Ap_facebook_dislike

Commitment To Privacy

20,000

What is it? The number of Facebook employees who would be reviewing content posted in the social media website by end of this year, as compared to 10,000 employed last year to review content and security.

Why is it important? This move is after it was found Russia-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) influenced the 2016 US elections. Previously, Facebook has hands off approach to filter content that is false or malicious, but now it plans to actively patrol the content so as not to influence elections through fake news.

Tell me more: Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, told the US Senate’s Commerce and Judiciary committees that IRA ran 470 Facebook accounts to run ads and false information to scuttle Hillary Clinton’s chance to win 2016 elections. The content was seen by 157 million Americans.

 

Rs 606.74 crore

What is it? The amount BJP spent on election propaganda in 2016-17. In comparison, the Congress spent Rs 149.65 crore for the same in this period.

Why is it important? In this period, BJP won five state elections out of 10 – Assam, Goa, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Manipur – with an average election propaganda spend of Rs 60.67 crore. On the other hand, Congress’ average spend on election propaganda was nearly Rs 15 crore and it won two state elections – Puducherry and Punjab in 2016-17.

Tell me more: BJP and Congress spent Rs 69.78 crore and Rs 115.65 crore on administrative expenses in 2016-17 respectively.

 

42,000 rials

What is it? The exchange rate of Iran’s rial against the US dollar announced by the Iranian government.

Why is it important? At present, there are two exchange rates- one set by the government (37,000 rials to a dollar) and another used by traders (60,000 rials to a dollar). With Tuesday’s announcement, Iranian government has made it illegal to trade at any rate other than official rate.

Tell me more: Iran earns $50 billion from oil exports. Iran attempted with a single exchange rate in January 2012 and the experiment lasted only for a few months. Fearing collapse of nuclear deal, rial has lost 20% against the US dollar in last two weeks.

 

$21.17 million

What is it? The penalty imposed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Google for “search bias” and abuse of its dominant position in February.

Why is it important? The online search giant has filed an appeal against the ruling and has sought a stay on it. The core unit of Alphabet is is already involved in such anti-trust cases around the world: the European Commission imposed a record $2.7 billion fine on Google last year, besides facing anti-trust probes in Brazil and the possibility of investigations in South Korea.

Tell me more: Indian matchmaking firm Matrimony.com, which had filed the case against Google, has reportedly filed an appeal against the ruling as it feels the fine is too small and that CCI’s ruling that Google’s specialised search design or its advertising service, AdWords, were not breaking competition rules.

 

13.1

What is it? The number of shares a shareholder would receive in the to-be merged entity, Manipal Hospitals, for every 100 shares held in Fortis Healthcare. compared to the previous ratio of 10.83 shares for every 100 shares held.

Why is it important? Manipal Health Enterprises has revised its offer to buy Fortis Healthcare’s hospital business after institutional and minority shareholders expressed dissatisfaction with the previous offer. They had alleged that the hospital business of Fortis Healthcare had been valued at around Rs 95 per share as against the consensus analysts’ estimate of Rs 125-130 per share. The new terms would value Fortis at Rs 155 per share.

Tell me more: Besides the better swap ratio, the capital infusion of Rs 3,900 crore in the merged entity has been scrapped and instead, Manipal Health will undertake a rights issue of up to Rs 4,000 crore.

 

Read More

wheat-1530321_1920

The Lowest Wheat Output In Three Years

5 years

What is it? The jail term for former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia after being found guilty in a corruption case.

Why is it important? Zia heads the main opposition party, which has bitter rivalry with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and there are fears violence might return to Bangladesh. Political demonstrations by Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party and her islamist allies in 2014 and 2015 left 200 people dead.

Tell me more: Human Rights Watch (HRW), a not-for-profit group, called for an end of arbitrary arrests of opposition party members who are protesting against the verdict. “The Bangladesh government’s claims to be open and democratic ring hollow as it cracks down on political dissent,” HRW said.

 

Rs136 crore

What is it? The amount of fine imposed against Google by India’s antitrust body for skewing search results in favour of its travel search engine.

Why is it important? This could provide level playing field for companies that operate in one area like travel against Google’s own offering (Google Flights). Competition Commission of India announced the decision on Thursday, with 4 members supporting the order and two writing a dissent note. 

Tell me more: European Union had imposed a record $2.7 billion fine against Google for similar practices – demoting rival’s and promoting its own product in search results – in June last year.

 

Rs250 crore

What is it? A company with turnover up to Rs250 crore is eligible to classified as medium-sized enterprise, as per new definition for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).

Why is it important? It is likely to bring many enterprises under the definition of MSME. At present, enterprises self-declare whether they are a MSME based on investments made. For example, investments up to Rs 10 crore in manufacturing sector (Rs 5 crore in services sector) is considered a medium enterprise. Now the classification will be based on turnover, which can be cross-verified from the Goods and Services Tax filings.

Tell me more:  Enterprises with turnover up to Rs5 crore and between Rs5 and Rs75 crore  will be classified as micro and small enterprises.

 

Rs24,000 crore

What is it? The fair value of Bhushan Power and Steel Ltd as estimated by the resolution professional.

Why is it important? Bhushan Steel is one of the 12 large bad loans referred under India’s new bankruptcy code for faster resolution. The unlisted company owes Rs37,000 crore to lenders. India’s top two steel makers, Tata Steel and JSW Steel, have submitted their bids to buy Bhushan Steel. The bid amount was not known.

Tell me more: The bids will be evaluated by lenders and the amount of loss incurred by banks will be closely watched to see how the new bankruptcy code is working.

 

92 million tonnes

What is it? Estimated wheat output for the year 2017-18.

