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.

 

47

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.

 

67

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.

 

5

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.

 

11,458

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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Aadhaar: Not so unique

$23.35 billion

What is it? The estimate, on the higher end, of black money, or money illicitly taken out of the India in 2014.

Why is it important? Curbing black money, both its movement and creation, has been an integral part of the Modi-government’s propaganda. It was the reason initially furnished by the Prime Minister when introducing last year’s demonetisation, before switching to the cause of a cashless economy. In 2014, the year the government came to power, there was also an illicit fund inflow of $101 billion (on the higher side).

Tell me more: Illegal fund flows from developing countries totalled $1 trillion in 2014, according to the watchdog, Global Financial Integrity, which came out with the study.

 

135 million

What is it? The estimated number of Aadhaar card numbers leaked through four government portals.

Why is it important? While the parent data governing agency, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has maintained the information remains secure, studies such as this expose the gross mishandling by government agencies with access to Aadhaar data, which is set to become sensitive, that fraudsters would be eager to misuse. The debate around Aadhaar’s information security has become more intense as the Union government attempts to link it mandatorilywith other key documents such as passports, Pan cards, flight and train tickets, with implications such as enabling financial transactions with just an Aadhaar proof. The Supreme Court is hearing a PIL against why it should not be linked to Pan cards. The reasons against linking Aadhaar mandatorily are many, some mentioned here and here.

Tell me more: The study by thinktank, Centre for Internet and Society, reveals Aadhaar details linked by the National Social Assistance Programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Chandranna Bima Scheme, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, Daily Online Payment Reports of NREGA, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh stand exposed. It says the UIDAI is ignoring the swathes of data on public display.

 

14

What is it? The number of new warehouses e-commerce giant, Amazon, plans to add in India.

Why is it important? The Flipkart-competitor will be doubling its storage capacity with this move. A few days back, Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos, reiterated he would continue increasing India investments, having committed to spend $5 billion.

Tell me more: The new warehouses would serve tier II and III cities, as the company looks to complete the last mile in the hinterland.

 

>12,000

What is it? The average number of suicides by farmers each year since 2013.

Why is it important? The government informed the Supreme Court about the death toll. In 2015, this was 9.4% of all suicide victims as 8,007 farmer-cultivators and 4,595 agricultural labourers took their lives. Two years of drought still continue to haunt farmers, with protests as recent as in April.

Tell me more: The Centre was furnishing the details in a case on minimum support price for agricultural produce and the inefficacy of crop insurance.

52.5

What is it? The value of a privately-monitored manufacturing activity index for the month of April.

Why is it important? The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index by Markit stayed above 50, signifying expansion in the sector. It maintained the same level as in March with 52.5, making December’s contraction a distant memory. Growth in new orders led to the output increase.

Tell me more: It is in line with the government’s estimate of growth in output of eight core manufacturing sectors, released yesterday.

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News in Numbers, May 12, 2016: New drought policies, some Amazon India sellers in trouble…

3

What is it? The number of months the government has to set up a National Disaster Mitigation Fund to tackle drought, per Supreme Court directions.

Why is it important? This would accelerate and streamline drought relief and preparations, and mitigate its impact including farmer suicides. Over 330 million people (about a quarter of India’s population) are drought-hit and 116 farmers have committed suicide in 10 states so far.

Tell me more: Other measures listed by the Supreme Court include: replace colonial methods and manuals with a modern, transparent, rule-based framework to deal with drought, implement provisions of the National Disaster Management Act and formulate a national policy under it, revise the existing drought management manual of 2009 and standardised nomenclature. The apex court rapped three states – Gujarat (for delay in acknowledging drought), Haryana and Bihar (for not declaring drought at all).

 

Rs 9,000 crore

What is it? The value of domestic assets and shares of liquor baron Vijay Mallya, which the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is reportedly considering to attach, in relation to the IDBI bank loan fraud case.

Why is it important? Mallya’s assets and shares are being examined to be attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act so that no third-party rights can be created in them, according to an ED official. However, attachment and attempts to sell Mallya’s properties have not fetched the authorities/banks anything so far.

Tell me more: The IDBI Bank loan fraud case pertains to an allegation by the investigating agency that Mallya has siphoned off Rs 430 crore from the Rs 900 crore loan given by the bank to his now defunct firm Kingfisher Airlines, to buy properties overseas. The grounded airline owes around Rs 9,000 crore to 17 banks.

 

50

What is it? The number of sellers of Amazon India who have been alleged to falsely claiming credit on Central Value Added Tax (Cenvat).

Why is it important? The alleged tax evasion – using the provision that allows tax relief on inputs for a product or service – could be about Rs 118 crore. It also highlights the tough time global tech companies – others include Facebook, Uber and Google – have been facing in India.

