What is it? The number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) that have been barred from received foreign funding for allegedly violating provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, 2010 (FCRA).
Why is it important? This represents over 60% of such organisations registered under the Act. Now, only 13,000 NGOs can have access to foreign funding. Some organisations and activists had earlier termed the cancellation of FCRA licences as ‘vindictive’ and accused the government of using legal means to silence dissenters. The FCRA licences of some NGOs were renewed after having been cancelled for alleged anti-national activities, following which the Ministry of Home Affairs sought the help of the National Informatics Centre to develop a software to combine the online platforms of registration and monitoring units of the FCRA wing to prevent any inadvertent renewal of FCRA licences.
Tell me more: Of the 13,000 NGOs that can receive foreign funding, 3,000 have applied for renewal of their FCRA licences while the Ministry of Home Affairs has received 2,000 applications for registration under the Act for the first time. As many as 300 NGOs are under the ‘prior permission’ category, which means they need the ministry’s approval before receiving overseas funding.
What is it? The number of car dealers that have reportedly received notices from the Income Tax department seeking information about customers who have bought cars after November 8, the day when it was announced that high-value currency notes would be withdrawn immediately.
Why is it important? The authorities suspect that banned currency notes may have been used by some to buy cars in order to evade taxes. There are only 24.4 lakh taxpayers with declared income of over Rs 10 lakh per annum and yet 25 lakh cars are bought every year (including luxury cars), according to an unnamed official. With 48,417 people with declared income of over Rs1 crore per year, as many as 35,000 luxury cars are sold every year. This suggests that there may be quite a few Indians out of the tax net.
Tell me more: The IT notices, which are being sent under Section 133(6) of the Income Tax Act, 1961, seek details from car dealers such as the customers’ addresses, make and model of the vehicles, booking date and invoiced costs.
What is it? The estimated number of cheetahs in the wild, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy.
Why is it important? These animals now occupy just 9% of the territory they once lived in and they are down from an estimated 100,000 cheetahs at the beginning of the 20th century. The study’s authors have urged that the world’s fastest land animal be listed as “endangered” instead of “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The study says about 77% of the remaining habitat of cheetah’s falls outside of protected areas leading to human interference.
Tell me more: According to the study led by the Zoological Society of London and the Panthera and Wildlife Conservation Society, Asiatic cheetahs have been hit the hardest with less than 50 animals remaining in one isolated pocket of Iran.
What is it? The amount 83 initial public offerings (IPOs) raised in 2016 in India, according to EY’s Global IPO Trends Report.
Why is it important? India recorded an increase of 79% in total capital raised and a growth of 38% in terms of deal volume. With the country’s IPO activity hitting a six-year high, Indian stock markets were the seventh-most active in terms of number of deals. India’s continuing regulatory reforms, positive investment climate, supportive political regime, improved business confidence, easing inflationary pressures and stable foreign direct investment inflows have been cited as the reasons for the upbeat IPO activity in the country by EY experts, which is likely to continue in 2017 as well.
Tell me more: This is in contrast to the global IPO activity where the number of IPOs decreased by 16% to 1,055 and the capital raised declined by a third to $132.5 billion during this year. In India, as many as 13 IPOs worth Rs 6,500 crore have already received the market regulator’s approvals to hit the market in 2017 while eight others with an aggregate issue size of Rs 4,700 crore have filed their draft papers.
What is it? The number of Indian start-ups that shut down in 2016, according to data analytics firm Tracxn.
Why is it important? This is a little over 51% higher than the number of start-ups (140) that closed shop last year. About 70% of start-ups that were shut down after they raised some funds were founded in 2014 or later. The reasons vary: some start-ups didn’t get their business plans and execution right; some were in a hurry to succeed and ‘failed fast’; some couldn’t face increased competition and some simply were not able raise funds at the right time.
Tell me more: PepperTap, once India’s third-largest grocery delivery service firm, topped the list of start-ups that were shut down after having raised the highest amount - it started operations in 2014 and raised as much as $51 million from a host of investors including Sequoia Capital and Saif Partners and said it would close down its operations in April this year.
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