Politics & the Nation
  • Jharkhand under President’s rule
    • In a move that was widely anticipated, the Centre imposed President’s rule in Jharkhand, after none of the major political players could cobble together the numbers required to form a government. The assembly had simultaneously been placed under suspended animation.
    • This is the second time in two years that the state has been put under President’s rule. On January 19 last year, the Centre had imposed President’s Rule after the resignation of Mr Shibu Soren, who suffered a humiliating defeat at the Tamar byelection. Mr Soren was sworn in as the chief minister for the third time on December 30 last after the assembly elections. His government was propped by BJP, AJSU and the JD(U).
    • The decision to impose President’s rule in Jharkhand has, by and large, been welcomed by almost all the political parties.
  • Reform in land ownership record maintenance
    • The Centre has reportedly drafted a model law for the states to adopt, that transforms the way land ownership is recorded by doing away with deeds and directly registering the title to a piece of land.
    • When this is implemented, India will dump the cumbersome, antiquated system of establishing ownership through a chain of titles — a series of deeds that trace the change of ownership from the original transfer from the sovereign to the present — to the Torrens system of direct registration of title in a central registry. Under the proposed system, all parcels of land will be identified and entered into a register, with an owner specified. The state would guarantee ownership. When the owner sells his piece of land, the name of the owner would change in the register. If there is a dispute, it would go to a tribunal.
    • The proposed law would have a multiplier effect: reduce litigation across the country, ensure transparency, improve governance, revenues and productivity of capital. Industry will also find it easier to acquire land when ownership is not in doubt.
Finance & Economy
  • Telcos can buy Chinese gear on security check
    • In a big respite for mobile phone operators, the government has agreed to allow import of Chinese-made telecom gear, certified by international security audit firms such as Canada’s Electronic Warfare Associates, US-based Infoguard and Israel’s ALTAL Security Consulting, till a dedicated certification centre and test lab is in place.
    • The government will also allow self-certification of imported telecom equipment by mobile operators against a bank guarantee given to the communications ministry. Mobile operators will be liable for forfeiting their bank guarantee and can also face criminal proceedings, if any security threats are detected in ‘the self-certified equipment’ at a later stage.
    • The stop-gap solution, which will be in place for the next 12 months, will ensure that Indian telcos do not face project delays even as the NIC lab is being set up. Once functional, NIC will study the software codes of all telecom hardware to address the government’s security concerns.
    • The move will be a breather for Chinese vendors like Huawei and ZTE, as well as Indian telcos like Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices and Uninor, among others, that are looking for cost-effective telecom gear to expand their networks. Many domestic mobile firms have been campaigning for a quick fix to the Centre’s failure to clear import of Chinese-made telecom gear, and have pointed out that buying costlier equipment from Western vendors could destroy their business case.
  • Does the future belong to shale gas?
    • If you read this op-ed by SSA Aiyar that is the thought that is sure to cross our minds.
    • An interesting article. Can be read once. An important point worth our attention:
    • India has large shale deposits, with good prospects in the Gangetic plain, Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat. Tamil Nadu, Andhra and the north-east.
  • Want to start a bank?
    • Look at the kind of money that you need to have to do so.
    • Under the existing regulations, the initial minimum paid-up capital for a new bank should be Rs 200 crore and the promoter’s contribution shall be at least 40% of the paid-up capital of the bank at any point of time.
    • The current laws state that an individual company or its subsidiaries can only hold a maximum of 10% stake in the proposed new bank.
  • On deepening the corporate bond market
    • This is one subject on which we have been noting for quite some. Here is one more good essay that discusses the issue threadbare and comes out with some suggestions. Worth a look.
  • On Exchange Traded Funds
  • What is it that Pakistan and Bangladesh are demanding about cotton?
    • Pakistan and Bangladesh have demanded that the contracts for supply of cotton made by Indian growers before exports were suspended last month should be honoured.
    • India has now put cotton on the restricted list and its exports can only be allowed through licenses issued by the government.
    • The textile ministry had suspended exports of cotton on April 19 following complaints from the domestic textile industry of a 20% rise in cotton prices since October last year, which was increasing cost of production.
    • The commerce ministry subsequently lifted the suspension on May 21, after cotton farmers and states like Gujarat and Maharashtra protested against it, but allowed its exports only against licences.
    • Bangladesh’s economy is heavily dependent on textiles (which forms 80% of its total exports) for which they source cotton from India.
    • Pakistan grows a lot of its own cotton, in fact it is the fourth largest cotton grower in the world--but because of burgeoning demand from its textile industry it imports about 3 million bales annually, much of it from India.
  • Some trivia about the World Cup football
    • The 64 matches in World Cup 2010, which kicks off on June 11 in South Africa, could have a cumulative viewership of over 26 billion going by the trend in the previous tournament of 2006.
    • Some 700 million viewers watched the World Cup 2006 final between Italy and France.
    • Fifa sold World Cup TV rights for $2.7 billion.
    • India connection to the World Cup
      • Latex bladder from India is being used in the manufacture of footballs specially designed for the World Cup, incorporating eight thermally-bonded three-dimensional panels, all spherically moulded and textured with grooves to improve aerodynamics, based on inputs from researchers at the UK’s Loughborough University.
    • The ball for this World Cup was designed by Adidas. It is given the name Jabulani (Zulu for ‘Bringing joy to everyone’).
    • The World Cup mascot is Zakumi — an anthropomorphed leopard with green hair.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

topic on shale gas cool an BTU also