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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India’s heavyweight in space 🚀

3,136 kg

What is it? The weight of the GSAT-19 satellite scheduled for launch by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday.

Why is it important? It is India’s heaviest satellite yet, to be carried by the GSLV Mark III rocket, India’s heaviest rocket so far. The communication satellite, to be launched from Sriharikota, will improve Internet speed and data connectivity across the country.

Tell me more: The launch vehicle can carry up to 4,000 kg of payload and will be placing the satellite at a distance of 36,000 km from the Earth.

 

$108,026

What is it? The Wipro Chairman Azim Premji’s compensation in the 2016-17 fiscal.

Why is it important? It has dropped 63% from $292,991 from FY 2016, even as Wipro’s profit decreased 4.7% to Rs 84.9 lakh-crore.  As IT sector faces rough weather, complaints about compensation to its leaders have been growing too. CEOs of Infosys, Cognizant and Genpact took pay cuts recently.

Tell me more: Former Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy, in an interview, called for senior IT executives to cut down their compensations to stop lay offs.

 

12

What is it? The number of arrests British police have made following Saturday evening’s terror attack in London.

Why is it important? The attack, claimed by terror group Isis and which killed seven, comes close on the heels of 23 May’s attack in Manchester, considered the second deadliest terror attack in the UK. West European countries have seen a marked rise in terror attacks since 2014.

Tell me more: The modus operandi was similar to the March attack in Westminster, that of the assailant(s) ramming a vehicle into pedestrians and then wielding weapons to attack passersby. The arrests were made in east London.

 

$7 billion

What is it? The additional capital SoftBank is in talks to raise for its Vision Fund.

Why is it important? If it succeeds, it will be the world’s first private equity fund to cross $100 billion mark. With $93 billion in commitments, it’s already the world’s largest PE fund. It will drive investments in technology, especially in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence.

Tell me more:  The current backers include Apple, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s PID public fund.  The group is talking to investors in Canada and West Asia, according to reports.

 

Rs 5,000 crore

What is it? The estimated amount to be raised in initial public offerings by four companies in June.

Why is it important? This would be around 25% of the minimum value of Rs 20,000 crore expected to be raised in FY17 through IPOs. In 2017, so far, eight companies have raised Rs 6,335.83 crore. The stir in IPOs had made India one of the busiest in the region spanning Europe, West Asia, India and Africa in the first quarter of 2017.

Tell me more: Twenty-six companies had raised Rs 26,493.84 crore in IPOs in 2016. Tejas Networks, CDSL, Eris Lifesciences and Au Small Finance Bank are expected to list in June.

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News in Numbers, Jan 18, 2017: Stirring the ready-to-cook pot

$25 million

What is it? The cost of 25% stake in a ready-to-cook food company, ID Fresh Foods, paid by Premji Invest, the investment firm of Wipro-owner Azim Premji.

Why is it important? With the increase in nuclear and double-income families, demand for ready-to-cook products is expected to grow faster and this has attracted investors wanting to tap this market. ID Fresh Foods had secured investment from Helion Ventures two years ago. Premji’s investment values it at $100 million. This would be Premji Invest’s fifteenth largest investment.

Tell me more: Premji Invest manages assets over $2 billion across 50 companies and has invested in companies such as Amagi Media Labs (over $500 million) and Lenskart ($115 million). ID Fresh Foods was started by IIM-Bangalore-alumnus PC Musthafa in 2006.

2

What is it? The number of Indian Police Service (IPS) officers compulsorily retired by the home ministry after a performance review.

Why is it important? It is a rare instance of performance-related rap for bureaucrats, the first removal in the last 10-15 years of IPS officers. The state cadres removed them for poor performance based on their service records, complaints and senior reviews.

Tell me more: Rule 16(3) of the All India Services (Death-cum-Retirement) Benefits Rules, 1958 provides for a service review, in consultation with the state government, of All India Services officers completing 15 and 25 years of service or attaining 50 years of age. Centre may also ask for such a review irrespective of the service years.
4 months

What is it? Remaining prison sentence of Chelsea Manning, after the rest of it was commuted by US President Barack Obama. Manning is a US army intelligence expert convicted of leaking America’s diplomatic and military activities in 2010.

Why is it important? The commutation marks a reversal of President Obama’s policy of actively pursuing criminal prosecution of people involved in leaking government secrets. With three days left in his presidency, Obama also pardoned 63 and commuted sentences of 208 prisoners, mostly drug offenders. Chelsea, who has spent seven years in jail, was originally serving a 35-year imprisonment.

Tell me more: Obama has granted clemency in only 3.7% of the total petitions received (35,944) till December 31, 2016. This compares favourably with George W.Bush who granted clemency only to 0.02% of applications in his eight-year tenure.
23

What is it? Number of railway stations that will be redeveloped and modernised by private companies at a cost of Rs 4,000 crore.

Why is it important? After announcing plans to redevelop 44 stations more than a year back, Indian Railways has roped in Bansal Construction to modernise Habibganj station near Bhopal. Work is expected to start from March this year. With the state-run monopoly not having resources to invest in modernisation of railway stations, the centre is roping in private players to redevelop the stations. In lieu, private players get to develop surplus land near the station on a lease of 45 years.

Tell me more: Railways have identified 332 stations for redevelopment and modernisation based on passenger earnings.
1,050

What is it? The number of village panchayats which will have free WiFi hotspots in three years.

Why is it important? It underlines the government’s efforts to speed up digitisation, especially with an eye on going cashless. Previously, the telecom secretary mentioned the target of making all gram panchayats WiFi-enabled. In December, Members of the Parliament were permitted to use their allocated funds to set up WiFi hotspots in villages and educational institutions.

Tell me more: Over Rs 400 crore would be spent in the first leg spanning three years in public-private partnerships.

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