The Cash Crunch

18.4 trillion

What is it? The currency in circulation in India as on April 6, 2018.

Why is it important? Several states including Gujarat, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh and poll-bound Karnataka complained of cash shortage in ATMs on Tuesday, reminiscent of the government’s demonetisation move in November 2016. Though the cash in circulation has surpassed pre-demonetisation levels, the ratio of cash-in-circulation to GDP (gross domestic product) has declined to 10.7% now from 11.6% before demonetisation.

Tell me more: The government has said that the current cash crunch problem is temporary and that it has stepped up the printing of Rs 500 currency notes by five times. As much as Rs 70,000-75,000 worth of notes will be printed in a month.


Rs 5,320 crore

What is it? The total equity and debt infusion by Vedanta Ltd into Electrosteel Steels, according to its resolution plan for the latter, which was approved by the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This is the first of the 12 large stressed assets, which was identified by the Reserve Bank of India last June for insolvency resolution, to be resolved. With Electrosteel owing more than Rs 13,395 crore, lenders have taken a 55% haircut (amount a lender has to forego to settle a loan). This is lower than initial estimation.

Tell me more: Edelweiss, in a research report, says banks are likely to take 52% haircuts in the top 12 loan default accounts, as compared to earlier estimate of 60%.



What is it? The number of plastic bottles human beings produce every second.

Why is it important? Though polyethylene terephthalate (PET) that is commonly used to make millions of plastic bottles is highly recyclable, efforts to recycle them are unable to keep pace with production. A group of scientists in Britain and the United States say they have engineered an enzyme that can digest PET, though it is too early to say that this can be a solution to pollution caused by plastic.

Tell me more: Between 1.15 and 2.41 million tonnes of plastics enter oceans from rivers every year, and top 20 polluting rivers account for 67% of the total, according to a 2017 study published in Nature magazine.

What is it? The amount of compensation per hour payable to consumers for unscheduled power cuts in Delhi.

Why is it important? This move will improve customer service as all complaints will be timed and compensation have to paid for every hour of non-resolution. It will also force power distribution companies to better forecast demand and purchase power to meet the demand. Compensation of Rs50 is payable for power cuts in the first two hours in a day, and then Rs100 per hour after that.

Tell me more: Maharashtra has the lowest number of times (1.22) of power cuts in March 2018, and Jharkhand has the highest at 55.61 times, as per Power Ministry data for 20 states. Data for Delhi was not available.


7.9 million

What is it? The number of students enrolled in science at higher secondary level in 2015-16 academic year, as compared to 6.2 million in previous year, as per data from Unified District Information System on Education (U-DISE).

Why is it important? This represents nearly 3 percentage point increase in enrollment in science subjects, and it reverses the trend in 2014-15 when enrollment in sciences dipped by 2 percentage point. The increase could indicate more students preferring science or increase in high scoring students leading to more enrollment in sciences.

Tell me more: Enrollment in higher secondary education has also increased to 23.2 million in 2015-16, as compared to 19.9 million in 2014-15.

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News in Numbers, Jan 19, 2017: Regional routes take flight



What is it? Number of initial proposals for operating flights with fares capped at Rs 2,500 for an hour under the Airports Authority of India’s Regional Connectivity Scheme (named UDAN)

Why is it important? The bidders propose to operate from 65 airports, out of which 52 are not served by any airlines, boosting regional air connectivity. But operating on the 200 regional routeswould also mean low pre-mandated airfares, for example, a fare of Rs 2,500 for an hour’s journey of 500-km. Central and state governments will then help operators with viability gap funding, partly funded bythe Rs 8,500-levy on each departing flight on major routes.

Tell me more: The initial quotes are subject to counter quotes, with the lowest requirement for VGF winning the bid. Groundwork by the Ministry of Civil Aviation with AAI, State Governments, DGCA and Bureau of Civil Aviation Security have begun.


Rs 9.2 trillion


What is it? The value of new currency notes injected by the Reserve Bank of India to replace old banned notes.
Why is it important? Despite RBI pumping in nearly 60% of the amount removed (Rs 15.44 trillion) from circulation following demonetisation, there is no sight of the end to cash-withdrawal restrictions. RBI governor, Urjit Patel, facing a parliamentary panel on finance, did not elaborate on either the easing of the cash crunch or the amount of banned notes deposited.

Tell me more: Patel assured the panel that RBI would provide details of deposits of banned notes on a later date.




What is it? The percentage of rural school students in class 5 who are able to read a book prescribed for class 2 learning.

Why is it important? The learning level in schools in rural India remains dismal as less than half of class 5 students can read books meant for three standards lower (class 2). The proportion has deteriorated from 2014’s 48% and 2010’s 53.7% of students, despite 97% enrollment in schools.

Tell me more: Class 5 students in private rural schools fared better with 62.9% of them above to read class 2 books, while only 41.6% from government schools made the cut in 2016. The findings are from the 11th Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), conducted in 589 districts, and previously published in 2014.


0.94 degree-Celsius


What is it? The above-normal deviation in average land and ocean temperature in the whole of 2016.

Why is it important? It establishes 2016 as the hottest year so far, a dire reminder of climate change that is plaguing the planet. Temperatures spiked to new national highs in India, Kuwait and Iran and Arctic ice melted faster than ever as a result of the global warming.

Tell me more: The year broke the record for the hottest ever, third year in a row since records were kept from 1880.


7.05 million


What is it? Netflix’s net subscriber addition in the fourth quarter of 2016 (ended December 31).

Why is it important? The robust growth in subscribers signal Netflix’s ambitious global expansion is bearing fruit, as Internet TV catches on. Nearly 73% (5.12 million) of the additions came from markets outside the US. Netflix which made a big-bang launch in 130 countries simultaneously in January, 2016, saw its shares rise up by 8 per cent after its results.

Tell me more: Competition is snapping at Netflix’s heels as unveils its Amazon Prime Video service worldwide.

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