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Ravi Subramanian's 'Incredible Banker' wins best popular book award

'The Incredible Banker' by Ravi Subramanian has won the Economist-Crossword’s 'best popular book' award for 2011

Mumbai: 'The Incredible Banker' by Ravi Subramanian has won the 'best popular book' award for 2011, instituted by the Economist-Crossword Book Award, reports PTI.


'The Folded Earth' by Anuraddha Roy won the award in the Indian Fiction category while the Indian Non-Fiction award went to 'A Free Man' by Aman Sethi, '17' by Anita Agnihotri and 'The Araya Women' by Narayan jointly won in Indian language translation category, Crossword said in a statement.


The 11th edition of the award had shortlisted nominees like Jeet Thayil whose latest novel 'Narcopolis' was in the Man Booker list this year.


Other authors included Rahul Bhattacharya, Naresh Fernandes, M J Akbar, S Hussain Zaidi, Rashmi Bansal, Ravinder Singh, Suhel Seth, Rujuta Diwekar, Prakash Iyer, Anita Bhogle, Arshia Sattar, Ravi Subramanian, Arunava Sinha, Catherine Thackerama, R Narayan, Ayesha Kidwai, Arupa Katalia, Deepika Phukan, Aniruddha Sen Gupta and B Vinayanm.


Sensex, Nifty may see some more gains: Thursday closing report

The Nifty has to firm up above today’s high for a short-term upmove


Almost all the Asian indices opened positive and so did Nifty and Sensex. The positive opening continued with the latest data showing the growth rate in China’s industrial production and retail sales accelerated in September 2012. Yesterday we mentioned that the Sensex and the Nifty awaits fresh signals and that a close above 5,700 on the Nifty would be mildly bullish. Today the Nifty closed above this level. From here we may see the index making some gains if the benchmark manages to close above today’s high. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a volume of 72.45 crore shares and an advance decline ratio of 956:494

US stocks rose on Wednesday, after the latest data indicated that the US housing market continues to improve.

The Sensex opened in the 18,654 while the Nifty opened at 5,675. Among the morning news to influence Asian markets, China's industrial production increased 9.2% in September from a year earlier, rebounding from a three-year low of 8.9% expansion in August. Retail sales rose 14.2% in September from a year earlier, up from 13.2% growth in August. Ahead of the data, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said that the Chinese economy was in reasonable shape in the third quarter and that he expected the country to reach its fiscal-year economic targets

The benchmarks moved into the negative for about an hour during the morning session, when the indices hit their intra day lows. From there the indices continued to rise higher and hit their respective high in the last hour of the trading session. Sensex hit a higher low of 18,576 while the Nifty hit a higher low of 5,651. Both the Sensex and the Nifty hit a four day intra-day high (including today) at 18,807 and 5,723 respectively. The Sensex and the Nifty closed above their respective 20-day moving averages which is a positive for the bulls. Sensex closed at 18,792 (0.97% or 181 points up) while the Nifty closed at 5,719 (1.03% or 58 points up)

The broader indices reported a mixed close today; the BSE Mid-cap index rose 1.16% and the BSE Small-cap index gained 0.86 %.

The sectoral gainers were led by BSE Realty (up 2.58%); BSE Bankex (up 2.09%); BSE Consumer Durables (up 1.50%); BSE Auto (up 1.40%); BSE Capital Goods (up 1.31%). The lone loser was BSE Healthcare (down 0.30%).

Of the 30 stocks in the Sensex, 24 closed in the positive. The key gainers were Tata Power (up 3.13%); State Bank of India (up 2.80%); Tata Motors (up 2%); Hero MotoCorp (up 1.89%) and TCS (up 1.82%). The main losers were Wipro (down 1.97%); Sun Pharma (down 1.73%); Bharti Airtel (down 1.63%); GAIL India (down 0.57%) and ONGC (down 0.20%);

The top two A Group gainers on the BSE were— Century Textiles (up 5.65%) and  Jaiprakash Power Ventures (up 5.49%) The top two A Group losers on the BSE were — Dish TV India (down 3.17%) and Wipro (down 1.97%)

The top two B Group gainers on the BSE were—Cable Corp (up 20%) and Dr Agarwals (up 19.97%). The top two B Group losers on the BSE were— Zylog Systems (down 19.99%) and Tuticorin Alkali Chemicals & Fertilisers (down 9.87%)

Out of the 50 stocks listed on the Nifty, 38 stocks settled in the positive. The top gainers were Jaiprakash Associates (up 4.73%); Axis Bank (up 4.59%); Bank of Baroda (up 4%); HCL Technologies (up 3.69%) and Tata Power (up 2.89%). The major losers were Wipro (down 1.92%); Bharti Airtel (down 1.89%); Sun Pharma (down 1.78%); Grasim (down 0.89 %) and Cairn India (down 0.75 %).

According to Nomura, India's current deficit may soar to a record high in the September quarter on high non-oil imports after briefly narrowing in the June quarter, which could make the rupee susceptible to a sudden reversal in capital inflows.

