News in numbers | Niti Aayog envisages 50 medals for India in 2024 Olympics

In other news, the Cabinet committee has approved buying 36 Rafale jets from France’s Dassault Aviation that would ramp up the strength of India’s fighter aircraft fleet


Niti Aayog has made a 20-point plan to bag 50 medals in 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Mint
Niti Aayog has made a 20-point plan to bag 50 medals in 2024 Olympic Games. Photo: Mint

Rs 9,700 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian Railways pays as dividend per year for the gross budgetary support it gets from the central government.

Why is it important? With the Union cabinet approving the merger of the rail budget with the general budget, simplifying the process, the Indian Railways need not pay this dividend to the government from 2017-18 onwards. With the merger, the government hopes to bring out a better picture of the financial position of the government and do away with the procedural requirements associated with having a separate rail budget. The Railways will continue to function as a separate entity in terms of functionality and delegation of financial powers.

Tell me more: The cabinet also approved advancing the Union budget date by a month which is aimed at helping the departments and ministries in planning ahead for the next year and also, enable them to begin working on schemes from the beginning of the financial year.

50

What is it? The number of medals the government think-tank Niti Aayog hopes for India to win at the 2024 Olympic Games with its 20-point plan.

Why is it important? Though India sent its largest-ever team of athletes to the Olympics this year and had stellar performances by a few, the country won just two medals (a silver and a bronze). India finished 67th on the final medal tally but according to an analysis by adjusting for population and gross domestic product, the country comes in the last position in a list of 87 countries that won a medal at the 2016 Games, per capita.

Tell me more: The 20-point-plan consist of both short-term initiatives (4-8 years) and long-term ones (8-15 years). The initiatives include prioritising 10 sports, develop outcome-oriented plans for each, provision of institutional and private support systems for all players of each sport, scouting and harnessing natural sports talent, hiring more national and international coaches and implementing a sports injury insurance scheme.

Also read: Reading between the lines in Niti Aayog’s bid to revive sporting glory

36

What is it? The number of Rafale fighter jets India’s cabinet committee has approved to buy from France’s Dassault Aviation on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This would help boost India’s fighter aircraft fleet , which comprises of 33 Russian, British and French planes as against the Indian Air Force’s requirement of 45 (or 42) to defend itself against a collusive attack by Pakistan and China. However, the 36 fighter jets to be inducted between 2019 and 2023, will make just two squadrons , still leaving a huge gap. These jets can also be used to deliver nuclear weapons.

Tell me more: The deal , which is said to be around €7.8 billion, has a 50% offset clause. This means Indian companies would get business worth at least €3 billion and generate jobs.

$277 million

What is it? India’s current account deficit in April-June quarter. It’s 0.1% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Why is it important? The deficit was $6.1 billion during the same quarter last year. However, there were expectations that India will post its first current account surplus in 9 years in June quarter, on the back of lower imports. However, Private transfer receipts, which reflect remittances, shrank by over a billion compared to last year.

Tell me more: India’s trade deficit was down to $23.8 billion in June quarter this year from $34.2 billion a year ago. Current account surplus, or a contraction in deficit, need not always be a good news because it could be a reflection of a weak investment demand, as it’s likely the case with Indian economy now.

$9.2 Billion

What is it? The amount Volkswagen shareholders are seeking from the company over the emissions testing scandal.

Why is it important? The total amount demanded by various stakeholders is likely to exceed the amount the company has set aside - $18 billion - to cover costs related to deception. Volkswagen had already agreed to a $15 billion settlement in the United States over the issue. This claim is through more than 1,400 complaints from institutional and individual shareholders in a regional court near Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg.

Tell me more: The company had installed a software in about eleven million cars worldwide, and over 3 lakh cars in India, from 2009 to 2015 to cheat on emission tests . It came to light in September 2015 .

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