Electrified, But Access To Power?


What is it?The number of years Aditya Ghosh served as IndiGo’s president. He was put in the driver’s seat two years after the airline was founded.

Why is it important?Under his leadership, IndiGo grew to become India’s largest domestic passenger airline and the world’s fourth-largest low-budget airline. Its domestic market share doubled to 39.6% in 2016-17 from 20.3% in 2011-12, and it reported its ninth straight year of profits in 2016-17. Ghosh’s stint saw IndiGo place record aircraft orders worth billions and sail through a successful public listing. However, the airline went through a rough patch last year.

Tell me more: His surprise exit comes at a time when IndiGo is looking to make an international push. IndiGo’s co-founder Rahul Bhatia has been appointed as its interim chief executive officer.


What is it? The year in which the Korean war ended, though both North Korea and South Korea continued to be hostile to each other as no peace treaty was signed.

Why is it important? On Friday, South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to officially declare the end of the Korean War this year to establish a permanent peace agreement and denuclearise the Korean peninsula. However, the agreement did not carry specific commitments and Seoul has warned that getting North Korea to give up nuclear weapons is a difficult task.

Tell me more:Kim Jong-un has promised to close the nuclear test site in his country in May if the US promises not to attack his country. On Saturday, US president Donald Trump said his meeting with the North Korean leader may happen over the next 3-4 weeks.


What is it? The number of days within its deadline the Indian government has said it has electrified all its villages.

Why is it important? When Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in May 2014, there were 18,452 villages without electricity. Now, all of 597,464 census villages are electrified. However, this doesn’t mean all Indians have access to power given the government’s definition of electrification and the government’s promise of providing uninterrupted power supply to all households by March 2019 seems to be a difficult task.

Tell me more:According to a 2017 World Bank report, over a billion people do not have access to electricity globally, with India and Nigeria topping the list of the world’s most power-deficient nations.


What is it? The percentage drop in area covered by India’s flagship crop insurance scheme, according to a government panel.

Why is it important? Area covered by the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana fell from 57.1 million hectares in 2016-17 to 47.5 million hectares in 2017-18. Launched with much fanfare in 2016-17, the scheme promised to offer affordable crop insurance, and take this risk-management tool from the fringes to the mainstream for farmers.

Tell me more: The panel pointed out that fewer insurers were bidding to service rainfed areas that were prone to drought, resulting in premium rates that went up to 25% of the sum insured.


What is it? Number of drivers out of the top six whose race was compromised by incidents in an accident-ridden Formula 1 race in Azerbaijan yesterday.

Why is it important?The two Red Bull drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen collided with each other, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari flatspotted a tyre during an ambitious pass, Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes had a rear puncture with the race in his pocket, and Kimi Raikkonen was mostly in catch-up mode after an early accident. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won the race to lead the drivers’ championshipfor the first time in 2018.

Tell me more:The Red Bull incident was the most severe, leading to both Red Bull drivers being censuredby the team management.

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News in numbers, Jan 14, 2016: Revamped crop insurance scheme, India’s diaspora population…



What is it? Premium, as a percentage of insured value, to be paid by farmers for insuring kharif crops under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, a revamped crop insurance scheme. It will be 1.5% for rabi crops and 5% for commercial or horticultural crops.


Why is it important? The revamped crop insurance aims to derisk farming by capping the insurance premium, with government subsidising the remaining cost. The type of losses covered are also being widened. Farmers will now be encouraged to diversify into non-food crops as most of their losses could be covered and premium to cover that will be only 5% of insured value. Horticultural crops don’t have minimum price support.


Tell me more: Only 27% of farming households are covered under existing crop insurance schemes.  


Rs 1.40 per litre


What is it? Increase in price of petrol to implement the BS VI emission norms, which will come into effect from 2020. In the case of diesel, the impact would be Rs 0.63 per litre.   


Why is it important? Car makers have complained about lack of quality fuel as hindrance to implement emission norms. Now, Indian Oil Corporation, India’s largest oil refiner, will invest Rs 21,000 crore to upgrade its fuel by 2020. Diesel passenger vehicles will cost 20% more, but petrol vehicles will increase by only 2% to meet the BS VI norms.  


Tell me more: India’s BS VI norms is equivalent to Europe’s VI standards, which is in practice from 2014.  




What is it? Luxury tax imposed by Bihar government on common Indian sweets and savouries like samosas and kachori if the price is above Rs 500 per kg.


Why is it important? With the ban on sale of alcohol from April this year, the state government is looking at ways to increase or levy new taxes to compensate for the loss of tax on alcohol. This will increase the cost of food and other items in the state.    


Tell me more: Bihar estimated to collect Rs 4,000 crore as excise duty on alcohol in 2015-16. This is around 12% of the state’s tax collection.


16 million


What is it? Size of India’s diaspora population in 2015. India has the world’s largest number of people living outside the country where they were born.  


Why is it important? Migration is beneficial as remittances help in bridging trade deficit. India received $ 70 billion of remittances in 2014, around 22% of India’s export in 2014-15.    


Tell me more: International migration increased by 41% between 2000 and 2015. This also includes 20 million refugees.


4 billion


What is it? The number of people who still don’t have access to internet as against 3.2 billion (or 60% of world’s population) who have access. 2 billion people don’t use mobile phones.


Why is it important? Of the 4 billion, more than 1 billion are in India. Shows the digital divide, if left unaddressed, will lead to a new underclass, says the World Bank. Offline investments in education, technology and infrastructure are key to bridge this divide.  


Tell me more: 500 million across the world live in areas where there are no mobile signals.

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