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Jail Time For Those Seeking Instant Triple Talaq

For several years, Muslim women in India have lived in a fear of being instantly divorced by their husbands, as one rule in Muslim law bestows the muslim males with the privilege of doing so. No more. The Lok Sabha passed a bill criminalizing the instant Triple Talaq, and has claused for a 3-year jail term for anybody who seeks instant divorce. It was a historical moment for the muslim women, who saw it is a breather for their future generations.

Elsewhere, in the corporate world, there’s a younger brother seeking help of his elder brother to lighten his debt burden. And some more in news in numbers today. Take a look.

 

12 years

What is it? The number of years after Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) transferred control of Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) to Anil Ambani as part of the settlement between feuding brothers. On Friday, Reliance Jio, a subsidiary of RIL, said it would acquire telecom assets of RCom.

Why is it important? This purchase will help Reliance Jio acquire 4G spectrum, 43,000 towers and 178,000 km of fibre optic network. For Anil Ambani group, the deal will help them reduce debt and pay off debtors who were threatening to invoke bankruptcy code.

Tell me more: RCom has total debt of Rs45,000 crore as on October. Both Reliance Jio and RCom did not reveal the deal size.

 

3 years

What is it? The maximum number of years of jail sentence for offenders under The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill 2017.

Why is it important? The bill will make anyone using instant triple talaq, an instant divorce, a criminal offence. Lok Sabha passed the bill with the support of the Congress party. Neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan doesn’t permit instant talaq. Offences are punishable with a prison term of upto one year and fine.

Tell me more: Earlier this year, the Supreme Court ruled that triple talaq was unconstitutional by a 3-2 majority ruling.

 

7.396%

What is it? The yield of the 10-year bond at the end of trading on Thursday, a 17-month high.

Why is it important? The yield increased by 17.7 basis point (one basis point is one hundredth of a percentage point) on Wednesday, the highest increase in more than 11 months. Yield is inverse of price of bonds, and will increase borrowing cost for government.

Tell me more: Central government’s decision to borrow Rs 50,000 crore extra, and decline in GST collections in November contributed to increase in bond yield, as market feared the fiscal deficit target will be breached.

 

Rs251

What is it? The amount of subsidy per Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinder sold to domestic customers.

Why is it important? The subsidy amount has increased by Rs41 in the last three months, as government put on hold a plan to increase the prices by Rs4 every month and also due to higher global price. This would mean higher subsidy bill for the central government.

Tell me more: Fuel subsidy on diesel and petrol were eliminated by increasing the price by small amount every month, and falling crude oil prices also helped to bridge the gap. Now the spurt in international prices has increased the LPG subsidy amount, even as government began to increase the prices by Rs4 every month from June this year.

 

10%

What is it? The maximum percentage of stake one credit rating agency (CRA) or asset management company (AMC) can have in another CRA or AMC, India’s market regulator said on Thursday.

Why is it important? The move will affect UTI Mutual Fund, as its shareholders – State Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National bank – own 18.5% in UTI MF, and also have their mutual fund subsidiaries. They will have bring down their stake to comply with this new regulation.

Tell me more: The market regulator also allowed creation of universal exchanges, where both equity and commodity can be traded, from October 2018. This will create more competition.

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Monsoon cracks on ☔

6%

What is it? The percentage above normal registered by monsoon rainfall till July 2.

Why is it important? The monsoon, which accounts for over 70% of India’s annual rainfall, is the primary source of irrigation for half of the country’s cropland and refills over 80 nationally-monitored water reservoirs (important for drinking purposes, power and irrigation).

Tell me more: The monsoon is expected to cover the country by July 15, on schedule. The onset of the southwest monsoon has led farmers to plant 19% more hectare with rain-dependent kharif crops than last year (22.2 million hectare over 18.7 million hectare).

 

8%

What is it? The hike in Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal’s annual pay in 2016-17.

Why is it important? Mittal’s pay increased despite India’s largest telecom operator  suffering a sharp decline in annual consolidated profit this year due to intense competition. In 2016-17, Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit was Rs 3,799 crore, registering a fall of 37.5%. Mittal’s income rose from Rs 27.8 crore to Rs 30.1 crore in the same year.

Tell me more: Bharti Airtel Managing Director and CEO (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal earned nearly 50% more than last year, as well. It is unlike the trend in another sector: chiefs in the IT industry such as Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka and Wipro Chairman Azim Premji have taken cuts in their pay, in line with performance goals.

