End To Delhi’s Power Tussle?

Rs 200

What is it? The increase in minimum support prices (MSPs) for paddy (per quintal), the crop most planted by farmers, in the 2018-19 rain-fed kharif season, from Rs 1,550 in the previous season.

Why is it important?On Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a hike in MSP—the price at which the government buys from farmers— of all kharif crops for the 2018-19 season. This comes at a time when farmers have been demanding better prices for their produce, after a sharp fall in prices affected their income last year. The announcement comes ahead of state elections in agrarian states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, besides the general elections that is less than a year away.

Tell me more:The impact of the MSP hike, according to some analysts, could result in an increase in inflation rates, add to fiscal deficit and likely to bring on steeper hikes of interest rates than anticipated.


What is it? The number of judges on the constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, that unanimously ruled on Wednesday that the Delhi Lieutenant Governor does not have independent powers to make decisions and is bound by the aid and advice of the council of ministers.

Why is it important?This is a landmark verdict that sets a new framework for the power tussle between the Delhi government and the LG appointed by the central government. The court ruled the Delhi government has the power to legislate and govern in all matters except for three areas: police, land and bureaucracy. It said the LG cannot obstruct or stall the decisions of the council of ministers, and that the LG can refer issues where there is a difference of opinion to the President only in exceptional matters.

Tell me more:Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal called the verdict a “victory for democracy”. Puducherry chief minister V Narayanasamy, who is locked in a similar power struggle with LG Kiran Bedi, has demanded for the top court’s ruling for Delhi to be applied to his union territory as well.


What is it? Number of units of the Nano car manufactured by Tata Motors in June 2018, against 275 in June 2017.

Why is it important? That production number has raised the question of whether Tata Motors is close to pulling the plug on its ambitious low-cost car that never became the best-seller it was intended to be. Back in August 2017, Satish B Borwankar, chief operating officer of Tata Motors, had said the company did not want to phase out the Nano car, and that it was working on alternative plans for it, including testing an electric version.

Tell me more:Sales of Nano have fallen nearly 90% to 7,591 units in 2016-17 from 74,521 in 2011-12. The company stopped exports earlier this year.


What is it?The number of large accounts with loans worth Rs 3,80,000 crore that will require resolution by September 1, 2018, according to credit ratings agency ICRA.

Why is it important? Over 90% of these accounts have already been classified as non-performing assets (NPAs) by banks. However, under the Reserve Bank of India’s new stressed asset resolution framework, if a resolution plan is not in place within the 180-day deadline, they have to be referred for insolvency proceedings. Going by the limited recovery in some of the cases that have been resolved so far (except for in the steel sector) and given the high share of power sector in the 70 accounts, there is uncertainty regarding the haircuts banks may need to take upon resolution.

Tell me more:ICRA said though the pace of addition of NPAs would be slower (likely at 3%) for the banking system in 2018-19, compared with 7.3% in 2017-18, public sector banks could continue the trend of reporting losses in the current financial year too.


What is it?The number of balls West Indies took to bowl out Bangladesh in the first test match of their ongoing bilateral series in North Sound, Antigua.

Why is it important? Bangladesh were dismissed for just 43 runs, which was their lowest score ever and the 11thlowest completed innings score over the history of 2,310 test matches. This was also the lowest completed innings score since 1974, when England dismissed India for 42 runs at Lord’s.

Tell me more:Kemar Roach took five wickets, all in the space of 12 balls, which is the fewest for a five-wicket haul, along with Monty Noble in 1902 and Jacques Kallis in 2002.

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Buy elections


What is it? The voter turnout for the by-poll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat in Jammu & Kashmir.

Why is it important? It is even less than the 26% polling during 2014’s general election. The meagre turnout was marked by violence, as eight people were killed and 100 security personnel injured. It followed separatists’ call for boycotting the polls, and the resultant mob which resorted to arson.

Tell me more: By polls were also conducted in 10 assembly constituencies across states. RK Nagar by-poll in Tamil Nadu was cancelled after cash-for-vote charges.


$5 billion

What is it? The total line of credit extended to Bangladesh by India, on its prime minister, Sheikh Hasina’s state visit to the country.

Why is it important? The new line of credit is in addition to the existing $2.86 bn committed earlier, of which 7.7% has been disbursed. It would not only help Bangladesh, but boost India’s exports to the neighbour as well, which were over $6 billion in FY16. Usually line of credit mandates a value of the contract to be sourced from India.

