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 – May 31, 2016

2,234

What is it? Number of people infected by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) during blood transfusions in last 17 months.

Why is it important? Indicates poor blood transfusion practices at hospitals and blood banks as by law all donors and donated blood have to be screened for infections including HIV.  Between April – September 2014, 30 lakh units of blood were donated via National AIDS Control Organization’s blood banks.

Tell me more: HIV prevalence among pregnant women – considered as proxy for general population – is estimated at 0.29% in 2014-15.

Rs 50,000

What is it?  The amount a provident fund subscriber can withdraw without having to pay tax at source.

Why is it important? The move will help 40 million subscribers. The earlier limit was Rs 30,000. Each subscriber can potentially save Rs 2,000 as tax at source is 10%.

Tell me more: At present, no tax is deducted if a subscriber withdraws after a period of five years

26%

What is it? Increase in Tata Motors’ domestic sales of medium and heavy duty trucks in the  first three months of this year.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of uptick in economic activity. Medium and heavy duty trucks are the mainstay for freight transport in India and Tata Motors has dominant market share in this segment of truck market.

Tell me more: The company reported a net profit of Rs 5,177 crore in March quarter, representing a threefold increase from year-ago period. Better performance by Jaguar Land Rover unit aided this performance.

Rs 350 crore

What is it? Amount spent by state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to develop Hindustan Turbo Trainer – 40 (or HTT-40), which will take its maiden flight today.

Why is it important? The trainer was developed without any financial support or purchase commitment from Indian Air Force and the entire amount was mobilised from HAL’s internal resources. Air Force purchased 75 Swiss-made aircraft trainers for Rs 3,770 crore in 2012. It has requirement for further 106 trainers. HAL is hoping to secure a part of this remaining requirement.

Tell me more: The trainer could also be converted into a basic fighter aircraft for countries that can’t afford expensive fighters.

91.22%

What is it? The percentage of consumer complaints that are pending at various consumer redressal forums and commission from district to national level.

Why is it important? Long delays defeats the purpose of consumer courts, which were designed as low cost option to redress consumer complaints. A Supreme Court appointed panel found most consumer courts are working with poor infrastructure including inadequate space and bad internet connections. The panel suggest immediate revamp of facilities.

Tell me more: Nearly three-fourths of pending cases are at district forums with pendency rate of 91%.

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