News in Numbers, Oct 12, 2016: The problem of too much, too little…


What is it? The percentage of undernourished people in India between 2014-16, according to the Global Hunger Index 2016.

Why is it important? This ranks India 97th among 118 developing nations, which is worse than all South Asian countries other than Pakistan. It ranked 80th out of 104 countries last year. If hunger declines at the current rates, 45 countries including India would have ‘moderate’ to ‘alarming’ hunger levels in 2030, which means the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by then is unlikely to be achieved.

Tell me more: Approximately, two out of every five children below the age of five years are stunted in India while 15.1% of them arewasted (mostly, indicates severe weight loss associated with acute starvation/disease).


163 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated coal deficit by 2020, down from 191 million tonnes in 2016, according to a report.

Why is it important? India is likely to miss its goal of achieving coal self-sufficiency by 2020 due to delays in opening up of commercial mining to the private sector and giving approvals to state miners, per the report. Coal accounts for 61% of electricity generation capacity in the country and India is looking to reduce its imports by boosting domestic output. However, the government is worried about the how it would sell the surplus coal.

Tell me more: India is looking at 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production by 2020, of which over two-thirds would come from Coal India. India is set to surpass US as the world’s second biggest coal producer after China in four years where its share of world output would increase to 12.7% in 2020 from 9.8% in 2016.


$17 billion

What is it? The estimated value of lost sales from Galaxy Note 7 for Samsung Electronics, according to analysts.

Why is it important? This is after the company announced that it is halting production and sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday. The amount is calculated based on the lost sales of up to 19 million phones. This is more than triple the amount of $5 billion analysts expected Samsung to report in missed sales and recall costs, assuming that the company would recommence global sales of the product in the fourth quarter. Though the company would probably be able to absorb these costs as it has a market value of $235 billion and $69 billion in cash, it remains to be seen how this affects its brand value and the sales of its other smartphone models.

Tell me more: The product was launched on August 2 in New York and complaints of overhearing started emerging followed by reports of the devices catching fire. In September, Samsung recalled 2.5 million of Note 7s.


135 million tonnes

What is it? The estimated farm output in kharif crops this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Why is it important? It’s 9% higher than last year, and comes on the back of good monsoon during the season. It will raise farm income, which drives a range of consumer products in India from white goodsto automobiles. This follows two years of drought.

Tell me more: This season saw the rainfall well distributed across the country, India Meteorological Department said. This season saw farmers increasing area under cultivation – 4.4% higher than five year average for crops in general, and 37% higher for pulses.


1.5 million

What is it? The number of people killed by animals in 2015.

Why is it important? Mosquitoes accounted for over 54% of all deaths, with malaria-carrying insects killing a child every minute. Prevention and control measures can bring down the deaths. There has been a 60% reduction in mortality rates since 2000. There are 12,000 cases of Dengue and Chikungunya, both mosquito-borne diseases caused by the same Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread Zika, in India by last count.

Tell me more: After mosquitoes, the second biggest cause are human beings themselves. Humans accounted for 37.73% or 580,000 deaths in 2015. War claimed about 172,000 lives.

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A new airport ✈

News in Numbers – September 16



What is it? The number of international airports in India, following the addition of Chandigarh to this list yesterday.

Why is it important? India is one of the fastest-growing markets in world aviation. The creation of new airport pairs, as is expected to happen with the Chandigarh airport in the international segment over time, is a big lever of passenger growth.

Tell me more: In 2013-14, the Chandigarh airport serviced 9,690 domestic flights and 10.50 lakh passengers. In terms of flights serviced, it was the sixth busiest in North India, after New Delhi Jaipur, Lucknow, Srinagar and Amritsar.


$ 21.51 billion

What is it? India’s exports in August, down 0.3% from August 2015. Imports declined by 14%, helping India to narrow the trade deficit.

Why is it important? The headline number masks the relatively better performance of the top 5 export groups, barring petroleum products. Non-petroleum exports increased by 1.79% in August 2016.

Tell me more: Imports declined sharply because of 78% dip in gold imports, partly aided by sharp dip in gold prices. Non-oil and non-gold imports- a proxy economic indicator – declined by 1.52%.



What is it? The drop in share price of Reliance Communications yesterday, a day after it announced the merger of its mobile wireless business with a smaller company, Aircel.

Why is it important? Along with sharing additional details on the merger, Reliance yesterday said it planned to raise $1 billion from outside investors. Meanwhile, rating agency Moody’s placed the company’s credit rating under “review for downgrade”.

Tell me more: Over much of its listing, the Reliance Communications stock has been a value destroyer: overall, it has depreciated 84% since debuting in March 2006.


22 million tonne

What is it? The expected production of pulses this year, up 33% from last year.

Why is it important? Pulses shortage and the resultant rise in prices have been among the biggest concerns of the government and policy makers over the last few months. The government has more than doubled its buffer stock of pulses, and warned that it would invoke essential commodities act to impose price control. Higher production would alleviate those concerns.

Tell me more: The rise in pulses production (and food grains in general) is expected on the back of normal monsoon this season, coming after two years of drought. The area under food grain cultivation has gone up by 5.3 million hectare.



What is it? The number of lives lost to Dengue and  Chikungunya in Delhi this year

Why is it important? Over 2800 people have been affected by these two diseases in the capital alone, raising questions about government’s ability to manage public health.   Across the country, the number of cases has crossed 12,000. Both viral diseases cause fatigue, fever and body pain, and can last a couple of weeks. Complications can lead to death.

Tell me more:  Both diseases have been causing concern to public health officials across the world. There is no specific treatment for either, and vaccines have caused their own problems. According to WHO, there are 390 million dengue infections per year, and the year 2016 saw five fold increase in reported Chikungunya cases


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