News in Numbers, Feb 06, 2017: It takes seven to play fair

7 out of 10

What is it? Countries which voted in favour of the motion at the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove the ‘Big Three’ model of revenue-sharing between member country cricket boards and the ICC, introduced in 2014.

Why is it important? The vote, in line to get ratified in ICC’s April board meeting, will replace the Board Of Control For Cricket India’s (BCCI) claim to ICC’s highest revenue share. The ICC will likely move towards a more equitable distribution of its earnings among member countries, away from the controversial rule implemented in 2014 that gave India the lion’s share of 20.3% of ICC global revenues, followed by England 4.4% and Australia 2.7% in the 2015-2023 revenue cycle. The rule was based on the argument that these three were more influential in the game and brought in more revenue for the ICC.

Tell me more: India’s old ally Bangladesh and the other two beneficiaries voted against while Sri Lanka was the only country to vote with India, for the Big Three. Zimbabwe did not vote.

 

61 days

What is it? The number of days O Panneerselvam held office as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa

Why is it important? Panneerselvam’s resignation from his post on Sunday to let VK Sasikala succeed him comes amidst widespread frustration in the state. In his brief stint as chief minister, Panneerselvam had gained respect for his refreshingly different approach from the autocratic style of Jayalalithaa and for the way he handled the aftermath of cyclone Vardha and protests over Jallikattu. Sasikala, on the other hand, has no experience in administration, has not won any election so far, and faces a court case over accumulating disproportionate wealth.

Tell me more: Panneerselvam’s earlier terms as chief minister lasted longer. He held the office for 161 days after Jayalalithaa was forced to resign by the Supreme Court in 2001, and for 235 days after Jayalalithaa was sent to prison by a special court in 2015.

 

Rs 60,000 crore

What is it? The annual cost of Delhi’s traffic congestion.

Why is it important? Preventing traffic congestions in Delhi could mean saving Rs 60,000 crore for a region which contributes over 4.12% to the country’s GDP. The stakes could even increase to Rs 98,000 crore by 2030 according to a study by IIT Madras, as fuel wasted in idling vehicles, productivity loss, injury from air pollution and road accidents compound the loss further.

Tell me more: Productivity loss on bus commutes was found toconstitute 75% of the total cost and dedicated bus lanes could shave off 50% from the future economic toll traffic would take.

 

1,131

What is it? The number of migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard off its shores through last week.

Why is it important? Shows Libya is taking efforts on its own to curb the flow of illegal migrants, leaving their sub-Saharan countries for European shores. The migrants from last week are a fraction of the number of migrants pouring in Libya to travel onwards. Opportunist human smugglers have made Libya a hotbed of abuse and exploitation, with many migrants dying on the sea due to inhuman conditions of transport. The numbers have made European countries offer Libya aid to try and curb such entries.

Tell me more: Libya became the entry-hub for illegal migrants looking to cross the Mediterranean over to Europe after Turkey andGreece shut off theirs.

 

7

What is it? The number of times the winner of Directors Guild of America Award for directing a feature film did not go on to win an Oscar the same year since its inception in 1948

Why is it important? This year, Directors Guild award went to Damien Chazelle who directed La La Land, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone – indicating that the much coveted Academy Award will also go to him. La La Land which first hit the cinemas in November has 93% on movie rating aggregation site Rotten Tomatoesand has earned $223.5 million at the box office

Tell me more: La La Land has won 14 Oscar nominations. The winners will be announced on 26th February during the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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News in Numbers, Jan 31, 2017: Merger on the airwaves

Rs 78,000 crore

What is it? The estimated combined revenue of a proposed merger of Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

Why is it important? The all-share merger will create India’s largest telecom company, larger than the Rs-50,008-crore-earning Bharti Airtel. Debt on both the companies’ books and likely losses incurred from the tariff-reduction race started by Reliance Jio are being seen as triggers for the move. It looks like a much needed consolidation boost in the 22-circle Indian telecom market, as seen from the stock gains of Indian telecom operators yesterday ranging 8-10% with Idea gaining a record 26%.

Tell me more: The merged entry would still have to address, in many markets, the telecom regulator’s anti-monopoly restrictions of owning no more than 50% of spectrum in a band and 25% of available spectrum in a circle (or geographic market).

 

1 day

What is it? Number of days to go before the RBI-mandated daily ATM withdrawal limit of Rs 10,000 is removed, from February 1.

Why is it important? The first sign of reverting to pre-demonetisation days of cash management was made with RBI’s circular removing the ATM limit. Two weeks ago, RBI signalled its ease in handling cash by expanding the limit to Rs 10,000 from Rs 4,500. The Rs 24,000-weekly limit on savings-bank withdrawal, however, stays put, but restrictions on  current account, cash credit and overdraft accounts will be removed.

Tell me more: RBI mentions the savings-bank limit is under consideration for withdrawal in the “near future”. Banks can use their discretion to set their own operating limits at ATMs as was the practice before old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were withdrawn.

