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Twitter’s Battle Against Fake News

3.2%
What is it?Growth of India’s industrial output index in May 2018, compared to same period last year.

Why it’s important? This follows a 4.8% growth in April. The expansion of industrial activity was dragged by a 2.8% growth in manufacturing, with intermediate goods such as naptha, cotton yarn and copper rods seeing a degrowth.

Tell me more: Analysts expect a pick up in manufacturing in June on the back of monsoon-driven domestic consumption and higher exports.

 

5%

 

What is it? India’s retail inflation in June 2018.

Why is it important?It hit a five month high in June, thanks to a weak rupee and higher oil prices (fuel inflation raised to 7.14%). Transportation and communication costs grew 6.18 percent. In June last year, inflation had slowed down to 1.46%. Its touching 5% has led to expectations that the central bank will raise interest rates.

Tell me more: Meanwhile in the US, inflation touched 2.9% in June, highest in 6 years. In Germany, inflation rates saw a slowdown in the month.

 

18%

 

What is it? The percentage loss of per capita real GDP to big emerging economies like India, China, Brazil by 2060, if trade tariffs return to higher 1990s level, according to Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Why is it important? There are growing concerns that such a scenario might turn into reality, even as US and China fight a trade war. The dispute now covers over 10,000 products, and has pulled in countries such as Canada and Mexico.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, India has overtaken France to become the sixth largest economy in the world with a GDP of  $2.59 trillion.
6%

 

What is it?The expected reduction in Twitter accounts following the social media company’s decision to purge fake accounts.

Why is it important? Twitter has upped its battle against fake news, by resolving to identify and remove tens of millions of fake accounts on the platform. The platform has faced criticism over its role in misinformation and fake news, generated and spread by fake accounts which are often run by commercial groups.

Tell me more: Facebook has also been facing the issue of fake accounts, a concern that has grown stronger after news of Russian influence in the last American presidential elections.

 

10

 

What is it?The number of times Serena Williams has entered Wimbledon finals.

Why is it important? In the finals on Saturday, the American tennis player will face Germany’s Angelique Kerber for her eighth title. Williams also became the first mother in 38 years to reach Wimbledon finals. She gave birth to a baby girl last September.

Tell me more: In the semi finals on Thursday, Williams beat Germany’s Julia Goerges 6-2, 6-4. Williams has won 23 grand slams so far.

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Food And Fuel Are Getting Pricier

 

Last month, retail inflation meaning cereal, eggs, vegetable and fruits, clothes, and, fuel, and basically everything that we mostly care about, weighed heavily on our pockets. It surpassed RBI’s expectations and according to RBI’s projection, inflation is likely to stay high for next six months as well. But, did we hear anything about rise in personal incomes, yet?

Well, there’s plenty more in news in numbers, today. Read on.

 

1-2 years

What is it? The number of years in which Reliance Jio may go for an IPO (initial public offering).

Why is it important? It is another marker of the importance that India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has placed for his telecom venture, which continues to indulge in tariff wars initiated by it over a year ago when it was launched. This comes at a time when incumbents are trying to battle against the newest entrant’s competitive tariffs and their high debt levels even as they continue to witness plunging profits or losses. Jio is likely to improve its financial performance before it goes for the stake sale.

Tell me more: At the end of October, Reliance Jio had 145 million subscribers to be the fourth-largest telecom operator in the country.

 

4.88%

What is it? The rate at which India’s annual retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, increased in November from a year ago.

Why is important? This is the fastest pace in 15 months, driven by an increase in fuel and food prices. This has exceeded the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4%. Last week, the central bank had kept key interest rates unchanged due to inflationary concerns and also raised its inflation projection to 4.3-4.7% for the six months ending March 2018.

Tell me more: The government released a separate set of data on Tuesday, which showed that growth in industrial output slowed to 2.2% in October from an upwardly revised 4.14% in September.

 

37.7 million bales

What is it? India’s estimated cotton production in 2017-18, according to the Cotton Advisory Board. One bale is equivalent to about 170 kg.

Why is it important? Although this would be an increase of about 9% over last year’s 34.5 million bales, it would fall short of the record 40 million bales that industry analysts were expecting. This is due to pink bollworm infestation in India’s key cotton-growing regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, and is likely to boost exports of other major cotton exporters such as the US, Brazil and Australia.

Tell me more: In recent years, Indian farmers have switched to Monsanto’s Bt cotton, which increased yields and helped India become the world’s second-largest cotton exporter. However, according to scientists, pink bollworms are developing resistance to the genetically modified seeds.

 

1969

What is it? The number of trips that a customer of cab-hailing app Uber in the National Capital Region has taken in 2017 so far, or an average of about six trips a day. That’s the maximum number of trips recorded by a customer of Uber India.

