When 1% = 82%



Rs 36,915 crore

What is it? The amount that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation will pay to acquire the government’s 51.1% stake in refiner and marketer HPCL (Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited) in an all-cash deal.

Why is it important? It would create an oil company that is more integrated across the value chain and can compete better with global rivals. This would also help the government exceed its disinvestment target for the current fiscal, when it has seen a fall in its indirect tax revenue and received lower dividends from the Reserve Bank of India. This is likely to help the government achieve its fiscal deficit target of 3.2% of GDP (gross domestic product).

Tell me more: ONGC would buy 77.9 crore shares in HPCL at Rs 473.97 apiece, a premium of 13.7% over its closing price on Friday, and it might need to raise debt to do so.



What is it? The number of members of legislative assembly of Delhi’s ruling party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), whose disqualification was sought by the Election Commission (EC) on Friday for holding offices of profit.

Why is it important? President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the EC’s recommendation on Sunday and AAP is likely to take the legal route for reprieve. Bypolls for these 20 seats will have to be held within six months. Although the disqualification does not pose an immediate threat to Delhi’s ruling party, which has 66 legislators in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, this may weaken the party’s prospects after a string of losses in recent elections.

Tell me more: After Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP swept the Delhi Assembly polls in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats, his government passed an order to appoint 20 legislators as parliamentary secretaries to ministers, which was described as them holding offices of profit by a lawyer who sent a petition to the then President Pranab Mukherjee.



What is it? The number of high-risk pregnancies detected from over a crore checkups conducted across India under the Pradhan Mantri Surakshit Matritva Abhiyan (PMSMA) since its launch in 2016, according to Union minister of health and family welfare JP Nadda.

Why is it important? This is among the primary steps to lower maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR). Although both have declined in recent years, India still has some way to go to catch up with developed nations. India’s MMR was 174 per 100,000 live births in 2015; or, 45,000 mothers died to due to causes related to childbirth, which was 17% of such deaths globally. Its IMR was 41 per 1,000 live births in 2015-16, down from 57 in 2005-06.

Tell me more: About one-fourth of checkups under the programme were done in high-priority districts that called for immediate attention. Based on individual needs, 84 lakh haemoglobin tests, 55 lakh HIV tests, 41 lakh tests for gestational diabetes, 33 lakh tests for syphilis and over 15 lakh ultrasound scans were done to detect high-risk pregnancies.



What is it? The amount of new wealth created in the world in 2017 that went to the richest 1%. Further, according to this report from Oxfam, the bottom 50% of world’s population saw no increase in their wealth.

Why is it important? The report is being released in the backdrop of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, from January 23-26. The WEF is the most exalted gathering of leaders from many walks, especially business and politics. This year’s WEF event, which is themed ‘creating a shared future in a fractured world’, will also see the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump.

Tell me more: According to the Oxfam report, the wealth held by Indian billionaires increased by Rs 4,89,000 crore in 2017, which is enough to finance 85% of the budgets of all states on health and education.



What is it? Guided by a late onslaught by Jos Buttler, England yesterday beat Australia in the third one-day international (Odi) at Sydney to take an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five match bilateral series.

Why is it important? England were routed 4-0 in the prestigious test series between the two sides, christened Ashes, just prior to the ODIs. Winning the ODI series might be some solace for the English players. For the Barmy Army, a vocal travelling unit of English fans, it was something more: once a win became imminent match yesterday, they broke into a chant of “we are going to win 5-4”.

Tell me more: Of the 16 ODIs played by Australia since January 2017, they have won only three, while losing 10 (three matches were no results), raising many questions around their readiness of their defence of the ODI World Cup in 2019.


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Elections 2017 | Do they really care about women in politics?

So much for their talk of smashing gender barriers and supporting a law to reserve one-third of legislative seats for women: all frontline political parties have given even fewer tickets to women candidates in the ongoing assembly elections as compared to 2012.


Share of women candidates: overall

If the overall share of women candidates has risen or is stagnant, it’s not because of the mainstream political parties. It’s because of a new party (Aam Aadmi Party) and independents.




Share of women candidates: by party

Be it Punjab, Goa or Uttar Pradesh. Be it the Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Samajwadi Party (SP) or the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). All of them have given a smaller percentage of tickets to women in Assembly Elections 2017 compared to 2012.




Difference between women and men in 2017

Compared to men, women candidates are more educated, have a cleaner criminal record and are less wealthy.




Difference between women candidates in 2012 and 2017

Compared to 2012, women candidates in Assembly Elections 2017 have become wealthier. There are more businesswomen in the fray and fewer homemakers.



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News In Numbers – August 18

News In Numbers: August 18


211 vs 175

India’s largest airlines by market share, IndiGo, has placed an order to purchase 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft, in a deal worth $26.55 billion at list prices. This is the largest-ever order for Airbus in terms of number of planes. The IndiGo order will help Airbus open its lead over rival Boeing in the Indian market. Data from the aviation regulator shows Airbus had 211 aircraft in operation in India, against Boeing’s 175. Globally, though, with revenues of $233 billion in 2014, Boeing was bigger in size than Airbus ($175 billion), primarily because the former’s sales include bigger and more expensive airplanes.


