Higher Fuel Cost, Dearer Flight Fares

Rs 400

What is it? The amount of fuel surcharge that will be levied by Indigo Airlines for all domestic destinations above 1,000 kilometers. For travel less than 1,000 kms, the fuel surcharge will be Rs200.

Why is it important? This will increase the return ticket between Delhi and Mumbai- the most popular route – by Rs800. The move by Indigo Airlines, which has the highest share of 40% in domestic market, is likely to be followed by others. Jet Airways, with 14.7% market share, comes a distant second.

Tell me more:Indigo cited higher fuel prices and rupee depreciation as reasons for levying fuel surcharge. Between April 1 and May 28 this year, crude oil prices (Indian basket)have increased by $12.15 a barrell, or 19%.



What is it? The number of days in advance that the southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala.

Why is it important?This is the earliest start to the monsoon, which delivers around 70% of India’s annual rainfall and irrigates more than the country’s farm lands, since 2011. This is the second consecutive year in which the monsoon has either arrived early or on time. Last year, it set in on May 30 as expected and had recorded delays in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, officials say there is no correlation between the timing of the monsoon’s arrival and the quantity of rainfall received.

Tell me more: The India Meteorological Department, which has predicted a normal monsoon this year, announces its arrival based on the meeting of some parameterssuch as consistency of rainfall over a particular geography, cloudiness, intensity and wind speed.



What is it?The number of people including AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, in addition to a some government officials, against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR (first information report).

Why is it important?The charges by the CBI allege Fernandes and others bribed government officials through middlemen to influence policies that include getting a flying permit and approvals to fly on international routes. This could hinder AirAsia’s expansion plans, which include increasing its fleet size to about 70, aiming to be among the top three airlines in the low-cost carrier segment, connect more tier-II and tier-III cities and begin its international operations by January 2019.

Tell me more: In 2016, India scrapped the 5/20 rule (granting of international licences to airlines that have had domestic operations for five years and have at least 20 aircraft in their fleet) that has benefited carriers such as the Indian affiliates of Air Asia.



What is it?The number of months by which India has postponed the roll out of 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to March 2019. The original plan was to roll out 500 EVs by November and the rest by June.

Why is it important?This is a setback to India’s targets of having EVs comprise around a third of the total number of vehicles on the road by 2030. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, a government-owned entity, which is to procure 10,000 EVs to replace the petrol/diesel vehicles owned by government officials, says the delay is due to the need for a higher number of charging points and the states being slow in taking deliveries.

Tell me more:The government had initially targeted all or most of India’s vehicles be powered by electricity by 2030 but scaled down its ambitions a couple of months ago.


105 minutes

What is it?The time taken by Serena Williams, former world number 1, to win her first round match against Kristyna Pliskova in the French Open.

Why is it important?This is Serena’s first grand slam after she won the Australian openin January 2017. In between she gave birth and her daughter is now nine months old. Though she moved sluggish in the crowd in few rallies, Serena’s serve and serve returns helped her to win the match. She served 13 aces, and converted three out of four breakpoints that came her way.

Tell me more:India’s sole entrant in the singles event, Yuki Bhambri, lost his first round singles match in straight sets. He pocketed Euro 40,000 for qualifying for the main draw.

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Electrified, But Access To Power?


What is it?The number of years Aditya Ghosh served as IndiGo’s president. He was put in the driver’s seat two years after the airline was founded.

Why is it important?Under his leadership, IndiGo grew to become India’s largest domestic passenger airline and the world’s fourth-largest low-budget airline. Its domestic market share doubled to 39.6% in 2016-17 from 20.3% in 2011-12, and it reported its ninth straight year of profits in 2016-17. Ghosh’s stint saw IndiGo place record aircraft orders worth billions and sail through a successful public listing. However, the airline went through a rough patch last year.

Tell me more: His surprise exit comes at a time when IndiGo is looking to make an international push. IndiGo’s co-founder Rahul Bhatia has been appointed as its interim chief executive officer.


What is it? The year in which the Korean war ended, though both North Korea and South Korea continued to be hostile to each other as no peace treaty was signed.

Why is it important? On Friday, South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to officially declare the end of the Korean War this year to establish a permanent peace agreement and denuclearise the Korean peninsula. However, the agreement did not carry specific commitments and Seoul has warned that getting North Korea to give up nuclear weapons is a difficult task.

