What is it? The percentage of rainfall over the long-period average (LPA) of 887 mm forecast between June and September this year.
Why is it important? The monsoons, which account for around 70% of the annual rainfall and are the primary irrigation source for over half of India’s farmlands, would alleviate rural distress caused by back-to-back droughts. This is also likely to help boost falling food production, increase farm wages and boost rural economy.
Tell me more: The predictions by India’s sole weather forecaster Skymet says there is a 20% chance of excess rainfall (over 110% of LPA), 35% chance of above normal (105-110% of LPA), 30% chance of normal (96-104% of LPA), 10% chance of below normal (90-95% of LPA) and 5% chance of drought (less than 90% of LPA).
What is it? The price at which Tata Steel is selling one of its factories in Scunthorpe in Northern England to investment firm Greybull Capital.
Why is it important? This would help save nearly a third of the total likely job losses after Tata Steel announced the sale of its loss-making steel assets in Britain. The turnaround plan for this unit, which includes a £400 million investment and financing package, does not call for any job cuts, according to Greybull co-founder.
Tell me more: Subject to union members’ approval, the deal includes two additional mills, an engineering workshop, a design consultancy, and a mill in northeast France. The business will be renamed ‘British Steel’.
What is it? The estimated number of tigers in the world.
Why is it important? This is the first time that the global count of the endangered species has increased since 1900 when there were 100,000 tigers in the world. The number had hit an all-time low of 3,200 recorded in the last global census in 2010. Indicates either or a combination of better conservation and survey methods/areas.
Tell me more: India accounts for over 57% of the tiger population (2,226) while Russia is a distant second with an estimated 433 tigers.
Rs 41,641 crore
What is it? The amount State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, wrote off between 2005-06 and 2014-15, as against a recovery of Rs 11,566 crore in this period.
Why is it important? The government and the banking regulator said such write-offs were technical adjustments and that the processes to recover them would continue. However, the bank has not been transparent about the process, giving an unclear picture of how much of the written-off loans can be recovered.
Tell me more: The above information is from responses to RTI applications filed by the Indian Express. Bank of Baroda wrote off loans worth Rs 9,929 crore in the last 10 years and recovered less than a third of that (Rs 3,177 crore). The write-offs by Allahabad Bank, IDBI and Corporation Bank in the last decade are worth Rs 7,359 crore, Rs 7,174 crore and Rs 3,732 crore respectively.
What is it? The proposed jail term for brand ambassadors in addition to a fine of Rs 10 lakh (or both) if the claims related to products and services endorsed turn out to be false. This is for a first-time offence.
Why is it important? This is likely to make famous personalities wary of endorsing just any brand, affecting their revenue from such deals. This also renews a debate on whether brand ambassadors should be held accountable for claims made by companies about their products or services.
Tell me more: For second time offenders, the proposed punishment is five years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50 lakh. These recommendations are as per a Parliamentary Committee report on changes in the Consumer Protection Bill, subject to the Central government’s approval.