News in numbers, Nov 5, 2015: All-time low solar tariff, human trafficking from Nepal to India…

Rs 4.63

What is it? Price at which US-based SunEdison will sell solar power per kilowatt-hour in India.

Why is it important? This is an all-time low solar tariff in India and gives a boost to the Indian government’s ambitious target of installing 175 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2022. Of this, 100 GW would be comprised of solar energy. India’s solar generation capacity is 2,900 MW now. This would also help India’s plans of providing solar power at Rs 4.75 per unit to state electricity boards, which are struggling with mounting debts and losses and reluctant to buy power.

Tell me more: SunEdison won the auction for a 500 megawatt project in Andhra Pradesh. The previous low tariff was Rs 5.05 per kilowatt-hour for Canadian company SkyPower’s project in Madhya Pradesh.

 

5 to 9

What is it? Multiple by which nitrogen oxide emissions were higher in a sample of 11 vehicles manufactured by Volkswagen Group in India – compared to levels tested during the approval stage, according to the Automotive Research Association of India.

Why is it important? Indicates that despite tough laws, some companies are able to get through the approval process without playing by the rule book. It remains to be seen if it’s a one-off or an industry-wide phenomenon. For VW, it is more bad news as its emission scandal gets murkier. According to the ARAI, VW India has informed them that 314,000 cars (across Volkswagen, Skoda and Audi models) have been fitted with engines from the E 189 diesel engine family, which have been used to fool emission tests in the US and Europe.

Tell me more: The Indian government has issued a show cause notice to VW asking it to explain its position on these findings and disclose if it has used an emission defeat device in India. The company has confirmed that it has received the show cause notice from the government-owned agency, Automotive Research Association of India, and would respond to it by the end of this month.

 

25%

What is it? Share of devices connected on mobile networks in India that are 3G-enabled, according to a survey by Nokia Networks.

Why is it important? Of this, only 45% are used for 3G services – pointing to an opportunity for telecom companies to tap into. The survey shows that of the sample size of 650 million subscribers, just 2.3% have 4G-enabled devices. Given the likelihood of prices of 4G devices coming down in the near future, there is a possibility of 4G overtaking 3G in terms of subscription, Nokia Networks said.

Tell me more: Mumbai, Delhi, Kerala, Punjab and Kolkata are the top five cities in terms of 3G device penetration. 

 

500%

What is it? The percentage increase in human trafficking from Nepal to India in 2015 (with two months to spare) compared to 2014.

Why is it important? The human trafficking from Nepal has seen a threefold increase after a massive earthquake devastated large parts of the country this April. Shows the levels of poverty that people have been subjected to, after the quake and their desperation to escape it all.  

Tell me more: Till this September, the Sahastra Seema Bal, one of India’s Central Armed Police Forces, has rescued 206 victims, of which 159 were rescued after the quake. In 2014, 33 victims were rescued.

 

€2 billion (over Rs 14,000 crore)

What is it? France’s committed investment for India’s Smart Cities Mission.

Why is it important? Despite the various challenges that the Indian economy faces, particularly the infrastructure sector, this indicates international interest in India’s long term growth story. But, there are serious concerns about how such ambitious urban projects would get funded.

Tell me more: The Western European nation is also investing 200 million (over Rs 1,400 crore) for the extension of the Bangalore metro network.

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News In Numbers – August 19

News In Numbers: August 19

 

79.7%

The percentage of the total income of five national parties in 2013-14 whose sources are unknown. In all, Congress, CPM, BSP, NCP and CPI have declared a total income of Rs 845 crore in 2013-14. Among the top unknown sources of income, the sale of coupons dominated with 57%; the Congress and NCP collected Rs 485 crore, which is 57.5% of the cumulative income declared by the five parties. In November 2014, the Election Commission of India laid down certain guidelines with respect to the funding collected by political parties for elections and made it mandatory for them to submit audited reports to it. The only party to not submit its report is BJP, despite a deadline extension. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, about 75% of the total income of these six national political parties came from funds whose sources are unknown.

 

43,818

The number of passengers affected by flight delays in July, according to the aviation regulator. About 60% of these passengers were flying Air India, while about 17% were on IndiGo. The number of people affected due to flight cancellations stood at 7,224 in July, of which nearly two-thirds had booked with Air India, Jet Airways and JetLite. They received a total of Rs 39.2 lakh compensation and other facilities. Domestic airlines carried 67.5 lakh passengers in July and Indigo continued to lead with a 35.8% market share

 

2

The number of funds of the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) launched by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday for start-ups and small firms. The India Aspiration Fund, with an initial corpus of Rs 2,000 crore, will invest in venture funds, who will subsequently invest in start-ups and micro and small enterprises (MSMEs). The other fund, called SIDBI Make in India Loan for Enterprises (SMILE), will provide soft-term loans and quasi-equity loans to MSMEs. India, which is the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world, is home to over 3,100 startups and there have been 300 venture capital and private equity and 225 angel investment deals worth over $2 billion. Ahmedabad has the highest paid-up capital of companies per person at Rs 961.

 

Rs 3,800

The proposed per capita spend on health by the government, from Rs 1,000 being spent at current prices. The government plans to increase public investment in health from 1.4% to 2.5% of India’s GDP by 2020. About 70% of this would be for primary healthcare, 20% in secondary healthcare and the remaining on tertiary healthcare. The government had slashed its 2014-15 budgetary allocation for health by about 20%. Also, since the BJP-led NDA government came to power in May 2014, India saw a cut of 20% in the National Health Mission and a 10% cut in the Integrated Child Development Services. Health budgets have remained under-utilised in the last few years in the country and India ranks 176 in terms of public health spend as a percentage of its GDP.

