News in Numbers, Mar 31, 2017: Seats of learning in darkness 💡😥🎓✏📚

Rs 2465.21 crore

What is it? The amount of equity infusion in Air India during financial year ending today.

Why is it important? This is 8% of the total equity of Rs 30,231 crore planned till 2021 by the government as part of Air India’s turnaround plan. Public money keeping the airlines afloat has been a bone of contention as Air India recently came under the Comptroller and Auditor General scanner, which accused it of understating losses as recently as 2014-15 (Rs 1,992.77 crore).

Tell me more: The government carrier has been getting government funds regularly and so far received nearly 82% of the proposed bailout.


300 million

What is it? The number of people living with depression worldwide.

Why is it important? The number has grown by over 18% between 2005 and 2015, but healthcare spends to combat depression is low. The World Health Organisation says global average is 3% of healthcare spends but low-income countries see only 1% of total spends. But high-income countries with 5% health expenditure do not necessarily fare better in treating depression, as nearly 50% go untreated in such countries.

Tell me more: Stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders aggravate the loss of productivity and quality of life due to depression, one of the more prevalent mental afflictions.


1 GB a second

What is it? The speed of Internet through wired broadband services provided by ACT Fibernet in Hyderabad.

Why is it important? This puts Hyderabad in a club of a handful cities with such internet speed, which includes Seoul (South Korea), Hong Kong, Singapore, Kansas (US). Even though it is being seen as a large stride towards the Telangana government’s aim to connect its 23 million citizens to the Internet by 2018, the delivery mode might prove a hurdle. The enviable speed might be thwarted by the low adoption of wired delivery of broadband services. Of the 236 million broadband subscribers in December, 2016, wired connections accounted for around 7% (8% if fixed wireless was considered).

Tell me more: The Giga speed is expected to enable Internet downloads faster than transferring data from a USB drive.



What is it? The percentage of primary and upper primary schools in Odisha that doesn’t have power connectivity.

Why is it important? With temperature already touching 43 degrees Celsius in some parts of the state, the lack of electricity in 40,087 of the 51,094 primary and upper primary schools indicate serious lack of basic infrastructure for students. In 20 of the 30 districts in the state, each school have at least 1,000 students.

Tell me more: In another instance, 60% of the 2,739 schools in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh have no overhead tanks with running water facility.



What is it? The number of new cities that will have air connectivity via the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik or ‘Let the common man fly’) scheme. A total of 128 routes covering 71 cities were announced on Thursday.

Why is it important? This will bring more air passengers from smaller cities at affordable prices. Under UDAN, half the seats will be capped at Rs 2,500 for flight journeys that take up to an hour. Eighty per cent of the loss from this price ceiling will be funded by levying cess on non-regional routes, and rest by state governments.

Tell me more: Around 1.3 million new seats will be created from these 128 routes, with a subsidy bill of Rs 200 crore each year.

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News in Numbers, Mar 02, 2017: Hiring to strain finances 💰😓

Rs 295-299

What is it? The price band of shares of Avenue Supermarts, owner of the profitable supermarket chain, D-Mart, that would be sold in its initial public offering starting March 8.

Why is it important? The upcoming IPO, worth Rs 1,870 crore, has evinced interest as it is one of the few organised retail chains, especially in grocery segment, which makes a profit. In 2015-16, it made a profit of Rs 321 crore on a revenue of Rs 8,605 crore.

Tell me more: While Maharashtra and Gujarat contribute over 81% of its revenue, D-Mart also has footprint in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.



What is it? The sales growth range of passenger cars across seven manufacturers in February, 2017.

Why is it important? Passenger car sales are picking up after being hit in the last two months of calendar 2016, following the cash crunch. A measure of consumer discretionary spending, the growth was fuelled by higher shipments to dealers and new models for some manufacturers.

Tell me more: Growth for Ford India was the highest at 52%, albeit on a small base of 8,338 cars. Maruti Suzuki, selling 120,735 cars, managed to grow in double-digits over 2016. Mahindra and Mahindra was the only company to report a decline of 13% owing to demonetisation.


