What is it? The number of students from government schools who have secured admission in state-run medical colleges in Tamil Nadu through the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET). Last year, it was 30.
Why is it important? Students studying in private schools and from urban centres have gained more seats this year, even as students enrolled in state-run schools have lost out. 653 students from two cities—Chennai and Coimbatore—got admission in government medical colleges, as compared to 215 last year.
Tell me more: The state, which has the highest number of government medical colleges (2,503 seats in 22 government colleges), had abolished entrance exams prior to NEET and was granting admission based only on marks scored in class 12 exams. The logic was that coaching classes are expensive and are gaming the entrance exams.
What is it? The percentage of votes secured by German Chancellor Angela Merkel coalition Christian Democrat and the Christian Social Union in federal elections.
Why is it important? This will help Angela Merkel get re-elected for the fourth time, but the vote share is the lowest for the two parties since 1949, when elections were first held after the first World War. Alternative for Germany (AfD), a right wing party that is anti-immigrant and anti-Islam, has 13% of votes and will have representation for the first time
Tell me more: The historical low vote share is seen as punishment for Angela Merkel’s policy of opening doors for 900,000 undocumented refugees and migrants. The possible coalition that will emerge will include a pro-business party, Free Democrats, and Greens, who want to phase out coal fired plants in 20 years.
Rs 500 crore
What is it? The amount the government is planning to spend to set up five scrap-based steel plants in the next one year.
Why is it important? With these, the government expects to produce 30-40 million tonnes (MT) of steel from scrap by 2030, which would partially help it achieve its target of 300 MT in crude steel capacity and production of 255 MT by 2030-31 under the National Steel Policy 2017. India meets its scrap steel demand of around 6 MT through imports and is the second largest importer of scrap after Turkey. The government claims these scrap-based steel plants, similar to the melt and manufacture steel technology used in the US, would be environment-friendly, energy-efficient and cost-effective.
Tell me more: The government-run metal scrap trading firm MSTC has partnered with Mahindra Intertrade (of the Mahindra Group) to set up the first such plant.
Rs 179.25 crore
What is it? The amount Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings, the investment arm of the world’s largest online retailer Amazon Inc, has invested in departmental store chain Shoppers Stop for a 5% equity stake.
Why is it important? This deal would help Shoppers Stop, which has a weak presence in tier-II and tier-III cities, to reach out to semi-urban and rural customers using Amazon India’s network that claims to cover 100% serviceable pin codes in India. It has 350 service partner nodes (its own delivery services to reach tier-III and tier-IV locations) and 17,500 ‘I have space’ store partners to boost its presence in smaller towns. This would also help Shoppers Stop to increase its online presence and boost its revenues and profits. It’s revenue increased by 3.4% to Rs 941.08 crore in the April-June quarter from the previous three months while its net loss nearly narrowed down by 90% to Rs 3.72 crore in the same period.
Tell me more: The e-commerce firm would create Amazon Experience Centres across the 80-strong Shoppers Stop network, which would help overcome its limitations of not being able to offer the ‘touch and feel’ experience to customers without investing in real estate. Amazon set up its first offline store in New York in 2015.
What is it? The number of people (as on Sunday evening) who have signed the petition started by Uber London on Change.org asking Transport for London to reverse its decision of banning the ride-hailing app firm once its license expires on September 30.
Why is it important? This is the fastest growing petition in the UK now, indicating that the TFL’s decision is not sitting well with many of the Londoners. Uber has 21 days to appeal TFL’s decision, The ride-hailing firm can continue running its operations in the city until all appeals processes have been exhausted. While Uber has said it is ready to make changes to get its licence renewed, it also indicated that it may approach the courts to challenge the decision, citing reasons including protecting the livelihoods of drivers and the consumer choice of millions in the city.
Tell me more: On Friday, TFL said it will not issue a private hire operator licence to Uber after it expiry at the end of the month due to its failure to report serious criminal offences, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues.