Monday, October 22, 2012

Notes: Why should one prepare them ?

Notes are short written records made while reading.

Purpose of notes:

Notes are prepared for future references. The purpose of notes is to avoid going through the trouble of reading the text again and read what is relevant. This saves time, energy, brings clarity in thinking, reduces load on the mind and is easy to remember.

Studying and Examination :

A study is carried out due to interest or necessity. Examination is the place where one's study is put to test. A good performance at examination requires revision. Depending on one's preparation and one's commitment to the exam revision is carried out once or more than once. The Civil Services exam requires revision quite a number of times. None tracks the number of times of their revision but it usually lies between 6-10 times. Sometimes even more. The mode of revision also varies. The time ticks constantly and as the exam date appears one is left with lesser and lesser time to revise. Initially a detailed revision would take about a month per optional. Then one would have to revise the whole subject within a week. Later in two days and just before exam within a day. Thus the notes that one prepares must help recall the concepts and related items in less time.

Unique-ness of Notes:

Everyone's notes are unique. This is because of the simple reason that every has a different writing style. Each has his/her own creative ways to convince the examiner that they are well versed with their concepts. The notes are reflection of ones writing style and thought process. So, one person's notes may be the best for him/her while it may seem utter useless to others. The notes one prepares are to help recall the concepts hence, one must write in ways how faster, easier and precise do they recall.

Preparing the Notes:

Studying a text in general requires about three readings atleast. First to read all chapters individually. Second to be able to connect various chapters and their concepts. Third to understand the essence of the book. It can take more readings depending on the person, the context or situation and many other things. It is only at the third or fourth reading that the meanings mentioned in a book become clear. This is when the notes are to be prepared. In the meantime, practicing tests reveal what is needed in the answer to call it a good answer. Some particular sentences, certain vocabulary, thinkers/scholars related to the subject, examples/illustration etc. The notes written at third or fourth reading automatically will include tha aforementioned aspects. A good amount of reading is quite necessary to make a contributing notes.

Notes as a continuous activity:

No notes is complete in itself for the fundamental fact that there is always something to learn. No matter how much expertise one gains in subject there will always be a new thing one learns every time. Secondly, many books might be referred during a study. Contents from such sources can be consolidated in the notes. Sometimes one comes across items in newspapers, TV, internet or just during a discussion. Those things can enrich the notes.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Difference of opinion

One of the most difficult activities and practices of my life has been resolving the problem of difference of opinion. I have been trying to give it some concrete framework of solution but was never successful. I sill don't know, what is the best way to avoid a difference of opinion.
Opinion refers a mans outlook or personal judgemant about a particular thing. But, if over the years the personal judgement is manipulated and falsified by some agents, the opinion is changed. The most important thing here is that one still feels one is right. That is the basis of difference of opinion occuring in our day to day lives. But how are we going to let one know that his/her opinion is different and wrong as far our ideals are concerned. In my experience you will have a difference of opinion only when you argue with a person who is not worthy of you argument. More so, when the other person thinks that you are not worthy of it.
There are two ways for reducing the difference of opinion conundrum. If the intentions of each of the characters engaging in the discussion are clearly understood then they can be rationally evaluated. Upon rational evaluation it is clear whose opinion is correct. One important catch here is that, opinion is an entity pertaining to the human mind, which is is completely engulfed by the feature of "values". Seperation of the fact from values becomes a seperate discussion in this context. Sometimes the difference is on the value itself. Hence it again becomes and unsolved mystery that cannot be solve being within the realms of worldly knowledge.
Many an thinker have clearly described that by arguing with a fool we are not elevating him but degrading ourselves to his level. This idea can be attributed to the likenesses of Socrates, Aristotle and Kautilya. There was once an argument between two persons, over the meaning of a word. The only way here seems is to look where a particluar discussion is leading to and avoid it if it is culminate into a difference of opinion. This is because on simple characteristic of difference of opinion is that both the parties are right. This way there will never be integrateion of solidarity or the synthesis of ideas in the words of Mary Parker Follet. For those who don't know, she was a management thinker.
Finally, based on various experiences one undergoes during his course of life, one must learn the art of leading a discussion and if felt that it is leading to a difference of opinion then it must abruptly stopped. Also one must learn to understand the fact that as the discussion progresses whether the content matter is really a subject of discussion or it is just an exhibit of value laden opinions. As the value factor of the subject matter increase the worthiness of the discussion decreases. This goes very well in case of students and teachers. We are taught to respect our teachers because they have learned to being that way with years of experience. So, even if the teacher is not so good at convincing a student, that does not mean the teacher is wrong or unworthy of pedagogy. It is in the interests of the teacher and the student that the student understands the content of whatever the teacher is to say.
Thus I would conclude my essay saying that, the difference of opinion once established is very difficult to be resolved and hence at all times be avoided when the worthiness of the discussion not clearly defined.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Hi, back with theInternational events of 2008. They are important in the exam isn't it. This might not formatted but doesn't matter. It is a mine for this year Int. current affairs for GS.
Korean war - Jun 25-1950 to June 27 - 1953,
BRIC - called the four-way alliance.(alliance between BRIC countries)
First meeting on May 16 in Russia in Yakterinburg.
Foreing ministers
Brazil -Cleso Amorim
Russian - Sergei Lavrov
China - Ynag Jeichi
India - Pranab Mukherjee
Sverdlovsk GovernerEduar Rossel
BRIC countries- 40% of population and combined GDP is half of the G-8.Plans to overtake by 2020.
Discussion: Starting practical co-operation in Agri,business,health,medicine,disaster mitigation,and relief.Business t0o business academic contacts.

