News in Numbers: 87,000 manufacturing jobs lost from April-June 2017
What is it? The number of manufacturing jobs lost between April and June 2017.
Why is it important? The contraction in job opportunities highlight the challenge faced by the government’s ‘Make in India’ program. In the 15 months between April 2016 and June 2017, manufacturing sector created only 110,000 new jobs (or 22%) in the eight sectors surveyed.
Tell me more: The quarterly survey by the Labour Bureau is not an estimate on unemployment. It surveyed 11,179 units that employ at least 10 people or more in eight sectors. These sectors constitute 81% of total employment of units with 10 or more employees.
What is it? The quantum of market capitalisation lost by state-owned banks, after a $1.8 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank (PNB) came to light last Wednesday.
Why is it important? The discovery of fraud at state-run banks will mean further deterioration of asset quality, even as they struggle with bad loans. This would also mean government may have to increase capital support to these banks.
Tell me more: The alleged fraud by Nirav Modi and his firm involve getting fraudulent letters of undertaking from a PNB branch in Mumbai, and using the same to get credit from other Indian lenders. UCO Bank, State Bank of India and Allahabad Bank have declared their exposure at Rs2,636 crore, Rs1,360 crore and Rs2,000 crore, respectively.
What is it? The number of companies, in addition to 18 businessmen, who had taken up the franchise businesses of the jewellery brands of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi between 2013 and 2017, and reportedly filed criminal complaints against them for fraud and breach.
Why is it important? The complaints filed by these firms and businesspersons who have allegedly become bankrupt, include Choksi’s firms refusing to send stocks of diamonds and precious gems despite taking security deposits in the range of Rs3-20 crore for sending items whose market prices were actually less but whose showroom prices were 3-4 times that of the actual rates, and not paying rental for the franchisee showrooms.
Tell me more: This relates to the Rs11,400-crore alleged fraud detected by the Punjab National Bank where Modi and Choksi have been named the accused. Choksi is said to be a partner in three firms of Modi, which are under the scrutiny of the Central Bureau of Investigation.
What is it? The ideal share of components for electric vehicles (EV) (plus, all the software) that needs to be manufactured indigenously to keep India’s EV grid secure, according to V.K. Saraswat, a member of government think tank Niti Aayog.
Why is it important? Currently, India is heavily reliant on Chinese imports for EV components, including batteries and their management systems, which could result in information being passed onto the equipment supplier and endanger national security. This is another challenge that India would have to face in addition to limited lithium resources (for making lithium-ion batteries) even as China is taking steps to achieve monopoly on lithium reserves.
Tell me more: India’s recent stance that it does not require an EV policy could mean the lack of a proper road map for stakeholders to take necessary steps to mitigate these challenges.
What is it? The number of manholes in Thiruvananthapuram, which will be cleaned by robots, developed by startup firm Genrobotics.
Why is it important? This effort, the first of its kind by a state in India, is to end manual scavenging and could be replicated in other states as well. Even though the practice is illegal in India, India has 2.6 million dry latrines that require removal of human excreta manually. The government claims that there are only 426 manual scavengers in the country though activists say the number is much higher. A total of 323 deaths of manual scavengers have been reported since 1993, as per official data.
Tell me more: The Kerala government is reportedly planning to undertake a pilot study at Ernakulam or Kozhikode to determine the number of manual scavengers in the state.
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