Politics & the Nation
  • Lectures to PM on wielding political authority
    • The question is "Why did the PM allow Raja to continue in the Cabinet even after a CBI enquiry was on?"  Do we really need to search anywhere for an answer?  We all know that he allowed him to continue because of coalition compulsions.  The PM (or the Congress to be precise) effectively had been staring a binary situation -- either continue Raja or lose power at the Centre.  Having been presented with such choice, the Congress (and by implication the PM) chose the allow Raja to continue at the behest of DMK.  When we all know this much, why the brouhaha about the whole issue?  What purpose would be served by sermonizing the PM?  Yet, this is what our favourite paper preferred to do today.  Take a look.
  • Interesting news item on phone tapping
    • Read it here.
    • It appears that about 6000 phones are tapped daily in India on various grounds.  On a subscriber base of 600 mn, this may appear a small number.  But look at the kind of manpower needed to sit through and listening to all the conversations for painfully building up a case!  
  • It's a busy day yesterday with so many events vying with each other for attention
Finance & Economy
  • On the scope of functioning of the proposed FSDC
    • One, that it would not impinge on the autonomy of financial regulators.
    • Two, that it is aimed at macroprudential supervision of the economy including of large financial conglomerates.
    • Three, that it would address inter-regulatory coordination issues, euphemism for playing referee to fistfights of regulators.
    • Last, it would focus on financial literacy and financial inclusion.
  • Unchecked foreign investment in border areas raises concern
    • The home ministry has reportedly sought tighter rules to stop foreigners from operating in sensitive border areas by acquiring stakes in Indian companies, skirting the restrictions imposed on overseas investment in these regions.
    • Foreign companies are barred from setting up operations in certain border areas, even if that particular activity or sector is open to foreign investment. For example, participation of foreign companies in tenders for work packages of hydro-electric projects in sensitive areas is governed by elaborate guidelines.
    • Foreign companies can, however, get access to these restricted areas by acquiring stake in a company already operating there. This will be particularly easy if the company is operating in a sector where foreign investment is allowed under the automatic route, without permission by the Reserve Bank of India or the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.
    • The restricted areas are mostly near the borders with China and Pakistan where foreign investment is not allowed due to security concerns.
  • Some facts about power scenario in the country
    • India consumes 606 units of consumption per capita per year, which will go up to 1,000 units per year by 2012. India is world’s 6th largest energy consumer, accounting for 3.4% of global energy consumption. Due to India's economic growth, the demand for energy has grown at an average of 3.6% per annum over the past 30 years.
    • In June 2010, the installed power generation capacity of India stood at 162,366 mw while the per capita energy consumption stood at 612 kWH.
    • The country’s annual energy production increased from about 190 billion kWH in 1986 to more than 680 billion kWH in 2006.
    • The Indian government has set a modest target to add approximately 78,000 mw of installed generation capacity by 2012 which it is likely to miss. The total demand for electricity in India is expected to cross 950,000 mw by 2030.
  • On the ill effects of RTE
    • We all know about Right to Education Act.  Take a look at how it is going to take away the right to educate for some.
    • An image showing the number of schools in India category-wise is worth a look.
  • On current account
  • An excellent graphic that depicts the currently emerging jittery scenario in Eurozone
    • Take a look at it here.  A must read.
  • Thailand slides into ‘technical’ recession as Asian tigers lie low
    • Thailand's economy slipped into a technical recession in the third quarter, reinforcing signs of an Asia-wide slowdown as export growth cools, manufacturing ebbs and the impact of massive government stimulus spending fades.
    • South-East Asia’s second-biggest economy shrank 0.2% in the third quarter after a revised 0.6% contraction in the second.
Language Lessons
  • doctrinaire: Adjective
    • Stubbornly insistent on theory without regard for practicality or suitability
    • Noun: A stubborn person of arbitrary or arrogant opinions