Tell me more:Kim Jong-un has promised to close the nuclear test site in his country in May if the US promises not to attack his country. On Saturday, US president Donald Trump said his meeting with the North Korean leader may happen over the next 3-4 weeks.


What is it? The number of days within its deadline the Indian government has said it has electrified all its villages.

Why is it important? When Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in May 2014, there were 18,452 villages without electricity. Now, all of 597,464 census villages are electrified. However, this doesn’t mean all Indians have access to power given the government’s definition of electrification and the government’s promise of providing uninterrupted power supply to all households by March 2019 seems to be a difficult task.

Tell me more:According to a 2017 World Bank report, over a billion people do not have access to electricity globally, with India and Nigeria topping the list of the world’s most power-deficient nations.


What is it? The percentage drop in area covered by India’s flagship crop insurance scheme, according to a government panel.

Why is it important? Area covered by the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana fell from 57.1 million hectares in 2016-17 to 47.5 million hectares in 2017-18. Launched with much fanfare in 2016-17, the scheme promised to offer affordable crop insurance, and take this risk-management tool from the fringes to the mainstream for farmers.

Tell me more: The panel pointed out that fewer insurers were bidding to service rainfed areas that were prone to drought, resulting in premium rates that went up to 25% of the sum insured.


What is it? Number of drivers out of the top six whose race was compromised by incidents in an accident-ridden Formula 1 race in Azerbaijan yesterday.

Why is it important?The two Red Bull drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen collided with each other, Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari flatspotted a tyre during an ambitious pass, Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes had a rear puncture with the race in his pocket, and Kimi Raikkonen was mostly in catch-up mode after an early accident. Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes won the race to lead the drivers’ championshipfor the first time in 2018.

Tell me more:The Red Bull incident was the most severe, leading to both Red Bull drivers being censuredby the team management.

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Untitled design

Clash Of The Titans: Sindhu Vs Saina


Delhi is caught in the haze, yet again. Tax base has widened as more e-returns were filed this year until October, versus the same period last year. Air passengers have piled up complaints against IndiGo, but that number is still lowest amongst the airlines. In clash of the badminton titans, its PV Sindhu vs Saina Nehwal this time.



What is it? The air quality index pertaining to PM 2.5 (fine solid and liquid hazardous particles suspended in air) at RK Puram, a locality in Delhi, at 10 pm on Tuesday, according to the US Embassy.

Why is it important? This falls in the ‘hazardous’ category, the worst among six. By comparison, a score between 0 and 50 qualifies as ‘good’ while 51-100 translates to ‘moderate’. The Indian Medical Association said the national capital was witnessing a public health emergency and warned people against stepping out. The National Green Tribunal pulled up the governments of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and asked them why steps were not taken to prevent deterioration in air quality.

Tell me more: The Environment Pollution Control Authority has recommended the following measures: parking fees in Delhi-NCR region be quadrupled, Delhi Metro reduce fares during off-peak hours for at least 10 days and introduce more coaches, road construction agencies violating pollution norms be fined Rs 50,000, and the Delhi government start preparing for measures such as the odd-even scheme and ban on construction activities.



What is it? The increase in e-returns filed until October in 2017-18 (37.8 million), up from 32.2 million filed in the corresponding period in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Today marks a year since the shock announcement of withdrawal of high-value currency notes, which the government defended as part of its efforts against black money and corruption. The increase in e-returns is one of the data points released by the government to demonstrate impact. Other data points include a widening of the tax base, amount deposited and withdrawn by companies, and striking off of firms from the Registrar of Companies and disqualification of directors.

Tell me more: The number of individual e-filers (who use form ITR-1) increased by 23.3% to 20.8 million between April-October this year, from 16.9 million.



What is it? The percentage of passengers per 10,000 who filed complaints against IndiGo in September, according to the airline regulator. Among major domestic airlines, this is the lowest.

Why is it important? Yesterday, India’s largest airline came under flak when an IndiGo staffer was seen manhandling a passenger. IndiGo has since suspended the staffer and its CEO Aditya Ghosh has tendered an apology. Earlier in the week, Indian badminton player PV Sindhu had accused the airline’s staff of rude behaviour, which the airline contested.

