News in Numbers, Mar 10, 2017: What’s C in C-section?

26 weeks

What is it? The duration of paid maternity leave mandated by the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, passed in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.

Why is it important? It had been a long-standing demand of women’s rights organisations. If passed by the President of India, the amendment would extend the current provision of 12 weeks of fully-paid leave for the mother to 26 weeks, giving her more security and time to spend with her child and recover her health. India would then be second to only a few countries in the world.

Tell me more: Norway, Estonia and Canada have government-mandated maternity (fully-paid) leaves lasting 35 weeks. Most European companies are at 18 weeks but partly-paid leaves combined with it make for stronger allowances than India’s.


$1 billion

What is it? The amount online room renting service, Airbnb Inc, raised in its latest round.

Why is it important? The second-most valuable startup, behind Uber Technologies, the service app will now be valued at $31 billion. But unlike the ride-booking app, Airbnb turned profitable in thesecond half of 2016, and expects EBITDA profit in 2017.

Tell me more: In September, it had raised $555 million as part of the same funding round, and closed it with the recent $447.85 million.


Rs 22,521 crore

What is it? The revenue the civil aviation ministry expects state-run Air India to clock in fiscal 2017.

Why is it important? The loss-making airline is expecting a 10% increase in revenue this year. Its passenger load factor, measuring revenue per seat, should increase from 75.6% to 76.4%, indicating more efficient operations, said the ministry.

Tell me more: Existing on government handouts, the airline is said to be moving towards milestones mentioned in the turnaround plan (TAP) involving an infusion of Rs 30,231 crore till 2021. It has gone in for route rationalisation, newer fleet and new routes, and ancillary charges such as preferred seat selection charge.


$20 million

What is it? The amount Tata Trusts plans to invest in social enterprises over the next 10 years in association with Department of Science (DST) and Technology and Lockheed Martin.

Why is it important? The decision by one of the country’s leading trusts underlines the increasing influence of social enterprises in social sector, an area traditionally dominated by non-profits funded mostly by charity.


Tell me more: The investments will be for the second edition of India Innovation Growth Programme. The first was launched in 2007 by DST.



What is it? The percentage of cesarean deliveries in private hospitals in India in 2015-16, according to National Family Health Survey.

Why is it important? This contrasts with 11.9% in public hospitals, and raises questions about medical ethics in private hospitals. C-section deliveries cost more, and privatised medical profession has long been accused of recommending costly procedures that might not be necessary – that might even be dangerous – for patients.

Tell me more: Compared to 10 years ago, the percentage of c-section deliveries has gone up in private hospitals – from 27.7% in 2005-06, and has gone down in public hospitals from 15.2% in 2005-06.

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Chart of the Day | India’s Busiest Airports (H1, 2016)

India is working on a plan to upgrade its airports over the next six years, Economic Times reports. It quotes Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha as saying that in the next 10 to 12 years, there will be billion footfalls in our airports. The government wants to make sure that the capacity keeps up with the demand.

A look at the passenger traffic in top ten busiest Indian airports shows that it grew 18.76% in the first half of 2016 compared to the same period last year. Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, the busiest in the country, grew at over 21% in the first half this year. Among the top five, passenger traffic in every airport grew at over 10%.

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News in Numbers, June 14, 2016: Microsoft acquires LinkedIn, air ambulances in India…

$26.2 billion

What is it? The size of Microsoft – LinkedIn deal.

Why is it important? This is Microsoft’s biggest acquisition ever. It’s expected to help Microsoft in its path to become a business services company, and strengthen its suite of products – with Linkedin’s networking platform complementing Microsoft’s work tools including Office (which has 1.2 billion users).

Tell me more: Microsoft is buying Linkedin at $196 per share, a 50% premium to the closing price on Friday. “Essentially, we’re both trying to do the same thing but coming at it from two different places: For LinkedIn, it’s the professional network, and for Microsoft, the professional cloud,” according to Jeff Weiner, chief executive officer of LinkedIn.


210-220 million

What is it? Overall estimated iPhone shipments in 2016, 8.6% lower than those in 2015.

Why is it important? This would the first fall in Apple’s flagship smartphone since its launch in 2007. Apple still relies on iPhones for two-thirds of its total sales and reported its first quarterly revenue decline since 2003 in the January-March 2016 period.

Tell me more: In a May report, Yuanta Investment Consulting had estimated that iPhone shipments would see a year-on-year decline of 12% to 207 million units this year. Apple is expected to launch its new model (iPhone 7) in September and new versions tend to boost sales, if they are significantly better than the previous ones.


Rs 2,250

What is it? The amount passengers of Spicejet, Indigo and GoAir need to pay (in addition to fare difference) for changing the name on tickets now. In 2010, this was Rs 1,500 plus fare difference, according to a study.

Why is it important? An example of how Indian airlines have increased the prices for almost all the different services including seat cancellation and infants or minors travelling unaccompanied, except for the tickets. While this may be viewed as an additional burden on unsuspecting passengers, experts say such a move would encourage first-time customers and expand the market.

Tell me more: Last weekend, the Civil Aviation Ministry proposed some new norms for services/charges including excess baggage, denied boarding and cancellation, and has given two weeks to its stakeholders to submit their suggestions and comments on the same.



What is it? The number of MLAs whose fate hangs in the balance after the President rejected a Bill of the Delhi government that seeks to amend the law on ‘Office of Profit’.

Why is it important? The Delhi government passed a bill that seeks to retrospectively exempt these MLAs, appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries last March, from the list of ‘Office of Profit’ and validate their posts. An elected member cannot hold an office of profit or hold positions that give them more financial and executive powers. There is a possibility that the 21 seats may now face by-elections.

Tell me more: The President has referred the issue to the Election Commission, which has sought the replies of the legislators and will fix a date for hearing to decide the fate of the legislators.


Rs 17,999

What is it? The annual subscription for a family for helicopter ambulance services to be launched by Bengaluru-based Aviators Air Rescue in the five southern states – Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana – in three months.

Why is it important? The company would be the first one in India to offer services under the recently notified Helicopter Emergency Medical Services guidelines. Besides being airlifted to a healthcare facility in case of an emergency, the subscription would also cover last-mile ambulance charges of Rs 15,000 and preliminary hospital charges of Rs 85,000.

Tell me more: The air ambulances would land on pre-approved helipads and has partnered with 2,000 hospitals and ambulance services for the last-mile connectivity. The company, which will launch its services with three helicopters, plans to add seven more to its fleet to extend its coverage to the entire country by April 2017. For an individual, the annual subscription is Rs 8,999.

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