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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sunday Reads - MBA programs go digital


  • How the e-tailers keep us spending. (BBC Technology)
  • Q&A: German journalist on surviving Islamic State (AlJazeera)
  • Ruble collapse India's window of opportunity. (IE)
  • MBA programs go digital. (NYT)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Book Excerpt: Globalization and Its Discontents

Globalization has come to define our world. Today, goods, ideas, technology, and capital seamlessly move between nations. In his seminal work, Globalization and Its DiscontentsJoseph Stiglitz, former Chief Economist at the World Bank and winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics 2001, explores the anger behind the rising tide against globalization.

Title: Globalization and Its Discontents
Author: Joseph Stiglitz
Publisher: Penguin
Pages featured here: 23-25

Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.







Thursday, December 25, 2014

Things You Should Know - Episode XVIII


  • N. M. Ghatate, a senior lawyer at the Supreme Court and a close friend of Atal
    Bihari Vajpayee 
    (right), recalled that after the BJP-led NDA’s defeat in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, one of the private secretaries came to Vajpayee to say he was trying to check on the protocol for vacating the Prime Minister’s official residence at 7, Race Course Road. “Vajpayee simply said 'pata kya karna hai, bistar bandho aur niklo' (What is there to find out? Let’s pack our bags and move out),” he said. Read the short piece here
  • Hitachi was founded by Namihei Odaira as an electrical repair shop in 1910. Hitachi means 'rising sun': hi meaning 'sun' and tachi meaning 'rise'. The young company's national aspirations were conveyed by its original brand mark, which evoked Japan's imperial rising sun flag.
  • VIAO is a brand of technology products owned by Sony. Viao stands for Video Audio Integration Operation. 
  • The Philippines was named in honour of King Philip II of Spain. 
  • The European Union flag was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1986. It consists of a circle of twelve gold stars on a blue background. The number twelve represents perfection and completeness. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Reads - Missing Hindus + Eccentric Rulers


  • Pakistan dares to ask: will school attack finally end myth of the ‘good Taliban’? (Guardian)
  • The missing Hindus in South Asia and the conspiracy of silence. (Daily Opinion)
  • What happened when Marissa Mayer tried to be Steve Jobs? (NYT)
  • The world's tiniest countries and the eccentrics who rule them. (Wired)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Excerpt: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness is a deeply philosophical novel about the complexities that layer human nature. Joseph Conrad explores the prejudices, especially of the racial kind, of the Whites/Europeans that 'coloured' their attitude and behaviour toward the Blacks/Africans throughout the age of colonization of the Dark Continent.

Though a short novel (109 pages in this edition), Heart of Darkness raises profound and disturbing questions about colonialism, imperialism and a false sense of racial superiority.

Title: Heart of Darkness 
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publisher: UBSPD
Pages featured here: 18-20
First read: 1997
Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Things You Should Know - Episode XVII

  • In 1966, Sharmila Tagore became the first Indian actress to appear in a bikini. She appeared on the cover of Filmfare, a magazine owned by Bennett, Coleman & Co. (better known as Times of India Group), snapped by photographer Dhiraj Chawda.
  • Belly Up company is one which is facing severe financial trouble or is on the verge of bankruptcy. In  the current context, Spicejet is a Belly Up company!
  • Radcliffe Line is the name of the boundary line between India and Pakistan. And yes, the same name is used to describe the boundary between India and Bangladesh. It is named after Sir Cyril Radcliffe, a British lawyer.
  • The PakistanI city of Peshawar gets its name from ‘Purushapura’, a major trade centre in ancient India. Purushapura in Sanskrit means ‘city of men’. Today, Peshawar is the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, formerly North-West Frontier Province and one of the four major provinces in Pakistan.
  • Larsen & Toubro is India’s largest engineering firm. It was founded by Henning Holck-Larsen and Soren Kristian Toubro, of Denmark, in 1938. Headquartered in Mumbai, the current Group Executive Chairman is Anil Manibhai Naik. The bridge that was featured in the seven-Oscar winning 1957 American film, ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’, was built by L&T. 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' is my most favourite English movie.

