Adopters’ long wait

Rs 131,000 crore

What is it? Total amount of farm loans waived by five state governments – Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab.

Why is it important? Loan waiver could impact repayment culture, as past data indicates bad assets from agri-lending kept increasing for 4-5 years after the 2008 farm loan waiver announced by the UPA government. This will widen the combined fiscal deficits of state governments by up to 0.4% of GDP.

Tell me more: Punjab government has allocated Rs 1,500 crore towards farm loan waiver announced last week, as against total cost of Rs 10,000 crore.



100 riyals (or Rs 1,724)

What is it? Amount of monthly dependent fee that Saudi Arabia will levy from July 1 this years for expats living in the oil-rich country. It will increase by 100 riyals per dependent every year till 2020.

Why is it important? This move will impact more than 3 million Indians who live in Saudi Arabia. Higher dependent fee would mean less remittances to India, which has fallen below $ 60 billion for the first time since 2010-11.

Tell me more: Family visa is issued only for expats whose earnings are above 5,000 riyals (or Rs 86,225).




What is it? The number of applicants waiting to adopt a child in India.

Why is it important? The waiting time could reduce if a proposal from Ministry of Women and Child Development to set up dedicated benches in all high courts is accepted. At present, the cases are stuck in district or family courts. Adoptees can approach the high court and cases have to be resolved in two months under the proposal.

Tell me more: 20 million children in India are orphans, with nearly all of them (99.7%) being abandoned by parents. 3,737 kids were adopted last year ended March 2017.



Rs 31.31

What is it? The amount spent by Delhi government to feed a prisoner with three meals a day.

Why is it important? There is a wide variation in the amount spent by various state governments with Nagaland spending Rs 139 per prisoner, leading to questions whether adequate food is being provided to prisoners. Two-thirds of India’s prison population are undertrials, and majority of them are poor with inadequate access to legal help.

Tell me more: As per model prison manual, each male prisoner have to be provided food with calorie equivalent between 2,320 and 2,730 kcal/ day. Administration of prison is a state subject.



30 days

What is it? Proposed time period for completion of takeover of companies that are insolvent (defaulted on loans), as compared to six months at present.

Why is it important? This will help banks to sell insolvent companies to potential investors, and salvage a portion of their lending. Market regulator, the Securities Exchange Board of India, is considering a proposal to exempt insolvent companies from open offer requirement when a new investor steps in to takeover an insolvent company.

Tell me more: At present, investors are required to make an offer to buy shares from the public after they acquired 15% in a company, and the price will be determined based on last six months’ price or the purchase price.

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News in Numbers, June 14, 2016: Microsoft acquires LinkedIn, air ambulances in India…

$26.2 billion

What is it? The size of Microsoft – LinkedIn deal.

Why is it important? This is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever. It’s expected to help Microsoft in its path to become a business services company, and strengthen its suite of products – with Linkedin’s networking platform complementing Microsoft’s work tools including Office (which has 1.2 billion users).

Tell me more: Microsoft is buying Linkedin at $196 per share, a 50% premium to the closing price on Friday. “Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud,” according to Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn.


210-220 million

What is it? Overall estimated iPhone shipments in 2016, 8.6% lower than those in 2015.

Why is it important? This would the first fall in Apple’s flagship smartphone since its launch in 2007. Apple still relies on iPhones for two-thirds of its total sales and reported its first quarterly revenue decline since 2003 in the January-March 2016 period.

Tell me more: In a May report, Yuanta Investment Consulting had estimated that iPhone shipments would see a year-on-year decline of 12% to 207 million units this year. Apple is expected to launch its new model (iPhone 7) in September and new versions tend to boost sales, if they are significantly better than the previous ones.


Rs 2,250

What is it? The amount passengers of Spicejet, Indigo and GoAir need to pay (in addition to fare difference) for changing the name on tickets now. In 2010, this was Rs 1,500 plus fare difference, according to a study.

