Jio: Short-lived low costs?


What is it? The number of terrorists killed in Jammu & Kashmir till June 12 this year, as compared to 54 in corresponding period last year.

Why is it important? This could be due to more locals joining the terrorist groups, and also higher success of counter-terrorism activities underway in the valley.

Tell me more: Today is the first death anniversary of Burhan Wani, a self-styled commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. His death sparked huge protests with 820 incidents of stone-pelting reported in July last year.



Rs 1,680 crore

What is it? The fresh investment by Amazon, the largest online retailer in the world, in its Indian business, Amazon Seller Services.

Why is it important? The investment takes Amazon’s total India capital to over Rs 13,800 crore or over $2 billion since launch in June, 2013. It is not only a part of Amazon’s commitment to spend $5 billion in India, but also makes it the second largest global investor to put money on India’s digital economy. The Japanese SoftBank leads with around $4 billion in various investments.

Tell me more: The last infusion by Amazon was in December, 2016 of Rs 2,010 crore.



Rs 44,800 crore

What is it? The revenue Reliance Industries’ Jio, the telecom venture, needs to earn to break even in earnings with profit before tax (PBT), according to Kotak Institutional Equities.

Why is it important? The requirement, based on FY17 expenditure, debt and asset base, is not much lower than established competition, belying its reported low-cost model. Much larger competition in subscribers and revenues, Bharti Airtel, needs around Rs 49,000 crore while Idea Cellular needs Rs 37,000 crore, based on FY17 spending and regulatory fees.

Tell me more: The revenue required to break even at the Ebitda level is, however, lower than competition. While Bharti Airtel needs around Rs 31,000 crore and Idea Cellular Rs 24,000 crore to break even at the Ebitda level, Jio needs Rs 22,400 crore.



Rs 43,000 crore

What is it? The total revenue earned by the Indian Railways in April-June, this year.

Why is it important? This is 11% higher when compared to corresponding revenue numbers last year. Both passenger and freight earnings increased. While passenger earnings rose from Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 14,000 crore in this period due to the dynamic pricing in premium trains, freight income rose from Rs 25,000 crore to Rs 28,000 crore.

Tell me more: The IR has set Rs 1.89 lakh-crore as its FY18 revenue target..




What is it? June’s Nikkei India Services Purchasing Managers’ Index, a private survey.

Why is it important? Unlike the manufacturing index, services sectors fared better as the index rose to an eight-month high. New business, recruiting and higher selling prices led to the uplift.

Tell me more: The index rose from 52.2 in May. A value of 50 and above means expansion signalling an increase in services activity.

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News in Numbers, July 18, 2016: Kashmir valley tense, 3 Indian sites on UNESCO heritage list…


What is it? The number of Indian sites that got selected to be part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Why is it important? This is the first time any country has got three sites in this list in a single session of UNESCO’s committee meeting. Not only does this tag help promote global recognition and tourism but also helps in increased protection of cultural and natural places for future generations to enjoy. Now, India has a total of 35 sites on the list, of which 27 are cultural, seven are natural and one is in the ‘mixed’ category.

Tell me more: The three sites chosen from India include Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park and Nalanda University in Bihar.



What is it? The number of additional Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel rushed to Kashmir valley.

Why is it important? This is in addition to 2,800 troops of the CRPF sent to the region to tackle violence that erupted after the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist based in the valley, last week. The situation remains tense after 41 people were killed and over 2,000 were injured in the clashes that broke out between protesters of Wani’s killing and the security forces. There have been raids and clampdown on printing and distribution of newspapers to prevent flaring of further violence.

Tell me more: Mobile phone and internet services have been disabled in many parts of the state and schools and colleges that were to reopen tomorrow after the summer holidays have got a week’s extension.



What is it? The number of polluting units and industries that the Telangana industries department wants to shift out of Hyderabad city limits by December 2017.

Why is it important? Though different governments have tried to shift the factories outside the city limits for the last 15 years, they haven’t been successful due to opposition from the businesses. If successful, other state governments could follow suit to de-congest the major cities that face similar problem. Among five metros including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Hyderabad’s air quality index was the worst at 10 pm last night, as per the US Embassy and Consulates’ air quality monitor.

Tell me more: The government will hold consultations with industries and manufacturing units for the shifting out and housing them in industry-wise clusters and has agreed in principle, to provide certain concessions to them including tax rebates and easy land conversion.


Rs 20,000

What is it? The maximum compensation air passengers in India will be eligible for, in case of cancellation of a flight or denying them boarding, effective from August 1.