 

13%

The percentage of the total amount invested in the telecom sector in FY15 that went towards infrastructure. Department of Telecommunications Secretary Rakesh Garg has criticized telecom companies for spending most of their money in acquiring spectrum, and not investing adequately in infrastructure, leading to an increase in call drops. A total of Rs 1,34,000 crore was invested in the telecom sector in 2014-15. For the quarter ended December 2014, one in seven 2G mobile networks and one in six 3G networks in India exceeded the benchmark rate of 3% for call drops (service provider is unable to maintain connectivity). Telecom companies have been maintaining that these call drops are mainly because of spectrum and tower shortages, though Garg hit back at them saying this has got nothing to do with the closing down of tower sites. The government has asked the telecom regulator to check if telecom companies are making undue gains from call drops.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 14

News In Numbers: August 14

 

18.9%

The 2014-15 operating margin of Jaguar Land Rover, the iconic high-end carmaker and overseas subsidiary of Tata Motors that has been its sole profit driver for the last two years. Between 2009-10 and 2014-15, when the operating margin of Tata Motors’ Indian business fell from 11.7% to -2.2%, JLR’s vaulted from 5.4% to 18.9%. However, with JLR hitting a roadbump in China, its margin dropped to 9.7% for the quarter ended June 2015. In the backdrop of this, and a mixed domestic performance, Tata Motors skipped dividend for 2014-15, drawing the ire of shareholders at its annual general meeting on Thursday.

 

65%

The jump in the rate of call drops on 3G networks in the January to March quarter this year, over the same period in 2014, according to India’s telecom regulator: 15.96% versus 9.68%. Increasing congestion on 3G networks, and lack of adequate spectrum in relation to the number of subscribers using that spectrum, have led to a deterioration of quality across service providers. The deterioration in quality of service on 2G networks was even worse, with the call drop rate rising seven-fold in the same period. To help ease congestion, the government on Wednesday allowed telecom companies in the same circle to share their airwaves.

 

Rs 65,896 crore

The total surplus generated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) through its investment activities in 2014-15 (July to June financial year), the entire amount of which it will transfer to the government. This is a 25% increase over the surplus transferred by the central bank to the government in 2013-14. A committee, chaired by Y H Malegam, director of the central board of the RBI, had recommended in 2014 that the central bank transfer all its surpluses generated to the government for three years as it had enough reserve funds for contingency and other purposes. As of June 26, 2015, the central bank had Rs 18,94,800 crore in reserve money, a sum of several components, including currency in circulation and bankers’ deposits with the RBI.

 

12.8%

Share of black people in the total population in the United States. Apple’s first official diversity filing, dated July 2014 but released yesterday, shows there were only two black people in its group of 83 senior executives, or 2.4%. Across the company, 8% of employees were black. At senior levels, this representation is just as poor in other major technology companies: 4% in Amazon and 2% in Facebook. By comparison, Asians, who account of 5.1% of the US population, have a share in the senior management of 18% in Amazon, 19% in Facebook and 10% in Apple.

 

413,670

The number of beggars in India, according to the Indian government: about 54% male and 46% female. West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh account for over one-third of the beggars in the country. Lakshadweep has the least number of beggars: two. As many as 22 states and union territories have legislations against begging. Although India criminalises begging, the central government recently announced that it would train 3,000 beggars to sing in public places to publicise its initiatives such as Swachh Bharat and ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’ (Save girl child, educate girl child).

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 7

News In Numbers: August 7

 

19.2%

Revenue share of data services (essentially, revenues earned from providing Internet access to subscribers) in the Indian operations of telecom company Bharti Airtel for the April to June quarter. This number is set to increase with Bharti Airtel’s decision to launch 4G services, which promises Internet speeds that are up to five times faster than the current 3G, in 296 cities and towns. It will compete against Reliance Jio, which is expected to launch its 4G services later this year. As on 30 June, Bharti had 49 million of its 230 million mobile subscribers using data services, of which 21 million were on 3G services. For the June quarter, average data usage per customer was 706 MB, an increase of 42% over June 2014.

14.47%

Average returns from large-cap equity mutual funds—the closest actively-managed proxy to the stock market—in the past 10 years. On Thursday, the government-run Employee Provident Fund Office (EPFO), the biggest manager of provident fund contributions of salaried employees in India, said it would start investing 5% of its annual inflows into two equity funds that mirror the two bellwether stock indices in India. The current annual rate of assured return that the EPFO provides to its subscribers is 8.75%, though it earns less than that. It is looking at equity to bridge that deficit, but the quantum of current investment is likely to be too small to make a sizeable difference.

11

Number of startups in which Ratan Tata, the previous chairman of the Tata Group, has invested in personally since March 2014. On Thursday, the group, which had revenues of $110 billion in 2014-15, announced e-commerceas one of its growth drivers in the years to come. The first manifestation of this vision, which was outlined by current chairman Cyrus Mistry in his Vision 2025 address to employees on 25 July, will be three ventures, with an estimated initial investment of Rs.1,000 crore.

1966

When the maximum number of planes went missing (eight in all) and which remain unaccounted for, in the last 50 years. In 2014, that number was two, one of them being the Malaysian Airlines plane with 239 people on board. Earlier today, the Malaysian government said that more aircraft pieces—including windows, seat cushions and aluminum foil—have washed up on the same Indian Ocean island where the wing part was found last week and is believed to be from MH370.

34.8 million

Nearly three out of every 100 Indians have reported acute respiratory infections in 2014. This works out to 95,000 cases each day. The environment ministry estimates that air pollution resulted in 35,000 deaths between 2006 and 2014. Indian cities are recording the worst air quality in the world, with 13 of the world’s most 20 polluted cities located here.

 

 

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