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Friday, January 12, 2007




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We wish our Readers a Happy Pongal and Sankranthi. Our offices are closed till January15th and  the next issue will be on 16th January.

Special Highlight

Banks’ Commitment to Enhance Farm Loans and Micro-credit - by Dr. Amrit Patel

Business and Economy
  • 2006 Exports Topped Expectations
    Indian exports achieved a key milestone when it crossed the psychological barrier of USD 100 billion in 2006 with a growth rate of 24% and over 13% of total gross domestic product (GDP) valued at USD 800 billion compared to 6% in 1990-91.<More>

  • Problems with SEZ Policy
    The Industry and Commerce Ministry has rightfully taken credit for the creation of the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act 2005 but the policy lacks transparency and seems ad hoc in implementation.<More>

  • Next Outsourcing Wave Anticipated
    A recent study suggests India would start seeing a new wave of Business Transformation Outsourcing (BTO) where consultants will advice clients on transforming businesses, enhance performance, and make strategic decisions.<More>

  • Call to Open Govt IT Procurement
    A non-profit public policy think tank asked India to open up government Information Technology (IT) procurement policies by removing restrictions on foreign manufactured equipment and instituting stronger intellectual property rights (IPR) protection mechanisms.<More>

  • Hardware Blossomed in 2006
    Having established itself as a major information technology and related services sector, India saw an increasing number of hardware manufactures attracted to the country driven largely by the promising domestic market.<More>

  • Biogas Innovations Promising
    Ashden Awards extended to “organizations which have carried out truly excellent, practical, yet innovative schemes demonstrating sustainable energy…at a local level” has come to many Indian organizations.<More>

Democracy, Politics and Judiciary
  • Longest Rock Art Chain
    The Rock Arts Society of India (RASI) has claimed that Madhya Pradesh hosts the world’s longest rock art chain near Mandsaur district near Malwa for 12 kilometers (kms) with most of its petroglyphs intact.<More>

Terrorism, Defense, Security and Science & Technology
  • US Bombs Islamists in Somalia
    At least two incidents of US plane and helicopter bombed Islamists caught in a pincer between Ethiopian and Somali forces on the one hand and Kenyan troops on the other and many believe that key al Qaeda militants may have been killed in the attack.<More>

  • ULFA Killing Wave in NE
    Army and paratroopers searched remote jungles trying to flush out United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) terrorists who killed 69 migrant workers from Bihar and their excuse is that they do not want non-Assamese in Assam.<More>

  • Advanced Defense Lab in Bangalore
    The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) is starting a Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR) in its campus in Bangalore and expected to become the most elite laboratory for defense research and development (R&D).<More>

  • Moon Rover Plans
    As part of the second Chadrayan mnission in 2010-11, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to land a motorized rover on the moon to pick up samples of soil or rocks, perform chemical analysis, and beam data to mother spacecraft.<More>

  • Madras Regiment for Congo
    The oldest infantry regiment in the Indian Army, the 26 Madras Infantry Battalion Group, drawing its troops from South Indian states, has been selected to represent the nation for UN peacekeeping duties in the Democratic Republic of Congo.<More>

  • Indo-Singapore Air Force Exercise
    The Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) completed a bilateral exercise in December with the IAF fielding Mirage and Jaguar aircraft and RSAF’s F-16 C/D Fighting Falcons and F-5E Tiger aircraft.<More>

  • Bigger S&T Budget
    With increased input from educationalists and technologists, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised a significant increase in budget allocation for science and technology (S&T) so there is a “new thrust to and renewed investment in basic sciences.”<More>

  • US Warns NK of N-Tests
    The US warned North Korea of "severe consequences" to the diplomatic effort in response to a South Korean legislator’s warning that Pyongyang is now fully prepared to carry out a second nuclear test.<More>

  • Israel-China Sign New Treaties
    Visiting Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Chinese Premier Web Jiabao signed three agreements covering cultural exchange, export of Israeli citrus fruit, and sale of water purification technology to China.<More>

