Deadly mountain roads

Rs 7,400 crore

What is it? The worth of 30 properties of the Sahara group, many of which conglomerates have evinced interest in buying.

Why is it important? The auction, reportedly in its early stage, will not appease the Supreme Court, even if the entire money raised is deposited with it. The court turned down the proposal and insisted on the group selling its expansive Aamby Valley project as it had failed to meet the apex court’s timeline for depositing Rs 5,000 crore. Aamby Valley’s value is reportedly between Rs 34,000-39,000 crore, while the Sahara group says it is over Rs 1 lakh-crore. The 30 properties, which includes Lucknow’s Sahara Hospital, would fetch around 50% (Rs 14,779 crore) of the amount still owed to investors as per Sebi’s instructions if not sold in a hurry, and less if they are.

Tell me more: Knight Frank, the realty consultants, in India, has been tasked with carrying out the sale. The interested buyers include Tatas, Godrej, Adani, Patanjali, realty developers Omaxe, Eldeco, Indian Oil and Apollo Hospital.

 

44

What is it? The death toll in the bus crash near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

Why is it important? India’s killer roads become deadlier with altitude. The bus veered off a mountain road and plunged into a river, killing those onboard. In 2015, as many as four hilly states figured among 10 states with the highest severity (deaths in every 100 accidents), even though compared to cities and metros in other densely-populated states, traffic is less in such states. Himachal Pradesh had 36.4% severity while neighbouring Uttarakhand 59.9%.

Tell me more: Two people travelling on the bus were able to escape by jumping off before the bus fell.

 

6

What is it? The number of places in Arunachal Pradesh for which China has announced its own names and spellings – in Chinese, Tibetan and English.

Why is it important? This is being seen as China’s retaliation for theDalai Lama’s visit to the Indian state. China’s foreign ministry spokesperson mentioned the move as reflecting and explaining its claims on ‘Southern Tibet’, China’s name for Arunachal Pradesh. While India is yet to respond to the reaffirmation of China’s territorial claim, it had refuted the latter’s objections to Dalai Lama’s, the Tibetan spiritual leader visit, saying there was no political motive to it and was religious.

Tell me more: It was the Dalai Lama’s second visit to the state that stirred up such a storm.

 

1.6 million

What is it? The number of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units to be bought by Election Commission.

Why is it important? The election commission wants to ensure that by 2019 general elections, all polling stations have electronic voting machines with VVPAT units, which will confirm to the voters that their votes were registered accurately. The machines will cost Rs 3,173 crore. The cabinet approved the funding on Wednesday.

Tell me more: These machines will be manufactured by state owned Bharat Electronics and Electronics Corporation of India.

 

4,000 kgs

What is it? The weight of payload that can be carried by Indian Space Research Organisation’s new rocket GSLV-Mk III.

Why is it important? It’s almost double the weight of the heaviest payload that Indian rockets launched so far. The first developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III (D1) is scheduled to take place next month. The second developmental flight is likely to happen a year from now. It would reduce India’s dependence on other countries to launch heavier satellite, besides creating more opportunities for revenue generation.

Tell me more:  The first developmental flight will take communication satellite GSAT 19, which will also monitor the effect of radiation on the satellite and electronic equipment.

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News in Numbers, Feb 08, 2017: Infosys: a question of governance

$11 million

What is it? Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka’s salary, including variable component.

Why is it important? The founders of Infosys have reportedly raised concerns over the remuneration of the offshoring giant’s first non-promoter CEO, besides the severance packages given to Rajiv Bansal, former CFO, and David Kennedy, former compliance officer and the appointment of Punita Sinha, wife of Union minister Jayant Sinha, as an independent director.

Tell me more: Vishal Sikka’s $11 million package is linked to Infosys achieving $20 billion revenue target. Rajiv Bansal received a severance package of Rs 17.38 crore in 2015, while Kennedy received $868,250 when he quit end of last year.

Rs 16,200 crore

What is it? The detected amount of black money stashed away by Indians in foreign accounts, following revelations by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ)

Why is it important? Demonetisation revived questions about efforts to recover illegal funds squirrelled away in accounts abroad. The government shared the total illegal money tracked so far, even though it could not estimate the total quantity.

 

Tell me more: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley mentioned the government could track Rs 8,000 crore worth of credits in offshore accounts by Indians named in the ICIJ report, while in about two years through systematic investigations, it could bring to tax Rs 8,200 crore in black money deposited abroad in secret bank accounts in HSBC.

 

96%

What is it? The record disposal rate of grievances of the Income Tax department.

Why is it important? The IT department proved to be more technologically savvy than many of its peers. It has redressed over 20,000 complaints last year since the launch of its ‘e-nirvan’ service for taxpayer grievances.

Tell me more: The resolved complaints between July and September, 2016 were 9,444 while in October-December, 2016, they were 11,345, making organisation the most efficient on the government’s Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System.

 

101

What is it? The number of foreign satellites Indian Space Research Organisation’s (Isro) will launch next week (February 15), mounted on its trusty PSLV-C37 rocket.

Why is it important? As private players increase their play in space exploration around the globe, costs will play a crucial part as government funding won’t remain the main source. Isro, even though a government agency, has one of the lowest price tags for services that other countries can avail. Elon Musks’ SpaceX’s Falcon-9 satellite launch can cost $60 million, low by global standards, but Isro’s PSLV can be launched at one-third the cost.

 

Tell me more: In addition to three Indian satellites mounted on the rocket, the 101 foreign nano-satellites, taking up 600 kgs on the rocket, will earn the space agency half of the total cost for the launch. Isro has been earning foreign exchange by accommodating other countries and till July, 2015, it had earned Rs 637.35 crore. In June, 2016, it had launched another 17.

 

20

What is it? The number of days of paid leave Facebook workers will get to bereave a family member

Why is it important? This comes at a time when conversations on paid leave in US are mostly around births, and not deaths. Only 60% of private companies in the US give paid leaves for mourning, and only for a few days, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO wrote in the social networking site. Given the influence Facebook has, it could lead to other companies following its footsteps

Tell me more: Facebook employees will have 20 days to mourn the death of an immediate family member, and 10 to mourn the death of an extended family member. They will also have up to  six weeks to take care of a sick relative, (and three days off in case of short term illnesses).

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