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Is Facebook At It Again?

60

What is it? The number of device-markers such as Apple, Amazon, Blackberry, Microsoft and Samsung that Facebook has formed data-partnerships with in the last 10 years.

Why is it important? Facebook reportedly allowed these device firms to access data of users’ friends without their explicit consent, though it had declared that it would not share such information with outsiders. This comes a few weeks after the social media firm found itself in the centre of a dispute over the alleged harvesting and use of personal data of 87 million people, involving London-based elections consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Tell me more: Facebook, however, has rejected the report and said that this is “very different” from the use of data by third-party developers such as Cambridge Analytica.

$350 million

What is it? The amount of funding raised by GitHub, in two funding rounds, since being formed in February 2008. The last was in 2015, when it was valued at $2 billion.

Why is it important? On Monday, the code repository company popular with the community of software developers for its championing of the open-source model, said it had reached an agreement to be acquired by Microsoft for $7.5 billion in stock. For GitHub, which has never made a profit, this is a way forward. For Microsoft, it’s a return to its earliest roots.

Tell me more: This is yet another significant acquisition by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who took charge in February 2014 and whose tenure has seen the Microsoft stock rise three-fold.

13

What is it? The number of months since MK Jain has been the managing director and chief executive officer of IDBI Bank. On Monday, the government appointed him as a deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Why is it important? Jain has over 30 years of experience in the banking industry and will be in-charge of the central bank’s supervisory department that is instrumental in cleaning up the banking system. However, his exit from IDBI Bank seems to be a negative for the lender as he was focused on cleaning up its balance sheet and divesting some non-core assets to generate capital. The lender’s shares fell to a two-week low after the announcement.

Tell me more: Jain was selected from nine candidates and after two rounds of interviews. The RBI deputy governor post fell vacant after SS Mundra retired at the end of July 2017.

250,000

What is it? The number of modern assault rifles the India Army will reportedly buy.

Why is it important? This is less than a third of its original requirement of 800,000 rifles and the reduced order size is said to be due to budgetary constraints and the need to increase the pace of deliveries. As of July 2017, a majority of the India’s troops were still using the outdated INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles, though the Army had floated a tender for the supply of multi-caliber assault rifles to replace these in 2011.

Tell me more: Of the 450,000 infantry troopers in the defence force, about half of them go into the battleground and use the rifle as their primary weapon.

900

What is it? The number of singles matches won by Rafael Nadal of Spain.

Why is it important? On Monday, Nadal became only the fifth male tennis player to reach the milestone of 900 singles victories. This elite list is led by Jimmy Connors, who finished his career with 1,256 wins. He is followed by Roger Federer (1,149), Ivan Lendl (1,068) and Guillermo Vilas (949).

Tell me more: Of these five players, Nadal has the best winning percentage (82.8%). He is followed by Federer (82.0%).

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Repo so low

25

What is it? The number of basis points by which the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has cut the repo rate, the rate at which the central bank lends money to the commercial banks, to 6% on Wednesday. One basis point is equal to one hundredth of one percent.

Why is it important? The repo rate is the lowest since November 2010 and follows a downward trend in food prices that pushed consumer inflation in June to a more than five-year low of 1.54%. This could boost the economy, which clocked a growth of 6.1% in the January-March 2017 quarter, the slowest in two years. The repo rate cut is also likely to result in lower lending rates.

Tell me more: The RBI has also become the first central bank in Asia to cut rates this year. Four members of the monetary policy committee voted for a policy rate reduction of 25 basis points, one for reduction of 50 basis points and one for maintaining the same rates.

 

5.3%

What is it? The percentage of protein Indians may lose from a standard diet by 2050, according to a study.

Why is it important? This would likely put 53 million people at new risk of protein deficiency and would be due to the increase in carbon dioxide levels as projected causing a decline in the nutritional value of rice, wheat and other staple crops. The study, the first to quantify this risk, estimates that roughly 150 million people in 18 countries are likely to be at risk of protein deficiency due to increased carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. According to a survey by market research firm IMRB, 73% of Indian diets are protein deficient. The recommended dietary allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Tell me more: Under elevated carbon dioxide concentrations, the protein content in crops such as rice, wheat, barley and potatoes decreased by 7.6%, 7.8%, 14.1% and 6.4% respectively.

 

Rs 250 crore

What is it? The estimated collective loss of revenue of 87 tea estates in Darjeeling since mid-June, according to the Darjeeling Tea Association.

Why is it important? Due to the indefinite strike announced by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) on June 15, around 75,000 tea workers in Darjeeling are likely to lose at least Rs 10,000-15,000 in wages. The auction volume of Darjeeling tea is running thin and there could be just one more auction of the tea variety this year. Due to reduced supplies, the average price shot up by 27.5% in the last auction to Rs 458.38 per kg over the last year and only 20,000 kg were sold compared to 130,000 kg a year ago.

Tell me more: The GJM is on an indefinite strike to demand a separate Gorkhaland state to be carved out of West Bengal.

 

60

What is it? The number of premises linked to Karnataka energy minister D K Shivakumar searched by the Income Tax department until Wednesday.

Why is it important? The Rajya Sabha (RS) was adjourned four times yesterday over these IT raids, with the Election Commission (EC) seeking a report from the Finance Ministry in two days. The raids spanned New Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru, including the resort housing 42 Gujarat Congress MLAs.

Tell me more: The Congress approached the EC alleging the raids were BJP’s vendetta against Shivakumar, as he is overseeing the Gujarat MLAs in Bengaluru. The fiasco is due to the upcoming voting to elect Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat. Tax department claimed it recovered Rs 10 crore in cash.

