CWG: India’s First Badminton Gold



What is it? The number of weeks within which the Central government was to set up the Cauvery water management board and monitoring authority, following the Supreme Court’s February 16 judgment.

Why is it important? The top court on Monday pulled up the Centre for not drawing up the scheme to implement its February judgment on the distribution of Cauvery river water among Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. This was in response to a contempt petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government, which has accused the Centre of doing little to follow the court’s orders. The Centre is expected to file the Cauvery management scheme by May 3.

Tell me more: Both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka has witnessed protests in recent days and the Centre has been accused of acting in favour of the latter, where state elections will be held next month.



What is it? ICICI Bank’s core capitalisation in December 2017, among the highest in the banking sector, according to Fitch Ratings

Why is it important? Fitch says though the bank’s core capitalisation and profitability are strong enough for a favourable rating, the recent allegations against the bank involving its chief Chanda Kochhar, her husband’s firms and the Videocon Group could pose reputational risks. It is the first rating agency to express doubts about the accusations of nepotism against ICICI Bank, India’s second largest private lender.

Tell me more: The board of the bank is reportedly divided over whether Kochhar should be asked to step down even as federal authorities are probing the case. The government changed its nominee on the bank’s board on Monday, which it termed as ‘routine’.


$2.5 billion

What is it? The total investment India could get if Xiaomi convinces its 50 global suppliers to set shop in India.

Why is it important? This could provide a major fillip to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ programme. Finnish company HMD Global, which manufactures the Nokia brand of phones, is also making efforts to manufacture its components in India. The Indian government recently imposed a 10% duty on the import of components such as populated printed circuit boards.

Tell me more: Xiaomi recently dethroned Samsung to become the top smarthphone brand in the country. If Xiaomi’s suppliers set up base in the country, they could together create 50,000 jobs.



What is it? The number of times that India have won the mixed team gold in badminton at the Commonwealth Games, following a 3-1 victory over three-times and defending champions Malaysia yesterday.

Why is it important? The mixed team event in badminton was introduced in the Commonwealth Games in 1998, but India never managed to go all the way. Emphatic singles wins by Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal scripted yesterday’s win.

Tell me more: At the end of Day 5, India stood third in the medals tally, with a total of 19 medals, including 10 golds. Australia led with 39 golds, followed by England with 22 golds.


Read More


Facebook’s “Big Mistake”


What is it? The number of US products that China has levied additional tariffs on, though it has not announced the effective start date yet.

Why is it important? China took less than 11 hours to hit back at the United States, which proposed 25% tariffs on about 1,300 Chinese products, whose imports to the US are in the region of $50 billion. This has heightened fears of a global trade war, and rattled investors and fueled market fears.

Tell me more: Washington has targeted products that benefit from China’s industrial policy, while Beijing’s list picks out signature US exports such as soybeans, frozen beef, cotton and other agricultural products grown in states that voted for President Donald Trump in the 2016 elections.


87 million

What is it? The number of Facebook users whose personal information might have been improperly shared by the social media giant with political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Why is it important? The new number was disclosed by Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer in a blog post yesterday, and is an increase over the 50 million number that has been cited in news reports so far. Of this, 70 million were Americans and 0.6 million were Indians. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a US Parliamentary panel on April 11.

Tell me more: As of December 2017, Facebook had 1.4 billion daily active users, a number that increased 14% in 2017.



What is it? The number of startups reportedly funded under the Startup India initiative, of the 6,981 startups recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) as on February 6, 2018.

Why is it important? A Parliamentary committee report has expressed grave concerns about the gap between the number of startups recognised by the DIPP and those that have received funding and tax exemptions. Only 82 entities have been certified for claiming tax exemptions under the Income Tax Act, 1961. With such progress, it seems like a steep climb for the DIPP to achieve its target of facilitating and supporting 1,000 startups by March 2019.

Tell me more: According to a recent poll by community-based social networking platform LocalCircles, 80% of respondents said they have not benefited from the government’s Startup India plan.



