Politics & the Nation
  • More criticism about the anti-corruption agitation led by Anna Hazare
    • Take a look at this op-ed in today’s ET by Kuldeep Kumar.  While this is pointed out to you to know the counterpoint, you have to draw your own conclusions.  
  • India’s influential in Time 100
    • Take a look at this.  Five Indians figure in the top 100 influential people in the world.  Dhoni beats them all hands down with his top ranking.
  • Narendra Modi will surely have some explaining to do
    • Look at this report.  It says that a senior IPS officer, Sanjiv Bhatt, had stated in his affidavit that Modi had issued instructions to Police to the effect that Hindus be allowed to express their anger against Muslims for the Godhra carnage.  
Finance & Economy
  • Buoyant tax collections
    • The Centre’s tax collection for 2010-11 has reportedly exceeded the revised estimates by about Rs. 12,000 crore to hit Rs. 7.92 lakh crore.
  • Some coarse grain related statistics
    • From the 1970s, as government policy, pricing and procurement heavily favoured wheat, rice and sugarcane, farmers took the rational decision to grow more and more of these, so land under coarse grains shrank rapidly: falling by as much as 1.3% every year through the 1980s, and by 0.76% every year through the 2000s.
  • About dedicated freight corridor
    • The Rs 77,000 crore dedicated freight corridor project, scheduled to be built by 2016/17, is expected to ease infrastructure bottlenecks and boost industrial development and international trade as existing railway lines in these regions are running up to 50% more than the designed capacity. The choked railway lines have encouraged a rapid shift to road transport from railways. The National Highway Authority of India's plan to expand the Delhi-Mumbai highway to six lanes would accelerate the shift of cargo from goods trains to trucks, but the new freight corridors are expected to reverse the trend as the railways would be able to offer faster and cheaper transportation.
    • Look at this graphic for some more details of the project.  
  • Chairman PFRDA
    • Is Yogesh Agarwal.  
  • Banks betting big on consumer loans
    • Bank credit to consumers for personal consumption has increased 12.6% to ` 1,17,919 crore as on February 25, 2011, from 1,04,715 crore a year earlier, RBI data show. Loans outstanding on credit cards increased to 6,212.92 crore at the end of February 2011, from 4,923.11 crore a year ago. Credit card spend increased 26.9% in the same period. Industry estimates show average monthly spending on cards averaged 3,000-3,900 this year, up from 2,200-2,400 last year.
    • Banks are returning to consumer lending after getting hurt during the credit crisis when many customers defaulted. But this time things appear to be different, with better credit information and banks avoiding third-party salesmen who did not do their due diligence.
Language Lessons
  • doppelganger: Noun
    • A ghostly double of a living person that haunts its living counterpart
  • morass: Noun
    • A soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
  • mirth: Noun
    • Great merriment