India’s heavyweight in space 🚀

3,136 kg

What is it? The weight of the GSAT-19 satellite scheduled for launch by Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) on Monday.

Why is it important? It is India’s heaviest satellite yet, to be carried by the GSLV Mark III rocket, India’s heaviest rocket so far. The communication satellite, to be launched from Sriharikota, will improve Internet speed and data connectivity across the country.

Tell me more: The launch vehicle can carry up to 4,000 kg of payload and will be placing the satellite at a distance of 36,000 km from the Earth.

 

$108,026

What is it? The Wipro Chairman Azim Premji’s compensation in the 2016-17 fiscal.

Why is it important? It has dropped 63% from $292,991 from FY 2016, even as Wipro’s profit decreased 4.7% to Rs 84.9 lakh-crore.  As IT sector faces rough weather, complaints about compensation to its leaders have been growing too. CEOs of Infosys, Cognizant and Genpact took pay cuts recently.

Tell me more: Former Infosys chairman NR Narayana Murthy, in an interview, called for senior IT executives to cut down their compensations to stop lay offs.

 

12

What is it? The number of arrests British police have made following Saturday evening’s terror attack in London.

Why is it important? The attack, claimed by terror group Isis and which killed seven, comes close on the heels of 23 May’s attack in Manchester, considered the second deadliest terror attack in the UK. West European countries have seen a marked rise in terror attacks since 2014.

Tell me more: The modus operandi was similar to the March attack in Westminster, that of the assailant(s) ramming a vehicle into pedestrians and then wielding weapons to attack passersby. The arrests were made in east London.

 

$7 billion

What is it? The additional capital SoftBank is in talks to raise for its Vision Fund.

Why is it important? If it succeeds, it will be the world’s first private equity fund to cross $100 billion mark. With $93 billion in commitments, it’s already the world’s largest PE fund. It will drive investments in technology, especially in emerging areas such as artificial intelligence.

Tell me more:  The current backers include Apple, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Saudi Arabia’s PID public fund.  The group is talking to investors in Canada and West Asia, according to reports.

 

Rs 5,000 crore

What is it? The estimated amount to be raised in initial public offerings by four companies in June.

Why is it important? This would be around 25% of the minimum value of Rs 20,000 crore expected to be raised in FY17 through IPOs. In 2017, so far, eight companies have raised Rs 6,335.83 crore. The stir in IPOs had made India one of the busiest in the region spanning Europe, West Asia, India and Africa in the first quarter of 2017.

Tell me more: Twenty-six companies had raised Rs 26,493.84 crore in IPOs in 2016. Tejas Networks, CDSL, Eris Lifesciences and Au Small Finance Bank are expected to list in June.

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A fund to beat them all

2%

What is it? The estimated drop in inflation once the goods and services tax (GST) is implemented.

Why is it important? Inflation concerns have been central to RBI’s monetary policy reviews, having set the target in 2015 of reducing the headline inflation to 4% in the medium term. The Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia’s estimated of GST’s effect on inflation could finally encourage the central bank to cut the key rate (repo) that it had been keeping unchanged citing the risk of raising inflation.

Tell me more: Adhia insists the government has taken care to prevent the average taxation on commodities from going up. Regarding GST implementation, Adhia mentions the need to educate consumers about the new taxation to keep them from being cheated by unscrupulous traders.

 

$93 billion

What is it? The value of the initial commitment to SoftBank’s Vision fund, a private equity fund for cutting-edge tech companies.

Why is it important? The Vision Fund, engineered by SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son, is the world’s largest private equity fund that has a planned investment pool of $100 billion as tech venture capital. The current amount, raised from investors such as the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment, Apple Inc, Qualcomm, Foxconn Technology and Sharp Corp, besides SoftBank, is the first round of fundraising.

Tell me more: The fund is targeting a $100 billion in the next six months from other investors. SoftBank led the world’s largest venture capital funding in April worth $5.5 billion in China’s Uber-rival Didi Chuxing.

