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.

30

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.

4

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.

5

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.

2

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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News in Numbers, July 6, 2016: Cabinet reshuffle ahead of state polls, apprenticeship training…

19

What is it? The number of new ministers inducted in the Union Council of Ministers on Tuesday.

Why is it important? With this, the size of the ministry is up to 78, one of the biggest in recent years and a departure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of minimum government and maximum governance.

Tell me more: Prakash Javadekar, who was Minister of State (independent charge) for environment, has been elevated to the post of Minister of Human Resource Development. The entire list of reassigned portfolios can be viewed here. While the Cabinet reshuffle has been likely on the basis of individual performance of the Union Ministers, it is happening ahead of state polls in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Rs 550 crore

What is it? The amount raised by online movie ticketing company Bigtree Entertainment, which runs the BookMyShow website, in its fourth round of funding.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when startups are struggling to raise funds and investors have become cautious in letting their purse strings loose. The amount would be used to invest in big data analytics, expand in international markets such as Sri Lanka and enhance consumer experience for increased engagement.

Tell me more: This round of funding is more than double of the total amount the company has raised in the last six years and has increased its valuation to Rs 3,000 crore. The funding was led by US-based Stripes Group and existing investors including Network 18, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

 

$90 billion

What is it? The amount Indian banks need to meet Basel III norms to be implemented by March 2019, according to rating agency Fitch. Basel III accord mandates stricter capital adequacy and buffer norms for banks.

Why is it important? The burden is mostly on public sector banks, which would account for 80% of the requirement. However, the government is committed to invest only $7 billion in government-owned banks by 2018-19. The earnings are also likely to be weak due to muted credit growth and high credit costs.

Tell me more: The rating agency has downgraded its outlook for the Indian banking sector to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.

 

80,000

What is it? The number of people affected due to floods in Assam. Another report puts the figure at around 88,000.

Why is it important? The floods are an annual occurrence in the state, mainly brought on by haphazard growth due to encroachment of water bodies and hills, and a poor solid waste disposal system. This comes nearly a week after Guwahati became the first Indian city to have undertaken a major mock drill for tackling floods in an urban setting. Over 6,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed in seven districts and flood waters have entered the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – the world’s most dense habitat of one-horned rhinos.

Tell me more: The Lakhimpur district is the most affected with around 68,000 people hit as on July 4. The other most affected districts are Dhemaji, Nagaon and Jorhat. The Brahmaputra river is said to be above the danger levels in Jorhat and Tezpur.

 

Rs 10,000 crore

What is it? The budget approved by the Union Cabinet for providing apprenticeship training to over 5 million youngsters in the next four years to create more jobs.

Why is it important? This is the biggest outlay for skill development in the country in the last seven years and the first time a scheme offers financial incentives to employers to take up apprenticeship training. This is likely to help the government in its Skill India mission, where it has to impart skill development training to 40 crore people by 2022.

Tell me more: Job creation has not been a bright spot in the last couple of years. Eight key manufacturing and export-oriented sectors created 421,000 jobs in 2014 while that figure was less than 200,000 last year.

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News in Numbers – July 6, 2015

 

439

The number of times the median pay of ITC employees the company’s chairman YC Deveshwar earns in a year, probably among the highest in Indian companies. And, in the case of India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani (chairman of Reliance Industries), this ratio is 205:1. These disclosures follow the new Companies Law and the Corporate Governance Code, which mandate listed companies to disclose the pay structure of top management personnel and average employee. Salary multiples of Indian CEOs are similar to those of CEOs in the US: in 2013, CEO of healthcare company CVS Caremark and Goodyear Tires earned 422 and 323 times the median employee pay respectively.

 

8

The death of India Today TV journalist, Akshay Singh while working on the Madhya Pradesh recruitment scam has brought to focus the safety of journalists in the country. The world’s largest democracy is also the eighth deadliest country for journalists. Since 1992, 35 journalists have been killed in India while on assignment, which is more than Mexico and Afghanistan. If a motive is established in Akshay Singh’s case, he would be the 36th such fatality.

 

Rs 7

The loss the Department of Posts incurs on each postcard. Put another way, what the department earns from a postcard, it incurs a cost of 15 times that. For an inland letter, that multiple is 2.8 times. For speed post, it is 1.4. Only three out of 18 postal services offered by the state-run entity make a profit: letter, book post (other periodicals) and competition postcard.

