Snail’s pace housing 🐌🏡

Rs 154

What is it? Bharti Airtel’s average revenue per user (arpu) in the three months ended June.

Why is it important? This is about 21% lesser than that reported in the same quarter a year ago and is an indication of the impact of Reliance Jio. The new telecom player provided free services for six months after its entry last year, which forced the incumbents to reduce their tariffs to protect/retain their market share. The impact of Jio on other players may lessen in the subsequent quarters as it has started charging its customers from April this year. Its maiden paid-for and most popular plan would translate into an arpu of Rs 96 while the most prominent of its revised plans would increase the arpu to Rs 124, according to ratings agency Icra.

Tell me more: The net profit of India’s largest telecom operator declined by 75% to Rs 367 crore from a year ago period. However, it added 5.2 million subscribers in the last three months, which is the highest ever.

 

180,877

What is it? The number of houses built under the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’ so far.

Why is it important? This is less than 0.5% of the target of 5 crore homes for the poor by 2022, which indicates the slow pace of the programme (launched in February 2016) as well as raises the question of the feasibility of achieving the goal. The programme is important as at least 6.5 crore people live in slums across India and most do so in makeshift houses and shacks.

Tell me more: The initiative was also launched with the idea that it would help create jobs though unemployment rate has gone up to 5%of the labour force in 2015-16 from 4.9% in 2013-14, the year before the NDA assumed power.

 

2002

What is it? The year since the Indian monsoons (June-September) have strengthened, according to a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Why is it important? The strengthening in the last 15 years has resulted in the reversal of a 50-year drying spell when the monsoon brought relatively less rainfall to the northern and central parts of India. Strong warming of the entire Indian subcontinent and a significant slowdown in the temperature rise over the Indian Ocean could partially explain this trend, according to the researchers.

Tell me more: The year of 2015 saw a blip in trend – widespread drought across the subcontinent – which the study attributes to the severe El Niño (unusually warm temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific) season.

 

300-325 km

What is it? The distance covered by trucks a day after Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented.

Why is it important? This is 30% more than the 225-km-a-day covered by them pre-GST. The road transport ministry is crediting the abolishing of state-border checkposts for the increased productivity. Earlier, anywhere between 20-30% of a logistic truck’s travel time was spent on clearing checkposts, due to congestion.

Tell me more: The ministry says along with the abolishment of inter-state sales tax, it could bring down logistics costs by 10-12%.

 

Rs 500 crore

What is it? The relief package declared by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the flooded districts of Gujarat.

Why is it important? Gujarat has seen some of this year’s worst flooding, since June due to heavy monsoon rains, aggravated by water inflow from Rajasthan and relentless rains over the weekend. More than 36,000 people have been displaced from their homes and the transport sector suffered over Rs 6 crore losses a day due to flooding. The relief package will help rebuild and rehabilitate the lives of those displaced.

Tell me more: In 2015-16, 1,543 people died in natural disasters. Gujarat’s toll has crossed 70 since the start of monsoon this season.

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Record-breaking women’s cricket

1.54

What is it? The consumer price index for June, 2017 – the lowest in five years.

Why is it important? The inflation is much lower than central bank’s target of 4%. The government is urging the central bank to cut key interest rates to boost the economy. Index of industrial production expanded at a slower rate of 1.7% in May, as compared to 3.1% in the previous month.

Tell me more: Retail inflation was low mainly due to falling falling food prices, as consumer food price index was -2.12 in June, 2017.

 

 

6,028

What is it? The total number of runs scored by Indian cricketer Mithali Raj.

Why is it important? She is the first player to cross 6,000 runs in women’s one day internationals (ODIs). With an average of 51.8 runs per innings, Raj is one among the five women players who have an average of 50 and above.

Tell me more: Raj’s teammate, Jhulan Goswami, is the world’s highest wicket taker in ODIs.

 

 

17,771

What is it? The number of dengue cases in government hospitals and dispensaries in Mumbai in 2016-17, according to NGO Praja Foundation.

