinkered optimism. Comment.
    • If you were to answer such a question, nothing can be a better answer than the article by Soumitra Choudhuri, Member, Planning Commission that appeared in today's op-ed in ET. A gist of the arguments...
    • The economies, that did not have their banking systems caught in the mess, have recovered nicely. Most of the world’s developed economies are out of recession. Asset and commodity markets have revived and the loan market is functional. However, there are several missing elements in all of this.
    • The first is the revival of import demand from the US. This is unlikely to happen for most of 2010 and even when it does, there are doubts whether it will be as robust as in the precrisis years.
    • The second missing element is jobs. The US economy continues to lose jobs.
    • The third, is the extent of continued fiscal and monetary support. The US and British fiscal deficit is running in the double digits (as a proportion of GDP) and remember these economies do not grow beyond 3% per year, at the best of times.
    • So, for all of us there is going to be a bumpy ride through 2010 and may be 2011, impacting short-term money and loan, foreign exchange and commodity markets.
  • What is 'flat' in the book "The World is Flat" by Thomas Friedman?
    • Thomas Friedman, in his celebrated book propounded that the chasm in relation to opportunities for entrepreneurs in the developed and developing countries has been largely bridged with the collapse of communism, improved communication, the spread of the internet and economic globalisation. There is, thus, a level playing field or a flat world, as he puts it — for entrepreneurs irrespective of their geographic location.
  • What is transliteration?
    • In transliteration, characters typed in Roman Script can be converted into the phonetic equivalent of a chosen language. So, if one were to type ‘SARKAR’ in Roman script in a transliteration tool, it would automatically get converted in to **** in Devanagari script.
Language Lessons
  • tendentious: Adjective
    • Having or marked by a strong tendency especially a controversial one
    • eg: Mr Tharoor, who found himself at the centre of a non Twitter storm this time, distanced himself from remarks that were attributed to him on Gandhi and Nehru’s foreign policy saying he was “dismayed by the inaccurate and tendentious reporting” by the media.
  • exegesis: Noun
    • An explanation or critical interpretation (especially of the Bible)
    • eg: What sets poverty in India apart is the effort that has gone into defining, measuring, recalibrating, contesting, recounting, refining and disputing its magnitude, nature and, at least, in the case of one protagonist, existence. This exegesis on poverty has been captured in a World Bank volume, The Great Indian Poverty Debate, published before the latest estimates by Prof Suresh Tendulkar kicked off yet another round of heated discussion on the subject.
  • chasm: Noun
    • A deep opening in the earth's surface; divide

1 Comment:

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these Devanagari books?