What is it? The worth of 30 properties of Sahara group in which conglomerates have evinced interest in buying.
Why is it important? The auction, reportedly in its early stage, will not appease the Supreme Court, even if the entire money raised is deposited with it. The court turned down the proposal and insisted on the group selling its expansive Aamby Valley project as it had failed to meet the apex court’s timeline for depositing Rs5,000 crore. Aamby Valley’s value is reportedly between Rs34,000 and Rs39,000 crore, while the Sahara group says it is over Rs1 trillion. The 30 properties, which includes Lucknow’s Sahara Hospital, would fetch around 50% (Rs14,779 crore) of the amount still owed to investors as per Sebi’s instructions if not sold in a hurry, and less if they are.
Tell me more: Realty consultant Knight Frank India has been tasked with carrying out the sale. The interested buyers include Tatas, Godrej, Adani, Patanjali, realty developers Omaxe, Eldeco, Indian Oil and Apollo Hospital.
What is it? The death toll in the bus crash near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.
Why is it important? India’s killer roads become deadlier with altitude. The bus veered off a mountain road and plunged into a river, killing those on board. In 2015, as many as four hilly states figured among 10 states with the highest severity (deaths in every 100 accidents), even though compared to cities and metros in other densely-populated states, traffic is less in such states. Himachal Pradesh had 36.4% severity, while neighbouring Uttarakhand 59.9%.
Tell me more: Two people travelling on the bus were able to escape by jumping off before the bus fell.
What is it? The number of places in Arunachal Pradesh for which China has announced its own names and spellings—in Chinese, Tibetan and English.
Why is it important? This is being seen as China’s retaliation to the Dalai Lama’s visit to the Indian state. China’s foreign ministry spokesperson mentioned the move as reflecting and explaining its claims on ‘Southern Tibet’, China’s name for Arunachal Pradesh. While India is yet to respond to the reaffirmation of China’s territorial claim, it had refuted the latter’s objections to Dalai Lama’s visit, saying there was no political motive to it and the spiritual leader’s visit was religious in nature.
Tell me more: It was the Dalai Lama’s second visit to the state that stirred up such a storm.
What is it? The number of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units to be bought by Election Commission.
Why is it important? The election commission wants to ensure that by 2019 general elections, all polling stations have electronic voting machines with VVPAT units, which will confirm to the voters that their votes were registered accurately. The machines will cost Rs3,173 crore. The cabinet approved the funding on Wednesday.
Tell me more: These machines will be manufactured by state-owned Bharat Electronics and Electronics Corp. of India.
What is it? The weight of payload that can be carried by Indian Space Research Organisation’s new rocket GSLV-Mk III.
Why is it important? It’s almost double the weight of the heaviest payload that Indian rockets have launched so far. The first developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III (D1) is scheduled to take place next month. The second developmental flight is likely to happen a year from now. It would reduce India’s dependence on other countries to launch heavier satellite, besides creating more opportunities for revenue generation.
Tell me more: The first developmental flight will take communication satellite GSAT 19, which will also monitor the effect of radiation on the satellite and electronic equipment.
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