IBSA- India Brazil South Africa.

SCO- Shanghai Copoperation Organisation. Formed in 2001
Members are: China, Kazhakhstan,Kyrgystan,Russia,Tajikistan,Uzbekistan.
India,Pak, Iran , Mongolia are observers. USA was rejected obnserver status in 2005.
Latest summit: 2008-Dushanbe, 2009-Yektarinburg
Discussion: Food and energy security to the SCO countries. Proposal for an "Energy Club".

FIJI- interim Prime minister - Commodore Frank Bainimarama-tookover(coup)on 5 dec- 2006.

Israel Palestine conflit;
Al-Naqba- means ethnic cleansing.
Israel celebrated 60th anniversary of "War of independence" on May 14-2008.

South Africa President - Thabo Mbeki.

France - takes over EU president in july.
Stresses on nuclear power plants.Germany plans to opt out Nuclear operations by 2020.

Asian Security summit-also known as the "Shangri-La Dialogue".Held in Singapore on May31.
Greater East Asia- considered as geopolitical zone of 10-member ASEAN +16 member EAS+ Australia (aka "western outpost in Asia").
Discussion:India and China has suggested that US should leave Greater Asia region.
Bangladesh proposed of a "flying geese formation" by the China,Japan,ASEAN and the SAARC countries (implying exclusion of the USA).Bangladesh is not a member of EAS.The main idea of Bangladesh' proposal was to reduce India;s role as a security guarantor in Greater East Asia.
Singapore PM is LEE HSEIN LOONG.
India Minister of state for defence- M M Pallam raju.


Truce between Israel anad Hamas June-19 - ceasefire for 6 months.It was brokered by Egypt(chief of Egyptian intelligence- Omar suleiman).

Principled consensus between Japan and China on June 18- for disputes over "GAS-AND-OIL-BLOCKS" in the East China Sea.
China president:Hu Jintao. Japan PM: Yasuo Fukuda.
The centrepiece of the consensus is the clear identification of a block, complete with latitude and longitude, in the Chunxiao oil-and-gas field (known in Japan as Shirakaba) for joint development of selected sites as a sequel to joint exploration.

Ireland vetoes the Lisbon treaty.19 members of the EU have ratified it. For Ireland to sign the treaty, it requires a referendum from its citizens.
Irish PM is Brian Cowen.E.U. Commission’s chief, Jose Manuel Barroso.

Highest ever opium production in Afghanistan. Afghanistan borders 920 km qith Iran. India is buliding a road from Zaranj to Delaram.

World Food Summit- held in Rome
President of FAO(Food and agricultural Organisation)- Jacques Diouf.
Appealed for $30 billion-tor revive agriculture in SA and other parts of the world.
Clarion call - “to eliminate hunger and secure food for all”. NGO claim that ban on ethanol productionwould reduce food prices by 20%.
Haiti is one of the worst-affected countries.

North Korea has agreed to de-nuclearise itself. Demolished a cooling tower in PYONGYANG, to symbolise. US,China,DPRK(North Korea),South Korea,Japan,Russia. Delcaration made on June 26.

Robert Mugabe(Zimbabwe) wins the elections 2nd time, held in last week of june. His challenger was Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Mugabe's party is Zimbabwe African National Union–Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) Party.

African Union Summit was held in Sharm al-Sheik in first week of July. Zimbabwe,Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Rwanda are authoritarina regimes in Africa.


Malaysian Prime Minister: Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Cheif Prosecutor of Internation Criminal Court(ICC). Luis MorenoOcampo. ICC filed a case of genocide in Darfur against Sudanese President Omar al Bashir. There was a civil strife in Darfur in 2003 in which several people were killed.
ICC members are 106 countries.
India and the U.S. signed a pact in 2002, “agreeing to the non-extradition of nationals of either country to any international tribunal without the other country’s express consent”
ICC works on the orders of UN security council.

Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia- have become a triumvarate.
Ecuador has placed an intial order to purchase DHRUV- multi role advance light helicopters. It is the 1st country buy the DHRUV helicopter. Initial order is 7.
ONGC-Videsh and Tata group are two active companies in Ecuador. It is rich in resources.
Venezuela President-Hugo Chavez.
Nicaragua President-Daniel Ortega.
Ecuador President-Rafael Correa. Latina American countries are committed to building "New Socialism for the 21st century".
Ecuador constituion has been replaced in 2007. Rafael is president to new constitution.
Colombian president is Alivro Uribe.
UNASUR(Union of South American nations was created in 2007 to foster strategic ties).

World's biggest cosmopolitan is Amsterdam(Holland) with 175 culture. Next is New York with 160.

Fernando Luga sworn in as President of Paraguay on Aug 15th. Bolivian President Evo Morales re-elected based on referrendum on Aug 10.

