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When Regulator Facebooks

3

What is it? The three entities—Rupeshbhai Kantilal Savla, Sujay Ajitkumar Hamlai and V Techweb India Pvt Ltd—from whom the market regulator has ordered impounding of unlawful gains worth over Rs 2.4 crore in an insider trading case.

Why is it important? The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) trawled the Facebook profiles of the suspected people to check if they were connected in the case, which violated insider trading norms. SEBI found the involved persons were ‘friends’ on Facebook and had liked each other’s posts, an instance of the regulator combing social media to track insider trading.

Tell me more: The order stated that by way of “this association and frequent communications, they are reasonably expected to have access to unpublished price-sensitive information” related to the firm in which shares were traded by the involved persons.

 

3

What is it? The number of years since the death of former judge BH Loya. He died of a cardiac arrest on December 1, 2014, in Nagpur, according to the Maharashtra police.

Why is it important? On Thursday, a three-judge Supreme Court bench, in a scathing verdict, dismissed a batch of petitions that sought an independent investigation into Loya’s death and said the pleas were an attempt to scandalise and obstruct the course of justice. It said public interest litigations were being misused for personal agendas. The BJP and Congress got into a war of words after the dismissal of these pleas.

Tell me more: The death of Loya came into focus after some media reports said that his sister had raised suspicions about the circumstances of his death. Loya was hearing the case regarding the death of a gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which Amit Shah, president of BJP, was an accused.

 

Rs 6,904 crore

What is it? Tata Consultancy Services’ (TCS) net profit in the January-March quarter of 2017-18.

Why is it important? India’s largest software services exporter saw its banking and financial services vertical, its largest contributor, grow 2.3% sequentially and 8.2% year-on-year. The firm had witnessed lower client spending, particularly in this sector in North America, last year. A turnaround in the banking and financial services vertical, in addition to growth in digital services, is likely to help TCS achieve its 10% dollar-revenue growth in 2018-19.

Tell me more: Its Q4 revenue increased by 8.2% to Rs 32,075 crore on an annual basis. In 2017-18, TCS’ net profit declined 1.8% to Rs 25,826 crore.

 

102

What is it? The number of words devoted to India (out of 4,310) by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in his 2017 letter to shareholders, released late Wednesday.

Why is it important? India received a para under the section ‘recent milestones’. India is one of the big markets identified by Amazon to open up new frontiers of growth, and it is locked in a bruising battle here with Flipkart, which might soon have a new owner in Amazon’s rival in the US, Walmart.

Tell me more: Bezos also disclosed that Amazon Prime crossed 100 million members worldwide in 2017 and that this paid membership service added more members than any previous year.

 

$5 million

What is it? The amount paid by cyclist Lance Armstrong to the US government to settle a whistleblower lawsuit.

Why is it important? The lawsuit, filed in 2013, could have sought damages of up to $100 million from Armstrong—whose team was sponsored by the US Postal Services—for using performance-enhancing drugs en route to winning the Tour de France race seven times, victories that have since been scratched from the record book. This lawsuit would have possibly been the biggest claim against Armstrong, who has reportedly paid about $20 million in damages and settlements.

Tell me more: The original lawsuit against Armstrong was filed by Floyd Landis, a former teammate and also banned cyclist. Landis is eligible for up to 25% of the settlement amount.

 

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Insider Tips On WhatsApp?

 

Insider tips are circulating on WhatsApp groups, a Reuters Investigation found. Government may let the farmers sell the farm stubble so they don’t have to burn it. What makes Narendra Modi such a popular leader? His political humor and sarcasm, found a research group, that analyzed his tweets. 

 

Rs 5,500 per tonne

What is it? The amount for which farm stubble would be bought via a tender to be floated by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Why is it important? The burning of stubble of the previous crops to pave way for new plantings in November around Delhi is a major source of pollution and smog in the national capital and neighbouring states. The government says farmers can earn around Rs 11,000 per acre from the sale of stubble/straw pellets.

Tell me more: Some farmers in Punjab are using ‘waste decomposer‘ prepared by the National Centre for Organic Farming to solve this problem. In this method, a solution that decomposes 10,000 metric tonnes of bio-waste in 30 days. Each bottle is available at Rs 20.  

 

12

What is it? The number of instances Reuters has documented in which predictive messages about 12 major companies were posted in private Whatsapp groups.

Why is it important? The report says these messages involved information relating to specific metrics of upcoming quarterly results, upcoming bonus share issues or revenue guidance and were circulated hours or days before official company announcements. Though not all the messages had information that was the same as that reported, experts say the sharing of unpublished insider information and/or using it for trading could potentially be illegal, if they were deemed to be unpublished price-sensitive information. Passing on such details can result in penalties of up to Rs 25 crore and imprisonment up to 10 years.

Tell me more: Recently, the Securities and Exchange Board of India set up a committee to review rules related to insider trading. This is the second time a review of these rules is being conducted in two years, after the Prohibition of Insider Trading Regulations, 2015 received criticism for a lot of grey areas in terms of price-sensitive information.

 

9,040

What is it? The number of tweets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) studied by a group of researchers between February 2, 2009 and October 2, 2015.

Why is it important? The study, which seeks to understand what makes the Indian Prime Minister popular, says that he used political humour and sarcasm to appeal to a wider circle and refashion his political style. The authors say his irony gives rise to a form of political spectacle and reverberated with those using social media platforms as is evident from the high re-tweeting of his sarcastically-worded posts. According to a recent survey by Pew Research Centre, nearly nine out of 10 Indians hold a favourable opinion of him, similar to their view of him in 2015.

Tell me more: US President Donald Trump is the most followed leader on Twitter followed by Pope Francis and Modi, according to a report by Twiplomacy.

 

1,614 sq. ft

What is it? The maximum carpet area of houses that is eligible under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), an affordable housing program. The new limit, approved by the Union cabinet, is 22% higher than previous limit of 968 sq. ft.

Why is it important? The higher house size, applicable for people earning between Rs12-18 lakh per annum, could spur demand especially in smaller cities and towns as more projects will be eligible under PMAY.  

Tell me more:  Under PMAY, an interest subsidy of 3% for loan upto Rs12 lakh is given for homebuyers earning between Rs12 lakh and Rs18 lakh. Loans above Rs12 lakh will not be subsidised.

 

Rs3,320

What is it? The additional amount allocated under the National Mission for Judicial Delivery and Legal Reforms to improve infrastructure facilities.  

Why is it important? The spending will increase number of courtrooms and residential facilities for judicial staff at district, sub-district, and village levels. The additional amount is the central government’s contribution, which is 60% of total expenditure.  

Tell me more:  There are adequate courtrooms available to meet the current strength of judges. But if vacancies are to be filled, then it won’t be enough. 16,513 court rooms are available for district and subordinate courts as against working strength of 16,070 judges as on December 2015. The vacancies were estimated at 22% of the sanctioned strength.

 

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