cagedwings_ch_4_by_jumper_of_clouds-dbs0f8n

New Battle Lines Are Drawn

 

77%

What is it?The percentage stake in Flipkartthat Walmart has agreed to buy for $16 billion.

Why is it important?This is the biggest e-commerce deal in the worldand Walmart’s biggest foreign investment. It would help the US retailer get access to India’s nascent e-commerce market, which is expected to grow to $200 billion in a decade. Walmart will also bring its US rivalry with Amazon to Indiaand new battlelines would be drawn between two of the world’s most deep-pocketed firms, in what is being seen as a game-changer for the Indian e-commerce market.

Tell me more:Of the $16 billion, $2 billion is the actual investment in the company, with the rest being used to buy out other stakeholders. Softbank has exited Flipkart, and the rest of the business will be held by co-founder Binny Bansal, China’s Tencent Holdings, Tiger Global Management and Microsoft.

 

4

What is it? The number of judges among the Supreme Court’s five senior-mostwho met on Wednesday to discuss the reiteration of Justice KM Joseph’s candidature for elevation to the apex court.

Why is it important? This is the first time the five judges—who make up the SC collegium that recommends SC judicial appointments to the Centre—met since May 2, when they discussed the Centre’s rejection of Justice Joseph’s candidature but deferreda decision on it. Justice Joseph’s appointment is one of the points of contention inside the SC, as well as between the SC and the Centre.

Tell me more: Justice J Chelameswar was on leave and was not present at the meeting. He is retiring on June 22 and he has declined an invite to a farewellfrom the SC Bar Association.

 

 

$4.6 billion

What is it? The amount Bharti Airtel is reportedly looking to pare from its net borrowings over the next three years.

Why is it important? The telecom firm plans to do this by listing its African unit and potentially sell partial stake in its tower business, in a move that would likely help it protect its investment grade rating. Bharti’s net debt increased 45% to $14.6 billion over four years as it invested in spectrum and infrastructure, and protected its market share, after Reliance Jio initiated a pricing war.

Tell me more: The Sunil Mittal-backed firm reported a net profit of Rs 83 crore in the January to March quarter, a 78% drop on a year-on-year basis. This was its eighth consecutive drop in quarterly net profit.

 

205

What is it? The number of companies whose shares will be delisted by the Bombay Stock Exchange beginning May 11.

Why is it important? The move comes in the backdrop of a government clamp down on shell companies. There are three lists: 188 companies that have remained suspended for above six months, 14 companies whose status on the Ministry of Company Affairs website shows “under liquidation/liquidated” and 3 companies delisted by the National Stock Exchange.

Tell me more: Promoters of these 188 companies have to repurchase shares from public shareholders as per the fair value determined by a BSE-appointed independent valuer.

 

105

What is it? The number of goals scored by Manchester City in 37 matches in the 2017-18 English Premier League season.

Why is it important? On Wednesday, champions Manchester City beat Brighton 3-1. In the process, they went past the single-season record of goals scored in a 20-team EPL format introduced in 1995-96: 103 goals by Chelsea in 2009-10.

Tell me more: Manchester City yesterday also broke the record for the most points in a single season. They now have 97 points, two more than Chelsea in 2004-05. They will be looking to hit 100 pointsin their last game on Sunday against Southampton, which is placed 17th.

 

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Saving For The Rainy Days

Rs 1,020 crore

What is it? ICICI Bank’s net profit in the January-March quarter of 2017-18, which is almost half of that reported (Rs 2,025 crore) in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important?The quarterly numbers of India’s third-largest bank by assets missed analyst estimates as its provisions for bad loans increased by 85% from the previous quarter and around 2.3 times from the year-ago quarter. Its gross non-performing assets (NPAs) as a percentage of total loans declined to 8.84%, against 7.82% in the third ending December 2017.

Tell me more: At a meeting held yesterday, the board of directors of ICICI Bank did not discuss the issue of conflict of interest issue relating to its CEO Chanda Kochhar.

 

6 to 10

What is it?The seniority of Supreme Court judges comprising the constitution bench who will hear a petition today challenging the rejection of the impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, by the Vice President.

Why is it important?It is not clear who constituted this bench, which have bypassed SC judges who were ranked 2 to 5 in seniority, and who had held a press conference earlier this year expressing concern over several matters pertaining to India’s top court, including the basis on which cases were being assigned to judges.

Tell me more:Judges 6 to 10, in sequence, are Justice Arjan Sikri, Justice Sharad Bobde, Justice NV Ramana, Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Adarsh Goel.