Violence in SriLanka:

The civil war in Sri Lanka consists of three distinct conflicts: the ethnic conflict between Tamils and the Sinhalese, and other groups; the armed conflict between the Sri Lankan state and the Tamil Tigers; and the political conflict for power among the main forces that have the capacity to influence political rule
in Sri Lanka – the governing Sri Lanka Freedom Party, the opposition United National Party (UNP), and the rebel Tigers.

SCO summit- Aug 27-8th annual summit in Dushanbe(Tajikistan).
Kurmanbek Bakiyev of Kyrgyzstan,
Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan,
Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan,
Hu Jintao of China,
Emomali Rakhmon of Tajikistan,
Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and
Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan.
Dsicussion- Supported Russia on its attack on Georgia. Georgian soldiers attacked Russians in South Ossetia. Russian had deployed army army to protect Georgia out of which abt 80% hold Russian passports.
Explicitly endorsed Russia’s dominant role in maintaining peace and security.

Saddam Hussein was ousted as leader of Iraq, because he nationalised the OIL Industries. Iran met the same fate, with ouster of Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. It was done on Aug 19. Hence a remembrance.

Asif Ali Zardari is the new President of Pakistan.

Nether lands is second largest exporter of agricultural produce after USA in the world. Some highlights:
"Tomato world"- shows more than 60 vareities of tomato.Waste left by fish is used as nutrients for this.
Focus on algae farming on industrial scale.High yeild paddy varieties with low-water requirement.

Current LTTE -SriLanka war going on is EELAM WAR IV.


Thabo Mbeki, resigns as president of South Africa on september 21, it was based on recall by ANC(African National Congress).

KGALEMA MOTLANTHE takes oath on Sep 25.

Thabo Mbeki helps sign a power sharing accord between Robert Mugabe(ZANU-PF)and Morgan Tsvangirai(MDC) in Zimbabwe.
MDC- Movement for Democratic Change-Tsvangirai's party.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia and was delared an independent province in February.(News was published in Frontline in Aug.. ;-).

NATO summit was in Bucharest in April. USA requested for Georgia'a membership to NATO. Was opposed by Germany, France,Spain,Greece and Italy.

U.S. has set up military bases in Romania and Bulgaria and has become for the first time a “Black Sea power

"Cuban Five": Infiltrated terrorist groups in US which were against Cuba and averted major catastrophes to Cuba.They were indicted by US, with 10 years of imprisonment.They are Gerardo Hernandez, Fernando Gonzalez, Antonio Guerrero, Ramon Labanino and Rene Gonzalez.They recently completed 10 years in the jail.

Taro Aso is Japan's new PM, sworn on September 24th. He is from Liberal Democratic Party.
The emperor is AKIHITO.


University teachers for Human Rights -Jaffna (UNTHR-J) releases a report against the srilankan govt, deeply condemning its audacious war no the LTTE.
Mahinda Rajapaksa releases control over the Srilankan media under "Private Television Broadcasting Station Regulations" act.
In the World press freedom index Srilanka has the lowest among the democratic countries. It is rated by the international Press freedom mission.

Najjib tunrazak is the nex candidate for Malaysian PM from the part Barisan Nasional, the party of the incumbent PM Ahmas Abdullah badawi. Anwar Ibrahim is the opposite contender to him from party PR (Pakatan Rakyat).

US raids Syria on pretext of eliminating the terrorist hideouts on October 26.

Vishwanathan Anand beocmes the grand master third time beating Kramnik , Bonn.

Three physicists of Japanese origin share the nobel prize in physics. Yoichiro Nambu of the University of Chicago “for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics” and the other half jointly to two Japanese physicists, 64-year-old Makoto Kobayashi of the High Energy Accelerator Research Organisation (KEK), Tsukuba, and 68-year-old Toshihide Maskawa of Kyoto Sangyo University, “for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature”.

Great Lakes region of Africa, tussle between the Congo govt and the rebels. Congo president is Joseph Kabila., Rebel leader is Laurent Nkunda.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives India on November 20 on a five day visit.He is from the AKP party.

Australian Prime Minister is Kevin Rudd.

Status of Forces Agreement between USA and Iraq calls withdrawl of US troops in Iraq by 2011. It comes into effect on Jan 1 2009.

Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amre Moussa, was in New Delhi in the first week of December on his first visit to India

First Surface to Surface missile 'SHOURYA' tested on Nov 12 by the DRDO, India. It was tested at the Integrated Test Range called 'CHANDIPUR-ON-SEA' near Balasore in Orissa.

Planning a test on and "Interceptor Missile" in later half of December. It will a modified version of Dhanush.

Afni-V is seet to be launched in 2010. It will have a range on 5000 KM. Agni -IIIA will be tried in 2009. It is a modified version of the Agni-II having a range of 2500 KM.

Shourya is a hypersonic missile.It can reach a velocity of MACH 6 even at low altitudes. It is a land variant of the K-15 missile which is launched from under water.K-15 comes under Sagarika project.

V.K. Saraswat, Chief Controller, Research and Development, Missile and Strategic Systems,
programme director A.K. Chakrabarti
P. Venugopalan, DRDL Director

Abhisit Vejjajiva is Thailand's PM after Thaksin Shinawatra went on a self-imposed exile. Abhisit was voted by parliament on Dec 14 2008. He is the youngest PM at 44.