 

Rs 20,000 crore

What is it? The amount Indian government will spend to acquire four landing platform docks (LPDs) or warfare amphibious ships under the ‘Make in India’ program.

Why is it important? This is the largest naval defence deal. Two ships would be made in partnership with private companies, and the winning private company will help the state-run Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. make the remaining two.

Tell me more: Make in India is a government program to promote domestic manufacturing in 25 sectors including defence.

 

11.3%

What is it? Percentage of total budgeted amount spent in April 2017 – the first month of the current financial year.

Why is it important? This represents a marked improvement compared to 8.2% of annual spending estimates in previous financial year. Central government spending used to spike in March, the last month of a fiscal, and drops sharply in the next month.

Tell me more: The move to advance the budget from February 28th to February 1st has helped to spread out expenditure evenly.

 

600

What is it? The number of jobs cut by Cathay Pacific, the biggest in two decades.

Why is it important? The move comes after the Hong Kong based airline reported loss in 2016 for the first time since 2008. One-fourth of managerial staff and 18% of non-managerial positions were cut at its Hong Kong head office. The move will save 6% of staff costs.

Tell me more: Air India, India’s national carrier which operates on 64 international and 118 national routes, is struggling to make profits with debt of Rs 50,357 crore and 21,000 employees.

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GM drives away

1,211

What is it? The number of items of goods and services for which taxation rates have been fixed by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council – a forum for finance ministers from the states and the centre.

Why is it important? The agreement on taxation rates is a step forward to implementing the GST, which brings most taxes under a single tax, from July 1. The central government claims the rates would not fuel inflation, as overall incidence of taxation would be lower compared to current rates. Food items like cereals will not attract GST.

Tell me more: There are five rates of taxation (zero, 5%, 12%, 18% and 28%) and more than three-fifths of the goods and services will be taxed at 18% and 28%.

 

 

$1.4 billion

What is it? The amount of money raised by One97 Communications Ltd, the parent company of Paytm, from Japan-based SoftBank Group Corp.

Why is it important? The funding is the largest funding round by a single investor in India. The investment will help Paytm to build its payments bank, which will be launched later this month. Paytm plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore over the next three to five years, and acquire 500 million customers.

Tell me more: The latest investment values One97 at $7 billion, an increase of $1 billion in less than two months. In March this year, three existing investors sold 4.3% equity stake at a valuation of $6 billion.

 

 

17 million

What is it? The number of user records of Zomato, a food technology start-up, stolen by hackers and put up on sale online.

Why is it important? The breach reflects weak protection of consumer data by Zomato, which claims to have 120 million monthly user visits. Email addresses and hashed passwords (not the actual ones entered by users) were stolen by hackers. Zomato has reset passwords for all affected accounts.

Tell me more: Zomato has agreed to start a bug bounty programme, where people receive recognition and money for reporting bugs and security gaps, at Hackerone — a digital platform for bounty programmes.

 

 

20 years

What is it? General Motors will stop selling of cars in India by this year-end, after entering India almost 20 years back.

Why is it important? GM has 5,000 employees in India. In addition, there are 150 dealerships and 200 service centres. Each showroom and service service centre employs around 50 people. The resale value of Chevrolet cars is likely to decline sharply after this announcement.

Tell me more: The American company says it will continue the technical centre in Bengaluru and the Talegaon plant in Maharashtra, which will be used to export cars from India.

 

 

Rs 15.06 crore

What is it? The amount spent by the Akhilesh Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh in organising functions to distribute Rs 20.58 crore worth of unemployment assistance, between 2012 and 2013.

Why is it important? The amount has to be deposited directly into the beneficiaries accounts as per the rules of the scheme. The disproportionate expenses in organising the functions were revealed in an audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

Tell me more: Unemployed people in the age group of 30-40 years with family income less than Rs 36,000 were eligible to receive Rs 1,000 per month under this scheme.

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