 

65,000

Over 65,000 people in around 125 villages have been affected as the flood situation worsens in Assam. Nearly 99% of them are from two districts: Bongaigaon and Dhemaji. Less than 4,000 hectares of crop areas were under water. So far this year, five people in Assam, at least 70 people in Gujarat and over 40 people in Jammu and Kashmir (cause of deaths also includes landslides) have been killed due to incessant rains.

 

0.5%

Of the 15.3 crore cooking gas consumers, just 7.57 lakh or 0.5% of the total have voluntarily surrendered their LPG subsidy. The government claims that it is able to save Rs 253 crore per annum. The oil marketing companies lost Rs 36,500 crore in 2014-15 on the sale of subsidised cooking gas cylinders. Each consumer is entitled to receive 12 cylinders a year at subsidised rates.

 

2 of 3

Every two of three rural households own a mobile phone but only one out of ten have a salaried job. Uttar Pradesh has the highest percentage of rural households owning only a mobile phone. Chhattisgarh’s villages are the least connected with 71% of the rural households with no phone, most likely linked to the Naxal violence in the state.

 

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News in Numbers – June 10, 2015

 

4,470

In another round of de-registrations, the Indian government has cancelled the licence of 4,470 non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The list includes the names of prominent entities such as the Supreme Court Bar Association, Escorts Heart Institute, Panjab University (Chandigarh) and Gujarat National Law University. The Ministry of Home Affairs has cancelled the registration of these entities due to non-filing of annual returns and other irregularities. The new round of cancellation began on May 6 and 971 organisations (the highest number of such entities) were de-registered on June 9. Here is the link to a data story we did on NGOs receiving notices from the government and the foreign funding tangle.

1 lakh

Over 1,00,000 people have been affected by floods in Assam, a north-eastern state in India, this year. The flood has claimed the lives of two people since Monday. Heavy rains in the last three days have increased the water levels of Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, submerging many areas in the state. The districts of Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Kamrup (Metro) and Jorhat, have been affected by the floods. Take a look at some of the major disasters in India and the number deaths and victims.

5.6%

Only those restaurants with air-conditioning (AC) facilities will charge service tax and the others cannot, the Ministry of Finance clarified on Tuesday. And, the AC restaurants will charge only on the 40% of the total bill amount. This clarification comes in when there is confusion over the levy of service tax and complaints of higher charges, after the increase in service tax to 14% (from 12.26%) came into effect from June 1. The effective service tax rate for eating out in an AC restaurant will be 5.6% of the total food bill when compared to the earlier rate of 4.94%.

For instance, if A’s bill at an AC restaurant is Rs 1,000 (including the service charge), then the effective service tax levied would be 5.6% of the total bill amount (5.6% of Rs 1,000), which is Rs 56. Before June 1, A would have paid Rs 49.4 as service tax, the increase being Rs 6.6 on a total food bill of Rs 1,000.

 

$1.6 billion

India’s equity mutual funds (MFs) have received net inflows of around $1.6 billion in May, marking the 13th consecutive month of positive net inflows into the equity MFs. This adds up to $14.9 billion or Rs 91,800 crore. A Deutsche Bank report released on Tuesday said this is almost equal to net cumulative inflows since January 2002 to April 2014 (over the last 12 years), on a nominal basis.

 

36

The Indian Army’s Special Operations Forces killed about 36 militants and destroyed two terror camps “in a hot pursuit” along the India-Myanmar border on Tuesday. The army men were targeting militants who were responsible for an ambush on an army convoy and killing 18 soldiers in Manipur last week.

 

Re 1

In a different way of getting people use the public toilet facilities instead of defecating in the open, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has announced a scheme titled ‘Use and Get Paid’. The conventional way is the user would have to pay to use the public toilet facilities but the local body of one of the largest cities in Gujarat has turned it around. Not all the users will be paid (Re 1) but those who defecate in the open would be sensitised and rewarded for using the public toilets. The municipal corporation has identified 1,200 such people and the list would be revised on a regular basis.About 40% of people defecate in the open in Gujarat and the percentage of people defecating in the open in Ahmedabad is much lower at 13%, as per the 2011 Census data.

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