 

Rs 17,576 crore

What is it? The value of illegally mined iron ore and manganese in Odisha since 2000 the Supreme Court has ordered miners to refund the state.

Why is it important? This would be a windfall revenue for the Odisha state government. Mining companies which continued to mine without or in excess of environment clearance since 2000-2001 will be penalised 100% of the illegally mined extracts. The estimate was made by the SC-appointed Central Empowered Committee which found 215.5 million-tonne ore extracted.

Tell me more: This could increase to Rs 25,000 crore if Forest Conservation violations are taken into account. The court ordered companies such as Tata Steel, Essel Mining, Sail, to pay the penalty.

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Uber’s reality check

1,100

What is it? The number of anti-riots police sent to Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh on account of ongoing farmers protest.

Why is it important? The protests by MP farmers – who are demanding loan waiver, higher minimum support price among others – have spread to six other districts in the state. The protests have intensified following the killing of five protesters in firing on Tuesday.

Tell me more: As protests continue, MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a Rs 1000-crore price stabilisation fund and that the state would buy tur, urad and moong from farmers starting June 10. The central and state governments might have to do more than providing sops to pull the country out of the farm crisis.

 

$11.2 billion

What is it? The net worth of Sun Pharma founder Dilip Shanghvi.

Why is it important? It’s down from $21.5 billion in 2015, which made him India’s richest person. The drop of over 50% reflects the troubles faced by India’s generic drug industry – including intense scrutiny by US Food and Drug Administration, and pricing pressure in the market.

Tell me more: Sun Pharma Stock has fallen by nearly 30% in the last one year.

 

82.67%

What is it? The percentage of currency that has been remonetised, according to the Reserve Bank of India.

Why is it important? This partly explains why some parts of the country continues to face cash shortages. In November, the government demonetised nearly 87% of currency in circulation or an estimated Rs 15.5 lakh-crore in old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. The growth in digital transactions, which saw a spike during demonetisation, is back to earlier range.

Tell me more: The percentage of remonetised currency has doubled since January.  By volume, 108% of currency is back in circulation, RBI said.

 

>20

What is it? The estimated number of employees fired by Uber Technologies, the US-based cab-hailing app company.

Why is it important? The move comes after a company-wide investigation into 215 human resources claims of harassment. Uber has been plagued by questions about its company culture and accused of doing little to fix it.

Tell me more: In addition, head of Uber’s Asia Pacific business, Eric Alexander has left the firm. According to recode, Alexander had obtained the medical records a 26 year old woman who was raped by an Uber driver in Delhi in December 2014, and shared it with Uber CEO because they suspected that she was was not raped.

 

$239 million

What is it? The amount Marissa Mayer got for her five years of work as Yahoo CEO, according to Equilar, a research firm.

Why is it important? Mayer oversaw the sale of the firm to Verizon for $4.5 billion, which is expected to complete next week, with Verizon shareholders voting on the bid on Thursday. Mayer’s $900,000 a week paycheck has become a talking point even as 1000 employees are reported to be facing pink slips after the merger.

Tell me more: Mayer took over the reins of Yahoo with much fanfare, and according to several observers, didn’t live up to the expectations (except those of the shareholders). Two big privacy breaches took place during her tenure.

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A fund to beat them all

2%

What is it? The estimated drop in inflation once the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented.

Why is it important? Inflation concerns have been central to RBI’s monetary policy reviews, having set the target in 2015 of reducing the headline inflation to 4% in the medium term. The Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia’s estimated of GST’s effect on inflation could finally encourage the central bank to cut the key rate (repo) that it had been keeping unchanged citing the risk of raising inflation.

Tell me more: Adhia insists the government has taken care to prevent the average taxation on commodities from going up. Regarding GST implementation, Adhia mentions the need to educate consumers about the new taxation to keep them from being cheated by unscrupulous traders.

 

$93 billion

What is it? The value of the initial commitment to SoftBank’s Vision fund, a private equity fund for cutting-edge tech companies.

Why is it important? The Vision Fund, engineered by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, is the world’s largest private equity fund that has a planned investment pool of $100 billion as tech venture capital. The current amount, raised from investors such as the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Foxconn Technology and Sharp Corp, besides SoftBank, is the first round of fundraising.

Tell me more: The fund is targeting a $100 billion in the next six months from other investors. SoftBank led the world’s largest venture capital funding in April worth $5.5 billion in China’s Uber-rival Didi Chuxing.

 

Rs 20,000 crore

What is it? The amount Indian government will spend to acquire four landing platform docks (LPDs) or warfare amphibious ships under the ‘Make in India’ program.

Why is it important? This is the largest naval defence deal. Two ships would be made in partnership with private companies, and the winning private company will help the state-run Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. make the remaining two.

Tell me more: Make in India is a government program to promote domestic manufacturing in 25 sectors including defence.

 

11.3%

What is it? Percentage of total budgeted amount spent in April 2017 – the first month of the current financial year.

Why is it important? This represents a marked improvement compared to 8.2% of annual spending estimates in previous financial year. Central government spending used to spike in March, the last month of a fiscal, and drops sharply in the next month.

Tell me more: The move to advance the budget from February 28th to February 1st has helped to spread out expenditure evenly.

 

600

What is it? The number of jobs cut by Cathay Pacific, the biggest in two decades.

Why is it important? The move comes after the Hong Kong based airline reported loss in 2016 for the first time since 2008. One-fourth of managerial staff and 18% of non-managerial positions were cut at its Hong Kong head office. The move will save 6% of staff costs.

Tell me more: Air India, India’s national carrier which operates on 64 international and 118 national routes, is struggling to make profits with debt of Rs 50,357 crore and 21,000 employees.

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