19.02.2010

Politics & the Nation
  • Supreme Court constitutes high level committee for Mullaperiyar dam row
    • A Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court decided to constitute a high-level empowered committee to examine the safety aspects of the Mullaperiyar dam in Kerala.
    • It will be a five member committee headed by a retired Supreme Court judge. The other members will be: one member each to be nominated by TN and Kerala respectively and two technical experts to be nominated by the Centre.
    • Both Tamil Nadu and Kerala are locked in a bitter tussle over more than the century old Mullaperiyar dam located in Idduki district. Though located in Kerala, the dam caters to the irrigation and drinking water needs of Tamil Nadu.
    • Kerala, citing safety of the dam, wants to demolish the existing structure and construct a new one at an alternative location to which Tamil Nadu is opposed to.
    • In 2006, the Supreme Court by a judgement upheld Tamil Nadu’s right to maintain water level at the dam at 142 feet. However, the neighbouring state brought in the Kerala Irrigation and Water Conservation (Amendment) Act 2006 which restricted the water level at 136 feet.
    • Aggrieved by the move, Tamil Nadu filed a petition challenging the impugned Act as a deliberate attempt to override the apex court’s judgement permitting it to sustain the water level up to 142 feet.
    • In view of the magnitude of the problem which involved the Constitutional validity of state government’s power to make an enactment with a perceived intention to override the judgement of the apex court, a Constitution Bench was set up to examine the matter.
  • A welcome change in BJP's stand?
    • In an effort to reach out to the Muslims, the party is reported to have said that it will allow the construction of a Mosque at an adjacent site in Ayodhya in return for the Muslim's support to construct the Ram temple at the disputed site.
    • This looks like a clear departure from its stand thus far that it will construct the temple at the disputed site come what may.
    • Will this yield results? Let's wait and see.
  • Should India keep engaging Pakistan in talks?
    • Is there a case for restoration of dialogue with Pakistan? Today's ET editorial argues the case very vehemently. Interesting. But will this sanity prevail even under the shadow of a Mumbai type of terror attack?
    • Will not talking be a solution? Hardly looks so. In spite of the resumption looking like a loser's game, India appears to be having no alternative at the moment than to talk to Pakistan. The only heartening thing about the resumption at this juncture is this -- it appears to be doing it on its own volition; not at the nudging by somebody else.
Finance & Economy
  • Here is a very interesting (absorbing?) interview from the FSA Chairman
    • Adair Turner is the Chairman of UK's Financial Services Authority, the umbrella financial services regulator for that country. Take a look at some of the thoughts on various aspects of financial regulation; specially in the context of the mauling that the financial world took in recent times. Very engrossing.
  • Povery estimates
    • The Planning Commission had estimated that there are around 6.52 crore poor families, but states have issued over 10.58 crore ration cards.
  • On our deficiencies in healthcare
    • We need to add more than 75,000 beds each year just to close our bed-to-population ratio gap. India has 94 beds per lakh compared to the WHO norm of 333. The density of doctors is also dismally low: there are only 43 doctors for per 10,000 compared to 249 doctors for every 10,000 people in Australia, 209 in Canada, 166 in UK and 548 in US. Estimates of doctor shortages range around 6,00,000.
  • India is home to world's largest tractor maker
    • Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M) has become the world's number one tractor company by selling 1.59 lakh tractors in 2009. It is reportedly planning to sell about 1.70 lakh tractors this financial year.
  • Some basics about UHT milk
    • Know what is UHT milk? UHT milk is milk that is briefly heated to 135 to 140 degrees celcius and then quickly cooled to destroy airborne microbes. It has a shelf life of six months without refrigeration.
    • Look at this graphic to get some gyan about its market in India.
International
  • On Tutankmon
    • Tutankhamun (Tut for short) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled 1333 BC – 1324 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom.
    • In 1922, British archaeologist Howard Carter, discovered this pharaoh's tomb and the trove of fabulous gold and precious stones inside, propelling the once-forgotten pharaoh into global stardom. Hundreds of tourists come daily to the tomb to see Tut’s mummy, which has been on display there since 2007.
    • King Tut is in news again now because latest research shows that, based on DNA tests and CT scans, Tut had a genetic bone disease and malaria, which combined with a severe broken leg could have been what killed him about 3,300 years ago at age 19.