Muntadar al-Zaidi hurls a shoe at Bush while he was in Iraq to sign the status of SOFA. Iraqi Prime Minister is Nouri al-Maliki.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Japanese PM Taro ASO and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak join a TRIPARTITE agreement in Fukuoka on Dec 13.
World Bank President is Robert Zoellick endorsed the Tripartite agreement.

Blagojevich scandal Raghuveer Nayak held a party with the Ilinois Governer Rod Blagojevich to "buy" a seat for friend Jesse Jackson Jr in the Senate after Obama wins the election, October 31.

Sheik Hasina wins the parliament elections in Bangladesh in a landslide victory. Sheik Hasina is from the Awami League. Awami League and the Jatiya party formed the Grand Alliance. Out of 299, Awami League won 230 seats, more than required to form the govt, still she went into alliance.- (no idea how it goes ;-))

China and India send maritime forces to control the situation of pirates in Gulf od Aden and Malacca Strait.,chronology-major-world-events-in-2008-part-i.html

Got this from the above links:

JANUARY1 - Malta and Cyprus join the euro, bringing the number of countries in the eurozone to 15.

2 - Oil price exceeds 100 dollars for the first time.

3 - Iowa caucus begins long series of US primary elections pitting Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, while John McCain secures Republican nomination by March.

4 - Dakar Rally cancelled for the first time owing to terrorist threats.

9-16- US President George W Bush visits Israel and Palestinian Territories for the first time.

10- Nano, the world's cheapest car costing 2,500 dollars unveiled by India's Tata Motors at a car show in Delhi.

12- Chinese Nationalist Party wins landslide in Taiwan parliamentary elections, embarks on policy of rapprochement with arch-rival China.

20- Mikheil Saakashvili sworn in for second - and last - term as president of Georgia.

21- Markets plunge around the world over fears of a world recession.

23- A Greek prime minister, Costas Karamanlis, visits Turkey for the first time in 50 years.

23- Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians stream over Egyptian border from the Gaza Strip after fence is bombed to buy supplies choked by an Israeli blockade.


2 - French President Nicolas Sarkozy marries singer and former model Carla Bruni in Paris amid major publicity about his private life and dropping approval ratings.

7-20- US Space Shuttle Atlantic mission with Europe's Columbus laboratory on mission to International Space Station.

13- Australian government apologizes to aboriginals for decades of discrimination.

17- At least 100 people killed in Kandahar in bloodiest attack in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban.

17- Kosovo declares independence from Serbia.

18- Pakistani opposition wins landslide in parliamentary elections; assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP) is largest in parliament.

18- Germany launches massive crackdown on suspected tax evaders after intelligence agents purchase details of secret bank accounts in Liechtenstein.

21- Turkey launches largest offensive in years against banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) on Iraqi soil.

22- Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko defeats Sultan Ibragimov to take the WBO heavyweight title.

24- Raul Castro takes over as president of Cuba from his ailing brother Fidel.

25- Euro climbs above 1.50 dollars for the first time.

27- European Commission fines Microsoft record 899 million euros for failing to obey anti-trust ruling from 2004.


1 - Hurricane Emma claims 15 lives in Europe.

6 - Pope Benedict XVI receives Orthodox leader, Patriarch Bartholomew I, in the Vatican for the first time.

10- Exiled Tibetans hold protest march in India on 49th anniversary of uprising against Chinese rule. Subsequent protests across China result in many deaths and injuries.

14- Conservatives consolidate hold on Iranian parliament in elections.

16- US bank JP Morgan Chase takes over troubled investment bank Bear Stearns.

17- Paul McCartney-Heather Mills' four-year marriage ends in divorce.

18- German Chancellor Angela Merkel addresses Israeli parliament, the Knesset.

22- Ma Ying-jeou of the pro-China Nationalist Party wins Taiwan presidential election.

24- Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan holds first democratic election.

25- African Union and central government forces invade Comoros island of Anjouan and retake it from renegade Colonel Mohamed Bacar. The rout is swift with little bloodshed.

26- Ford sells Jaguar and Land Rover brands to India's Tata for 2.3 billion dollars.

29- Zimbabweans vote in presidential, parliamentary elections.


1 - Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva forced to resign over 200 text messages to stripper.

2 - British scientist produce embryos from human genes and animal eggs.

3 - US, Czech Republic sign agreement to locate radar station on Czech soil as part of a missile defence shield; the deal prompts public protests in the Czech Republic.

3-12- Food riots in Haiti lead to downfall of government.

5 - US President George W Bush of the US and outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin hold farewell meeting in Russian resort of Sochi.

7 - Olympic flame held up in Paris for 20 minutes amid anti- China protests.

9 - South Korea's conservative Grand National Party has clear victory in parliamentary elections.

12- At least 12 people killed in explosion in mosque in southern Iran.

12- Chinese President Hu Jintao meets Taiwan Vice-President Vincent Siew, the highest-level meeting between the two sides since they split in 1949.

13- Kenya agrees on a grand coalition government, bringing to an end months of election-related violence that killed around 1,500 people.

14- Silvio Berlusconi wins Italian general election.

15- Pope Benedict XVI arrives in US for six-day visit.

20- Former Catholic bishop Fernando Lugo wins Paraguayan presidential election.

21- Bank of England provides 50-billion-pound rescue package amid worsening financial crisis.

