What is it? The new, increased reverse repo rate fixed by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday.
Why is it important? This was a surprise move as the RBI was expected to keep rates unchanged at the review. Even though the key rate of repo (the rate at which the central bank lends to banks against government securities) was not changed, the tinkering of the reverse repo by 25 basis points would still affect liquidity. This would incentivise banks to deposit more with the RBI as they would earn higher interest income from such deposits.
Tell me more: This points to the RBI’ concern of an increase in inflation.
What is it? The worth of Amazon.com’s stock that founder Jeff Bezos sells annually to fund his other project — the private space rocket company, Blue Origin.
Why is it important? The funding comes from Bezos’ personal stock-holding in Amazon, which made him the second-richest person in the world late last month. Bezos has a networth of $77.3 billion, largely due to his stock-holding. While in 2015, he held 83.43 million shares of the company, it has reduced through stake sale through the years to 81.91 million in 2016 and at 80.89 million shares in 2017. With the funding, Blue Origin is inching closer to the goal of launching passenger space trips, lasting 11 minutes from 2018.
Tell me more: Blue Origin, like Elon Musk’s SpaceX, is working on reusable rockets for affordable space flights.
What is it? The growth forecast rate for 2017 of ‘developing Asia’, comprising 45 countries who are members of the Asian Development Bank.
Why is it important? This year and the next would see the slowest growth at 5.7% since 5% growth in 2001. The Asian Development Bank kept its forecast muted as China’s economic indicators could get revised downwards and uncertainty in global policies take root.
Tell me more: The region had grown at 5.8% in 2016. While China is forecast to clock 6.5% in 2017, less than 6.7% in 2016, India is expected to grow at 7.4% in 2017, higher than 7.1% in 2016.
What is it? The value of defence deals signed between India and Israel on Thursday.
Why is it important? This is for the supply of advanced medium range surface-to-air missile systems. The technology was developed by by Israel Aerospace Industries and India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, along with a few other players, signalling the strengthening relationship between India and Israel..
Tell me more: This comes three months ahead of Modi’s visit to Israel. Modi will be the first Indian prime minister to visit the country, and marks a change in India’s diplomatic relationship with the state.
What is it? Grants to four Indian non-profits from Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm.
Why is it important? The grants will help these organisations – Learning Equality, Million Sparks Foundation, Pratham Books StoryWeaver and Pratham Education Foundation – develop technology-based learning solutions. As India struggles to raise the standards of its school education, tech-based solutions could help in the process. Annual Status of Education Reports have painted a dismal picture of education outcomes.
Tell me more: The projects include a technology platform for translating books, hybrid learning programmes, digital content platforms and offline digital content for students.