Videocon in defaulters club

Rs 520 crore

What is it? Amount of loan given to Videocon that Dena Bank has classified as a non-performing asset.

Why is it important? Videocon owes more than Rs 22,000 crore to domestic financial institutions, and an equivalent amount to international banks. The diversified conglomerate has asked Dena bank to extend tenure of the loan. This move by Dena bank has eroded market capitalisation of Videocon by a third in last two days of trading.

Tell me more: Bad debts is Rs7.7 trillion problem for Indian banks, and the last Economic Survey says 57 out of the top 100 stressed debtors would require debt reductions of 75% or more.



What is it? The number of non-performing government officers forced to seek early retirement after a review.

Why is it important? Periodical review of performance and weeding out of non-performers is expected to improve productivity of government officers. This dismissal of Group A and B officers follows January’s compulsory retirement for two IPS officers on the same grounds. But 2017 is not the first year when the government has meted out punishments to bureaucrats for under-performance.

Tell me more: The officers were picked after a review of the records of 24,000 Group A and 42,251 Group B officers. Reviews of 34,451 Group A and over 42,000 Group B officers are imminent.



What is it? The number of members in the National Commission for Minorities (NCM), after the last member retired in March 9 this year.

Why is it important? NCM has served as a forum of appeal for minorities and the delay in appointing the chairperson, vice chairperson and seven members have rendered this statutory body non-functional.

Tell me more: Delhi High Court, on May 20th, has asked the central government to reply why appointments haven’t been made to NCM.



What is it? A proposal under consideration by Law Commission to limit the incarceration of undertrials to one-third of the maximum punishment for offences that attract up to seven years of imprisonment.

Why is it important? If accepted, it will bring relief to undertrials who are unable to execute bail conditions or afford lawyers because of their poor economic conditions. There are 2.82 lakh prisoners who are undertrials. At present, undertrials are eligible to get released only after serving half the term of the maximum punishment.

Tell me more: For offences that attract imprisonment more than seven years, undertrials to be released after serving half the time.



What is it? The number of people killed when their bus, full of pilgrims on the Char Dham route, fell into a gorge in Uttarakhand.

Why is it important? This adds to the death toll of pilgrims in this season of the Char Dham pilgrimage in the Himalayas and foothills, whose routes opened in April. While 13 died of a natural calamity — a massive landslide — last week, many others have died of preventable causes. Since April, 16 have died from cardiac arrest, reportedly due to the lack of medical aid. Yesterday’s accident could have been avoided with adequate road safety measures in a route that turns busy in these months.

Tell me more: Officials have now been asked to identify dangerous areas on the pilgrimage routes to set up speed monitors, warnings and crash barriers.

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News in numbers, Nov 27, 2015: Sunil Mittal’s salary cut, Bihar’s liquor ban…


What is it? The percentage of jobs that will be reserved for women in the paramilitary forces per government plans.   

Why is it important? Higher representation of women will help better police areas where these forces are deployed. However, this is not the first time an announcement was made to reserve jobs for women in the paramilitary forces. Earlier Congress-led United Progressive Alliance aimed to reserve 5% for women. Even that lower target couldn’t be met.

Tell me more: Paramilitary forces account for 25% (or 7.94 lakh) of central government employees.

Rs 5 crore

What is it? Salary cut taken by Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises, to fund Nyaya Bharti an initiative to help underpriveleged undertrials.     

Why is it important? Besides money, such acts by high profile corporate leaders also highlight serious social issues. Undertrials account for 68% of India’s total prison population. In absolute numbers, this is 282,879. Many of them languish in prison for lack of knowledge about the legal process or can’t afford lawyer’s fee. The new initiative will tackle this.

Tell me more: More than 25% of undertrials have stayed in prison for more than a year.      


What is it? The number of states or union territories where the sale of liquor, partial or full, will be banned if Bihar joins their ranks on April 1, 2016, as announced yesterday by the state’s chief minister Nitish Kumar.

Why is it important? The intended social objective apart, it will lead to a revenue loss for Bihar of a reported Rs 5,000 crore. In 2014-15, that would be 20% of tax revenues collected by the state.

