Adhar_DSCN4539

Don’t Like Aadhaar? Don’t Say it.

 

Rs 15,935 crore

What is it? The total cost of proposals cleared by India’s Defence Acquisition Council to purchase assault rifles, sniper rifles, carbines and light machine guns on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This brings an end to a 11-year-wait by the armed forces, which had flagged the need for new guns. Indian soldiers have been using AK-47 and indigenous Indian Small Arms Systems rifles since 1988, and there has been an urgent need for arms upgradation, especially in border areas and for counter-insurgency operations. Having rejected a few indigenous weapons recently, India needs an overhaul of its defence planning and procurement system, with due consideration to local requirements and strategic interests.

Tell me more: The approvals include procurement of light machine guns through the fast-track procedure at an estimated cost of Rs 1,819 crore, while 740,000 assault rifles will be ‘Made in India’ under the categorisation of ‘Buy and Make (Indian)’ at an estimated cost of Rs 12,280 crore. Over 5,700 sniper rifles will be procured at a cost of Rs 982 crore.

 

8

What is it? The number of researchers, activists and journalists that news agency Reuters has interviewed who have complained of being harassed by government agencies or being slapped with criminal cases because of their critique of Aadhaar.

Why is it important? This raises questions about the right to dissent and free speech with respect to Aadhaar, the country’s national identity project that has seen various instances of data and security breach. Recently, the Unique Identification Authority of India filed a criminal case against Tribune newspaper for publishing an article that claimed that the details of the database were up for grabs for just Rs 500.

Tell me more: As of last year, over 1.11 billion Indians had an Aadhaar number, which covered 99% of the Indian adult population.

 

24.7%

What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s smartphone market in 2017, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).

Why is it important? Samsung maintained its market leadership position when the entire year is taken into account. However, Samsung slipped to the second position in the last quarter of 2017, overtaken by China’s Xiaomi, which had a share of 26.8% compared to the former’s 24.2%. This report echoes the findings of other research firms such as Canalys and Counterpoint Research that said Xiaomi had ended Samsung’s dominance in the fourth quarter of 2017 to command the highest market share for the first time ever.

Tell me more: In the feature phone segment, Samsung had the highest market share of 20.5% in 2017, whereas in the last quarter of 2017, Reliance Jio pushed ahead of it to gain a share of 24.1% compared to the former’s 14.5%, according to IDC.

 

15 days

What is it? The number of additional days that Fortis Healthcare has sought to file its financial results for the second quarter and third quarter of 2017-18.

Why is it important? Yet another delay on this front turns the spotlight on financial dealings of the company with its promoters, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh, who last week resigned from the board. Bloomberg last week also reported that Fortis could not declare its Q2 results within the stipulated 45-day period as its auditor refused to sign off on the results until about Rs 500 crore the promoters took out from the company without board approval was accounted for or returned.

Tell me more: In another filing with stock exchanges, Fortis said that credit rating agency ICRA had downgraded the rating of the company and four Fortis subsidiaries.

 

4-1

What is it? The results count in the ongoing one-day international bilateral series between India and South Africa.

Why is it important? Yesterday, in the fifth of the six-match series at Port Elizabeth, India beat South Africa to win the series—its first in South Africa in five attempts, dating back to 1992-93. Before this, South Africa had only lost two ODI series of five matches or more at home, both to Australia. With this series win and the manner of it, India has conquered another overseas bastion and also bolstered its credentials in the one-day sphere, be it at home or away.

Tell me more: India won yesterday’s match by 73 runs, anchored by a century by Rohit Sharma and six wickets by wristspinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

 

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Maruti takes a hit

Rs 1,556 crore

What is it? Maruti Suzuki’s net profit in the April-June quarter, a 4.4% increase from a year-ago period.

Why is it important? The net profit has lagged estimates – a Bloomberg poll of analysts had estimated a net profit of Rs 1,692.3 crore. Maruti, which has more than 50% market share, said the company’s performance was impacted by a one-time compensation to dealers due to the switch to the goods and services tax, higher raw material prices, sales promotion and marketing expenses.