22- Euro climbs above 1.60 dollars for the first time.

23- In the worst fighting in Sri Lanka since the summer of 2006, at least 100 Tamil rebels and 43 soldiers killed.

26 - Police arrest Josef Fritzl in Austria for imprisoning and raping his daughter in a cellar for over 24 years.


1 - A US airstrike kills the leader of al-Shabaab, a Somali Islamist insurgent group reportedly linked to al-Qaeda.

2-3 - Cyclone Nargis hits Myanmar, leaving about 140,000 dead or missing.

6 - Chinese President Hu Jintao travels to Japan, the first visit by a Chinese leader in a decade.

7 - Dmitry Medvedev is sworn in as Russian president.

8 - Israel celebrates 60th anniversary of founding of state.

11- Two weeks of xenophobic attacks on African migrants begin in Johannesburg township of Alexandra. Over 62 people are killed and tens of thousands displaced countrywide.

12- Worst earthquake since 1979 hits China. The magnitude-7.9 quake leaves 87,600 people dead in Sichuan province.

13- Series of bomb blasts in India's Jaipur leaves 63 dead and more than 200 injured.

14- Fighting in oil-rich Sudanese region of Abyei raises fears of renewed war between Christian South and Muslim North.

14-18 - US President Bush visits Israel for the 60th anniversary of founding of the state.

15- US President Bush address Israeli Knesset.

20- Iceland permits commercial whaling again.

20- Leader of Basque terrorist group ETA, Francisco Lopez alias "Thierry," arrested in Bordeaux.

21- Israel and Syria resume peace talks after eight-year hiatus.

21- Manchester United defeats Chelsea to wins Champions League in all-England football final in Moscow.

21- South African President Thabo Mbeki deploys army to protect Zimbabweans after wave of attacks on foreigners leaves at least 65 dead.

24- Russian superstar Dima Bilan wins Eurovision Song Contest in Belgrade with the song Believe.

25- General Michel Suleiman elected Lebanese president.

26- Phoenix probe lands on Mars.

28- Monarchy abolished in Nepal.


5 - Turkish Constitutional Court upholds ban on headscarves in universities, reversing parliament's lifting of the ban.

12- Ireland halts the ratification of the EU's Lisbon Treaty with a no vote in a referendum.

12- International community pledges 21.4 billion dollars for Afghanistan's reconstruction at Paris conference.

12- Taiwan and China resume dialogue after nine-year hiatus.

19- Israel and radical Islamic Hamas movement ruling Gaza reach fragile, Egyptian-brokered, informal truce.

20- More than 800 die when ferry sinks in Philippines during Typhoon Fengshen.

23- French President Sarkozy addresses Israeli Knesset.

26- US Supreme Court upholds right to bear arms.

27- Bill Gates retires from Microsoft.

27- Robert Mugabe wins Zimbabwe's violent run-off presidential election without a contest. The West denounces the vote as a sham. African observers say election lacked legitimacy.

29- Spain wins Euro 2008 football championship, defeating Germany 1-0.


1 - France assumes EU presidency from Slovenia.

2 - Former Colombian presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt freed after six years as hostage of FARC rebels.

4 - Taiwan, China open weekend charter flights, ending decades- long transport blockade.

6 - Spain's Rafael Nadal wins Wimbledon men's singles.

7 - Anglicans on brink of schism after female bishops approved.

7 - 60 killed in bomb blast at Indian embassy in Kabul.

11 - Oil price surges over 147 dollars per barrel.

14 - World's largest brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev formed by takeover of Belgium's InBev by Anheuser-Busch of the US.

14 - The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor seeks an arrest warrant for the Sudanese president over war crimes in Darfur.

15 - The euro surges to all-time high of 1.6038 dollars.

18 - Former South African president, anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela turns 90.

21 - Zimbabwean President Mugabe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai meet face-to-face for first time in a decade.

21 - Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadzic arrested in Belgrade.

21 - Portuguese judicial authorities declare end of investigations into disappearance of British toddler Madeleine McCann after 14 months.

22 - Indian government wins trust vote after left allies withdraw support over nuclear deal with US.

26 - 56 dead in 27 bombings in India's western commercial city of Ahmedabad.

27 - Spain's Carlos Sastre wins Tour de France.

27 - 17 dead and more than 150 injured in Istanbul bomb blast.

30 - Israeli Premier Ehud Olmert announces he will step down amid corruption allegations.

30 - Turkish Constitutional Court rejects ban on ruling AKP for Islamicizing the country.


3 - Some 145 pilgrims die in stampede at Hindu temple in India.

7-12 - Russian-Georgian war in breakaway region South Ossetia.

8-24 - XXIX Olympic Games in Beijing.

18 - Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf steps down.

19 - Zambia's popular President Levy Mwanawasa dies in a hospital in Paris of a stroke.

19 - At least 43 killed in attack on police academy in Algeria.

20 - 154 killed in plane crash at Madrid airport.

21 - Suicide attackers kill at least 78 in north-west Pakistan.

22 - US, Iraq sign deal on withdrawal of US troops.

26 - Hurricane Gustav leaves at least 130 dead in Haiti.

26 - Russia recognizes unilateral declarations of independence by Georgian breakaway regions of South Ossetia, Abkhazia.

