News in Numbers, Aug 29, 2016: Under-reporting of TB cases, ISRO’s scramjet engine test…

22 lakh

What is it? The number of patients that sought treatment from private doctors for tuberculosis in 2014, according to a study. Reporting TB cases by private doctors to the government is mandatory.

Why is it important? This indicates under-reporting by private doctors to the government about the number of TB cases. Private doctors reported just over a lakh of TB cases to the government in 2014. The patients who sought private care spent Rs 395 crore on drugs alone whereas the government offers free treatment in state-run hospitals.

Tell me more: The study was published in Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal. The government’s National Strategic Plan (201-17) aims for a TB-free India. Its had targeted to include early detection and diagnosis of at least 90% of the estimated TB cases by 2015. In addition, it had also aimed to extend the state-run Revised National TB Control Program to those diagnosed and treated in the private sector.

 

2

What is it? The number of scramjet engines that were tested at the launch of ISRO’s Advanced Technology Vehicle from Sriharikota on Sunday.

Why is it important? The technology used in this launch could bring down launch costs by up to 10-fold. Generally, rockets carry both fuel and oxidiser for combustion but in this case, the scramjet engines used oxygen from the atmosphere for combustion, which decreases their weight and increases their efficiency. India is the fourth countryto demonstrate the scramjet engines’ flight.

Tell me more: In addition to another current project that focuses ondevelopment of a reusable launch vehicle, this would help position ISRO as one of low-cost space transportation and exploration service providers.

 

91.79%

What is it? The percentage of police officers in India that face mild to severe fatigue due to occupational hazards, according to a study.

Why is it important? This leads to poor concentration and judgment, reduced vigilance, eye-hand coordination and visual perception, impaired recollection of events and slow reaction times. The alarming percentage suggests that this could be one of the main but often-ignored reasons for the inefficient law enforcement system in the country. India ranked 59 among 102 countries on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index 2015. In terms of order and security(includes threats such as conventional crime, political violence, violence used as a means to redress personal grievances), it ranks 90 in the list.

Tell me more: The reasons for a majority of the police officers experiencing fatigue include irregular working hours, lack of proper sleep, inadequate or untimely food, inability to meet family members even after work hours, alcohol use, smoking and the non-availability of basic facilities (even bathing), according to the study sponsored by theBureau of Police Research and Development.

 

Rs 30 crore

What is it? The amount the Sports Ministry spent on athletes in the last eight months before the Rio Olympics.

Why is it important? This was a classic case of too little, too late. Sports training requires vigorous and long years of training. The ministry launched the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) only in February 2015. Besides, there needs to be a better mechanism to spot talent: of the 109 athletes supported by the ministry, less than a third (27.5%) qualified for Rio Olympics while over two-thirds of those funded under TOPS qualified them to compete in the Games.

Tell me more: India spends Rs 3,200 crore on youth affairs and sports (according to an analysis of sports budgets of six large states), a third of what the UK spends annually on sports training and infrastructure (Rs 9,000 crore).

 

7%

What is it? Japan’s Alzheimer’s disease rate in 2008, up from 1% in 1985 due to the country moving from its traditional to the Western diet, according to a study.

Why is it important? The study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, says that consumption of traditional foods of countries such as Japan, India and Nigeria lowers the risk of the disease when compared to consumption of a Western diet, which has higher meat content, sweets and high-fat dairy items. Globally, there are 47 million people who have dementia, of which there are 4.1 million people in India, according to a 2015 report.

Tell me more: Consumption of fish, vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products are linked to reduced risks of this disease.

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Where PV Sindhu scored and where men’s hockey didn’t

 

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Standing just a centimetre short of six feet, silver medallist P.V. Sindhu was the tallest player in the women’s individual badminton event at the Rio Olympics. At 21 years, she was also one of the youngest. Sindhu weighs the same as Saina Nehwal, but the latter carries the same weight on a frame that is 14 cm shorter. For Sindhu, one of the rare Indian bright spots in Rio, that alchemy of reach, lightness and youth worked in her favour. Physically, she was well-matched compared to her rivals.

