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.

 

3.55%

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.

 

194

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.

 

277

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.

 

39

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.

Read More

News in numbers, Apr 25, 2016: Mixed signs of economic recovery, judge-population ratio…

13.8%

What is it? The year-on-year net profit growth of 60 companies in the January-March 2016.

Why is it important? This is the lowest in four quarters, though it is better than the 10.6% growth a year ago. The analysis of companies that have declared their fourth quarter results so far indicates mixed signs of economic recovery. The net profit growth numbers disappointed observers, but the combined revenue growth at 0.6% the highest in seven quarters provided some cheer.

Tell me more: A better picture would emerge after key manufacturing and infrastructure companies declare their results. This sample of companies analysed includes some of the biggest companies in India – Reliance Industries, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Wipro – which account for a majority of the combined net profit and revenues in the three months to March 2016.

15

What is it? The number of judges for every 10 lakh population in India.

Why is it important? Lack of judges is one of the main factors for India’s slow justice system. It has serious economic costs too. A survey by Bengaluru-based NGO Daksh estimated that the loss of wages and business for litigants attending lower court hearings, in addition to legal fees and other costs works out to be over Rs 80,000 crore a year, 0.7% of India’s GDP in 2015-16.

Tell me more: The Supreme Court has six vacancies while as of February 29, the High Courts had 464 vacancies of judges. This has resulted in high pendency of cases – as of February 19, 59,468 cases were pending before the apex court; around 45 lakh cases pending before all 24 high courts and 2.75 crore cases before the trial courts as reported in early January.

750

What is it? The number of complaints against private universities received by the Indian government and University Grants Commission (UGC) in the last three years.

Why is it important? The government and UGC have stepped up their scrutiny of private universities, which are loosely regulated and enjoy a great amount of freedom in their operations. The challenge for India is to improve the quality of higher education even as it aims to increase gross enrolment ratio to 30% by 2020 from 23.6% in 2014-15.

Tell me more: The complaints – including on fake degrees and irregularities in finance – have seen a threefold increase in the last couple of years.

~ $1 billion

What is it? The value of offshore loans, which SSG Capital Management, a Hong Kong-based distressed-asset investor, is reportedly interested in buying from Standard Chartered’s India portfolio. It’s the only firm that has shown interest so far.

Why is it important? Indicates tepid response to the sale of distressed assets in India as banks scramble to clean their balance sheets before the March 2017 deadline set by the central bank.

Tell me more: Standard Chartered’s sale of India loans was reported about a fortnight ago. The Hong Kong-based firm is also seeking a 30% discount on the value of the assets.

2

What is it? The number of people killed in a gun battle between two rival groups at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the weekend.

Why is it important? AMU is ranked among the top 10 universities in India, and it comes on the back of unrest at Jawharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad University. The AMU incident was said to be due to groupism, which also resulted in the destruction of 28,000 students records in fire.

Tell me more: Reports say that trouble began when a hostel student was assaulted and an attempt was made to set his room afire. Following the student’s complaint to the proctor against this, a rival gang arrived with weapons and both the groups resorted to firing at each other.

Read More

News In Numbers – July 16

News In Numbers: July 16

 

7

India’s goods exports fell for the seventh consecutive month in June, by 15.8% to $22.3 billion, making it more challenging for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to achieve his target of $900 billion in exports by 2020. Of the top 30 broad export categories, as many as 16 reported a decline in June 2015, compared with June 2014. India had missed its export target of $340 billion in 2014-15 by 11.5%.

 

Rs 50 crore

The total corpus of the Dalit SME (small and medium enterprises) Fund. The fund, which was launched in 2013, supports the entrepreneurial initiatives by people from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Launched by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), the fund was hoping to raise Rs 500 crore over the next 10 years. It has, so far, managed to raise only 10% of that amount due to a lack of interest from financial institutions. DICCI has around 3,000 millionaire Dalit members, with about a third running businesses whose turnover exceeding Rs 100 crore.

 

$15.3 billion

About 100 Indian companies have invested $15.3 billion and created about 91,000 jobs in the US. The survey says Indian companies have “operational presence” in all 50 states in the US, with the highest concentration in New Jersey, California and New York. Texas has received the highest Indian foreign direct investment. The IT, ITeS and telecom sector is the dominant one, accounting for two out of five companies. However, in 2011 and 2012, India’s investments in the US amounted to less than $1.5 billion, and an outflow in 2013.

 

20

Of the top 1,000 rank holders who wrote the JEE (Advanced) Examination, only 20 have opted for a new IIT campus, with the rest flocking to the older ones or the National Institutes of Technology. All those 20 students have chosen IIT-Hyderabad. In the broader set of top 2,000 rank-holders, 29 students opted for five new IITs. In other words, the other five IITs did not attract a single student from the top 2,000. Among older IITs, the Bombay campus continues to be the most preferred institution, and computer science and engineering the most preferred course.

 

102,673

Number of students from India enrolled at all levels in the US in 2013-14, or a share of 11.6% among international students in the US. That was second only to China, which leapfrogged India as recently as 2009-10 and now accounts for 31% of students in the US. According to an HSBC education survey of 16 countries released on Wednesday, India had the highest proportion of parents, at 88%, who were willing to send their children abroad for post-graduate studies. China was joint third, with 82%.

 

howindialives.com is a search engine for public data



 

Read More