Buyology

$10 million

What is it? The amount Quikr, the online classifieds company, will pay to acquire Zimmber, a home services startup.

Why is it important? Quikr itself is a startup, competing with international online classified names like Olx, but it has committed to spend Rs 250 crore earlier this year to expand. Zimmber would be its 10th acquisition, with seven made in 2016. Home services will help Quikr to diversify further, adding to its portfolio of online sales of real estate, automobiles etc.

Tell me more: Zimmber, competing with a host of other homegrown services companies, had raised $7.4 million so far. Quikr’s last known valuation was  $979 million, in 2016.

 

25

What is it? The number of IAS officers transferred by the new BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, the third such reshuffle after it came to power.

Why is it important? The transfers follow those of 20 IAS officers the first time, and 84 IAS and 54 IPS officers the second time. The Yogi Adityanath-led government continues the tradition of major reshuffles in bureaucracy seen when a new party takes office, to tailor  the administration according to its liking. It gives rise to the notorious transfer culture of IAS officers, which afflicts well-meaning public servants as well.

Tell me more: The transfers include those of chief development officers in 16 districts.

 

62%

What is it? The proportion of votes French independent centrist, Emmanuel Macron, is polled to win in the second round of the presidential race, on Sunday.

Why is it important? Since the first round in the race, Macron has gained three points over rival and far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen of the National Front. The run for France’s president, featuring none of its major political parties, is being seen as symbol of the fight between radical right activism and a more moderate approach in a key European economy.

Tell me more: Macron benefits in the Elabe poll from public opinion of a win in a televised final debate with Le Pen.

 

> 50

What is it? The number of Saudi and Pakistani channels being broadcast in Kashmir without government clearance.

Why is it important? Many of these channels are said to promote secession and a conservative version of Islam. Indian government has been struggling to get its act right in Kashmir, even as Indian forces face stone pelting on ground, and criticism about some of the extreme measures they have used intending to bring order to the region.

Tell me more: The channels that are being aired include Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, which is banned in the country.

 

217

What is it? The number of votes American Health Care Act got in US House of Representatives.

Why is it important? In effect, the House has annulled Obamacare, the flagship policy of Obama administration, handing a victory to President Donald Trump who had promised he would repeal the act if he were elected. All the democrats in the house, along with 20 republicans, voted against the new act, making it a close shave. It will now go on to the Senate.

Tell me more: The act needed 216 votes to pass in the House, and it got 217.  The repealing of Obamacare is likely to cause millions of Americans lose their health insurance.

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Kashmir: Missing the woods for the trees?

22

What is it? The number of social networking sites and applications banned in Kashmir, for either a month or till further orders.

Why is it important? Such sites are being blamed for fanning trouble by letting protesters circulate messages and videos, instigating mob fury further. However, it is also being criticised as a stop-gap measure. Internet access was already hobbled by an earlier ban on mobile high-speed data, as students took to the streets in droves to voice dissent from the administration and military force.

Tell me more: Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, Wechat, QQ, Qzone, Google Plus, Skype, Line, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube, Vine and Flickr are some of the apps being banned.

 

84

What is it? The number of Uttar Pradesh IAS officers who have transferred under Yogi Adityanath administration on Wednesday.

Why is it important? It’s the biggest administrative change that UP chief minister has made since he came to power on March 19th. Large scale transfers are often used by the political leadership to assert themselves. Data shows one out 10 of postings in 20 key departments in the state cadres last only 33 to 71 days. One out of five IAS officers spend less than a year in a posting on average.

Tell me more: 54 IPS officers have also been transferred.

 

7.6%

What is it? The estimated average increment for employees of mobile phone operators this year.

Why is it important? Compared to 8.4% last year, the increment is set to decrease as carriers’ profitability is strained in the cutthroat competition. Price wars and imminent consolidation in the industry have dented performances of the leading players.

Tell me more: Aon Hewitt which has published the report expects overall India Inc increments to hover at 9.5%.

 

~$1.1 billion

What is it? The amount of the deal South Korean Kia Motors, a Hyundai subsidiary, is expected to sign on Thursday for its first Indian factory.

Why is it important? While the investment will be a feather in the cap of Andhra Pradesh, India also gains more importance for Hyundai and Kia.  China’s consumers sentiments turn against Korean chaebols as South Korea tests a US-made anti-missile system. India has been the fastest-growing passenger car market, though China is over seven times its size.

Tell me more: The new plant will produce 300,000 a year, and become operational by the second half of 2019.

 

~20 percentage points

What is it? The reduction in corporate tax rate in the United States, per president Donald Trump’s new tax plan.

Why is it important? This is the first big tax reform since 1986, and is aimed at encouraging businesses to invest more, boost the economy and create jobs. However, there are concerns that it might also increase deficit.

Tell me more: Trump has reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%, and the number of individual income brackets from seven to three.

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Which states and departments transfer their IAS officers the most and which ones the least?

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Imagine changing your job every year. That’s what the average IAS officer in Haryana, Jharkhand and Himachal Pradesh does. Haryana is the worst. An IAS officer belonging to that cadre and having 10 years of service, on average, spent just 343 days in a posting. Their peers at the Centre are better, but still far short of the average standards of job tenures, especially in the context of good governance and continuity: they spend, on average, 22 months in a posting.

The data interactive below has compiled the transfer records of 39,000-odd postings of about 2,600 serving officers, as posted by the Department of Personnel & Training. You can use it to see where the Centre and individual states, whose IAS officers are organised under 26 cadres, stand when it comes to transfers. Besides cadre, you can also search by departments, gender and individual officers.

The transfer malaise is all-pervasive. For example, it illustrates, how 10% of postings in 20 key departments in the state cadres (excluding Centre), last anywhere between 33 days and 71 days. Or, how 22% of IAS officers average less than a year in a posting. Or, how Ashok Khemka, who has been transferred by governments in Haryana 46 times in his 25-year career, is only one of the 11 officers to record 40-plus postings.

 

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IAS officers: Why Ashok Khemka isn’t the exception

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Outrage over the 34th transfer of Haryana Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Ashok Khemka in the man’s 22 years of service is playing itself out across TV channels, websites, and newspapers, but the fact is that his average tenure, at around 234 days, is not very different from that of his peers—unless things have changed in the past decade.

According to data from the 10th report of the Second Administrative Reforms Commission titled Refurbishing of Personnel Administration—Scaling New Heights, in 2006, 55% of IAS officers had average tenures of less than a year, with only 8% having tenures above three years. That proportion was actually an improvement over 1991 and 1978, when 58% of IAS officers had average tenures of less than a year.

 

g-charticle-(The-transfer-culture)_web

 

Sure, the averages may be skewed a bit by junior officers being transferred as they move through the ranks —much like a management trainee at a consumer products company becomes a sales manager at the end of a certain period—but the statistic is still a telling comment on the vulnerability of India’s bureaucracy to the whims of politicians.

This week, Khemka, a 1991 batch IAS officer, was transferred to his 47th post—this time in the Haryana archaeology and museum department. He has held more than one position simultaneously 10 times, which explains why he has held 46 positions despite being transferred only 34 times. Khemka’s moves are consistent across six governments and four parties in Haryana.

 

 

 

 

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