SLQ

Robbing ONGC To Pay…

Rs 1,000 crore

What is it? The cash reserves of Oil and Natural Gas Corp.(ONGC) as on March 31.

Why is it important? It has declined by a massive 90% from Rs 13,000 crore a year ago, after the company was asked to buy the government’s 51.11% stake in state-refiner HPCL for Rs 36,915 crore earlier this year and a record dividend payout of Rs 8,470 crore in 2017-18. The government has been tapping state-run companies to get its fiscal deficit math right and the cash depletion of ONGC comes at a time when it has been asked to increase investments to help cut down India’s crude imports.

Tell me more:India’s biggest energy explorer ONGC, however, has a good credit rating due to the government’s backing and easy access to the domestic banking system.

16

What is it? The number of airports that are operational under the government’s ‘regional connectivity scheme’, which is almost half of the 31 airports that were targeted to be operational by the end of 2017.

Why is it important? This indicates that the scheme which aims to build new airports in small towns and upgrade existing facilities is moving at a slow pace. This could affect the government’s goal of making an additional 100 million passengers fly in the next five years. India is the world’s fastest growing aviation market and, recently, smaller towns under the scheme have started contributing to the overall passenger traffic growth.

Tell me more:Some of the reasons for the delay in the progress of the scheme include states having insufficient funds to buy basic equipment and the longer-than-anticipated duration in building air traffic control or setting up terminal buildings.

4

What is it? The number of months since news broke of jeweler Nirav Modi defrauding Punjab National Bank of Rs 12,600 in loans.

Why is it important? On Monday, an official of India’s top investigative agency said it had asked Interpol to help locate and arrest Modi. This follows a report in the Financial Times on Sunday that Modi was in the UK and seeking political asylum. Previously, there have been reports of Modi being in New York and Hong Kong.

Tell me more:If Modi is in the UK, he would be the second Indian fugitive businessman holed up in Britain after defaulting on loans worth thousands of crore to Indian banks.

6

What is it? The number of FIFA World Cup tournaments Brazil would have won, if Goldman Sachs Group’s prediction for the 2018 edition comes true.

Why is it important? The investment bank has used 200,000 statistical models, analysed data on individual players and recent team performance in addition to running 1 million simulations to come up with this prediction. However, its 2014 prediction, which had also bet on Brazil, saw the team lose in the semi-final. Danske Bank also says the winner is likely to be Brazil, while Commerzbank and Swiss Bank UBS give it to Germany.

Tell me more: Brazil is the most successful team in the history of FIFA World Cup having won the finals for a record five times, the last time being in 2002.

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News in Numbers, Jan 19, 2017: Regional routes take flight

45

 

What is it? Number of initial proposals for operating flights with fares capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour under the Airports Authority of India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (named UDAN)

Why is it important? The bidders propose to operate from 65 airports, out of which 52 are not served by any airlines, boosting regional air connectivity. But operating on the 200 regional routeswould also mean low pre-mandated airfares, for example, a fare of Rs 2,500 for an hour’s journey of 500-km. Central and state governments will then help operators with viability gap funding, partly funded bythe Rs 8,500-levy on each departing flight on major routes.

Tell me more: The initial quotes are subject to counter quotes, with the lowest requirement for VGF winning the bid. Groundwork by the Ministry of Civil Aviation with AAI, State Governments, DGCA and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security have begun.

 

Rs 9.2 trillion

 

What is it? The value of new currency notes injected by the Reserve Bank of India to replace old banned notes.
Why is it important? Despite RBI pumping in nearly 60% of the amount removed (Rs 15.44 trillion) from circulation following demonetisation, there is no sight of the end to cash-withdrawal restrictions. RBI governor, Urjit Patel, facing a parliamentary panel on finance, did not elaborate on either the easing of the cash crunch or the amount of banned notes deposited.

Tell me more: Patel assured the panel that RBI would provide details of deposits of banned notes on a later date.

 

47.8%

 

What is it? The percentage of rural school students in class 5 who are able to read a book prescribed for class 2 learning.

Why is it important? The learning level in schools in rural India remains dismal as less than half of class 5 students can read books meant for three standards lower (class 2). The proportion has deteriorated from 2014’s 48% and 2010’s 53.7% of students, despite 97% enrollment in schools.

Tell me more: Class 5 students in private rural schools fared better with 62.9% of them above to read class 2 books, while only 41.6% from government schools made the cut in 2016. The findings are from the 11th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), conducted in 589 districts, and previously published in 2014.

 

0.94 degree-Celsius

 

What is it? The above-normal deviation in average land and ocean temperature in the whole of 2016.

Why is it important? It establishes 2016 as the hottest year so far, a dire reminder of climate change that is plaguing the planet. Temperatures spiked to new national highs in India, Kuwait and Iran and Arctic ice melted faster than ever as a result of the global warming.

Tell me more: The year broke the record for the hottest ever, third year in a row since records were kept from 1880.

 

7.05 million

 

What is it? Netflix’s net subscriber addition in the fourth quarter of 2016 (ended December 31).

Why is it important? The robust growth in subscribers signal Netflix’s ambitious global expansion is bearing fruit, as Internet TV catches on. Nearly 73% (5.12 million) of the additions came from markets outside the US. Netflix which made a big-bang launch in 130 countries simultaneously in January, 2016, saw its shares rise up by 8 per cent after its results.

Tell me more: Competition is snapping at Netflix’s heels as Amazon.com unveils its Amazon Prime Video service worldwide.

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