News in numbers, Jan 27, 2016: Lower forecasts for commodities, hotlines at Indian airports…

 

37

What is it? The number of commodities of 46 monitored by the World Bank are whose prices are projected to fall in 2016.

Why is it important? This is good news for major commodity importers like India, as it could boost economic growth. India consumed 3,846 thousand barrels a day of crude oil in 2014, but domestic production was only 895.

Tell me more: Crude oil prices are projected to recover from current lows (below $ 30 a barrel) to $ 37 a barrel.

 

42%

What is it? The percentage of tenders floated in the construction sector in the last 12 months that are yet to be awarded, according to State Bank of India. The composite index compiled by the bank fell to its lowest level in last one year to 47.3.

Why is it important? India’s largest bank has identified three sectors – construction, steel, and textile – that are facing headwinds, and need help. Higher non-award of tenders indicate implementation delays are still continuing.

Tell me more: Rs 509,478 crore worth of tenders were floated in 2015, but only Rs 293,073 crore were awarded.

 

1.5 acres

What is it? Proposed change in land required to set up engineering college in mega and metro cities, as compared to current norm of 2.5 acres. In rural areas, the All India Council for Technical Education recommended 7.5 acres as against 10 acres.  Other proposals include meeting 20% of faculty requirement as adjunct teachers or industry veterans.

Why is it important? The proposal, if implemented, will reduce cost of setting-up colleges in urban areas as land cost have spiralled in the last 16 years. Allowing a fifth of faculty from industry will help tide over shortages.

Tell me more: There are 3,384 engineering colleges with an annual capacity of 1.63 million students as on March 2014.

 

13

What is it? The number of airports that will have hotlines – two dedicated lines with video conferencing facilities – installed to improve security.

Why is it important? These hotlines are expected to help in hijack situations by making communication more efficient. The lines will connect crisis management room in aviation ministry and the office of cabinet secretary. Six planes have been hijacked in India since 1947.

Tell me more: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Trivandrum, Nagpur, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Lucknow and Guwahati are the airports that will have this facility.

 

74.77 million

What is it? The number of iPhones sold by Apple in quarter ended December 26, 2015

Why is it important? This is essentially flat from 74.5 million iPhones it sold during the same period last year, underlining concerns that iPhone sales might have plateaued. iPhones account for 68% of revenues for the company. It’s important for Apple because it hasn’t yet launched a product that’s as successful as iPhone. While iWatch and Apple TV saw record sales last quarter, they come nowhere close to iPhones. Apple car, whose launch could be years away, is facing roadblocks.

Tell me more: Apple has projected a revenue of $50 billion to $53 billion in the current quarter ending March 2016, from $58 billion a year ago. This will be the first time its revenue declined in the last 13 years.

 

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