Tell me more: Maruti’s revenue from operations increased by 16.4% to Rs 19,777 crore from a year ago. It sold 3.94 lakh units in the latest quarter, up 13.2% from the same period a year ago.

 

 

24.1%

What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s smartphone market in the April-June quarter this year.

Why is it important? With this, Samsung continues to be the leader in the smartphone segment in the country followed by Chinese brands such as Xiaomi and Vivo, which have more than doubled their market share from a year ago. However, Xiaomi overtook Samsung in the category of smartphones selling under Rs 10,000 in the second quarter with its phones Redmi Note 4 and Redmi 4. This is the first time any brand has been able to overtake Samsung, which has held the best-seller slot for its models for the last four years or so.

Tell me more: Chinese smartphone brands account for more than half of the shipments and this is the second straight quarter when their market share exceeds 50% after they took over local brands in the second half of 2016.

 

 

6

What is it? The number of years after which banks in India can appoint the same audit firm, as per a notification by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday.

Why is it important? This has been increased from two years. Earlier, upon completion of its four year term with a bank, an audit firm, could be reappointed after a gap of two years. The central bank observed that in some cases, the statutory central audit responsibility was handled by two audit firms, who were appointed alternately. This policy change is aimed at deterring the auditors and the auditee from establishing a comfortable relationship that might hinder strict adherence to audit principles and also, to enable the examination of issues in a bank from a different perspective.

Tell me more: The change in rule comes at a time when there has been a great divergence between the bad loans reported by some banks for 2015-16 and the RBI’s findings.

 

 

0

What is it? The number of top-100 Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) rankers who opted for three IITs — Kharagpur, Kanpur and Madras.

Why is it important? While 65 of them opted for IIT Bombay, 31 of the rankers chose IIT Delhi. However, this year, the remaining four rankers did not opt for the other IITs. While the IIT Kharagpur had stopped attracting the top-100 rankers for some years, some of them had still chosen Kanpur and Madras (Chennai) till 2016. But in 2017, these three top seats of learning seem to have fallen out of favour.

Tell me more: The three institutes have got around 50 students from the top 500 rankers this year.

 

 

Rs 1,250

What is it? The average wholesale price of a quintal of onions in Maharashtra on Thursday.

Why is it important? It is a rise of 118% since July, 13. A wait for kharif crops in October, Gujarat’s floods and hoarding by farmers of crops from March and April have led to the hike.

Tell me more: The central government might reinstate a minimum export price which had been withdrawn in the last 19 months. The country is already reeling under the rise in prices of tomato, another kitchen staple.

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The year in technology: Apple stagnates, Samsung slips, Google reboots

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

With Donald Trump’s US election sweep, the Panama leaks, the war at Tata group and the Brexit shock, 2016 has been one rollercoaster ride, topped off with a currency demonetisation that left the country staggering.

Starting today, through the coming fortnight, we tell you the tale of these and various other issues, industries and individuals through graphics.

 

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Galaxy Note 7 fiasco: Three reasons why it’s not all over for Samsung

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Smartphone makers are on shaky ground. Recently, BlackBerry announced it will stop manufacturing phones to focus on software.

Xiaomi, once considered an Apple challenger, saw its shipments plummet, and it dropped out of the top five. So did Lenovo. There were over 500 smartphone brands in China once, but only about 100 have survived. Apple iPhone sales stagnated this year.

Even dominant players can’t take their position for granted. Where does that leave Samsung after the Note 7 fiasco, which has cost it billions and damaged its reputation?

A few more missteps could spell doom for Samsung smartphones. But it also has three things going for it. It has a healthy lead over its nearest rival (Chart 1).

Historically, the fall for big handset makers happened slowly, giving it time to set things right (Chart 2). And, it has many models in its stable to latch on to (chart 3).

 

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