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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800px-Jack-up-rig-in-the-caspian-sea

World’s Largest Oil Producer Is Not Russia

 

2

What is it? The number of exit polls (of three) predicting that BJP is likely to topple the Left government in Tripura, and consolidate its position in Meghalaya and Nagaland, where elections were recently held.

Why is it important? If these predictions come true, the BJP is likely to make significant inroads in the north-eastern region after having formed governments in Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh post its win in the 2014 general elections. In Tripura, this would mean the end of the 25-year rule of CPI(M) and BJP’s maiden government with allies. In Nagaland, it would mean the likelihood of BJP and its ally, Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, getting more votes than its former ally Naga People’s Front.

Tell me more: The Congress, which is in power in Meghalaya, is predicted to win fewer seats than National People’s Party by two exit polls.

 

1

What is it? The number of years in which the United States would overtake Russia to become the world’s largest oil producer, according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). It could also happen as early as this year.

Why is it important? The increase in US oil production is happening at a time when other major producers, including Russia and members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, are cutting output to increase prices. This accord has been largely credited for the 50% increase in oil prices between mid-2017 and 2018. The US is not part of this deal, and its energy companies have wrested market share from those that are part of the pact.

Tell me more: Us crude output topped 10 million barrels per day (bpd) late last year, which happened for the first time since the 1970s, helping it surpass Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest economy is expected to register an output of over 11 million bpd by end-2018, which is likely to help it beat Russia to the first spot.

 

22 billion pounds

What is it? The amount that US cable leader Comcast has counter-bid for UK pay-TV group Sky, which is currently owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, with a 39% stake.

Why is it important? Comcast’s bid is reportedly 16% higher than what Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox had previously agreed to pay to acquire the remaining 61% of Sky, even as it tries to complete the sale of a good part of itself to Disney. This puts a spanner in Murdoch’s plans in multiple ways as he has to find ways to preserve both the Sky and the Disney deals.

Tell me more: Murdoch’s plans have met with regulatory concerns on either side of the Atlantic: in the UK, about Murdoch controlling all of Sky, which augurs well for Comcast as it chases Sky; in the US, about the 21st Century Fox and Disney coming together.

 

15

What is it? The number of days within which state-run banks have been directed by the finance ministry to take pre-emptive action to improve their oversight of operational and technological risks.

Why is it important? This comes after India’s second-largest public sector bank Punjab National Bank (PNB) said it was hit by a Rs 11,400-crore fraud about two weeks ago. On Monday, PNB said the amount of fraudulent transactions could rise by another Rs 1,300 crore, resulting in its stock tumbling 13% yesterday, taking its total loss to 34% since it made public the Nirav Modi fraud. Lenders are expected to identify current oversight weaknesses, come up with a report on how to improve standards/practices, besides asking the boards of the banks to “assign clear accountability” for implementation and compliance.

Tell me more: The ministry has also directed public sector banks to investigate all non-performing assets of over Rs 50 crore for any possible fraud and report those cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation.

 

10 years

What is it? The number of years between Roger Federer’s fourth and the fifth Laureus Sportsman of the Year awards. Yesterday, the world’s number men’s singles tennis player won the 2018 award.

Why is it important? The 10-year gap is testimony to Federer’s longevity at the pinnacle of tennis and caps a stellar 12 months or so, in which the 36-year-old won three grand slams and became the oldest number one men’s singles player. Federer’s fifth Laureus win also takes him clear of Usain Bolt (4) and Novak Djokovic (3).

Tell me more: Federer also won the Comeback of the Year award, taking his overall Laureus tally to six—the most by any sportsperson in the awards that were instituted in 2000. Serena Williams won the Sportswoman of the Year award, taking her Laureus tally to 5.

 

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News In Numbers – August 14

News In Numbers: August 14

 

18.9%

The 2014-15 operating margin of Jaguar Land Rover, the iconic high-end carmaker and overseas subsidiary of Tata Motors that has been its sole profit driver for the last two years. Between 2009-10 and 2014-15, when the operating margin of Tata Motors’ Indian business fell from 11.7% to -2.2%, JLR’s vaulted from 5.4% to 18.9%. However, with JLR hitting a roadbump in China, its margin dropped to 9.7% for the quarter ended June 2015. In the backdrop of this, and a mixed domestic performance, Tata Motors skipped dividend for 2014-15, drawing the ire of shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday.

 

65%

The jump in the rate of call drops on 3G networks in the January to March quarter this year, over the same period in 2014, according to India’s telecom regulator: 15.96% versus 9.68%. Increasing congestion on 3G networks, and lack of adequate spectrum in relation to the number of subscribers using that spectrum, have led to a deterioration of quality across service providers. The deterioration in quality of service on 2G networks was even worse, with the call drop rate rising seven-fold in the same period. To help ease congestion, the government on Wednesday allowed telecom companies in the same circle to share their airwaves.

 

Rs 65,896 crore

The total surplus generated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through its investment activities in 2014-15 (July to June financial year), the entire amount of which it will transfer to the government. This is a 25% increase over the surplus transferred by the central bank to the government in 2013-14. A committee, chaired by Y H Malegam, director of the central board of the RBI, had recommended in 2014 that the central bank transfer all its surpluses generated to the government for three years as it had enough reserve funds for contingency and other purposes. As of June 26, 2015, the central bank had Rs 18,94,800 crore in reserve money, a sum of several components, including currency in circulation and bankers’ deposits with the RBI.

 

12.8%

Share of black people in the total population in the United States. Apple’s first official diversity filing, dated July 2014 but released yesterday, shows there were only two black people in its group of 83 senior executives, or 2.4%. Across the company, 8% of employees were black. At senior levels, this representation is just as poor in other major technology companies: 4% in Amazon and 2% in Facebook. By comparison, Asians, who account of 5.1% of the US population, have a share in the senior management of 18% in Amazon, 19% in Facebook and 10% in Apple.

 

413,670

The number of beggars in India, according to the Indian government: about 54% male and 46% female. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh account for over one-third of the beggars in the country. Lakshadweep has the least number of beggars: two. As many as 22 states and union territories have legislations against begging. Although India criminalises begging, the central government recently announced that it would train 3,000 beggars to sing in public places to publicise its initiatives such as Swachh Bharat and ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (Save girl child, educate girl child).

 

 

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