News in Numbers, Feb 21, 2017: TN Liquor shops 🔒🔒🔒

500

What is it? Number of state-run liquor (Indian-made foreign liquor) shops to be shut in Tamil Nadu, as announced by Edappadi K. Palaniswami.

Why is it important? This is the new chief minister’s first major announcement and one of the first five orders he signed.  It is being seen as taking forward the late party-supremo, J Jayalalithaa’s aim to levy prohibition in a phased manner. There are five states/union territories which already have partially or fully banned alcohol sale and consumption.

Tell me more: It follows its neighbouring state, Kerala, in its partial ban on state-run liquor outlets..

 

Rs 14.5 crore

What is it? The money Rising Pune Supergiants will be paying English cricketing all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Why is it important? This is the highest bid ($2.17 million) for a player in this year’s Indian Premier League auctions. The relatively new team beat a host of other teams in a bidding frenzy to net the player. This makes Stokes the most expensive overseas player in all of IPL’s editions, notching up a fee seven times his base (Rs 2 crore).

Tell me more: The scramble to land Stokes was despite the all-rounder’s limited availability owing to England hosting South Africa during the later part of this year’s tournament.

 

Rs 16,000 crore

What is it? The total value of shares Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest IT services company, will be buying back after receiving approval from its board on Monday.

Why is it important? The value would be 2.85% of TCS’s paid-up equity capital and take out 56.1 million shares from the market. Despite sitting on cash reserves, the Indian software services leaders such as TCS, Infosys, Cognizant have had low return on equity for shareholders, drawing flak. While Cognizant has already decided to increase shareholders’ payouts, Infosys might also buy back some of its shares.

 

Tell me more: With less number of shares in the market, this could also give a boost to TCS’ earnings per share as seen with Accenture earlier.

 

$129.99

What is it? The price of a Spectacle a video-recording sunglass from Snap that runs social messaging app Snapchat

Why is it important? It has just started selling the sunglasses online in the US, ahead of its IPO (initial public offering) valued between $19.5 billion to $22 billion. The camera embedded sunglasses connect to smartphones over bluetooth or wifi. If they sell well, Snap could convince investors that the company could well succeed as a social network plus hardware firm.

Tell me more: Since its launch last year, Snap has been selling spectacles in surprise locations through vending machines and through a pop-up store in New York. The scarcity upped its demand, and on ebay, the video-recording sunglasses were being priced at $5000 a piece.

 

15

What is it? The number of banks deploying BharatQR code at present. More banks are expected to join.

Why is it important? Unlike other QR code based systems which are closed, BharatQR code will work across banks, and could change the retail digital payments across the country. QR code system (which masks the details under a machine readable optical label) is comparatively more secure for customers, and cheaper for merchants because they need not invest in point of sale terminals and pay the relatively higher merchant discount rates for such devices.

 

Tell me more: BharatQR was jointly developed by four major card payment companies—National Payments Corp. of India, MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Interestingly, Paytm said it would invest

Rs 600 crore in its own QR based payments solution.

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News in Numbers, Feb 06, 2017: It takes seven to play fair

7 out of 10

What is it? Countries which voted in favour of the motion at the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove the ‘Big Three’ model of revenue-sharing between member country cricket boards and the ICC, introduced in 2014.

Why is it important? The vote, in line to get ratified in ICC’s April board meeting, will replace the Board Of Control For Cricket India’s (BCCI) claim to ICC’s highest revenue share. The ICC will likely move towards a more equitable distribution of its earnings among member countries, away from the controversial rule implemented in 2014 that gave India the lion’s share of 20.3% of ICC global revenues, followed by England 4.4% and Australia 2.7% in the 2015-2023 revenue cycle. The rule was based on the argument that these three were more influential in the game and brought in more revenue for the ICC.

Tell me more: India’s old ally Bangladesh and the other two beneficiaries voted against while Sri Lanka was the only country to vote with India, for the Big Three. Zimbabwe did not vote.

 

61 days

What is it? The number of days O Panneerselvam held office as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa

Why is it important? Panneerselvam’s resignation from his post on Sunday to let VK Sasikala succeed him comes amidst widespread frustration in the state. In his brief stint as chief minister, Panneerselvam had gained respect for his refreshingly different approach from the autocratic style of Jayalalithaa and for the way he handled the aftermath of cyclone Vardha and protests over Jallikattu. Sasikala, on the other hand, has no experience in administration, has not won any election so far, and faces a court case over accumulating disproportionate wealth.

Tell me more: Panneerselvam’s earlier terms as chief minister lasted longer. He held the office for 161 days after Jayalalithaa was forced to resign by the Supreme Court in 2001, and for 235 days after Jayalalithaa was sent to prison by a special court in 2015.

 

Rs 60,000 crore

What is it? The annual cost of Delhi’s traffic congestion.

Why is it important? Preventing traffic congestions in Delhi could mean saving Rs 60,000 crore for a region which contributes over 4.12% to the country’s GDP. The stakes could even increase to Rs 98,000 crore by 2030 according to a study by IIT Madras, as fuel wasted in idling vehicles, productivity loss, injury from air pollution and road accidents compound the loss further.

Tell me more: Productivity loss on bus commutes was found toconstitute 75% of the total cost and dedicated bus lanes could shave off 50% from the future economic toll traffic would take.

 

1,131

What is it? The number of migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard off its shores through last week.

Why is it important? Shows Libya is taking efforts on its own to curb the flow of illegal migrants, leaving their sub-Saharan countries for European shores. The migrants from last week are a fraction of the number of migrants pouring in Libya to travel onwards. Opportunist human smugglers have made Libya a hotbed of abuse and exploitation, with many migrants dying on the sea due to inhuman conditions of transport. The numbers have made European countries offer Libya aid to try and curb such entries.

Tell me more: Libya became the entry-hub for illegal migrants looking to cross the Mediterranean over to Europe after Turkey andGreece shut off theirs.

 

7

What is it? The number of times the winner of Directors Guild of America Award for directing a feature film did not go on to win an Oscar the same year since its inception in 1948

Why is it important? This year, Directors Guild award went to Damien Chazelle who directed La La Land, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone – indicating that the much coveted Academy Award will also go to him. La La Land which first hit the cinemas in November has 93% on movie rating aggregation site Rotten Tomatoesand has earned $223.5 million at the box office

Tell me more: La La Land has won 14 Oscar nominations. The winners will be announced on 26th February during the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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