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The “Un-hackable” Aadhaar

 

 

1.2 billion

What is it? The number of Indians with Aadhaar, a unique 12-digit biometric identification number.

Why is it important? The world’s biggest database has reportedly been hit by another major security lapse, where a data leak on a system by state-run utility Indane could allow the download of private information of Aadhaar holders, including their name, and details about the services they are connected to such as their bank details. In a presentation to the Supreme Court on Thursday, the UIDAI chief had said that it would take over 13 billion years for a supercomputer to hack into Aadhaar data.

Tell me more: The UIDAI, which runs the Aadhaar programme, has refuted the story and is considering legal action against ZDNet, which carried the report.

 

$10.7 billion

What is it? The amount of money that Uber has spent for $37 billion of gross bookings—amount paid by riders—since it was founded nine years ago.

Why is it important? That volume of capital burn by the ride-hailing company, brought on by bruising battles for market dominance in different parts of the world, has been a concern. It might now be calling truce on one of those battles: by selling its Southeast Asia business to rival Grab for a 25-30% share. This would be Uber’s third major market exit, after China and Russia.

Tell me more: According to CB Insights, Uber was last valued at $68 billion, and Singapore-based GrabTaxi at $6 billion.

 

What is it? The number of tests for which Australian cricket captain Steven Smith has been banned for ball tampering, along with being docked 100% of his match fee.

Why is it important? He will not play the fourth and final test in the ongoing series against South Africa, which Australia trail 2-1 after capitulating yesterday in the third test. Further, from several indications, Smith could face greater punishment from the cricket administrators in Australia, where even the country’s prime minister has weighed in on a shameful episode of cheating orchestrated by the team’s leadership.

Tell me more: With over 6,000 runs and 23 hundreds, the 28-year-old Smith is one of Australia’s most prolific test batsman. Among those who have played over 50 tests, his career average of 61.87 is the second best, after Sir Donald Bradman.

 

25

What is it? The number of Shatabdi trains in which fares could be slashed, with the objective of increasing occupancy.

Why is it important? This follows a pilot conducted by the Indian Railways on two routes last year, where it dropped fares on the low occupancy stretches. In one section, earnings and passenger bookings increased by 17% and 63%, respectively. The Indian Railways has been criticised for its flexi-fare scheme, introduced for its premium trains such as Duronto and Shatabdi, where the general view is that it led to a spike in fares.

Tell me more: The Shatabdi trains, on an average, is the only set to make profits, with the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi being the most profitable.

 

10 million

What is it? The number of jobs the Indian telecom sector is expected to create over the next five years.

Why is it important? The debt-laden sector is under tremendous stress and is expected to fire 50,000 people this year, higher than the count of 40,000 last year, mainly due to the price war triggered by Reliance Jio’s entry. Emerging technologies such as machine-to-machine communications, and telecom manufacturing, infrastructure and services firms are expected to up the demand for employment in the next few years.

Tell me more: Currently, there are 4 million people employed in the sector. Between September 2016 and September 2017, market leader Bharti Airtel reduced its headcount in India by 9.3%.

 

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Food And Fuel Are Getting Pricier

 

Last month, retail inflation meaning cereal, eggs, vegetable and fruits, clothes, and, fuel, and basically everything that we mostly care about, weighed heavily on our pockets. It surpassed RBI’s expectations and according to RBI’s projection, inflation is likely to stay high for next six months as well. But, did we hear anything about rise in personal incomes, yet?

Well, there’s plenty more in news in numbers, today. Read on.

 

1-2 years

What is it? The number of years in which Reliance Jio may go for an IPO (initial public offering).

Why is it important? It is another marker of the importance that India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani has placed for his telecom venture, which continues to indulge in tariff wars initiated by it over a year ago when it was launched. This comes at a time when incumbents are trying to battle against the newest entrant’s competitive tariffs and their high debt levels even as they continue to witness plunging profits or losses. Jio is likely to improve its financial performance before it goes for the stake sale.

Tell me more: At the end of October, Reliance Jio had 145 million subscribers to be the fourth-largest telecom operator in the country.

 

4.88%

What is it? The rate at which India’s annual retail inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, increased in November from a year ago.

Why is important? This is the fastest pace in 15 months, driven by an increase in fuel and food prices. This has exceeded the Reserve Bank of India’s medium-term target of 4%. Last week, the central bank had kept key interest rates unchanged due to inflationary concerns and also raised its inflation projection to 4.3-4.7% for the six months ending March 2018.

