Monsoon cracks on ☔

6%

What is it? The percentage above normal registered by monsoon rainfall till July 2.

Why is it important? The monsoon, which accounts for over 70% of India’s annual rainfall, is the primary source of irrigation for half of the country’s cropland and refills over 80 nationally-monitored water reservoirs (important for drinking purposes, power and irrigation).

Tell me more: The monsoon is expected to cover the country by July 15, on schedule. The onset of the southwest monsoon has led farmers to plant 19% more hectare with rain-dependent kharif crops than last year (22.2 million hectare over 18.7 million hectare).

 

8%

What is it? The hike in Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal’s annual pay in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Mittal’s pay increased despite India’s largest telecom operator  suffering a sharp decline in annual consolidated profit this year due to intense competition. In 2016-17, Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit was Rs 3,799 crore, registering a fall of 37.5%. Mittal’s income rose from Rs 27.8 crore to Rs 30.1 crore in the same year.

Tell me more: Bharti Airtel Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal earned nearly 50% more than last year, as well. It is unlike the trend in another sector: chiefs in the IT industry such as Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka and Wipro Chairman Azim Premji have taken cuts in their pay, in line with performance goals.

 

28%

What is it? The percentage of women students who secured admission to the post graduate programme in management at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) – the premier business school.

Why is it important? This was achieved without giving extra marks or gender-specific quotas. IIMA decided to give lower weightage to the score from the Common Admission Test, an entrance exam for getting admission to business schools, and invite candidates from non-engineering background for the interviews.

Tell me more: Around 85% of students in IIM, Bangalore are from engineering background, and within that 50% are from Indian Institute of Technology and National Institute of Technology.

 

33.6 million

What is it? The number of youth in the 18-19 age group who remain unregistered on the voters’ list.

Why is it important? This number is 60% of eligible voters in the age group of 18-19 years. However, the number of eligible voters not enrolled has come down from 90% six years back. Indian citizens are allowed to vote after reaching 18 years.

Tell me more: The Election Commission of India is running a month-long drive in July to persuade them to register. For the generation hooked on social media, EC has tied up with Facebook to host a special button for registration.

 

Upto Rs 32

What is it? The hike in the cost of an LPG or cooking gas cylinder.

Why is it important? Household LPG cylinders are set to become costlier because under GST it is under the slab of 5% taxation, higher than the VAT levied earlier by some states at 2-4%. Further cuts in subsidy of LPG connections in June will compound the price rise, and go up to Rs 32 extra for each cylinder in some states.

Tell me more: The last subsidy cut was in May of around Rs 2, implementing the government’s target of eliminating it through small increases.

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Three to Zika

3

What is it? The number of cases with confirmed Zika infection, reported by the health ministry.

Why is it important? The mosquito-borne viral disease can lead to neurological malfunction. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India has confirmed three such cases from Ahmedabad. It reports the ministry as having confirmed two cases in February and November, 2016, in addition to the one in January, 2017.

Tell me more: The health agency also said the findings indicate low level transmission and did not revise its global risk assessment due to India.

 

1.03%

What is it? The drop in pass percentage points in the CBSE Class XII exams this year, from 83% who cleared the exam in 2016.

Why is it important? The drop in pass percentage comes in a year when the central school board was made to reinstate its grace-marks rule.  Its practice of granting extra marks (upto 15%), to pass students or peg their results at a higher percentile became an issue ahead of the results.

Tell me more: Last month, it decided to scrap the moderation policy from this year. The Delhi High Court ordered it to reinstate the rule. CBSE says it followed the high court’s orders. Count of students in the 95-100% category increased from 9,351 to 10,091 while in the 90-95% category, the count decreased from 54,036 to 53,156.

 

4

What is it? The number of countries Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit on his multi-nation tour.

Why is it important? Modi will be visiting Germany, Spain, Russia and France to discuss trade and security issues. On the table could be the European Union-India free trade agreement, which could help India counter China’s One Belt One Road initiative. The four-nation trip is his second travel abroad this year, after a trip to Sri Lanka.

Tell me more: PM Modi made 56 foreign trips since May, 26 in 2014 till April 2017. The duration of stay dropped from 55 days in 2014-15 to 24 days in 2016-17. Cost of foreign visits has come down too.

 

10

What is it? The number of airports which restrict passengers from carrying large electronic devices in cabins in the flights to the United States since March this year.

Why is it important? US is now considering a move to ban laptops in all flights into and out of the country for better security. Airlines are worried it might impact customer demand.

Tell me more: The ten airports which restrict laptops in cabins include United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. UK has a similar policy applying to six countries.

 

151

What is it? Death toll due to landslides and floods in Sri Lanka.

Why is it important? Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst disasters since tsunami in 2004, and its worst torrential rains since 2003. Over 500,000 people have been affected and over 100 are still missing.

Tell me more: India has sent three Navy ships with supplies and other aid. Sri Lanka has sought international help to manage the disaster.

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News in Numbers, Mar 14, 2017: 🎓 IIM-A where A = Amazon

18

What is it? Number of job offers from Amazon at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad for the class of 2017.