 

42

What is it? The number of cases the Income Tax (IT) departmentregistered nationwide under the recently-enforced Benami Transactions Act.

Why is it important? Warnings in public advertisements by the IT department against depositing unaccounted old currency in someone else’s bank account anonymously are materialising now. The BenamiAct’s section 24 has been invoked for 87 notices, for attaching bank accounts with crores of rupees of such dubious deposits and an immovable property.

Tell me more: These cases, if proven true, would attract a heavy penalty and a rigorous jail-term of a maximum of seven years.

 

4

What is it? The number of new administrators appointed by the Supreme Court to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Why is it important? The neutral committee headed by former Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), and the current Chairman of Banks Board Bureau, Vinod Rai, will pave the path to reform the embattled BCCI, richest sporting body in India and the most profitable cricket board in the world. The team, with a mix of financial acumen, social perspective and cricketing enthusiasm, is tasked with bringing in accounting rigour and good governance to a body mired in controversies, the latest being its earlier president and secretary sacked on January 3. It would also finalise the Indian Premier League’s 10th edition besides reporting on the Lodha panel recommendations to the court.

Tell me more: The other members are Vikram Limaye, managing director and CEO of IDBI Bank; former Indian women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji; and historian and writer Ramchandra Guha. Limaye will represent BCCI in an ICC meeting in February. The committee has no term limit.

 

650

What is it? The number of branches of the India Post Payments Bank(IPPB) to be set up by September, 2017.

Why is it important? The IPPB will locate these branches in postal district headquarters which would enable all the post office branches under those head offices to be served by the payments bank. With India Post’s envious branch network of no less than 155,000 post offices, expanding its reach should be one of IPPB’s easiest tasks.  It would let enabled post offices accept limited deposits at a maximum interest of 5.5% and offer payment services but not offer loans, unlike commercial banks.

Tell me more: The IPPB joins Airtel Payments Bank, offering 7.25% on savings, in a new financial services category, with more players to come.

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News in numbers, Apr 22, 2016: FDI into India in 2015, Time’s list of 100 most influential people…

$63 billion

What is it? Foreign direct investment into India in 2015.

Why is it important?  It’s more than what China, which has been a huge magnet for greenfield capital investments last few decades, received during the same period. China attracted $56.6 billion in 2015, spread over 789 projects. India’s $63 billion was spread over 697 projects. The FDI has created 2.25 lakh new jobs in 2015 in India (compared to 1.6 lakh new jobs in 2013).

Tell me more:  The report is from fDi Intelligence, data division of Financial Times. The report said the Asia Pacific region accounted for 45% of all greenfield investments, taking in $302.5 billion and 3883 projects.

 

25%

What is it? The stake United Kingdom government is willing to buy in Tata Steel’s UK business.

Why is it important?  It might help Tata find a credible buyer, and in turn, help UK save about 15,000 jobs. Tata has been trying to sell its UK steel business, bought through its $12.9 billion acquisition of Corus Group in 2007. The business has turned sour with rising costs, drop in steel demand and cheap imports from China as well as a series of internal issues.

Tell me more:  Earlier this month, Greybull Capital offered to buy its long products business for one pound, and possibly save around 4,400 jobs. Tata Steel is in talks with a number of potential buyers.  

 

$42 million

What is it? The penalty on West Indies Cricket Board that BCCI (Board Of Control For Cricket In India) has now waived. It was imposed on WICB for West Indies team abandoning the 2014 tour midway.

Why is it important? This brings an end to a long spat between West Indies and India. The unfinished games will be played next year, as it was hinted last December. It also clears ground for more matches between the two teams since BCCI had suspended all bilateral tours till the issue was resolved.

Tell me more:  In 2014, West Indies, under captainship of Dwayne Bravo, had abandoned its tour in India midway over payment structure dispute between the players, WICB and West Indies Players’ Association.

 

> 150

What is it? The number of countries that will sign the Paris Climate Agreement on Friday, 22 April Earth Day in New York.

Why is it important? It’s the first significant step in taking forward the landmark deal struck in Paris last December, which seeks to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degree C. It comes at a time when the effects of global warming are causing increasingly more concern. For example, the first three months this year has been the hottest ever.

Tell me more:  While it’s a significant first step, experts believe countries need more ambitious plans to tackle the impact of climate change – heat waves, food shortages and fast rising seas.  

 

6

What is it? The number of Indians in Time magazine’s 2016 list of 100 most influential people.

Why is it important? It’s a sign of soft power and widely followed and debated in India, even if the process of measuring people’s influence or someone making it to the list is far from perfect. Raghuram Rajan, Priyanka Chopra,  Sania Mirza, Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Sunita Narain made it to the list. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, widely expected to be in the list, did not.

Tell me more: The first Time 100 list was published in 1999, with a list of 100 most influential people of 20th century. (Albert Einstein was ranked number 1, followed by Mahatma Gandhi). US President Barack Obama holds the record for maximum appearance, making to the list 11 times. The 2016 list also featured Aziz Ansari, Sundar Pichai, Raj Panjabi and Nikki Haley, all persons of Indian origin.

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