News In Numbers: September 3, 2015
The number of persons sent to jail by a Delhi court on Wednesday, the first conviction in a 2010 Commonwealth Games scam case. Four are officials from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), each of whom received four years, while the fifth person, the managing director of a private firm, got six years. They have been convicted for their involvement in a street-lighting scam, which resulted in a loss of Rs 1.4 crore to the exchequer. Of the 10 ongoing corruption cases that relates to the Games, one is against former Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi and nine others for alleged irregularities in awarding a contract to a Swiss company, causing a loss of Rs 95.6 crore to the exchequer. Last January, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed nine of the 19 FIRs (first information reports) filed for lack of evidence.
Rs 25,000 crore
The estimated loss to the Indian economy due to a one-day strike by 10 central trade unions on Wednesday, according to industry bodies CII and Assocham. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dismissed the strike as something that “had a marginal or an inconsequential impact”, saying that most people were not even aware. The trade unions claimed that over 15 crore organised sector workers participated in the strike, and media reports suggest banking and transportation services were hit in parts of the country. Workers from 23 public sector banks, 12 private banks, 52 regional rural banks and over 13,000 cooperative banks went on strike on Wednesday.
The number of trees estimated per person on earth, according to a group of researchers led by ecologist Thomas Crowther. The researchers have combined two methods – satellite imagery and ground-based counting – to arrive at an estimate of 3.04 trillion trees on earth. This is 7.6 times the previous estimate of 400 billion trees, which was arrived at by primarily using the second method. With an estimate of 15 billion trees being cut down every year, the number of trees has declined by 46% since humans began cultivation about 12,000 years ago. According to the World Wildlife Fund, about 36 football fields worth of trees are lost every minute across the world.
According to gross-value added (GVA, which is essentially GDP minus taxes plus subsidies) data, inflation was 0.1% in the Indian economy in the first quarter of 2015-16. In the fourth quarter of 2014-15, this number was in negative territory, indicating the economy was in deflation. Except for agriculture, industry and services are in deflation. On Wednesday, chief economic advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian warned the Indian economy “appears to be in or close to deflation territory” but maintained that it would grow at around 8% in 2015-16. The CEA has said in the past that policymakers should also look at the Wholesale Price Index, which is in the negative, besides the Consumer Price Index. The Reserve Bank of India kept key interest rates unchanged in August citing inflationary concerns.
The number of Indians in the age bracket of 15 to 34 years who were killed in road accidents in 2014, of which 82% were men. The victims in this age group accounted for 53.8% of the road accidents recorded last year and those in the 35-64 age bracket accounted for 35.7%. Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for nearly one-third of total road fatalities last year. About 1.2 million Indians were killed in car accidents in the last 10 years or so, an average of one every minute. According to a World Health Organization report, India has the highest absolute number of recorded road deaths, followed by China.
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