Wipro’s foreign recruits

50%

What is it? Employees who would be locally hired by Wipro in Q1, FY18.

Why is it important? The declaration comes a few days after the news of Wipro firing nearly 600 employees. Both are a result of changes brought in visa rules in overseas markets that has stricken Indian IT companies, mostly sending Indian staff to client sites abroad. Wipro derived 54.7% of its revenues for FY17 from Americas, making the US one of its major markets and working around the HI-B visa restrictions vital.

Tell me more: Wipro says it will invest in the American market and increase local hires by June, rather than deploying Indian employees for temporary postings abroad.

 

186

What is it? The number of seats in the Delhi civic elections which BJP has either won or is leading in.

Why is it important? The number is a majority of the 270 wards which polled. The verdict, to be out by today afternoon, is being seen as an update on the waning support for Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP. In 2015, it had been a giant-slayer by securing 67 seats out of the 70 Delhi Assembly seats. Earlier this month, AAP performed dismally in the assembly by-elections.

Tell me more: BJP is expected by exit polls to breach the 200-mark in the MCD elections, which it has been winning for the last 10 years.

 

273 million-tonne

What is it? The output of food grains being targeted for 2017-18 by the government.

Why is it important? This is a marginal increase from 2016-17’s second estimate of output at 272 million-tonne. The growth in FY17 was 8% in food grains, bringing some relief to the food price inflation that followed two years of drought. The current target of 0.4% growth in food grain production follows this year’s monsoon forecast a week ago, of 96% average rainfall, less than last year.

Tell me more: It was also informed that the Centre has written to states to figure out how to double farmers’ income by 2022.

 

Rs 2.5 lakh

What is it? Personal income tax exemption limit.

Why is it important? This could turn out to be a benchmark for exemption from taxes on farm income, a move suggested by Niti Aayog to expand tax base in the country. Taxing agricultural income would be a controversial move in all likelihood. However, expanding the tax base will shore up government revenues, even as it tries to target better and more benefits to those in the bottom of the pyramid.

Tell me more: Imposing tax on farm income was among the many reforms suggested by Niti Aayog in a presentation on Tuesday.

 

1,200

What is it? The number of jobs Coca-Cola is to cut at its corporate centre.

Why is it important? As a percentage of the total number of people the beverage major employs globally, it’s small. However, the move underlines the cost cutting Coke is undertaking even as it adapts itself to the changing tastes of calorie counting population and stricter government regulations. Coca-Cola employs over 100,000 people globally. The company’s incoming CEO, and current COO James Quincey said he wants to save $800 million in annualised savings over the next two years.

Tell me more:  Coca-Cola’s first quarter revenues dropped 11% from an year ago, its eighth consecutive decline in revenues.

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News in Numbers, Jan 26, 2017: Premium push reaps rewards

47.5%

What is it? The increase in Maruti Suzuki’s net profit in the third quarter.

Why is it important? It shows the timeliness of India’s largest car-manufacturer’s push into the premium segment. Despite discounts to counter the note-ban and off-season in December, its revenue per vehicle went up by 8.8%. Its gross sales value rose by 13% while volume or units sold rose by 3.5% indicating the role of pricing in growth. It is being widely attributed to its separate distribution channel of Nexa, the premium showrooms selling a higher-priced band of cars, mostly new launches. Nexa was not only contributing 11% to sales in less than a year of launch, but the new cars also mitigated the impact on Maruti’s bread and butter segment of small cars.

Tell me more: Maruti Suzuki’s growth is in contrast to the 18.66% decline in automobile sales seen in December, as recorded by from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.

 

$75 billion

What is it? The UAE-India infrastructure investment fund which failed to get finalised on Wednesday.

Why is it important? It is a stumble for India looking for $1-1.5 trillion in investment in the next 10 years to fill infrastructure gaps. The two countries had announced the investment in 2015 on Narendra Modi’s visit to the United Arab Emirates. A lack of adequate administrative arrangements to manage the fund in India kept the UAE, represented by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day celebrations, from signing the agreement. UAE, with one of the world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Fund, is looking to diversify from oil.

Tell me more: The two countries signed 14 pacts including India’s strategic oil reserve to be maintained by Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and ramping up defence-sector cooperation.

 

>1.5 million

What is it? The members in the Tamil Nadu traders’ association (Tamil Nadu Vanigar Sangangalin Peramaipu), which has vowed to stop selling soft drinks from multinational companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo from March 1.

Why is it important? The sentiment of ditching MNC beverage makers in favour of indigenous brands festered during the week-long protests over Jallikattu among the youth. It has found currency among Tamil Nadu’s millions of traders. The discussion fora created during the protests saw people raise the issue of ground-water exploitation by beverage companies. The trade body’s 6,000 member-associations have approved the move. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo together command over half the aerated drinks market in India.

Tell me more: The association would be asking restaurants and hotels to follow suit as well, and highlights health concerns as one of its reasons for the ban.

 

>101

What is it? The estimated number of athletes who have tested positive for banned drug-use in re-tests of doping samples from the Beijing and London Olympics.

Why is it important? The athletes now include Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt’s compatriot, Nesta Carter. The finding strips the Jamaican quartet of the 2008 Beijing Olympics’ 4X100-metre relay gold. Tested from one of 454 selected samples, the International Olympic Committee found Carter’s sample to contain the banned stimulant methylhexaneamine. This robs Bolt of the claim to have completed anunprecedented ‘triple triple’ (gold in 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for three years: 2008, 2012 and 2016).

Tell me more: Till December, 2016, the tally of guilty athletes was 101, in a controversy that has hacked wide open the underhand practices of world-class athletes at the Olympics. Some athletes such as swimmer Lilly King have raised their voice against potential dopers.

 

2,500

What is it? The number of new housing units in the disputed West Bank sanctioned by Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for expanding Jewish settlement.

Why is it important? This signals Israel’s move to challenge the contentious two-state solution with Palestine, as pointed out by peace watchdogs such as Peace Now. Israel’s bold move follows the formation of an amenable US government headed by Donald Trump. Trump has pledged support by calling for the veto of an UN anti-settlement resolution, earlier refused by his predecessor, Barack Obama. The White House did not condemn the new constructions but called Israel a ‘huge ally’ in a marked change from the Obama-administration which used to condemn Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.

Tell me more: Since the transition in the US, one of Israel’s key defence-aid donors, Israel has approved a total of 3,000 settlements for its people in West Bank and East Jerusalem, regarded by the world as Palestinian territory. These already house more than 600,000 Jewish settlers. Israel claims the new houses are close to the 1967-border which it expects to retain even if peace with the Palestinians is brokered.

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