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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 Though not all the messages had information that was the same as that reported, experts say the sharing of unpublished insider information and/or using it for trading could potentially be illegal, if they were deemed to be unpublished price-sensitive information.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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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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The way to a man’s purse

$80 million

What is it? The Series E funding raised by online food delivery startup Swiggy (Bundl Technologies) from Naspers and existing investors such as Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

Why is it important? The funding will help Swiggy take on its rivals, including the well funded Zomato Media, in the highly competitive hyperlocal food delivery space. This is Swiggy’s largest funding to date accounting for 51% of the amount it has raised so far. The startup will use the money to step up its investments in automation and customer behaviour prediction to improve user experience.

Tell me more: Naspers, South Africa based internet and entertainment group, has been making a series of investments in food delivery startups across the world – including iFood in Brazil, SinDelantal in Mexico and Delivery Hero in Germany.

 

Rs 25,000 crore

What is it? The debt amount Reliance Communications (RCom) has said it would repay by September 30, 2017.

Why is it important? The money, to be recovered from two transactions, is over 50% of its debt (Rs 44,34547,332 crore till March, 2017). The reassurance follows a few days that saw RCom’s stock get pounded, to a record low of Rs 20.5 on Monday, as investors were wary about its debt. Rating agency Moody’s has downgraded the company on the back of its “weak operating performance, high leverage and fragile liquidity position.”

Tell me more: Compounding its problems is the telecom market’s intense price competition with Reliance Industries’ Jio’s entry. The price war led to a Rs 948 crore-loss for RCom in the March quarter.

 

1 billion Euro

What is it? Development assistance Germany has pledged to India during prime minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the country.

Why is it important? PM Modi is on a four-country tour with Germany as the first stop to strengthen trade ties. Germany has alsobeen reported to push for the European Union free trade agreement with India during a meeting between Modi and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Tell me more: The free trade agreement is seen as a counter to the growing protectionism propagated by US President Donald Trump, including his recent rant against German-made cars sold in the US. China’s One Belt One Road policy is also a cause for concern for European trade as it strengthens its hold on Asian trade networks.

 

7%

What is it? Underwriting fees charged by investment banks for initial public offerings in the US.

Why is it important? Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in a recent report, cited absence of competition as a reason for the high fees. It said it was akin “akin to tacit collusion” and called for review by competition authorities. In Europe, the underwriting fee is about 3%, while in China it has doubled to 8% in the last few years.

Tell me more: The high fees is a strain on businesses that want to raise money from capital markets, and it’s particularly so for smaller businesses which shell out 11% of the amount raised as expenses. In India, IPO related expenses come to about 7% on average and 10% for smaller companies.

 

538

What is it? The number of harassment cases filed by “Anti-Romeo” squads of Uttar Pradesh police.

Why is it important? The drive to check harassment of women in public places is among the most criticised policies launched by Yogi Adityanath government. Rights activists called for disbanding the squads, arguing that it won’t stop harassment, and will increase the risk of infringement on civil liberties.

Tell me more: According to data released by the state, 3.38 lakh people, among the 7.42 lakh who were checked, were warned between March 22 to May 28.  Lucknow zone had the highest number of people who were warned by the squads – 1.14 lakh.

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News in Numbers, July 6, 2016: Cabinet reshuffle ahead of state polls, apprenticeship training…

19

What is it? The number of new ministers inducted in the Union Council of Ministers on Tuesday.

Why is it important? With this, the size of the ministry is up to 78, one of the biggest in recent years and a departure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of minimum government and maximum governance.

Tell me more: Prakash Javadekar, who was Minister of State (independent charge) for environment, has been elevated to the post of Minister of Human Resource Development. The entire list of reassigned portfolios can be viewed here. While the Cabinet reshuffle has been likely on the basis of individual performance of the Union Ministers, it is happening ahead of state polls in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Rs 550 crore

What is it? The amount raised by online movie ticketing company Bigtree Entertainment, which runs the BookMyShow website, in its fourth round of funding.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when startups are struggling to raise funds and investors have become cautious in letting their purse strings loose. The amount would be used to invest in big data analytics, expand in international markets such as Sri Lanka and enhance consumer experience for increased engagement.

Tell me more: This round of funding is more than double of the total amount the company has raised in the last six years and has increased its valuation to Rs 3,000 crore. The funding was led by US-based Stripes Group and existing investors including Network 18, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

 

$90 billion

What is it? The amount Indian banks need to meet Basel III norms to be implemented by March 2019, according to rating agency Fitch. Basel III accord mandates stricter capital adequacy and buffer norms for banks.

Why is it important? The burden is mostly on public sector banks, which would account for 80% of the requirement. However, the government is committed to invest only $7 billion in government-owned banks by 2018-19. The earnings are also likely to be weak due to muted credit growth and high credit costs.

Tell me more: The rating agency has downgraded its outlook for the Indian banking sector to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.

 

80,000

What is it? The number of people affected due to floods in Assam. Another report puts the figure at around 88,000.

Why is it important? The floods are an annual occurrence in the state, mainly brought on by haphazard growth due to encroachment of water bodies and hills, and a poor solid waste disposal system. This comes nearly a week after Guwahati became the first Indian city to have undertaken a major mock drill for tackling floods in an urban setting. Over 6,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed in seven districts and flood waters have entered the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – the world’s most dense habitat of one-horned rhinos.

Tell me more: The Lakhimpur district is the most affected with around 68,000 people hit as on July 4. The other most affected districts are Dhemaji, Nagaon and Jorhat. The Brahmaputra river is said to be above the danger levels in Jorhat and Tezpur.

 

Rs 10,000 crore

What is it? The budget approved by the Union Cabinet for providing apprenticeship training to over 5 million youngsters in the next four years to create more jobs.

Why is it important? This is the biggest outlay for skill development in the country in the last seven years and the first time a scheme offers financial incentives to employers to take up apprenticeship training. This is likely to help the government in its Skill India mission, where it has to impart skill development training to 40 crore people by 2022.

Tell me more: Job creation has not been a bright spot in the last couple of years. Eight key manufacturing and export-oriented sectors created 421,000 jobs in 2014 while that figure was less than 200,000 last year.

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