News in Numbers: Serena Williams back after 404 days, to play on Women’s Day
What is it? The number of dollar billionaires who made it to the 32nd edition of the annual ranking of the world’s billionaires by Forbes magazine, released Tuesday night.
Why is it important? The combined net worth of these 2,208 people is $9.1 trillion, up 18% from a year ago. This comes at a time when inequality is increasing in the world: between 1980 and 2016, the top 1% of income earners—a set in which these billionaires will feature—captured 27% of growth, while only 12% went to the bottom 50%.
Tell me more: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in the world ($128 billion) and Mukesh Ambani is the richest in India ($39 billion).
What is it? The value of bilateral trade between India and China in 2017.
Why is it important? This is the highest ever figure in a year for India-China trade, and is a growth of 18.7% over the $71.1 billion recorded in 2016. This comes in the backdrop of the two countries clashing over the Doklam issue and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which shows how economic relations can be a equaliser. India’s exports to China increased 39% to $16.3 billion, while India’s imports from China grew 14.6% to $68.1 billion.
Tell me more: However, the bilateral trade figure is short of the $100 billion target set by the two countries in 2012 for 2015.
What is it? The number of days after which Serena Williams, one of the most decorated tennis players of all-time, is returning to the women’s tour.
Why is it important? Williams is returning to top-flight tennis at the age of 36 years, and about six months after giving birth. She is challenging templates of how sportswomen tend to be viewed on choices revolving around gender and age.
Tell me more: She is scheduled to play her first match on 8 March (8.30am IST, 9 March), International Women’s Day. Williams last played at the 2017 Australian Open, which she won and later discovered she did so while being eight weeks pregnant.
What is it? The number of MPs that Andhra Pradesh (AP) sends to the Lok Sabha.
Why is it important? Late on Wednesday night, the Telugu Desam Party, which currently rules AP and is also a partner to the BJP in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said it was pulling out its two Central ministers. Its action came in the backdrop of finance minister Arun Jaitley ruling out awarding ‘special status’ to AP. At present, of the 25 MPs, 17 are from TDP and BJP, and this break-up poses an issue for BJP for the 2019 elections.
Tell me more: For centrally sponsored schemes, the Centre pays 90% of the funds required for ‘special status category states’, against the 60% norm.
What is it? The upfront payment that Tata Steel has reportedly offered to make to banks, among other things, to buy a controlling stake in Bhushan Steel, which is currently in bankruptcy proceedings.
Why is it important? On Wednesday, in a filing with stock exchanges, Tata Steel said it had been “identified as the highest evaluated compliant resolution applicant”, or the frontrunner, to acquire Bhushan Steel. On Wednesday, in a broad market that was down 0.9%, the Tata Steel stock fell 2%.
Tell me more: If Tata Steel does bag Bhushan Steel, it would be Tata Steel’s first large acquisition since its challenging experience with Corus in 2007.
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