Quiz Miscellany 5

25 05 2010

Q1. What is the stated benefit of a single polypill containing aspirin, statins and 2 blood pressure-lowering medicines?

Ans. Prevent heart attacks

Q2. SAIL and Tata Steel are in discussion for a JV steel plant .If materialized, this is not going to be their first JV. They already have a 50:50 JV in ecommerce. Name it.

Ans. mjunction

Q3. How can Indo-Pak trade in agriculture benefit the ‘Aam’ Aadmi ?

Ans. Mangoes (Aam) for six months due to diff seasons on both sides.

Q4. Who said ‘ 3G is basmati rice, and 2G is PDS rice.’? And why?

Ans.  A Raja alias Spectrum Raja. He sold 2G spectrum for a song in 2008

Q5. What’s common to Raghu Pillai, Gunendar Kapoor, Sriram Srinivasan and Rajeev Karwal ?

Ans. High profile executives of Reliance Retail who have all quit

Q6. Germany has banned naked short selling? What is it?

Ans. Selling shares by borrowing is short selling, selling even before borrowing them is naked short sell.

Q7. Warcraft and Second life are the most popular MMORPGs.What are MMORPGs ?

Ans. Massive multiplayer online role playing games

Q8. Bank of Punjab, Centurion Bank, Times Bank have all merged into a bank. Name it.

Ans.  HDFC bank

Q9. What inspired India born Scotsman Shepherd Barron to invent the ATM ?

Ans. A chocolate vending machine

Q10. As Abbott acquires Piramal it will get a brand of cough syrup that sells more for its intoxicating effect. Name it.

Ans.  Phensedyl

Q11. How do we know ‘Morris Oxford series III of 1957′ better in India ?

Ans. Ambassador car

Q12. Which Indian biscuit manufacturer was penalized as it had produced a small quantity of sugar used in their biscuits ?

Ans. Parle.

Q13. In global economics what is ‘the new normal’ ? Who coined it?

Ans. The post 2008 crisis, world economic order after recovery. PIMCO.

Q14.Name the man behind “Sulabh Shauchalaya” who developed the two-pit toilet,an innovation now exported to 50 countries.

Ans. Bindeshwari Pathak

Q15. Which airline, in the news, has the tag line ‘Simply Priceless’?

Ans. Air India Express

Q16. What is an IDR? Who is the first issuer of IDR?

Ans. Indian Depository Receipt. Standard Chartered Bank.

– G. Mohan


Buy Local Food : They’re Safer

8 05 2010

Whenever I visit one of the up market grocery stores in Hyderabad like Spar, or Q-Mart I feel a little depressed. It is not the ambience or the service that depresses me. They are good and nothing to complain about. It is the selection in the packaged foods section and the fruits section that really depresses me.

The packaged foods section is full of products sourced from all over the world. Biscuits from Scotland, pasta from Italy, noodles from Taiwan, Tomato puree and sauces from Spain, Cheese and chocolates from Switzerland, juice and drinks from various places and what have you. Many of these are well-known brands and are priced at multiples of Indian brands. But competing with them are unknown brands from Malaysia, Thailand, which are sold at rates far cheaper than the Indian brands.

The story at the fruits section is similar. Washington apples and Fuji apples have all but replaced the familiar Simla apples. Californian oranges, grapes from US, Kiwi fruits, sweet tamarinds, pears of different colors and sizes from all over the globe adorn the racks. Local mangoes still get their traditional space, but many other local fruits like chiku, local oranges, sweet lime, jamuns, papayas etc. have virtually gone out of the shelves of these premium grocers.

I believe that there is no reason and need for these goods, the packaged foods and fruits, to travel half the globe to reach the dining table of Indian households. India has a great cuisine and Indian companies provide a fairly good selection of products in most product categories. If some consumers indeed are habituated to some of these international brands during their stay/ visits abroad and now can afford it, I still see no reason why they should be bought.

These packed food items even if they are well within the expiry date, the consumers can never be sure under what conditions these items were transported across the different legs of the chain. I am not sure in a country like India, where the law is lax and enforcement is poor, whether the importers really abide by the Food Safety and Standards Act/ FPO guidelines. The parent company or the brand may be an international brand which may abide by all the local laws like US-FDA, but the importer is often a small-time trader/ importer from Dubai/Mumbai who does not have much of a reputation to protect. They often compromise on the cold chain and the handling required to keep the food fresh and safe. Unknown brands of food products from Malaysia/Thailand are riskier. Do not get taken in by their attractive packaging and low prices.

The green activists have been urging consumers to buy organic: buy local. The logic is if the food is traveling a long distance to reach the table, then a lot of energy is spent on transporting the food. This concept is being called as Food miles.

Foodmiles is a term which refers to the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer. Food miles are one factor used when assessing the environmental impact of food, including the impact on global warming.

My appeal is straightforward, buy local packaged foods and local fruits, in your own interest, they are safer. If you believe in environmentalism, then you have the additional factor of food miles to support your decision. If you are a proud Indian, by buying food products manufactured in India, even by an MNC, you are doing your bit to the country’s economy.

– G. Mohan

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