1. India has highest number of migrants abroad
According to the United Nations’ 2017 International Migration Report, India has the maximum number of people living outside its borders, followed by Mexico and the Russian Federation. Of the top 10 countries in 2017, the two that have recorded the highest increase in numbers are Syria (which is torn by civil war and now has 6.9 million of its people living in other countries) and India (an increase of 8.6 million).
2. Registered publications in India grow 3.6% in 2016-17
The number of registered publications in India saw an increase of 3.6% in 2016-17, according to an annual publication of the Registrar of Newspapers of India. This is lower than the 5.1% in 2015-16 and 5.8% in 2014-15. Yet, this growth suggests the print industry in India is doing alright at a time when digital media is growing at an exponential pace. Over 4,000 new publications were registered in India in 2016-17, while 38 ceased to exist. As of March 31, 2017, there were about 115,000 registered publications in the country. In 2016-17, growth in the number of new dailies exceeded weeklies and publications of other frequencies.
3. BJP wins Gujarat for the sixth straight time
In an election that turned out to be closer than projected, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time. In early counting, the Congress was neck to neck with the BJP, leading the benchmark BSE Sensex to plummet 800 points. But gradually, the BJP broke away, and maintained its lead over the Congress in what is a largely two-party contest. IN spite of improving its vote share marginally, the BJP finished with 99 seats, 16 fewer than 2012, while the Congress gained a similar number.
4. BJP returns to power to Himachal in anti-incumbency vote
Himachal Pradesh kept up its tradition of delivering an anti-incumbency result. The BJP romped to victory in the state, winning 44 of the 68 seats, on a 48.8% vote share. This meant a regime change in the state, which has seen the Congress and the BJP alternate in government since 1985. With Himachal, the BJP is now in power (either on its own or in an alliance) in 19 states. The last time a political party or grouping was in control of 18 states was the Congress in 1991. Since coming to power at the Centre in May 2014, the BJP has increased its state count from 8 to 19, while the Congress’ has declined from 15 to 6. At the state level, the BJP now governs 68% of India’s population, the Congress 9%.
5. Ferrari threaten to leave Formula 1 after 2020
Miffed by prospective engine rules for 2021, which aim to simplify engine technology and introduce standardised parts, Ferrari chairman Sergio Marchionne has warned that Ferrari could Formula 1 and even take other teams to an alternative championship. The contract of Ferrari with F1, like most teams, expires in 2020. There have been similar statements in the past from Ferrari before Marchionne’s time, as well as from other teams, but they have not amounted to anything. Ferrari is one of the three manufacturer-teams in the 10-team F1, the others being Mercedes and Renault. It is also the most storied team in the sport, having won 16 team titles (the last in 2008) and 15 driver titles (the last in 2007).
6. Australia lead England 3-0, win back Ashes
Australia trounced England by an innings and 41 runs in the third test at Perth. In doing so, they took an unbeatable lead of 3-0 in the series and also won back the Ashes, which they had lost to England in 2015. In the 81 test series played between the two nations, cricket’s longest rivalry and one of its keenest, Australia have now won 39, England 34, with the remaining being drawn. In this century, despite this loss, England are tied with Australia in Ashes series wins.
7. Pro-independence parties win again in Catalonia
In results declared on Thursday night, voters in the Spanish region of Catalonia backed pro-independence parties, dealing a blow to the country’s prime minister Mariano Rajoyto’s hopes of defusing the separatist movement. The three parties that support Catalonia’s secession from Spain won 70 seats in the 135-seat Parliament, while three parties that opposed it had 57 seats. The Spanish government had called early elections hoping for a more moderate Catalan administration to deal with; the previous Catalan held an illegal referendum to secede from Spain and its MPs then declared unilateral independence, triggering the country's worst political crisis in decades.
8. HDFC Bank plans to raise Rs24,000 crore via equity issuances
HDFC Bank is planning to raise Rs24,000 crore through a preferential allotment of up to Rs8,500 crore to its promoter, HDFC, and the balance via qualified institutional placement/American Depository Receipt (ADR)/Global Depository Receipts (GDR) issue. India’s most valuable bank has been a marker for growth—delivering at least 20% a year with metronomic precision—and asset quality. Since March 2015, though, the bank has seen its capital protection decline and asset quality worsen, including a case of the bank reporting a difference of opinion with the central bank on how to treat a loan asset.
9. The Last Jedi is second best all-time in 5-day collections
The Last Jedi, the eighth in the Star Wars film series, was going strong in theatres. In the US, the film was ranked second in all-time rankings of theatre collections for the first five days ($261 million), a list that is headed by the seventh Star Wars film. As of December 21, The Last Jedi had collected $573 million. The worldwide numbers become more impressive considering the film will open in China, the world's second-largest film market, only on January 5, 2018. In the US, though, it faces competition from a surfeit of Christmas releases.
10. India’s exports set to rebound in 2017-18
The revival in India’s goods exports seen in 2016-17, which followed three straight years of decline, is set to continue in 2017-18. For the 8-month period to November 2017, exports stood at $196 billion, a growth of 12% in dollar terms over the corresponding period of 2016-17. Imports, too, have shown a rising trend. Among major sectors, the one that is pulling down exports is gems and jewellery, which had shown an 8% drop till October in dollar terms.
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