26 - Five killed in Hindu-Christian clashes; curfew imposed after churches torched in India's eastern Orissa state. Subsequent clashes witness nearly 40, mostly Christians, dead; thousands flee from homes to relief camps.

28 - Only eight survivors as some 70 illegal African immigrants die off Malta.

29 - Arctic North-east and North-west Passages free of ice for the first time.


6 - Asif Ali Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto, becomes Pakistani prime minister.

6 - 'Football diplomacy' sees Turkish president make first visit to historic foe Armenia.

6 - Nuclear Suppliers' Group decides to allow trade in fissile material and technology with India ending 34-year old ban.

6-17 - Beijing Paralympics.

7 - US government takes control of ailing mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

8-9 - Dam burst at Tashan mine in northern China leaves 260 dead.

9 - Thai Premier Samak forced to resign over cookery job.

11 - Serious fire in Eurotunnel.

12 - Train crash in Los Angeles leaves 25 dead, 135 injured.

13 - 24 killed, 100 injured in in New Delhi market blasts.

14 - Aeroflot plane crashes in the Urals, killing 88.

14 - Sebastian Vettel, only 21, wins Italian Grand Prix.

14 - Nigerian militants launch a four-day 'oil war' that further cuts the West African nation's oil production capacity.

15 - Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe signs a historic deal with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change to share power.

15 - Iran resumes uranium enrichment at Natanz plant.

15 - US investment bank Lehman Brothers goes bust.

15 - British contemporary artist Damien Hirst makes 70 million pounds from art sale.

17 - Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni assumes Kadima party leadership from disgraced Premier Olmert.

17 - At least 17 killed in attack on US embassy in Yemen.

19-26 - Chinese milk found to contain melamine; 53,000 children report kidney damage; three die.

20 - South African President Thabo Mbeki resigns at demand of his African National Congress after court suggested interference in corruption case of ANC leader Jacob Zuma.

20 - 53 killed, 260 injured in attack on Islamabad Marriott Hotel.

21 - Israeli Premier Olmert steps down.

23 - Finnish student shoots dead nine students, teacher, self.

24 - Former foreign minister Taro Aso becomes Japanese premier.

25 - Somali pirates seize Ukrainian ship carrying tanks and military equipment as piracy ramps up in Gulf of Aden.

25 - China launches Shenzhou VII manned space mission.

28 - Chinese astronaut conducts China's first space walk.

30 - Panic leaves at least 224 dead at Hindu temple in Rajastan.


3 - US approves 700-billion-dollar bail-out for financial industry.

3 - 42 killed, incl. 17 soldiers, in attack on PKK in Turkey.

7 - Thai police crack down on anti-government protestors, two killed in melee.

8 - Britain announces bank bail-out package.

9 - France's Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio wins Nobel literature Prize.

10 - Ex-Finnish president Ahtisaari wins Nobel Peace Prize.

10 - US and India seal landmark agreement on civilian nuclear cooperation.

11 - Austrian right-wing leader Joerg Haider dies in car crash.

22 - India sends probe to the moon.

26 - Tutsi rebels launch a major offensive in the Democratic Republic of Congo, sparking weeks of heavy fighting and sending tens of thousands of civilians fleeing.

28 - The IMF, EU and World Bank offer Hungary emergency 25.1- billion-dollar standby loan to bolster faltering economy, the first time an EU member has needed such support.

29 - Pakistani earthquake leaves at least 225 dead, hundreds injured.

29 - Five simultaneous suicide bomb attacks kill 30 people in the relatively peaceful Somali breakaway states of Puntland and Somaliland.

30 - 84 killed in India's Assam in series of blasts.

30 - Zambia's ruling party candidate Rupiah Banda elected to succeed deceased leader Levy Mwanawasa.


1 - African National Congress dissidents draw over 4,000 at pre-political party launch in Johannesburg.

2 - Britain's Lewis Hamilton becomes youngest Formula 1 World Champion.

4 - Barack Obama wins US presidential election.

6 - Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, 26, becomes youngest world leader when he assumes throne of Bhutan.

7 - 97 pupils, teachers die in Port-au-Prince school collapse.

8 - New Zealand elects opposition to government.

9 - Grammy-winning 'Mama Africa' Miriam Makeba dies after a performance in Italy aged 76.

10 - China announces 570-billion-dollar stimulus package.

15 - Leaders of G20 nations at meeting in Washington pledge to better regulate global financial markets and take steps to halt a global economic slide.

15 - Somali pirates seize Saudi supertanker Sirius Star carrying 100 million dollars worth of oil.

19 - IAEA finds evidence of secret Syrian nuclear programme in probe of 2007 Israeli bombing of suspected atomic site.

20 - Oil price plummets below 50 dollars a barrel for first time in three years.

21 - Russian parliament votes to extend presidential term.

21 - US singer Madonna and British director Guy Richie divorce.

25 - Anti-government protestors cripple Bangkok international airport.

25 - Greenlanders vote for more autonomy from Denmark.

26 - EU agrees 200-billion-euro economic package.

26-29 - Mumbai suffers series of terrorist attacks, leaving nearly 180 people dead.

27 - Iraqi parliament approves US troop withdrawal deal.

28 - Sectarian clashes leave at least 200 dead in Nigeria.

