Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

News in numbers | Emergency number 112 to be rolled out soon

The single number was proposed by the telecom regulator in April 2015, and was approved by Telecom Commission on Monday

35

What is it? The total number of self-made billionaires in 2014 in India, according to a paper from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, US.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of entrepreneurship in a country. Self-made billionaires account for two-thirds of the total number of billionaires in India. Their wealth grew nearly 17 times since 2001 compared to nine times for billionaires who inherited wealth.

Tell me more: India had just three billionaires in 1996, which grew to five in 2001 and increased 11-fold to 56 in 2014.

2,149 crore

What is it? The price at which Fairfax Group is buying a 33% stake in Bangalore International Airport from GVK Power and Infrastructure.

Why is it important? The deal, which is expected to be completed by mid-2016, would help GVK pare its debt by 2,000 crore and bring down its interest costs by around 300 crore per year. GVK’s airport division has debt of 3,500 crore. For Canadian billionaire Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Group, this is its biggest investment in India since it launched a dedicated investment company for the country in 2014.

Tell me more: Post the deal, the firm’s stake in BIAL, which owns and operates the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore, would be reduced to 10%.

7.94%

What is it? The stake Tata Sons would buy from Arun Bhatia, who owns 9.94% in AirAsia India. The remaining 0.5% and 1.5% would be bought by two Tata Sons executives, AirAsia India chairman S. Ramadorai and director R. Venkataramanan.

Why is it important? The deal, which is expected to be completed by April, would see Tata Sons’ holding in AirAsia go up to 49% from 41.06%. Bhatia had earlier alleged that the airline was being controlled by the Malaysian partner, AirAsia Berhad, which owns 49% in the venture, and that the airline’s growing losses were due to poor management and expensive third-party agreements with companies affiliated to AirAsia Berhad. Indian rules allow foreign entities to own up to 49% in Indian airlines but the management control must be with the Indian partner.

Tell me more: AirAsia India recently named Amar Abrol as its new chief executive officer with effect from April, replacing Mittu Chandilya, who led the airline since its launch in 2013.

112

What is it? India’s national emergency number expected to be rolled out in the next few months.

Why is it important? It will bring down confusion and delays. Currently, there are different numbers for different emergency services: 100 for police, 101 for fire, 102 for ambulance and 108 for emergency disaster management.

Tell me more: The single number was proposed by the telecom regulator in April 2015, and was approved by Telecom Commission on Monday. It had also recommended that the existing emergency numbers remain as secondary numbers and calls made to these numbers be routed to ‘112’.

$599

What is it? The price of the Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset, launched by Facebook-owned Oculus on Monday.

Why is it important? This is the first of the three high-end virtual reality headsets to be released this year and would be used to gauge users’ interest. The other two, HTC Vive and Sony PlayStation VR, would be priced at $799 and $399, respectively. Augmented/virtual reality sector is likely to hit $150 billion by 2020, according to Digi Capital.

Tell me more: Some reviews say Oculus Rift is a bit too pricey (especially due to the fact that it works with only high-end gaming PCs) and its usage is currently restricted to hard-core gamers.

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