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    Saturday Infographic (Late Edition) - Where the iPhone is made

    On holiday; no Sunday Reads; here's an infographic on where Apple's path-breaking iPhone is made.

    Sourced from www.financesonline.com

    Where iPhones Are Made: Interesting Facts on How Much of Apple's Smartphone is US-manufactured
    Brought to you by | Author: David Adelman | Visit our Facebook

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Things You Should Know - Episode XVI

    • The name ‘Accenture’ comes from ‘accent on the future’. Prior to 2001, the company was called Andersen Consulting.
    • Scarlet Collar Worker is a term often used to refer to people who work in the pornography industry, especially women entrepreneurs in the field of internet pornography.
    • Launched in October 1992, Zee TV was India’s first Hindi satellite channel. The channel is owned by Essel Group, owned by Subhash Chandra.


      Dr Guy Scott
    • Dr Guy Lindsay Scott (born 1 June 1944) is the Acting President of Zambia. He served as Vice President of Zambia from 2011 to 2014, and became acting president on the death of Michael Sata on 28 October 2014. He is the first white African head of state since South Africa’s F. W. de Klerk in 1994.

    • It is interesting to know that in 1958 that Bank of America (BofA) launched its BankAmericard credit card programme, which later became Visa. The history of Bank of America dates back to 1904, when Amadeo Giannini founded the Bank of Italy in San Francisco. The Bank of Italy served the needs of many immigrants settling in the United States at that time, a service denied to them by the existing American banks who were typically discriminatory and often denied service to all but the wealthiest. In 1922, Giannini established Bank of America and Italy in Italy by buying Banca dell’Italia Meridionale, the latter established in 1918.  In 1928, Giannini merged his bank with Bank of America, Los Angeles, and consolidated it with his other bank holdings to create what would become the largest banking institution in the country. He renamed the Bank of Italy on November 3, 1930, calling it Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association.

    Sunday, December 7, 2014

    Sunday Read - The Death of Subhash Chandra Bose

    Today's edition of Sunday Reads will feature only one terrific read: The New Indian Express has this super interesting piece on the mystery surrounding the death of Subhash Chandra Bose. 

    Go ahead, read

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    Book Excerpt: A Secular Agenda by Arun Shourie

    There are a few provisions in the Constitution of India which are controversial and topical. Article 370, which accords special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 44, a directive to the state to implement the Uniform Civil Code, are just two such provisions. 

    A Secular Agenda by Arun Shourie, published 21 years ago, presents a cogent argument on the lamentable state of affairs that characterises the political landscape in India. The book is an exploration of the negative politics and policies pursued by vested interests much to the detriment of the nation. Most of the author's arguments are relevant and topical even today. 

    I first came to know Arun Shourie through his columns in the Indian Express, then an anti-establishment newspaper. A firebrand journalist and a brilliant writer, he also worked as a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government (1998-2004).

    Almost all of Mr Shourie's works are hard-hitting and hence, controversial. 

    Title: A Secular Agenda by Arun Shourie
    Author: Arun Shourie
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Pages featured here: 130-133

    Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.





    Wednesday, December 3, 2014

    Things You Should Know - Episode XV


    • Datsun was first called DAT from the initials of its financiers – Den, Aoyama, and Takeuchi. Soon, the name was changed to DATSON to imply a smaller version of their original car; later it was changed to DATSUN when the company was acquired by Nissan.
      Ajit Balakrishnan
    • The company name ‘Parle’ is sourced from the name of a Mumbai suburb – Vile-Parle. Parle Group was founded by Mohanlal Dayal Chauhan in 1929.
    • Here’s a story about snapdeal.com. In June 2011, Snapdeal adopted Shivnagar, a small village in Uttar Pradesh with no potable water. The Indian e-commerce company installed 15 hand pumps, so villagers no longer have to walk for miles to get water that would help them meet basic needs. To show their gratitude, the villagers changed their village’s name to snapdeal.com Nagar. Click here to read more.
    • Ajit Balakrishnan is the founder and current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rediff.com. He is also the current Chairman of the Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM Calcutta). In fact, he holds a PGDM from IIM Calcutta (Class of 1971).
    • Significance of today in history? On 3 December 1971, Pakistan launched a pre-emptive strike against India; this led to a full-fledged war between the two nations, which, just 13 days later, led to the birth of Bangladesh as an independent country.

