News in Numbers, Mar 15, 2017: Money travels less 👣

3.65%

What is it? The retail price inflation in February.

Why is it important? The rate of growth, year-on-year, of consumer price inflation climbed up after six months of falling. Prices of fuel and food contribute mostly to the fluctuations, as RBI specified non-food and non-fuel inflation to not have budged from 4.9% since September. CPI mirrors the consumer food price inflation which shows the first increase in seven months by 2.01%.

Tell me more: Wholesale price inflation, too, rose by 6.55% in February, spurred again by positive price rise in food and cost of fuel and power.

 

~500

What is it? The estimated number of employees who will be offered a voluntary retirement scheme by Tata Motors.

Why is it important? Even though it is less than 1% (0.8%) of Tata Motors’ total employee strength of 60,000 people, this is the second time in two years that it resorted to a VRS. As  the automaker’s domestic business drags down the overall profits with its losses, the scheme is being used to cut costs in a restructuring exercise.

Tell me more: While top tier has been approved and decided, the mid-level of its management structure is being discussed.

 

3 times

What is it? The higher energy density in a new solid-state battery compared to today’s lithium ion batteries. It was invented by John Goodenough, father of lithium-ion batteries.

Why is it important? The invention has now been endorsed by Alphabet Inc’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, who termed it as “promising”. The 94-year-old inventor’s new all-glass batteries could solve the world’s energy storage problems with its higher capacity to hold energy. It could push up electric car adoption.

Tell me more: The batteries are said to be safer as they transmit energy at lower temperatures than lithium-ion ones and can be made at very low cost given ample supply of sodium around the world.

 

5

What is it? The number of Mumbai railway stations that Shiv Sena wants to be renamed

Why is it important? The far-right regional party wants the stations to shed the colonial imprint, underlining how names and symbols have a strong political resonance. Such demands have gained momentum in the last few decades. Mumbai got its official name changed from Bombay in 1995 (followed by Chennai (Madras) and Kochi (Cochin) in 1996 and Kolkata (Calcutta) in 2001)

Tell me more: Shiv Sena wants Mumbai Central to be renamed after Jagannath Shankar Seth, and Charni Road, Elphinstone Road, Curry Road and Sandhurst Road stations to be renamed as Girgaum, Prabhadevi, Lalbaug and Dongri respectively.

 

~ Rs 1000 crore

What is it? The amount spent by Indian telecom players on advertisements in 2016, according to the Pitch Madison Advertising Report.

Why is it important? This is up 50% from the previous year, and reflects the fight for customers last year, triggered by the launch of Jio. Reliance Jio Infocomm, which launched its services last year, had telecom players not only reduce their prices but also step up on advertising to gain, and more importantly, retain customers. Jio’s introductory offer included free call and data till end of March 2017.

Tell me more: Airtel was the biggest spender in 2016, splurging Rs 450 crore to Rs 550 crore on ads. Jio spent Rs 100 crore to 150 crore. Jio is aiming at 50% market share by 2021.

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