Rs 7,957 crore

The extent to which power distribution companies in Delhi reportedly overstated accumulated losses over the years. The estimate has been arrived at by the auditor to the government in a forthcoming report. If true, the report is a major boost to the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, which made high power charges in the national capital one of the main points in its electoral campaign. The report gives room to the AAP government to press for a reduction in power rates. According to the report, the three discoms, two from the Anil Ambani Group and one from the Tata Group, bought costly power, ‘suppressed’ revenue and gave undue favours to group firms.


$75 billion

The amount the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed to invest in India as part of an infrastructure fund created by the two countries. This fund seeks to invest and expand India’s network of railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors. The two countries also plan to increase their trade by 60% in the next five years. India received $239 million as foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UAE in 2013-14, and $1.31 billion between 2009-10 and 2013-14. India received $34 billion as FDI in 2014.



The number of verticals that are reportedly being created by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to implement the proposed Goods and Services (GST) Bill. Besides these two verticals (one for performance management and the other for taxpayer services), there are various sub-groups working under the CBEC, and state officials are working on the law and procedures. The GST Bill, which is supposed to merge all central and state taxes into a single tax rate, was passed by the Lok Sabha but not by the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority. A few media reports, quoting anonymous sources, say the government is considering a special session of Parliament in September to pass the GST Bill.


Rs 143 crore

The Supreme Court has asked the Central government to update it about the three-member committee it had asked to constitute to ensure the implementation of its order on government advertisements. This May, the court laid down certain guidelines for government advertisements to avoid misuse of public funds for glorifying the ruling party, and had suggested only the photographs of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India be used in government advertisements. An NGO had filed petitions in the Supreme Court in July to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Delhi government (alleging it had earmarked Rs 526 crore for government ads in 2015-16) and the Tamil Nadu government for putting out ads that glorified their respective leaders. Previously, the Congress-led UPA government spent Rs 143 crore to place 84,733 advertisements in print publications between 2008-09 and 2012-13 related to the birth and death anniversaries of 15 leaders. is a search engine for public data


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News In Numbers – July 22

News In Numbers: July 22



Share of revenues from areas other than voice calls for telecom company Idea Cellular in the April to June quarter. This is a marked increase from the 17.8% share of non-voice revenues for Idea in the corresponding quarter a year ago, underscoring the voracious data consumption via mobile that is providing a fillip to telecom companies in India. The Idea results declared yesterday showed that, on an average, its 37.2 million subscribers who have data services on their mobile used 600 MB of data, a near 50% increase over a year ago. Yesterday, shares of Bharti Airtel, the leader in India by market share, also hit a six-year high.



The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio currently followed by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) engaged in financing against gold jewellery, where ‘value’ is computed as the average of gold prices in the last 30 days. In global markets on Monday, gold prices fell to a five-year low, prompting lenders who provide loans against the yellow metal to start asking their customers to make part-payments of their loans. In January 2014, the central bank had allowed NBFCs to offer loans of up to 75% of the pledged gold/jewellery. The maximum LTV permissible, fixed by the Association of Gold Loan companies, is Rs 1,818 per gram (against value of gold jewellery worth Rs 2,423) until the end of this week (July 25).



The number of defamation cases filed by AIADMK, one of the major regional parties in India, against media and political rivals. The latest is a criminal defamation case against BJP leader Subramanian Swamy for a tweet on the health of J Jayalalithaa, Tamil Nadu chief minister and AIADMK leader. Earlier, Swamy had challenged Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code, arguing that these sections, which allow the initiation of criminal proceedings for defamation, restrict freedom of speech and expression. Last week, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre why these IPC provisions cannot be diluted to remove the perception that it violated the fundamental right to free speech.


4.6 million

The number of unique entries in the caste field thrown up by the caste survey of 330 million Indian households. The Niti Aayog now has the onerous task of matching this database of 4.6 million entries with the correct caste to table India’s population by caste. Political parties have been demanding the release of the caste data, documented as part of the Socio Economic and Caste Census, commissioned in 2011. The Central government recently said it would release the data after rectifying errors in 14.6 million cases.


Rs 35 crore

The cost of scrapping a contentious 5.8 km bus rapid transit (BRT) corridor in New Delhi, according to Delhi government’s estimates. This is about a quarter of what it cost to build the corridor. A pet project of the erstwhile Congress government in Delhi and one that was to serve as the model for 26 more such corridors in the city, it attracted criticism for causing traffic snarls and pedestrian deaths. According to one study, the number of accidents and accident-related deaths on the stretch increased by 40% and 48%, respectively, after the BRT became operational. Yesterday, the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi decided to scrap the corridor.
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