28 - Ethiopia announces plans to pull its troops out of Somalia, raising fears that the insurgency which has killed at least 10,000 civilians since early 2007 will worsen.


2 - Thai court dissolves ruling political party, forcing Thai premier Somchai Wongsawat to step down.

6 - Riots erupt after Greek police shoot dead 15-year-old; unrest continues for days.

9 - EU mission, Eulex, takes over law-enforcement duties in Kosovo.

10 - Wittelsbach Diamond sold for record 16 million pounds at auction at Christie's.

12 - EU agrees economic stimulus package.

12 - Switzerland formally joins Europe's border-free Schengen zone.

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I named this blog as "FUNDATMENTALS" because that's what we require to be successful, anywhere and everywhere. Anyways this is an eclectic collection of topics which are likely to come in the exam.

IPTV(though it came last year, it is good to know the fundatmentals): Internet Protocol Television is a system where a digitial television service is delivered using the Internet Protocol . A general definition is that television service is delivered through technologies used by computer networks instead of traditional cable networks.

VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol, as the name suggests is a term for transmission technologies for delivery of voice over the Internet Protocol or other switched packet networks. It is also called as 'broadband telephony' etc. Its usual interface is a PSTN (Packet Switched Telephone Networks) to allow for transparent phone communication all over the world. It is widely used because it is highly cheaper than the traditional telephone.
3G: 3G stands for third generation, in the technology of mobile networking, superseding the 2.5G. It enables a widerange of advance services to the users while achieving greater network capacity. Services include wide-area wireless voice telephony, video calls, broadband wireless data, everything in a mobile (or a cell phone) environment.
BasisPoints (bpi) : A "basis point" is a unit that is equal to one-hundredth of a percentage point. Mathematically it can be written as 1/10000 th. It is common practice in finance industry to use basis points to denote rate of change in a financial instrument , or difference between two consecutive interest rates. A rate change of 1% thus will be 100 basis points. A change of 2 basis points can be written as 0.02%.

India's Look East Policy: India's look east policy represents India's efforts to cultivate extensive economic and strategic relations with nations of South-East Asia in order to bolster its standing as a regional power and a counter-weight to the startegic influence of the People's Republic of China. What are the south-east Asian countries ? Burma, Philipines, Singapore, Vietnam , Cambodia. Nepal, SriLanka, Thailand , South Korea, Taiwan and all the ASEAN countries. After the coldwar, ecoconomic liberalisation of India, India's influence in the Asian market was tenuous. To make the country stronger in domestic markets we started looking towards startegic relations with the ASEAN countries. This to bolster the Indian ties with Asian countries.

High Courts in India: There are totally 21 high courts in India. Each state has its high court in its capital city. The UT jurisdictions are clubbed with any one of the state high courts.
Andaman & Nicobar jusridiction: West Bengal (Calcutta) High Court.
Lakshadweep : Kerala High Court
Daman&Diu, Dadra&Nagarhaveli & Goa (though not a UT): Maharashtra (Bombay) High court.
Delhi: NCT (National Capital Territory, Delhi High Court).
Seven sisters (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Tripura, Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya): Gauwahati high court.
Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana: Punjab high court
Pondicherry: Tamil Nadu (Madras High Court).
Rest all states have their own high courts. The oldest high court is the Calcutta high court established in 1862. High courts established within this decade (2000-2010) are in Jharkand, Uttarkhand and Chattisgarh under States Reorganisation Act in 2000.

FICCI: The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organizations in India. FICCI is one of the main organizations to fund and support many governmental and non-governmental educational institutes.It was been founded by J.D.Birla and purushottam Takkur in 1927 5. it led by Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar. It has a nationwide membership of over 1500 corporates and over 500 chambers of commerce and business associations.

Booker Prize: "Man Booker Prize" is awarded to best original novel in English, to the British Common Wealth Nations and Ireland. 

Commonwealth nations are the ertswhile colonies of the British. The membership is not binding.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Capitalism for the rich Socialism for the poor.

Karl Marx had envisaged the best form of society. He hoped for an egalitarian society where all men are equal and the fruits of labour are shared all. He wanted the society to be transformed into a community and so he wrote the 'Communist Manifesto'. Yes, the comunist democracy is the best form of governtment. There is only party and the people get to chose their utmost leader directly. Human beings, have always indentified themselves with the amount of suffering they go through in any society. That's why they can't comprehend an egalitarian society. Karl Marx' world was called as the 'UTOPIAN' concept. This was because everything is good in an utopian world. They could have called it abstract, but everyone agrees that communism is indeed an utopian concept ! Every where in the world the preachers of the socialist society are either factory workers or labourers or don't have business of their own. No man in this world, would give away his hard earned wealth , his gains and his profits to someone. Although the life chances are not the same to all people in a society. We wouldn't see a thing if everything in this world was bright, there must be some degree of darkness that diversifies various colours to the eye. Similarly, the communist society actually would become a suffering if it was shorned of its stratifications. Hence, a man instead of crying on other's wealth like what the socialists do, must strive to go up in the Capitalist deck. No man who has turned a business man from being a factory worker would ever agree to share his profits. 'Selfishness is a virtue' quotes Ayn Rand in her books. Max Weber says that the society is divided into 4 strata, the first two being the Propertied capitalists and the propertyless white collar workers. The whitte collar workers are the ones who won companies in the current industrial societies. All the CEOs who are the decision makers of giant corporations are actually salaried personnel. The white collar workers, with skill actually rule the propertied bourgeoisie. Thus it is only the skill that doesn't require money to build money. Sooner or later the best skilled man is the last man standing. As Rocky Balboa says, its not how much you hit, but how much you can take and go forward because he who remains till the end is the Winner !

