Stress relief for ICICI

676 million Swiss Francs

What is it? The money kept by Indians in Swiss banks in 2016, according to the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank.

Why is it important? The amount, around Rs 4,600 crore, is at an all-time low. India and Switzerland, considered a tax haven, have signed an agreement to automatically share information when money is deposited in the latter’s banking system. Exchange of information will begin from next year.

Tell me more: The amount, however, does not reflect money kept by Indians through entities from other countries.

 

Rs 16,189 crore

What is it? The amount paid by UltraTech Cement to acquire Jaiprakash Associates and Jaypee Cement Corporation.

Why is it important? It marks the biggest sale of stressed assets by lenders, a consortium led by ICICI Bank in this case. Loans worth Rs 12,000 crore of Jaiprakash Associates will move to the books of the Aditya Birla Group-owned cement major. The debt will now be labelled as AAA status from a non-performing asset.

Tell me more: By December, 2016, Indian banks had stressed assets/bad loans worth Rs 9.64 lakh-crore, up from Rs 8 lakh-crore a year ago. The deal also marks the largest acquisition of cement assets in India.

 

7th

What is it? India’s rank among countries most affected by the recent ‘Petya’ ransomware.

Why is it important? India is the worst hit in the Asia Pacific region. Russia’s oil firm Rosneft, international advertising behemoth WPP and one of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s terminals were among the companies that got infected.

Tell me more: Ukraine, US and Russia were the worst hit globally, with France, UK, Germany, China and Japan also coming under attack. This is the second ransomware attack in less than two months, after ‘WannaCry’ wreaked havoc in over 100 countries in May.

 

1,600

What is it? The number of US local talent Indian software company, Wipro, has hired in the last six months.

Why is it important? Local staff now account for half of Wipro’s 14,000 employees in US. Other Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys have also started hiring local talent in US, the largest market for software exports from India. This comes at a time when the world’s largest economy is tightening norms for issuing H1-B visas – which allows temporary employment in US and was used extensively by Indian companies to service US clients.

Tell me more: Infosys plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, and TCS too plans to ramp up local appointments.

 

85%

What is it? The percentage of seats in 28 Delhi University colleges that Delhi government wants to reserve for local students.

Why is it important? Delhi government passed a resolution on Thursday, but it has to get the approval from the governor and Union education ministry. The Delhi government is demanding reservation in 28 out of 63 Delhi University colleges that it funds fully or partially.

Tell me more: The Delhi government says of the 250,000 students passing out from Delhi’s schools, only 28,000 are able to secure a college seat in Delhi due to intense competition.

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News in Numbers, June 2, 2016: Call drop data in 11 cities, India’s first rail university…

11

What is it? The number of cities that will get access to call drop data in the next 15 days.

Why is it important? The naming and shaming strategy is expected to push telcos to improve their service quality, and keep the drops below 2%. Earlier, the Supreme Court struck down the telecom regulator’s recommendation of imposing penalty on telcos. Now, it is reportedly seeking the authority to do so from the government.

Tell me more: On Wednesday, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India released the call drop data for Delhi. Airtel’s 2G and 3G call drop rates have deteriorated in May when compared to those last September while Vodafone’s 2G call drop rates improved (though still above the permitted 2% limit) and on its 3G network, it remained constant at 1.4%.

 

46.43%

What is it? Percentage of loans given by public sector banks (excluding the State Bank of India and its associates) of the total as of March 2016.

Why is it important? It’s down from 50.06% in March 2015 and the lowest in over 12 years. The shrinking market share is likely to expedite consolidation in Indian banking industry. Recently, the Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said India would have 8-10 competitive public sector banks “when the dust settles”.  

Tell me more: This is an effect of the central bank’s mandate asking lenders to clean up their balance sheets by March 2017, which led to categorising more loans as bad, increase in provisions and net losses, and deterioration in capitalisation levels. In terms of deposits too, public sector banks lost their market share – from 50.95% in March 2015 to 48.32% in March 2016.

 

Rs 865 crore

What is it? The cost of setting up India’s first railway university in Vadodara, excluding land costs.

Why is it important? The railway university, which would offer MBA, B.Tech, M.Tech degrees, and diplomas is aimed at transforming India into a global centre for research and development in railway engineering and management. Indian Railways is the largest rail network in Asia and the world’s second largest under a single management.

Tell me more: An internal report by the Railway Board last year had suggested the setting up of rail research centres and introducing railway-related subjects in existing universities instead of setting up new ones. The National Academy of Indian Railways in Vadodara is the apex training institute for all Railway officers.

 

Rs 20,000 crore

What is it? The cost of building a common Secretariat on Lodhi Road in Delhi to house various ministries (excluding a few key ones) and departments.

Why is it important? This move is likely to make inter-communication between ministries and departments easier and quicker and would also help the government in tackling shortage of office space, which often pushes them towards high rentals.

Tell me more: The proposal by the Central Public Works Department would be presented to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his approval. This includes razing down of residential complexes of 4,000 families who will be provided with alternate housing.

 

8,000

What is it? The number of Delhi University (DU) teachers who have been protesting against some recent changes in University of Grants Commission (UGC) rules since May 24.

Why is it important? This affects the evaluation of answer sheets of around 1.3 lakh undergraduate students. They are protesting against the increase in number of working hours, difficulty in getting promotions, especially for Assistant Professors, and the likely loss of jobs for approximately 5,000 teachers, especially those in ad hoc positions.

Tell me more: The UGC has called for a meeting of all stakeholders on June 6 to discuss issues including the basis on which teachers are promoted and their workload and if the issues are not resolved then, it could lead to a delay in DU results and sessions.

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