Friday, November 20, 2015

The Bihar Debacle - The Best Thing to Have Happened to the BJP

Now that Nitish Kumar has been sworn in for another term of office and two of the Lalu brood are in the cabinet it is possibly the right time to tally up the gains and losses of the various parties.

Nitish Kumar – Victor (For Now)
Lalu Prasad Yadav – Victor (Along with highly educated sons)
Rahul Gandhi – Confused Victor (Lost his way to Gandhi maidan)
BJP – Loser (But the Best thing to have happened to it)

While it may be counterintuitive to believe that losing Bihar is the best thing to have happened to the BJP, I honestly believe that in the long run it will be beneficial to them.
Whatever your views on the Modi-Shah duo might be you would have to admit that they are among the canniest politicians in the game. Two adverse results in a row will give them more than enough food for thought. I am sure that they would have analysed till the cows came home and . . . oops . . . I meant would have figured out what went wrong and will definitely course correct from now on.

So what did go wrong and what can the BJP do to strengthen itself. 

In my opinion the biggest issue was Leadership.
Check hubris. You may not actually know it all. At the very least take the entire BJP fraternity with you.
Respect Opposition.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

General Knowledge - 5

Zaheer Abbas: A former Pakistan cricket captain, has been appointed as the new president of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Steffi Graf: Has been appointed as Kerala’s brand ambassador for Ayurveda.

Blue Mormon: Maharashtra became the first state in India to declare the “Blue Mormon” as the State butterfly.

Yoga Express: Indian Railways has named “Haridwar Mail” (Ahemdabad to Haridwar) as “Yoga Express”.

CR7: The brightest galaxy in the early universe that contains the first generation of stars. It has been nicknamed CR7 after Cristiano Ronaldo.

General Knowledge - 4

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB):
HQ: Beijing
Jin Liqun: First president of AIIB.
Sponsor country:  China
Largest shareholder: China
Second largest shareholder: India

World Economic Forum's (WEF) list of world's biggest employers in 2015:
1st  United States Department of Defence
2nd People's Liberation Army, China.
3rd  Walmart
8th Indian Railways
9th Indian Armed Forces

World Bank's State of Safety Nets 2015 report:
Janani Suraksha Yojana is the largest in Conditional Cash Transfers category.
Mid Day Meal programme is the largest in the School feeding category.
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) is the largest in the Public Works Programme category.

Tamil Nadu: Attracted the maximum number of domestic and foreign tourists in 2014.

India and USA MoU: MoU for setting up the PACESetter Fund to accelerate the commercialisation of off-grid clean energy.
PACE: Partnership to Advance Clean Energy.

General Knowledge - 3

Ashwini Nachappa Committee: The committee was constituted to study the status of Sports Authority of India training centers.
She is a former athlete and film star.

Arvind Panagariya: Appointed Chairman of the expert group appointed to classify the Socio Economic and Caste Census, 2011 (SECC) data.

Goa will host the Delphic Games in February 2016.
The Delphic Games are the Olympic Games of art and culture. The youth edition of the Delphic Games will be hosted in India for the first time.
The motto of the 2016 Games is ‘Celebrating Arts and Cultures.’
It will include competitions in six categories — musical arts & sounds, performing arts, language arts, visual arts, social arts and ecological arts & architecture.

Rashtriya Avishkar Abhiyan: Launched by Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam.
It is a scheme by the HRD ministry which seeks to develop scientific temper among school children.

Cuba: The first country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis. 

General Knowledge - 2

Amitabh Bachchan: New ambassador for the Tiger Conservation Project in Maharashtra.

Cochin International Airport Ltd: The first airport in the world to fully operate on solar power.

Taj Mahal: The first historical monument in the world to have its own Twitter account.

Chengalikodan Banana: Accorded the Geographical Indication (GI) status by the Chennai based Central GI registry.  Cultivated in the Thrissur district of Kerala.

Bandhan Bank: The first micro-finance company in India to start operations as a full-fledged scheduled commercial bank.

General Knowledge - 1

Hero Cycles: The World’s largest bicycle manufacturer.
Acquired majority stake in Avocet Sports (UK based)

Alphabet Inc: The new holding company formed by Google.
Its subsidiary companies include Google X, Google Ventures, Google Capital, Calico etc.
CEO is Larry Page.
Alphabet's website is the rather interestingly named:

Dr Ambedkar’s house in London has been bought by the Maharashtra Govt. It has decided to transform the house where Ambedkar lived in London into an international memorial cum research centre.

UNICEF Ambassador: Novak Djokovic

Chairman of India’s Oscar jury: Amol Palekar
Appointed by Film Federation of India