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The desire for Excellence !

This Olympics has witnessed some of the greatest sportsmen ever. My personal favourite was Michael Phelps. For those who are not so good with the Olympic statistics, he is the only swimmer to have won all the eight gold medals in a single Olympics. The world regards him as the merman, like a descendant from the Dolphins. After his victory, various facts about him were displayed that he was suffering from hyperactivity, which was to be a disorder. That he could swim because he had big arms and big legs. Well the physical structure of the man had nothing to do with the medal, isn't it ? The only thing that got him the medal was his desire for EXCELLENCE. His only desire to improve and develop his skills, get close to the perfection. He, is regarded as the human-dolphin because of his butterfly stroke which resembles the dolphin.
They say he can swim that fast because he has a big shoulder muscle (please mind me, I don't know the exact term for it), but I would say they got bigger because of his relentless practice. He swam for 5000 kilometers, in the span of 4 years, between the last olympics and this one, at the age at which the muscle growth is at its peak ! What else would you expect him to become of ?
What motivated Phelps, to swim so long ? Who told him to "go and swim, the medal be assured" ? No one ! He does not have girl friends, he does not have a gang to hang out with, the only thing he knows is swimming ! It only shows he has the sheer desire to push his limits, the burning desire that I can do better, I have to do better, I will do better ! I don't think he might have ever dreamt of a medal, they came as mere adornments to him. After they became regular, he openly gave a statement that he hopes to win all the 8 ;-).
It only teaches us the answer to the famous/infamous question asked almost everywhere, "How come with 100 billion population, we don't have even a single gold medalist ? " (although we have now ;-) ). That it is not, because of bad infrastructure in the country, though it is one of the problems. It is only that even in the 100 billion there a only 1 or 2 who are so ambitious to excel in athletics, who become victims of various diseases ailing the country's sports division. Majority of us do not have the desire to excel. All we want is, the shortest way to fame. Remember, that the shortest achievements are the shortest lived. Our tennis player, the only title she won as far as I remember is the ATP challenger ship, which shot her into fame. One of the cotemporary sportspersons who have maintained their level of excellence is Vishwanathan Anand.
I would recommend anyone who reads this blog, the book, "Jonathan Livingston Seagull". It is a very small book (only 15 pages), but has what is required. The good thing about US is that they believe in themselves( I am writing this for those who have the tendency to compare everything to US, isliye).
Abhinav Bindra practiced for 12 years, before he got the medal. Na na, don't give me that, he is very rich and his father could afford everything. Just imagine, if your father could afford it, would you be the one to win the Goldmedal at Olympics in place of Abhinav Bindra. Just remember one important thing that you did relentlessly for the last 12 years. I am sure there is pretty much nothing, or may be in my case its true.

Michael Phelps will be remembered as long as the mankind lives, with just an effort of 5 years he put in !

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

India !

I read a lot of posts on the internet comparing Inda with their "fantasy land" USA. Everyone with a stay of one or two years, see difference between the two and the most common areas they see will be traffic, litter or grabage, water etc. and then they start talking about the natural resources of the country. Funny, isn't it ! Many give suggestions what should be done, how can we solve such problems. Most of the common suggestions again would be privatization and fines/penalty. Will any of these solve the problems quoted by them ? On the contrary they will only aggravate it. How can a private company(for picking up waste for example) assure you a clean city ? Does a private water transport ensure water supply all around the year. No !
Anyways, let us not discuss about the water services and stuff, they are far from the common man.
Coming to fines and penalties, do you know fine for parking in no parking zone is 150/- , still people park. Even if it is made 1000/-, there wouldn't be any change. Only, it helps the most famous instituion we have "bribery". The higher you make the fine, the easier it is for people to give and take the bribe. What then is the solution ? What can we do about it ? The answer to all this is PRIMARY EDUCATION. Yes, primary education will help us get rid of all such small giltches we see every day. Today's children, if they are instilled with the sense of civic sense and certain morality, we can see the change in the country we always dreamed of. Will you follow traffic rules, or stop littering the city only if someone polices you ? Isn't it there in your conscience that it is my responsiblity to keep my city clean and obey the rules of my country. Why don' t all the "literates" appeal to the local municipal corporations asking for an explanation why the traffic signals are not working ? We never filed an RTI on this, but an RTI was filed asking for the salary of the Police Commisioner of Pune. Now you decide what is more important ? It is for our benefit that supreme court is taking such stances, we have to make use of them.
Primary education is one which will raise the standards of living. With the "education for all" campaign, though government is looking for votes but the knowingly or unknowingly it is helping shape the future of the country. Privatisation is an answer to beat the industrialisation, but basic amentities will be taken by the government, it can't be denied. When everyone has some education, they realize what is good and bad for them, what is bad or good for the country. That is how the change will be brought. You could see the difference because you are literate, help others those who can't !