Rattling Aadhaar’s base

210

What is it? The number of websites of central government and state government departments, including educational institutes, which display Aadhaar numbers and other details.

Why is it important? In May, researchers had found records of no less than 130 million Aadhaar cardholders available on just four government websites. It is a violation under Aadhaar Act to share or leak Aadhaar numbers, and people can be held criminally liable under the act.

Tell me more: The Unique Identification Authority of India has taken a note, the Lok Sabha, was told, of the breach and is working to get the data removed from these websites.

 

15%

What is it? The approved hike in salaries of public sector enterprise employees.

Why is it important? The hike percentage is the lowest so far. Cabinet approved of the third pay revision committee’s recommendations for central public sector enterprise (CPSE) employees, effective from January, 2017. The additional salary bill is estimated at Rs 20,000 crore.

Tell me more: There were over 1.23 million CPSE employees (excluding contract workers) across all levels working in 320 companies till March, 2016.

 

$530 million

What is it? The value of buffalo meat export from India in April and May this year.

Why is it important? Value of buffalo meat export declined by 4.35% when compared with same period last year. The decline coincides with government notification that banned sale of cattle for slaughter. The supreme court has stayed the notification on July 11, 2017.

Tell me more: Export of buffalo meat stood at Rs 26,308 crore in 2016-17, as compared to Rs 26,684 crore in 2015-16. Both quantity and value of meat exports declined in last fiscal.

 

0.91°C

What is it? The degree by which the average temperature was above the 20th century average of 13.5°C, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Why is it important? This makes the first half of 2017 the second hottest, after 2016, in the 138 years of modern record-keeping on earth. The last month has gone down in records as the third hottest June globally, which is likely to create a hat-trick with 2015, 2016 and 2017 as being the three hottest years on record.

Tell me more: Across the land surface, record warmth was observed across a major portion of Mexico, western Europe, eastern Russia, Madagascar, South Korea and some areas across northern and east central Africa, eastern China and, eastern Australia.

 

34

What is it? The number of female on-air stars among the 96 highest-earning talent (more than £150,0001) at BBC for the financial year 2016-17.

Why is it important? This is only over a third of the highest earning stars at BBC and the top seven are all men. The highest earning female is Claudia Winkleman whose pay falls in the £450,000-£499,999 salary bracket, which is more than four times less than the highest paid man, Chris Evans whose salary bracket is £2,200,000-£2,249,999. This has led to criticism of gender pay gap from some quarters with Town Hall, the corporation’s director general, saying that it needed to “go further and faster on issues of gender and diversity”.

Tell me more: BBC disclosed the salaries of the top earners as per an agreement with the British government though the corporation had objected to it saying it would push up salaries in the media industry and help its rivals to poach its staff.

Read More

Aadhaar: Not so unique

$23.35 billion

What is it? The estimate, on the higher end, of black money, or money illicitly taken out of the India in 2014.

Why is it important? Curbing black money, both its movement and creation, has been an integral part of the Modi-government’s propaganda. It was the reason initially furnished by the Prime Minister when introducing last year’s demonetisation, before switching to the cause of a cashless economy. In 2014, the year the government came to power, there was also an illicit fund inflow of $101 billion (on the higher side).

Tell me more: Illegal fund flows from developing countries totalled $1 trillion in 2014, according to the watchdog, Global Financial Integrity, which came out with the study.

 

135 million

What is it? The estimated number of Aadhaar card numbers leaked through four government portals.

Why is it important? While the parent data governing agency, Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), has maintained the information remains secure, studies such as this expose the gross mishandling by government agencies with access to Aadhaar data, which is set to become sensitive, that fraudsters would be eager to misuse. The debate around Aadhaar’s information security has become more intense as the Union government attempts to link it mandatorilywith other key documents such as passports, Pan cards, flight and train tickets, with implications such as enabling financial transactions with just an Aadhaar proof. The Supreme Court is hearing a PIL against why it should not be linked to Pan cards. The reasons against linking Aadhaar mandatorily are many, some mentioned here and here.

Tell me more: The study by thinktank, Centre for Internet and Society, reveals Aadhaar details linked by the National Social Assistance Programme, National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Chandranna Bima Scheme, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh, Daily Online Payment Reports of NREGA, Govt. of Andhra Pradesh stand exposed. It says the UIDAI is ignoring the swathes of data on public display.

 

14

What is it? The number of new warehouses e-commerce giant, Amazon, plans to add in India.

Why is it important? The Flipkart-competitor will be doubling its storage capacity with this move. A few days back, Amazon chief, Jeff Bezos, reiterated he would continue increasing India investments, having committed to spend $5 billion.

Tell me more: The new warehouses would serve tier II and III cities, as the company looks to complete the last mile in the hinterland.

 

>12,000

What is it? The average number of suicides by farmers each year since 2013.

Why is it important? The government informed the Supreme Court about the death toll. In 2015, this was 9.4% of all suicide victims as 8,007 farmer-cultivators and 4,595 agricultural labourers took their lives. Two years of drought still continue to haunt farmers, with protests as recent as in April.

Tell me more: The Centre was furnishing the details in a case on minimum support price for agricultural produce and the inefficacy of crop insurance.

52.5

What is it? The value of a privately-monitored manufacturing activity index for the month of April.

Why is it important? The Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index by Markit stayed above 50, signifying expansion in the sector. It maintained the same level as in March with 52.5, making December’s contraction a distant memory. Growth in new orders led to the output increase.

Tell me more: It is in line with the government’s estimate of growth in output of eight core manufacturing sectors, released yesterday.

Read More