Marathas Rally For Reservation 

$524 million 
What is it?Non-bank loans and deposits in Swiss banks by Indians, according to Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

Why it’s important? This is down 34.5% from $800 million in 2016, and was cited by finance minister Piyush Goyal in the parliament to say the efforts to curb black money by NDA government have been successful. This comes a month after the government faced flak on data released by Swiss National Bank, saying money parked by Indians in Swiss Banks went up by 50% to over Rs 7000 crore in 2017. Goyal said locational banking statistics by BIS is a better indicator of money held by Indians in Swiss Banks.

Tell me more: According to BIS, the non-bank and deposits in Swiss banks by Indians have been coming down year after year – from $2.6 billion in 2013, to $2.3 billion in 2014 and $1.4 billion in 2015.

 

59

 

What is it?The number of protest rallies held by Maratha community since July 2016, starting at Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

Why is it important?The protests seeking 16% reservation in government jobs and education have been mostly peaceful, but took a violent turn, leading to the death of a constable. On 23rd, a 28 year old protestor Kakasaheb Shinde-Patil committed suicide by jumping into the Godavari river during protests at Aurangabad District, and that was followed by suicide attempts by two more protesters. Maratha Kranti Morcha, which is organising these protests, has called for a bandh in Mumbai-its 60th – on Wednesday.

Tell me more: Marathas are the dominant caste group in Maharashtra, and data shows they are better off than other groups. However, there is a rising sense of insecurity among the community members who believe that the future is in jobs and education rather than farm incomePatidars in Gujarat and Jats in Haryana have earlier protested for reservations.

 

$12 billion 
 

What is it? Aid promised by the Trump administration to United States farmers hit by the ongoing trade wars.

Why is it important? Republican party has traditionally opposed such government assistance. US president will not need approval from Congress for the giveaway, and will use US Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Credit Corporation. Some observers believe it is a temporary measure that will give President Trump enough time to reset the trade policies. Critics said the move might violate World Trade Organisation rules and could distort the market.

Tell me more:  US is fighting a bitter trade war with China, a country that imported $12.3 billion worth of soybeans from United State’s, more than half the country’s soybean exports. US agri exports were $138 billion in 2017. Earlier this year, India signed deals with 8 countries, including US, for farm exports.

 

10-15%

 

What is it?Growth in sales expected by paints industry in 2018-19 as result of reduction in Goods and Services Tax by ten percentage points.

Why is it important? Last year, the industry grew by about 9%. The recent cut in GST rates for 50 products, including refrigerators and other electronic goods, is expected to bring down prices and drive sales.

Tell me more: Some industry players have raised concern over the impact of input tax credit under the revised rates. Domestic sanitary napkins makers, for examples, fear that loss of input tax credit will cancel the benefits of zero GST on the product. The government in planning 46 amendments to GST law to address some of the concerns.

 

74

 

What is it?The number of people killed by wildfire in the resort town on Mati, near Athens in Greece.

Why is it important? This is the worst wildfire to hit the country since 2007, when similar fires led to death of 46 people. The drying out of undergrowth and foliage thanks to heat waves (it’s the fourth hottest year on record) and wind blowing at the speed of 50 miles per hour are two of the key causes of wildfires.

Tell me more: Greek government has deployed 500 firefighters and approved $23 million in relief.

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Stress relief for ICICI

676 million Swiss Francs

What is it? The money kept by Indians in Swiss banks in 2016, according to the Swiss National Bank (SNB), Switzerland’s central bank.

Why is it important? The amount, around Rs 4,600 crore, is at an all-time low. India and Switzerland, considered a tax haven, have signed an agreement to automatically share information when money is deposited in the latter’s banking system. Exchange of information will begin from next year.

Tell me more: The amount, however, does not reflect money kept by Indians through entities from other countries.

 

Rs 16,189 crore

What is it? The amount paid by UltraTech Cement to acquire Jaiprakash Associates and Jaypee Cement Corporation.

Why is it important? It marks the biggest sale of stressed assets by lenders, a consortium led by ICICI Bank in this case. Loans worth Rs 12,000 crore of Jaiprakash Associates will move to the books of the Aditya Birla Group-owned cement major. The debt will now be labelled as AAA status from a non-performing asset.

Tell me more: By December, 2016, Indian banks had stressed assets/bad loans worth Rs 9.64 lakh-crore, up from Rs 8 lakh-crore a year ago. The deal also marks the largest acquisition of cement assets in India.

 

7th

What is it? India’s rank among countries most affected by the recent ‘Petya’ ransomware.

Why is it important? India is the worst hit in the Asia Pacific region. Russia’s oil firm Rosneft, international advertising behemoth WPP and one of Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust’s terminals were among the companies that got infected.

