Privacy: Our new fundamental right?

Rs 18,000 crore

What is it? The minimum additional amount Indian banks need to provide towards taking 12 of the country’s largest defaulters to bankruptcy court as directed by the central bank, according to India Ratings and Research.

Why is it important? The current weighted average provisioning of the banks towards these 12 accounts is 42% and the rating agency forecasts that this would reduce the banks’ profits by 25% in 2017-18. The Reserve Bank of India has asked the creditor banks to provide for 50% of the bad loans on cases that are being referred to the National Company Law Tribunal.

Tell me more: The non-performing assets of India’s 12 largest defaulters amount to Rs 1.78 lakh crore, which constitutes about a quarter of the overall gross non-performing assets.

 

15,000

What is it? The number of employees, including contractors, of Air India that could be offered a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS).

Why is it important? If implemented, this would be one of the largest such offers among India’s public sector companies and comes ahead of its likely sale in the future. The Narendra Modi cabinet recently gave its approval to sell a part or all of the state carrier’s operations. Air India, which has a debt of Rs 50,000 crore and a 14% market share, has been struggling to get off the ground.

Tell me more: Air India’s net tax after loss narrowed by around 5% to Rs 3,643 crore in 2016-17 while its operating profit grew nearly threefold to Rs 300 crore in the same fiscal.

 

Rs 211.7

What is it? The median hourly gross salary for manufacturing sector in 2016, according to Monster Salary Index by online recruitment portal Monster India.

Why is it important? Not only did it see a 16% decline from Rs 252.1 in 2015 but it was also the lowest paying sector last year among those analysed. This indicates that the government’s plans to transform the country into a manufacturing hub and increase the sector’s contribution to the Indian economy to a quarter from the current 16% by 2025 may not be going as intended. The sector employs around 12-13% of the workforce.

Tell me more: The banking, financial services and the insurance sector was the highest paid in 2016 with Rs 433 as median hourly gross salary followed by the IT services at Rs 386.8.

 

9

What is it? The number of Supreme Court judges on the Constitution bench that will decide whether Indian citizens have the right to privacy under the Constitution or not, starting from  Wednesday.

Why is it important? The five-judge Constitution bench deliberating on Aadhaar Act’s possible violation of a person’s right to privacy, felt it had to be first determined if privacy was one of our fundamental rights. Fundamental rights are guaranteed Indian citizens by the Constitution, but the right to privacy is not mentioned explicitly. This is why the Supreme Court is attempting to interpret the Constitution to determine the right, much like the freedom of press.

Tell me more: Past rulings have not favoured citizens’ privacy. The former attorney general of India, Mukul Rohatgi, has maintained since 2015 that Indian citizens don’t have a fundamental right to privacy. In 1954 and 1962, Supreme Court judgements, by smaller sized benches (eight- and six-judge) had held privacy was not a fundamental right. Debates around privacy say it is a non-negotiable right.

 

Rs 1.2 to 6 lakh

What is it? The monthly salary range amount quoted by specialist doctors to work in rural Karnataka. The state government has invited doctors to quote their price to fill 1,221 vacant jobs.

Why is it important? The bidding by specialists reveal the salary expectations by specialist doctors like anaesthetists, gynaecologists and obstetricians, as compared to standard government package. Obstetricians and gynaecologists quoted the highest at Rs 6 lakh per month, and the lowest salary bids were from general surgery, orthopaedics and general medicine (Rs 60,000 to Rs 1.2 lakh).

Tell me more: So far, 5,262 doctors have applied. Here too Bengaluru attracted the maximum applications.

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News in Numbers, Mar 15, 2017: Money travels less 👣

3.65%

What is it? The retail price inflation in February.

Why is it important? The rate of growth, year-on-year, of consumer price inflation climbed up after six months of falling. Prices of fuel and food contribute mostly to the fluctuations, as RBI specified non-food and non-fuel inflation to not have budged from 4.9% since September. CPI mirrors the consumer food price inflation which shows the first increase in seven months by 2.01%.

Tell me more: Wholesale price inflation, too, rose by 6.55% in February, spurred again by positive price rise in food and cost of fuel and power.

 

~500

What is it? The estimated number of employees who will be offered a voluntary retirement scheme by Tata Motors.

Why is it important? Even though it is less than 1% (0.8%) of Tata Motors’ total employee strength of 60,000 people, this is the second time in two years that it resorted to a VRS. As  the automaker’s domestic business drags down the overall profits with its losses, the scheme is being used to cut costs in a restructuring exercise.

Tell me more: While top tier has been approved and decided, the mid-level of its management structure is being discussed.

 

3 times

What is it? The higher energy density in a new solid-state battery compared to today’s lithium ion batteries. It was invented by John Goodenough, father of lithium-ion batteries.

Why is it important? The invention has now been endorsed by Alphabet Inc’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who termed it as “promising”. The 94-year-old inventor’s new all-glass batteries could solve the world’s energy storage problems with its higher capacity to hold energy. It could push up electric car adoption.

Tell me more: The batteries are said to be safer as they transmit energy at lower temperatures than lithium-ion ones and can be made at very low cost given ample supply of sodium around the world.

 

5

What is it? The number of Mumbai railway stations that Shiv Sena wants to be renamed

Why is it important? The far-right regional party wants the stations to shed the colonial imprint, underlining how names and symbols have a strong political resonance. Such demands have gained momentum in the last few decades. Mumbai got its official name changed from Bombay in 1995 (followed by Chennai (Madras) and Kochi (Cochin) in 1996 and Kolkata (Calcutta) in 2001)

Tell me more: Shiv Sena wants Mumbai Central to be renamed after Jagannath Shankar Seth, and Charni Road, Elphinstone Road, Curry Road and Sandhurst Road stations to be renamed as Girgaum, Prabhadevi, Lalbaug and Dongri respectively.

 

~ Rs 1000 crore

What is it? The amount spent by Indian telecom players on advertisements in 2016, according to the Pitch Madison Advertising Report.

Why is it important? This is up 50% from the previous year, and reflects the fight for customers last year, triggered by the launch of Jio. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which launched its services last year, had telecom players not only reduce their prices but also step up on advertising to gain, and more importantly, retain customers. Jio’s introductory offer included free call and data till end of March 2017.

Tell me more: Airtel was the biggest spender in 2016, splurging Rs 450 crore to Rs 550 crore on ads. Jio spent Rs 100 crore to 150 crore. Jio is aiming at 50% market share by 2021.

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