News in Numbers: 15.3 million girls married before 18 years of age, shows Census 2011 data
India’s largest cab-hailing service Ola has raised $1.1 billion from China’s Tencent Holdings, Japan’s SoftBank and new unidentified US-based investors
What is it? The number of girls married before the age of 18 years in India in the nine-year period to 2011, according to Census 2011.
Why is it important? In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a man would be committing rape if he engages in sexual intercourse with his minor wife. The ruling is likely to act as a greater deterrent in preventing child marriages. This also ends the dichotomy brought about two different laws: the exception clause in Section 375, which defines rape, of the Indian Penal Code that says a man having sexual intercourse with his wife above 15 years of age is not guilty of rape, while the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act of 2012 says (aggressive) penetrative sexual assault on children below 18 years of age is rape.
Tell me more: This ruling came after the hearing of a petition by Independent Thought, a non-governmental organisation, which sought to criminalize sexual intercourse with minor wives.
What is it? The amount raised by India’s largest cab-hailing service Ola from China’s Tencent Holdings, Japan’s SoftBank and new unidentified US-based investors.
Why is it important? This is the largest funding round in the company’s six-year-old existence and the first major investment since it raised $500 million in November 2015. The latest investment would help Ola expand its war chest to counter the world’s most valuable startup Uber, for whom India has become a focus market after exiting China and Russia in the past 15 months.
Tell me more: Ola added it was in advanced talks to raise another $1 billion, which would take the total investment raised in the current round to around $2 billion.
What is it? The year-on-year drop in combined net profit of 2,744 non-government, non-financial companies in the first quarter (April to June) of 2017-18, according to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Why is it important? This was the second straight drop: in the January to March quarter, a near-similar set of 2,726 companies saw their net profit fall 6.9% on a year-on-year basis. This highlights the challenges facing corporate India. April to June was the quarter in which companies braced for a transition to a new tax regime that subsumed a host of taxes into a single tax, the goods and services tax (GST), from 1 July. This is also the quarter in which GDP growth fell to 5.7%.
Tell me more: Several institutions have since pared India’s growth projections for the full year of 2017-18, including OECD and IMF.
What is it? The number of times IMF growth projections are wrong, according to Rathin Roy, director of National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) and member of the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM).
Why is it important? The World Bank, Roy added, was 65% wrong in its growth projections. Over the past month, institution after institution has pared India’s GDP growth estimate. The World Bank lowered its GDP estimate for 2017-18 to 7% (from 7.2%) and the IMF to 6.7% (from 7.2%) for 2017.
Tell me more: EAC-PM has been mandated to recommend ways to shore up the economy. At its first meeting on Wednesday, the five-member EAC-PM rejected the idea of a fiscal stimulus, and instead listed 10 immediate policy priorities for the government.
What is it? The number of teams from the top 10 teams that have played the most matches in the football world cup to have qualified for the 2018 edition.
Why is it important? It illustrates the rising competitiveness in the footballing landscape, as smaller nations making significant advances. The three that haven’t qualified are Italy, Netherlands and Sweden. Italy and Sweden can still advance as they are in the playoffs, which will take place in November, but Netherlands can’t.
Tell me more: Netherlands has appeared in 10 world cups and has been the runner-up thrice: in 1974, 1978 and 2010. The last time Netherlands missed the world cup was in 2002.
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