‘Padmavati’ is in dire straits. In the tech world, Uber hid a massive data breach for a year. Indian Air Force has bolstered its capabilities. Now it can strike enemy warships 1,500 kilometers off the coast within a few minutes. While, India is planning to become a huge market for electric vehicle batteries by 2030.
What is it? The number of customers and drivers whose personal data was stolen by hackers from Uber Technologies about a year ago.
Why is it important? The ride-hailing app concealed the massive data breach for a year. It fired its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their involvement in keeping this a secret, which includes a $100,000 payment to the hackers. Regulators in some countries have said they would investigate the matter further that makes the ride rougher for Uber, which has been battling top-level executive exits over issues such as sexual harassment, data privacy concerns and working conditions of drivers.
Tell me more: Compromised data from the October 2016 breach included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber customers, in addition to personal information of 7 million drivers.
What is it? The strike range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.
Why is it important? The missile was successfully tested for the first time from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter against a sea-based target on Wednesday. This means the Indian Air Force now has the capability to strike enemy warships 1,500 kilometers off the coast within a few minutes. The world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile is now capable of being launched from air, sea and land.
Tell me more: The BrahMos missile, developed in a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and NPOM of Russia, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft.
What is it? The projected size of the market for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in India by 2030, according to a report by Niti Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute.
Why is it important? A stated aspiration of the Indian government is to have only electric vehicles entering the market from 2030. If it presses on these and if the report projections are met, India would account for 40% of global EV battery demand in the next 13 years. However, it remains to be seen how feasible the electric dream of various countries (including India) is, given that EV batteries use nickel, cobalt, aluminium, graphite and lithium. These are rare earths, and their availability is much lesser than that of coal and oil.
Tell me more: The report says India’s demand for EV batteries could bring down global battery prices by 16% to $60 per KWh by 2030.
What is it? The number of test series in Australia that England have won in their last five tries, dating back to 1998-99.
Why is it important? The two oldest cricketing nations renew their cricketing rivalry today. The first test of the five-match test series, better known as the Ashes, is underway at Brisbane, Australia. England, smarting from the loss of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes, are not tipped to change that dismal record in this trip.
Tell me more: The last time that England won in Australia was in 2010-11, when they won 3-1, with all three wins being by an innings margin.
What is it? Number of states to have banned the yet-to-be-released Hindi period film Padmavati. On Wednesday, Gujarat became the second state, after Madhya Pradesh, to do so by issuing a notification.
Why is it important? This further jeopardizes the film’s prospects from having a timely and disruption-free release, which could trigger commercial losses across the board. So far, chief ministers of at least five states—four of them ruled by the BJP (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan) and one ruled by the Congress (Punjab)—have spoken publicly against the film.
Tell me more: A sixth chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar in BJP-ruled Haryana, said the state would wait for the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)’s notification on the film.