    Sunday, November 30, 2014

    Sunday Reads + Saturday Late Edition Infographic


    • ISIS recruit Majeed returns home: Should India buy his story? (FirstPost)
    • The Shahi Imams of India. Read this piece for the dripping sarcasm and subtle humour that peppers the article. (Outlook)
    • The secret life of passwords. (NYT Magazine)
    • India will be left with few genuine sportspersons if mafia is not kept off the field. (New Indian Express)
    Saturday infographic is here, on Sunday! An ET infographic on the new RBI bank licenses.




    Friday, November 28, 2014

    Book Excerpt: The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan

    The birth of Bangladesh is one of the most defining moments in modern South Asian history. Pakistan, at the time of its creation in 1947, comprised two wings - West Pakistan and East Pakistan; it was East Pakistan that broke away to form a separate country in 1971.

    The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan brilliantly captures the chaos, despondence and violence that permeated the air in the run-up to the formation of Bangladesh. This is easily the best work on the 1971 India-Pakistan war and the creation of Bangladesh.

    The book dwells on the finer nuances of international diplomacy, especially the anti-India Nixon administration in the U.S., the Chinese machinations against India, and the seminal role played by Indira Gandhi in the birth of the new country of Bangladesh.

    Title: The Blood Telegram - India's Secret War in East Pakistan
    Author: Gary J. Bass
    Publisher: Random House
    Pages featured here: 21-27

    Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.








    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Things You Should Know - Episode XIV

    Source: World Atlas
    • Which is the only country in the world to be established as a result of a successful slave revolt? Haiti. Gaining its independence in 1804, Haiti was the first independent nation of Latin America and the Caribbean, the second republic in the Americas, and the only nation in the world established as a result of a successful slave revolt. Its successful revolution by slaves and free people of colour lasted nearly a decade; all the first leaders of government were former slaves.
    • Honduras literally means ‘depths’ in Spanish. 
    • Indonesia’s national motto, ‘Bhinneka Tunggal Ika’ (‘Unity in Diversity’ literally, ‘many, yet one’), articulates the diversity that shapes the country.
    • The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’.
    • The parliament of Finland is called Eduskunta.

    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    Sunday Reads + Infographic - Hidden History of the Owaisis


    • Hidden history of the Owaisis: what the AIMIM doesn't want you to know. (FirstPost)
    • Google's Larry Page: The most ambitious CEO in the universe. (Fortune)
    • The Hummingbird Effect: How Galileo invented time and gave rise to the modern tyranny of the clock. (Brain Pickings)
    • Uber co-founder is always on the warpath. (Vanity Fair)
    Check out the below infographic, from Reuters, on women's land rights.


    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Book Excerpt: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

    Today was the second and final day of the CAT. I was told by a student that there was an RC on Genghis Khan. I am pretty sure it must have come from the brilliant work titled Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.

    I have often recommended this work in my classes; its sweep is wide and Weatherford's storytelling is riveting. I think this is a book everyone should read, just to understand the way Genghis Khan shaped and in fact, continues to shape, our world.

    Title: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World
    Author: Jack Weatherford
    Publisher: Three Rivers Press
    Pages featured here: 3-9

    Note: All copyrights/trademarks belong to the owners of the publication/author(s). It is not my intention to profit from their work. In fact, I just wish that the readers of this blog are encouraged to buy/read the works represented here.








    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    Sunday Reads - Toplessness, a Victorian taboo

    Today was the CAT day; hectic day. Two interesting reads.
    • Toplessness - the one Victorian taboo that won't go away (BBC Magazine)
    • How well does China control its military? (Diplomat)

    Saturday, November 15, 2014

    Saturday Infographic - Fall of the Berlin Wall

    From today, all the four regular features - Tuesday Quiz, Book Excerpt on Friday, Saturday Infographic, and Sunday Reads - will appear as per schedule.

    Sourced from Reuters blog. Double click on the graphic for a ginormous view.