    • The new research led by Egypt’s top archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, bolsters previous theories that Tut’s father was likely the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and that Tut’s mother was Akhenaten’s sister.
    • That incestuous lineage would explain some of his ailments, including the bone disease that runs in families and is more likely to be passed down if two first-degree relatives marry and have children. But it also only bolsters the intrigue.
  • Know what's the world's best airport?
    • It is Incheon of Seoul, South Korea.
    • This gateway to South Korean capital Seoul, has been chosen as the world's best airport for the fifth straight year in the latest customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Airports Council International.
  • India and China reduce exposure to US treasury bills
    • India and China have reduced their exposure in US government papers while countries like Japan and the UK have increased their exposure to US government securities.
    • India has reduced its exposure to US government bonds by about $2 billion in December to $39.6 billion. Over the last six months, India has reduced its holding of US treasuries by about $9 billion. China too sold US treasury bonds worth about $35 billion in December to $755.4 billion, losing its top position (held for about an year ) to Japan.
    • Central banks and other official bodies taken together have reduced their investment in US government papers by $30 billion to $2,374 billion in December from $2404.6 billion in the previous month. However, total investments by foreigners (including private investors and funds) have gone up to $3,614 billion from $2,404.6 billion during the period.
Personal
Arts
  • James Cameron to write a prequel to 'Avatar'
    • After spinning magic with his latest magnum opus (every work of his looks like a magnum opus for us), he has reportedly set himself on writing a prequel to this movie.
    • The idea being that it should fill in a lot of things that could not be accommodated in the narration of the movie.
    • Although Cameron has written screenplays earlier, from the first two ‘Terminator’ films to ‘Titanic’, the ‘Avatar’ prequel would mark his debut as a novelist.
Sport
  • On cricket's follow-ons
    • So far, only on three occasions have teams following on turned the tables and become victors: England twice and India once, all against Australia.
    • In the early Test era, an 80-run lead was sufficient for a follow-on and it was compulsory. However, seeing teams play for a draw, the rules were changed and it was made an option and the lead also increased to 120 — and finally to 200.
    • The height of incredulity was reached when in a pre-war Test, England, with a lead of about 560 over the Windies, did not enforce a follow-on and set a target of over 840 runs, the match ending in a draw!
    • At Melbourne in the 1936-37 Ashes series, Australia declared at 200 for 9 and England at 76(!) for 9, the first time in Test history that both teams declared their first innings. Caught unawares and put in to bat by a tactical declaration on a glue-pot pitch — they were not covered in those days — The Don reversed the batting order and came in at No. 7 when the score was 95/5. The pitch had begun to dry and with Jack Fingleton who always opened but sent at No. 6, he scored 270, Fingleton 136, and Australia won the match by about 360 runs.
Language Lessons
  • bushveld: Noun
    • A terrain of thick scrubby trees and bush in dense thickets, with grassy groundcover between
  • thingummy: Noun
    • Something unspecified whose name is either forgotten or not known
  • bunion: Noun
    • A painful swelling of the bursa of the first joint of the big toe
  • love handles: Noun
    • Excess fat around the waistline

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quite informative. Whats the frequency of updating information on the blog. If this is updated regularly it can prove to be very beneficial for readers.

Renuka said...

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joe4 philip said...

Established in 1997, St. Gregorious Edu-Guidance is a leading education consultancy services providing exemplary service to students all over India. We deal in Admissions to all major professional courses in Premier Institutes across India. We are your one step solution for all career related needs, it may be MD, MBBS BE, BTech (ALL BRANCHES), , MDS, BDS, BPharm, BArch, MBA, MTech, MS, , PhD or any other courses. We provide personalized career solutions on an individual basis keeping in mind the aspirations of our client as well as the affordability factor.
FOR ALL CAREER RELATED NEEDS CONTACT US :
St. Gregorious Edu-Guidance,
#2, 2nd Floor,
J J Complex, Above Chemmannur Jewellers,
Marthahalli - P O,
Bangalore - 560037
Karnataka
e-mail :jojishpaily@gmail.com
Contact: +91 9448516637
+91 9886089896, +91 9449009983
080-32416570, 41719562