 

2018

What is it?The year within which Finnish telecom gear maker Nokia expects Indian telecom firms to initiate lab trials of fifth generation or 5G technology, followed by proof of concepts.

Why is it important?This is among the first steps to meet the government’s aim of rolling out the technology to consumers by 2020, which would be on par with timelines of other countries. The technology, which could help India with projects like Smart Cities and enable domestic companies to compete with global peers, faces some big challenges such as the stressed finances of Indian telecom operators, the need for massive infrastructure investment and reasonably priced spectrum.

Tell me more:Bharti Airtel and Chinese firm Huawei successfully conducted India’s first 5G network trial under a test setup this February.

 

6

What is it? The number of years for which Vladimir Putin was sworn in as Russian President on Monday.

Why is it important? Putin began his fourth term as the President of Russia and has been in power for 18 years. One of his biggest challenges would be improving the country’s economy, which has been affected by lower oil prices, fall in the rouble, inflation and international sanctions. Putin has been criticised for his inadequate efforts to diversify the Russian economy beyond oil and gas.

Tell me more: According to a poll, Putin’s most praiseworthy achievement was restoring Russia’s status as a great power, while the biggest complaint was that he had failed to reduce the wealth gap.

 

146

What is it? The number of runs defended by Hyderabad Sunrisers against Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League match on Monday.

Why is it important? This was the fourth low score, by IPL standards, defended by Hyderabad this year. With this latest win, Hyderabad became the first team this year to notch up eight wins(from 10 matches), the threshold that is generally an assured passage to the playoffs.

Tell me more: Hyderabad has not lost bowling second his year. The previous three scores Hyderabad have defended are 118 (against Mumbai), 132 (Punjab) and 151 (Rajasthan). This is despite losing Billy Stanlake, one of their prized bowlers, to injury.

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The Right To Die With Dignity

5

What is it? The number of judges on a Supreme Court panel who reaffirmed that passive euthanasia is legal in India, besides allowing the execution of living wills of those suffering from chronic diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state.

Why is it important? In a landmark judgment, the top court upheld the right to die with dignity and said that it is a fundamental right. Although passive euthanasia has been legal in India since 2011, since the judgment was delivered on the Aruna Shanbaug case, the government is yet to pass a law to that effect. The court said it will lay down guidelines on how laws should be drafted and implemented to prevent their abuse.

Tell me more: Passive euthanasia is when you allow the patient to die who is on complete life support or in a vegetative state and cannot live without medical treatment. Active euthanasia is when steps are taken to end the life of a person who is terminally ill.

3 GW

What is it? The cumulative solar capacity of projects whose tendershave been reportedly cancelled in 2017-18.

Why is it important? This is said to be due to new tax increases on solar companies since last July when the GST (goods and services tax) was introduced and India’s proposal to levy a 70% tariff on solar equipment made in China, Malaysia and the West. This raises questions about India achieving its target of 100 GW of installed solar capacity by 2022.

Tell me more: In a related development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on an India visit as well, said an investment of $1 trillion is required to achieve 1 TW (terawatt) of solar capacity by 2030.

35,000

What is it? The number of farmers from across Maharashtra who reached Mumbai on Monday after a four-day walk to demand for the complete waiver of their loans and for the acceptance of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations.

Why is it important? This is the latest in a number of farmer protests to occur in the state, mainly due to a delay in the rollout of the loan waiver scheme, the decrease or projected decline in production of some key crops and a government failure/delay in fulfilling other promises made to the agrarian sector. As of March 6, the state government has passed on Rs 13,782 crore as loan waivers to 35.68 lakh farmers out of a total 89 lakh farmers expected to benefit from the scheme.

Tell me more: Last year, 2,144 farmer suicides were reported from six divisional commissionerates across the state between January 1 and October 31.

5

What is it? The number of years for which Chinese president Xi Jinping has been in power.

Why is it important? The 64-year-old Xi, whose second and last term as the president of China was to end in 2023, can now remain president for longer, even for life. This change came on Sunday after China’s National People’s Congress scrapped presidential term limits, a 36-year-old provision that allowed a president a maximum of two terms. US President Donald Trump recently also joked about being a president for life.

Tell me more: In the voting held on Sunday, 2,957 ballots were cast in favour of the change, while three delegates abstained and two voted against.

0

What is it? The number of times in three innings that South African batsman AB de Villiers has been dismissed by Australian bowlers in the ongoing test series.

