Hung House


What is it? The number of seats a party or an alliance requires to form the government in Karnataka.

Why is it important? Though the initial trends pointed towards BJP securing a simple majority, its final tally fell seven short of the halfway mark for 222 seats, where elections were held in the state. While the BJP, as the single-largest party, wants a first crack at forming the government, the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) combine have staked a claim to power. It remains to be seen if BJP makes its entry into the south or if Congress is able to retain its only big state ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Tell me more: Although the Congress has won more seats than JD(S), it has agreed for the latter’s leader HD Kumaraswamy to be their chief ministerial candidate.


2.5 million

What is it? The number of pieces of hate speech removed by Facebook in the first quarter of 2018, of which 38% were flagged by its technology.

Why is it important? Hate speech was one of the six areas in which Facebook took action against content posted on its platform. On Tuesday, it reported its numbers in these six areas in its first Community Standards Enforcement Preliminary Report. It admitted its technology didn’t work that well for hate speech. By comparison, Facebook took down 21 million pieces of adult nudity and sexual activity, 96% of which were found and flagged by its technology, before they were reported.

Tell me more: Facebook estimates that of every 10,000 pieces of content viewed on Facebook, 7 to 9 views were of content that violated its adult nudity and pornography standards.


Rs 13,416.9 crore

What is it? Punjab National Bank’s (PNB) net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared with a net profit of Rs 261.9 crore in the year-ago period.

Why is it important? It is the lender’s (and any domestic bank’s) biggest ever quarterly net loss due to the hit it has taken from the Nirav Modi scam, India’s biggest banking fraud. The bank said it had provided for Rs 7,178 crore on account of the scam, which is 50% of the total, in the last quarter. It will provide for the remaining amount in the next three quarters.

Tell me more: PNB’s total provisions and contingencies in the quarter stood at Rs 20,353 crore compared to Rs 5,753 crore a year ago.



What is it?The number of people feared dead as on Tuesday evening (8.15 pm) after a flyover collapsed in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. Media reports differ on the death toll, though the range was between 12 and 20.

Why is it important? Many were trapped dead after a portion of an under-construction flyover collapsed, crushing people and vehicles underneath. Of those trapped, many of them are labourers working on flyover construction. A total of 1,885 people died in 2015 due to a collapse of structures, or 0.6% of the total accident deaths in India.

Tell me more: The Uttar Pradesh government has set up a three-member committee to probe the incident and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the families of those killed in the incident.


40 years

What is it? The number of years that former Australian cricketer Bill Lawry did cricket commentary. On Tuesday, the 81-year-old announced his retirement.

Why is it important? One of the distinctive voices of Channel Nine, Bill Lawry calling it a day as a cricket commentator is symbolic of possibly the biggest shift underway in the Australian cricket broadcasting landscape since the Kerry Packer days. Earlier this year, Seven and Fox Sports ended Channel Nine’s four decade-long association with broadcasting cricket in Australia.

Tell me more: Lawry, who also captained Australia, is known for his excitable style of commentary that produced articulations that have since become lore, like “it’s all happening” (to describe a busy passage of play) and “bang” (a big hit).

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Getting War Ready

Rs 15,000 crore

What is it? The size of a project reportedly finalised by the Indian Army under which a range of ammunition will be produced indigenously for critical weapons and tanks.

Why is it important? This is said to be India’s biggest initiative to indigenise ammunition, thereby tackling delays in imports and shortages in stockpiles. In a July 2017 report, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report said the Army’s ammunition will not last for more than 10 days in a war and that the military does not have the minimum required stock of 55% of the 152 types of arms it uses for operational preparedness in case of a war.

Tell me more: The project, which would involve 11 private firms, would create an inventory for all major weapons that would prepare the Army to fight a 30-day war.


What is it? The number of exit polls of eight major ones that predict BJP to win the largest number of seats in Karnataka, ahead of the Congress.

Why is it important? However, of these, just one has predicted a simple majority for the BJP, while the rest indicate a hung assembly. If these hold true, then Janata Dal (Secular), whose leader said the party expects a possibility of forming the government, could emerge as kingmaker. However, exit polls have often gone wrong in the past; Karnataka’s exit polls carry risks such as hurried calculations in a single phase election, besides the methodology adopted by the agencies.

Tell me more:If BJP wins in Karnataka, it would be in power in 23 states and potentially boost the party’s prospects in the 2019 general elections. As for Congress, it would be able to retain one of the four states it is in power currently and check the BJP juggernaut.


What is it? The number of deaths due to severe storms reported in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh on Sunday. More thunderstorms, with wind speeds reaching 50-70 km, are predicted over the next two days.

