‘Nation-State of the Jewish People’

What is it?The percentage of Arabs in Israel, which has a population of about 9 million.

Why is it important? Israel passed a law declaring itself to be ‘Nation-State of the Jewish People’. “Israel is the historic homeland of the Jewish people and they have an exclusive right to national self-determination in it,” the law said. The legislation was first proposed seven years ago.

Tell me more: Critics have slammed Israel for violating its 1948 Declaration of Independence, which promises to treat all its inhabitants equally. They also said the law would complicate the two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.




What is it? The price at which Maharashtra government will procure milk (per litre) from farmers starting 21 July.

Why it’s important? This follows four days of agitation by farmers demanding better price for their produce. Such protests are being increasingly seen as an effective way to get things done by the state. Agrarian riots increased eightfold between 2014 and 2016.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, central government is looking to raise export incentives on milk and milk products as a way for farmers to get better returns.


19.8 million


What is it?The number of smartphones sold by the top 2 players in Indian is second quarter of 2018.

Why is it important?Xiaomi and Samsung stand neck to neck, selling 9.9 million phones each, and accounting for 60% of the market. Samsung’s sales were up 47% year on year, this quarter. Overall smartphone shipments grew 22% during the quarter. The South Korean and Chinese companies were followed by two more Chinese firms, Vivo and Oppo.

Tell me more: Samsung recently opened a factory in India that will have a capacity to produce 120 million phones a year. Rising video consumption in rural India is one of the key drivers of both internet and smartphones in the country.


$1,217.95 per ounce


What is it? Spot price of gold.

Why is it important? It’s lowest in the last one year, and the dip comes against the expectation that gold prices would go up in the context of geopolitical uncertainty and escalating trade war between US and and China. However, stronger dollar and expectation of two more interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve have proven to be bigger drivers so far.

Tell me more:  The Fed raised interest rates in June. Its chairman  Jerome Powell said in a testimony that he sees two years of stable growth ahead of US. US President Donald Trump however has criticized rate hikes for its potential impact on growth and job creation.


1 hour 43 minutes


What is it?The duration of the total lunar eclipse around midnight on July 27th.

Why is it important? This will be the longest eclipse of the 21st century, according to BM Birla Science Centre. The moon will be passing the middle of earth’s shadow making it longer than an usual lunar eclipse.

Tell me more: The moon will also appear red, as the earth will filter out most of blue light coming from the Sun.

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News In Numbers – July 22

News In Numbers: July 22



Share of revenues from areas other than voice calls for telecom company Idea Cellular in the April to June quarter. This is a marked increase from the 17.8% share of non-voice revenues for Idea in the corresponding quarter a year ago, underscoring the voracious data consumption via mobile that is providing a fillip to telecom companies in India. The Idea results declared yesterday showed that, on an average, its 37.2 million subscribers who have data services on their mobile used 600 MB of data, a near 50% increase over a year ago. Yesterday, shares of Bharti Airtel, the leader in India by market share, also hit a six-year high.



The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio currently followed by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing against gold jewellery, where ‘value’ is computed as the average of gold prices in the last 30 days. In global markets on Monday, gold prices fell to a five-year low, prompting lenders who provide loans against the yellow metal to start asking their customers to make part-payments of their loans. In January 2014, the central bank had allowed NBFCs to offer loans of up to 75% of the pledged gold/jewellery. The maximum LTV permissible, fixed by the Association of Gold Loan companies, is Rs 1,818 per gram (against value of gold jewellery worth Rs 2,423) until the end of this week (July 25).



The number of defamation cases filed by AIADMK, one of the major regional parties in India, against media and political rivals. The latest is a criminal defamation case against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for a tweet on the health of J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK leader. Earlier, Swamy had challenged Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, arguing that these sections, which allow the initiation of criminal proceedings for defamation, restrict freedom of speech and expression. Last week, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre why these IPC provisions cannot be diluted to remove the perception that it violated the fundamental right to free speech.


4.6 million

The number of unique entries in the caste field thrown up by the caste survey of 330 million Indian households. The Niti Aayog now has the onerous task of matching this database of 4.6 million entries with the correct caste to table India’s population by caste. Political parties have been demanding the release of the caste data, documented as part of the Socio Economic and Caste Census, commissioned in 2011. The Central government recently said it would release the data after rectifying errors in 14.6 million cases.


Rs 35 crore

The cost of scrapping a contentious 5.8 km bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor in New Delhi, according to Delhi government’s estimates. This is about a quarter of what it cost to build the corridor. A pet project of the erstwhile Congress government in Delhi and one that was to serve as the model for 26 more such corridors in the city, it attracted criticism for causing traffic snarls and pedestrian deaths. According to one study, the number of accidents and accident-related deaths on the stretch increased by 40% and 48%, respectively, after the BRT became operational. Yesterday, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi decided to scrap the corridor.
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