Why is it important? It underscores the importance of the Delhi NCR market, which has emerged as the biggest market in India for the cab-hailing app and is one of the sites for the bruising fight between Uber and Ola. Such data-based facts and trivia were released by Uber India, as part of documenting a year gone by. It said that 6 Pm was the busiest hour for its drivers, Friday the most hectic day and August 11 (pre-independence day Friday) the day it recorded the most rides.

Tell me more: Indian customers hailed a Uber cab in 566 cities across 80 nations. Uber also launched a feature that lets customers review their 2017 set to a music video.

 

20

What is it? The number of centuries that Chris Gayle has scored in the T20 format, his latest effort helping the Rangpur Riders win the Bangladesh Premier League on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Gayle is the first batsman to reach 20 centuries in the T20 format. He is also leaps ahead of other batsmen in the centurion list. The next best is 7 centuries (Michael Klinger, Luke Wright and Brendon McCullum). The best Indian in the list is Virat Kohli, with 4 centuries.

Tell me more: Chris Gayle, the modern-day archetype of a free-agent cricketer, has played 320 T20 matches, across 22 teams. He called Tuesday’s knock—in which he racked up 146 not out in 69 balls, including 18 sixes—as one of his top five knocks.

 

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The ‘Tower’ing Burden Of Telecom

 

Vodafone and Idea are trying to save costs by shedding their tower businesses. Retail inflation has hit a 7-month-high, dimming hopes of a rate cut. The government may be scrambling to meet the fiscal deficit target. Italy, the football nation, failed to qualify for the FIFA world cup, the second time since 1958 edition. And, in tech world, chipmaker Qualcomm rejected Broadcom’s takeover bid.

 

3.58%

What is it? The rate at which retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, rose in October from the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? This is the fastest pace in seven months, dimming hopes of an interest rate cut on December 6, when the central bank’s next monetary policy review is scheduled. This was driven by an increase in food prices—combined food inflation was 1.9% in October, against 1.25% in September, while vegetable prices increased from 3.92% to 7.47%–and fuel inflation of 6.36% last month as against 5.56% in September.

Tell me more: Retail inflation in June was the lowest (at 1.46%) since India started publishing these datasets in January 2012 and has been steadily climbing since then. Last month, it was higher in the urban areas (3.81%) than the rural ones (3.36%).

 

12

What is it? The number of state-run companies from which the government is reportedly seeking dividend amounts of 30% to 100% of their 2016-17 and 2017-18 net profit.

Why is it important? This indicates the government is scrambling to make up for the shortfall in tax revenue to meet its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product) for 2017-18. It raises questions on how these public-sector firms would be able to shoulder the twin responsibility of handing out dividend payouts to the government as well as stepping up investments in an economic environment where the private sector remains hesitant.

Tell me more: India’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 499,000 crore at the end of September, which translates to 91% of its full-year target.

 

Rs 7,850 crore

What is it? The total amount for which Vodafone India (Rs 3,850 crore) and Idea Cellular (Rs 4,000 crore) are looking to sell their standalone towers businesses to ATC Telecom Infrastructure.

Why is it important? This would help these telecom firms reduce their debt levels, which are currently straining under a five-year borrowing spree to acquire spectrum and a fierce price war introduced by Reliance Jio in a highly competitive market since 2016. Idea and Vodafone have a cumulative debt of Rs 108,000 crore. This sale is likely to generate property revenue of Rs 2,100 crore and around Rs 800 crore in gross margin for ATC in the first year.

Tell me more: Idea and Vodafone had announced a $23 billion-merger (excluding the latter’s 42% stake in Indus Towers) in March to create the world’s second largest and India’s largest telecom firm by subscribers, which the competition regulator approved about four months ago.

 

0

What is it?  The number of goals scored by Italy in the two legs of its elimination tie against Sweden to decide who will go to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Why is it important? Italy’s 1-0 loss on aggregate to Sweden means this high-profile footballing nation failed to qualify for the football World Cup for the first time since it missed the 1958 edition. Italy, along with Germany has the second-highest number of World Cup tournament participations (18), after Brazil (20).

Tell me more: Italy also has won four World Cup titles, the last one coming in 2006. Here, too, it is at par with Germany and ranked second only to Brazil, which has five titles.

 

78%

What is it?  The percentage of shares of chipmaker Qualcomm that are held by institutions, as of June 2017, according to Nasdaq.

Why is it important? Yesterday, Qualcomm formally rejected an unsolicited $103 billion acquisition bid from Broadcom, in what would have been the largest merger in the technology space. This shifts the attention to institutional shareholders as Broadcom CEO Hock Tan, while announcing the bid last week, said he was open to exploring more aggressive options to acquire Qualcomm.

Tell me more: The 78% institutional shareholding in Qualcomm is fragmented and spread across 1,512 shareholders. Blackrock and Vanguard have the largest holdings, of 7.2% and 7%, respectively.

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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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