Tell me more: The authorities has questioned Amazon India and conducted searches in its business premises across the country to determine if Amazon is involved in any wrongdoing related to this case.

 

4

What is it? The number of telecom circles Vodafone will launch 4G services in, over the next few months.

Why is it important? This would help India’s second largest telecom service provider to cover 1,000 cities across nine circles by the end of this year, which will likely contribute to the onset of a pricing war and consolidation in the industry. Bharti Airtel is aggressively pushing to establish dominance in the 4G segment before Reliance Jio’s expected launch by the end of the year.

Tell me more: The new circles are Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh East and West Bengal. According to a Deloitte India report, a third of the mobile users in the country are expected to adopt 4G services by the end of the year, possibly resulting in the reduction of traditional voice calls.

 

11

What is it? The average age of US technology companies that went public in 2014, compared to four years in 1999.

Why is it important? An indicator that these firms are shying away from an initial public offering (IPO) longer than earlier due to rapid increase in private investor money. Poor performance of IPOs of tech companies in the last few years have not helped. This is likely to change the way investments are done in tech startups, given that investors have to wait longer to realise their returns.

Tell me more: The data is according to a research by Jay Ritter, a University of Florida professor, which points to the fact that tech companies are preferring the private route to grow into unicorns (startups valued at over $1 billion) and decacorns (valuation above $10 billion) instead of the public listing route.

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News in Numbers, Apr 27, 2016: Mitsubishi scandal, Apple’s first quarterly fall in 13 years…

Rs 2,800 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government wants to raise by selling a 11.36% in hydropower producer NHPC today.

Why is it important? The first disinvestment in the current financial year. The government hopes to raise Rs 56,500 crore in 2016-17 by selling its stake in state-owned companies. It remains to be seen if it can achieve that, given that it missed its disinvestment target for the sixth year in a row in 2015-16.

Tell me more: The government, which holds 85.96% in NHPC, will also be able to comply with the market regulator’s rules to increase minimum public shareholding in listed state-owned firms to 25%. The issue price has been set at Rs 21.75 a share, a 5.6% discount to NHPC’s closing price of Rs 23.05 on Tuesday.

25

What is it? The number of years Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors has been falsifying fuel emission tests for the cars it sold in its home country.

Why is it important? The Mitsubishi scandal is much bigger than previously thought. Last week, Japan’s sixth-largest automaker admitted that it had manipulated test data for four domestic mini-van vehicles (including two made for Nissan Motor) and had said the non-compliance was from 2002. This follows German automaker Volkswagen’s admission last year where it admitted to cheating on fuel emission tests that has cost the company €16 billion so far.

Tell me more: The Mitsubishi scandal has affected over 600,000 cars, 157,000 Mitsubishi models and 468,000 Nissan models. It’s share prices have fallen by nearly 50% since its first admission last week and has lost around $3.9 billion in market value.

$50.6 billion

What is it? Apple’s revenue in the three months ended to March 2016, down 12.8% from same period last year.

Why is it important? This is Apple’s first quarterly decline since 2003. iPhone sales, which contribute to around two-thirds of its total sales, declined by 10 million to 51.2 million from a year ago. The company is still best known for its iPhone and given the absence of any major product launch, it remains to be seen if Apple’s growth has already peaked. It expects to earn $41-43 billion in the next quarter.

Tell me more: The company earned $2.1 billion from its ‘Other Products’ category (includes Apple watches, Apple TV and Beats) during the quarter, a 30% increase from the year-ago quarter.

116

What is it? The number of farmers who have committed suicide so far this year, according to the Indian government.

Why is it important? Impact of a back-to-back drought, which is being made worse by the soaring temperatures in different parts of the country and dipping water reserves in India’s main reservoirs. The government said it has approved a Rs 12,773.3 crore relief package to 10 drought-hit states during the summer season of the crop year of 2015-16.

Tell me more: 57 farmer suicides were reported in Maharashtra (as on February 29), one of the worst-drought affected states while 56 farm labourers have ended their lives in Punjab. Three farmer suicides have been recorded in Telangana.

Rs 333-467

What is it? The likely increase in the cost of basic mobile handsets after the global positioning system (GPS) feature is enabled and the emergency/panic button is introduced.

Why is it important? The Indian Cellular Association fears that this would make it unaffordable for people at the bottom of the pyramid to buy mobile phones. The least expensive phone retails at Rs 500 apiece. However, it is likely that entry-level mobile phones would mirror smartphone pricing trends – with increasing volumes, prices would come down even further.

Tell me more: The government notified on Tuesday that all phones rolled out from January 2018 must have the GPS feature and those sold after January 2017 must have a panic button. India crossed the 1-billion mark in mobile phone subscribers in January this year.

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