News in Numbers – September 15, 2015

News In Numbers: September 15, 2015

 

6.36%  

The rate at which consumer prices of vegetables fell in August 2015 compared to the same period last year. This rate of decrease was higher in the urban areas than in the rural ones. However, compared to a month ago, vegetable prices went up by 8.5%. Pulses and related products saw the highest rate of increase in consumer prices among all the other product groups in August from a year ago while ‘sugar and confectionery’ saw the highest rate of decline in the same period. The wholesale prices of onions recorded the highest annual increase among all the major commodity groups at 65.29% in August 2015. Overall, wholesale inflation declined for the 10th straight month in August at 4.95% compared to 4.05% in July, aided by falling global commodity prices. Inflation based on the consumer price index fell to a nine-month low of 3.66% in August from 3.69% a month ago.

#1

Gujarat’s position in implementing reforms to facilitate the ease of doing business among all Indian states. An assessment of state implementation of business reforms sponsored by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has considered 98 parameters for the ranking. And, Gujarat’s score is 71.14% (implementation status of each state has been converted to a percentage) followed by Andhra Pradesh (70.12%), Jharkhand (63.09%), Chhattisgarh (62.45%) and Madhya Pradesh (62%). North eastern states — Arunachal Pradesh (1.23%), Nagaland (3.41%) and Meghalaya (4.38%) — are at the bottom of the list. Interestingly, Punjab is the best state to startup followed by Andhra Pradesh. Globally, India ranks 142 among 189 countries in ease of doing business, according to a World Bank report.

 

 

Rs 5,000 crore

The amount taxi aggregator Ola will invest in its newly formed cab leasing business in the coming year. A wholly-owned subsidiary will run the leasing business headed by former LeasePlan India executive Rahul Maroli. In India’s first such programme, drivers would be able to lease a car for a minimal initial deposit of Rs 35,000 and monthly lease payments of about Rs 15,000 with an option to own the vehicle after three years. Ola plans to invest Rs 500 crore initially, after which it would raise funds “independently for this subsidiary”.Over 1,000 vehicles are already operating as part of a pilot programme in six cities including Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. The company plans to add 10,000 cars under this model by December 2015. Ola, the third most valuable internet company, recently raised around $225 million led by Falcon Edge Capital and other existing investors.

 

2

The number of Indian institutes that have made it to top 200 universities in the world for the first time. The QS World University Rankings 2015 puts the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the 147th position while the Indian Institute of Delhi (IIT-Delhi) ranks 179. The world’s top university is Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) followed by Harvard University. MIT has a score of 100 while the IISc scored 62 and IIT-D 56.4. In terms of academic reputation, only IIT-Delhi figures in the top 200 while in terms of employee reputation, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Madras find themselves in the top 200 slot. IISc, which also debuted in the QS Asian University Rankings this year, ranks 34 in this list while IIT-Delhi is in the 42nd position.

 

1.6%

The share of medical applications in 3D printing industry, according to the US government-funded National Center for Biotechnology Information. The 3D printing industry, which is a $700 million industry, is expected to grow into a $8.9 billion industry by 2024 with 21% projected to be spent on medical applications. Meanwhile, 3D printing was used for the first time in the world to help perform a surgery on a Spanish cancer patient. The 54-year-old man has successfully received a 3D printed titanium sternum and rib implant and has recovered well. He was suffering from a type of tumour that grows in and around the rib cage and required his breastbone and a part of his rib cage replaced. Also, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the world’s first 3D printed pill recently.

 

 

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News in Numbers – September 2, 2015

News In Numbers: September 2, 2015

 

1 million

The number of workers who went on strike in 2014, nearly 45% down from the number registered in 2003. Ten central trade unions, which claim a combined membership of 15 million, have called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of the proposed changes in labour laws and stop disinvestment of public sector units. Essential services, including banking and public transportation, are likely to be affected. But data suggests that industrial unrest has gradually decreased in India. The number of person-days of work lost has dropped from 30.25 million in 2003 to 3.63 million in 2014. Likewise, the number of strikes and lockouts has come down from 552 in 2003 to 143 in 2014. The number of industrial closures, and workers affected and laid-off have also seen a gradual decline over the years.

60%

The percentage of seabird species, including penguins, gulls and albatrosses, that have plastic in their gut, which is likely to increase to 99% by 2050. Researchers, based on past data, have predicted that nine out of 10 individual seabirds have consumed plastic. This number was less than 5% in 1960. Seabirds are said to be good indicators of the state of the ecosystem and are “at the top of the marine food chain”, which could increase the ill-effects of plastic pollution through the chain. According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, an international collaboration of organisations and businesses, the ratio of plastic debris to zooplankton (tiny organisms drifting in seas and oceans) is 36:1. A 2015 study ranked India 12th among countries ranked by mass of mismanaged public waste estimated in 2010.

84,000

The number of unsold housing units in Bengaluru in the second quarter of 2015. With this, the Karnataka capital has surpassed Mumbai in terms of unsold inventory for the first time. The National Capital Region continued to lead, with an estimated inventory of 170,000 unsold units. Bengaluru saw an increase in the number of launches in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago, but the absorption rate decreased to 10%, from 11%. India’s top listed real estate companies had unsold inventory worth Rs70,000 crore in March this year, up 9.4% from a year ago.

40%

The drop in prices of aircraft fuel in Delhi between January 2014 and August 2015. On Monday midnight, state oil companies cut prices of aviation turbine fuel by 11.5%, the most in six months. This move is expected to boost the financial prospects of airlines in India, most of whom are labouring to return to profits.

