Politics & the Nation
  • On NEPA
    • This is one regulatory that is proposed to be set up in the National Environmental Appraisal Notification of 2006. NEPA stands for National Environment Protection Authority. Let us take a look at the views of two experts on what this authority should and should not do.
    • Take a look at the opinions here.
Finance & Economy
  • Amir Khan lands the biggest advertisement deal
    • Aamir Khan has just landed the biggest endorsement deal in Indian advertising history. He will promote new telecom entrant, UAE’s Etisalat, for Rs 30-35 crore for three years.
    • Mr Khan, along with his Bollywood competitor Shah Rukh Khan, already commands the biggest rates, pegged at Rs 6-8 crore per year per endorsement.
    • However, the figures pale in the light of the billion-dollar life-time endorsement that golf legend Tiger Woods signed, and the $70-million deal that Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova bagged early this month from Nike for eight years.
  • What is the benefit of having exchange traded currency futures?
    • From a macro perspective, exchange-traded products are vastly superior to opaque OTC products. The latter, as the recent financial crisis has shown, pose a huge risk both by way of management of counterparty risk and absence of transparency. The advantage of exchange-traded products is that they substitute a centralised clearing platform for individual counterparty risk and allow for standardised netting and margining.
    • Of course, to the extent that it is available only for standardised products in terms of size and maturity, it may not do away entirely with OTC products.
    • There is also the fear, expressed in some quarters, that the shift to exchanges might result in an increase in purely speculative activities and hence might increase systemic risk. But, provided regulators do their job and don’t sleep on the watch, there is no reason to fear.
  • Titbits on how our foreign currency hoard is doing
  • IPCC admits to its goof up
    • It was only yesterday that we were noting about how IPCC is facing tremendous criticism of its prophecy that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. After vociferously dismissing a report, two months ago, by India’s senior-most glaciologist VK Raina that questioned IPCC’s claim as “vodoo science”, the RK Pachauri-led panel went into damage control mode and acknoweldged that it was they who had erred on the Himalayan glaciers and not Mr Raina.
    • It is a blow to its credibility as the reliable authority on global climate science. IPCC is the world’s premier outfit on climate change science and its assessments form the basis of government policy.
  • cahoots: Noun
    • collusion
    • eg: She also believed that the private owners of banks were in cahoots with the Swatantra Party.
  • ignominious: Adjective
    • (used of conduct or character) deserving or bringing disgrace or shame
    • eg: He also differed with the party on the ignominious issue of expelling then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee from the party.
  • savant: Noun
    • Someone who has been admitted to membership in a scholarly field