News in numbers, Apr 21, 2016: India’s poverty rate, unethical means to meet financial targets…

$5-6

What is it? The amount of tax India’s environment minister wants developed countries to levy per tonne of coal production.

Why is it important? It could help mobilise $100 billion a year until 2020 to help developing countries such as India to tackle climate change. This is as per the Paris agreement signed last December.

Tell me more: India increased taxes on coal mining in February to $6 per tonne from $1 a tonne to limit its consumption. The country, which claims to levy the highest tax on coal mining, wants to double its coal output in another four years.

<=Rs 38

What is it? The amount on which nearly half of the Indian population (47%) lived on, in 2011-12, as per data by Global Consumption and Income Project.

Why is it important? Indicates India may have more poor people than official estimates suggest. The official poverty rate is 22%, that is, the percentage of population with less than Rs 27 per day in rural areas and Rs 33 per day in urban areas in 2011-12.

Tell me more: With $1.9 (or roughly, Rs 29) per day as the poverty line, which is closer to the official numbers, the poverty rate works out to be 28%, higher than the official estimates. No matter which poverty line one adopts, poverty rates have declined over years. The moot question: by how much.

5,134 tonnes

What is it? The quantity of gold held in Bank of England gold vaults under the streets of London stretching across 300,000 square feet.

Why is it important? These hold over 80% of the 6,256 tonnes of gold stored in London, which in turn, is a fifth of the total gold held by governments in the city. Investors turn to gold, one of the most traded assets, which is considered a safe haven during times of financial uncertainty.

Tell me more: These vaults still need a bunch of keys to be accessed with minimal dependence on technology for security measures, which some believe is easier to be compromised.

> 2,000

What is it? The reported number of courses that India’s own MOOCs (massive open online courses) platform will have.

Why is it important? It’s widely accepted that MOOCs will play a major role higher education globally, and India’s online education initiative – Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds (SWAYAM) – could potentially bring advanced courses relevant to India in local languages to millions of students of all ages.

Tell me more: Others such as Coursera and edX offer such free online courses from various universities across the world, though some of them charge for receiving verified certificates upon completion of the courses. Only 8.15% of Indians are graduates. It was estimated that India would have 402 million internet users by last December to overtake US and become the second largest internet user base in the world.  These online courses would be reportedly backed by patents and each faculty member is likely to be paid Rs 1 lakh per course.

70%

What is it? The share of Indian executives who feel at least one unethical conduct is justified to meet financial targets, according to an Ernst & Young survey.

Why is it important? This is much higher than the numbers recorded in other regions. Indian executives are most likely to bend or flout rules on every single unethical conduct than their counterparts to achieve targets. For instance, 30% of Indian executives would book revenues earlier than they should be, compared to 7% globally, 9% in emerging markets and 4% in developed markets.

Tell me more: According to a KPMG-CII 2014 report, corruption was cited as the major obstacle in doing business in India.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *