News in Numbers, Aug 17, 2016: Hike becomes a unicorn, dengue cases on the rise in Delhi…

$175 million

What is it? The amount Indian messaging startup Hike Messenger has raised from a group of investors led by Chinese Internet firm Tencent Holdings and Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Groupat a valuation of $1.4 billion.

Why is it important? This is Hike Messenger’s fourth and its biggest round of funding and with this, the startup has now entered the unicorn club. This would help the startup invest in services and make the product better even as it tries to catch up with the most popular or dominant messaging platform Whatsapp in India. Hike has over 100 million users, of which 95% are Indians while Whatsapp hit the 1 billion-mark globally in Feb this year.

Tell me more: Hike was launched by Kavin Bharti Mittal, son of Sunil Mittal who is the chairman of Bharti Enterprises, in December 2012. It has raised over $250 million so far.



What is it? The increase in India’s wholesale price inflation in July, up from 1.62% in June.

Why is it important? This was the fastest in nearly two years (23 months) and was due to increase in inflation of both food and non-food articles. While the former increased by 9.38% last month (compared to 8.18% in June) the latter quickened to 9.49% in July (from 5.72% in June). Cereals, pulses, vegetables and fruits were the main reasons for the increase in food inflation while fibers and oil seeds pushed up non-food inflation.

Tell me more: In the last one year or so, the gap between wholesale price index-based inflation (WPI-based) and consumer price index-based inflation (CPI-based) has narrowed: last month, CPI-based inflation accelerated to 6.07%, again the highest in 23 months.



What is it? The number of companies that have been asked by Bombay Stock Exchange to delist. They have been suspended from trading for the last 13 years.  

Why is it important? This will help public shareholders. The promoters of the delisted firms have to purchase shares from the public shareholders at a fair price arrived at by an independent valuer (who is appointed by the exchange). The markets regulator is taking steps to bring down the number of listed companies to reduce the risk of price manipulation through such firms and improve the governance of public markets.

Tell me more: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) would reportedly attach the assets and properties of companies that fail to comply with the delisting notices. In June, it was reported that the BSE was finding it difficult to follow SEBI’s order of delisting firms that have been suspended from trading for more than seven years as half of the 509 letters sent by the exchange bounced back, indicating that the promoters are not traceable.



What is it? The number of dengue cases reported between June and August in Delhi.

Why is it important? With nearly 40% of the cases having been reported in the first two weeks of this month, the numbers suggest that the number of cases are displaying an increasing trend. A total of six cases were reported in May, 15 in June and 91 in July. Delhi reported 15,867 cases last year, the worst in 20 years and 60 lives were lost to the vector-borne disease.

Tell me more: As of June 28, India recorded 8,307 cases and at least 10 deaths from/due to dengue. According to one estimate, dengue costs India over $1.1 billion per year.



What is it? The number of airports in India that are not under the cover of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

Why is it important? Soon, all 98 functional civil airports in the country would be brought under the security cover of the CISF, according to a decision taken at a meeting attended by ministers and officials of the Home and Civil Aviation Ministries. The Intelligence Bureau warned on Tuesday that none of the Indian airports are safe and do not have the capabilities to withstand an attack similar to that in Brussels that took place in March killing 32 people and injuring over 300.

Tell me more: The Home Ministry has ordered a security audit of all the airports and the probe committee is expected to submit its report in 20 days. The central government would then work with state governments to plug the loopholes at all airports.

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News in numbers, Oct 29, 2015: Internet freedom in India, AP joins list of drought-hit states…


What is it? India’s score in Freedom on the net 2015.     

Why is it important? It improved the score from 42 last year. A reduction in score means more freedom. It’s still tagged ‘partly free’. Of the 65 countries compared by US-based Freedom House, 32 countries have seen their scores coming down. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. Though the apex court upheld Section 69A that allows government to block online content, the safeguards put in place like having a written order explaining why the content is being blocked.

Tell me more.  Score is based on three parameters – obstacles to access (maximum score of 25), limits on content (25), and violations of user rights (40).     



What is it? Oversubscription ratio in InterGlobe Aviation IPO (Initial Public Offer) in two days. Interglobe is the parent company of India’s largest domestic airline Indigo.

Why is it important? This is the largest IPO since 2012. A positive response would indicate increased investor appetite for large issuance of shares by other companies waiting to test the waters. The demand was fuelled mainly by Foreign Institutional Investors who bidded  5 times more than what was allocated under Qualified Institutional Buyers category.              

Tell me more: Demand for individual retail investors was muted with only 19% of shares receiving bids. Today is the last day of the IPO.   


Rs 83 crore

What is it? Net profit reported by Jet Airways, a full service airline, in quarter ended September 2015.   

Why is it important? September quarter is considered a lean season. This is the first time in eight years Jet Airways has reported a profit in this quarter. Operating profits was also higher than June quarter, the first time it has happened in five years. A 20% growth in domestic passenger traffic in January – September this year, along with low crude oil prices has helped Jet Airways to turnaround.      

Tell me more? JetLite, the budget airline of Jet Airways, continued to make losses at Rs 50 crore in September quarter.



What is it? The average number of hand luggage an air passenger carry, excluding laptop or handbag, while getting through security check at the Delhi airport.  

Why is it important? Normally only one hand luggage is allowed per passenger excluding a laptop or handbag. More bags means more time to scan the luggage. An ideal scan rate of an X-ray machine is 300 bags per hour or around 12 seconds per bag. But because of increased bags leads to clearing the bags in 5-7 seconds. This pose a clear security risk.   

Tell me more. Delhi airport handled 36.88 million passengers last fiscal, that’s around 101,000 passengers each day.  



What is it? The number of sub-districts in Andhra Pradesh declared as drought-hit, after two years of deficit monsoon. The southern state is the fifth to declare drought in parts of their state.   

Why is it important? A wide spread drought will impact rural income and rural demand, and would make it difficult to meet government’s GDP growth target of 7.5%.     

Tell me more? Monsoon was 12% deficit in 2015, making it the fourth time in last 115 years where India experienced consecutive deficit monsoon years.Andhra Pradesh received 5.4% less rain this Monsoon.   

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News In Numbers – July 23

News In Numbers: July 23



A Rajya Sabha panel has recommended capping the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST) at 20%. If accepted, this is good news for consumers because an earlier panel of state finance ministers had recommended a higher rate of 27%. However, the Rajya Sabha panel kept intact the inter-state levy of 1% on goods. A product from Tamil Nadu to Assam will attract 5% extra tax, as each of the five states will levy a tax of 1% on goods being moved. GST was supposed to merge all state and central taxes into one-single tax rate, so as to create a single all-India market. Inter-state levy would go against this concept.



The proportion of 333 women-student respondents in a 2013 gender relations survey conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, who reported they had experienced sexual harassment “once in a while”; another 26% of respondents answered “often (weekly)”. However, only 34 complaints were filed by them, underscoring the societal and systemic difficulties faced by women in India in speaking out or following through. On Wednesday, the government stated that 75 cases of sexual harassment against women educators and research scholars were reported by 84 Indian universities in 2014-15.


Rs 41,000 crore

India’s oil import dues to Iran. Amidst concerns that India might have to clear this due immediately after Iran signed a deal with six world powers about a week ago to curb its nuclear programme in return for lifting of international sanctions, the middle-eastern country has proposed it can invest a part of the corpus in Indian projects. India was unable to pay fully for its oil imports in the past two years, as US and Europe have banned financial institutions from doing business with Iran. Imports from Iran accounted for 7.3% of India’s total oil purchases in 2014, making it the seventh-biggest oil supplier to India; India’s total oil import bill for 2014-15 was Rs 7.9 lakh crore.



The suicide rate of women in Indian paramilitary forces per lakh population. This rate for men in central armed police forces, which include the BSF, CISF and CRPF, is 11.2 per lakh population. Women constitute a little less than 2% of all paramilitary force personnel but account for over 40% of suicides. Just four states account for all female suicides in these forces: Madhya Pradesh, Telengana, Bihar and Jammu & Kashmir. In March this year, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had announced that 33% in central paramilitary forces would be reserved for women. The overall incidence of suicides per one lakh population in India for 2014 was 10.6.



As many as 41 BSE-listed companies have pledged 100% of their stake to raise money, an indication of stressed corporate finances, even as India makes an attempt to recover from an economic slowdown. On the other hand, promoters of 3,240 companies have not pledged any of their shares. Lenders demand extra collateral when value of shares held as pledge go down or when borrowers ask for extra credit. The outstanding corporate debt of Indian companies is over a third of India’s GDP: 34% in 2013-14.
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