08.04.2010

Politics & the Nation
  • Tough days ahead for Kharif season?
    • Abnormally hot weather and lower than expected rains are raising the spectre of India facing another water shortage in the coming kharif season.
    • The high temperature is evaporating water bodies, including the country’s main reservoirs. Data collected in mid-March by the Central Water Commission that monitors the live storage of 81 major reservoirs, shows they had only 32% of total storage capacity, the second lowest since 2006.
Finance & Economy
  • What did the US learn from the recent financial crisis?
    • It learned that India managed its economy quite well. Take a look at the comment made by Timothy Geithner, the US Treasury Secretary:
    • “India has shown that if you avoid the classic mistakes of reform, monetary policy or exchange rate policy and you want the financial sector to grow and meet the growing needs of the dynamic private sector, but don’t let them finance their growth by borrowing dollars or relying on short-term capital flows from the rest of the world, then your system is much less vulnerable.”
  • Base rate conundrum
    • There is a tiff between the RBI and the bankers over the guidelines on base rate. The banking regulator is insisting that the final communiqué on base rate should state that “lending rates will be fair and non-discriminatory to all retail and small borrowers (mainly farmers)”. Bankers feel that the seemingly harmless sentence in the policy could cause endless feuds between lenders and borrowers. Bankers fear that a borrower with a 15-year loan may move consumer court on the grounds that he/she is being charged a higher interest rate than someone who has taken a 10-year loan.
    • The base rate -- the final circular on which was supposed to be issued a fortnight ago -- will be effective from July 1, and will replace the prime lending rate (PLR). While PLR takes into account the cost, profit margin and risk premium, the base rate factors in only cost and profit margin. Under the new arrangement the risk and tenor premia will be charged over the base rate.
  • How will globalisation help the poor get out of poverty?
    • Take a look at the following answer given by TK Arun:
    • Globalisation is and has to be accompanied by two kinds of domestic reform: one, to free people from restraints that prevent them from taking advantage of new opportunities across the globe; and two, to invest people with the capacity to recognise and take advantage of economic opportunities around the world. Understood in this fashion, globalisation is about unleashing human creative potential to satisfy people's needs and wants around the world.
  • Should there be a manufacturing strategy for India?
    • Arun Maira discusses this question in his very well written article in today's ET. A must read. Two excerpts worth remembering:
    • Strategy is about making choices about what to do to achieve the desired results. Choices must be made about which manufacturing sectors will be more important for inclusive and sustainable growth in the next 25 years. Choices must also be made about the best ways to stimulate that growth.
    • Strategy-making cannot be left entirely to the market. Policymakers have a vital role to play. However, policymakers cannot shape strategy within an ivory tower cut-off from reality. The task of shaping industrial policy is to elicit information on significant externalities and their remedies.
  • An Indian company is world's second largest spirits maker!
    • Vijay Mallya-led UB Group said it has become the world’s second largest liquor maker after Diageo with sales of over 100 million cases in the last 12 months and is certain to be the number one by next.
International
  • All about currency peg
Science
  • The heaviest of the elements
    • A team of Russian and American scientists has discovered a new element that has long stood as a missing link among the heaviest bits of atomic matter ever produced. The element, still nameless, appears to point the way toward a brew of still more massive elements with chemical properties no one can predict. Though unnamed, it could possibly be called ununseptium. It will most probably occupy one more square in the periodic table with an atomic weight of 117.
    • The team produced six atoms of the element by smashing together isotopes of calcium and a radioactive element called berkelium in a particle accelerator about 75 miles north of Moscow on the Volga River.
    • This is expected to positively prove that as newly-created elements become heavier and heavier they will eventually become more stable and longer-lived than the fleeting bits of artificially produced matter seen so far.
Language Lessons
  • hectoring: Verb
    • Be bossy towards
    • eg: For a country long used to Western officials unfailingly hectoring it to accelerate reforms and open up restricted markets and sectors, India’s economic managers ...
  • scatological: Adjective
    • Dealing pruriently with excrement and excretory functions
    • eg: The law can also be involved with matters scatological, as was reported in the Capital's newspapers a few days ago.
  • risible: Adjective
    • Arousing or provoking laughter
    • eg: The Sensex, the rupee, confidence that India's growth rate would soon touch 10% — they are all rising. Or merely risible, from the point of view of the poor, who seemingly benefit little from India's economic success.

1 Comment:

Anand said...

CII-National Summit on Rural Development at New Delhi - April 12-13. Call 0124-4014060 (ext 315) for invites