Tendulkar’s Poor Show



What is it? The attendance record of Sachin Tendulkar in the Rajya Sabha. The attendance record of the iconic cricketer, whose six-year term ends this month, compares poorly with the national average of 78%.

Why is it important? On Sunday, Tendulkar said he would donate his entire salary and allowances as a Rajya Sabha MP—amounting to about Rs 90 lakh—to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. His attendance record, however, takes some sheen of this gesture. Lately, the poor attendance record of public figures like Tendulkar and actor Rekha has made them the face of the debate over the roles and responsibilities of nominated members.

Tell me more: During his six years, Tendulkar asked 22 questions (against the national average of 331) and did not participate in a single debate (against the national average of 77.4).



What is it? The number of months it usually takes the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to decide whether it should close a preliminary enquiry initiated by it or if it should file an FIR (first information report).

Why is it important? The investigating agency has filed a preliminary enquiry into the dealings between ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group and some others to see if there has been any wrongdoing in lending practices. An investigative report last week alleged that Videocon secured loans from a consortium of banks, including ICICI Bank, after which its group chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested in a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar, which has raised several questions of propriety.

Tell me more: Currently, Chanda Kochhar has not been included in the preliminary enquiry, but her name may be added at a later stage.



What is it? The number of people, including two teachers and a coaching centre owner, who the Delhi Police arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in the leak of Class XII Economics paper.

Why is it important? This is the first set of arrests in the case made after interrogating over 60 people including 53 students, seven teachers and a school principal. To prevent such leaks that put undue pressure on students, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to bring in a new measure, which is asking examination centres print the question papers, starting Monday.

Tell me more: The re-test for Class XII Economics paper will be held on April 25 and the Class X Mathematics re-test would be conducted in July, if necessary.



What is it? The number of faculty and non-faculty positions filled out of a total of 24,486 sanctioned posts (as on January 1, 2018) in six AIIMS-like institutions.

Why is it important? With this kind of shortage, most of these institutions have been admitting MBBS students since 2012. This raises questions about the quality of education in these institutions. Moreover, with private medical education being expensive and regional imbalances in access to inexpensive and reliable healthcare services, there is a pressing need for affordable and quality education in government medical colleges.

Tell me more: The projected funding demand for the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, under which the six AIIMS-like institutions have come into being, is Rs 8,398 crore, of which only Rs 3,825 crore has been allocated.



What is it? The number of years after which English football club Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Why is it important? At one level, Tottenham’s win on Sunday was the burying of past ghosts. At another level, Tottenham’s win over its closest rival boosted its prospects for a top-four finish in the English Premier League, and automatic qualification for next year’s Champions League. With five wins in their last five matches, Tottenham is now fourth: it leads Chelsea by eight points, with seven matches left.

Tell me more: Chelsea’s defeat left the reigning EPL champions down in fifth place, in serious danger of missing out on European football next year and seeing a managerial change.


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News in Numbers, Feb 03, 2017: 2G scam’s half a dozen


What is it? Number of those acquitted, including erstwhile telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and two companies, in two different cases on the Aircel-Maxis 2G deal, by judge, OP Saini, at the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Delhi on Thursday.

Why is it important? The efforts of the CBI and Enforcement Directorate, probing the wide-ranging offences in India’s 2G scam, took a beating with the exoneration. Maran was mired in the controversial spectrum allocation, favouring Aircel, and brokering a deal in Aircel for Maxis since 2010 onwards. In one of the cases, there was an alleged money-laundering of Rs 742.58 crore in kickbacks, by two companies South Asia FM and Sun Direct TV. The other involved criminal conspiracy of pressurising one of Aircel’s promoters to sell his stake to Malaysian Maxis Group.

Tell me more: The others acquitted include Maran’s brother Kalanithi, Kalanithi’s wife Kavery Kalanithi, South Asia FM (SAFL) Managing Director K Shanmugam and the companies SAFL and Sun Direct TV.



What is it? Number of states in the US where federal judges have objected, in part, to president Donald Trump’s executive orders for restricting entry to people of seven nationalities and refugees.

