Race To Buy Fortis


What is it?The number of years for which Usha Ananthasubramanian was the MD and CEO of Punjab National Bank (PNB).

Why is it important?The government has asked the board of Allahabad Bank to divest her powers as MD and CEO of the bank (her current position) after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detailed her role in the PNB scam. The latter’s board has been asked to take away the powers of its executive directors, KV Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan, for the same reason. The CBI filed its first chargesheet related to the $2-billion scam against 25 entities, including individuals and three firms, on Monday.

Tell me more:The chargesheet also describes the role of diamond merchant Nirav Modi, his brother Nishal Modi and Subhash Parab, an executive in Modi’s firms. 



What is it?The amount per share that the Manipal-TPG combine is willing to pay more over its initial offer to acquire the hospitals business of Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important?On Monday, the Manipal-TPG combine increased its offer for Fortis from Rs 160 per share to Rs 180 per share. This comes on the heels of the Fortis board last week expressing its preference for the Sunil Munjal-led group. Since any deal has to be cleared by 75% of shareholders, the new offer adds more intrigue to the race to buy Fortis.

Tell me more:Among these recent ongoing developments, the Fortis stock has moved in a narrow range, a possible indicator of how everything is still open.



What is it? The number of years since Congress leader Shashi Tharoor’s wife was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a luxury hotel suite in New Delhi.

Why is it important?The Delhi Police, in its nearly 3,000-page chargesheet filed yesterday, has accused Tharoor of abetting her suicide. He is the only person named as accused. The leader says he intends to contest it vigorously. He has questioned the methods/motivations of the Delhi Police, who, he said, stated in Delhi High Court that they had not found any evidence against anyone.

Tell me more: The Delhi Police wants Tharoor to be present when the trial resumes on May 24. The Congress says it will back the leader and called the chargesheet a politically motivated one.



What is it?The reported number of people killed in violence during panchayat elections’ polling in West Bengal as on Monday evening. Various media reports have reported different numbers.

Why is it important?Though the number of deaths this time are fewer than those killed in 2003 (76) and 2013 (39), this year’s polling reportedly saw rigging on an unprecedented scale, besides booth capturing and burning of ballot papers in the presence of media personnel and, in some places, in front of policemen too. Over 60,000 security personnel were deployed from West Bengal and neighbouring states for the polls.

Tell me more:The central government has asked the state to submit a report on the violence, which opposition parties have blamed it on the ruling Trinamool Congress. Of the 14 dead, five were CPM supporters, four TMC workers, two BJP and two independent candidates’ supporters and a voter.


What is it?The number of teams in contention for three playoff spots in the Indian Premier League, with two matches left to play for each side.

Why is it important? Yesterday, Royal Challengers Bangalore hammered Kings XI Punjab to not only stay in contention, but also make significant gains in the net run rate calculation, which could come into play given the bunching up of teams in the points race. There are three teams with six wins and two teams with five wins.

Tell me more:Among these six teams, RCB have the fewest wins (five), along with Mumbai Indians, but have the third best run rate. Today, in one of the several remaining decisive games, Kolkata take on Rajasthan.

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Darjeeling: More force to keep calm


What is it? The number of paramilitary personnel deployed in Darjeeling by the Centre.

Why is it important? They will help the West Bengal government in tackling the protests in the town. The protests, triggered by the West Bengal government’s decision to make Bengali compulsory in schools across the state, soon flared up into the longstanding demand for a separate state, spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.

Tell me more: The unrest has resulted in violence in the last few days. Protesters clashed with police and torched an outpost.

$6 billion

What is it? The amount Reliance Industries (RIL) and BP will invest in three projects, including  the development of deepwater gas fieldsand other areas downstream areas in India.

Why is it important? India’s energy use is expected to skyrocket with energy consumption set to more than double by 2040 to 1,908 mn-tonne. Oil companies are moving now to be ready for the demand. Both private companies such as RIL and BP and state-owned companies such as IOC, BPCL and HPCL are investing in increasing capacity.

Tell me more: BP, the British petroleum company, intends to set up fuel stations along with RIL.


$13.84 billion

What is it? India’s trade deficit, difference between the value of total exports and imports, in May, 2017.

Why is it important? The gap has been widening for the third straight month, and is the highest in two and a half years. Gold imports of nearly $5 billion widened the deficit.

