Friday, April 29, 2011

Historic achievement for palestinians

·         Palestinian liberation organisation formally recongised israel as a state under oslo accord 1993 and gave up its armed struggle against israel
·         Hamas was formed in 1987 and it doesn’t recognise israel and has continued armed struggle
o   It is led by khaled mishal
·         Hamas had won palestinian elections in 2006 but the west opposed it and cut of all aid which is main source of funding for palestine
·         Fatah party is supported by west and it currently rules west bank while hamas is in control of gaza
o   Hamas is backe by iran and syria
·         Following this agreement there is every chance hamas may come to power
·         It remains to be seen how US and EU respond to this new development
·         This new deal has be brokered by egypt
·         Under the unity agreement they have agreed to form a joint caretaker government, with presidential and legislative elections to be held in 2012

Sex ratio, patriarchy and ethics

·         Since 1961, there has been a steady decline in child sex ratio
o   1961- 976  2011-914
·         2011 census indicates that many districts have a sex ratio of elss than 850
·         Another surprising finding is that sex ratio in urban areas is lower than that in rural areas
·         This clearly indicates that prosperity and education are ahving no impact on the value systems of people
·         Medical technology which were aimed towards detecting genetic disorders are being  misused for sex selective abortions
·         The skewed sex ratio in 1991 census led to the enactment of pre natal diagnostic techniques act 1994
·         But it failed to arrest the slide in ratio because of collusion between people and medical fraternity
·         The root cause for this trend lies in the patriarchal society which is supported by religious customs and beliefs
·         It is this that leads to dastardly acts like
o   Female infanticides
o   Dowry
o   Sati
·         There has been an ethical collapse in our society
·         For long government has tried tackling the issue from a medico legal angle
·         But this problem needs to be looked at from socio cultural angle
·         The only way to arrest this trend is to replace patriarchal society with an egalitarian society

Thursday, April 28, 2011

caveats to an upbeat outlook

·         released twice a year
·         world GDP to grow at 4.4% in 2011 and 4.5 % in 2012
·         Develoepd countries @ 2.4% and 2.6%
·         Developing countries @ 6.5% in both years
·         India at 8.2% in 2011
Key points
·         Many developing economies are now growing at pre crisis rates
·         Developed economies still recovering
·         In early phase of recovery, growth powered by India and China . but now the growth is more broad based
·         Two paced growth makes it difficult for countries to coordinate on global issues
·         Weak sovereign balance sheets
·         Ultra soft monetary policies in develoepd economies may lead to destabilising capital flows into emergin economies
·         Rising food prices

new great game in west asia

·         There is growing sunni –shia rivalry in west asia
·         Who are sunnis and shias?
o   After prophet’s death in 632 AD. There was a divided opinion on succession
o   The sunnis wanted an elected successor while shias wanted the succession to be according to blood line
·         This divide has deepened over the years
·         Islam is fastest growing religion in world
·         Sunnis are a majority, shia make up only 15% of total muslim population
·         Shias are inmajority in iraq, iran, azerbaijan and bahrain
·         Sunni-shia division has deepended over the years
·         For long in iraq, shia majority was suppressed
o   Iraq came into existence in 1932
·         Following american invasion of iraq in 2003, shia came to power and resorted to ethnic cleansing
·         Post US invasion of iraq, iran’s stature in region has strengthened
·         Iran has a key rĂ´le to play in afghan problem
·         Shia poptln in other nations
o   Pakistan-20%
o   Kuwait-25%
o   Lebanon-40%
o   Egypt-negligible
·         In bahrain sunni kingdom rules shias
·         The current revolt in bahrain is being strongly suppressed with help of saudi
·         Saudi is worried coz of shias gain power in bahrain, it might strengthen the say of shia in saudi who mostly live oil rich areas

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An alternative to nuclear fuel

·         Natural gas half the carbon content of coala dn its extraction requires elsser water than that of coal
·         In power sector, natural gas based power plants have a hgiher efficiency factor(electricity generated: heat content of fuel) than coal based plants
·         In developed countries natural gas makes up 25% of energuy basket while in India it is less than 10%
·         Natural gas came into limelight first in 1960s with finds in cambay basin
·         In 1997 government opened up exploration to private sector through new exploration and licensisng policy
·         Coal bed methane: gas floating above coal seams is called CBM
o   It is a high calorific content fuel
·         CBM projects are considered for carbonc redit under CDM
·         India produces nearly 170 mmscm per day
·         But demand is twice that of domestic supply
·         It is cheaper to export natural gas through pipelines than as LNG
o   India has LNG terminals at dahej(PetroNET LNG, 5 btu cap) and hazira(SHELL, 2.5 btu cap)
o   2 more proposed at kochi and pipavav
·         Also it is cheaper to make use of domestic antural gas then imported antural ags
·         Accelerate exploration of natural gas and CBMs
·         Increase imports through pipelines

Monday, April 25, 2011

oil exploration in arctic

·         Oil exploration possible only in july-oct when ice receeds
·         Cairn plans to drill wells in baffin bay
·         US etimated 13% of worlds unexplored oil reserves are in arctic
·         It will impact the rich artict marine life
·         Wifficult to clean due to harsh weather
·         Oil may trap under ice and will be impossible to clean
o   Exxon valdez in 1989
o   2010 deep water hroizon
o   1969 santa barabara off california