Politics & the Nation
  • What would your priorities be, if you are asked to tackle the Naxal menace?
    • Take a look at this beautiful article written by Digvijay Singh and compare your solutions with his for tackling the issue. A very well written article from the former CM of Madhya Pradesh. Well done Sir.
  • A bit of political history in Tamilnadu
    • Many of us were not even born when the DK was born on the political firmament. From it flowed the DMK and then Anna DMK. In the context of the succession issue in DMK gaining prominence of late, it would be interesting to look at the political history in Tamilnadu.
    • This article gives it in ample measure. Take look.
  • The Shashi Tharoor IPL controversy
    • Lalit Modi has promised to disclose the ownership details of all teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL), as a nasty and escalating row between him and minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor over the Kochi franchise puts the spotlight on confidential contracts and snowballs into a major political controversy.
    • Such a disclosure has the potential to open a can of worms as it has been widely speculated that several political bigwigs and cricket board functionaries are silent investors in IPL franchises.
    • At the heart of the controversy is the revelation by Mr Modi on Sunday that Sunanda Pushkar, a close associate of Mr Tharoor, owns part of the free equity in Rendezvous Sports, which in turn is a part owner of the Kochi IPL team. Ms Pushkar reportedly owns 18% of Rendezvous Sports’ 25% free equity in the Kochi IPL team. The team was won with a bid of Rs 1,532 crore.
    • Mr Tharoor maintains that he has no role in the Kochi IPL team apart from that of a mentor.
    • All this looks a bit fishy as a little-known consortium led by Rendezvous Sports won the bid for an IPL team, outbidding well-known business houses such as Videocon, Adani Group and Sahara Group.
    • But do take a look at the statement made by the MoS in his defence.
  • India to set up centre for N-energy applications
    • India would set up a Global Centre for Nuclear Energy Partnership, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.
    • Making the big-ticket announcement, Mr Singh in a statement at the summit on Tuesday said the centre would be a state-of-the-art facility with four schools dealing with different issues related to nuclear energy.
    • The facility would be based on international participation from IAEA and other interested foreign partners. The Centre will consist of four schools dealing with advanced nuclear energy system studies, nuclear security, radiation safety, and application of radioisotopes and radiation technology in the areas of healthcare, agriculture and food.
  • Should the Department of IT exist?
    • Here is a scathing attack on one Department in the Government of India. We are bound to be left in doubt whether we need an Department of IT after reading the article.
Law & Justice
  • Some interesting statistics relating to our legal system
    • According to the last (2007) report of the National Crime Records Bureau, the total number of jail inmates was 3,76,396 as against a capacity of 2,77,304.
    • And a whopping 66.6% of the total inmates were undertrial prisoners.
    • And a high court judge recently opined that it would take 320 years to clear the backlog of 31.28 million cases in various courts in the country.
Finance & Economy
  • Truce between IRDA and SEBI brokered
    • The government has brokered a truce between the two warring financial sector regulators—the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda)—over the supervision of unit-linked insurance plans (Ulips), signalling a return to normal business for the insurance industry.
    • On Monday, after several rounds of talks, the government managed to persuade both the regulators to seek a legal mandate from a court on oversight of this product. The appropriate authority in this case would be the high court. This may provide comfort to the insurance industry, which prefers to approach a high court rather than the Securities Appellate Tribunal that hears appeals against orders issued by Sebi. Their reasoning is that moving SAT would be a tacit admission that Sebi’s writ runs large over Ulips, which are investment products with an element of insurance. There are indications that the insurance industry may consider the option of appealing to the Delhi High Court.
    • Following the meeting between the chiefs of Sebi and Irda and senior finance ministry officials, both the regulators have decided to restore status quo and keep in abeyance the orders issued by both during the weekend.
    • What this means is that the insurance industry will not be hobbled for now from selling Ulips. But the move on Monday will provide only a limited solace for insurance firms as they say the prevailing uncertainty will put off new investors.
  • Industrial output keeps up the pace
    • Industrial output rose more than 15% for the third straight month in February, indicating that the economy does not need policy crutches to grow and prompted calls for stiff interest rate hikes to check the inflationary spiral.
    • Low interest rates and improving employment prospects are triggering a spending boom that led to record sales of cars, motorcycles and television sets. Industrial production gained 15.1% in which mining rose 12.2% and power generation increased 6.7%, government data showed.
    • The increasing economic activity is also pushing up commodity and asset prices that threaten future consumption and growth, if interest and tax rates do not return to normal from the crisis-induced rates.
  • L'Osservatore Romano -- The Vatican's official newspaper
    • Why should we bother about this? Because, Vatican recently forgave the Beatles, through this paper. Forgave for what? The Beatles in their heyday questioned God and some of their statements were even considered heretical.
    • The Vatican's official newspaper observed last week that the Beatles “took drugs, lived life to excess...even said they were bigger than Jesus and put out mysterious messages that were possibly even Satanic,” but reasoned that they “may not have been the best example for the youth...but they were by no means the worst. Their beautiful melodies changed music and continue to give pleasure.”
    • Besides, Vatican had, weeks ago approved their record, Revolver for inclusion in the Vatican's list of 10 ‘approved' pop albums.
    • BTW do you know the quartet that were known as Beatles?
    • John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.
Language Lessons
  • massif: Noun
    • A block of the earth's crust bounded by faults and shifted to form peaks of a mountain range
    • eg: Vedanta wants the flat-top mountain massif, the best-forested in the Niyamgiri hill range, but the local Dongria Kondh tribals say it is the abode of their god Niyam Raja.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Digvijay Singh comments on his article are more direted towards the personal rivalry between him and Mr. Chidambaram.It is sel evident from the contents of the article where he talks about Understanding between BJP and Maoists in Chhattisgarh AND other such absurd facts.How can bit be believed that congress which ruled M.P. since Independence and Digvijay Singh himself Chief Minister for 2 terms co8uld not arrive with maoist and BJP could and thus ruled for 2 terms in chhattisgarh and still operationalise Green Hunt.It was unfriutful and exploitative tenure Mr. Digvijay Singh that cost Congress not onlyt MP but Chhattisgrah also.sINGH IS USING THE OPPURTUNITY TO OF BURDEN HIS FAILURE AS C.M. ,gain points over chidamabaram and malign BJP Govt. in Chhattisgarh all with one shot.He is not worthy of being a politian.