Politics & the Nation
  • SC upholds death for Amma’s boys
    • The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence awarded to three AIADMK workers for burning alive three girls in a bus in Dharmapuri, following the conviction of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa in the Pleasant Stay Hotel case.
    • The girls, who were on an educational tour, were burnt alive in the bus during the agitation that ensued on the conviction of Ms. Jayalalitha in the Pleasant Stay Hotel, Kodaikanal case.
    • “There can be absolutely no justification for the commission of such a brutal offence. Causing the death of 3 innocent girls and causing burn injuries to another 20 is an act that shows the highest degree of depravity and brutality on the part of (AIADMK’s) Nedunchezhian, Ravindran and C Muniappan,” said a bench comprising Justice G S Singhvi and Justice B S Chauhan.
Finance & Economy
  • RIL makes Grand entry into EIH with 14% buy
    • Mukesh Ambani turned white knight for the Oberoi family by helping it keep control of luxury hotel chain EIH, dashing ITC chairman YC Deveshwar’s long-cherished dream of one day gaining control of one of the world’s best hospitality brands for his diversified conglomerate.
    • Reliance Industries, which has been investing in shale gas and exploration assets, took investors by surprise with a stake buy in the hospitality company for 1,021 crore, paying an over 30% premium to EIH’s Friday close. The deal upsets cigarette-maker ITC’s desire to one day control the company, and ends Max Group chairman Analjit Singh’s flirting with the Oberois for a substantial stake.
    • RIL bought 14.12% in EIH, which runs the Oberoi and Trident chains, from the promoters, providing funds to them to subscribe to a possible preferential share sale. A new share issue could be designed to take the Ambani-Oberoi holding to more than 52%, people familiar with the plans said, with each holding 26%. The Oberoi family’s stake fell to 32% from 46% after Monday's deal.
    • Look at this graphic for some more details.
  • A good graphic on the Direct Taxes Code
    • Look at this graphic for getting a bird’s eye view of the major proposals in the DTC bill introduced in the Lok Sabha.
  • Should new telcos be allowed to surrender spectrum and get back their license fee?
    • Yesterday we have noted that some of the new telecom companies are likely to exit -- i.e., surrender their license and get back their fee.  
    • Today’s ET editorial argues very well as to why they should not be allowed to surrender and get back their fee.  Take a look at it here.
  • How can we encourage entrepreneurship in India?
    • This article makes a good read and presents some ideas in this regard.  Some excerpts:
    • First, put our own capital to work.  Make prospective entrepreneurs understand that money should be means to improving our lives and not be an end in itself.
    • Second, encourage the marriage of private companies with the public sector via public private partnerships (PPP). This ecosystem can harbour fresh ideas and provide navigational skills around regulations, and encourage people to take risks, while offering fair returns.
    • Third, reengineer our legal system so that it is conducive to speedy reconciliation of pending disputes and within a time limit. A Paperwork Reduction Act that does away with the red tape that we see today in the public sector is also needed. This will make investments easier, bureaucracy accountable, decision-making speedier, and profits higher, both for, private and public sectors.
    • Fourth, do away with the 10% cap (on total funds raised) imposed on venture capital funds for investments in foreign start-ups.  Doing away with this cap will mean access to a multitude of technologies from the heavy R&D capital-invested West, which can be provided access to the huge markets in India through Indian entrepreneurs.
    • Lastly, incentivise our existing private companies to take on the challenge of spotting and nurturing intrapreneurs to generate newer streams of shareholder value.
  • On benchmark bonds
    • Here is an ET in the Classroom column that explains the concept.
Language Lessons
  • probiotic: Noun
    • A beneficial bacterium found in the intestinal tract of healthy mammals; often considered to be a plant