Tell me more: The government released a separate set of data on Tuesday, which showed that growth in industrial output slowed to 2.2% in October from an upwardly revised 4.14% in September.

 

37.7 million bales

What is it? India’s estimated cotton production in 2017-18, according to the Cotton Advisory Board. One bale is equivalent to about 170 kg.

Why is it important? Although this would be an increase of about 9% over last year’s 34.5 million bales, it would fall short of the record 40 million bales that industry analysts were expecting. This is due to pink bollworm infestation in India’s key cotton-growing regions of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, and is likely to boost exports of other major cotton exporters such as the US, Brazil and Australia.

Tell me more: In recent years, Indian farmers have switched to Monsanto’s Bt cotton, which increased yields and helped India become the world’s second-largest cotton exporter. However, according to scientists, pink bollworms are developing resistance to the genetically modified seeds.

 

1969

What is it? The number of trips that a customer of cab-hailing app Uber in the National Capital Region has taken in 2017 so far, or an average of about six trips a day. That’s the maximum number of trips recorded by a customer of Uber India.

Why is it important? It underscores the importance of the Delhi NCR market, which has emerged as the biggest market in India for the cab-hailing app and is one of the sites for the bruising fight between Uber and Ola. Such data-based facts and trivia were released by Uber India, as part of documenting a year gone by. It said that 6 Pm was the busiest hour for its drivers, Friday the most hectic day and August 11 (pre-independence day Friday) the day it recorded the most rides.

Tell me more: Indian customers hailed a Uber cab in 566 cities across 80 nations. Uber also launched a feature that lets customers review their 2017 set to a music video.

 

20

What is it? The number of centuries that Chris Gayle has scored in the T20 format, his latest effort helping the Rangpur Riders win the Bangladesh Premier League on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Gayle is the first batsman to reach 20 centuries in the T20 format. He is also leaps ahead of other batsmen in the centurion list. The next best is 7 centuries (Michael Klinger, Luke Wright and Brendon McCullum). The best Indian in the list is Virat Kohli, with 4 centuries.

Tell me more: Chris Gayle, the modern-day archetype of a free-agent cricketer, has played 320 T20 matches, across 22 teams. He called Tuesday’s knock—in which he racked up 146 not out in 69 balls, including 18 sixes—as one of his top five knocks.

 

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Two States Ban ‘Padmavati’

 

‘Padmavati’ is in dire straits. In the tech world, Uber hid a massive data breach for a year. Indian Air Force has bolstered its capabilities. Now it can strike enemy warships 1,500 kilometers off the coast within a few minutes. While, India is planning to become a huge market for electric vehicle batteries by 2030. 

 

57 million

What is it? The number of customers and drivers whose personal data was stolen by hackers from Uber Technologies about a year ago.

Why is it important? The ride-hailing app concealed the massive data breach for a year. It fired its chief security officer and one of his deputies for their involvement in keeping this a secret, which includes a $100,000 payment to the hackers. Regulators in some countries have said they would investigate the matter further that makes the ride rougher for Uber, which has been battling top-level executive exits over issues such as sexual harassment, data privacy concerns and working conditions of drivers.

Tell me more: Compromised data from the October 2016 breach included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber customers, in addition to personal information of 7 million drivers.

 

290 km

What is it? The strike range of the BrahMos supersonic cruise missile.

Why is it important? The missile was successfully tested for the first time from a Sukhoi-30MKI fighter against a sea-based target on Wednesday. This means the Indian Air Force now has the capability to strike enemy warships 1,500 kilometers off the coast within a few minutes. The world’s fastest supersonic cruise missile is now capable of being launched from air, sea and land.

Tell me more: The BrahMos missile, developed in a joint venture between India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation and NPOM of Russia, is the heaviest weapon to be deployed on Sukhoi-30MKI aircraft.

 

$300 billion

What is it? The projected size of the market for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in India by 2030, according to a report by Niti Aayog and Rocky Mountain Institute.

Why is it important? A stated aspiration of the Indian government is to have only electric vehicles entering the market from 2030. If it presses on these and if the report projections are met, India would account for 40% of global EV battery demand in the next 13 years. However, it remains to be seen how feasible the electric dream of various countries (including India) is, given that EV batteries use nickel, cobalt, aluminium, graphite and lithium. These are rare earths, and their availability is much lesser than that of coal and oil.

Tell me more: The report says India’s demand for EV batteries could bring down global battery prices by 16% to $60 per KWh by 2030.

 

1

What is it? The number of test series in Australia that England have won in their last five tries, dating back to 1998-99.

