Surge comes to trains – News in Numbers September 8



What is it? The maximum mark-up allowed under surge pricing, introduced by the Indian Railways yesterday for Rajdhani, Duronto and Shatabdi trains.

Why is it important? At a 50% mark-up, the price of a Delhi-Mumbai second AC Rajdhani ticket will increase from Rs 2,825 to Rs 4,237—a level where airlines can compete with it on advance bookings. At 10.30 PM on September 7, the cheapest Delhi-Mumbai 6 am flight on September 8 was for Rs 7,422. But, for September 15, it was for Rs 2,550.

Tell me more: For the loss-making, state-owned organisation whose attempts to increase passenger fares meet with stiff resistance, this is its first attempt to raise passenger fares with demand. And it’s bold: only 10% of seats will be available at the base fare.


What is it? The amount of equity stake that ICICI Prudential Life Insurance will offload via the Initial Public Offer (IPO) later this month.

Why is it important? This is the first IPO by an insurance company in India. If successful, the share issuance is likely to be biggest in six years. The likely valuation for the company is between Rs 45,000 crore and Rs 48,000 crore.

Tell me more: ICICI Prudential is India’s largest private life insurance company. But will lose its number 1 status, if its two rivals- HDFC Standard Life and Max Life Insurance Company- agree to combine. State-owned Life Insurance Corporation is still India’s largest life insurance company.


What is it? The increase in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) recorded by airlines on domestic Indian routes in July, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Why is it important? Of the seven countries for which IATA released domestic air traffic data and which account for 82% of global domestic traffic, India was the fastest growing in RPKs by a country mile. The next best was China at 10.2% and US at 1.6%. Globally, the domestic piece grew at 3.8%.

Tell me more: India’s domestic airlines did not just fly more than others. They also expanded more, posting the highest increase in available seat km (ASK), of 20.5%. Riding on such tailwinds, the once-beleaguered SpiceJet yesterday reported its sixth consecutive profitable quarter.

2,211 kg

What is it? The launch mass of Insat 3DR weather satellite to be launched on Thursday at

Why is it important? The satellite will provide better measurements of vertical changes of humidity, temperature and ozone content in Earth’s atmosphere and of night time clouds and sea temperature, improving India’s ability to make better weather forecasts. In the rocket launches space, today’s is a landmark because this is the first operational launch with  Indian built cryogenic engine.

Tell me more: India has had much better success rate with its workhorse Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle series compared to GSLV. India has launched 9 GSLVs so far, of which four failed.

138 grams

What is it? Weight of the new iPhone 7, which is about 3.5% lighter than iPhone 6S

Why is it important? The lighter weight is thanks to internal changes such as doing away with the audio jack, even though the new model’s design is the same as iPhone 6 launched two years ago. The removal of 3.5mm audio jack has met with mixed reactions, with some calling it an “annoy-ovation” (an improvement that annoys customers). The audio jack is ubiquitous, and can work with any headphone picked up from the market. But then Apple has often led the way in changing trends. It was the first to do away with floppy disks on computers. Apple argued that the sound quality is better on bluetooth headphones or on lightning port.

Tell me more: In some of the other changes in the latest version of the company’s flagship product, Apple has only been keeping up with the competition. For example, Samsung had introduced water resistant body back in 2014. The dual cameras for depth of field (in iPhone 7 plus) were already available in LG and Huawei earlier this year. Apple’s iPhone sales have been sluggish this year, and many analysts believe Apple has to do something disruptive to maintain its lead.



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