Delhi Leads. In Crimes.


India grew at a faster pace, that ended a five-quarter slide in GDP. While economy is doing well,  nation is degrading socially and more so the capital, Delhi. The city led is highest number of crimes against women, foreigners, children and basically against everybody. Down south, Kerala and Kanyakumari were hammered by a cyclonic storm called ‘Ockhi’. And, our one rupee note has turned 100. Something to cheer for? Maybe for collectors.



What is it? The economic growth rate of India in the July-September quarter of 2017-18.

Why is it important? This is an uptick from the 5.7% recorded in the previous quarter, which was the lowest in three years, and also ends a five-quarter slide. This could be a sign of businesses adjusting to the new normal after last year’s currency ban and the roll-out of GST (goods and services tax). It remains to be seen if economic growth gains momentum in the next few quarters; most multilateral organisations such as the International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development have lowered their growth forecasts for the Indian economy for 2017-18.

Tell me more: The government also released another set of data yesterday that showed that India’s fiscal deficit hit 96.1% of the full-year budget estimate.



What is it? The crime rate—crime per lakh of population—under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in Delhi in 2016, according to latest data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Why is it important? Delhi’s crime rate is the highest among all states and union territories. It has increased from 916.8 in 2015 and accounted for 7% of all IPC crimes in India in 2016, highlighting the need for stringent measures to maintain law and order in the capital. It led all states in theft cases and seizure of fake currency notes. Among 19 major cities, it accounted for the maximum number of rape cases, the highest crime rate against women, the highest number of cases of kidnapping and abduction and murder cases, the maximum number of cases of juveniles in conflict with the law, and the maximum economic offence cases.

Tell me more: Among states, Uttar Pradesh, which accounted for 9.5% of total IPC crimes in the country, reported the highest number of murder cases, crimes against women, kidnapping and abduction, highest number of cases of atrocities against scheduled castes, cyber crimes and the maximum number of seizures of arms.



What is it? The number of deaths in Kanyakumari and Kerala in rain-related incidents caused by a cyclonic storm called ‘Ockhi’ (named by Bangladesh after the Bengali word for ‘eye’).

Why is it important? Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected until Friday night in some southern districts in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. There are chances that the storm could intensify into a severe cyclone by today before reaching Lakshadweep on Saturday. A search operation is on to find 13 missing fishermen from Kanyakumari who had gone out in the sea, while another 200 are reportedly missing off the coast of Thiruvananthapuram. Heavy rains in Tamil Nadu earlier this month had sparked fears of a 2015-like floods that killed over 400 people.

Tell me more: Two teams consisting of 60 members from the National Disaster Response Force have been sent to Kanyakumari, while another team of 47 would be stationed in Kochi to provide help in Lakshadweep.


100 years

What is it? The number of years that the Re 1 note in India has been in existence.

Why is it important? In November 1994, the central bank had stopped printing the Re 1 note mainly due to its high cost and to free up capacity to print currency notes of higher denominations. But in May 2017, it said it would resume their printing. The Re 1 note has immense value among collectors.

Tell me more: A bundle of 100 Re 1 notes reportedly sell for Rs 600 in grey markets of Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai and Chandni Chowk in Delhi.



What is it? The number of birdies carded by Tiger Woods in the first round of the Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas. Woods finished with a round of 69, 3 under par and 3 strokes behind the leader.

Why is it important? This was Woods’ first round of competitive golf in 301 days and follows a fourth surgery on his back. The former world number 1, who has won the second-most majors in the history of golf (14), is looking to resume his pursuit of the record of 18 majors held by Jack Nicklaus. In 2008, at the age of 32, Woods won title number 14 and was seen as the overwhelming favorite to overhaul Nicklaus.

Tell me more: Tommy Fleetwood led the field after the first round with a score of 66. He was followed by Robbie Fowler and Matt Kuchar, who both carded 67.