Tell me more: The projects include defence, energy, electronics and cyber security.


Rs 5,400 crore

What is it? The undisclosed income detected by law enforcement since demonetisation and till January 10.

Why is it important? More than 1,100 raids and 5,100 notices have ended in seizure of 11% of such income or around Rs 610 crore worth of liquid assets.

Tell me more: Out of a total of 1.8 million high-risk cases under the suspicion of undeclared income, 838,000 have sent in responses, while 378,000 are being investigated..



What is it? The maximum number of children an applicant to a government job in Assam can have, according to its new draft population policy.

Why is it important? Assam’s population grew by 17% between 2011 and 2001, lower than the national growth rate of 17.64% in the same period. Some see it as the government’s attempt to control family sizes of immigrants, mostly muslims who are believed to have moved from Bangladesh illegally.

Tell me more: The policy also seeks to deny jobs to those who married before legal age, and to provide free education to girl children.

9.24 lakh

What is it? The number of cases pending at Allahabad High Court.

Why is it important? The supreme court has now set up a two member panel that will look at reducing the pending court cases. The panel will take up one high court at a time – looking at data, analysing the causes and suggesting solutions. It will start with Allahabad High Court, which has the largest number of pending cases in the country.

Tell me more: Across 24 High Courts, over 4.5 lakh cases are pending, thanks in part to shortage of judges. Only 43.65% of the total sanctioned strength of high court judges have been filled, according to Indian Judiciary Annual Report 2015-2016. Rajasthan High Court has the oldest pending case in the country. It is pending for 61 years now.

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News in Numbers, Mar 21, 2017: How happy are you? 😰, 😒, 😌, 😃 or 😜?

Rs 27,420 crore

What is it? The amount banks will have to write off if the new Uttar Pradesh government grants its election promise of farm loan waiver.

Why is it important? The hit is around 8% of UP’s revised revenue estimates of Rs 3,40,255.24 crore, for FY17. Both the state and the banks with UP farmers as clients will get affected by the measure.

Tell me more: An SBI research which points out the write-off amount, says scheduled commercial banks have an outstanding farm credit of Rs 86,241.20 crore. Most of the loans have been lent to small and marginal farmers.


$1 billion

What is it? The amount Flipkart raised in its latest funding round from investors including Microsoft and Tencent.

Why is it important? This is the second $1 billion single round of funding for Flipkart. It coincides with a period of devaluations by Flipkart’s existing investors. Even though the latest funding is said to have valued it between $10-11 billion, it shows not all investors have lost confidence in the desi e-commerce company.

Tell me more: Flipkart is eyeing another $500-1,000 million in the near future.


$20 million

What is it? The estimated value of the sky mansion, being built for Vijay Mallya in Bengaluru.

Why is it important? The cantilevered villa being constructed atop a residential tower on land that held Mallya’s ancestral home, could join the list of Mallya’s assets which have been put up for sale to help recover the dues of a consortium of banks. It is 1.4% in value (Rs 131 crore, roughly) of the loan amount of Rs 9,000 crore banks are seeking to recover from the fugitive businessman.

Tell me more: While it is unlikely the business baron would return to stay in the mansion, it will be a challenge to sell it as lenders have found with Mallya’s other properties repeatedly.



What is it? India’s rank in the latest World Happiness Report. The report ranked 155 countries.

Why is it important? India has slipped four spots from 118 from the previous ranking, and is behind its neighbours including Pakistan (ranked 80), Sri Lanka (ranked 120 ) and Bangladesh (ranked 110) and Nepal (ranked 99). Bhutan, which measures Gross National Happiness, the only country that does it, is ranked 97. China is ranked 79.  Norway topped the list.

Tell me more: The World Happiness Report is published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. The first report came out in 2012. It measures happiness in six categories, explained by GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, generosity and trust or absence of corruption.



What is it? The number of people associated with extremist organisations in Bangladesh who infiltrated into India in 2016, according to a report by Bangladesh government.

Why is it important? India is reportedly skeptical of the exact number of infiltrations, but the report highlights the increasing risk the country faces from extremist ideologies. The extremist groups mentioned in the report are Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami (HuJI) and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. They entered Assam, Tripura and West Bengal, the three bordering states.

Tell me more: The rise of religious extremism in Bangladesh has raised concerns in the past. In July last year, 29 people were killed in a terrorist attack in Dhaka.

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