Why is it important?  It will be lowest wheat output in three years, if estimate matches actual output, and it could it increase imports by 40%. Inconsistent and low rainfall, combined with a lower acreage under wheat, down to 30.1 hectares from 30.8 million hectares are reasons for low output.

Tell me more: India is second largest wheat producer after China, but the Asia’s third largest economy has been a wheat importing nation, importing wheat ever year since 1960.

 

Read More

Google’s trust issues

2.42 billion Euro

What is it? The fine imposed by European antitrust authorities on Google for having used its dominant search engine to direct traffic to its shopping comparison service.

Why is it important? Order will benefit non-Google price comparison service providers who lost out because of Google’s practice of promoting its own service ahead of generic search results. The fine amount is the largest imposed by any antitrust body.

Tell me more: European Commission found traffic to Google’s own shopping service increased manifold (45% in the United Kingdom), whereas rival websites have witnessed sudden drop in traffic (85% in the United Kingdom).

 

Rs 2,199 crore

What is it? The title sponsorship fee for five years of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the league T20 cricketing tournament. BBK Electronics-owned Vivo won the bid.

Why is it important? The Chinese phone brand retained its sponsorship rights with the bid, which it won after PepsiCo withdrew in 2015 following corruption charges in IPL. The earlier Vivo contract was for Rs 200 crore for two years. The current one marks a 340% average yearly jump, while BCCI says it is a 554% jump over the previous contract.

Tell me more: Vivo beat sister company, Oppo whose bid was worth Rs 1,432 crore.

 

2 billion

What is it? The number of monthly active users on Facebook, the largest social networking site, which it reached late on Tuesday night.

Why is it important? The number of users, who have logged onto Facebook or its Messenger app at least once in the last one month, is more than the population of any country and even more than that of six continents, except Asia.

Tell me more: Facebook’s new users are growing at 17%, fast for a 13-year-old Internet company and 66% of its monthly users return daily, up from 55% when it had touched 1 billion users.

5%

What is it? The maximum holding of any non-promoter investor can have in Reliance Industries (RIL), after the company gets shareholders’ approval on July 21.

Why is it important? RIL will have to take this step in order to meet the central bank’s terms and conditions before starting its payments bank. It owns 70% stake in the new venture, with State Bank of India holding 30%. The central bank’s prior permission is needed if non-promoters increase equity stake beyond 5%.

Tell me more: RIL plans to amend its Articles of Association at the annual general meeting. The state insurer, Life Insurance Corporation of India holds 8.31% in RIL.

 

25

What is it? The number of government departments to be completely computerised in the next few days.

Why is it important? With 100% digitisation, these departments will turn into e-offices with electronic record-keeping, doing away with unwieldy physical records and obsolete papers. The government’s efforts at digitising records have already resulted in 462,000 e-files, compared to last year’s 8,000.

Tell me more: The cumbersome processes of affidavits and attestation have been done away with in 58 central ministries/departments and 33 states and union territories.

Read More

A House for Mr Biswas

30 basis points

 

What is it? The cut in home loan rates by some banks, especially for affordable housing.

Why is it important? The cuts by Housing Development Finance Corp (HDFC), ICICI Bank, and LIC Housing Finance, follow that by State Bank of India (SBI). The rate cut is for loans upto Rs 30 lakh, which is applicable for low-cost and affordable housing. The rates look to capitalise on the government’s thrust on affordable housing projects as in seen in this year’s budget measures.

Tell me more: Earlier this year, there were wider cuts in home loan rates, with a host of banks passing on the reduced cost of funds.

Rs 18,000 crore

 

What is it? The amount India’s Employees’ Provident Fund Organization (EPFO) will invest in FY18 in stocks.

Why is it important? The news will boost the stock markets further, even as they rally on monsoon forecast and easing inflation. In FY16, the EPFO had invested 5% of its annual incremental corpus in the markets, and in FY17, 10%. This year it is going to be 15%.

Tell me more: Some of the equity-traded funds it has invested in so far are SBI mutual fund ETFs and UTI mutual fund ETFs.

Rs 34,000 crore

 

What is it? The amount in taxes evaded by companies, according to a fresh list drawn up by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).

Why is it important? This is a follow-up investigation of January’s unearthing of 32,000 entities (companies/directors) which used stock price manipulation to avail of the long-term capital gains tax benefit, committing tax fraud. This time Sebi has 11,000 such cases, of penny-stock manipulation, on its hands. It has given the list to the Income Tax department.

Tell me more: The bogus beneficiaries involve inactive or penny stock companies, listed on the bourses. After a series of preferential share allotment, stock splits, share price manipulation, bonus issues and inflated capital base, the beneficiaries exit at jacked-up prices for their one year of LTCG. But cash settlements between such companies and false claimants are likely to scuttle legal persecution.

14,000

 

What is it? The number of confidential files pilfered by an Uber engineer from his former employer Waymo

Why is it important? This is yet another instance of Uber getting into the wrong side of the law. Earlier this year Uber was caught using a secret programme to avoid being caught by government in cities where Uber was operating without full legal clearance. In the latest case, according to a ruling made public, an Uber engineer stole documents pertaining to the Lidar technology from its former employer, the Google-owned Waymo.

Tell me more: The federal judge had ruled that all the files be returned to Waymo and Uber’s work related to lidar be opened to Waymo’s lawyers. Lidar is a laser based sensor that improves self driving cars’ vision significantly.

-3.6%

 

What is it? The percentage by which card transaction volume came down in April 2017 from a month earlier.

Why is it important? It’s an indication that cash transactions are picking up in the country, contrary to the expectations that demonetisation has given an irreversible push to digital transactions.

Tell me more: IMPS (Immediate Payments System), cards, prepaid instruments and mobile banking – all came down by both volume and value in April 2017, from March 2017.

Read More