Sindhu was the tallest player in women’s singles

Sindhu was a rare instance of an Indian sportsperson matching up well physically against their competitors. In most cases, Indians don’t size up well against their rivals, shows data on height and weight from the official website of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Take the Indian men’s hockey team, which was tipped for a medal. Its average height of 1.77 metres made it the shortest among the 12 teams in the competition—7 centimetre less than Germany, the tallest squad. With an average weight of 73 kg, it was the lightest—7 kg less than the leader, once again Germany.

 

 

Indian men’s hockey was the shortest

Height and weight matter differently in different sports. In hockey, for example, the sport has moved from an emphasis on dribbling skills—in the penalty shootout in the women’s hockey final between Germany and Netherlands, nine out of 10 players failed to beat the goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation—to speed and aggressive body play.

Studies have shown that players have an arm span 5 cm more than their height and a stride length on synthetic turf of 1.35 times their height, and they take two strides per second. A rough calculation, built on these numbers and the average height of the hockey teams at Rio, shows that, all else remaining equal, that height disadvantage resulted in the Indian player being 0.217 seconds slower than his German counterpart over a distance of 27.5 metres (between the top of the shooting circle and the half line).

 

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News in Numbers, Aug 19, 2016: SBI board approves merger, Sindhu aims for the gold…

63,000

What is it? The number of jobs technology companies in the US have shed so far this year, according to an outplacement agency.

Why is it important? Automation is replacing jobs, and analysts say that this trend is likely to continue. Hardware engineers are the most hit with firms such as Cisco making the shift to more profitable software-oriented services. Cisco laid off 5,500 employees recently and it may affect its research and development centre in India.

Tell me more: Other companies that are likely to lay off employees are IBM Corp, Oracle Corp, Dell Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to analysts. A Global Equities Research analyst said the tech industry is likely to shed 370,000 jobs this year.

 

Rs 37 lakh crore

What is it? The balance sheet size of State Bank of India (SBI) and its five associate banks post merger. This proposal was cleared by its board on Thursday.

Why is it important? The announcement was made in May and this is the first step in what is believed to lead to a major consolidation phase in the banking sector after many years. This, despite the fact that bank unions have been opposing the move and have gone on strikes in the recent past.

Tell me more: The SBI has announced swap ratios (acquiring company offers its shares in exchange for the target company’s shares) for three of its associate banks (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore), in addition to that for Bharatiya Mahila Bank. It is yet to announce the swap ratios for State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.

 

1.6 million

What is it? The number of pellets fired by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) between July 8 and August 11 to control violent mobs in Kashmir, as per its admission to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday.

Why is it important? The use of pellet guns, which caused eye injuries (including loss of vision) to many, has come under sharp criticism by human rights organisations and political parties. After Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement in July that the government would form an expert panel to consider other non-lethal alternatives for crowd control measures, the court had said this meant that pellet guns are not non-lethal weapons and this is enough reason to discontinue its usage.

Tell me more: The protests erupted after separatist militant, also the head of a terrorist group called Hijb-ul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani was killed in July. The CRPF told the court that pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted form of riot control and if these are withdrawn, then it would have no option but to open fire with rifles in extreme situations, which could be fatal.

 

41%

What is it? The gap between the actual number of toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission and the official numbers as put up by the sanitation ministry in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as per a field survey report of select districts.

Why is it important? Such a mismatch raises concerns about the real progress of the programme. India has set a target to eliminate open defecation by 2019. In some states such as Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the gaps between the actual numbers and those reported to the central government are 19%, 23%, 27% and 28% respectively. The field survey numbers for Sikkim, which became the first to achieve the open defecation free status, are the only ones that match with those with the ministry of sanitation.

Tell me more: Retired civil and defence services officers and non-government institutions with rural development experience are empanelled by the rural development ministry as individual and institutional National Level Monitors. These monitors covered 24.22 lakh random households in some districts across states.

 

51

What is it? The duration of the semi-final match between Indian shuttler PV Sindhu and World Number 6 Nozomi Okuhara from Japan on Thursday. Sindhu smashed her way into the finals.

