What is it? Percentage by which Index of Industrial Production (IIP), which measures activities in mining, electricity and manufacturing, grew in August.
Why is it important? The growth is the highest in nearly three years and much higher than the 4.8% expected by analysts polled by Reuters.
Tell me more: The growth was led by a pickup in mining and electricity, rise in production of durable goods and double digit production in capital goods. Of the 22 industry groups in the manufacturing sector, 15 expanded in August 2015 year-on-year.
What is it? India’s share in number of new cancer patients in the world. In other words, every 13th new cancer patient is from India.
Tell me more: Nearly 5 lakh cancer deaths were reported in 2014 and the estimated cancer incidence was 11.2 lakh. India is planning to set up a national cancer institute to be modelled after the US National Cancer Institute, which would promote and conduct research to better understand and diagnose cancer.
What is it? Percentage of banks’ outstanding loans to power distribution companies (discoms) likely to be converted to government bonds at a coupon rate of 8% and reducing the lending rate on the rest, according to a proposal discussed by the power ministry and bankers.
Why is it important? State electricity boards, which control the discoms, owe nearly Rs 4 lakh crore to banks. And, banks have a high exposure to the power generation companies and to infrastructure as a whole and their rising bad loans as a result is a huge concern. Solving this issue is a must if the Indian government hopes to fulfill its commitment of 24*7 electricity for all by 2022 and improve infrastructure in general, which is essential for economic revival and growth.
Tell me more: The government has also proposed to count discom losses as a part of a state’s fiscal deficit. This is intended to force state governments to take steps to decrease power losses and increase tariffs to cover costs, a measure most have been hesitant to do so.
What is it? Percentage of funds involved in the alleged Rs 6,100 crore black money remittance case routed through proper banking channels from 30 banks, according to Bank of Baroda executive director, B B Joshi.
Why is it important? This relates to a case being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate where it is alleged that Rs 6,172 crore was remitted from Bank of Baroda to Hong Kong as payments of non-existent goods such as cashews, pulses and rice. Despite strict rules and laws such as Know Your Customer (KYC) norms and Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 and frequent reporting to the Reserve Bank of India, the enormity of the scam points to serious lapses in the banking system. This scam could damage the bank’s reputation.
Tell me more: It is also alleged that cash was deposited as advance for import in 59 accounts, which was then transferred to some companies in Hong Kong. Bank of Baroda has suspended two employees so far.
What is it? Percentage of cases taken up by anti-corruption bureau (ACB) from the 7,232 complaints filed with the agency in Mumbai between January 1, 2012 and September 23, 2015.
Why is it important? Shows one or a combination of the following: corruption levels are low in Mumbai, number of false cases are high, witnesses turn hostile, different methods used by officers to give and take bribes so as to not get caught and inefficiency on the part of ACB and the government.
Tell me more: Of the total cases filed, the state government has ordered inquiries in only 671 cases. These have come to light in response to a public interest litigation filed by Jeetendra Ghadge, a Mumbai-based activist. Interestingly, according to a list of seven cities released by the ACB last year, Mumbai was the least corrupt city (90 people were arrested last year) with Pune (216 arrested) topping the list.
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