 

28%

What is it? The percentage of women students who secured admission to the post graduate programme in management at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) – the premier business school.

Why is it important? This was achieved without giving extra marks or gender-specific quotas. IIMA decided to give lower weightage to the score from the Common Admission Test, an entrance exam for getting admission to business schools, and invite candidates from non-engineering background for the interviews.

Tell me more: Around 85% of students in IIM, Bangalore are from engineering background, and within that 50% are from Indian Institute of Technology and National Institute of Technology.

 

33.6 million

What is it? The number of youth in the 18-19 age group who remain unregistered on the voters’ list.

Why is it important? This number is 60% of eligible voters in the age group of 18-19 years. However, the number of eligible voters not enrolled has come down from 90% six years back. Indian citizens are allowed to vote after reaching 18 years.

Tell me more: The Election Commission of India is running a month-long drive in July to persuade them to register. For the generation hooked on social media, EC has tied up with Facebook to host a special button for registration.

 

Upto Rs 32

What is it? The hike in the cost of an LPG or cooking gas cylinder.

Why is it important? Household LPG cylinders are set to become costlier because under GST it is under the slab of 5% taxation, higher than the VAT levied earlier by some states at 2-4%. Further cuts in subsidy of LPG connections in June will compound the price rise, and go up to Rs 32 extra for each cylinder in some states.

Tell me more: The last subsidy cut was in May of around Rs 2, implementing the government’s target of eliminating it through small increases.

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News in Numbers, June 6, 2016: 29 killed in Mathura violence, India & Qatar sign 7 deals…

29

What is it? The number of people who have died in the Mathura clashes so far.

Why is it important? Violence erupted in Mathura on Thursday when the police tried to evict encroachers belonging to a religious group called Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi from government land (Jawahar Bagh). This may become one of the key issues in Uttar Pradesh, which faces elections next year.

Tell me more: Over 3,000 people of the cult attacked around a thousand policemen with swords, guns, knives and grenades when they went on the eviction drive. The leader of the cult group, who ran a private army and had eight cases (including murder and land-grabbing) cases against him, died in the clash.

 

7

What is it? Number of bilateral agreements signed by India and Qatar on Sunday.

Why is it important? The agreements cover tourism, health, skill development, youth and sports, and investment in India’s Rs 40,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. India has also expressed interest in joint exploration of new oil and gas fields and development of discovered assets in Qatar, which is the largest supplier of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) to the country.

Tell me more: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a five-nation tour and he is currently in Switzerland where he is likely to seek support for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and also, raise the issue of black money.

 

Rs 15,800 crore

What is it? The minimum amount India would need to spend on family planning services by 2020, according to a study.

Why is it important? This is necessary if India wants to keep up its 2012 global commitment of covering 48 million new users of family planning services such as access to contraceptive methods and reproductive healthcare by 2020 while sustaining the existing 100 million users. A delay may result in high maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and poor child health due to poorly-spaced pregnancies, the study says.

Tell me more: Family planning budget allocation has decreased by 54% between 2013-14 and 2015-16 though that under the National Health Mission increased by 47% but still fell short of the required amount, as per the study by the International Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur – commissioned by the Population Foundation of India.

 

6

What is it? Number of bulk drugs and medical devices parks Indian government is considering setting up under the public-private partnership mode. There will be three of each.

Why is it important? India is heavily reliant on imports for bulk drugs or active pharmaceutical ingredients (80%) and medical devices (65%). The setting up of such parks would help bring down the costs of production of devices and drugs by a minimum of 30% in the long-term, according to the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Tell me more: The government is considering to provide a one-time financial support for these bulk drug parks. The six bulk drug and medical devices parks would require an investment of around Rs 60,000 crore.

 

78%

What is it? Percentage of voters in Switzerland who opposed a plan to give a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,555) for adults per month whether they work or not, according to projections by GFS polling outfit for Swiss broadcaster SRF.

Why is it important? Switzerland is the first country to vote on such a proposal. As technology increasingly replaces jobs, other countries including Finland are considering a similar proposal. Those who supported the proposal argued that productivity would be better if one is not obliged to work to earn money and unpaid work would be more valued. Those against (including the government) cited high costs, decrease in inclination to work and likely large-scale immigration as the reasons.

Tell me more: The government had estimated that this proposal would cost 208 billion Swiss francs and most of the current social security programmes would have made up for this though it would have had to resort to spending cuts and tax increases to make up for a gap of 25 billion Swiss francs.

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