Why is it important? The number cases has jumped by over 265% since 2012-13 (4,867). It is a 16.6% rise over last year’s count at 15,244 dengue cases, despite Mumbai having health budget of Rs 3,312 crores for 2017-18.

Tell me more: The incidence of malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, seems to have gone down from 21,939 cases in 2012-13 to 11,607 in 2016-17 (14,631 in 2015-16).

 

 

Rs 900 crore

What is it? The investment by US retail chain, Walmart, in Maharashtra to open 15 modern cash and carry wholesale stores.

Why is it important? After the break-up with Bharti Enterprises in 2013, Walmart has been slow to expand, restarting in 2015. The new slew of stores would be in addition to the 21 stores Walmart operates out of India.

Tell me more: FDI rules do not allow international retail brands to serve end-customers through single-brand retail, except in the cash and carry wholesale format.

 

 

25.1 million tonne

What is it? The sugar output forecast by the Indian Sugar Mills Association for 2017-18.

Why is it important? The estimate is higher than last year’s 20.3 million sugar produced, a seven-year low. Above-average monsoon rainfall and its timely arrival have encouraged sugarcane farmers to plant more crops.

Tell me more: The three major sugar producers — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka — are expected to yield over 19.8 million tonne (over 78%) of the estimated sugar output.

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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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The giant sucking sound of jobs going away 👷

56,000

What is it? The number of layoffs expected in seven IT firms this year in India.

Why is it important? The retrenchment pressure at IT firms including Infosys, Wipro, and multinational firms, is likely to mount, as they look to hire local employees in markets such as the US. Automation and a digital service economy have further removed the need for human labour.

Tell me more: Other companies include Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, Cognizant, CapGemini, who together will be letting go of 4.5% of their 1.24 million-strong workforce.

 

$1 billion

What is it? The value of the informal offer from Flipkart to buy rival Snapdeal, currently backed by SoftBank and others.

Why is it important? It shows the sale of Snapdeal, which has been creating a buzz for a few months now, is close to completion. The newsof the informal purchase offer came a few hours after the news of Snapdeal’s chief investor, SoftBank, agreeing to pay off other key investors — its two founders and Nexus. SoftBank has been trying to sell Snapdeal to India’s largest e-commerce platform, Flipkart, but was slowed down by the need to compensate other investors such as Kalaari Capital, Nexus Ventures besides the founders.

Tell me more: SoftBank has agreed to pay $15 million each to founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, and $50-60 million to Nexus, according to reports.

 

Rs 574 crore

What is it? The value of fixed deposits of the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Why is it important? The aid given from the fund in the last five years to 22,633 people is Rs 242.53, around 42% of the value of the fund’s fixed deposits. The FDs also earn Rs 41.63 crore in interest, reveals an RTI query. With monsoon predictions still hanging in the balance, a drought would see farmers seeking aid from funds such as these.

Tell me more: The biggest beneficiaries have been people in need of medical aid and account for 97% of recipients between June, 2012 and March, 2017.

 

9.1 million

What is it? The number of additional tax payers in India in 2016-17.

Why is it important? The rise in the number of taxpayers might be the single largest benefit of demonetisation, even as the November move attracted criticism that many of its stated goals – removing fake currency, unearthing black money, boosting cashless economy – didn’t fructify.

Tell me more: India had 55.9 million individual taxpayers in 2015-16, of whom 37 million filed tax returns.

 

Rs 43,292 crore

What is it? The cost of project to connect Char Dham – four key pilgrim sites, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Badrinath and Kedarnath – by rail.

Why is it important? Indian railways will start the final location survey for the project this week. The total route length will be 327 km passing through 61 tunnels and going over 59 bridges according to a report submitted in 2015. The commencement of the location survey is one of the key steps in the ambitious project.

Tell me more: The route will run through some of the toughest terrains with key spots at different elevations – Gangotri (3,408 metre above sea level), Yamunotri (3,293m), Badrinath (3,133m) and Kedarnath (3,583m).

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