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Virat’s Road To Fifty 100s

 

Government is striving to meet its disinvestment target. In the cricketing world, Virat Kohli has shown his best game and has been consistent in doing so. India’s coal imports have risen as states become environment-conscious. Sanjay leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati’s destiny hangs in balance as certification board takes it own sweet time.  And, Uber is planning to build its own fleet of cars. Self Driving Cars. 

 

Rs 14,500 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government has raised through the Bharat 22 exchange traded fund (ETF), which attracted bids worth Rs 32,000 crore.

Why is it important? With this, the government has raised Rs 52,500 crore through disinvestment in 2017-18, which is 72% of its disinvestment target for the current fiscal. Since the time the idea of disinvestment came into being in 1992-93, respective governments have met their stated disinvestment targets just thrice in 16 years.

Tell me more: The Bharat 22 ETF, which tracks the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index, comprising of 22 stocks is an alternative mechanism to divest its stake in central public sector enterprises. This is the second such ETF, with the first one being launched in March 2014.

 

50

What is it? The number of international centuries that Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has scored in all three formats of the game.

Why is it important? Kohli notched up his 18th test century against Sri Lanka yesterday. In the list of top 10 batsmen with the most international hundreds, which is led by Sachin Tendulkar (100 centuries) and contains three Indians, Kohli is ranked eighth. He also equalled South Africa’s Hashim Amla’s record of fewest innings to 50 international hundreds.

Tell me more: Despite being affected by rain, the first test match ended in a thrilling stalemate as India fought back with both bat and ball.

 

2.1 million tonnes

What is it? The volume of India’s coal imports from the US in October.

Why is it important? This is the highest since at least January 2015. Some Indian states have banned the use of petroleum coke, which is better-burning but also more polluting than coal. This could partly be the reason for the increase in India’s coal imports from the US. With environmentalists urging other states to ban petroleum coke, this trend might continue. The increase in imports also indicates there might be a shortage in domestic coal supply, forcing the industry to step up imports.

Tell me more: India has imported 1.5 million tonnes of North American coal in November so far, which is 71% of the previous month’s purchase.

 

24,000

What is it? The number of self-driving cars that Uber plans to buy from Volvo over three years, starting 2019.

Why is it important? If the sale goes through, it would be Volvo’s largest order and the biggest sale in the autonomous vehicle industry. For Uber, this would mark a major transition in the company’s profile: from being an app used to hail a cab to becoming the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. Although this is likely to give a boost to Uber’s ambitions of perfecting its self-driving systems, there are doubts about how it would pan out as no country has any framework or laws to allow this currently.

Tell me more: The firm is locked in a legal dispute with Waymo, a self-drive business owned by Alphabet, which is seeking $1.9 billion in damages for alleged theft of some of its trade secrets by Uber.

 

68 days

What is it? The maximum duration set by India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to certify a film, in a seven-part process.

Why is it important? On Monday, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi cited this window to take its time to arrive at a decision on certifying the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmavati, which is mired in a controversy with religious and political overtones. Last week, the CBFC returned the film’s application citing “technical issues” and the film’s producers deferred its released date. Also, yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to wade into the issue, saying it would wait for CBFC’s certification.

Tell me more: The CBFC’s latest annual report shows it ‘initially refused’ 79 feature films in 2014-15 and 94 in 2015-16.

 

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News in Numbers, Feb 20, 2017: The cost of a Tirupathi Laddu

Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The estimated cost of re-verification of existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar-based electronic know-your-customer process.

Why is it important? The attempt to weed out fake or forged identities used to secure telecom connections, especially wireless ones, will be a costly one. In January, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) proposed the e-KYC for Aadhaar-based ratification of users, and suggested incentives to help it.

Tell me more: In a letter to the Telecom Department, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) estimates that not just the cost, but the process would also require resources to rope in about 1,000 million subscribers.

 

26

What is it? The number of army personnel that died in the first 50 days of 2017.

Why is it important? The unrest in Kashmir from summer last year continues this year, triggering more counter-insurgency measures that claimed six soldiers in 2017. The rest of the security forces were killed in avalanches in the valley, a result of global warming. These deadly 50 days follow a year with the highest death count of 82 among the J&K forces since 2008.

Tell me more: But the counter-insurgency operations led to the death of 22 militants, the highest since 2010.

 

-$1,020 million

What is it? The difference in income of terror group, Islamic State, between 2014 and 2016.

Why is it important? The effects of political moves against ISIS, such as Operation Tidal Wave II, reduction in cross-border smuggling in Turkish and Kurdish-controlled areas in Iraq etc. and military opposition to its expansion are starting to show. Unlike other terror groups, donors play a negligible part in ISIS’ finances. Its territories yield natural resources, and properties, businesses and people to pillage and tax, for its to extract revenue from. But a shrinking territorial grasp has hit its coffers too.

Tell me more: Its biggest source of money — looting, confiscations and fines — have declined from 52% of its income of $970-1,890 million in 2014 to 22% of its  $520-870 million income in 2016, according to a report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence .

 

Rs 140 crore

What is it? The annual loss to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the trust that manages the famous Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh, on account of laddus, an offering made to the deity of the temple, and sold at subsidised rates or given away free to the pilgrims.

Why is it important?  It costs Rs 32.50 to make a laddu and it’s sold for Rs 25 for the pilgrims in general, at Rs 10 for those who opt for free entry into the temple, and for free to those who walk up the hill. About 70 lakh people reach the temple every year by foot. About 4 crore to 5 crore people visit the temple annually.

 

Tell me more: TTD earns over Rs 2000 every year, primarily from hundi collection.

 

~ 50%

What is it? The share of coal in total exports of North Korea to China.

Why is it important? China has banned coal imports from North Korea following the country’s claim that it has successfully tested ballistic missiles recently. China also accounts for over two thirds of North Korea’s exports. The move is expected to cause a shock to the struggling North Korean economy under Kim Jong-un and aimed to increase pressure on the country to stop its nuclear programme.

Tell me more: North Korea tested a medium long range ballistic missile on February 12, which landed in the Sea of Japan. China has been reducing trade with North Korea partly due to local economic compulsions and partly because of international pressure to impose trade sanctions on the country.

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