News In Numbers – August 13

News In Numbers: August 13



The fall in the rupee against the dollar during the one-year period from July 2008 which was the previous time that China, the world’s largest exporter, held its currency from appreciating consciously and for a sustained period. On Wednesday, for the second consecutive day, China pegged the yuan lower, rattling markets the world over. The rupee fell 0.94% for the day, closing at 64.81, its lowest value since September 2013. The fear is that the currency devaluation by China, which potentially makes its exports even more competitive globally, will force other governments to do the same just to stay in step.



The percentage of the estimated $5 billion in economic losses suffered by Nepal in the earthquakes in April and May that were covered by insurance, according to a recent report by reinsurer Swiss Re. While Nepal was under-insured against natural catastrophes and manmade disasters, the world, in general, was better off than in the recent past: of the $37 billion of economic losses in the first half of 2015, 45% was covered by insurance firms against the 10-year average cover of 27%.



The percentage of seats filled by Vistara on its flights in June, the last month of the summer holiday season in India and the latest for which occupancy data is available. This was the lowest among all airlines, the next being in Air Pegasus (73.1%). In May, the full-service airline co-promoted by the Tata Group and Singapore Airlines filled 71.1% of seats, and its drop to June was the largest among all airlines in India. July to September is a slack period for airlines in the country, and offers and discounts are a norm. On Wednesday, Vistara said it would offer a premium economy-class ticket free with every business-class ticket purchased, usable till 15 October, the approximate beginning of the other busy window for the airlines.



Of the 4,363 information requests sought from Twitter by 62 governments during January to June 2015, 2,436 came from the US, as per the latest biannual transparency report by the microblogging site. Of the requests made by the US, which has about 10% of the world’s Internet users, 80% resulted in some information being produced. India was ranked sixth, with 113 requests (against 16 in the January to June 2014 period), 19% of which resulted in information being produced. However, India made more removal requests (33) than the US (25). Twitter has been releasing such data since 2012.



Number of double hundreds scored in Test matches by decorated Sri Lankan cricketer Kumar Sangakkara, who is currently playing his last Test series, against India. His count of double hundreds is second only to Sir Donald Bradman, who racked up 12 doubles. Among active cricketers, Younis Khan has the most (four) hundreds. In other records, Sangakkara is ranked number five in Test runs. He is also ranked nine in batting averages, though the eight above him have played between 10 and 85 Test matches, which is significantly less than Sangakkara’s 133. On Wednesday, in the first innings of his penultimate Test, he was dismissed for 5. is a search engine for public data


Read More

News In Numbers – July 16

News In Numbers: July 16



India’s goods exports fell for the seventh consecutive month in June, by 15.8% to $22.3 billion, making it more challenging for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to achieve his target of $900 billion in exports by 2020. Of the top 30 broad export categories, as many as 16 reported a decline in June 2015, compared with June 2014. India had missed its export target of $340 billion in 2014-15 by 11.5%.


Rs 50 crore

The total corpus of the Dalit SME (small and medium enterprises) Fund. The fund, which was launched in 2013, supports the entrepreneurial initiatives by people from scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Launched by the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI), the fund was hoping to raise Rs 500 crore over the next 10 years. It has, so far, managed to raise only 10% of that amount due to a lack of interest from financial institutions. DICCI has around 3,000 millionaire Dalit members, with about a third running businesses whose turnover exceeding Rs 100 crore.


$15.3 billion

About 100 Indian companies have invested $15.3 billion and created about 91,000 jobs in the US. The survey says Indian companies have “operational presence” in all 50 states in the US, with the highest concentration in New Jersey, California and New York. Texas has received the highest Indian foreign direct investment. The IT, ITeS and telecom sector is the dominant one, accounting for two out of five companies. However, in 2011 and 2012, India’s investments in the US amounted to less than $1.5 billion, and an outflow in 2013.



Of the top 1,000 rank holders who wrote the JEE (Advanced) Examination, only 20 have opted for a new IIT campus, with the rest flocking to the older ones or the National Institutes of Technology. All those 20 students have chosen IIT-Hyderabad. In the broader set of top 2,000 rank-holders, 29 students opted for five new IITs. In other words, the other five IITs did not attract a single student from the top 2,000. Among older IITs, the Bombay campus continues to be the most preferred institution, and computer science and engineering the most preferred course.



Number of students from India enrolled at all levels in the US in 2013-14, or a share of 11.6% among international students in the US. That was second only to China, which leapfrogged India as recently as 2009-10 and now accounts for 31% of students in the US. According to an HSBC education survey of 16 countries released on Wednesday, India had the highest proportion of parents, at 88%, who were willing to send their children abroad for post-graduate studies. China was joint third, with 82%. is a search engine for public data


Read More

The troubling details in falling Indian export numbers

This piece originally appeared on


The headline numbers say Indian exports in May fell for the sixth consecutive month due to anaemic global demand.

A parsing of the 30 broad heads, which accounted for about 93% of the $22.34 billion of exports of Indian goods in May and for which a government agency releases “quick estimates”, shows the pain runs wide.

As many as 22 of these 30 heads, including eight of the top 10, registered lower numbers in May 2015, compared with May 2014. During this period, the Indian rupee fell 5% against the US dollar, theoretically giving Indian exporters a proportionate increase in pricing power in the global market.

Further, while petroleum leads—and dominates—the list of sectoral contributors in the $5.38 billion in export revenue that has evaporated during this period, following it are sectors of many hues: from commodities to finished goods, from areas of process advantage to labour advantage.

How the 30 main export heads fared in May 2015




Who contributed how much to the $5.38 billion decline





Read More

News in Numbers – June 17, 2015


21-month low

At Rs 64.25 against the US dollar, the value of Indian currency closed at a 21-month low on Tuesday, as overseas investors pulled out some of their money from the Asia’s third largest economy. With exports recording a decline of 20% in May this year, the falling value of rupee may aid the exporters to increase their competitiveness. Dip in exports hasn’t widened trade deficit as imports too fell because of lower crude oil prices.


In a country with over 1.25 billion population, just 928 households own a fifth of India’s private financial wealth, according to a global wealth report by Boston Consulting Group. India ranks fourth among countries with the highest number of households with over $100 million. Asia (excluding Japan) is expected to overtake North America in terms of private financial wealth in another four years. In a stark contrast, in 2010, one out of every three extreme poor people were in India, according to the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals Report 2014.


Indian firms are depending less on bank credit to borrow, as they are able to raise money at a cheaper cost through market loans and foreign borrowings. Three years back, bank credit accounted for nearly half of debt taken by companies. Vodafone Group Plc, the parent company of India’s second largest mobile service provider, raised Rs 7,500 crore rupee bond at 10.25% coupon rate. A part of this will be used to refinance costlier bank loans.


That’s the cut-off for Commerce students for admission in English Honours class in Delhi-based St Stephen’s College for the 2015 academic session. The equivalent cut-off for Science is 97.75% and 97.5% for Humanities. These are the highest among the subjects on offer at the college. St Stephen’s has received a record 32,100 applications this year, of which 400 would gain admission.


Coimbatore (21%) and Mumbai (19%) are the top two cities with the highest incidence of chronic constipation. Almost one out of every five people in these two cities suffer from this less-talked about problem. The findings are a part of a survey conducted by Abbott, a pharma company and Ipsos, a market research agency. Overall, about 14% of people in urban India battle this problem.


Twitter: @Howindialives

Read More