News in Numbers, Oct 12, 2016: The problem of too much, too little…


What is it? The percentage of undernourished people in India between 2014-16, according to the Global Hunger Index 2016.

Why is it important? This ranks India 97th among 118 developing nations, which is worse than all South Asian countries other than Pakistan. It ranked 80th out of 104 countries last year. If hunger declines at the current rates, 45 countries including India would have ‘moderate’ to ‘alarming’ hunger levels in 2030, which means the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of ending hunger by then is unlikely to be achieved.

Tell me more: Approximately, two out of every five children below the age of five years are stunted in India while 15.1% of them arewasted (mostly, indicates severe weight loss associated with acute starvation/disease).


163 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated coal deficit by 2020, down from 191 million tonnes in 2016, according to a report.

Why is it important? India is likely to miss its goal of achieving coal self-sufficiency by 2020 due to delays in opening up of commercial mining to the private sector and giving approvals to state miners, per the report. Coal accounts for 61% of electricity generation capacity in the country and India is looking to reduce its imports by boosting domestic output. However, the government is worried about the how it would sell the surplus coal.

Tell me more: India is looking at 1.5 billion tonnes of coal production by 2020, of which over two-thirds would come from Coal India. India is set to surpass US as the world’s second biggest coal producer after China in four years where its share of world output would increase to 12.7% in 2020 from 9.8% in 2016.


$17 billion

What is it? The estimated value of lost sales from Galaxy Note 7 for Samsung Electronics, according to analysts.

Why is it important? This is after the company announced that it is halting production and sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday. The amount is calculated based on the lost sales of up to 19 million phones. This is more than triple the amount of $5 billion analysts expected Samsung to report in missed sales and recall costs, assuming that the company would recommence global sales of the product in the fourth quarter. Though the company would probably be able to absorb these costs as it has a market value of $235 billion and $69 billion in cash, it remains to be seen how this affects its brand value and the sales of its other smartphone models.

Tell me more: The product was launched on August 2 in New York and complaints of overhearing started emerging followed by reports of the devices catching fire. In September, Samsung recalled 2.5 million of Note 7s.


135 million tonnes

What is it? The estimated farm output in kharif crops this year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Why is it important? It’s 9% higher than last year, and comes on the back of good monsoon during the season. It will raise farm income, which drives a range of consumer products in India from white goodsto automobiles. This follows two years of drought.

Tell me more: This season saw the rainfall well distributed across the country, India Meteorological Department said. This season saw farmers increasing area under cultivation – 4.4% higher than five year average for crops in general, and 37% higher for pulses.


1.5 million

What is it? The number of people killed by animals in 2015.

Why is it important? Mosquitoes accounted for over 54% of all deaths, with malaria-carrying insects killing a child every minute. Prevention and control measures can bring down the deaths. There has been a 60% reduction in mortality rates since 2000. There are 12,000 cases of Dengue and Chikungunya, both mosquito-borne diseases caused by the same Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread Zika, in India by last count.

Tell me more: After mosquitoes, the second biggest cause are human beings themselves. Humans accounted for 37.73% or 580,000 deaths in 2015. War claimed about 172,000 lives.

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News in Numbers, June 9, 2016: The cost of peace, better weather forecasting system soon…

$679.8 billion (Rs 45.3 trillion)

What is it? Estimated spend by India to contain violence in 2015. It’s 9% of India’s GDP (gross domestic product) on a purchasing power parity basis, according to a study.

Why is it important? In 2014, it was 4.7% of India’s GDP, resulting in the decrease in its overall peace score. Though its ranking improved by two spots to 141 of 163 countries, the report suggests India has a long way to go to be as peaceful as Iceland, Denmark and Austria (the top three ranking nations on the peace index).

Tell me more: The index is calculated based on three broad metrics: the level of safety and security in society, the extent of domestic or international conflict, and the degree of militarisation. Global peace declined in 2015 and the economic impact of violence was $13.6 trillion in terms of purchasing power parity basis – approximately, 11 times the size of global foreign direct investment.


$60 million

What is it? The amount India’s meteorology office is spending on a new supercomputer to improve India’s forecasting of the monsoon.

Why is it important? The system would be 10 times faster than the current one – and make better weather predictions. This in turn would help farmers in choosing when to sow, irrigate and apply fertilisers and ultimately improve farm output by around 15%. Improved weather monitoring would also help the central and state governments in taking action during delayed or less rains.

Tell me more: Around two-thirds of India’s population depend on agriculture as their main source of income, which in turn, is heavily reliant on the rains. Annual monsoon rains hit the Kerala coast on Wednesday, easing concerns after two years of successive droughts in the country.



What is it? The number of locations (of a total of six) at which dummy terrorists reportedly managed to ‘infiltrate’ Mumbai during ‘Operation Sagar Kavach’, a mock exercise to test Indian forces’ preparedness against terror attacks from the sea.

Why is it important? Highlights the difficulties of keeping India secure, and might send the message that people in general should be more alert to the danger. The biannual exercise was started after the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks where terrorists entered the city through the sea and killed 164 people and wounded 308.

Tell me more: The Indian Coastal Guard personnel reportedly posed as terrorists and they were to transport boxes containing ‘explosives’ and ‘arms’ into Mumbai without being noticed by the coastal wing of the Mumbai police. However, five of the six Coast Guard officials managed to dodge the coastal police.



What is it? The number of people in India who manage to get a kidney transplant, of the 1-2 lakh people who need it every year.

Why is it important? India is one of top kidney exporters in South Asia, the leading transplant tourism hub globally, according to the World Health Organization. About 2,000 Indians are estimated to be selling their kidneys every year, many of them exported.

Tell me more:  The recent arrest of the suspected leader of an illegal kidney trading gang in one of India’s leading private hospitals (Apollo Hospitals) in Delhi brought to the fore the practices of the lucrative black market trade in the country. The hospital has claimed it was cheated by fake identification papers that passed off the victims as the relatives of the organ recipients. Eight people, including five of the hospital employees, have been arrested in this case.

Rs 10 crore

What is it? The penalty that the telecom regulator wants to impose on mobile operators besides a jail term of up to two years for their executives for any violation of regulations.

Why is it important? This comes after the Supreme Court quashed an order by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) that had asked operators to compensate subscribers for call drops (Re 1 for every call dropped with a cap of Rs 3 per day). The regulator says this would give it greater powers in protecting consumers’ interests, grievance redressal and better enforcement of its rules.

Tell me more: In case the violation continues, TRAI has asked for the provision to impose an additional fine of up to Rs 15 lakh per day till the default continues. Currently, the regulator can impose a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh for a violation.

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