What is it? The share of American Depository Receipts (ADRs) in ICICI Bank’s shares.

Why is it important? The bank and its top management are at the risk of facing a class action lawsuit in the United States by holders of the lenders’ ADRs, according to a note by brokerage firm Jefferies. ICICI Bank’s chief Chanda Kochhar is facing the heat for her alleged involvement in the financial dealings between the bank, Videocon Group and her husband Deepak Kochhar’s firms.

Tell me more: The bank has refused to hire external agencies to conduct an independent investigation into the nepotism allegations against Kochhar.


19 minutes

What is it? The number of minutes in a passage of play in which English football club Liverpool slammed three goals past Manchester City in the first leg of their quarter-final match in the Champions League.

Why is it important? The burst helped Liverpool win 3-0 and put them in the driver’s seat for the return leg in Manchester in a week’s time. All season long, teams have struggled to match up to Manchester City in the English Premier League, with the result that the club holds a 16 point lead with seven games left, and is poised to break the 100-point mark.

Tell me more: City’s only loss in the EPL this year at the hands of Liverpool in January, in the same ground where they lost yesterday.


Read More


Tendulkar’s Poor Show



What is it? The attendance record of Sachin Tendulkar in the Rajya Sabha. The attendance record of the iconic cricketer, whose six-year term ends this month, compares poorly with the national average of 78%.

Why is it important? On Sunday, Tendulkar said he would donate his entire salary and allowances as a Rajya Sabha MP—amounting to about Rs 90 lakh—to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund. His attendance record, however, takes some sheen of this gesture. Lately, the poor attendance record of public figures like Tendulkar and actor Rekha has made them the face of the debate over the roles and responsibilities of nominated members.

Tell me more: During his six years, Tendulkar asked 22 questions (against the national average of 331) and did not participate in a single debate (against the national average of 77.4).



What is it? The number of months it usually takes the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to decide whether it should close a preliminary enquiry initiated by it or if it should file an FIR (first information report).

Why is it important? The investigating agency has filed a preliminary enquiry into the dealings between ICICI Bank MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar’s husband Deepak Kochhar, Videocon Group and some others to see if there has been any wrongdoing in lending practices. An investigative report last week alleged that Videocon secured loans from a consortium of banks, including ICICI Bank, after which its group chairman Venugopal Dhoot invested in a firm owned by Deepak Kochhar, which has raised several questions of propriety.

Tell me more: Currently, Chanda Kochhar has not been included in the preliminary enquiry, but her name may be added at a later stage.



What is it? The number of people, including two teachers and a coaching centre owner, who the Delhi Police arrested on Sunday for their alleged involvement in the leak of Class XII Economics paper.

Why is it important? This is the first set of arrests in the case made after interrogating over 60 people including 53 students, seven teachers and a school principal. To prevent such leaks that put undue pressure on students, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to bring in a new measure, which is asking examination centres print the question papers, starting Monday.

Tell me more: The re-test for Class XII Economics paper will be held on April 25 and the Class X Mathematics re-test would be conducted in July, if necessary.



What is it? The number of faculty and non-faculty positions filled out of a total of 24,486 sanctioned posts (as on January 1, 2018) in six AIIMS-like institutions.

Why is it important? With this kind of shortage, most of these institutions have been admitting MBBS students since 2012. This raises questions about the quality of education in these institutions. Moreover, with private medical education being expensive and regional imbalances in access to inexpensive and reliable healthcare services, there is a pressing need for affordable and quality education in government medical colleges.

Tell me more: The projected funding demand for the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana, under which the six AIIMS-like institutions have come into being, is Rs 8,398 crore, of which only Rs 3,825 crore has been allocated.