Why is it important? An example of how Indian airlines have increased the prices for almost all the different services including seat cancellation and infants or minors travelling unaccompanied, except for the tickets. While this may be viewed as an additional burden on unsuspecting passengers, experts say such a move would encourage first-time customers and expand the market.

Tell me more: Last weekend, the Civil Aviation Ministry proposed some new norms for services/charges including excess baggage, denied boarding and cancellation, and has given two weeks to its stakeholders to submit their suggestions and comments on the same.



What is it? The number of MLAs whose fate hangs in the balance after the President rejected a Bill of the Delhi government that seeks to amend the law on ‘Office of Profit’.

Why is it important? The Delhi government passed a bill that seeks to retrospectively exempt these MLAs, appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries last March, from the list of ‘Office of Profit’ and validate their posts. An elected member cannot hold an office of profit or hold positions that give them more financial and executive powers. There is a possibility that the 21 seats may now face by-elections.

Tell me more: The President has referred the issue to the Election Commission, which has sought the replies of the legislators and will fix a date for hearing to decide the fate of the legislators.


Rs 17,999

What is it? The annual subscription for a family for helicopter ambulance services to be launched by Bengaluru-based Aviators Air Rescue in the five southern states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – in three months.

Why is it important? The company would be the first one in India to offer services under the recently notified Helicopter Emergency Medical Services guidelines. Besides being airlifted to a healthcare facility in case of an emergency, the subscription would also cover last-mile ambulance charges of Rs 15,000 and preliminary hospital charges of Rs 85,000.

Tell me more: The air ambulances would land on pre-approved helipads and has partnered with 2,000 hospitals and ambulance services for the last-mile connectivity. The company, which will launch its services with three helicopters, plans to add seven more to its fleet to extend its coverage to the entire country by April 2017. For an individual, the annual subscription is Rs 8,999.

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News in Numbers – June 13, 2016


What is it? The number of people shot dead in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida by a lone gunman.

Why is it important? The latest mass shooting, the worst in US history, brings to fore the easy availability of guns. There have been at least 1,001 mass shootings in the US resulting in 1,141 deaths since December 2012, according to Gun Violence Archive data. 

Tell me more: The identity of the gunman, a New York born muslim with parents from Afghanistan, is likely to become an election issue where Donald Trump, the presumptive republican nominee, had openly advocated ban of muslims entering US.


What is it? The rank of Riya Singh, who topped among the girls in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced conducted for entry into the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs).

Why is it important? Only 13% of 36,566 candidates qualified were female students in the results announced on Sunday. The numbers underscore the barriers to entry for nearly half the student population in cracking admissions to India’s top engineering colleges.

Tell me more: 23 IITs admit 10,575 students in academic year 2016-17. The biggest chunk is IIT, Kharagpur with intake of 1,341 students.  

Rs 600 crore

What is it? Fine levied on five private run hospitals by the Delhi government for not treating poor patients.

Why is it important? Hospitals were allotted land at subsidised rate with a condition that 25% of in-patient and 10% of out-patient capacity to treat poor patients free of cost. The action by government follows a public interest litigation by Social Jurist in 2007 that private hospitals be fined for not giving free treatment to poor patients.

Tell me more: The land were allotted between 1960 and 1990, and the fine amount is calculated till 2007 from the time the hospital became operational.


What is it? China’s corporate debt to GDP ratio.

Why is it important? A top International Monetary Fund official has called it a “key fault line in the Chinese economy”. The huge debt, which was once seen as essential to drive growth, could have adverse impact on China, and owing to the size of its economy, on the world, if it’s left unchecked.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, India is trying hard to tackle its corporate debt that have gone bad. Arundhati Bhattacharya, chairman of India’s largest lender State Bank of India, said the banks should have had more tools and resolution mechanisms to deal with bad loans.

Rs 6,700 crore

What is it? The amount I Squared Capital, a private equity firm, is looking to invest in India over years through its ISQ Global Infrastructure Fund.