Why is it important? This is five times the maximum compensation air travellers are allowed in such cases, and is likely to force airlines to improve their on time performance and have a re-look at their overbooking strategies. As many as 1,873 people were denied boarding in the month of May, besides 7,165 cancellations and 87,323 delays, for which airlines gave a total compensation of Rs 192.4 lakhs.

Tell me more: For denied boarding, the compensation is up to Rs 20,000 while for cancelling or delaying a flight by over two hours would make travellers eligible for up to Rs 10,000. The compensation varies depending on factors such as the number of hours of delay or cancellation and alternate flight arrangements.



What is it? The percentage of people who claimed to be allopathic doctors in 2001 but did not have any medical qualifications, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Why is it important? Highlights the extent of quackery in India and the need for stronger rules to tackle this, besides taking measures to increase the number of medical seats. The country is already battling low density of health workers. The doctor-patient ratio is less than 1:1000 – the recommended limit by the WHO – by the Indian government’s own admission.

Tell me more: The rural areas are worse off where just 18.8% of the allopathic doctors had a medical qualification. Overall, less than a fourth (23.3%) of all health workers had medical qualifications as per the 2001 Census.

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News in Numbers, July 11, 2016: Mallya accused of fund diversion, Burhan Wani’s killing…

Rs 1,225 crore

What is it? The potential amount that United Spirits has allegedly diverted when it was under chairmanship of Vijay Mallya.

Why is it important? This adds to Mallya’s woes, who is wanted by Indian investigation authorities with a Mumbai court issuing a non-bailable warrant for his arrest. United Spirits, now owned by Diageo, a British multinational alcoholic beverages company, has informed Enforcement Directorate and the Securities and Exchange Board of India about the diversion of funds, and has directed the management to pursue its recovery and sue Mallya if necessary.

Tell me more: United Spirits has said the funds have been diverted to Force India Formula One, Watson Ltd, Continental Administrative Services and Ultra Dynamics, in which Mallya “appears to have a material, direct and indirect interests”. Mallya said in a statement that all transactions were above board.


500,000 tonnes

What is it? The quantity of duty-free, non-genetically modified corn India will import.

Why is it important? This would help overcome shortages and check prices, giving relief to starch manufacturers and the poultry industry, the main consumers of corn. Due to two consecutive years of drought, India’s corn production is estimated to have decreased to 21.02 million tonnes in 2015-16 from 23.67 million tonnes in 2014-15. India has traditionally been a major exporter of corn to the Southeast Asian region.

Tell me more: India, which allows cultivation and consumption of only genetically modified cotton, has been facing difficulties in sourcing non-genetically modified corn recently.



What is it? The number of people reportedly killed after protesters clashed with the police, angered by the killing of separatist militant Burhan Wani in Jammu and Kashmir.

Why is it important? Wani, who led the Hijb-ul Mujahideen (one of the largest and important terrorist groups perpetrating violence in the state), was seen as the face of new-age militancy in the region. The show of support by thousands who attended his funeral despite orders to restrict movement of people and traffic, indicates support for the cause and there are concerns that death might prompt increased attacks on security forces and civilians.

Tell me more: Around 200 people were injured in the clashes that erupted after Wani’s killing. Wani was popular on social media, releasing videos and pictures online with an aim to recruit young Kashmiri men for terror.



What is it? The percentage of seats that go unoccupied in Air India flights on the routes connecting Delhi to Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

Why is it important? The state-owned carrier hopes to fill this up by offering tickets (booked within 4 hours of departure) at the same rate as 2-tier AC fares in Rajdhani trains. It’s Rs 2,870  from Delhi to Mumbai; Rs 3,905 from Delhi to Chennai; Rs 2,890 from Delhi to Kolkata and Rs 4,095 from Delhi to Bengaluru. High air fares charged by carriers have come under criticism recently.

Tell me more: The domestic traffic between the metros account for around half of the domestic air travel. Air India’s losses were expected to be Rs 2,636 crore in 2015-16 compared to Rs 5,860 crore in 2014-15.


79.1 crore

What is it? The number of person-days of employment generated under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme in the first quarter of this year.

Why is it important? This is the highest since the first quarter of 2012 and around 12% higher than the projected figure of 70.5 crore person days in the first quarter of this year. The spurt in numbers was due to higher than expected demand in some drought-hit states such as Rajasthan and Karnataka.

Tell me more: Some states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand have been lagging behind in terms of person-days of employment generated and the central government has written to them to increase the pace of the scheme’s implementation.

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