Tell me more: The other states where the sale of liquor is banned are Gujarat and Nagaland (full), and Lakshadweep, Manipur and Kerala (partial).


What is it? The over in which the first wicket fell in the first day-night test match in cricket, which began this morning at Adelaide: Martin Guptill LBW B Josh Hazelwood.

Why is it important? In the first test match played in cricket, in 1877 between Australia and England, the first wicket also fell in the fourth over: Nat Thompson B Allen Hill.

Tell me more: Both Guptill and Thompson scored an identical number of runs: 1.


What is it? The number of complaints received by the Banking Ombudsman during last financial year.

Why is it important? This represents a 11% over 2013-14. Complaints received by ombudsman indicate failure of bank’s internal complaint redressal system satisfactorily. Complaints from customers of private banks rose 16%.

Tell me more: Complaints from rural customers rose 16%, the second highest after urban areas, indicating more awareness among them to seek redressal against the bank. Card related – both debit and credit cards – accounted for 21% of all complaints.

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News in numbers, Oct 12, 2015: Fiscal deficit turns surplus after 8 years, India’s brand value…

Rs 15,808 crore

What is it? India’s fiscal deficit in August 2015 indicating surplus of revenues over expenditure. This is happening for the first time in eight years.

Why is it important? This indicates one of the two things, or a combination of the two: the Indian economy is doing well and there has been a substantial increase in tax collections or the government is not able to spend the money it receives at a pace that is fast enough.

Tell me more: India’s fiscal deficit target for 2015-16 is 3.9% of GDP. As of August 2015, the fiscal deficit was 74.9% of the budget estimates.


1.94 basis points

What is it? Average fee charged by the Big Four global accounting firms (Ernst & Young, KPMG, PwC and Deloitte) as a proportion of sales, according to a study. This is much higher than the corresponding number for the other auditors, which is 0.93 basis points of sales. (A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.)

Why is it important? Research shows Indian companies favour the Big Four and perceive them to be better though the quality of audit provided by them is no different from that of the others.

Tell me more: In the Satyam case, the fees paid to the India-based affiliates of the PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) tripled during the time the fraud was perpetrated while the auditors of the company were paid twice as much as that paid to the auditors of its peer companies.


$2.14 trillion

What is it? India’s nation brand value in 2015, says a report by London-based Brand Finance.

Why is it important? An increase of 32% over last year, this reflects the country’s image globally and could potentially benefit in terms of tourist arrivals or foreign investment. Brand Finance has used data points across three key ‘pillars’: goods and services (further divided into governance, market tourism), investment (governance, market, people & skills) and society

Tell me more: This year, India has moved up a rank to the seventh position. Though the top three slots occupied by the US, China and Germany remain unchanged, the brand value of the last two have fallen. Germany’s brand value took a hit due to the recent Volkswagen emission scandal.



What is it? Share of over five-year-old pending cases in subordinate cases in India of a total of 2 crore cases.

Why is it important? High pendency shows that justice delivered in India is as slow or slower than imagined. Also could be indicative of the high number of poor people who may not be able to afford lawyers to obtain a bail and continue to remain behind the bars. Undertrials accounted for 68% of the prison population of 4.18 lakh at the end of 2014.

Tell me more: The number of cases disposed of by the 24 High Courts in 2014 is 3% lesser than those recorded in 2012. The then Chief Justice of India Altamas Kabir said in 2013 that the country has only 15 judges per million population, far less than the recommendation of 50 judges per million people by the Law Commission in 2008 in its 120th report.



What is it? Share of houses in mid-size cities (with less than 1 million population) that discharge wastewater in open drains

Why is it important? Goes on to show the uphill task the Indian government has in executing its mission of cleaning up 1,000 towns where the first phase covering 500 towns is to be completed by 2019.

Tell me more: About a quarter of 416 mid-size towns have less than 20% of households that have waste water outlets connected to the drainage system. Mysuru has the maximum percentage of houses connected to the closed drainage system at 94% and is one of the eight cities where the share is above 80%. is a search engine for public data

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