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Clash Of The Titans: Sindhu Vs Saina

 

Delhi is caught in the haze, yet again. Tax base has widened as more e-returns were filed this year until October, versus the same period last year. Air passengers have piled up complaints against IndiGo, but that number is still lowest amongst the airlines. In clash of the badminton titans, its PV Sindhu vs Saina Nehwal this time.

 

528

What is it? The air quality index pertaining to PM 2.5 (fine solid and liquid hazardous particles suspended in air) at RK Puram, a locality in Delhi, at 10 pm on Tuesday, according to the US Embassy.

Why is it important? This falls in the ‘hazardous’ category, the worst among six. By comparison, a score between 0 and 50 qualifies as ‘good’ while 51-100 translates to ‘moderate’. The Indian Medical Association said the national capital was witnessing a public health emergency and warned people against stepping out. The National Green Tribunal pulled up the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and asked them why steps were not taken to prevent deterioration in air quality.

Tell me more: The Environment Pollution Control Authority has recommended the following measures: parking fees in Delhi-NCR region be quadrupled, Delhi Metro reduce fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days and introduce more coaches, road construction agencies violating pollution norms be fined Rs 50,000, and the Delhi government start preparing for measures such as the odd-even scheme and ban on construction activities.

 

17.6%

What is it? The increase in e-returns filed until October in 2017-18 (37.8 million), up from 32.2 million filed in the corresponding period in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Today marks a year since the shock announcement of withdrawal of high-value currency notes, which the government defended as part of its efforts against black money and corruption. The increase in e-returns is one of the data points released by the government to demonstrate impact. Other data points include a widening of the tax base, amount deposited and withdrawn by companies, and striking off of firms from the Registrar of Companies and disqualification of directors.

Tell me more: The number of individual e-filers (who use form ITR-1) increased by 23.3% to 20.8 million between April-October this year, from 16.9 million.

 

0.2%

What is it? The percentage of passengers per 10,000 who filed complaints against IndiGo in September, according to the airline regulator. Among major domestic airlines, this is the lowest.

Why is it important? Yesterday, India’s largest airline came under flak when an IndiGo staffer was seen manhandling a passenger. IndiGo has since suspended the staffer and its CEO Aditya Ghosh has tendered an apology. Earlier in the week, Indian badminton player PV Sindhu had accused the airline’s staff of rude behaviour, which the airline contested.

Tell me more: Among domestic airlines, Air India had the highest complaint rate (1.6% per 10,000 passengers carried), followed by Jet Airways and JetLite (1.3%).

  

$1.5 billion

What is it? The loss posted by Denmark’s AP Moller Maersk in the July-September quarter, against a profit of $429 million in the corresponding year-ago period, despite an increase in revenues from $7 billion to $8 billion.

Why is it important? The world’s largest shipping company, also an oil producer, has partly attributed this loss to the cost of a cyber-attack in June—of $250-300 million—that primarily affected its shipping unit. This makes a persuasive case for businesses to bolster their IT systems to thwart cyber-attacks.

Tell me more: According to a recent report by Lloyd’s of London, a major, global cyber-attack could cause economic losses to the tune of $53 billion, which would be equivalent to the losses due to a catastrophic natural disaster such as the US super-storm Sandy in 2012.

 

1-1

What is it? The head-to-head record between Indian badminton players PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in the international sphere.

Why is it important? The two women, who put India on the world badminton map, yesterday reached the finals of the Senior Badminton National Championship. This summit clash will be a rare encounter between the two who are referred to in a similar vein but whose tenures at the very top have coincided little.

Tell me more: Nehwal won her first international encounter in January 2014, while Sindhu won in March 2017. Saina is 27, while Sindhu is 22.

 

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News in Numbers, Aug 19, 2016: SBI board approves merger, Sindhu aims for the gold…

63,000

What is it? The number of jobs technology companies in the US have shed so far this year, according to an outplacement agency.

Why is it important? Automation is replacing jobs, and analysts say that this trend is likely to continue. Hardware engineers are the most hit with firms such as Cisco making the shift to more profitable software-oriented services. Cisco laid off 5,500 employees recently and it may affect its research and development centre in India.

Tell me more: Other companies that are likely to lay off employees are IBM Corp, Oracle Corp, Dell Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to analysts. A Global Equities Research analyst said the tech industry is likely to shed 370,000 jobs this year.

 

Rs 37 lakh crore

What is it? The balance sheet size of State Bank of India (SBI) and its five associate banks post merger. This proposal was cleared by its board on Thursday.

Why is it important? The announcement was made in May and this is the first step in what is believed to lead to a major consolidation phase in the banking sector after many years. This, despite the fact that bank unions have been opposing the move and have gone on strikes in the recent past.

Tell me more: The SBI has announced swap ratios (acquiring company offers its shares in exchange for the target company’s shares) for three of its associate banks (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore), in addition to that for Bharatiya Mahila Bank. It is yet to announce the swap ratios for State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.

 

1.6 million

What is it? The number of pellets fired by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) between July 8 and August 11 to control violent mobs in Kashmir, as per its admission to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday.

Why is it important? The use of pellet guns, which caused eye injuries (including loss of vision) to many, has come under sharp criticism by human rights organisations and political parties. After Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement in July that the government would form an expert panel to consider other non-lethal alternatives for crowd control measures, the court had said this meant that pellet guns are not non-lethal weapons and this is enough reason to discontinue its usage.

Tell me more: The protests erupted after separatist militant, also the head of a terrorist group called Hijb-ul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani was killed in July. The CRPF told the court that pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted form of riot control and if these are withdrawn, then it would have no option but to open fire with rifles in extreme situations, which could be fatal.

 

41%

What is it? The gap between the actual number of toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission and the official numbers as put up by the sanitation ministry in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as per a field survey report of select districts.

Why is it important? Such a mismatch raises concerns about the real progress of the programme. India has set a target to eliminate open defecation by 2019. In some states such as Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the gaps between the actual numbers and those reported to the central government are 19%, 23%, 27% and 28% respectively. The field survey numbers for Sikkim, which became the first to achieve the open defecation free status, are the only ones that match with those with the ministry of sanitation.

Tell me more: Retired civil and defence services officers and non-government institutions with rural development experience are empanelled by the rural development ministry as individual and institutional National Level Monitors. These monitors covered 24.22 lakh random households in some districts across states.

 

51

What is it? The duration of the semi-final match between Indian shuttler PV Sindhu and World Number 6 Nozomi Okuhara from Japan on Thursday. Sindhu smashed her way into the finals.

Why is it important? With her Thursday’s win, Sindhu has assured India of at least a silver medal – the second one after Sakshi Malik won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday, and the fifth Indian female athlete to get a medal overall. All eyes are on the 21-year-old athlete from Hyderabad who would face World Number 1 Carolina Marin from Spain this evening and if Sindhu defeats Marin, she would be the second Indian sportsperson to win the gold after ace shooter’s Abhinav Bindra’s victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Tell me more: This was Sindhu’s debut at the Olympics. She trains under Pullela Gopichand at his academy in Hyderabad.

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