What is it? The number of years after which English football club Tottenham Hotspur beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Why is it important? At one level, Tottenham’s win on Sunday was the burying of past ghosts. At another level, Tottenham’s win over its closest rival boosted its prospects for a top-four finish in the English Premier League, and automatic qualification for next year’s Champions League. With five wins in their last five matches, Tottenham is now fourth: it leads Chelsea by eight points, with seven matches left.

Tell me more: Chelsea’s defeat left the reigning EPL champions down in fifth place, in serious danger of missing out on European football next year and seeing a managerial change.


Read More


Soured Loans, Shrinking Profits

Rs 1,650 crore

What is it? The net profit of ICICI Bank in the October-December 2017 quarter, a drop of 32.4% from Rs 2,441 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? This is the lowest net profit posted by India’s second-largest private bank in seven quarters, as provisions for soured loans grew on an annual basis and it reported lower treasury income. However, gross additions to bad loans was Rs 4,380 crore, the lowest in nine quarters. According to the bank’s MD and CEO Chanda Kochhar, provisions against bad loans are likely to remain at higher levels in the next quarter as well owing to stressed accounts undergoing insolvency proceedings and ageing bad loans.

Tell me more: ICICI Bank said it has an exposure of Rs 10,061 crore to the 18 accounts that feature in the Reserve Bank of India’s second list of stressed assets that may go to bankruptcy court.


Rs 4

What is it? The revised transaction charge to port a mobile number from one telecom operator to another, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

Why is it important? This has been slashed from Rs 19 earlier. The telecom regulator cited an increase in the volume of mobile number portability (MNP) requests and a substantial reduction in the cost of operations of MNP service providers for this decision. There has been a huge upsurge in the volume of porting requests since June 3, 2015, when MNP was allowed across India. Cumulative MNP requests stood at 331 million in November 2017, against 315 million in October 2017.

Tell me more: The total number of active wireless subscribers in November 2017 was 1.006 billion.


Rs 3,500 crore

What is it? The amount the Delhi High Court on Wednesday allowed Daiichi Sankyo to recover from former Ranbaxy Laboratories promoters Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.

Why is it important? This refers to an arbitration award that the Japanese drugmaker had won against the Singh brothers in the Singapore Tribunal in 2016, which the Delhi Court said is enforceable in India. Daiichi had argued that the brothers had concealed important information while selling Ranbaxy in 2008. Daiichi will file an application with the court for the execution of the award where it would seek for the sale of shares and assets held by firms controlled by the brothers, which include Fortis Healthcare and Religare Enterprises. The Singh brothers can appeal in the Supreme Court.

Tell me more: The single-judge bench of Justice Jayant Nath of the Delhi High Court said Daiichi can claim the amount from the Singh brothers and their companies, but not from their children, which is seen as a “partial success” by the brothers.



What is it? The survival rate among Indian women diagnosed with breast cancer between 2010 and 2014, according to a study released by medical journal Lancet on Wednesday.

Why is it important? Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Indian women. While the latest released survival rate is an improvement over the 59.1% for 2005 to 2009, it is markedly lower than the survival rates in developed countries: for example, the survival rate for breast cancer was 85.6% in the UK and 89.5% in Australia in the latest period of study.

Tell me more: The Lancer study says that “survival trends are generally increasing, even for some of the more lethal cancers: in some countries, survival has increased by up to 5% for cancers of the liver, pancreas, and lung”.


Rs 220 crore

What is it? The reported worldwide theatre collections of Padmaavat, the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film, in the first week of its release.

Why is it important? The film faced a mountain of problems, with Rajput outfits protesting against its release, some of which even turned violent. The film has not been screened in four BJP-ruled states, with members of the Multiplex Association of India deciding to do so despite a Supreme Court ruling that prohibits states from banning a film. Despite these odds, the film, which reportedly had a budget of Rs 180 crore, has collected Rs 143 crore in India and Rs 76 crore overseas.

Tell me more: Padmaavat is Bhansali’s third film to top Rs 100 crore, the other two being Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ram-Leela and Bajirao Mastani, which also featured Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh in lead roles.

Read More