News in Numbers, Mar 28, 2017: Aadhaar, again 🔒

    0.60 degree-C

    What is it? The rise in India’s mean temperature over the last 110 years.

    Why is it important? India’s climate is not immune to global warming that has increased land and ocean surface temperatures by 0.85 degree-Celsius. On India’s plate was extreme weather events such as heat waves which rose in the last 30 years.

    Tell me more: Pointing to this increase in a Rajya Sabha reply, the ministry of state for environment, forest and climate change, said it would focus on afforestation and renewable energy to combat the ill effects of global warming.

     

    6,604 km

    What is it? The length of National Highways constructed in FY17, till end of February.

    Why is it important? In 11 months of this fiscal, the government has been able to achieve only 44% of its target for FY17 of 15,000 km of National Highways construction.

    Tell me more: Unlike previous years, when anywhere between 76% and 99% of funds allocated for National Highways were used, this year, only 62% were utilised, albeit with a higher absolute value than the last three years.

     

    1,200

    What is it? The number of people Flipkart intends to hire this year.

    Why is it important? The largest e-commerce company in India made the announcement on the heels of a $1-billion round of funding. The move could be seen as Flipkart turning a page after last year’s fiasco of delayed joining dates at IIT campuses. The news will also provide a ray of hope in the tech sector which has seen a spate of job cuts in 2017.

    Tell me more: Flipkart’s hiring plans are 20-30% higher than last year’s and is a departure from its recent practice of depending on temporary staff to manage peak seasonal demand.

     

    4.19 lakh

    What is it? The number of prisoners in India’s 1401 jails, according to National Crime Records Bureau data.

    Why is it important? India’s home ministry has now directed the state governments and director general of prisons to get all prisoners registered for Aadhaar, India’s biometric identification and authentication programme. Biometric authentication could help manage some prison activities better – including parole, transport and appearance before the court. It could eventually help in post-release rehabilitation of prisoners, a much neglected issue in India.

    Tell me more: Home ministry has also directed that visitors be identified by Aadhaar.

     

    $130 billion

    What is it? The value of merged US chemical giants Dow and DuPont.

    Why is it important? European Commission approved their merger on Monday. The companies had to agree to heavy concessions including sale of large parts of DuPont’s pesticide business to address EC’s concerns about competition and innovation. Post merger, it will be split to three firms focussing on agriculture, materials and specialty products.

    Tell me more: This is one of the three big mergers in the sector that were awaiting EC’s go ahead. The other two are Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto and ChemChina’s $43 billion bid for Syngenta.

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