Why is it important? On day two of the second test match, de Villiers ended with an unbeaten 126. This follows his 71 not out in the first innings of the first test match; in the second innings of that match, he was run out. His unbeaten effort yesterday put South Africa in the driver’s seat in the second test and served a reminder of his importance to its batting line-up.

Tell me more: Since his comeback in the test format, AB de Villiers has scored 461 runs in 10 innings, the highest among South African batsmen.

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Supreme_Court_of_India_-_Retouched

Disorder, Disorder!

 

Last week, Indians saw something that will go down in the pages of judicial history. Four Supreme Court judges addressed a press conference about their rift with the Chief Justice of India, while breaking the judicial protocol. Though, the act undermined the veracity of India’s apex court, it also left several questions unanswered than it answered.

7

What is it? The size of the delegation from the Bar Council of India, led by its chairman Manan Kumar Mishra, meeting Supreme Court judges.

Why is it important? In an unprecedented move, four senior-most Supreme Court judges alleged that Chief Justice Dipak Misra was not following established rules to allocate cases among judges. They added this was adversely affecting the judicial delivery system. After meeting with one of the four aggrieved judges, Mishra said it was an internal matter and that a solution would be found in 2-3 days.

Tell me more: At an emergency meeting convened on Saturday, the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) passed a resolution to “express grave concern” over the differences the four senior-most judges have with the Chief Justice. The SCBA President handed a copy of the resolution to Misra, who said he will look into it. Separately, four retired judges have written an open letter to Misra saying they agree with the issues raised by the four working judges and that the issue needs to be resolved within the judiciary.

 

6

What is it? The number of days for which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in India, beginning Sunday.

Why is it important? This is his first visit to the country and also the first trip by an Israeli leader to India in 15 years. Netanyahu is accompanied by the largest-ever business delegation (130) to travel with an Israeli leader where executives from companies in defence, cyber and agriculture sectors seek to pursue deals with India. The visit is also seen as a means to deepen diplomatic ties. Though India has been known to vote against Israel in the United Nations, the former has increasingly abstained in issues relating to the Middle Eastern nation in the last two years.

Tell me more: Bilateral trade between the two countries has increased to $4.16 billion in 2016, from $200 million in 1992 when they established diplomatic ties.

 

4

What is it? The minimum number of years for which the World Bank would correct and recalculate national rankings of business competitiveness in the annual report titled ‘Doing Business’, according to its chief economist Paul Romer.

Why is it important? This raises questions about the authenticity of the rankings. Romer made a personal apology to Chile, whose rankings have dipped from 34 to 57 in the last three years. This review could impact India, whose rankings have jumped to 100 in 2018 from 140 in the previous year, the biggest improvement among all countries. After assuming power in 2014, the Narendra Modi-government had set a target of breaking into the top 50 in these rankings.

Tell me more: Romer said the World Bank had changed the methodology of calculating the ranks of countries repeatedly in ways that were unfair and misleading.

 

36

What is it? The number of players who have set their base price in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions, to be held on January 27 and 28, at the maximum of Rs 2 crore.

Why is it important? As the eight IPL franchises look to rebuild, with the IPL completing 10 years and all players barring 18 going into the selection pool, the Rs 2 crore set is where the top players and the team mainstays reside. It comprises 13 Indian and 23 overseas players, and franchises are expected to vie for their services, stretching their budgets. After completing their permissible player retentions, the eight teams have anywhere between Rs 47 crore and Rs 67.5 crore to complete their squads from 1,122 players who have registered for the auction.

Tell me more: So far, 18 players have been retained by the eight teams. Royal Challengers Bangalore spent the most on one player: Rs 17 crore to retain Virat Kohli, making him the most expensive player in IPL history.

 

139:10

What is it? The swap ratio set for the merger between Capital First and IDFC Bank, announced on Saturday. Shareholders of Capital First, a non-banking finance company, will receive 139 shares of IDFC Bank for every 10 shares held by them.

Why is it important? IDFC Bank is paying top money—on Friday, the market capitalisation of Capital First stood at Rs 8,266 crore and that of IDFC Bank at Rs 23,019 crore—to buy itself growth and scale, especially on the retail side. It had tried to do the same with the Shriram Group, but that deal fell through in October 2017.

Tell me more: Post merger, V Vaidyanathan, currently chairman and managing director of Capital First, will take over from Rajiv Lall as managing director and CEO of the combined entity. And Lall will step into the role of non-executive chairman of IDFC Bank.

 

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