Politics & the Nation
  • Sukna landscam update
    • Army chief General Deepak Kapoor relented and ordered the court martial of his aide and military secretary, Lt Gen Avadesh Prakash, in the Sukhna land scam.
    • The decision to initiate disciplinary action against Lt Gen Prakash follows the intervention of defence minister AK Antony, who overruled an earlier decision of Gen Kapoor to limit the penalty against the top military officer to only “administrative action” while ordering the court martial of a coaccused, Lt Gen P K Rath.
  • US issues security advisory to its citizens on visiting India
    • Even as our government is considering issuing a travel advisory to our citizens on visiting Australia, US has issued one such advisory to its citizens on account of terrorist threats and the ongoing civil unrest about formation of Telangana state.
    • The travel alert has been issued on the basis of information that “terrorist groups may be planning attacks in India” and the “possibility of violence” in Andhra Pradesh over the issue of the creation of a separate state.
  • Want an example of how small efforts can bring about big change?
    • Then take a look at this story. It's about Jyotiraditya Scindia. Look at what he has done to the Postal department. What he is trying to do in the Commerce Ministry. Take heart that perseverance pays.
Finance & Economy
  • RBI's monetary policy review
    • The RBI sent an unequvivocal message to the Government to prevent a monetary policy trap by returning to the path of fiscal consolidation, as the central bank began to hasten its exit with a 75-basis-points (bps) increase in banks’ cash reserve ratio (CRR), or the portion of deposits banks must keep with RBI.
    • It raised the GDP growth estimates from 6% to 7.5% for the current year.
  • The markets are going the 3D way
    • Samsung is reportedly coming out with its 3D TV in the second quarter of 2010 while rival Sony has also declared its intention of hitting the market this year.
    • Cinema exhibitors are ramping up their 3D capacities as well.
    • At least two computer majors have already launched 3D notebooks, Discovery has announced a 24-hr 3D channel in the US.
    • 3D compatible. What doest it mean?
      • Broadly, the technology, which is not new, involves tweaking with the screen, the projector and wearing a pair of glasses to watch the images. The polarised screen allows two layers of images, one each for the left and the right eye due to which the depth perception increases.
      • A 3D TV is expected to cost upwards of Rs 1 lakh while the laptop manufacturers are pegging an incremental pricing of around Rs 4,000 and it takes around Rs 40 lakh to make a regular movie hall screen compatible for 3D.
  • Banking frauds are reportedly on the rise
    • Take a look at this graphic which gives figures.
    • The RBI is reported to have taken a serious note of the rise in banking frauds.
  • India's animation industry's march
    • During pre-1980's India was consuming what the West produced. But now the tables have turned. As animation was expensive to produce in volumes demanded by viewers, outsourcing was the obvious answer. The easy availability of technically competent, low-cost talent in India encouraged studios in North America, western Europe and Japan to recognise their Indian counterparts as credible organisations that could deliver the goods. Estimates put the outsourced work done by Indian studios at up to $200 million a year.
    • Within the media and entertainment space, animation has outperformed its peers in recent history, growing at 20% in 2008 to become a Rs 1,560 crore industry.
  • Obama renews pledge to revive US economy
    • The US President's vows are compounded by the fact that the budget deficit is now hovering over $1.4 trillion and creation of jobs is not happening at the desired rate.
    • He promised to halve the deficit by the end of his term in 2013.
    • US, btw follows a financial year that starts on October 1.
  • Australian Open
    • Paes and Black win the mixed doubles title
    • Top seeds and favourites, the 36-year-old Paes and the 30-year-old Cara Black (Zimbabwe) beat 10th seeds Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Jaroslav Levinsky of Czechoslovakia 7-5 6-3 to clinch the title.
    • The triumph gave the Indian his 11th overall and fifth mixed doubles title. With this, Paes has equalled former doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi’s tally.
    • This is Paes and Black’s second title together, the first being the 2008 US Open.
    • Paes and Black had made back-to-back Grand Slam finals - Wimbledon and the US Open - last season but faltered at the finishing line in both the events.
  • The Proteas
    • It refers to the the South Africa national cricket team. Formerly they were known as The Springboks.
    • It is the common name of some flowering plants, which are also called sugarbushes.
  • stare decisis: Noun
    • (law) the principle of following judicial precedent
  • star-crossed
    • It is a phrase often describing a pair of lovers whose relationship is said to be doomed from the start, though also encompassing different meanings. To describe a relationship as "star-crossed" is to say that it is "thwarted by a malign star", or that the stars are working against the relationship. The phrase is best known from the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
  • besotted: Adjective
    • Marked by foolish or unreasoning fondness; Very drunk
    • eg: The gamechanger for this “immersive viewing experience” via 3D stereoscopic content is, of course, James Cameron's ‘Avatar’, that raked in over $1.8 billion in two months from besotted audiences and prompted all stakeholders in the 3D technology to rejig their plans.