When is criminal charge < corruption?

Rs 350-400 crore

What is it? The amount for which Axis Bank is reportedly set to buy digital payments platform Freecharge from Snapdeal.

Why is it important? With this deal, the private lender would get a digital payments brand under its umbrella as well as access to superior technology that traditional companies find difficult to build when compared to startups. For Snapdeal, this would help provide it with some much-needed cash and also, free up space to better negotiate its sale to its larger rival, Flipkart.

Tell me more: Others such as Paytm (One97 Communications) and Amazon had also reportedly bid to buy Freecharge.



What is it? The number of MLAs facing serious criminal charges in the proposed alliance between Janata Dal United (JDU) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar.

Why is it important? Ruling alliance can change but the underlying nature of people forming part of the government doesn’t change much. Nearly one in four MLAs in the Bihar assembly have a serious criminal charge against them. All the four major parties – JDU, BJP, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal – have between 36% and 43% of their MLAs facing serious criminal charges.

Tell me more: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation last evening, citing differences with RJD over corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav, deputy chief minister. Hours later, BJP announced support to Nitish to form the next government.



What is it? The number of security personnel deaths due to Left-wing extremist violence in the first half of 2017, according to information submitted by the government to the Parliament on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This is the highest in the last three years and has also surpassed the number of security personnel killed (65) in the entire 2016. This number also exceeds the number of security personnel killed in Jammu and Kashmir in up to June this year (38) and also, those killed by insurgents in the north eastern parts of the country (9) and in the hinterland (0).

Tell me more: As many as 70 Maoists were killed in the first half of 2017 compared to 222 in 2016 and 89 in 2015. The number of left-wing extremism incidents until June this year was 478 compared to 1,048 in 2016.



What is it? The number of Army personnel whose life sentence was suspended by the Armed Forces Tribunal.

Why is it important? This order overturns the first punishment for Army personnel for human rights abuse in the Kashmir valley. The earlier conviction, by an Army court martial came in 2015, following the fake encounter of three Kashmiri youth in 2010 in Macchil.

Tell me more: The Jammu & Kashmir police had cracked the case, leading to the initial convictions. The five were acquitted based on a broken chain of evidence argument.



What is it? The number of farmer suicides in 2016, according to agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha.

Why is it important? The official database with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on farmer suicides is yet to be updated with 2016 information. But the minister’s numbers indicate a fall in such suicides, and the lowest in 21 years. In 2015, there were 12,602 suicidal deaths among agriculturists, both farmers and labourers, hence, a 9% drop in 2016.

Tell me more: The year 2016 and the ongoing 2017 have been rife with farmer protests and suicides, dictating the national discourse. Farm loan waivers and debates around it have increased in 2017. The long speech on Wednesday saw the Opposition in RS walk out on the minister, miffed at the mention of farmer suicides.

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The Art of the Deal

$7.8 billion

What is it? Estimated government IT spending in India in 2017, according to Gartner.

Why is it important? It represents a growth of 7.5% from 2016, but down from earlier estimation of 9.5%. The revision underlines the concern that India’s government spending is shrinking when it should be gearing up on the back of slowdown in economic growth. Credit Suisse in a report said the overall government spending might be revised down to meet fiscal deficit targets.

Tell me more: Gartner said the downward revision was due to “effects of demonetization and a drop in industrial production.” .



What is it? The number of Maharashtra districts witnessing farmer protests.

Why is it important? In these districts, farmers stopped vehicles carrying farm and dairy produce headed for cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nashik and Aurangabad. They are agitating to ensure higher prices for their produce and demand a farm loan waiver similar to that in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP government in Maharashtra will have to spend Rs 30,500 crore to do so.

Tell me more: Even though the Fadnavis government had said it would study UP’s move, the farmers’ association has complained they got no assurance on Tuesday, leading to the strike.



What is it? The number of seats Conservative Party is predicted to win in next week’s UK general elections.

Why is it important? If the prediction turns out to be right, the party will fall short of 9 seats for a majority, leading to a hung parliament. Only twice since 1926 did the elections yield such results in the UK – in 1974 and 2010. If Conservatives fail to get a majority, its dependence on smaller parties will go up diluting its stand on policies.

Tell me more: Conservatives, under Theresa May, called for snap election on June 8, to pave the way for smoother Brexit-related legislation, as it now has only a thin majority of 17.


$124.7 million

What is it? The revenue of driverless vehicle technology company, Mobileye, in the Jan-Mar quarter.

Why is it important? The Israeli company’s revenues increased by 66%, on the back of new partners such as major automakers and development of complex driver assistance systems. Mobileye is in the midst of being bought out by Intel.

Tell me more: While Intel has moved to acquire it, end users such as BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen have signed up for its camera-enabled self-driving car systems that avoid collisions. Ensuring safety is the priority in the driverless automobile engineering, even as collisions serve as grim reminders to their limits.


$4.2 billion

What is it? The amount Russian government will lend India towards the construction cost of two nuclear power reactors.

Why is it important? The credit line is a part of a much awaited deal to jointly build two nuclear power reactors at Kudankulam nuclear power station in Tamil Nadu. It was one among the five deals signed by India and Russia during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country. The agreement would lead to building of units 5 and 6 at Kudankulam, each with a capacity of 1000MW.

Tell me more: The two reactors will be built by India’s Nuclear Power Corporation of India and Russia’s Atomstroyexport. India has 22 nuclear power reactors at present with an overall capacity of  6780 MW.

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