What is it? The percentage of LED (light emitting diode) bulb brands, besides 70% of LED downlighter brands, sold across 200 outlets in India that were found to be non-compliant with the government’s consumer safety standards, according to a survey by market research firm Nielsen.
Why is it important? The report says this would impact energy efficiency in India, which is looking to replace over 200 million incandescent light bulbs with LED light bulbs under the Ujala scheme. This would pose safety hazards for consumers besides causing losses to the government as some of these brands are manufactured illegally and sold. The total LED market is reportedly worth Rs10,000 crore, with LED bulbs and downlighters accounting for about 50%.
Tell me more: The Nielsen study was conducted in four cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. Of these, the capital recorded the highest number of Bureau of Indian Standards violations, with nearly three-fourths of LED manufacturers being non-compliant.
What is it? The aggregate employment in 1,473 medium to large companies in 2016-17, against 5.07 million in 2015-16 and 5.01 million in 2014-15, according to a study by ratings agency Care Ratings.
Why is it important? The report makes a case for employment generation not being aligned with GDP (gross domestic product) growth. The annual growth in employment in the companies under review was 1.18% in 2015-16, against GDP growth of 8%. In 2016-17, growth in employment improved to 2.25%, while GDP growth slowed to 7.1%. This is also a worrying trend for the NDA-led government, which had swept to power in 2014 with employment generation as one of its key promises.
Tell me more: The study warns it does not include the small and medium sector, which plays a dominant role in employment generation. However, it claims to be “indicative of the trends witnessed in the last two years".
What is it? The length of the proposed tunnel that China is planning to build to divert water from Brahmaputra, one of India’s largest rivers.
Why is it important? The tunnel, which would be the world’s longest if built, could become another point of tension between the two Asian countries. Recently, India and China were locked in a 73-day military stand-off over the construction of a road by the latter in Dokalam, the border tri-junction with Bhutan. The tunnel project involves draining of water from the river in southern Tibet, which is close to Arunachal Pradesh. India, a riparian state, has previously expressed concern over the number of dams being built by China on Brahmaputra; the Chinese say these are run-of-the-river projects and not used for storage purposes.
Tell me more: The tunnel is expected to drop from the world’s highest plateau in various sections connected by waterfalls and provide water to China’s Xinjiang region, a barren area in northwest China.
What is it? Number of seasons that House of Cards, the popular Netflix political drama series, will finish with. On Monday, Netflix announced the 2018 season, currently being filmed, would be its last.
Why is it important? The announcement comes a day after Kevin Spacey, one of the lead actors in the series, issued a public statement to allegations that he had made unwanted sexual advances on a 14-year-old boy in 1986. Kevin Spacey is the latest Hollywood figure to face a pushback after allegations of sexual abuse, following producers Harvey Weinstein and director James Toback.
Tell me more: Netflix maintained the decision to terminate the series—whose Season 1, aired in 2013, is ranked 33 in IMDb’s list of most popular TV shows—was made “months earlier".
What is it? The share of initial public offerings (IPOs) in 2017 that has gone to promoters and investors of companies, as compared to the companies themselves.
Why is it important? This is the highest percentage since 2003. Seen another way, only one-fifth of the combined size of IPOs has come to companies as new capital, which they can channel into avenues of growth and business enhancement. This also means that promoters and investors are using the buoyancy in the market to cash in and unlock value.
Tell me more: The current IPO rush has also seen entirely new sectors debut on Indian bourses, notably insurance and mutual funds.
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