Why is it important? This makes the e-commerce player the top recruiter at the premier institute, reflecting the growing power of new-age companies, overtaking conventional sector such as FMCG, consulting firms and finance. The second highest number of offers from a single company was 15, from McKinsey & Company.

Tell me more: Even when companies are hit by adverse economic conditions, recruitment at IIM-A remains largely unaffected.

 

4th

What is it? The world test batting rank of Indian captain, Virat Kohli.

Why is it important? Kohli slipped further one rank after his lacklustre performance in the last four innings, with rating points of 847. At the end of the second test against Australia, he had dropped to the third spot. Earlier, Kohli had to cede the second spot he had occupied to England’s Joe Root. Kohli is 53 rating points ahead of Australia’s David Warner.

Tell me more: The same set of matches, however, helped R Ashwin regain the top spot among allrounders. He replaced Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan and is 31 rating points ahead (with 434 points).

 

$15.3 billion

What is it? The amount US chip company, Intel, will pay to buy Israeli tech firm, Mobileye, creators of a driverless technology.

Why is it important? Not only is it the largest purchase of an Israeli high-tech company, but is also the largest acquisition of a company specialising only in driverless technology and anti-collision systems. In the emerging space of driverless assistance, that large tech Silicon Valley companies are already competing in, chip companies are under pressure to consolidate their hold as they are an integral part of it. Intel itself collaborated with the $10.6 billion Mobileye for BMW’s fleet of self-driving test vehicles.

Tell me more: Qualcomm made a $47 billion deal to buy NXP, the biggest automotive chip supplier, to create the largest cluster of sensors, chips, networking needed for autonomous driving.

 

16.7

What is it? Trailing price to earning ratio (P/E ratio) of top five IT companies. P/E ratio is an indicator of investors’ expectation of growth and earnings of a company.

Why is it important? Given IT companies’ high profit margins and revenue growth, it  has always been higher than the P/E ratio of the Sensex. Now, Sensex P/E ratio is 22.1. The gap indicates the tough times faced by IT companies because of changes in business, technology and political environment, especially the American president Donald Trump’s stand against outsourcing.

Tell me more: About half a dozen bills have been tabled in the United States congress, arguing that H1B visa programme is stopping American citizens from getting jobs.

 

-62%

What is it? North-east monsoon deficit in Tamil Nadu this season.

Why is it important? The deficit is seen across southern states, and indicates that Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are likely to face water shortages in the coming months. The water levels in the reservoirs, especially in Tamil Nadu, are at low levels.

Tell me more: The North East monsoon deficit was -61% in Kerala and -63% coastal Karnataka. South east monsoon deficit stood at -19% in Tamil Nadu, -34% in Kerala and -21% in coastal Karnataka.

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News In Numbers – July 21

 

News In Numbers: July 21

 

Rs 98,805 cr

India’s first bullet train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad is expected to cost Rs 98,805 crore, about 52% more than the initial estimated cost, according to a feasibility report prepared by a Japanese agency and presented to the Railways for consideration. The train is projected to run at 300 km per hour, reducing the travel time between the two cities to two hours, from the current seven hours, and have a fare of around Rs 2,800. The current fastest train in India, Bhopal Shatabdi Express, which connects New Delhi and Bhopal, reportedly clocks a peak speed of 155 km per hour.

 

16

The number of bills on the legislative agenda of the Indian Parliament, which reconvenes today for a period of 24 days. Seven of these bills are carryovers from the previous session, while nine are new introductions. Among the pending bills is the land acquisition legislation, which has become one of the political flashpoints between the government and the opposition. This and several other flashpoints—including the dealings of senior BJP leaders with disgraced cricket administrator Lalit Modi and the recruitment scandal in Madhya Pradesh—are expected to make this session a stormy one.

 

24%

The number of incidents of communal violence is up 24% to 287 in the first five months of 2015, compared to the corresponding period of 2014. In the same period, the number of people who died due to such incidents increased by 65% to 43. The equivalent figures for 2014 had seen a reduction when compared with those recorded in 2013. Back in May, the Indian government had said the maximum number of communal incidents in 2014-15 (March not included) occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

 

$100 million

British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking has teamed up with Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner to launch a project to hunt for aliens. They intend to spend $100 million (about Rs 630 crore) in the next 10 years. Hawking has been positive about the existence of extraterrestrial life, saying humans must be cautious about interacting with it. NASA’s Kepler Spacecraft has discovered 1,028 planets outside of the solar system, which is more than half of all known exoplanets till now.

 

Rs 25,000 crore

The Maharashtra government plans to levy additional taxes to raise Rs 25,000 crore in the next five years to channelize them for water conservation and power projects. The state, which is reeling under an agrarian crisis, has embarked on a “zero suicide mission” (with reference to farmer suicides). Rejecting the loan waiver schemes, the state government is targeting bringing 215,000 hectares of additional land under irrigation in suicide-prone areas, besides providing new electricity connections to farmers, constructing wells and spending on crop insurance. Maharashtra recorded the highest number of farmer suicides in 2014.

 

 

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