03.09.2010 Indian Current Affair03.09.2010 Indian Current Affair
Politics & the Nation
Finance & Economy
- Take a look at Tirupati Balaji's riches
has reportedly Rs. 52,000 crore worth of jewellery alone. This is
slightly more than half the annual budget of the Government of Andhra
Pradesh. The temple owns about 20 tonnes of gold and diamond jewellery
and some of them date back to the 12th century.
- Tirumala is one of the 12 temples and sub-shrines that TTD (Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam) maintains.
- The TTD is reportedly planning to buy insurance cover for this jewellery.
single insurance company can underwrite such a risk on its own books.
Therefore the board is looking at partnering a state-owned general
insurance firm for insuring these assets. The insurer who gets the
mandate will have to strike a reinsurance deal with an international
- Till now, ONGC with assets spread in several locations, has the largest insurance cover of $26 billion.
TTD board's decision to insure the gold comes in the backdrop of many
alleged reports of jewellery pilferage. Last year, the head priest of a
Tirupati temple had confessed to stealing a 520gm gold necklace of a
Venkateshwara deity. He had pledged it for Rs 10 lakh to get his
this year, TTD officials admitted that there were no documents on the
jewellery of Sri Krishnadevara Period of 1500 AD. And many believe
some of these antique jewellery might have even been converted into
- Government grapples with changes to the mining policy
government is determined to implement a policy intended to give those
displaced by mining a share in the profits of the miners.
policy, part of a legislation setting the rules for investment in
mining, will also apply to captive mines of companies such as Tata
Steel, SAIL and Hindalco. The bill, if approved by Parliament, could
make it mandatory for companies to issue equity shares to each member of
every family displaced by the project as well as 26% of the profit,
according to a draft version of the bill.
government's thinking is that if affected persons share profits arising
from mining operations, resistance from the local population whose land
has to be acquired for industrial projects would dwindle.
current government regulations permit 100% foreign direct investment,
or FDI, in most mining activities under the automatic route. Despite
this, the actual FDI flows have been a measly $150-200 million. This has
not deterred the government from setting the ambitious target of
increasing FDI in the sector to over $20 billion in the next few years.
- Difference between FII and FDI
- An excerpt from today's ET editorial that explains this very clearly:
is a clear distinction between portfolio investment or FII and FDI.
FIIs are generally not interested in management control. Thus, Suzuki’s
investment in Maruti is undoubtedly FDI while investment by, say, Morgan
Stanley or Nomura, is portfolio investment. It is also accepted that
FDI is more rooted and has a number of positive spinoffs in terms of
employment generation, transfer of technology and management practices
while portfolio inflows, while quite useful, are relatively more
- Some facts/figures about agriculture investing in the country
number of venture investments in agribusiness firms and start-ups rose
to 11 in 2010 from nine in 2009, according to data from research firm
Venture Intelligence. The amount of money flowing into the sector almost
doubled to $167 million this year from $89 million in 2009.
collated by ICICI Bank said that the Indian agricultural and food
business is expected to double to $280 billion in next decade. There is
an opportunity of private investments up to $50 billion by that time.
- Some interesting statistics about credit and debit card usage in India
banks have issued 19 crore debit cards covering close to a fifth of the
population, these cards are used for payments on an average once a
year. Against this, there are 1.9 crore credit cards which see 11
transactions a year.
cards are being greatly under-utilised, largely because of the charges
that banks impose on merchants. Banks generate an income of 1,340 crore a
year through merchant discount rate — the fees charged to merchants to
process card payments.
- India's own 911 soon its way
has kicked off the process to start a single national integrated
number, like 911 in United States, 000 in Australia, 999 in UK and 112
in the European Union.
services like police, medical emergency, fire, airline & rail
enquiry, or municipal helplines will be available through the number,
which is yet to be decided. Besides, it will provide citizens direct
access to counselling helplines, and government departments like
education, health, transport, municipality, public distribution etc.
- Already pilot projects in five states—Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are reportedly under way.
pilot project will be completed by December 31 this year, and blueprint
for connecting all India, will be readied thereafter.
- About 90% emergency calls are to the police and 8% for ambulances.
US, the emergency service, for instance, operates on the N11 mode,
where N stands for any number between two and nine. The number 211,
stands for all counselling helplines like suicide prevention, senior
citizen helpline, debt counselling, drug addiction helplines etc. The
number 311, is used to report broken community links like a damaged
pipeline, fire, bad roads, etc.
- God did not create the universe
physicist Stephen Hawking has said the creation of the universe was a
result of the inevitable laws of physics and it did not need God's help.
In his latest book "The Grand Design", Hawking writes: "Because there
is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from
nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather
than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist." He rejects Isaac
Newton's theory that the universe did not spontaneously begin to form
but was set in motion by God.
- The US budget deficit
US has a significant budget deficit, likely to be $1.3 trillion (10% of
GDP) this year. Do you know how large it is? It is larger than our
country's GDP by 30%!
- nostrum: Noun
- Hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; once sought by the alchemists; Patent medicine whose efficacy is questionable
- Synonym: catholicon; panacea
- uncanny: Adjective
- Suggesting the operation of supernatural influences; Surpassing the ordinary or normal
- Synonym: eldritch