News in Numbers, July 18, 2016: Kashmir valley tense, 3 Indian sites on UNESCO heritage list…

3

What is it? The number of Indian sites that got selected to be part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Why is it important? This is the first time any country has got three sites in this list in a single session of UNESCO’s committee meeting. Not only does this tag help promote global recognition and tourism but also helps in increased protection of cultural and natural places for future generations to enjoy. Now, India has a total of 35 sites on the list, of which 27 are cultural, seven are natural and one is in the ‘mixed’ category.

Tell me more: The three sites chosen from India include Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park and Nalanda University in Bihar.

 

2,000

What is it? The number of additional Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel rushed to Kashmir valley.

Why is it important? This is in addition to 2,800 troops of the CRPF sent to the region to tackle violence that erupted after the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist based in the valley, last week. The situation remains tense after 41 people were killed and over 2,000 were injured in the clashes that broke out between protesters of Wani’s killing and the security forces. There have been raids and clampdown on printing and distribution of newspapers to prevent flaring of further violence.

Tell me more: Mobile phone and internet services have been disabled in many parts of the state and schools and colleges that were to reopen tomorrow after the summer holidays have got a week’s extension.

 

1,068

What is it? The number of polluting units and industries that the Telangana industries department wants to shift out of Hyderabad city limits by December 2017.

Why is it important? Though different governments have tried to shift the factories outside the city limits for the last 15 years, they haven’t been successful due to opposition from the businesses. If successful, other state governments could follow suit to de-congest the major cities that face similar problem. Among five metros including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Hyderabad’s air quality index was the worst at 10 pm last night, as per the US Embassy and Consulates’ air quality monitor.

Tell me more: The government will hold consultations with industries and manufacturing units for the shifting out and housing them in industry-wise clusters and has agreed in principle, to provide certain concessions to them including tax rebates and easy land conversion.

 

Rs 20,000

What is it? The maximum compensation air passengers in India will be eligible for, in case of cancellation of a flight or denying them boarding, effective from August 1.

Why is it important? This is five times the maximum compensation air travellers are allowed in such cases, and is likely to force airlines to improve their on time performance and have a re-look at their overbooking strategies. As many as 1,873 people were denied boarding in the month of May, besides 7,165 cancellations and 87,323 delays, for which airlines gave a total compensation of Rs 192.4 lakhs.

Tell me more: For denied boarding, the compensation is up to Rs 20,000 while for cancelling or delaying a flight by over two hours would make travellers eligible for up to Rs 10,000. The compensation varies depending on factors such as the number of hours of delay or cancellation and alternate flight arrangements.

 

57%

What is it? The percentage of people who claimed to be allopathic doctors in 2001 but did not have any medical qualifications, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Why is it important? Highlights the extent of quackery in India and the need for stronger rules to tackle this, besides taking measures to increase the number of medical seats. The country is already battling low density of health workers. The doctor-patient ratio is less than 1:1000 – the recommended limit by the WHO – by the Indian government’s own admission.

Tell me more: The rural areas are worse off where just 18.8% of the allopathic doctors had a medical qualification. Overall, less than a fourth (23.3%) of all health workers had medical qualifications as per the 2001 Census.

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News in numbers, Apr 18, 2016: States reducing rural spend, Tamil Nadu’s freebie culture…

14

What is it? The number of states that have reduced their rural spending in absolute terms in 2015-16 compared to the previous year.

Why is it important? The cutback in rural spending – for example, in agriculture, rural infrastructure and irrigation – comes during the second consecutive year of drought. One reason is the reduction in state revenues from their share in central taxes and grants in aid, which declined by 0.3% of GDP in 2015-16.

Tell me more: Of the 14 states that reduced rural spending, five cut down on their overall spending in 2015-16. This also raises the question if states have shifted their expenditure from rural spending by using the spending freedom got due to the implementation of the 14th Finance Commission recommendations.

~Rs 15,000 crore

What is it? The value of freebies provided by the Tamil Nadu government between 2006 and 2016, first five under M Karunanidhi’s DMK and the next under J Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK.

Why is it important? Raises questions about the economics of freebies, especially when the state’s revenue deficit (net amount received is lesser than projected net amount to be received) is estimated to nearly double to Rs 9,155 crore in 2016-17 from the previous year. The freebies offered by DMK and AIADMK included rice at single-digit prices per kg, fans, mixers, gold, laptops, bicycles and television sets.

Tell me more: In response to a 2013 Supreme Court order, the Election Commission updated its Model Code of Conduct rules and said parties should not make promises that impair the quality of the election process or exert undue influence on the voters. The rules also require the parties to explain the rationale behind the poll promises and broadly state the financial means by which they would implement them.

$38.06-$40.86 per barrel

What is it? The prices at which the global benchmarks of crude oil (US and Brent crude futures respectively) were trading at around 6 am (Indian Standard Time) today.

Why is it important? Crude oil prices were down by 5.7% and 5.2% respectively from their last closing. This was due to the failed attempt by major oil-producers to curb their output at January levels to arrest falling oil prices, at their Doha meet on Sunday. This gives rise to concerns about continued global oversupply of crude and low oil prices in the near future.

Tell me more: Barclays estimates Brent to average at around $36 a barrel in the second quarter of this year.

$37,584 (~ Rs 25 lakh)

What is it? The value of Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s total compensation in 2015.

Why is it important? Musk does not take salary from Tesla, and this amount is as per California’s minimum wage requirements. Musk has a 26.5% stake (as of December 31) in the company, worth around $9.47 billion. He received stock options worth $5.27 million in 2012 to compensate him for 10 years.

Tell me more: Other CEOs who got low compensation are Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who received $1 as salary in 2014 (along with additional compensation of $610,455) and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey whose compensation was valued at $68,506 last year.

$37 million

What is it? The amount Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer would receive if she leaves after Yahoo is sold off.

Why is it important? Telecom firm Verizon and Daily Mail General Trust (owner of MailOnline website) are expected to submit their bids to takeover Yahoo’s core business today.

Tell me more: Yahoo’s revenue has fallen by 8.5% since 2012 (Mayer was appointed CEO in July 2012) to $4.09 billion in 2015 while its adjusted profit has nearly halved to $0.95 billion during the same period. If Marissa Mayer is fired before the company is sold off, she would still receive $13 million, per reports.

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