Press gagged?

Rs 2,052 crore

What is it? The value of the two post-dated cheques accepted by the Supreme Court from Sahara group, as an assurance of payment.

Why is it important? The amount is 18% of the Rs 11,169 crore sum still due to Sebi towards paying Sahara’s investors. The court has allowed both the auction of Sahara’s star property, Aamby Valley, and repayment through cheques. It fixed Aamby Valley’s reserve price at Rs 37,392 crore.

Tell me more: The court warned Sahara chief, Subrata Roy, present in the court, about being sent back to jail if the cheques bounced.




What is it? The number of oil and gas discoveries by the state-owned refiner Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) in FY17.

Why is it important? This is a jump of 35% from FY16 (17 discoveries). ONGC has struck liquid gold at a time when global oil discoveries fell to a record low (in 2016), according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Tell me more: The discoveries were a mix of both inland and offshore wells.




What is it? India’s rank  in the World Press Freedom Index, brought out by Reporters without Borders, this year.

Why is it important? India has slipped in the rankings, from the 133rd position last year. The organisation recognises the reasons as Hindu nationalists trying to root out so-called ‘anti-national’ thoughts from any public debate, driving more self-censorship among the media. According to the report, threats of dire violence have also manifested in local journalists being targets of armed forces at the behest of the Union government.

Tell me more: Norway, Sweden and Finland ranked the highest in press freedom, with the first two moving up in rank.



Re 1

What is it? Potential ticket size of gold purchase on Paytm.

Why is it important? Gold price per gram is Rs 2730 as on Wednesday. Paytm has announced that customers can buy gold for as less as Re 1, which is made possible because of unbundling and aggregation that can happen with digital products. Called Digital Gold, the product is launched by Paytm with a  tie up with MMTC-PAMP India.

Tell me more: One97, which owns Paytm, is also reportedly talking to Softbank to raise $1.9 billion, which would make it the largest fund raise in a single round in India in venture capital space.



< $10,000

What is it? The compensation United Airlines would give to passengers who are asked to give up their seats in overbooked flights.

Why is it important? The policy comes on the back of United facing a public relations disaster after it violently removed a passenger from one of its planes to accommodate crew members. While the degree of violence made that case exceptional, bumping passengers from overbooked flights are more common in airlines, and the compensation could set a new standard for such situations.

Tell me more: United also reached a settlement with Dr. David Dao who was dragged out of the plane.

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Journalists in the line of fire: How safe are they in India?

This piece originally appeared on


When he was shot dead on 13 May in Bihar, Rajdeo Ranjan, bureau chief of Hindi daily Hindustan in Siwan, possibly became the fourth Indian journalist to be murdered in 2016 for work-related reasons.

Ranjan, who worked for Hindustan for 20 years, was shot dead by assailants on a motorcycle while he was returning home from work.

A day earlier, a Hindi television journalist was shot dead in Jharkhand.

Since 1992, according to a global database, 25 Indian journalists have been murdered for work-related reasons, and the cause of death of another 23 is suspected to be similar. Further, the numbers show a rising trend, with print journalists covering corruption and politics being targeted by political and criminal groups.

How many: India is among the 10 worst in murder count.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based non-profit that promotes press freedom worldwide, investigates the death of every journalist to determine whether it is work-related. It classifies these deaths into two broad categories: “motive confirmed” and “motive unconfirmed”.

It classifies a case as “motive confirmed” only “if we are reasonably certain that a journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work”. This could be crossfire/combat, a dangerous assignment (while covering a riot) or murder (“the targeted killing of a journalist, whether premeditated or spontaneous, in direct relation to the journalist’s work”).

It classifies a case as “motive unconfirmed” when the motive is unclear, but it is possible that a journalist was killed because of his or her work, and continues to investigate.

In all, CPJ registered 1,189 journalist deaths under the “motive confirmed” category since 1992, of which, 786 were murders. Data for India since 1992 shows a rising trend of murders, with the last block of five years being the worst since 1999-2004. Among countries, India ranks number 10 in absolute number of murders (without adjusting for population) and sixth in terms of the count of the “motive unconfirmed” set.




Who: Print journalists covering corruption and politics, felled by political and criminal groups.

CPJ further breaks down the data by the work profile of the murdered journalists. An analysis of the CPJ information for the 25 Indian journalists shows they were mostly from print publications—reporters and editors.

Further, they were assigned to cover corruption, politics and crime, and they were killed by political and criminal groups.



What: India lags in solving cases of journalist murders and nurturing freedoms of the press.

The CPJ Impunity Index casts a light on the countries where the killers of journalists have gone unpunished. In the 2015 index, which looks at data between September 2005 and August 2015, the top three countries in this list are involved in an armed conflict. India features in the index for the eighth consecutive year, at number 14.

Another annual survey by Reporters Without Borders measures the degree of freedom available to journalists in their respective countries, combining quantitative data on abuses and qualitative responses. In 2015, it ranked India a lowly 133rd out of 180 countries and classified it as “bad” in press freedom.




Data sources: Reporters Without Borders (World Press Freedom Index data), Committee to Protect Journalists (all other data). is a search engine for public data.


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