News in numbers, Jan 12, 2016: India’s spend to curb road accidents, CAT 2015’s toppers…

 

10%

 

What is it? The maximum a mutual funds can allot from its net assets to debt issued by a single company, according to new rules introduced by the market regulator. It was 15% earlier.

 

Why is it important? Mutual funds will have to expand the pool of companies to invest in. The new rule was introduced when investment by an Indian unit of JP Morgan in debt by Amtek Auto turned bad after credit rating agencies downgraded the auto parts maker. A JP Morgan fund held 20% in Amtek Auto’s debt. These restrictions would force mutual funds to invest in companies, which they would not have previously considered and this could prove to be riskier, according to Murthy Nagarajan, head of fixed income at Quantum Asset Management.

 

Tell me more: Mutual funds can now hold up to 20% of their net assets in companies belonging to the same corporate group while exposure to a single sector is now limited to 25% of their net assets.

 

Rs 11,000 crore

 

What is it? The amount Indian government plans to spend over the next five years to curb road accidents in the country, mainly by fixing 700 odd accident prone locations.

 

Why is it important? This is part of the national plan to reduce number of deaths due to road accidents by half in the next five years. On an average, 51 people road accidents took place every one hour in 2014 wherein 16 were killed, as per data from the National Crime Records Bureau. A total of 4.5 lakh road accidents were recorded in 2014, leaving 4.8 lakh people injured and causing the deaths of 1.41 lakh people. And, according to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road, Transport and Highways, road accidents cause an annual loss of Rs 55,000-60,000 crore, about 3% of India’s GDP.

 

Tell me more: The government has already started working on 10 black spots, or accident prone areas (such as Sarai Kale Khan and Shahdara Flyover) in Delhi.

 

172,671

 

What is it? The number of cars sold in December in India.

 

Why is it important? The highest number of cars sold in a December season. December is considered a slow month for car sales as buyers tend to postpone purchase during the new year – for sentimental and resale price reasons. However this December, discounts and  lower loan rates – average loan rates of nationalised banks are down to 10.2% from 11.1% in December 2014 – seem to have worked.

 

Tell me more: However, two-wheeler sales declined by 3.1% in December, reflecting poor demand, according to Vishnu Mathur, director general of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM). The overall industry sales including passenger vehicles, three-wheelers, buses, trucks and two-wheelers fell by 0.17%.

 

17

 

What is it? The number of students in the 100th percentile in the Common Admission Test (CAT), the entrance examination for business schools including the prestigious IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) in 2015.

 

Why is it important? All the 17 toppers have an engineering degree, underscoring the importance of quantitative skills in MBA entrance exam. Around 75-90% of students at the IIMs are from engineering backgrounds. Recently the test format was changed to include descriptive questions to appeal to students with non-engineering backgrounds, besides conducting tests in more centres/cities to attract a broader set of candidates. The impact of these changes are yet to be known.

 

Tell me more: Of the top 17 students, one is a woman. A total of 1.8 lakh students took the test, of which nearly a third were women.

 

5.6%

 

What is it? Likely increase in consumer prices in December from a year ago period, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

 

Why is it important? This is higher than November’s consumer inflation at 5.41%, which was the highest in 14 months. If this happens, this would be the fifth consecutive increase on a monthly basis. A deficient rainfall in 2015 and poor crop output has led to the increase in food prices, especially those of pulses, which increased 46% in November compared to a year ago. This is likely to prevent the Reserve Bank of India from effecting any downward revision of interest rates. It also increases the central bank’s challenges of keeping retail inflation under 6% this month and 5% by March 2017.

 

Tell me more: India has revised its economic growth target to 7% from 7.5% due to low farm production and declining exports.

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News in Numbers – September 7, 2015

News In Numbers: September 7, 2015

 

27%

The extent by which India’s gross domestic product (GDP) would expand if India were to have as many women workers as men workers, according to International Monetary Fund estimates. Speaking at the launch of W20, a gathering of women leaders from the world’s largest economies, including India, IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the equivalent numbers for US and Japan were just 5% and 9%, respectively. Though women account for 48.5% of India’s population, gender inequality exists in most dimensions. However, recently, India has managed to bring down gender parity in schools, where the girls-to-boy ratio in primary classes is 1.02 and 0.94 in secondary schools. Overall, India ranks a poor 127 in the United Nations Gender Inequality Index for 2013.

