DAVOS/SWITZERLAND, 28JAN10 - Sir Martin Sorrell, Group Chief Executive, WPP Plc, United Kingdom captured during the session 'Will India Meet Global Expectations?' at the Congress Centre at the Annual Meeting 2010 of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 28, 2010.

Copyright by World Economic Forum
swiss-image.ch/Photo by Sebastian Derungs

Exit Martin Sorrell

 

2

What is it? The number of BJP ministers whose resignations were accepted by Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday.

Why is it important? Chander Parkash Ganga and Choudhary Lal Singh have come under fire for their participation in a rally supporting those arrested in connection with the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua. Besides this case, the ruling BJP has come under criticism for the Unnao case, where a minor girl tried to commit suicide in front of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s residence after inaction over a complaint where she has alleged that she was raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Senghar.

Tell me more: The counsel of the family of the Kathua victim plans to move the Supreme Court today, asking the case to be transferred outside the state.

 

35%

What is it? The drop in share price of WPP Plc, the world’s largest advertising and communication services company, in the past 14 months. Since 1995, though, the WPP share has increased 16-fold.

Why is it important? On Saturday, WPP chief executive Martin Sorrell resigned 33 years after founding it. His resignation comes in the wake of an investigation into personal misconduct involving company funds. Sorrell’s departure and the loss in market value could lead to WPP being split to unlock value.

Tell me more: Sorrell, 73, is one of the UK’s highest-earning business leaders, drawing above 200 million pounds in the past five years. As part of his separation package, he is in line to receive 20 million pounds a year for the next five years.

 

Rs 8,000 crore

What is it? The amount by which the non-performing assets of Indian banks is set to increase in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 due to just one account, Gitanjali Gems, as there was no servicing of debt in the last quarter.

Why is it important? In the wake of the Gitanjali Gems case, other banking frauds have come to light, exacerbating the problem of bad loans in the Indian banking system. In the last four financial years alone, public sector banks have written off Rs 2,41,000 crore worth of loans, of which they have recovered just one-tenth.

Tell me more: In 2010-11, a consortium of 21 banks, led by Allahabad Bank, had extended a working capital loan to Gitanjali Gems; in 2014, ICICI Bank became the lead banker, with an exposure of Rs 900 crore.

 

66

What is it? The number of medals (26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze) won by India in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, which culminated yesterday.

Why is it important? India finished third this year, after Australia and England, whose gold medal count stood at 80 and 45, respectively. In overall medals, India finished fourth, after Australia (198), England (136) and Canada (82). This is India’s third-best performance at the

Commonwealth Games, after 101 medals in 2010 and 69 medals in 2002. It bettered its count of 64 medals it won in Glasgow four years ago.

Tell me more: There were 218 participants from India this year, of which 103 were women and 115 men.

 

7

What is it? The number of bids received by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) to manage the Ahmedabad and Jaipur airports. Ahmedabad received three bids and Jaipur four.

Why is it important? AAI had invited bids for these two airports last year, but did not receive much interest due to terms and conditions that private players reportedly found onerous. Some terms have since been relaxed. These two airports are being seen as immediate test cases for state-owned AAI to improve traffic and increase private participation at more airports.

Tell me more: The AAI manages 139 airports, and 90% of them are loss-making, though AAI is a profitable entity.

 

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Indian_history-2

India’s History May Be Rewritten

 

6

What is it? The number of months since the Indian government set up a committee of scholars for the “holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world”.

Why is it important? The 14-member committee aims to use evidence, including archaeological finds and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), to prove that current day’s Hindus are descendants of the first inhabitants of this land and that ancient Hindu scriptures are factual accounts. This panel is said to be a part of bigger plans to rewrite India’s history and its findings could be included in school textbooks and academic research.

Tell me more: There have been instances of school textbooks being rewritten, most of it with respect to the Indian history, in the last few years. The underlying idea seems to be to change the idea of India and define the contours of national identity in consonance with it.

 

31

What is it? The number of banks, both state-run and private, that were in the consortium that extended working capital loans worth Rs 5,280 crore to Mehul Choksi-controlled Gitanjali Gems, beginning 2009.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, in an apparent widening of the probe into the alleged bank fraud by companies linked to Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) summoned senior executives of ICICI Bank, which led the consortium, and Axis Bank.

Tell me more: Since April 2007, banks reportedly entered into 151 loan transactions with Gitanjali Gems, with the most recent being Rs 40 crore by Syndicate Bank in December 2016 and Rs 60 crore by ICICI Bank in August 2016. Today, the SFIO is expected to question the MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank, which is the worst hit by this fraud.

 

11 years

What is it? The number of years since the last inter-Korean summit, in 2007. The last time North Korea was on the talks table was 2008-09, in a six-party dialogue comprising Russia, China, Japan, South Korea, US and North Korea, which eventually collapsed.

Why is it important? In what are being seen as signs of rapprochement, North Korea’s Kim Jong-un is slated to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the end of April, a senior South Korean diplomat said on his return from the North on Tuesday. The diplomat added that North Korea was willing to hold talks with the US on de-nuclearisation if the safety of Kim Jong-un’s regime was guaranteed.

Tell me more: The US and North Korea have been locked in a war of words. North Korea ranks ninth in terms of its nuclear arsenal.

 

Rs 45,000 crore

What is it? The amount Reliance Communications (RCom) owes to banks, as of March 2017.

Why is it important? An arbitration court has restrained RCom from selling or transferring assets without its permission. This deals a blow to its efforts to pare its debt by selling its wireless assets to Reliance Jio Infocomm for over Rs 20,000 crore, which was set to be completed by the end of this month. Anil Ambani-backed RCom has moved the Bombay High Court against this order.

Tell me more: The Indian subsidiary of Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, which had signed a seven-year agreement in 2014 to operate and manage RCom’s network, had filed insolvency petitions last September to claim unpaid dues of Rs 1,150 crore.

 

10

What is it? The number of days for which Sri Lanka has declared a nationwide state of emergency to quell anti-Muslim riots.

Why is it important? This is the first such emergency imposed since the civil war that was the result of ethnic tension between the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils. At least two people have been killed, and dozens of mosques and homes damaged. The special measures give the government sweeping powers to arrest suspects and detain them for longer periods and deploy forces where required.

Tell me more: Muslims account for 7.6% of Sri Lankan population, as per Census 2001. The latest violence is said to have erupted after a group of Muslim men in Digana town were accused of killing a man from the Sinhalese Buddhist community, which constitute three-fourths of the country’s population.

 

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