The Case For Maratha Reservation

    Rs 3,200 crore

    What is it? Tata Motors’ net profit in the three months ended June quarter, a 41.5% increase from Rs 2,260 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

    Why is it important? This was possible mainly because of a one-time gain from changes made to its pension plan at its UK unit Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) with the company saying that the first quarter results have not met its expectations. Its revenues fell by nearly 10% year-on-year to Rs 58,651 crore in the April-June quarter due to lower wholesale volume sales of JLR, a slowdown in its heavy vehicles business among other factors.

    Tell me more: The one-time gain due to the changes made to the JLR pension plans was Rs 3,609 crore.

    4,765 MW

     What is it? The installed solar capacity in the first six months of 2017, according to a report by Mercom Capital Group.

    Why is it important? This has surpassed the total capacity addition in all of 2016, which was at 4,313 MW. The report forecasts nearly 10.5 GW of solar installations by December this year. The country had installed 12.2 GW of utility scale solar as of March 2017. While the pace of capacity addition has increased, it remains to be seen if the government can achieve its solar power target of 100 GW by 2022, given the confusion around the recently-introduced goods and services tax.

    Tell me more: India is likely to leapfrog Japan to become the third biggest solar market in 2017, according to another consulting firm in the clean technology space, Bridge to India.

    8

    What is it? The number of MLAs (members of legislative assembly) the Congress party has expelled in Gujarat.

    Why is it important? They have been expelled for cross-voting in the Rajya Sabha elections in favour of the BJP. The Congress says that it would take action to ensure they will not be able to participate in the elections for the  next six years. The party, which has not been in power in Gujarat for the last 20 years or so, has faced infighting and defections recently and it remains to be seen if these expulsions would further weaken it ahead of the assembly elections later this year.

    Tell me more: Ahmed Patel, political advisor to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, secured a dramatic win in the Rajya Sabha elections from Gujarat, which is likely to boost the morale of the party, whose relevance has been considered to be diminishing in the recent past.

    58

    What is it? The number of protests by the Maratha community in the last 12 months across Maharashtra seeking concessions from the state.

    Why is it important? The 58th protest took place in Mumbai on Wednesday, with lakhs of people flooding the streets of Mumbai in a show of strength. Following this, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis announced reservations in education (currently given to OBCs or other backward castes) to the Marathas as well. He also announced land and Rs 5 crore grant for hostels for the community.

    Tell me more: India has seen similar protests from other communities, including Jats in Rajasthan and Haryana and Patidars in Gujarat.

    80

    What is it? The number of countries whose nationals can enter Qatar without a visa.

    Why is it important? Qatar announced the visa waiver programme even as it faces blockade from four of its neighbours – Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – which have accused the oil-dependent country of supporting terrorism. 25% of all Qatar Airways flights served these four states. The blockade has been on since June. Earlier this month, Qatar passed a law that will grant permanent residency to some of the foreigners.

    Tell me more: Qatar’s visa waiver – which are given on arrival at no cost – allows citizens of 33 countries to stay in Qatar for up to 90 days, and citizens of 47 other countries (which includes India, China and United States) to stay for up to 30 days.

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