News in Numbers – September 7

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    Rs 249

    What is it? The monthly price at which state-owned BSNL is offering unlimited usage broadband connection on a landline.

    Why is it important? BSNL’s offer comes in the wake of Reliance Jio shaking up the Internet access segment, offering 4G wireless services free till December and subsequently at an effective cost of Rs 50 per GB. As of April, BSNL was number one in broadband in the landline segment (9.9 million subscribers) and number five in mobile broadband (10.6 million).

    Tell me more: BSNL will offer a speed of 2Mbps for 1 GB of data and 1 Mbps subsequently. This offer is for six months, after which subscribers will move to a BSNL plan with less generous terms.

    8

    What is it? Number of additional teams that Gianni Infantino, president of the world soccer governing body, is pitching for in the 2026 FIFA World Cup—from the current 32 to 40.

    Why is it important? More teams means greater viewer interest—and commercial value—in the event around the world. But it can also entail a format rejig, potentially translating into a longer tournament and even fewer matchups between top teams.

    Tell me more: After staying constant at 16 for nearly five decades, the number of teams in the World Cup increased to 24 in 1982 and then to 32 in 1998.

    15,000 cusecs 

    What is it? The amount of water to be released by Karnataka per day for the next 10 days to Tamil Nadu, per Supreme Court order on Tuesday.

    Why is it important? Violent protests erupted in Karnataka almost immediately after the Supreme Court delivered its verdict. This adversely impacted the inter-state movement of people as Tamil Nadu registered buses were stopped from crossing the border fearing safety of passengers and buses.

    Tell me more: As per the final verdict of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, Karnataka has to release 192 thousands million cubic feet of water to Tamil Nadu. It specified how much should be released each month. The problem arises when monsoon is deficit like this year so far. The tribunal only stated water share should be proportionately reduced, but did not spell out a formula.

    6

    What is it? The number of Karnataka-based schools that lost their CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliation because they produced fake minority certificates to circumvent Right to Education Act provisions.

    Why is it important? RTE Act stipulates that 25% of the seats be reserved for economically backward and disadvantaged sections of the society. While it highlights CBSE’s tough stance, the incident also reflects the extent to which educational institutions flout rules. It comes a day after an UNESCO report warned that India will be late by 50 years in achieving its education goals.

    Tell me more: The six schools – five based in Bangalore and one in Mysore – belong to National Public Schools group.

    $65 billion

    What is it? German pharma and crop chemical giant Bayer’s bid for agro-biotech major Monsanto

    Why is it important? If it goes through, it will be the biggest ever corporate takeover in cash. The deal would also reflect the consolidation taking place in farm supplies sector. Bloomberg points out  China National Chemical Corp agreed to buy Swiss seed company Syngenta, and  DuPont and Dow Chemical plan a crop-science unit post merger. Monsanto tried buying Syngenta earlier, and was in talks with BASF, world’s largest chemical producer to buy its agro chemicals unit.

    Tell me more: Bayer offered to pay $122 a share in May, increased it to $125/share in July. Now it stands at $127.50/share (i.e $65 billion overall) and some analysts expect it to go even higher.

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