Japanese media reported that the Bank of Japan may introduce more monetary-easing moves at its next policy meeting.

All the Asian indices ended in the positive with the highest gainer being Nikkei 225 which rose 2% while the least gain of 0.01% was made by Taiwan Weighted.   

A two-day summit of European Union leaders began in Brussels, Belgium today, 18 October 2012 to decide on the bailouts to Spain and Greece.

Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares amounting to Rs 68.87 crore on Thursday while domestic institutional investors too were net sellers of equities aggregating Rs 184.56crore.

Agro Tech Foods, a company is engaged in the business of marketing food and food ingredients to consumers and institutional customers,for the September 2012 quarter reported a 6% growth in the standalone net sales grew on year-on-year (y-o-y) basis while its net profit jumped by  16% in y-o-y basis. The stock rose by 4.57% to Rs 433.20 on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

Kingfisher Airlines has hit the lower circuit filter of 4.76% at Rs 12 on the BSE after the company said that a meeting with the striking employees and the management failed to reach an agreement to re-start flights. Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation rejected giving it an approval for the winter schedule of flights.



In the dharma of for-profit politics, ruling party and opposition are in a colluding coalition

With a large number of politicians turning big businessmen, the definition of coalition politics has undergone a change. The opposition acts as part of the ruling coalition -- in collusion to share the fruits of business interests. 

Politics in India is going through a strange transition. Amid the allegations and counter-allegations of corruption, undue favours and resource-grabbing by politicians, flying thick and fast, are we witnessing the death of conventional opposition parties? Politicians across party lines now have major investments in real estate, resources, agribusiness and education. They have no interest in fighting each other. The business of opposition is to act in collusion with those with the ruling party. This is a different kind of coalition.
The opposition party politicians have the same interests as that of the ruling parties.

Nitin Gadkari, the president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is not a big businessman in politics. There are several more prosperous businessmen like the Reddy brothers from Bellary, Vijay Mallya, Navin Jindal and last but not least Jaganmohan Reddy, son of YS Rajsekhar Reddy, the late chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. 
The Reddy brothers of Bellary, especially Janardhana Reddy, were allegedly very close the YSR Reddy and his family as well as BJP leader Sushma Swaraj. The Bellary brothers, who devastated parts of the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border region, have been arrested after decades of amassing wealth (reportedly Rs50,000 crore). Interestingly, while the Bellary brothers belong to BJP, YSR Reddy and family are in Congress.
Sunil Tatkare, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and current Water Resources Minister in Maharashtra can be called a relatively newcomer in politics. Yet, within a short span, he is alleged to have amassed a wealth of about Rs25,000 crore according to Kirit Somaiya, national secretary of BJP. Somaiyaa alleged that Tatkare, his family and friends acquired large tracts of land, worth over Rs25,000 crore where black money was parked through 1000-odd companies. 
Somaiya is an exception. The BJP state unit in Maharashtra has no interest in going after Tatkare. They know that NCP can hit back at Gadkari. Indeed, today, Sharad Pawar came out in support of Gadkari!
In short, the line between opposition and ruling party is gone. They are all in together. As Gadkari seems to have told Anjali Damania “How could you expect us to speak against Mr Sharad Pawar? Chaar kaam wo hamare karte hain, chaar kaam hum unke karte hain.”
In the absence of quality opposition party, those in power have their free ways. A decade ago, when the lines between opposition and ruling party were clear, we used to see some very good debates in Assembly and Parliament.
In Maharashtra assembly, I miss politicians like ND Patil, Vilasrao Deshmukh, Gopinath Munde, and even Nitin Gadkari. I remember Gadkari, when he was the leader of opposition in Maharashtra Legislative Council, had raised several issues in the House and made the government accept his points through arguments. Similarly, Munde was very visible and effective orator, when he was BJP group leader in the assembly. Even the ruling bench was more interested in proving answering, resolving issues through discussion in the House.
In fact, Munde is still best remembered for his verbal duals with the then chief minister Sharad Pawar. He used all the democratic means, including no confidence motion, to raise people's issues in the House and took the Congress government to task. Some people even give credit to Munde for bringing the Shiv Sena-BJP combine to power in Maharashtra. 
But it is all history now and today MLAs think creating ruckus and disrupting the proceeding of the House is their main job, which come with a free and instant publicity on TV channels. ND Patil is semi-retired, Vilasrao Deshmukh is no more, while both Munde and Gadkari have shifted base to Delhi. Gadkari is more interested in his business and preserving his legacy and business interests for his son, like Narayan Rane.
Today, the opposition party exists only on paper and in the media. Politicians, whom the common people think of from opposite parties can be seen together on several occasions. Just take a round of Mantralaya and you would find MLAs from all parties in the anti-chamber of a minister, asking for favours. This is the same scenario from ward level to Delhi.
This unfortunately also signals the death or dearth of opposition party, the essential part of a healthy democracy. Emergence and rapid rise of social activists like Anna Hazare and upcoming politicians like Baba Ramdev and Arvind Kejriwal definitely underlines the absence of an effective opposition. The implication of this is not clear. It could even lead to anarchy. 


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