Why is it important? With her Thursday’s win, Sindhu has assured India of at least a silver medal – the second one after Sakshi Malik won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday, and the fifth Indian female athlete to get a medal overall. All eyes are on the 21-year-old athlete from Hyderabad who would face World Number 1 Carolina Marin from Spain this evening and if Sindhu defeats Marin, she would be the second Indian sportsperson to win the gold after ace shooter’s Abhinav Bindra’s victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Tell me more: This was Sindhu’s debut at the Olympics. She trains under Pullela Gopichand at his academy in Hyderabad.

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News in Numbers, Aug 18, 2016: Ola shuts down TaxiForSure, India’s first medal at Rio…

Sakshi Malik creates history at the Rio Olympics 2016. She won the bronze medal in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday. With this, India gets its 25th medal at the Olympic Games. It first participated in the Games in 1900.

Read more about Malik’s win and the firsts that have come along with her victory. This, and four other numbers, make up today’s edition.

As always, we appreciate suggestions and feedback. Look forward to hearing from you.

7001,000

What is it? The number of jobs cab-hailing aggregator Ola will lay off as a result of shutting down TaxiForSure (TFS) it acquired 18 months ago.

Why is it important? The layoffs can cut costs by nearly Rs 30 crore a month, according to reports. Ola has been trying to raise funds and battle with cash-rich Uber, which can now devote more time and resources to India after having sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing. Over the last few months, Ola was said to be integrating some of TFS teams such as human resources and tech while keeping the drivers and call centre teams separate.

Tell me more: Ola had acquired TFS for $200 million last year to fend off competition and up its strength against Uber. It had initially said it would manage TFS as a separate brand. Nearly 90% of the employees being laid off belong to operations such as call centres, driver relations and business development units.

 

730 million

What is it? The estimated number of Internet users in India by 2020, according to a report.

Why is it important? Three-fourth of the new user growth is expected to be from rural areas and a similar percentage of people is expected to consume data in local languages. These estimates, if true, is a pointer for the government and businesses to focus their digital initiatives or expansions more towards the countryside and also, will help provide opportunities for those in the rural areas. There were 350 million Internet users at the end of 2015.

Tell me more: The report by Nasscom in association with Akamai Technologies also predicts that online shopping would account for two-thirds of the e-commerce market by 2020 (with fashion and lifestyle to overtake the consumer electronics segment) and half of the travel transactions would be done online.

 

4

What is it? The number of Indian women athletes who have clinched a medal at the Olympics with the latest being Sakshi Malik who won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday.

Why is it important? She is the first woman wrestler from India to have won a medal at the Olympics and overall, hers is the country’s fifth wrestling medal. Malik’s win also ended India’s 11-day wait to win a medal at the Rio Olympics 2016. In all, India has now won 25 medals at the Olympic Games over the years.

Tell me more: The other Indian women athletes to have won a medal are: weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari in 2000, boxer MC Mary Kom and shuttler Saina Nehwal in 2012.

 

Rs 4,566.6 crore

What is it? The total amount pharmaceutical companies owe the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) for charging higher prices than those prescribed by the government.

Why is it important? Over 80% of the amount is under litigation and just around 8% of the total amount demanded (for overcharging) has been recovered by the NPPA so far (since August 1997). This highlights the difficulty of price control, and the need for better methods to ensure pharma companies follow regulations.

Tell me more: The prices of essential medicines are fixed by the NPPA from time to time and the manufacturers who are found to be overcharging are to pay the overcharged amount along with interest under the Drugs (Price Control) Order, 2013.

 

1.96 crore

What is it? The number of private vehicles registered in 2015. That’s nearly 53,720 per day.

Why is it important? It touched an all-time high last year and is a huge jump from over two decades ago (less than 10 lakh until 1993). With an increase in population and disposable incomes and inefficient public transport systems, this trend is likely to continue. Underlines the importance of devising strategies for infrastructure and public transport to avoid further congestion in the urban areas.

Tell me more: Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka top the charts in terms of vehicle registrations, which together account for nearly a third of the total private vehicle registrations in the country.

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