44%

The percentage of Indian mothers who are able to breastfeed their babies within one hour of delivery, putting India in the lowest position among South Asian countries, according to a report. India’s score only marginally improved in 2015 from 2012. Of the 26 million babies born in India, mothers of nearly 56% of the babies are not able to follow optimal feeding practices during the first year. In India, about half of all births in 2007-08 happened at home, with institutional deliveries ranging from 35% in Chhattisgarh to 76% in Madhya Pradesh. India is also home to the highest number of maternal deaths, accounting for one-fifth of total maternal deaths in the world in 2010.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 25

News In Numbers: August 25

 

Rs 1,033 crore

The income-tax exemption extended by the government to six national political parties between 2006-07 and 2010-11, according to the Association for Democratic Reforms, a non-profit. This has been cited by ADR, in a public interest litigation, as one of the financial reasons to bring political parties under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which would mandate them to share information about their functioning with the public. Yesterday, in the Supreme Court, the government opposed this. Other financial reasons cited by ADR include allotment of land, accommodation/bunglows at concessional rent, and free airtime on state TV and radio broadcasters.

 

$43.6

The price of a barrel of Brent crude oil on the London markets, following yesterday’s sharp fall in global markets, including those in commodities. Brent Crude fell below $45 per barrel for the first time since 2009, and it has deepened what has already been a major decline in global commodity prices, following the weakness in the Chinese economy. Crude oil prices could fall even further as major oil-producing nations such as Iran look to expand production. The fall in crude prices will help keep India’s oil subsidies low: a $1 decline in prices of crude, which is India’s largest import, reduces the country’s import bill by around Rs 6,700 crore.

 

50%+

Share of mobile devices in total searches on Google originating from India. This is a marked increase from the 25% in the second half of 2013, and underscores why the mobile will lead the coming wave of Internet adoption in India. Although smartphone sales in India dipped 7% in the first quarter of 2015, they rebounded smartly in the second quarter, with sales of 26.5 million units, a growth of 44% over the corresponding period of 2014.

 

Rs 2,700 crore

The cumulative bad loans three public sector banks — Union Bank of India, Corporation Bank and Bank of Maharashtra — are planning to sell to asset reconstruction companies (ARCs) in the second quarter of 2015-16. Of these three, the gross non-performing asset (NPA) ratio of only Bank of Maharashtra showed a decrease in the June quarter of 2015-16, compared to the last quarter of 2014-15. Union Bank of India tops the list of public sector banks in bad loans, including restructured assets, as a percentage of total advances. In the March quarter of the last financial year, only Rs 5,500 crore of bad loans were on offer for sale to ARCs, against Rs 50,000 crore in all of 2013-14. This is due to a new rule by the central bank asking ARCs to pay more cash upfront for bad loans. Banks have been battling with the problem of rising bad loans, affecting their profitability.

 


Rs 25,200 crore
The amount the Adani Group is planning to invest in two major projects in Chhattisgarh — a coal to poly- generation project, and a rice bran solvent extraction plant and refinery. The company expects the two projects to generate employment for 10,600 people in the state. The Gujarat-based group recently signed a Rs 7,525-crore project with the Kerala government for development of the Vizhinjam port. The group has had a chequered history in terms of its environmental practices and, recently, it suffered a setback in Australia when a local court overturned the government approval for its $16-billion coal mine project there.

 

 

 

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News in Numbers – July 6, 2015

 

439

The number of times the median pay of ITC employees the company’s chairman YC Deveshwar earns in a year, probably among the highest in Indian companies. And, in the case of India’s richest person, Mukesh Ambani (chairman of Reliance Industries), this ratio is 205:1. These disclosures follow the new Companies Law and the Corporate Governance Code, which mandate listed companies to disclose the pay structure of top management personnel and average employee. Salary multiples of Indian CEOs are similar to those of CEOs in the US: in 2013, CEO of healthcare company CVS Caremark and Goodyear Tires earned 422 and 323 times the median employee pay respectively.

 

8

The death of India Today TV journalist, Akshay Singh while working on the Madhya Pradesh recruitment scam has brought to focus the safety of journalists in the country. The world’s largest democracy is also the eighth deadliest country for journalists. Since 1992, 35 journalists have been killed in India while on assignment, which is more than Mexico and Afghanistan. If a motive is established in Akshay Singh’s case, he would be the 36th such fatality.

 

Rs 7

The loss the Department of Posts incurs on each postcard. Put another way, what the department earns from a postcard, it incurs a cost of 15 times that. For an inland letter, that multiple is 2.8 times. For speed post, it is 1.4. Only three out of 18 postal services offered by the state-run entity make a profit: letter, book post (other periodicals) and competition postcard.

 

65,000

Over 65,000 people in around 125 villages have been affected as the flood situation worsens in Assam. Nearly 99% of them are from two districts: Bongaigaon and Dhemaji. Less than 4,000 hectares of crop areas were under water. So far this year, five people in Assam, at least 70 people in Gujarat and over 40 people in Jammu and Kashmir (cause of deaths also includes landslides) have been killed due to incessant rains.

 

0.5%

Of the 15.3 crore cooking gas consumers, just 7.57 lakh or 0.5% of the total have voluntarily surrendered their LPG subsidy. The government claims that it is able to save Rs 253 crore per annum. The oil marketing companies lost Rs 36,500 crore in 2014-15 on the sale of subsidised cooking gas cylinders. Each consumer is entitled to receive 12 cylinders a year at subsidised rates.

 

2 of 3

Every two of three rural households own a mobile phone but only one out of ten have a salaried job. Uttar Pradesh has the highest percentage of rural households owning only a mobile phone. Chhattisgarh’s villages are the least connected with 71% of the rural households with no phone, most likely linked to the Naxal violence in the state.

 

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