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Implications for retail investors

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bear Strearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch are/were the top five investment banks of the US. The fall of three out of these five giants has serious implications for the retail investors. In India, all these banks have been investing heavily in the stock market as they are registered as Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs).

The domestic institutional investors are providing support to our market by not withdrawing money. The FIIs’ activities are largely based on sophisticated research. They conduct in-depth research on every security before investing. But most individual investors are not wise enough to analyse their shares and follow other major investors (FIIs) in the market.

Stock markets time and again teach an important lesson to retail or individual investors: while betting their hard-earned money on risky assets like equity shares, they should also devote part of their portfolio to fix income bearing securities like NSCs, KVPs, FDs and PPF. To get equity market exposure, mutual funds have again proved a safe route for retail investors.

ANAND BANSAL, ICSSR Fellow, Punjabi University, Patiala

Bone of contention

There have been innumerable reports on the litigation between the NTPC and RIL in the Bombay High Court over the proposed supply of natural gas from RIL’s gas fields in the Krishna Godavari basin for two of NTPC’s power plants in Gujarat. If reports were to bear scrutiny, one can infer that the bone of contention between both parties seems to be the unsigned Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement (GSPA). The NTPC, which is currently facing a shortfall of 7 mmscmd of natural gas, is securing it at $16-18 mmbtu, which is the current spot price of natural gas.

Ironically, this is way above the price of $4.2 mmbtu which is based upon government approved formulation. Thus, it seems strange that the NTPC, which could save up to one billion dollars per year by securing gas at the government approved price, instead of firming up its supplies of gas especially with RIL, is instead going in for filing suits.


Politics of protest

The death of guest teacher Raj Rani in police firing while staging a protest in Rohtak on September 7 is very sad. The life of a young academic talent has been nipped in the bud. But this whole episode raises a pertinent question. Though petitions and peaceful protests are justifiable in a democracy, the recurrent protest rallies at Rohtak, that too, near the Haryana Chief Minister’s house are surprising.

Curiously, during previous regimes, protest rallies were never held at Bhiwani (Bansi Lal’s home town), Adampur (Bhajan Lal’s home town), or Sirsa (Devi Lal’s and O. P. Chautala’s home town). At Mr Hooda’s Matu Ram Bhawan, Rohtak, his father, Ranbir Singh Hooda, freedom fighter and Member of the Constituent Assembly, stays. He deserves some peace from the belligerent protesters. As a true democrat, I support the right to protest, but this protest melodrama, recurrently at Rohtak, must stop. As a peace-loving citizen of Rohtak, is it asking for too much?



Recently guest teachers were beaten up blue and black when they were staging a peaceful demonstration in Rohtak. Raj Rani, a lady teacher was killed by rubber bullets fired by the Haryana policemen. Earlier also, women were victims of the police highhandedness. The state government should correct the public perception on the image of the state police. They must show respect for women and teachers.

R.K. GARG, Chandigarh

Follow UGC norms

According to the UGC, candidates having M.Phil degrees are exempted from NET for the post of Lecturer (UG) in various colleges. However, the Punjab Technical University, the Punjab Government and the All India Council For Technical Education (AICTE), New Delhi, do not recognise M.Phil for the purpose while recruiting lecturers in engineering and technology colleges in Punjab.

The PTU, the Punjab Government and the AICTE would do well to follow the UGC norms in letter and spirit.

PAWAN SHARMA, Nabha (Punjab)

Bihar, not Jammu

In his article, “Separation needs firmness” (Sept 4), G. Parthasarathy has stated that Lt-Gen S.K. Sinha, the then Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, belongs to Jammu. In fact, he hails from Bihar. His father was a close associate of Jayaprakash Narayan and he had to suffer because of this association.

Lt-Gen Sinha was the Vice-Chief of Army Staff and was cleared for appointment as the Chief of Army Staff. In the meantime, someone in the government brought this to the Prime Minister’s notice. Subsequently, he was superseded. He resigned in protest and his action made him a hero.

H.S. BADHAN, Dasuya, (Hoshiarpur)

Cut-off for OBCs

I endorse the editorial, “Clarity of verdict” (Sept 19). The authorities concerned should heed this suggestion: “…the cut-off marks for the OBCs should be fixed at five marks below that of the general category and, certainly, it cannot be a whopping 50 per cent.”

The UGC was very innovative in taking such steps like for the appointment of lectures in higher education by making 5 per cent cut off for the reserved categories, below that of the general candidates, mandatory.  Why are we just concerned about the global impression of our students alone? The need of the hour is that such a policy should be implemented not only in the institutions imparting professional training but also in the exams conducted for the coveted civil services. And why not in every screening test as well?




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