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Virat’s Road To Fifty 100s

 

Government is striving to meet its disinvestment target. In the cricketing world, Virat Kohli has shown his best game and has been consistent in doing so. India’s coal imports have risen as states become environment-conscious. Sanjay leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati’s destiny hangs in balance as certification board takes it own sweet time.  And, Uber is planning to build its own fleet of cars. Self Driving Cars. 

 

Rs 14,500 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government has raised through the Bharat 22 exchange traded fund (ETF), which attracted bids worth Rs 32,000 crore.

Why is it important? With this, the government has raised Rs 52,500 crore through disinvestment in 2017-18, which is 72% of its disinvestment target for the current fiscal. Since the time the idea of disinvestment came into being in 1992-93, respective governments have met their stated disinvestment targets just thrice in 16 years.

Tell me more: The Bharat 22 ETF, which tracks the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index, comprising of 22 stocks is an alternative mechanism to divest its stake in central public sector enterprises. This is the second such ETF, with the first one being launched in March 2014.

 

50

What is it? The number of international centuries that Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has scored in all three formats of the game.

Why is it important? Kohli notched up his 18th test century against Sri Lanka yesterday. In the list of top 10 batsmen with the most international hundreds, which is led by Sachin Tendulkar (100 centuries) and contains three Indians, Kohli is ranked eighth. He also equalled South Africa’s Hashim Amla’s record of fewest innings to 50 international hundreds.

Tell me more: Despite being affected by rain, the first test match ended in a thrilling stalemate as India fought back with both bat and ball.

 

2.1 million tonnes

What is it? The volume of India’s coal imports from the US in October.

Why is it important? This is the highest since at least January 2015. Some Indian states have banned the use of petroleum coke, which is better-burning but also more polluting than coal. This could partly be the reason for the increase in India’s coal imports from the US. With environmentalists urging other states to ban petroleum coke, this trend might continue. The increase in imports also indicates there might be a shortage in domestic coal supply, forcing the industry to step up imports.

Tell me more: India has imported 1.5 million tonnes of North American coal in November so far, which is 71% of the previous month’s purchase.

 

24,000

What is it? The number of self-driving cars that Uber plans to buy from Volvo over three years, starting 2019.

Why is it important? If the sale goes through, it would be Volvo’s largest order and the biggest sale in the autonomous vehicle industry. For Uber, this would mark a major transition in the company’s profile: from being an app used to hail a cab to becoming the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. Although this is likely to give a boost to Uber’s ambitions of perfecting its self-driving systems, there are doubts about how it would pan out as no country has any framework or laws to allow this currently.

Tell me more: The firm is locked in a legal dispute with Waymo, a self-drive business owned by Alphabet, which is seeking $1.9 billion in damages for alleged theft of some of its trade secrets by Uber.

 

68 days

What is it? The maximum duration set by India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to certify a film, in a seven-part process.

Why is it important? On Monday, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi cited this window to take its time to arrive at a decision on certifying the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmavati, which is mired in a controversy with religious and political overtones. Last week, the CBFC returned the film’s application citing “technical issues” and the film’s producers deferred its released date. Also, yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to wade into the issue, saying it would wait for CBFC’s certification.

Tell me more: The CBFC’s latest annual report shows it ‘initially refused’ 79 feature films in 2014-15 and 94 in 2015-16.

 

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2.18%

What is it? The retail price inflation in May, 2017.

Why is it important? The consumer price inflation growth was the lowest since India started publishing it in 2012. This might increase the pressure on the central bank to cut the key rate of repo, on hold since October, 2016, at 6.25%. Rate cuts, however, depend on how RBI sees inflation moving in the quarters ahead.

Tell me more: Food prices in retail markets decreased by 1.05% in May, leading to the low overall price rise. Another government indicator, the quick estimate of industrial production, showed a positive trend of 3.1% growth in April, higher than in February and March, 2017.

 

28.6%

What is it? The percentage of tobacco users (in all forms) in India in 2016-17, according to World Health Organisation’s Global Adult Tobacco Survey.

Why is it important? The prevalence of tobacco users has gone down by 6 percentage points from 34.6% in the same study in 2009, a positive outcome as tobacco contributes to poverty. It translates to a reduction of 8.1 million less tobacco users in the country, which is the second-largest consumer of tobacco products in the world.

Tell me more: Between 54-62% of smokers of bidis and cigarettes have thought about quitting on seeing the warning labels on the packets, while it was 30-38% in 2009.

 

$25 million

What is it? The investment Tata Motors’ Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will make in the US ride services company, Lyft, to develop self-driving cars.

Why is it important? The mobility services arm of JLR, InMotion, will make the investment as other automakers such as General Motors, Ford, Tesla, Mercedes, BMW and tech companies such as Alphabet and Intel are scrambling to help get the first self-driving prototype out in the market. Car-sharing and hiring apps like Lyft and Uber, too, are conducting their own R&D.

Tell me more: JLR will provide its cars to Lyft for the research and development. Self-driving cars, which saw increased focus from 2016 onwards, is expected to change the way customers buy cars and reduce cost of ride services as well.

 

10%

What is it? The percentage by which pharmaceutical companies can increase the price of non-scheduled drugs every year, according to Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) 2013.

Why is it important? The companies want the cap to be increased to counter the increase in taxation with 12% from 9% for 80% (non-essential) of drugs, under the imminent Goods and Services Tax (GST) system.

Tell me more: Life-saving or essential drugs will have a tax rate of 5% under GST.

 

11,761

What is it? The shortage in Delhi police staff in the lower-middle ranks.

Why is it important? Delhi Police has been plagued by a top-heavy structure, with more senior staff than sanctioned strength but with most of the lower positions remaining unfilled. When nearly 26,000 constables and assistant sub-inspectors were promoted last year, it left a lacuna in the lower ranks. The current requirement is for over 14,000 personnel, from around 81,000.

Tell me more: Last November, there were 76,237 policemen and women in Delhi, against the sanctioned 82,378 posts. The working strength came down from 77,117 the year before, an RTI revealed.

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