Tell me more: Gold import had fallen right after demonetisation and its impact on trade deficit seen in January and February, 2017.



What is it? The number of districts identified as having total fertility rate (TFR) of more than three children born per woman.

Why is it important? These districts, 145 of which were identified in 2016, are in the high TFR states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam — that make up 44% of the country’s population. The government has devised an initiative, Mission Parivar Vikas, to impart awareness and intensive family planning services in these places to control population growth.

Tell me more: High TFR in these districts also lead to unsafe conditions for mother and child, accounting for 25-30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths, as reported.



What is it? The tiger count in the national park of Kaziranga and Burachapori in Assam.

Why is it important? It shows an increase of 21 tigers since 2014. Last year and the start of 2017 seem to have been ominous for India’s tiger population, and this is a ray of good news. While 99 wild tigers died in 2016, 21 Royal Bengal tigers died in Jan-Mar this year.

Tell me more: The last official census was of 2,226 tigers in the wild, though widely contested by wildlife experts.

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News in Numbers – September 14, 2015

News In Numbers: September 14, 2015


Rs 750 crore

The amount Westlife Enterprise, a master franchise of McDonald’s in India is planning to invest over the next five years to double the number of outlets it runs currently. It has 213 outlets across India and plans are on to add another 250. In the face of stiff competition from new entrants such as Burger King and Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds says it is betting on healthy alternatives, besides increasing the number of McCafes (serves coffee within their outlets) in India. The combined revenue of the two franchises of McDonald’s in India is Rs 1,390 crore. Globally, McDonald’s is struggling. The company posted a 2.3% drop in store sales worldwide in the January-March quarter of 2015 and is working on a turnaround plan.



The number of days it would take for income tax refunds to reach taxpayers. What used to take weeks or even months earlier is now being processed quickly due to electronic verification and Aadhar-based ITR (income tax return) verification. The last date for e-filing this year was September 7 and the Income Tax department received 2.06 crore returns on its e-filing portal, up 26.1% from those filed online last year. As on September 7, the department electronically verified 32.95 lakh e-retuns. The Income Tax department launched an ambitious drive to bring 1 crore new taxpayers within the current financial year with the Pune region being given the maximum target of 10 lakh new assesses.


Rs 44

The price at which the Indian government is considering to sell LED (light emitting diode) bulbs. At Rs 44 it costs about 85% lesser per unit than those sold in the market. Power minister Piyush Goyal in a recent industry interactive session, said the government is looking to bring down the prices of LED bulbs “under bulk purchases through competitive bidding”. Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scheme for LED bulb distribution under the domestic efficient lighting programme in Delhi recently where each consumer can buy LED bulbs at Rs 10 each and the balance of Rs 120 would be recovered from their electricity bills over the next 12 months. The estimated annual savings for Delhi households would be Rs 162 per LED bulb. Kickstarted in Delhi, this project of installing LED bulbs for domestic and street-lighting aims to cover 100 cities by March 2016.


Rs 15,986 crore

The microcredit disbursed by non banking financial companies-microfinance institutions (NBFCs-MFIs) in the April-June quarter of 2015. This marks an increase of about 70% from the amount disbursed in the last quarter of 2014-15. The average loan disbursed per account increased to Rs 17,848 from Rs 14,847 in the same periods of time as mentioned above.Tamil Nadu and West Bengal had a share of about 30.2% of the total number of people to whom microcredit was disbursed in the first quarter of 2015-16. In terms of the total credit given, these two states accounted for 29.2% in the same period. New loan disbursements grew 55% to Rs 54,591 crore in 2014-15 from the previous year. According to a report by Karvy Stock Broking, the microfinance industry has “returned to the growth phase” in terms of gross loan portfolio (all loans outstanding by all clients), emerging from the crisis it went through for a few years since 2010.



The percentage of Delhi’s geographical area with tree cover, according to a 2013 report by the Forest Survey of India. However, the Economic Survey of Delhi 2014-15 puts this figure at 20.08%. An upcoming census of trees ordered by the Delhi government might set the records straight. The government has asked the Delhi Development Authority and all the civic agencies to conduct a first-of-its-kind tree census, which would include details such as age, species, health and location of trees falling under their jurisdiction. The census would aim to bring in awareness about tree conservation among Delhiites. The central government, quoting an international study, had said that 80 people die in Delhi every day from air pollution.



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