What is it? India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki’s unit sales growth in November compared to same period last year.
Why is it important? It rose 24.7% year-on-year last month to 121,063 units, its best-ever monthly sales – driven by festive season demand. Now, the demand is back to normal. Car sales are seen as a proxy for economic growth.
Tell me more: Last month the growth was also broad-based. Not so in November. Mahindra and Mahindra and Hyundai Motor posted double digit year on year growth in November while Honda Cars, Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar reported a decline.
What is it? Number of deaths in Tamil Nadu due to rains since October.
Why is it important? The southern state has been battling with heavy rains since the beginning of November. Chennai has witnessed the worst rains in nearly a century. Roads and houses in many parts of the city are flooded, traffic has almost come to a halt, flights and trains have been delayed or cancelled – in short, life has come to a standstill. The situation is also a wake-up call for the civic and urban planning authorities to ensure that hydrological factors are taken into account while planning cities and towns.
Tell me more: The situation is not likely to ease up soon given that the weather department has forecast heavy to very heavy rains in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for the next four days.
What is it? The amount Indian government spent on climate adaptation (such as measures of flood protection, buildings in low risk areas) in 2013-14, according to a study.
Why is it important? The adverse effects of climate change has already begun to affect 800 million people in India, which is nearly two-thirds of the country’s population. The study, by IIM Ahmedabad, IIT Gandhinagar and a think tank Council on Energy, Environment and Water, says the country would experience an increase of 1-1.5 degree Celsius increase in mean annual temperature from 2016 to 2045, which would have a great impact on agriculture and crop production.
Tell me more: India needs about $1 trillion from now until 2030 for climate adaptation.
Rs 1,750 crore
What is it? The amount the Indian government is likely to grant for strengthening the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the state regulators.
Why is it important? The food regulator had come in for criticism when the Supreme Court had struck down its advisory that required clearances for products by ingredients even if those had received prior approval. Also, the recent ban on Maggi exposed the shortcomings in the food safety and regulating mechanism in the country.
Tell me more: It remains to be seen how this amount (if approved) would be put to use because according to the regulator’s 2013-14 annual report, of the total funds available (Rs 60 crore), only Rs 42.1 crore was utilised.
What is it? Number of adolescents (aged 15-19 years) living with HIV in the Asia Pacific region, according to a Unicef report.
Why is it important? It’s a “hidden epidemic”, Unicef says. An estimated 50,000 new HIV infections among youngsters accounted for 15% of new infections in 2014 in the region. As governments take steps to end the epidemic of AIDS, the growth in new infections among adolescents would be a huge block to that effort. AIDS might dent the demographic dividend developing countries are betting on.
Tell me more: Also, a UN report says India is home to the third highest number of people living with HIV in the world at 2.1 million. This is about four out of 10 affected with the virus in the Asia Pacific region.