Tell me more: Ukraine, US and Russia were the worst hit globally, with France, UK, Germany, China and Japan also coming under attack. This is the second ransomware attack in less than two months, after ‘WannaCry’ wreaked havoc in over 100 countries in May.

 

1,600

What is it? The number of US local talent Indian software company, Wipro, has hired in the last six months.

Why is it important? Local staff now account for half of Wipro’s 14,000 employees in US. Other Indian outsourcing companies like Infosys have also started hiring local talent in US, the largest market for software exports from India. This comes at a time when the world’s largest economy is tightening norms for issuing H1-B visas – which allows temporary employment in US and was used extensively by Indian companies to service US clients.

Tell me more: Infosys plans to hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years, and TCS too plans to ramp up local appointments.

 

85%

What is it? The percentage of seats in 28 Delhi University colleges that Delhi government wants to reserve for local students.

Why is it important? Delhi government passed a resolution on Thursday, but it has to get the approval from the governor and Union education ministry. The Delhi government is demanding reservation in 28 out of 63 Delhi University colleges that it funds fully or partially.

Tell me more: The Delhi government says of the 250,000 students passing out from Delhi’s schools, only 28,000 are able to secure a college seat in Delhi due to intense competition.

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News in Numbers, July 1, 2016: World Bank’s loan to India for solar, Flipkart vs Amazon…

$1 billion

What is it? The amount the World Bank would lend to India for its solar energy programme.

Why is it important? This is the biggest ever loan given by the bank for a solar programme to any country and would help India achieve its ambitious target of installing 100 GW (gigawatts) by 2022. The solar power generation had crossed 19,000 MW (megawatts) in 2015-16 though the Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy is looking to achieve this target by the end of 2017 itself.

Tell me more: India wants non-fossil fuel (wind, water, solar and nuclear) to account for 40% of the total installed power capacity by 2030 from 30% currently. The World Bank has lent $4.8 billion to India between 2015 and 2016, making it its biggest client.

Rs 2,28,986 crore

What is it? India’s fiscal deficit (excess of expenditure over receipts) for April and May of 2016.

Why is it important? It’s 42.9% of the budget target for this fiscal compared to 37.5% for the same period last year (despite a slowdown in government’s capital expenditure.) This may make it challenging for the Finance Minister to restrict fiscal deficit to Rs 5.33 lakh crore in 2016-17, especially with the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission that would cost the exchequer over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Tell me more: The government’s capital expenditure was down by nearly 12% to Rs 33,231 crore in the first two months of 2016-17 from Rs 37,743 crore in the same period last year. The revenue expenditure, which would go up further due to the Seventh Pay Commission payout, increased by 17.6% to Rs 2.64 lakh in April and May from a year ago.

 

Rs 8,392 crore

What is it? The amount held by Indians in Swiss banks at the end of 2015, a third lower than the previous year.

Why is it important? This is the lowest amount of funds held by Indians in the Swiss Banking system since the country started making its data public in 1997 and marks the second straight year of decline. This seems to be the impact of clampdown of illicit wealth by countries including India, which is likely to lead to Swiss banks become more transparent than ever. India has sought faster responses to its pending information requests from the Alpine nation and an automatic financial information exchange would begin in 2018.

Tell me more: The funds held by Indians in Swiss banks was at a record high of Rs 23,000 crore at the end of 2006.

 

91

What is it? E-commerce firm Flipkart’s score in the quarter ended March based on metrics including trust in a brand, product assortment and prices, overall buying experience in terms of ease of using its platform and the ease of product cancellations and returns.

Why is it important? Flipkart is still slightly ahead of Amazon India, which entered the country in June 2013 and had a score of 87, though Snapdeal was a distant third at 60. This is yet another sign that Amazon is ahead of Snapdeal and breathing on the neck of Flipkart. With a recent investment announcement of $3 billion in the country, Amazon India has an advantage over both Flipkart and Snapdeal, which has to depend on external investors. A US mutual fund managed by Vanguard Investment marked down the value of its shares in Flipkart by 25%, the sixth such markdown in recent times.

Tell me more: In terms of ‘Most trusted brand’ and ‘Best value proposition’, Flipkart scored higher than Amazon India while the latter beat the former in terms of ‘Great experience’. The analysis is by RedSeer Management Consulting for Mint.

 

683

What is it? The number of invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, of which 46% are women and 41% are minorities.

Why is it important? It will make the voters more diverse. The Academy had recently promised to double it female and minority membership by 2020. The Oscars came in for heavy criticism for having no nominees from minority actors for the second year in a row. However, it has a long way to go because even if all the invitees join, the share of women and minorities would only marginally increase (25% to 27% and 8% to 11% respectively).

Tell me more: If all those who invited were to join, it would increase the academy’s total voters to 6,945, a record in the last few years.

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