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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%.

 

3

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.

 

5

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.

 

9

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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Agronomics

98%

What is it? This year’s southwest monsoon rainfall estimate as a percentage of the Long Period Average (LPA), India Meteorological Department’s long-term rainfall-tracking benchmark.

Why is it important? It’s up from the earlier estimates of 96% of the LPA (which is 89 cm for 1951-2000). In India, monsoons have a direct impact on agricultural GDP. Since 2014, the actual monsoon has been a lower percentage of LPA than forecast, though. In 2013, it was 106% of LPA compared to a forecast of 98%, while in 2016, it was 97% when it was predicted to be 106% of LPA.

Tell me more: The monsoon this year arrived early, hitting the Kerala coast in May itself, rather than in the first week of June.

 

86,119 tonne

What is it? The amount of buffalo meat (carabeef) exports in April.

Why is it important? It’s down 11.4% from April last year, according to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. A strike by abattoirs is taking a toll on exports, in which India has had a lead (over Brazil) since 2014 worldwide. According to the United States Department of Agriculture which considers carabeef as beef in its statistics, India exported 17,64,000 tonne of the meat in 2016.

Tell me more: The appreciation in the value of the rupee has also affected exports. Abattoirs have been on a strike since March in the leading exporting state, Uttar Pradesh, after the government went after illegal slaughterhouses.

 

500 million

What is it? The number of people the government wanted to train in new skills by 2022.

Why is it important? The Union government delinked the target, set by the UPA II government, on Tuesday from its efforts at skill development. Around 150 million were expected to be trained by the private sector under the National Skill Development Corporation and 350 million by the ministries of the central government. But now training would be demand-driven rather than to meet a target.

Tell me more: 19.2 million people have been trained under the scheme since 2014-15.

 

5

What is it? The number of people killed in farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh.

Why is it important? A firing during the protests also left more than a dozen injured. The state government insists that the shots were not fired by police or the central reserve police force, but some other accounts have pointed to police firing. The agitation underlines the growing discontent among farmers in the state, and in fact across the country. Their demands include loan waiver and higher minimum support price for agri products

Tell me more: Earlier this year, farmers from Tamil Nadu had staged protests in Delhi for more than 40 days making similar demands on the back of water shortage in the state.

103

What is it? The number of consecutive quarters of economic growth in Australia.

Why is it important? Australia now matches Netherlands’ record in sustaining a recession-free quarterly growth, the longest among developed countries. This translates to 26 years without a recession, even as its peers faced a number of financial hits including dotcom crash and financial crisis in the last two decades. Australia hasn’t had a recession since 1991.

Tell me more: Australia’s GDP grew by 0.3% in January-March quarter, slower than United States and United Kingdom, both of which grew at about 2% in the quarter.

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