News in Numbers, May 6, 2016: New proposals for bank licenses, Tamil Nadu’s freebies…

10 years

What is it? The minimum number of years a resident individual should have worked in banking and finance to apply for a bank license in India, per Reserve Bank’s proposed guidelines.

Why is it important? An example of the balance the banking regulator seeks to achieve in its new set of proposals to encourage more players in the banking sector. It also proposes to issue bank licences throughout the year instead of issuing them periodically. These changes are expected to increase the reach of formal banking.

Tell me more: Large business houses are still excluded from applying for bank licenses but can hold up to 10% in banks and a financial holding structure is optional if the promoters are individuals or standalone entities and do not have other group entities. RBI will accept comments on these guidelines till June 30.

Rs 1-100 crore

What is it? The penalty for wrongful depiction of India’s map, which may include jail term of up to seven years, according to the draft ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016’.

Why is it important? This is likely to prevent repeat of instances where social networking sites showed Indian territories (Kashmir in China and Jammu in Pakistan) as part of neighbouring countries. The draft bill makes it mandatory to get permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing India’s geographical data. This means firms such as Google would need to apply for licenses to run Google Maps and Google Earth in the country.

Tell me more: The bill proposes the setting up of an enforcement authority to ensure compliance of these rules.

Rs 96.7 crore

What is it? BSE Ltd’s consolidated net profit for 2015-16, a drop of Rs 155.5 crore from the previous year.

Why is it important? The drop in profits could affect its valuation as it readies itself for an initial public offering by the end of 2016 to reportedly raise Rs 700-800 crore. It would be India’s first equity exchange to get listed.

Tell me more: The board of directors of BSE approved the public listing on Thursday.


What is it? The number of units of free electricity promised by the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK in its manifesto released on Thursday.

Why is it important? It would exempt 78 lakh consumers from paying electricity bills, and comes at a time when the state’s power generation and distribution arm is reeling under debts of Rs 80,000 crore. Its power deficit was predicted to be 4.5% in 2015-16. It’s just one of the several freebies AIADMK and its rivals have promised ahead of the state elections.

Tell me more: AIADMK’s other promises include: 50% subsidy on scooters for working women, free Wi-Fi at public places and a Rs 50-crore Amma venture capital fund for first generation entrepreneurs. DMK, the other major political party in Tamil Nadu, has offered freebies ranging from tablets and laptops with 3G/4G connections, smartphones, rice and lower milk prices.

30 lakh

What is it? The number of students who could potentially appear for the second phase of nationwide common test for undergraduate medical and dental courses to be held on July 24 – some of whom might have taken the test already in phase 1, per Supreme Court’s request.

Why is it important? If accepted, this would help those who appeared for the first phase of the test on May 1, which was converted from being the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT) to an all-India common entrance exam on April 28. The students may not have prepared seriously for AIPMT as it offered them only 15% seats allotted under the all-India quota and may have been banking on state entrance exams.

Tell me more: The court reiterated that private medical colleges and its associations cannot conduct any entrance exams for medical courses while there is some uncertainty if states can do the same.

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News in numbers, Apr 29, 2016: Peer-to-peer lending platforms, India’s gets its own GPS…


What is it? The number of peer lending startups in India.

Why is it important? Reserve Bank of India has proposed that such platforms register as non-banking financial companies. If accepted, it would bring them under regulatory framework, lending more credibility to peerlending (or P2P, peer to peer) business in India. It would interests of the borrowers and lenders, even as these businesses fill gaps due to lack of formal credit.

Tell me more: As per the recommendations, P2P platforms are to have a minimum capital of Rs 2 crore, can act only as intermediaries and not seek deposits, should transfer funds directly from the lender’s account to the borrower’s, report regularly to the RBI and register themselves as companies.


What is it? The number of navigation system satellites the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched.

Why is it important? This reduces India’s dependence on the foreign navigation systems such as the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The navigation system – called Navic – will be useful especially during war-like times when it becomes a strategic asset.

Tell me more: The applications of this system, (called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS) include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, mapping, disaster management and vehicle tracking, which can also be made use of by the neighbouring countries. India now joins the list of a few countries that have their own navigation satellite systems – US, the European Union, Russia and China.

Rs 100 crore

What is it? The amount Mahindra Intertrade in partnership with state-owned MSTC would invest in equipment to set up India’s first automobile shredding plant.

Why is it important? The Indian government plans to scrap older vehicles and introduce stricter vehicular emission rules, which would provide an opportunity for Mahindra’s latest business venture. The shredding plant could help in providing scrap to steelmakers and other industries, which depend on imported scrap for their operations. India was the third largest importer of steel scrap in 2013-14.

Tell me more: Currently, independent workshops deal with dismantling of cars and there is no organised market in India. The plant, which would begin operations in about a year, would need to handle 100,000 units a year to be financially viable. The company is willing to extend its services to scrapping ships and other machines too.

6.68 lakh

What is it? The number of candidates appearing for the All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance Test scheduled for May 1.

Why is it important? This replaces all other entrance examinations by government colleges, deemed universities and private colleges, and promises to make it more convenient and less expensive for aspiring medical doctors and dentists. Some states including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had opposed this move for different reasons. It also raises questions about infringement on states’ right to conduct exams as per their own procedures.

Tell me more: The students who have not applied for the test to be conducted on May 1 (now, considered to be Phase I of the common entrance exam) would be allowed to appear for the second phase of the common entrance exam on July 24. The combined results will be declared on August 17 and the admission process to be completed before September 30.


What is it? Samsung’s market share in Rs 30,000-plus smartphone segment in India in January-March 2016 quarter.

Why is it important? With this, Samsung has overtaken Apple as the market leader in this segment, a reversal of positions from October-December 2015. Samsung’s rise was helped by launch of Galaxy S7 launched last month and price cuts for previous models such as Galaxy S6 and Note 5. Apple, which is betting big on India, lost out to Samsung despite an increase of 56% in iPhone sales during the three months to March 2016.

Tell me more: In September-December 2015, Apple’s market share in the segment was 55%, which slid to 37% in the first three months of 2016. Samsung’s market share jumped from 35% to 62% in the same time periods.

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