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What is it? The premium for a travel insurance cover of 10 lakh while travelling in Indian Railways, from 31 August this year.

Why is it important? This will provide an option for travellers to insure against death and disability, and also towards hospitalization. Till now, the state-run monopoly was not offering the insurance option for 8.2 billion passenger trips. Compensation was paid out of Railways’ revenue.

Tell me more: In 2014-15, the Indian Railways reported 131 accidents leading to 118 deaths and injuries to 324 people. The insurance can be purchased while booking the tickets online, and is being offered by three private insurance companies.


What is it? The percentage of partial credit enhancement (PCE) that banks are allowed to provide for corporate bonds, as compared to the current limit of 20%. PCE is a credit facility that companies can use to service interest payments when there is a cash shortfall.

Why is it important? This will bring down the cost of borrowing, and at the same time, reduce India Inc.’s dependence on bank borrowing for large and long-term infrastructure projects. Borrowing cost comes down as the risk of default is low with banks backing the corporate bond at times of distress.

Tell me more: Parallelly, the central bank increased the cost of lending to large borrowers by specifying higher provisioning norms, that is, the amount of bank’s capital that needs to be set apart.


What is it? The number of non-European tennis players ranked in the world top 20 in men’s singles.

Why is it important? On Wednesday, tennis landed its equivalent of golf’s Ryder Cup. While the biennial Ryder Cup pits Europe against the US, the Laver Cup, named after Australian tennis great Rod Laver, will see European players square up against a squad from the rest of the world.

Tell me more: It remains to be seen if the Laver Cup can attain the status of the Ryder Cup. A big challenge today is the mismatch on paper: the current lot of European players have 46 singles grand slam titles between them against one for non-European ones. Back in 2000, around the last time that American men, notably Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, towered over men’s tennis, there were seven non-European players in the top 20.


What is it? The number of banks launching Unified Payments Interface-enabled payment apps.

Why is it important? These apps promise to make money transfers as easy as sending an SMS. UPI is a layer above the existing IMPS (Immediate Payment Service), an easy way to transfer money online instantaneously and inexpensively, without the hassle of registering the bank details of the recipients. UPI improves on that process in a number of ways: it’s designed for mobile and both the payer and payee can initiate a transaction, making it ideal for shopping even when the ticket size is low. UPI-enabled apps, along with the growth of mobile phones and bank accounts, could not only help speed up financial inclusion, but also take the country towards a cashless economy.

Tell me more: The apps are available on Google Play Store. The dates for iOS apps have not yet been announced. Unlike the mobile payment systems in the US (Apple, Google), UPI is public and open, which means any bank can use the interface to offer mobile payments services.


What is it? The number of days that the Kashmir valley has been under curfew.

Why is it important? This is the longest continuous spell of curfew that Kashmir has been under. The latest spell of curfew was imposed after heavy local protests following the killing of Burhan Wani, a Kashmiri militant, on 8 July.

Tell me more: Since the killing of Wani by security forces, major protests erupted across Kashmir in which security forces clashed with protesters. Security forces have responded to the throwing of stones by protestors by using pellet guns, which, while intended to be “non-lethal", have often resulted in serious injuries, including blindness. The long spell of curfew has led to heavy shortages of essential supplies. is a search engine for public data

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