News in Numbers: Bharti Airtel will acquire 40 million subscribers after Tata Tele deal
What is it? The number of subscribers Bharti Airtel would acquire once it gets regulatory approvals to acquire the consumer mobile businesses of Tata Teleservices and Tata Teleservices Maharashtra. The two groups announced the merger of their businesses on Thursday.
Why is it important? This is a major step towards further consolidation in the telecom sector, which is beset with many problems, including a cumulative debt of Rs4,85,000 crore and Rs3,00,000 crore dues in spectrum payment charges, an escalating pricing war in recent months, decreasing margins and the possibility of job losses.
What is it? The number of years since the dentist couple, Rajesh Talwar and Nupur Talwar, have been in prison serving life imprisonment after being declared guilty by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court of murdering their 13-year-old daughter Aarushi Talwar and domestic help Hemraj.
Why is it important? A division bench of the Allahabad high court on Thursday acquitted Aarushi’s parents, saying it was giving them the benefit of doubt and that the CBI had been unable to prove their guilt. It accepted the Talwars’ argument that the case against them was based on circumstantial evidence. Their daughter was found with her throat slit in her bed in May 2008 and Hemraj was suspected to be the killer. However, he was found dead on the terrace of the Talwars’ residential building the next day. Investigators alleged the murder was an inside job as the apartment was not broken into and the victims were in the presence of the Talwars before being killed.
Tell me more: The CBI said it would study the Thursday verdict before deciding if it would appeal against their acquittal or not.
What is it? The pace at which India’s factory output, as shown by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew on a year-on-year basis in August.
Why is it important? This was the fastest pace in nine months, indicating that companies had increased production to meet festive season demand. This could be an early indication of a recovery in India’s economy, which slowed down to a three-year-low of 5.7% in the April-June quarter. The August IIP number follows two months of low growth figures owing to the uncertainties regarding the newly-implemented goods and services tax from 1 July.
Tell me more: In a separate set of data released by the government on Thursday, retail inflation, as represented by the Consumer Price Index, rose to 3.28% in September on a year-on-year basis—the same growth rate as registered in the previous month. This may not give the central bank much room to cut key interest rates.
What is it? The number of days to go for the state elections in Himachal Pradesh. On Thursday, the Election Commission of India (EC) announced that elections in Himachal would be held on 9 November.
Why is it important? The EC was also expected to announce the election dates for Gujarat, the other state going to polls, but it did not. This triggered off a political storm, with the Congress accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of pressuring the EC to delay the announcement to suit its political ends. Once polls are announced, the model code of conduct kicks in, curtailing the administrative powers of an incumbent party.
Tell me more: The EC normally holds elections together in states where incumbent governments are completing their five-year term within six months and poll dates are announced simultaneously. Results for both Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat will be declared on 18 December.
What is it? The amount raised by PolicyBazaar, an online financial services portal, in its latest funding round, according to its chief executive Yashish Dahiya.
Why is it important? This is the sixth funding round for PolicyBazaar, and the amount is the most it has raised. The company intends to invest in technology-led customer service initiatives, invest in its loans and credit cards business, and enter distribution of mutual funds, marking a widening of the online financial services space.
Tell me more: Three new investors have come into the company in this funding round. According to Dahiya, the company broke even in 2016-17, on the back of an increase in revenues from Rs109 crore in 2015-16 to Rs220 crore.
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