 

25%

Percentage of respondents in a survey by industry body Ficci that are likely to plan capacity addition in manufacturing in the next six months. The current subdued investment in manufacturing is mainly attributed to delay in clearances, poor demand and high interest rates. The respondents were from 386 manufacturing units of all sizes. The survey also says that hiring will remain muted, with 79% of respondents not planning to add workers in the next three months. The number of jobs created in manufacturing declined by 4% in 2012-13, over 2011-12, according to Assocham Economic Research Bureau.  Although the growth of Indian manufacturing has been sluggish, it is the only country (besides Vietnam) that has showed expansion in August from the previous month among emerging market Asian economies.

 

10%

The percentage increase in entry-level salaries of engineering graduates who will join TCS and Cognizant Technology next year. This is the first time IT companies have increased salaries of entry-level engineers in about seven years, which was stagnant at about Rs 3 lakh per year. Brokerage firm Kotak Institutional Equities estimates that this would impact the companies’ profit margins by 0.25 percentage points in 2016-17 and their earnings per share by 1-2%. IT industry grouping Nasscom estimates technology majors will hire only 30,000 people in 2015-16, 13% fewer than 2014-15. With IT companies looking at automation and other ways to reduce cost, the excess supply of engineering graduates is likely to remain a problem.

 

Rs 37.22 crore

The amount Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s overseas trips have cost the exchequer, between June 2014 and June 2015. Although Modi visited 20 countries, expenses related to 16 countries were provided to an RTI (Right to Information) application. About 40% of this amount was spent on two trips: Australia and the US. In his first year as Prime Minister, Modi allocated 14.5% of his tenure to visit 17 countries, while his predecessor Manmohan Singh spent 12.9% of his tenure to visit 12 countries in his first year. Of the total inflow of foreign investment in 2014-15, India received about 26.1% foreign direct investment from 12 countries visited by Modi in the same period. Indian companies invested over 53% of the total outflow of foreign investment in 2014-15 in these 12 countries.

 

12,000-14,000

The estimated number of leopards in India, according the first ever census of the country’s leopards. The census did not cover Gujarat, parts of Rajasthan, and eastern and northeastern parts. Leopards were counted using the same methods as those employed for estimating India’s tiger population: camera-trapping and gathering other evidence of their presence. Madhya Pradesh has the highest estimate of leopards (1,817), followed by Karnataka (1,129) and Maharashtra (905). The lead scientist of the tiger census, who presented the leopard figures last week, said there was no way of knowing whether their numbers have increased or decreased. A recent study by three wildlife scientists estimated a 70-80% decline in the leopard population in the last 100 years.

 

 

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Why is Bengaluru the graduate capital of young India?

 

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

Be it technical disciplines such as engineering and medicine, or non-technical subjects, this Karnataka district has the largest catchment of graduates aged 20-34—a bracketing that captures young students and working professionals—among all districts, shows recently released Census 2011 data on higher education. Even at a city level, Bengaluru compares well against Mumbai and Delhi.

India is not a graduate country—just 12.5% of the 301 million people in 20-34 age bracket have at least a graduation degree or equivalent. It also shows deep disparities—in more than half the districts, this figure is below 10%. In just 8% of districts is this figure above 20% and five of the top 10 districts are in Delhi.

 

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Top districts and cities

In terms of the absolute number of graduates in the 20-34 bracket, Bengaluru leads all districts. But a census district is often not an entire city as we know it. It is for Bengaluru, but not for any of the four main metros. For example, Delhi is divided into 10 districts. In order to show an indicative city picture, we remapped district-level graduate data for the four main metros by ‘urban agglomerations’ (the census equivalent of a city). Even here, Bengaluru compares well against more established economic centres like Delhi and Mumbai.

 

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Engineering and technology

Just three states account for nine of the top 10 districts: Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Maharashtra. The remaining district—Bengaluru—has the maximum number of engineering/technology graduates, more than Delhi and Mumbai put together.

 

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Medicine

Bengaluru leads all districts in medicine. It even has more graduates than Chennai or Delhi, though not Mumbai. As a discipline, among states, medicine is the most popular choice in Kerala.

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Non-technical graduate degree

Delhi and Mumbai are populated with graduates without a technical qualification. They still have opportunities to tap. The same cannot be said of states such as Bihar, where most graduates have non-technical qualifications but inadequate opportunities; and when they do go out, the non-technical qualifications become a disadvantage.

 

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