Why is it important? It could provide a boost to India’s rooftop solar energy aspirations, a key focus of the fund. It plans to invest about Rs 2000 crore on roof top solar. Indian government is targeting 100GW of solar capacity by 2022, and hopes to pull it off even earlier – by end of 2017.

Tell me more: I Squared Capital was founded by former Morgan Stanley executives, Sadek Wahba, Gautam Bhandari and Adil Rahmathulla all specialising in infrastructure. Its Global Infrastructure Fund has a corpus of 3.8 billion.


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News in numbers, Jan 18, 2016: MakeMyTrip under scanner, startups’ 3-year tax holiday…




What is it? Multiple by which the dosage of an existing anti-cancer drug, paclitaxel, can be reduced to achieve the same results as earlier, as per research by a team of scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Why is it important? Reduces the extent of side effects of the chemotherapy drug, which include hair loss, muscle and joint pain, diarrhea and increase the chances of infection. Cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world – there were 14 million new cases and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths in 2012. India had 1.8 million people living with cancer in 2012 (within five years of diagnosis) and 683,000 deaths due to cancer.


Tell me more: Paclitaxel, used for treatment of breast, lung and pancreatic cancers, was packed in containers that were derived from the patient’s own immune system to protect it from being destroyed by the body’s defence system and deliver them directly to the tumours.


Rs 75 crore


What is it? Alleged service tax evasion by online travel company MakeMyTrip. The Directorate General of Central Excise Intelligence (DGCEI) has filed a case against the company for purportedly not depositing service tax collected from customers.


Why is it important? Highlights the need for clearer tax policies for new-age companies. Questions that need to be addressed are: whether online companies like MakeMyTrip and Ola are technology or travel firms; and whether they are sellers or intermediaries need to be resolved to give greater clarity on taxation issues.


Tell me more: MakeMyTrip is collecting two types of taxes: service tax on 60% of the rate the company negotiates with the hotels towards renting of rooms and service tax on 10% of the gross value on the customer vouchers. The DGCEI has alleged that the company has deposited only the second category of service tax it has been collecting.


Rs 5,000 crore


What is it? Total funding three distribution companies have received from the Delhi government in the form of equity, debt, transferred assets and receivables since their inception on July 1, 2002, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG). The three discoms are: Reliance Power-promoted firms BSES Yamuna Power (BYPL) and BSES Rajdhani Power (BRPL) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution (TPDL).


Why is it important? The CAG has filed a petition before the Supreme Court challenging the quashing of its audit of the discoms. The Arvind Kejriwal-government had requested the CAG to audit the discom companies amidst allegations that they had been inflating expenses. But, after two of the discoms moved the Delhi High Court questioning the legality of the CAG auditing them, the court ruled in favour of the companies.


Tell me more: Delhi government holds 49% stake in these three power distribution companies, with majority control with private players.  




What is it? Number of Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officers who have been fired after not having reported to work for over five years.


Why is it important? Shows the inflexibility of service rules governing government employees, and slow decision making process. The officers have been absent at work for 8-18 years. The reasons for their absence is unknown. Though the Central Civil Service (Leave) Rules state that officials who are absent from duty for over five years (excluding foreign service) are considered to have resigned from the government service, it raises questions as to why action against them was not taken earlier.


Tell me more: The list of officers sacked include two Joint Commissioners, five Deputy Commissioners, three Assistant Commissioners and one Additional Commissioner.




What is it? Number of years for which Indian startups can avail the three-year tax holiday plan as part of the Startup Action Plan announced by the government recently.


Why is it important? Widens the scope as a higher number of start-ups can enjoy the three-year tax benefits. The government has announced that startups would be exempted from paying income tax on their profits for three years, subject to meeting a set of eligibility criteria. With the five-year window, if a startup makes profit on the first year and avails this tax holiday and makes losses the next two years, it will not lose out on the exemption.


Tell me more: Those availing this benefit cannot distribute dividend while receiving the tax exemption.

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