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News in Numbers: Women top UPSC exams thrice in a row

LiveMint logoLiveMint 01-06-2017 howindialives.com

5.6%

What is it? India’s gross value added (GVA) growth in January-March quarter of 2017.

Why is it important? It’s the lowest in the last eight quarters, down from 6.7% in the preceding quarter and 8.7% from the same period last year. GVA, which is calculated after subtracting the taxes and adding subsidies on products, is considered by some economists as superior to GDP in capturing economic realities. Sometimes GDP and GVA growth rates diverge, but in this quarter both declined. India saw its GDP growth rate for the quarter declining 6.1%, yielding the status of fastest growing large economy to China, which grew at 6.9% in the same quarter. GDP growth rate for the year was 7.1%.

Tell me more: GDP growth was largely affected by the construction industry which shrank (-3.7%) and by financial, real estate and professional services which grew by a meagre 2.2%. Some attributed the slowdown to lingering effects of Q3’s demonetisation, but chief statistician T.C.A. Anant said it demands more study. 

Rs93.5 crore

What is it? The reserve price of the Kingfisher House in Mumbai, which head-quartered the office of defunct Kingfisher Airlines. 

Why is it important? A sale failed to fructify at this price at the latest auction. Reserve price, set by the 17-lender consortium led by State Bank of India, had been cut 38% since its first auction held in March 2016. In every subsequent auction—there have been four since then—the price was cut by 10-15% from the previous. But the bankers’ hopes of recovering part of the Rs9,000 crore dues remained unrealised as there were no buyers for the property.

Tell me more: Another Vijay Mallya property, the Kingfisher Villa in Goa, which was put on the block at the same time, has had better luck after three failed auctions. It was sold for Rs73 crore. 

3

What is it? The number of times that women have topped the Union Public Service Commission exams in a row.

Why is it important? Nandini K.R., an Indian Revenue Services officer from Karnataka, has topped the latest (2016) civil services exams, whose results were announced on Wednesday. Interestingly, this contrasts with the gender gap in the overall success rate. Over three times as many men (846) cleared the exam than women (253). Among the top 25 candidates, 18 were men and 7 women.

Tell me more: For the 2016 exams, 1,135,943 candidates applied, 459,659 appeared and 15,452 cleared the preliminary exams. Finally, 1,099 candidates have been recommended by the commission for appointment to various public services.

13

What is it? The number of airports in India that don’t require tagging/stamping of hand baggage for domestic travellers.

Why is it important? The new procedure aimed at travellers’ convenience was first introduced in seven airports in April this year, and has been expanded to six more starting Thursday. This measure, in addition to using Aadhaar and mobile phones for authentication and pre-boarding checks, could help strike a better balance between safety and convenience. 

Tell me more: Central Industrial Security Force, which is in charge of airport security and had introduced the system in Delhi, Mumbai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad airports, has now extended it to Patna and Chennai among others.

3

What is it? The number of non-participating countries in Paris climate agreement if US decides to pull out of the deal.

Why is it important? The other two countries are Syria and Nicaragua. While the White House hasn’t made an announcement on this yet, US President Donald Trump, as a presidential candidate, had promised to pull out of the Paris deal in his first 100 days to boost US oil and coal sector. The agreement binds participating nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions. 

Tell me more: If US decides to pull out, it will impact the country’s relationship with its allies which are more committed to tackling climate change. Within the US, Trump is likely to alienate institutions and people who have been warning about the dangers of climate change. Elon Musk, for example, tweeted that he would leave White House councils if Trump decides to pull out of the deal. 

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