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Thursday, February 09, 2006




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Business and Economy

  • The Department of Posts (DoP) has stated that it intends to ban Indian courier companies to carry mail that is less than 500 grams. They cited the Indian Postal Act of 1898 to backup their claim saying that this law makes it the exclusive right of the DoP. With the terrible inefficiencies in the Indian postal system, courier companies mushroomed and took most of the business away from the DoP. It is routine for companies in India now to depend on courier companies and less on the postal system. If the DoP has its way, most courier companies will collapse since 500gm and under business makes up more than half of their turnover.

  • According to the Indian Central Statistical Organization, the Indian economy is growing at 8.1% this year. This is the third year that the economy has been consistently growing above the 7.5% threshold. What is most interesting with this statistic is that this growth is despite the weak performance of the agriculture sector, which grew only by 2.3%. Among the non-agro sectors, the major growth areas are services (9.9%), construction (12.1%), hospitality, trade, telecom and communications at 11.1%.

  • India revealed that it’s five mega coal power plant plan will be financed by the Life Insurance Corporation through Special Purpose Vehicles created by the Power Finance Corporation. Unidentified senior official said that the LIC agreed to step in when the risks of financing by State Electricity Boards (SEBs) was ruled out because of their poor financial state. Two of these power plants will be placed near coalmines and other three near the coast and will use imported coal. 

Terrorism, Defense, Security

  • In two separate incidents, Naxalite terrorists attacked police stations and detonated a land mine killing 12 policemen and injuring 21 others in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand. The terrorists went away with 22 AK47 assault rifles and self-loading rifles (SLR).  In the same area last October the terrorists exploded a landmine that killed 25 CRPF soldiers.


  • The United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Volker said that the US does not need UN approval to impose economic sanctions on Iran . Some US senators are calling on a “coalition of the economic willing” to impose bank account freezes and travel restrictions on senior Iranian leaders and blocking the transfer of official assets. Currently, Russia and China , with extensive trade and energy ties with Iran are reluctant to impose economic sanctions. Meanwhile, Iran notified the IAEA that it has resumed full-scale uranium enrichment. In a French Inter Radio interview, French Foreign Minister Philippe Doutse-Blazy said that there is stillroom for negotiation and asked to comply with international requests and obligations and not go for confrontation.

  • Editorial: The Nepal Stalemate

  • Editorial: Iran's Nuclear Program


  • The Indian Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar said that the US request to include specific nuclear reactors such as fast breeder reactor (FBR) in the Indo-US civilian nuclear deal is “changing the goal post.” In an exclusive interview with the Indian Express, he said that the question of what reactors to include should be an Indian decision to meet India ’s strategic interest. He revealed that initial discussions with the US did not include FBR, indigenous reactors that processed fuel for the FBR, Bhabha Atomic Research Center , and uranium-enrichment facilities off Mysore . FBR will help India maintain its military capability and also increase its energy security. He said that placing these under the civilian list will create a serious “import trap” making the country constantly dependent on nuclear fuel from a nuclear fuel supplier. FBRs allow India to develop alternate nuclear fuel such as Thorium; India has large deposits of Thorium. India ’s long-term strategy is to develop nuclear autonomy to meet its energy needs and there is national consensus that it should not be compromised. Kakodkar was a major supporter of the nuclear deal with the US .

  • Editorial: Hamas's victory in Palestinian Territories


Hot Topics

Economic growth

Naxalite Attack

Iran Nuclear Issue

Indo-US Nuclear deal

New Power Plants

Election in Nepal

Peace process in Sri Lanka

Clemenceau & the Environment

Featured Analyses

The Saga of the Jemaah Islamiah

Indonesia has continuously been embarrassed by the terror acts of a handful of terrorists from the Jemaah Islamiah (JI), a group with definite Indonesian origins and made up mostly by members of Indonesian nationality.

Will Kashmir go the way of Aceh?
A Cry for Help
Watch the Dragon
Cage This "Tiger"
Dalits in India
Was Jinnah a Secularist?
Burying the Howitzer?
Smoking Out Smoking

Featured Edits

The complicated world of nuclear deals
A new question in Iran
From ship to mouth: Back to square one
Don’t rock the boat
Red carpet for Bush
India explained: in sharp lines and sudden curves
What Bush said to Morales
South Indian Inscriptions

Ancient Indian dynasties documented their administration, significant developments, grants, and milestones as inscriptions in temples. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has documented these inscriptions from 1886. These pages contain inscriptions from Pallava, Chola, Pandya, Western Chalukya, Eastern Chalukya, Rashtrakuta, Hoyasala, Vijayanagara, Vishnukundin, Kakatiya, Reddi, Vaidumba, Chinda, Eastern Ganga, Gajapathi, Kalchurya, Qutb-Shahi of Golkonda, and Moghul,  dynasties.

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