What is it? The erosion in farm income in unirrigated areas due to extreme temperature and rainfall events, induced by climate change, in a scenario where there are no policy responses, according to forecasting by the Economic Survey 2017-18, released on Tuesday.
Why is it important? In the backdrop of this government’s tall promise to double farm incomes by 2022, it drives home two points: the impact of climate change on agri yields and the imperative to help farmers with irrigation, even as groundwater resources deplete. According to the Survey, the area irrigated was about 40%, with parts of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand vulnerable to climate change on account of not being well-irrigated.
Tell me more: The Survey preface contained a section titled ‘ten new facts on the Indian economy’, which chronicled an increase in taxpayers after the twin policy moves of demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax).
What is it? The amount of money from 21 loans extended by financial services major Religare Enterprises to seemingly independent companies that was routed to private entities belonging to Religare promoters, Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh.
Why is it important? This information, quoted from a central bank investigation of the company’s 2015-16 accounts, is part of a lawsuit filed by a private equity firm against the Singh brothers, accusing them of “diversion, siphoning and digression of assets". Although Religare has denied the allegations, it opens up another front against the Singh brothers, who are battling debt and legal troubles that date back to their sale of pharma company Ranbaxy to Daiichi Sankyo in 2008.
Tell me more: The suit has been filed by Siguler Guff & Company, which manages over $10 billion in assets and has a 6% stake in Religare Finvest.
What is it? The value of secondary share sales made by about 100 former and current employees of Paytm in the digital payments and e-commerce unicorn. About 20-25 Paytm employees made over $1 million each.
Why is it important? In the last two months, this is the second such instance of a significant number of holders of employee stock options (Esops) in an unlisted Internet business cashing in, the other being in Flipkart. For Paytm itself, this was the third time it has enabled such a transaction in the last two years. Such exits will lend Esops greater legitimacy as a compensation tool in the startup ecosystem.
Tell me more: In the latest share sales, Paytm was valued at $10 billion, which is $3 billion more than what its valuation in March 2017, when it received a funding round from Softbank.
What is it? The percentage of electoral trust funding that went to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in 2016-17. Of the total amount of Rs325 crore, the BJP received Rs290 crore.
Why is it important? With a general election due in the next 18 months, there’s been an increase in the total amount distributed by electoral trusts, as well as an increase in the share of the ruling party within that. In 2014-15, the previous instance of a sizeable outgo from electoral trusts, the BJP received 62% of the Rs177 crore.
Tell me more: In 2016-17, the highest contribution was from Prudent Electoral Trust, formerly Satya Electoral Trust (Rs283.7 crore), and donors to it included DLF (Rs28 crore), UPL (Rs25 crore) and JSW Energy (Rs25 crore).
What is it? The speed of a short ball delivered by all-rounder Jofra Archer, while playing for the Hobart Hurricanes in a Big Bash League match.
Why is it important? Archer’s stock in T20 leagues is on the rise. After a stirring performance at Hobart, the past four days have seen the 22-year-old being picked by Rajasthan Royals for Rs11.25 crore and then on Tuesday by the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League
Tell me more: Archer, a West Indian by birth, has chosen to take the qualification route to play international cricket for England, but he won’t be eligible till 2022, when he will be 27. Meanwhile, in 37 T20 matches, he has compiled noticeable records with the bat and the ball, and is also an athletic fielder.
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