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News in Numbers, Mar 23, 2017: Doctors 🚑 down tools

Rs 2 crore

What is it? The annual retainer fee of grade A cricketers, which the BCCI doubled from last year.

Why is it important? Following the performance in the last few test matches against Australia, players such as Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara will also be eligible for this remuneration as they have been upgraded to grade A.

Tell me more: Grade B cricketers will receive Rs 1 crore and grade C Rs 50 lakh, annually. The pay-hike follows October’s doubling of match fees to Rs 15 lakh a match.



What is it? Number of vacant Indian Administrative Services posts.

Why is it important? These posts, crucial for the bureaucracy and administrative machinery of the country, remain vacant despite being authorised to be filled. Indian Forest Services and Indian Police Services also have 560 and 908 posts vacant, which are otherwise sanctioned to be filled up. The numbers have come down from 2012, when IAS had over 1,700 vacancies and IPS over 1,200.

Tell me more: The government says recruiting has been stepped up for IAS in the last four years, while for IFS recruiting was increased in the 2015 examinations and for IPS in the 2009 examination.



What is it? The number of terror-related accounts on Twitter, which the micro-blogging site suspended since August, 2015.

Why is it important? This is the result of the social media platform’s increased efforts to curtail terror propaganda and terror recruitment handles. It is working with organisations such as People against Violent Extremism and the Lumen database to sieve accounts promoting violent terrorism.

Tell me more: In 2016, Twitter had blocked accounts related to Islamic State, the extremist group, for example. No less than 376,890 accounts were suspended in July-December, 2016, for promoting terrorism.


Rs 7,719.65 crores

What is it? The amount India gave as aid to foreign countries in 2015-16.

Why is it important? It is more than what the country received as aid from multi-lateral organisations/foreign countries, making India a net donor. It is a key element of foreign policy — especially with respect to its neighbours. Most of the aid went to neighbouring countries — primarily Bhutan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, in that order.

Tell me more: Global Fund and European Union are the top two providers of aid to India. Global Fund aims to fight diseases such as AIDS and tuberculosis, and had earlier tied up with Tata Trusts to launch an India Health Fund.



What is it? The number of government hospitals in Delhi, whose resident doctors plan to go on strike today.

Why is it important? It is a sign that the protests by resident doctors in Maharashtra — in its fourth day — is spreading outside the state, and could garner more support from doctors in other states. The doctors are demanding a safer workplace. A doctor was assaulted by a patient’s relatives recently at Dhule. Fifty-three doctors were attacked in last last two years, according to a report.

Tell me more: Bombay High Court had directed the protesting doctors to return to duty. It has had no impact yet. Meanwhile at AIIMS, Delhi, resident doctors said they will work with helmets on as a sign of protest and to highlight the issue.

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Vehicle registrations in Delhi plummet in November after demonetisation

This piece originally appeared on


Just how much have the restrictions on cash, brought on by the 8 November demonetisation exercise, hit vehicle sales? One measure of the immediate impact is vehicle registrations in November in Delhi—a major vehicle market in India and a state that uploads all its Road Transport Office (RTO) data daily on the government dashboard,





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News in Numbers, Nov 7, 2016: When ‘snooze’ is no longer an option…

How many times are we allowed to hit the ‘snooze’ button before we finally decide to wake up and smell the coffee? (or in this case, inhale poisonous air, the effects of which do not need any outlining) With respect to Delhi, sadly, not only have we hit the ‘snooze’ button way too many times but also, ignored or done little about the constantly-ringing alarm bells. Though the Delhi government has announced a few short-term measures, it is imperative for the central government and the state government to work in tandem to ensure effective implementation of long-term policies to tackle the worsening air pollution problem in the capital city. And, also ensure that other major urban/semi-urban areas do not end up mirroring Delhi’s situation. What can the governments and individuals do to curb pollution? Do share your ideas with us.



588 µg/m³

What is it? The levels of particulate matter (PM) 2.5 in Delhi at around 8.00 am today, according to the System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR) of the Union Ministry of Earth Science.