  • UN Withdraws Aid for Bangla Poll
    As tens of thousands of troops take up positions to stop the opposition blockade of a discredited poll on the 22nd, the United Nations said that it withdrawing assistance in the upcoming poll and that it was “concerned” about the future of democracy in that country.<More>

  • Olmert Seeks China’s Help on Iran
    Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is visiting China and is expected to lobby Beijing to take a tougher stand against Tehran’s controversial nuclear program especially if the recent sanctions on Iran would not influence its behavior.<More>

  • Mush Wants Support to Fight Terror
    State-run television reported that Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has called his nation to support his policy stopping militants from using the nation as recruitment ground for suicide members to be used by terrorist groups for attacks world-over.<More>

  • Bangladesh in Turmoil
    Bangladesh police fired tear gas and charged with batons on demonstrators in Dhaka to break up opposition blockades for the second day trying to force a delay in elections scheduled January 22.<More>

  • Russia to Scale Back Oil Output
    Citing “problems in transiting crude across Belarus,” Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Cabinet colleagues to lean on oil companies to explore “the possibility of scaling down extraction of oil” and hinted at diverting oil transit routes away from Minsk.<More>

  • Venezuela to Nationalize Telecom
    Bucking the global trend to privatize and globalize businesses and state-owned enterprises, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced plans to nationalize his country’s electrical and telecommunication companies.<More>

  • Ortega Assumes Power in Nicaragua
    Ringing warning bells in Washington, former revolutionary Daniel Ortega assumed office in a ceremony attended by a dozen anti-American world leaders and left ideologues even as he promised to balance economic and ideological considerations.<More>

  • Saudi Cabinet Changes Possible
    Saudi Arabian King Abdullah is reportedly considering his first Cabinet reshuffle and could include changes to important positions as foreign minister and oil minister in order to induce new talent into his regime.

  • Bolivians Go on Rampage
    Thousands of leftist supporters of Bolivian President Evo Morales, including Indian groups, labor unions, and coca farmers, burnt furniture and official records in a state capitol demanding the resignation of a governor supporting conservative opposition.<More>

  • New Goal-Oriented Iraq Strategy
    As US Generals gave a sobering view of progress made by their troops in Iraq, a recent report suggested that President George Bush may introduce a new policy in Iraq that includes a set of goals that the government must meet.<More>

  • Israel Plans to Strike Iran
    In what could transform the whole West Asian region into decades of crisis and human suffering, Israel is reportedly planning to launch low-yield nuclear “bunker busters” to destroy Iran’s contentious nuclear sites at Ishafan, Natanz, and Arak.<More>

  • Abbas Shows Street Muscle
    Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s supporters showed their strength through a massive congregation at a stadium in Gaza City and encouraged Fattah party strongman Mohammed Dahlan threaten hard-line party Hamas of reprisals.<More>

Hot Topics
2006 Exports Topped Expectations
Problems with SEZ Policy
Russia to Scale Back Oil Output
Israel-China Sign New Treaties
UN Withdraws Aid for Bangla Poll
Venezuela to Nationalize Telecom
US Bombs Islamists in Somalia

Featured Analyses     More


Moon Rover Plans

As part of the second Chadrayan mission in 2010-11, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is planning to land a motorized rover on the moon to pick up samples of soil or rocks, perform chemical analysis, and beam data to mother spacecraft.


New Goal-Oriented Iraq Strategy


Bangla Polls Dubious


Indo-Japan Ties Need Boost


No SLMM in Combat Areas


Islamists Driven Out of Mogadishu

Featured Edits

Britain to pull out 3,000 troops

A battle royal over media intrusion

Pakistan may authenticate Siachen ground positions

Caligula's Horse

The logic of history

No deals likely during Pranab visit

Compounding the Iraq folly in the Middle East

Bringing to book the guilty men of Baghdad


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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