In other news, the CBI has registered a case of criminal conspiracy against 5 people including AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes
What is it? The number of days in advance that the southwest monsoon has set in over Kerala.
Why is it important? This is the earliest start to the monsoon, which delivers around 70% of India’s annual rainfall and irrigates more than the country’s farm lands, since 2011. This is the second consecutive year in which the monsoon has either arrived early or on time. Last year, it set in on 30 May as expected and had recorded delays in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016. However, officials say there is no correlation between the timing of the monsoon’s arrival and the quantity of rainfall received.
Tell me more: The India Meteorological Department, which has predicted a normal monsoon this year, announces its arrival based on the meeting of some parameters such as consistency of rainfall over a particular geography, cloudiness, intensity and wind speed.
What is it? The number of people including AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, in addition to a some government officials, against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR (first information report).
Why is it important? The charges by the CBI allege Fernandes and others bribed government officials through middlemen to influence policies that include getting a flying permit and approvals to fly on international routes. This could hinder AirAsia’s expansion plans, which include increasing its fleet size to about 70, aiming to be among the top three airlines in the low-cost carrier segment, connect more tier-II and tier-III cities and begin its international operations by January 2019.
Tell me more: In 2016, India scrapped the 5/20 rule (granting of international licences to airlines that have had domestic operations for five years and have at least 20 aircraft in their fleet) that has benefited carriers such as the Indian affiliates of Air Asia.
What is it? The number of months by which India has postponed the roll out of 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) to March 2019. The original plan was to roll out 500 EVs by November and the rest by June.
Why is it important? This is a setback to India’s targets of having EVs comprise around a third of the total number of vehicles on the road by 2030. Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, a government-owned entity, which is to procure 10,000 EVs to replace the petrol/diesel vehicles owned by government officials, says the delay is due to the need for a higher number of charging points and the states being slow in taking deliveries.
Tell me more: The government had initially targeted all or most of India’s vehicles be powered by electricity by 2030 but scaled down its ambitions a couple of months ago.
Why is it important? This will increase the return ticket between Delhi and Mumbai—the most popular route—by Rs800. The move by Indigo Airlines, which has the highest share of 40% in domestic market, is likely to be followed by others. Jet Airways, with 14.7% market share, comes a distant second.
Tell me more: Indigo cited higher fuel prices and rupee depreciation as reasons for levying fuel surcharge. Between 1 April and 28 May this year, crude oil prices (Indian basket) have increased by $12.15 a barrel, or 19%.
Why is it important? This is Serena’s first grand slam after she won the Australian open in January 2017. In between she gave birth and her daughter is now nine months old. Though she moved sluggish in the crowd in few rallies, Serena’s serve and serve returns helped her to win the match. She served 13 aces, and converted three out of four breakpoints that came her way.
Tell me more: India’s sole entrant in the singles event, Yuki Bhambri, lost his first round singles match in straight sets. He pocketed Euro 40,000 for qualifying for the main draw.
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