A Debate on GDP, Wealth and Economy

By Senthil Ratnasabapathy The discussion is on, again. It is all about whether or not the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) correctly reflects the status of the economy and wealth of a country. The latest discussion began after some European countries, following a directive by the European Union, started counting revenues through sex trade, drugs and contraband items such as tobacco. The EU … [Read more...]

Canada’s Challenge with India

During his six-day trip to India, Canadian Prime minister Stephen Harper might find the Indian leaders, particularly Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, somewhat distracted and even meeting-wary. That might not be because Mr. Singh is not interested in the Canadians’ visit: just that the Indian PM is a busy man these days. Not only has he got to deal with an unruly coalition that raises walls to … [Read more...]

Smuggling vs. Trafficking of Refugees

In a recent comment on Canada's National Post newspaper, James C. Hathaway writes about the common confusion between the terms of smuggling and trafficking -- two terms which have been very commonly referred to in the backdrop of the arrival of 492 Tamil asylum seekers aboard a ship to … [Read more...]

End of Single Party Majority Governments?

Senthil Ratnasabapathy Many, many years ago, I met a young and aspiring British journalist and ended up in a conversation about the pros and cons of the proportional representation (PR) system vs. the so-called first-past-the post system. He said the Britons would be against the PR system because of the instability it could bring to governing. He meant the PR system that was practised by all … [Read more...]

Indian Rate Increase Sends Shockwaves

The Indian government last Friday made a decision that sent shock waves around the world markets. At the outset, it looks trivial – just a quarter of a percentage rise in key interest rates by a developing country. India’s central bank, the Reserve Bank of India, raised the so-called the repo rate – which is the rate at which the bank lends to financial institutions – to five percent, and … [Read more...]

New Ideas to Curb Spread of Nuclear Technology — Multilateral Fuel Banks

By Senthil Ratnasabapathy As Iran readies for another round of talks with western powers over its controversial nuclear programme, there is debate within the international non-proliferation circles about the best strategy or strategies to prevent another Iran-type situation from developing. The debate has been necessitated by a number of developments, ranging from the availability of once … [Read more...]

Link Between Lung Cancer And Radon

A recent UN report sheds some interesting, and disturbing, light into affects of radiation. Lung Cancer & Radon In the first development, the United Nations Scientific Committee on Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) finds a link between the colourless, odourless noble gas radon and lung cancer. The Vienna based agency says the link between radon and lung cancer risk came about as a … [Read more...]

Aravind Adiga’s Between the Assassinations

Just finished Aravind Adiga’s latest book, Between the Assassinations. Adiga was a former Time correspondent in India and rose to fame with his first book, The White Tiger, which won the Man Booker Prize last year. The Assassinations is an interesting book for its settings: set between the assassinations of two of India’s prime ministers, Indira Gandhi in 1984 and her son Rajiv in 1991, it … [Read more...]

The Choice Of Words

No language remains static; one could say English is perhaps the most flexible of languages, adopting words from languages from around the world. But the use of words also change with times. Old words die while new are added, and one can notice many words that were used only in the informal world slowly gaining a sense of officialdom. But still one always thought that the media, official reports … [Read more...]

Belated, But Still…

I have decided to add a blog to my site. My old articles and all other stuff available here. Keep tuned for newer stuff. Thanks and good luck. … [Read more...]