Why is it important? This is 9.8 times the safe limit of 60 µg/m³and falls under the ‘severe’ (the worst) category. The levels of PM 10 in the capital city was said to be 844, nearly 8.5 times the safe limit of 100 µg/m³, again in the ‘severe’ category. These particulates are considered deadly for their ability to penetrate deep into the lungs and blood streams unfiltered, which can cause respiratory problems, lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases.

Tell me more: Particulate matter pollution has been categorised as carcinogenic to humans and is considered to be a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. SAFAR’s forecast for PM 2.5 and 10 for Delhi tomorrow is worse than today’s levels: 613 µg/m³ and 860 µg/m³ respectively.



What is it? The fall in the number of startups that have reportedly registered with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) for recruitment this year.

Why is it important? Indicates that startups’ hiring activity has slowed down amidst reports that investors have become increasingly cautious about loosening their purse strings in the recent quarters. Earlier this year, IITs had banned 31 startups including Grofers, Hopscotch, StayZilla and Portea Medical from participating in their placement drives as they had delayed joining dates, changed their offers in the last minute or revoked some of the students’ offer letters. 135 students were affected by such actions, according to the All IIT Placement Committee.

Tell me more: However, pre-placement offers are up by 25-30% this year. Some IITs are conducting screenings of some startups based on their funding, cash flow and stability before allowing them visit their campuses for hiring.



What is it? India’s ranking in a global index of business optimism in the July-September quarter of 2016, according to a survey.

Why is it important? The country has improved its position by moving up one slot from the previous quarter after being ranked on top in the previous two quarters. The latest ranking is due to the Indian government’s reform measures, its efforts to improve the ease of doing business in the country and on the back of expectations that the Goods and Services Tax would become a reality soon, according to the report. Though India is still ranked among the top five nations where red tapism and regulations are considered an impediment to growth, its ranking on this aspect has dropped to second from fourth.

Tell me more: This comes a few days after India was listed at the 130th position (of 190 nations) on the World Bank’s ease of doing business, where the report’s authors acknowledge that not all the measures taken by India in improving its business environment have been taken into account.



What is it? The percentage of the American electorate which is undecided or likely to vote for a third-party candidate.

Why is it important? This indicates the high levels of uncertainty in the outcome and that the results could swing in favour of either of the US Presidential candidates in the 2016 elections: Donald Trump, the Republican Party nominee or Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party nominee. There are reportedly about 12 states, which form 155 votes in the electoral college (of the 538), that do not favour any party and could hold the key to who becomes the 45th US President.

Tell me more: The US citizens across 50 states would vote to elect 538 members of the electoral college, who in turn, would vote for the President. Of the 50 states, 12 are in favour of the Democrats and six leaning towards them and Clinton is predicted to have 219 safe votes. As many as 20 states are for the Republicans, one leaning towards them, predicting 164 safe votes for Trump. The winning candidate would require 270 votes.


1.1 lakh

What is it? The number of ideas received by the Indian Railways from its employees as of November 1 in response to the question: What if you were India’s Railway Minister?

Why is it important? This is the first time that such a brainstorming exercise has been conducted at the Indian Railways where crowdsourcing of ideas (contrary to the top-down approach at the organisation) has been encouraged to generate more revenue and margins and become more efficient. A panel of seven joint secretary officers have shortlisted 1,400 of these ideas. This would be further filtered to get the 15 best ideas and then, converted into business plans to be showcased to Prime Minister Narendra Modi later this month. He is likely to then spell out a five-year vision for the Railways and may roll out a campaign akin to the ‘Make in India’ or ‘Digital India’ campaigns, according to news reports.

Tell me more: Some of the ideas include: implementation of smart cards, which can generate additional revenues of Rs 400 crore, development of heritage tourism, large-scale solar energy development on land owned by the Railways around stations and offering surplus and vacant land on rent to private individuals.

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