The “Un-hackable” Aadhaar



1.2 billion

What is it? The number of Indians with Aadhaar, a unique 12-digit biometric identification number.

Why is it important? The world’s biggest database has reportedly been hit by another major security lapse, where a data leak on a system by state-run utility Indane could allow the download of private information of Aadhaar holders, including their name, and details about the services they are connected to such as their bank details. In a presentation to the Supreme Court on Thursday, the UIDAI chief had said that it would take over 13 billion years for a supercomputer to hack into Aadhaar data.

Tell me more: The UIDAI, which runs the Aadhaar programme, has refuted the story and is considering legal action against ZDNet, which carried the report.


$10.7 billion

What is it? The amount of money that Uber has spent for $37 billion of gross bookings—amount paid by riders—since it was founded nine years ago.

Why is it important? That volume of capital burn by the ride-hailing company, brought on by bruising battles for market dominance in different parts of the world, has been a concern. It might now be calling truce on one of those battles: by selling its Southeast Asia business to rival Grab for a 25-30% share. This would be Uber’s third major market exit, after China and Russia.

Tell me more: According to CB Insights, Uber was last valued at $68 billion, and Singapore-based GrabTaxi at $6 billion.


What is it? The number of tests for which Australian cricket captain Steven Smith has been banned for ball tampering, along with being docked 100% of his match fee.

Why is it important? He will not play the fourth and final test in the ongoing series against South Africa, which Australia trail 2-1 after capitulating yesterday in the third test. Further, from several indications, Smith could face greater punishment from the cricket administrators in Australia, where even the country’s prime minister has weighed in on a shameful episode of cheating orchestrated by the team’s leadership.

Tell me more: With over 6,000 runs and 23 hundreds, the 28-year-old Smith is one of Australia’s most prolific test batsman. Among those who have played over 50 tests, his career average of 61.87 is the second best, after Sir Donald Bradman.



What is it? The number of Shatabdi trains in which fares could be slashed, with the objective of increasing occupancy.

Why is it important? This follows a pilot conducted by the Indian Railways on two routes last year, where it dropped fares on the low occupancy stretches. In one section, earnings and passenger bookings increased by 17% and 63%, respectively. The Indian Railways has been criticised for its flexi-fare scheme, introduced for its premium trains such as Duronto and Shatabdi, where the general view is that it led to a spike in fares.

Tell me more: The Shatabdi trains, on an average, is the only set to make profits, with the Delhi-Bhopal Shatabdi being the most profitable.


10 million

What is it? The number of jobs the Indian telecom sector is expected to create over the next five years.

Why is it important? The debt-laden sector is under tremendous stress and is expected to fire 50,000 people this year, higher than the count of 40,000 last year, mainly due to the price war triggered by Reliance Jio’s entry. Emerging technologies such as machine-to-machine communications, and telecom manufacturing, infrastructure and services firms are expected to up the demand for employment in the next few years.

Tell me more: Currently, there are 4 million people employed in the sector. Between September 2016 and September 2017, market leader Bharti Airtel reduced its headcount in India by 9.3%.


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