Why is it important? The two oldest cricketing nations renew their cricketing rivalry today. The first test of the five-match test series, better known as the Ashes, is underway at Brisbane, Australia. England, smarting from the loss of talismanic all-rounder Ben Stokes, are not tipped to change that dismal record in this trip.

Tell me more: The last time that England won in Australia was in 2010-11, when they won 3-1, with all three wins being by an innings margin.

 

2

What is it? Number of states to have banned the yet-to-be-released Hindi period film Padmavati. On Wednesday, Gujarat became the second state, after Madhya Pradesh, to do so by issuing a notification.

Why is it important? This further jeopardizes the film’s prospects from having a timely and disruption-free release, which could trigger commercial losses across the board. So far, chief ministers of at least five states—four of them ruled by the BJP (Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan) and one ruled by the Congress (Punjab)—have spoken publicly against the film.

Tell me more: A sixth chief minister, Manohar Lal Khattar in BJP-ruled Haryana, said the state would wait for the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC)’s notification on the film.

 

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Virat’s Road To Fifty 100s

 

Government is striving to meet its disinvestment target. In the cricketing world, Virat Kohli has shown his best game and has been consistent in doing so. India’s coal imports have risen as states become environment-conscious. Sanjay leela Bhansali’s film Padmavati’s destiny hangs in balance as certification board takes it own sweet time.  And, Uber is planning to build its own fleet of cars. Self Driving Cars. 

 

Rs 14,500 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government has raised through the Bharat 22 exchange traded fund (ETF), which attracted bids worth Rs 32,000 crore.

Why is it important? With this, the government has raised Rs 52,500 crore through disinvestment in 2017-18, which is 72% of its disinvestment target for the current fiscal. Since the time the idea of disinvestment came into being in 1992-93, respective governments have met their stated disinvestment targets just thrice in 16 years.

Tell me more: The Bharat 22 ETF, which tracks the S&P BSE Bharat 22 Index, comprising of 22 stocks is an alternative mechanism to divest its stake in central public sector enterprises. This is the second such ETF, with the first one being launched in March 2014.

 

50

What is it? The number of international centuries that Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has scored in all three formats of the game.

Why is it important? Kohli notched up his 18th test century against Sri Lanka yesterday. In the list of top 10 batsmen with the most international hundreds, which is led by Sachin Tendulkar (100 centuries) and contains three Indians, Kohli is ranked eighth. He also equalled South Africa’s Hashim Amla’s record of fewest innings to 50 international hundreds.

Tell me more: Despite being affected by rain, the first test match ended in a thrilling stalemate as India fought back with both bat and ball.

 

2.1 million tonnes

What is it? The volume of India’s coal imports from the US in October.

Why is it important? This is the highest since at least January 2015. Some Indian states have banned the use of petroleum coke, which is better-burning but also more polluting than coal. This could partly be the reason for the increase in India’s coal imports from the US. With environmentalists urging other states to ban petroleum coke, this trend might continue. The increase in imports also indicates there might be a shortage in domestic coal supply, forcing the industry to step up imports.

Tell me more: India has imported 1.5 million tonnes of North American coal in November so far, which is 71% of the previous month’s purchase.

 

24,000

What is it? The number of self-driving cars that Uber plans to buy from Volvo over three years, starting 2019.

Why is it important? If the sale goes through, it would be Volvo’s largest order and the biggest sale in the autonomous vehicle industry. For Uber, this would mark a major transition in the company’s profile: from being an app used to hail a cab to becoming the owner and operator of a fleet of cars. Although this is likely to give a boost to Uber’s ambitions of perfecting its self-driving systems, there are doubts about how it would pan out as no country has any framework or laws to allow this currently.

Tell me more: The firm is locked in a legal dispute with Waymo, a self-drive business owned by Alphabet, which is seeking $1.9 billion in damages for alleged theft of some of its trade secrets by Uber.

 

68 days

What is it? The maximum duration set by India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to certify a film, in a seven-part process.

Why is it important? On Monday, CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi cited this window to take its time to arrive at a decision on certifying the Sanjay Leela Bhansali film Padmavati, which is mired in a controversy with religious and political overtones. Last week, the CBFC returned the film’s application citing “technical issues” and the film’s producers deferred its released date. Also, yesterday, the Supreme Court refused to wade into the issue, saying it would wait for CBFC’s certification.

Tell me more: The CBFC’s latest annual report shows it ‘initially refused’ 79 feature films in 2014-15 and 94 in 2015-16.

 

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