Tell me more: Among domestic airlines, Air India had the highest complaint rate (1.6% per 10,000 passengers carried), followed by Jet Airways and JetLite (1.3%).


$1.5 billion

What is it? The loss posted by Denmark’s AP Moller Maersk in the July-September quarter, against a profit of $429 million in the corresponding year-ago period, despite an increase in revenues from $7 billion to $8 billion.

Why is it important? The world’s largest shipping company, also an oil producer, has partly attributed this loss to the cost of a cyber-attack in June—of $250-300 million—that primarily affected its shipping unit. This makes a persuasive case for businesses to bolster their IT systems to thwart cyber-attacks.

Tell me more: According to a recent report by Lloyd’s of London, a major, global cyber-attack could cause economic losses to the tune of $53 billion, which would be equivalent to the losses due to a catastrophic natural disaster such as the US super-storm Sandy in 2012.



What is it? The head-to-head record between Indian badminton players PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in the international sphere.

Why is it important? The two women, who put India on the world badminton map, yesterday reached the finals of the Senior Badminton National Championship. This summit clash will be a rare encounter between the two who are referred to in a similar vein but whose tenures at the very top have coincided little.

Tell me more: Nehwal won her first international encounter in January 2014, while Sindhu won in March 2017. Saina is 27, while Sindhu is 22.


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‘Ease Of Doing Business’ In India


IndiGo is adding to its fleet. India is getting better at Doing Business says the World Bank. Tata Teleservices paid over a billion to end dispute with the erstwhile partner NTT Docomo.



What is it? The percentage of seats that went empty on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad-Mumbai train route in the three-month period to September, according to the response of the Indian Railways to an RTI query.

Why is it important? This is the route chosen by the Central government to build India’s first bullet train project, with Japan’s help, at a cost of Rs 1,10,000 crore. Critics of the project argue that, instead of investing in one high-speed line, the money can be better spent on multiple projects whose benefits reach more Indians.

Tell me more: For 2017-18, the total capital and development expenditure of the Indian Railways has been earmarked at Rs 1,31,000 crore, of which, Rs 55,000 crore is due to come from the Central government.



What is it? The number of aircraft in the fleet of IndiGo, as of September 2017. That’s an increase of 6 aircraft over June 2017 and 23 over September 2016.

Why is it important? At its Q2 results yesterday, India’s number one domestic airline reported a four-fold increase in net profit on a year-on-year basis to Rs 552 crore, partly driven by a 25.7% increase in passenger revenues. This increase comes in the lean season, which shows it is being able to sweat its assets.

Tell me more: The net profit was partly aided by compensation from Pratt & Whitney and Airbus for grounding of planes and delivery delays.



What is it? Share of Mauritius in the $43.4 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) that came into India in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath is today flying to Mauritius on a three-day visit, during which he will participate in an event of non-resident Indians and invite them to invest in the state. Last month, he hosted a 50-member industry delegation from the US.

Tell me more: The share of the Kanpur regional office of the central bank, which covers UP and Uttarakhand, in FDI inflows in 2016-17 was just 0.2%.



What is it? The number of positions that India gained in the 2018 Doing Business rankings released by the World Bank yesterday.

Why is it important? This study assesses countries on 10 parameters, and India posted an improved score in each, with the biggest jumps coming in ‘paying taxes’, ‘getting credit’ and ‘resolving insolvency’.

Tell me more: The World Bank survey is based on the situation in New Delhi and Mumbai. A state-level survey of 3,276 manufacturing firms by NITI Aayog-IDFC Institute, released in August, documented improvements but also reported challenges in doing business.


$1.27 billion

What is it? The amount that Japan’s NTT Docomo said on Tuesday it has received from Tata Sons as arbitration, awarded last year for its 21.6% stake in Tata Teleservices.

Why is it important? The transfer ends the dispute between the erstwhile joint venture partners and paves the way for the merger of the loss-making consumer-mobile business of the Tata Teleservices with Bharti Airtel.

Tell me more: A stated goal of Tata Sons executive chairman N Chandrasekaran is rationalisation of the group’s businesses, with an approach that pivots around 5-7 groups than 110 companies.


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