25 basis points
What is it? The reduction in repo rate, the rate at which the central bank lends to the banks, by Reserve Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee. It is 6.25% now from 6.5% earlier.
Why is it important? This is the lowest since November 2010 and has been done based on the scenario that inflation would ease in the coming months. The daily prices of pulses and vegetables reported by various markets in the country are indicative of this trend. This signals a shift in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) stance, which looks to support growth as inflation promises to be moderate due to a normal monsoon and government measures. It remains to be seen if this results in meaningful transmission by the banks to the borrowers.
Tell me more: This is the first policy review presided by governor Urjit Patel, who was appointed a month ago. This was also the first time the newly constituted, six-member monetary policy committee decided on interest rates – all six members voted in favour of a rate cut.
What is it? The number of flights domestic carriers will operate per week in the winter schedule effective October 30.
Why is it important? This is an increase of 20.8% over those operated in the winter schedule of 2015 (13,744), which is likely due to domestic air traffic’s double-digit growth. It has been growing at 10% annually for the last two years while in August, it grew at 24% compared to a year ago. However, despite the government’s push for regional connectivity, airlines plan to operate flights to 75 destinations this winter compared to 81 in the same period last year.
Tell me more: Indigo (InterGlobe Aviation) would see the highest jump in domestic flights (42%) this winter while the comparative figures for Air India and Jet Airways are 7.48% and 1.76% respectively.
What is it? The estimated number of children living in extreme poverty globally in 2013, according to a report. Extreme poverty is defined as welfare less than $1.9 per day per person.
Why is it important? This report indicates that children are twice as likely as adults to live in extreme poverty. Children in the two age groups – 0-4 years and 5-9 years – each accounted for 15.9% and 15.4% (respectively) of those living in extreme poverty (adults included). Though children made up for a third of the sample population, over half of them were affected by extreme poverty.
Tell me more: Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest share of children living in extreme poverty (over 50%) followed by South Asia (36%), with over 30% extremely poor children living in India alone. The report by the World Bank Group and Unicef has arrived at these estimates based on data from 89 countries, which represent over 84% of the developing world’s population.
Rs 60,969 crore
What is it? The total value of bids for telecom spectrum at the end of the third day of auctions.
Why is it important? This is only a third of the amount the government hoped to raise in this auction, and indicates that telecom players consider the reserve price to be too high. No one has bid for the premium 700-MHz band – worth Rs 4 lakh crore at base price – so far. The auctions are expected to end this week.
Tell me more: The government was hoping to raise at least Rs 5.6 trillion through this auction, but at the current rate, might end up with even less than Rs 1.1 trillion it raised in 2015.
What is it? The percentage of men in Rajasthan who got married before they reached 21 years of age, according to a survey for the year 2012-13. Among women in the state, the under age marriage percentage is lower at 14.3%
Why is it important? This higher percentage of under-age marriages among men could be an indicator that the age difference between husband and wife is coming down. (The legal marriageable age for women is 18). The survey covered nine states, among which Rajasthan emerged as the one with highest percentage of early marriages. Uttarakhand, the lowest.
Tell me more: In 2008, a panel recommended making the lower age limit for marriage (18) the same for both men and women.