News in Numbers, May 6, 2016: New proposals for bank licenses, Tamil Nadu’s freebies…

10 years

What is it? The minimum number of years a resident individual should have worked in banking and finance to apply for a bank license in India, per Reserve Bank’s proposed guidelines.

Why is it important? An example of the balance the banking regulator seeks to achieve in its new set of proposals to encourage more players in the banking sector. It also proposes to issue bank licences throughout the year instead of issuing them periodically. These changes are expected to increase the reach of formal banking.

Tell me more: Large business houses are still excluded from applying for bank licenses but can hold up to 10% in banks and a financial holding structure is optional if the promoters are individuals or standalone entities and do not have other group entities. RBI will accept comments on these guidelines till June 30.

Rs 1-100 crore

What is it? The penalty for wrongful depiction of India’s map, which may include jail term of up to seven years, according to the draft ‘Geospatial Information Regulation Bill 2016’.

Why is it important? This is likely to prevent repeat of instances where social networking sites showed Indian territories (Kashmir in China and Jammu in Pakistan) as part of neighbouring countries. The draft bill makes it mandatory to get permission from a government authority before acquiring, disseminating, publishing or distributing India’s geographical data. This means firms such as Google would need to apply for licenses to run Google Maps and Google Earth in the country.

Tell me more: The bill proposes the setting up of an enforcement authority to ensure compliance of these rules.

Rs 96.7 crore

What is it? BSE Ltd’s consolidated net profit for 2015-16, a drop of Rs 155.5 crore from the previous year.

Why is it important? The drop in profits could affect its valuation as it readies itself for an initial public offering by the end of 2016 to reportedly raise Rs 700-800 crore. It would be India’s first equity exchange to get listed.

Tell me more: The board of directors of BSE approved the public listing on Thursday.

100

What is it? The number of units of free electricity promised by the J Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK in its manifesto released on Thursday.

Why is it important? It would exempt 78 lakh consumers from paying electricity bills, and comes at a time when the state’s power generation and distribution arm is reeling under debts of Rs 80,000 crore. Its power deficit was predicted to be 4.5% in 2015-16. It’s just one of the several freebies AIADMK and its rivals have promised ahead of the state elections.

Tell me more: AIADMK’s other promises include: 50% subsidy on scooters for working women, free Wi-Fi at public places and a Rs 50-crore Amma venture capital fund for first generation entrepreneurs. DMK, the other major political party in Tamil Nadu, has offered freebies ranging from tablets and laptops with 3G/4G connections, smartphones, rice and lower milk prices.

30 lakh

What is it? The number of students who could potentially appear for the second phase of nationwide common test for undergraduate medical and dental courses to be held on July 24 – some of whom might have taken the test already in phase 1, per Supreme Court’s request.

Why is it important? If accepted, this would help those who appeared for the first phase of the test on May 1, which was converted from being the All India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Entrance Test (AIPMT) to an all-India common entrance exam on April 28. The students may not have prepared seriously for AIPMT as it offered them only 15% seats allotted under the all-India quota and may have been banking on state entrance exams.

Tell me more: The court reiterated that private medical colleges and its associations cannot conduct any entrance exams for medical courses while there is some uncertainty if states can do the same.

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News in numbers, Apr 18, 2016: States reducing rural spend, Tamil Nadu’s freebie culture…

14

What is it? The number of states that have reduced their rural spending in absolute terms in 2015-16 compared to the previous year.

Why is it important? The cutback in rural spending – for example, in agriculture, rural infrastructure and irrigation – comes during the second consecutive year of drought. One reason is the reduction in state revenues from their share in central taxes and grants in aid, which declined by 0.3% of GDP in 2015-16.

Tell me more: Of the 14 states that reduced rural spending, five cut down on their overall spending in 2015-16. This also raises the question if states have shifted their expenditure from rural spending by using the spending freedom got due to the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.

~Rs 15,000 crore

What is it? The value of freebies provided by the Tamil Nadu government between 2006 and 2016, first five under M Karunanidhi’s DMK and the next under J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK.

Why is it important? Raises questions about the economics of freebies, especially when the state’s revenue deficit (net amount received is lesser than projected net amount to be received) is estimated to nearly double to Rs 9,155 crore in 2016-17 from the previous year. The freebies offered by DMK and AIADMK included rice at single-digit prices per kg, fans, mixers, gold, laptops, bicycles and television sets.

Tell me more: In response to a 2013 Supreme Court order, the Election Commission updated its Model Code of Conduct rules and said parties should not make promises that impair the quality of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters. The rules also require the parties to explain the rationale behind the poll promises and broadly state the financial means by which they would implement them.

$38.06-$40.86 per barrel

What is it? The prices at which the global benchmarks of crude oil (US and Brent crude futures respectively) were trading at around 6 am (Indian Standard Time) today.

Why is it important? Crude oil prices were down by 5.7% and 5.2% respectively from their last closing. This was due to the failed attempt by major oil-producers to curb their output at January levels to arrest falling oil prices, at their Doha meet on Sunday. This gives rise to concerns about continued global oversupply of crude and low oil prices in the near future.

Tell me more: Barclays estimates Brent to average at around $36 a barrel in the second quarter of this year.

$37,584 (~ Rs 25 lakh)

What is it? The value of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s total compensation in 2015.

Why is it important? Musk does not take salary from Tesla, and this amount is as per California’s minimum wage requirements. Musk has a 26.5% stake (as of December 31) in the company, worth around $9.47 billion. He received stock options worth $5.27 million in 2012 to compensate him for 10 years.

Tell me more: Other CEOs who got low compensation are Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who received $1 as salary in 2014 (along with additional compensation of $610,455) and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey whose compensation was valued at $68,506 last year.

$37 million

What is it? The amount Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer would receive if she leaves after Yahoo is sold off.

Why is it important? Telecom firm Verizon and Daily Mail General Trust (owner of MailOnline website) are expected to submit their bids to takeover Yahoo’s core business today.

Tell me more: Yahoo’s revenue has fallen by 8.5% since 2012 (Mayer was appointed CEO in July 2012) to $4.09 billion in 2015 while its adjusted profit has nearly halved to $0.95 billion during the same period. If Marissa Mayer is fired before the company is sold off, she would still receive $13 million, per reports.

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