Twitter’s Battle Against Fake News

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.




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.




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.


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.




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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Higher Fuel Cost, Dearer Flight Fares

Rs 400

What is it? The amount of fuel surcharge that will be levied by Indigo Airlines for all domestic destinations above 1,000 kilometers. For travel less than 1,000 kms, the fuel surcharge will be Rs200.

Why is it important? This will increase the return ticket between Delhi and Mumbai- the most popular route – by Rs800. The move by Indigo Airlines, which has the highest share of 40% in domestic market, is likely to be followed by others. Jet Airways, with 14.7% market share, comes a distant second.

Tell me more:Indigo cited higher fuel prices and rupee depreciation as reasons for levying fuel surcharge. Between April 1 and May 28 this year, crude oil prices (Indian basket)have increased by $12.15 a barrell, or 19%.



What is it? The number of days in advance that the southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala.

Why is it important?This is the earliest start to the monsoon, which delivers around 70% of India’s annual rainfall and irrigates more than the country’s farm lands, since 2011. This is the second consecutive year in which the monsoon has either arrived early or on time. Last year, it set in on May 30 as expected and had recorded delays in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, officials say there is no correlation between the timing of the monsoon’s arrival and the quantity of rainfall received.

Tell me more: The India Meteorological Department, which has predicted a normal monsoon this year, announces its arrival based on the meeting of some parameterssuch as consistency of rainfall over a particular geography, cloudiness, intensity and wind speed.



What is it?The number of people including AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, in addition to a some government officials, against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR (first information report).

Why is it important?The charges by the CBI allege Fernandes and others bribed government officials through middlemen to influence policies that include getting a flying permit and approvals to fly on international routes. This could hinder AirAsia’s expansion plans, which include increasing its fleet size to about 70, aiming to be among the top three airlines in the low-cost carrier segment, connect more tier-II and tier-III cities and begin its international operations by January 2019.

Tell me more: In 2016, India scrapped the 5/20 rule (granting of international licences to airlines that have had domestic operations for five years and have at least 20 aircraft in their fleet) that has benefited carriers such as the Indian affiliates of Air Asia.



What is it?The number of months by which India has postponed the roll out of 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to March 2019. The original plan was to roll out 500 EVs by November and the rest by June.

Why is it important?This is a setback to India’s targets of having EVs comprise around a third of the total number of vehicles on the road by 2030. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, a government-owned entity, which is to procure 10,000 EVs to replace the petrol/diesel vehicles owned by government officials, says the delay is due to the need for a higher number of charging points and the states being slow in taking deliveries.

Tell me more:The government had initially targeted all or most of India’s vehicles be powered by electricity by 2030 but scaled down its ambitions a couple of months ago.


105 minutes

What is it?The time taken by Serena Williams, former world number 1, to win her first round match against Kristyna Pliskova in the French Open.

Why is it important?This is Serena’s first grand slam after she won the Australian openin January 2017. In between she gave birth and her daughter is now nine months old. Though she moved sluggish in the crowd in few rallies, Serena’s serve and serve returns helped her to win the match. She served 13 aces, and converted three out of four breakpoints that came her way.

Tell me more:India’s sole entrant in the singles event, Yuki Bhambri, lost his first round singles match in straight sets. He pocketed Euro 40,000 for qualifying for the main draw.

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BJP May Have AP Problem



What is it? The number of dollar billionaires who made it to the 32nd edition of the annual ranking of the world’s billionaires by Forbes magazine, released Tuesday night.

Why is it important? The combined net worth of these 2,208 people is $9.1 trillion, up 18% from a year ago. This comes at a time when inequality is increasing in the world: between 1980 and 2016, the top 1% of income earners—a set in which these billionaires will feature—captured 27% of growth, while only 12% went to the bottom 50%.

Tell me more: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world ($128 billion) and Mukesh Ambani is the richest in India ($39 billion).


$84.4 billion

What is it?  The value of bilateral trade between India and China in 2017.

Why is it important? This is the highest ever figure in a year for Indo-China trade, and is a growth of 18.7% over the $71.1 billion recorded in 2016. This comes in the backdrop of the two countries clashing over the Doklam issue and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which shows how economic relations can be a equaliser. India’s exports to China increased 39% to $16.3 billion, while India’s imports from China grew 14.6% to $68.1 billion.

Tell me more: However, the bilateral trade figure is short of the $100 billion target set by the two countries in 2012 for 2015.


404 days

What is it? The number of days after which Serena Williams, one of the most decorated tennis players of all-time, is returning to the women’s tour.

Why is it important? Williams is returning to top-flight tennis at the age of 36 years and about six months after giving birth. She is challenging templates of how sportswomen tend to be viewed on choices revolving around gender and age.

Tell me more: She was scheduled to play her first match at 8.30 am IST on March 8, International Women’s Day. Williams last played at the 2017 Australian Open, which she won and later discovered she did so while being eight weeks pregnant.



What is it? The number of MPs that Andhra Pradesh (AP) sends to the Lok Sabha.

Why is it important? Late on Wednesday night, the Telugu Desam Party, which currently rules AP and is also a partner to the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said it was pulling out its two Central ministers. Its action came in the backdrop of finance minister Arun Jaitley ruling out awarding ‘special status’ to AP. At present, of the 25 MPs, 17 are from TDP and BJP, and this break-up poses an issue for BJP for the 2019 elections.

Tell me more: For centrally sponsored schemes, the Centre pays 90% of the funds required for ‘special status category states’, against the 60% norm.


Rs 34,800 crore

What is it? The upfront payment that Tata Steel has reportedly offered to make to banks, among other things, to buy a controlling stake in Bhushan Steel, which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.

Why is it important? On Wednesday, in a filing with stock exchanges, Tata Steel said it had been “identified as the highest evaluated compliant resolution applicant”, or the frontrunner, to acquire Bhushan Steel. On Wednesday, in a broad market that was down 0.9%, the Tata Steel stock fell 2%.

Tell me more: If Tata Steel does bag Bhushan Steel, it would be Tata Steel’s first large acquisition since its challenging experience with Corus in 2007.

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