56.67 million

What is it? The number of Indians suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Why is it important? India has only 0.3 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, whereas incidence of depression is 4.5% of the population. Lack of mental health facilities, and concentration of doctors and hospitals in urban areas, mean a large number of people with mental health issues will go untreated for a long time.

Tell me more: The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015, according to the ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders — Global Health Estimates’ report.


2.8 lakh

What is it? The number of hiring by central government in next financial year starting April 2017.

Why is it important? This will bloat government expenses and potentially suck money away from developmental schemes, unless tax revenues match the increased outgo. Salaries (excluding defence personnel) and pension payment totals Rs 317,529 lakh crore, or 25% of tax collections in 2017-18.

Tell me more: Current size of central government employees is 3.53 million.


Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The amount of black money declared so far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The last date under this scheme is March 31, 2017.

Why is it important? Tax authorities have identified 1.8 million taxpayers who have deposited more than Rs 5 lakh in cash during the two months’ period in November and December when old high value notes were replaced with new ones. Tepid response to the scheme could be an indicator these taxpayers are confident of explaining their sources of income, or waiting till the end of this month.

Tell me more: A flat tax rate of 50% would be levied on income declared under the PMGKY, and another 25% will be parked in an interest-free deposit for four years.

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News in numbers, Apr 13, 2016: Use of children in suicide attacks, Uber’s transparency report…


What is it? Consumer price inflation in March 2016.

Why is it important? At a six month-low, it decreased from 5.26% in February 2016 and 5.25% from a year-ago period (March 2015). This, along with an above normal rainfall prediction, is likely to prompt the central bank to cut key interest rates further (it cut policy rates by 25 basis points earlier this month).

Tell me more: The fall in retail inflation was aided by smaller increases in food prices, which slowed down to 5.21% in March from 5.3% the previous month. The difference between the retail inflation rates in urban (3.95% in March 2016) and rural areas (5.7%) is pretty stark.


What is it? The estimated global economic growth in 2016, as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Why is it important? This is a downward revision from its January prediction of 3.4%, indicating a worsening scenario. The IMF cited Britain’s likely exit from the European Union, political discord, China’s economic slowdown, impact of low oil prices and recession in some countries as the reasons for the gloomy picture. This is likely to affect India in terms of foreign investment and exports.

Tell me more: The global economy is expected to grow at 3.5% in 2017, a 0.1% reduction from IMF’s January estimate. India retained its GDP estimates for 2016-17 and also, the tag of ‘bright spot’. IMF says other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam continue to do well.

12.2 million

What is it? The number of riders and drivers whose information were shared by ride-sharing company Uber Technologies with US law enforcement agencies and regulators.

Why is it important? This is Uber’s first transparency report. Though such information-sharing helps law enforcement agencies in speeding up cases and potentially preventing harm to someone, it also has the risks of misuse, as Uber admits that it doesn’t always know the purpose for which regulators require the information and that they may share it with third parties.

Tell me more: Uber hopes to disclose requests received from outside of the US in the future. The queries included information about trips, trip requests, pickup and dropoff areas, fares, vehicles and drivers. Other technology companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter publish their transparency reports periodically.

$1 trillion

What is it? The cost of depression and anxiety disorders to global economy every year, according to a World Health Organization (WHO) study.

Why is it important? The financial returns are over four times the investment made in treating depression and anxiety disorders. It provides an economic reason for countries to spend more on mental health.

Tell me more: Governments, on an average, spend 3% of their health budgets on mental health, with low-income countries spending less than 1% to high-income ones spending 5%.


What is it? The number of children the terror group Boko Haram has used in suicide attacks in Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger in 2015.

Why is it important? The number has increased from 4 in 2014 and over the last two years, one out of every five suicide bombers was a child. Three-fourths of these children were girls. Terror groups such as ISIS and Pakistani Taliban have increasingly started using children for carrying out their activities, as they are easy to train, can be expected to be more loyal and not suspect their motives.

Tell me more: Cameroon recorded the highest number of suicide attacks involving children, accounting for nearly half of such attacks. Violence by Boko Haram has caused nearly 1.3 million children to be displaced in the four countries, 1,800 schools closed down and over 5,000 children separated from their parents.

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