Why is it important? Trump’s move is not only inviting widespread protests but also facing legal challenges by federal judges in the country. Most of them are taking up parts of the order as challenged by cases brought to them by affected parties. US District Judge Andre Birotte Jr followed four other instances to limit the order issued last Friday to bring relief to plaintiffs in a case. But he widened the sphere of his ruling by including anyone from the seven countries with a valid immigrant visa to the US, unlike the earlier rulings

Tell me more: Reports claim that immigration/customs officials were ignoring the judges’ earlier orders by refusing access to the detainees who had moved court. At the same time, the Trump administration tweaked their’s to allow green card or valid US permanent residence holders to enter, irrespective of nationality.



What is it? Number of warheads on China’s recently-tested long-range missile.

Why is it important? A flight-test in January is being seen as China flexing its military muscles, even though its nuclear stockpile might be smaller than United State’s traditional rival, Russia. The missile, DF-5C, is clear evidence of China increasing its nuclear arsenal. Its warhead count has likely gone up from the estimated 250. Not just over trade relations with the US, China has also had recent disagreements over its military activities in the South China Sea.

Tell me more: Chinese state television had broadcast another nuclear missile, DF-41’s deployment and strike path into the US last week.


$487 million

What is it?’s international losses in the fourth quarter, ended December 31.

Why is it important? It increased by four times year-on-year. The business arm, which includes Amazon’s India concerns, grew 18% to $ 13,965 million but could not keep losses at bay. Last month, Amazon India’s FY15 losses were found to be Rs 1,724 crore, rising by five times. The perseverance of the US-based e-commerce company goes to show its deep pockets as it is prepared to dig its heels in a promising market by advertising and discounting aggressively.

Tell me more: While its North America and cloud Amazon Web Services arms posted profits, this was its international business’ biggest operating loss. In many of its international markets, Amazon also offered its Prime Videos at no additional cost to its Prime members, streaming original content that it had produced.


Rs 1,085

What is it? The listing price of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on rival bourse, the National Stock Exchange, on Friday.

Why is it important? The shares listed at a premium of 34.6% of its IPO issue price of Rs 806. Investor faith in the stock of the world’s 10th-largest and India’s largest bourse gets reiterated by its debut, as it beats the 5-15% premium that analysts expected it to launch at. It reflects the 51.22 times oversubscription of its IPO in January.

Tell me more:  At 10:30 am, it was trading at Rs 1,119.50.

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News in Numbers, Jan 24, 2017: WTO sugars the pill


What is it? Members of the 164-country-strong World Trade Organization’s (WTO) that agreed to permanently waive restrictions on poor countries accessing generic medicines.

Why is it important? It permanently removes hurdles (such as a mandate to primarily supply local markets) for poor WTO members who cannot afford to produce generic medicines. They can now import more affordable version of medicines for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. WTO’s Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property (TRIPS) agreement had to be amended for a permanent waiver. Despite their low cost, the demand volume for generics worldwide makes it worth 36% of the global pharma market.

Tell me more: The waiver was in place since 2003, but in a temporary mode, being renewed every two years. The permanent status agreement took 12 years in the making.


Rs 3,000 crore

What is it? The MoU investment amount signed by Vodafone with the West Bengal government for capacity increase and other business initiatives in the state for the next three years.

Why is it important? The amount constitutes 1.3% of the Rs 2.35 lakh-crore-investment proposals received by the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government in its Bengal Global Business Summit over the weekend. With over 20 million subscribers in West Bengal and Kolkata, Vodafone would look to consolidate over 10% of its total customer base.

Tell me more: Vodafone has previously invested over Rs 8,400 crorein West Bengal to upgrade its network.



What is it? The rate of growth of gross premium income of private general (or non-life) insurers in December, 2016 over 2015.

Why is it important? Private general insurers grew faster than public general insurers, underwriting Rs 4,775.35 crore in gross premium income, compared with the latter’s Rs 3524.13 crore, that grew at 17%.

Tell me more: Private non-life insurers are growing faster on a smaller base as they command the smaller half or 42% of the market.