Why is it important? The month of May has been brutal. On May 3, 124 deaths were reported due to thunderstorms in UP and Rajasthan. And, on May 10, another 11 people died in northern India, taking the tally to 135. The maximum number of deaths have been reported in UP: the state’s count was above 70 till Sunday, when 21 more people died.

Tell me more:In 2017, 2,057 people died due to natural disasters, according to a Ministry of Home Affairs annual report.

Rs 1,225 crore

What is it? Dena Bank’s net loss in the fourth quarter of 2017-18, compared with a net loss of Rs 575 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? The Reserve Bank of India has barred the bank from lending further and hiring personnel in view of its weakening financial health. On an annual basis, Dena Bank posted a net loss for the third year in a row and its gross non-performing assets (NPA) hit a high of 22.4% of gross advances in the quarter. The government is considering issuing provision shore-up certificates to banks to deal with increasing provisioning against bad loans.

Tell me more:On May 17, the finance ministry will reportedly meet 11 banks that are under the central bank’s prompt corrective action framework to check their progress on reforms and seek accountability for the capital provided to them.


What is it? The number of points that Manchester City finished with in the 2018 English Premier League.

Why is it important? Heading into the last league match of the season, City needed to beat Southampton to become the first club in the 20-team EPL to hit a century. They did so, but only in stoppage time. For the season, City finished with 100 out of a maximum 114 points.

Tell me more:In other significant outcomes from the final day, Liverpool qualified for the Champions League; Chelsea didn’t and is likely to sack its manager Antonio Conte. And Arsenal Wenger signed off from Arsenal with a win.

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Cash, Liquor, Gold And Narcotics

Rs 120 crore

What is it?The total amount of cash, liquor and narcotics seized in Karnataka as on April 30, 2018, ahead of the state assembly elections on May 12.

Why is it important?Of the 22 state assembly polls held in India since the 2014 general elections (including the upcoming Karnataka polls), Karnataka is ranked third among states on number of such seizures. Increasingly, political parties look for candidateswith deep pockets, while voters support them despite their questionable history with the expectation that they might be able to deliver when the state doesn’t.

Tell me more:Karnataka might overtake Tamil Nadu (around Rs 130 crore seized in the 2016 elections) on total seizures. Uttar Pradesh tops the list, with a cumulative seizure of over Rs 190 crore.


$40.7 billion

What is it?The fair value of Warren Buffett-controlled Berkshire Hathaway of Apple shares, as of March 2018.

Why is it important?That makes Apple the largest holding in the $172 billion investment portfolio of Berkshire, rising above Wells Fargo. During the January to March quarter, Berkshire added about 75 million shares of Appleto the 170 million it already owned.

Tell me more:Even as Berkshire, known for investing in consumer-oriented businesses, bulked up on one of the rare tech stocks in its portfolio, Buffett admitted he made a wrong decision to not invest in Google and Amazon.


$1.5-2 billion

What is it? The estimated losses of Air Indiain 2018-19 and 2019-20 if its divestment does not take off, according to aviation consultancy Centre for Aviation (CAPA) India.

Why is it important?Making a case to make the terms of sale more attractive to investors, the consultancy predicts that failure to divest could result in Air India’s closure unless the government spends more taxpayers’ money. Major airlines such as Indigo, Jet Airways, Emirates and Qatar Airways have opted out of bidding for Air India. The Tata Group is also unlikely to participate.

Tell me more: The government will accept expression of interests from potential bidders until the end of the month. The government hasprovided equity support of Rs 26,545 crore, against a total of Rs 30,231 crore earmarked, under a 10-year, turnaround plan in 2012.



What is it?The number of months within which the system for taxpayers to file only one monthly return (as against three now) will be ready.

Why is it important?The GST (goods and services tax) Council approved a simpler tax return filing system on Friday, which would reduce the burden of compliance on taxpayers. There will be a unidirectional flow of invoicesto be uploaded by sellers, after which the input tax credit will be available to the buyer. The GST Council deferred its decisionson allowing an incentive for digital payments and imposing a cess on sugar.

Tell me more: The GST Council has also decided to convert GST Network into a government-owned entity, with the central government and states owning 50% stake each.



What is it?The scoreline in El Clasico, as the Spanish League match between Barcelona and Real Madrid is known, played on Sunday night.

Why is it important?A 10-man Barcelona side, playing at home, clung to a draw in a fast-paced and heated encounter. The draw meant Barcelona still remain unbeaten in the Spanish League, with three matches to play. Barcelona, already crowned champions for the season, is aiming to become the first side to stay unbeaten in the Spanish League since its expansion to a 20-team format.

Tell me more: Across seasons, this Barcelona side holds the Spanish League record for the longest unbeaten streak, which now stands at 42, four better than Real Sociedad in 1979-80.


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