Rs 4,500 crore
What is it? The amount the government plans to spend on developing or upgrading 50 airports which were either underserved or unserved.
Why is it important? The government is going ahead with its plans to equip small regional airports/airstrips to ferry traffic, even as only 13 out of 125 airports under the Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) are profitable. Besides the funding for developing the new airports, the authorities will also spend further on incentivising flight operators with gap-funding. Fifteen more regional airports have to be upgraded besides the 50, according to AAI’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (named UDAN).
Tell me more: Fifteen airports will be refurbished in FY18 and FY19, and 20 more in FY20.
What is it? The rate for one megabyte (MB) of data over WiFi at local public hotspots, as proposed by Trai, the telecom regulator.
Why is it important? This would help increase the demand and setting up of local public hotspots. With one-sixth of the world’s population, India’s share in WiFi hotspots is less than one-thousandth. By reducing the price of wireless Internet access from the existing 10 paise an MB in mobile telecom services, Trai is looking provide 800,000 additional hotspots to equal the global average of one hotspot for every 150 people.
Tell me more: Trai’s proposed local hotspots could be maintained by small entities, from small businesses, communities, individuals, to application providers. Local players’ involvement would also reduce the load on strained spectrum of established mobile operators.
What is it? The value of the sale of General Motors’ Opel/Vauxhall unit and its European financial arm to Peugeot-maker PSA Group.
Why is it important? It shows one of the largest car manufacturers in the world is changing lanes from a widespread but unprofitable presence to a less-global, but profitable one. A few years ago, the top three — Volkswagen, Toyota and GM — would eye the world-leader crown every year with units of cars sold. Selling its Europe unit would increase the gap between GM and the other two, but it would also free it of an arm that has incurred losses since 1999.
Tell me more: The Opel/Vauxhall brand contributed 11% of GM’s total revenue in 2016. After bankruptcy in 2009, GM’s home market in North America has done well.
Rs 259.8 per hour
What is it? The median gross hourly salary of women in India in 2016, according to the Monster Salary Index.
Why is it important? That is about 25% less than what men earned at Rs 345.8 per hour. While the gap has come down marginally compared to a year before, it highlights the ground that needs to be covered before India has fair and non-discriminatory workplace.
Tell me more: The gender gap is just one of the many indicators of gender inequality in the country. Infant mortality rate for female is higher, the expected years of schooling is lower, unemployment rates are higher, access to finance in terms of loans and deposits are lower.
What is it? Value of investments in Indian startups by private equity and venture capital firms in 2016, according to Grant Thornton.
Why is it important? This is down by about half from $4.97 billion in 2015, and indicates that investors are more cautious about the expectations of growth in the market. It also reflects the valuation markdowns that unicorns such as Flipkart faced in the recent months.
Tell me more: Overall investments by PE and VC investors dropped in 2016, with $14 billion invested across in 971 deals in 2016, from $16 billion invested in 1,045 deals a year before.