What is it? The number of people arrested in Kingfisher Airlines loan case on Monday. Those arrested included former managing director of IDBI Bank and former CFO of Kingfisher Airlines.

Why is it important? The loan default by Kingfisher promoter Vijay Mallya and his companies has turned political and the Indian government is under increasing pressure to show that it’s making progress. The public pressure to show visible results has intensified since demonetisation, as the government was seen as being too soft on big businesses and too hard on the common man.

Tell me more: Former IDBI Bank Chairman Yogesh Agarwal, former Kingfisher Airlines CFO A Raghunathan and seven of their colleagues were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation.



What is it? The day’s fall on Monday for two of Wall Street’s indices:S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite.

Why is it important? The markets were reacting to President Trump’s protectionist trade moves and Qualcomm’s shares stricken by Apple’s lawsuit. Trump abandoned the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and is on the verge of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico. The anticipated protectionist measures combined with the embattled Qualcomm’s lawsuit from Apple to bring down indices.

Tell me more: The Dow Jones Industrial Average also inched downby 0.1% on Monday.

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News in numbers, Apr 5, 2016: The fastest jump in digital history, first conviction in coal scam…


What is it? The share of stalled projects as a percentage of total projects under implementation for the quarter ended March 2016.

Why is it important? This is the highest since the NDA came to power in May 2014. The government now wants to focus on execution and go slow on announcing new schemes, even as it enters its third year.

Tell me more: The value of the stalled projects increased from Rs 9.49 lakh crore in April-June quarter of 2014 to Rs 11.36 lakh crore in January-March quarter of 2016, according to data by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy. The average number of projects as a share of outstanding projects revived and completed was 22% in 2014-15 and 2015-16, compared with 29% during the UPA-II rule (2009-10 to 2013-14).


What is it? The number of Aadhaar numbers that have been issued till date.

Why is it important? About 93% of the projected adult population of 2015 have Aadhaar numbers. The first card was issued in September 2010, which makes it the fastest jump from zero to billion in digital history. The challenge ahead is to use Aadhaar to provide government services – such as subsidies – more efficiently.

Tell me more: The government said it has saved Rs 14,672 crore under the direct benefit transfer of LPG scheme and another Rs 2,346 crore under the public distribution system in four states. The government is looking to approach the Supreme Court for using Aadhaar in other government services and social security schemes.

$231 million

What is it? The amount Terraform Global Inc. has accused its parent company SunEdison Inc. of misappropriating.

Why is it important? This has delayed the renewable energy projects in India. SunEdison, which is reportedly planning to file for bankruptcy in the near future, has also put all its India assets on sale. It has projects of 1.5 gigawatts capacity in India, which are under various stages of development.

Tell me more: Terraform Global alleged that SunEdison used its cash to prop up its flagging liquidity position instead of using it to finish near-complete renewable energy projects in India, as promised.

$20 million

What is it? The amount invested by Velocity Interactive Group in NDTV in 2007.

Why is it important? It has been disallowed by the Income Tax Department. This is equivalent to Rs 135 crore at current exchange rates.

Tell me more: The I-T department has issued an order to the media company terming the investment a sham transaction and that it was unexplained in the hands of NDTV. It has also raised a tax demand of Rs 47.27 crore for 2007-08. The department had issued a similar order to NDTV with respect to an investment of $150 million (Rs 1,000 crore) in NDTV in 2008 in NDTV Networks Plc to acquire a 26% stake.


What is it? The jail term for two directors of Jharkhand Ispat for coal scam.

Why is it important? This is the first conviction in the coal blocks allocation scam, which has been estimated to have caused a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore loss to the exchequer. Last August, the CBI chargesheeted 14 people including industrialist Naveen Jindal, former Coal Minister Dasari Narayan Rao, former Jharkhand chief minister Madhu Koda.

Tell me more: RC Rungta and RS Rungta, chairman and director of the company respectively, have been held guilty of deceiving and defrauding the government to get a coal block allocated to them in Jharkhand. The court has imposed a fine of Rs 25 lakh on Jharkhand Ispat and Rs 5 lakh each on the company executives.

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