What is it? The potential writedowns Tata Group companies could face because of five unprofitable businesses he inherited, according to Cyrus Mistry, former chairman of Tata Sons Ltd (the holding company of the group). This is from a leaked email written by Mistry to the board of Tata Sons.
Why is it important? The email throws some light on one side of the series of dramatic events that have been unfolding at Tata Sons beginning with the ouster of Mistry on Monday at a board meeting. Mistry mentioned that the capital employed in “legacy hotspots” (The Indian Hotels Co., Tata Motors, Tata Steel Europe, Tata Power Mundra and its telecom subsidiaries) had increased from Rs.1.32 trillion in 2011 to Rs.1.96 trillion in 2015, which is more than the group’s net worth (Rs.1.74 trillion).
Tell me more: Expressing disbelief at having been sacked without being given a chance to defend himself, Mistry outlined the group’s performance under his chairmanship and also justified his actions given the challenges the companies faced. Leading stock exchanges (the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange) have asked the listed companies of Tata Group for clarifications and the market regulator is looking into the case for any possible breach of corporate governance and listing norms.
What is it? India’s ranking in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2016.
Why is it important? India has moved up 21 positions from last year. However, in terms of gender parity through indices ‘health and survival’, ‘economic participation and opportunity’ and ‘educational attainment’, India ranked poorly—142nd (of 144 countries), 136th and 113th respectively. The only parameter it did well was in terms of ‘political participation’—it ranked ninth.
Tell me more: Globally, the picture is worrying too. The report says it would take at least 170 years for women to earn as much as men and this is much higher than the 118 years it had predicted last year.
What is it? The estimated number of unique mobile subscribers in India by 2020, up from 616 million subscribers at the end of June 2016, according to global industry body GSMA.
Why is it important? This will increase mobile phone penetration rate to 68% in four years from 47% in 2015, marking huge shifts in the way people communicate, work and live, not to forget its impact on the country’s social economy. The telecom industry (direct economic activity generated by mobile operators and the ecosystem of mobile industries) contributed to 6.5% of India’s GDP (gross domestic product) in 2015—equivalent to over Rs.9 trillion of economic value added. This is expected to increase to Rs.14 trillion by 2020.
Tell me more: The number of 3G/4G mobile than broadband connections is expected to cross 670 million by 2020, about half (48%) of the total connection base.
21.66 million tonnes
What is it? Wheat stocks in government godowns as on 1 October 2016.
Why is it important? This is a nine-year low, and only a shade above the minimum reserves it needs to have as per norm—indicating that the government is aiming for adequacy of inventory, not surfeit. Four years ago, it had double the prescribed buffer, which raised questions about money being wasted.
Tell me more: Global wheat production is at record levels, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, and last month, India cut import duty on wheat to increase supply in private markets.
What is it? The number of kinds of friendships people tend to make—“tight-knitters”, “compartmentalizers” and “samplers”, according to a study.
Why is it important? This could help shed light on how people form friendships, how it influences or affects them and the society and what kind of impact it has on their success. A tight-knitter is one who has a thick set of friends where everyone knows each other, a compartmentalizer is someone who has two to four groups of friends who don’t know each other and a sampler is one who has one-on-one friendships but does not depend on them for their success.
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