Home >Politics >Policy >The Mint Report for 25 August 2010

An experimental drug from Ranbaxy could provide hope for some malaria patients. A new intermediate clinical trial shows the medicine was both safe and effective. The trial involved a total of 230 people from India, Tanzania and Thailand. Ranbaxy’s drug was successful in up to 72% of those patients. Researchers are hoping the new drug will be an effective replacement for artemisnin-based medicines that have been losing their potency in South-East Asia.

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There’s a new top dog among social networking sites in India. Research firm comScore says more Indians are now friending Facebook than are logging on to Orkut. In July Facebook got 20.9 million visitors from India against 19.9 million for Orkut. comScore says India is now the world’s seventh largest market for social networking.

India’s telecom companies may be fighting a tariff war, but not all consumers may be benefiting. New data from telecom regulator Trai shows post-paid tariffs are now 40% more expensive than pre-paid ones. Before the tariff war, post and pre-paid schemes had roughly similar rates. A post-paid customer is usually gives telecom companies a higher average revenue per user. But while post-paid rates are higher for the moment, they’re expected to fall once mobile number portability and 3-G services force operators to compete for high-end customers.

Weak global equities dragged down Indian markets on Wednesday. The Sensex plummeted a full 132 points to finish at 18,180. And the Nifty lost 43 to close trade at 5,462.

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