The Coming Together Of Non-Congress Opposition Parties?

6,000 Mhz

What is it? The amount of spectrum that a panel has said can be made available immediately for the roll out of 5G technology.

Why is it important? This is a step ahead for the progress to 5G technology, for which India has set a commercial roll out target by 2020, the same as the advanced economies in the world. If the panel’s recommendation is accepted, this could lead to India’s largest-ever spectrum allocation for a service. Ericsson Mobility expects 5G smartphone subscriptions to be available in India by 2022 and that by the end of 2023, there is likely to be 10 million subscriptions on 5G.

Tell me more: The panel has identified spectrum for 5G service across 11 bands, of which four can be made available immediately. Currently, mobile phone signals are transmitted in 800-2,600 Mhz band.


What is it? The number of products originating from the United States that India has proposed to increase import tariffs.

Why is it important? This is in retaliation to Washington’s tariffs on aluminium and steel imports from countries including India, which would affect the latter to the tune of around $240 million. India has decided to hit back with tariffs amounting to the same. This comes at a time when US President Donald Trump is pushing his ‘America First’ policy while vowing to re-balance America’s trade deficits with major economies such as China and Germany.

Tell me more: On Friday, US announced fresh tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, eliciting a swift reaction from Beijing, expanding the global trade wars that threaten the growth of the world economy.


What is it? The number of Chief Ministers of non-BJP ruled states that have extended support to Arvind Kejriwal, who is staging a protest by sitting in the waiting room of Delhi governor’s office.

Why is it important? The coming together of opposition parties in support the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi could be a precursor to field a non-Congress candidate for the election of the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. Congress is the second largest party in the upper house with 51 members. If all opposition parties come together, they have the numbers to elect their own candidate.

Tell me more: Kejriwal is asking the Delhi Governor to end the ‘undeclared strike’ by the IAS officers, and approval for his proposed home delivery of rations scheme. Unlike other states, Delhi government doesn’t have administrative powers over the IAS officers.


What is it? The number of people who died because of flood in Assam on Sunday. The death toll since June 13th has increased to 13.

Why is it important? Nearly 450,000 people living in six districts are affected by flood caused by two major rivers, the Brahmaputra and the Barak. The two rivers are still flowing above danger levels in many locations, according to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority.

Tell me more: 21 people have died in Manipur and Tripura because of flash floods and landslides in the last one month. With less rainfall in these two states, the situation has improved.


What is it? The number of days travellers transiting via United Arab Emirates (UAE) can avail free visa to visit cities like Dubai or Abu Dhabi.

Why is it important? 30% (or 2.45 million) of India’s international air traffic in three months ended March 2018 flew to UAE, and majority of them take onward flights to European and US destinations. The move by UAE will attract Indian tourists to visit UAE.

Tell me more: 50% of outbound traffic from India is to West Asian countries, as per data provided by the Director General of Civil Aviation. India received 14.57 million tourists in 2016, and UAE was not among the top 15 countries based on foreign tourist arrivals.

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A fund to beat them all


What is it? The estimated drop in inflation once the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented.

Why is it important? Inflation concerns have been central to RBI’s monetary policy reviews, having set the target in 2015 of reducing the headline inflation to 4% in the medium term. The Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia’s estimated of GST’s effect on inflation could finally encourage the central bank to cut the key rate (repo) that it had been keeping unchanged citing the risk of raising inflation.

Tell me more: Adhia insists the government has taken care to prevent the average taxation on commodities from going up. Regarding GST implementation, Adhia mentions the need to educate consumers about the new taxation to keep them from being cheated by unscrupulous traders.


$93 billion

What is it? The value of the initial commitment to SoftBank’s Vision fund, a private equity fund for cutting-edge tech companies.

Why is it important? The Vision Fund, engineered by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, is the world’s largest private equity fund that has a planned investment pool of $100 billion as tech venture capital. The current amount, raised from investors such as the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Foxconn Technology and Sharp Corp, besides SoftBank, is the first round of fundraising.

Tell me more: The fund is targeting a $100 billion in the next six months from other investors. SoftBank led the world’s largest venture capital funding in April worth $5.5 billion in China’s Uber-rival Didi Chuxing.


Rs 20,000 crore

What is it? The amount Indian government will spend to acquire four landing platform docks (LPDs) or warfare amphibious ships under the ‘Make in India’ program.

Why is it important? This is the largest naval defence deal. Two ships would be made in partnership with private companies, and the winning private company will help the state-run Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. make the remaining two.

Tell me more: Make in India is a government program to promote domestic manufacturing in 25 sectors including defence.



What is it? Percentage of total budgeted amount spent in April 2017 – the first month of the current financial year.

Why is it important? This represents a marked improvement compared to 8.2% of annual spending estimates in previous financial year. Central government spending used to spike in March, the last month of a fiscal, and drops sharply in the next month.

Tell me more: The move to advance the budget from February 28th to February 1st has helped to spread out expenditure evenly.



What is it? The number of jobs cut by Cathay Pacific, the biggest in two decades.

Why is it important? The move comes after the Hong Kong based airline reported loss in 2016 for the first time since 2008. One-fourth of managerial staff and 18% of non-managerial positions were cut at its Hong Kong head office. The move will save 6% of staff costs.

Tell me more: Air India, India’s national carrier which operates on 64 international and 118 national routes, is struggling to make profits with debt of Rs 50,357 crore and 21,000 employees.

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