News in numbers, Apr 29, 2016: Peer-to-peer lending platforms, India’s gets its own GPS…


What is it? The number of peer lending startups in India.

Why is it important? Reserve Bank of India has proposed that such platforms register as non-banking financial companies. If accepted, it would bring them under regulatory framework, lending more credibility to peerlending (or P2P, peer to peer) business in India. It would interests of the borrowers and lenders, even as these businesses fill gaps due to lack of formal credit.

Tell me more: As per the recommendations, P2P platforms are to have a minimum capital of Rs 2 crore, can act only as intermediaries and not seek deposits, should transfer funds directly from the lender’s account to the borrower’s, report regularly to the RBI and register themselves as companies.


What is it? The number of navigation system satellites the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched.

Why is it important? This reduces India’s dependence on the foreign navigation systems such as the US Global Positioning System (GPS). The navigation system – called Navic – will be useful especially during war-like times when it becomes a strategic asset.

Tell me more: The applications of this system, (called Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System or IRNSS) include terrestrial, aerial and marine navigation, mapping, disaster management and vehicle tracking, which can also be made use of by the neighbouring countries. India now joins the list of a few countries that have their own navigation satellite systems – US, the European Union, Russia and China.

Rs 100 crore

What is it? The amount Mahindra Intertrade in partnership with state-owned MSTC would invest in equipment to set up India’s first automobile shredding plant.

Why is it important? The Indian government plans to scrap older vehicles and introduce stricter vehicular emission rules, which would provide an opportunity for Mahindra’s latest business venture. The shredding plant could help in providing scrap to steelmakers and other industries, which depend on imported scrap for their operations. India was the third largest importer of steel scrap in 2013-14.

Tell me more: Currently, independent workshops deal with dismantling of cars and there is no organised market in India. The plant, which would begin operations in about a year, would need to handle 100,000 units a year to be financially viable. The company is willing to extend its services to scrapping ships and other machines too.

6.68 lakh

What is it? The number of candidates appearing for the All India Pre-medical/Pre-dental Entrance Test scheduled for May 1.

Why is it important? This replaces all other entrance examinations by government colleges, deemed universities and private colleges, and promises to make it more convenient and less expensive for aspiring medical doctors and dentists. Some states including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had opposed this move for different reasons. It also raises questions about infringement on states’ right to conduct exams as per their own procedures.

Tell me more: The students who have not applied for the test to be conducted on May 1 (now, considered to be Phase I of the common entrance exam) would be allowed to appear for the second phase of the common entrance exam on July 24. The combined results will be declared on August 17 and the admission process to be completed before September 30.


What is it? Samsung’s market share in Rs 30,000-plus smartphone segment in India in January-March 2016 quarter.

Why is it important? With this, Samsung has overtaken Apple as the market leader in this segment, a reversal of positions from October-December 2015. Samsung’s rise was helped by launch of Galaxy S7 launched last month and price cuts for previous models such as Galaxy S6 and Note 5. Apple, which is betting big on India, lost out to Samsung despite an increase of 56% in iPhone sales during the three months to March 2016.

Tell me more: In September-December 2015, Apple’s market share in the segment was 55%, which slid to 37% in the first three months of 2016. Samsung’s market share jumped from 35% to 62% in the same time periods.

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News in Numbers, Apr 27, 2016: Mitsubishi scandal, Apple’s first quarterly fall in 13 years…

Rs 2,800 crore

What is it? The amount the Indian government wants to raise by selling a 11.36% in hydropower producer NHPC today.

Why is it important? The first disinvestment in the current financial year. The government hopes to raise Rs 56,500 crore in 2016-17 by selling its stake in state-owned companies. It remains to be seen if it can achieve that, given that it missed its disinvestment target for the sixth year in a row in 2015-16.

Tell me more: The government, which holds 85.96% in NHPC, will also be able to comply with the market regulator’s rules to increase minimum public shareholding in listed state-owned firms to 25%. The issue price has been set at Rs 21.75 a share, a 5.6% discount to NHPC’s closing price of Rs 23.05 on Tuesday.


What is it? The number of years Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors has been falsifying fuel emission tests for the cars it sold in its home country.

Why is it important? The Mitsubishi scandal is much bigger than previously thought. Last week, Japan’s sixth-largest automaker admitted that it had manipulated test data for four domestic mini-van vehicles (including two made for Nissan Motor) and had said the non-compliance was from 2002. This follows German automaker Volkswagen’s admission last year where it admitted to cheating on fuel emission tests that has cost the company €16 billion so far.

Tell me more: The Mitsubishi scandal has affected over 600,000 cars, 157,000 Mitsubishi models and 468,000 Nissan models. It’s share prices have fallen by nearly 50% since its first admission last week and has lost around $3.9 billion in market value.

$50.6 billion

What is it? Apple’s revenue in the three months ended to March 2016, down 12.8% from same period last year.

Why is it important? This is Apple’s first quarterly decline since 2003. iPhone sales, which contribute to around two-thirds of its total sales, declined by 10 million to 51.2 million from a year ago. The company is still best known for its iPhone and given the absence of any major product launch, it remains to be seen if Apple’s growth has already peaked. It expects to earn $41-43 billion in the next quarter.

Tell me more: The company earned $2.1 billion from its ‘Other Products’ category (includes Apple watches, Apple TV and Beats) during the quarter, a 30% increase from the year-ago quarter.


What is it? The number of farmers who have committed suicide so far this year, according to the Indian government.

Why is it important? Impact of a back-to-back drought, which is being made worse by the soaring temperatures in different parts of the country and dipping water reserves in India’s main reservoirs. The government said it has approved a Rs 12,773.3 crore relief package to 10 drought-hit states during the summer season of the crop year of 2015-16.

Tell me more: 57 farmer suicides were reported in Maharashtra (as on February 29), one of the worst-drought affected states while 56 farm labourers have ended their lives in Punjab. Three farmer suicides have been recorded in Telangana.

Rs 333-467

What is it? The likely increase in the cost of basic mobile handsets after the global positioning system (GPS) feature is enabled and the emergency/panic button is introduced.

Why is it important? The Indian Cellular Association fears that this would make it unaffordable for people at the bottom of the pyramid to buy mobile phones. The least expensive phone retails at Rs 500 apiece. However, it is likely that entry-level mobile phones would mirror smartphone pricing trends – with increasing volumes, prices would come down even further.

Tell me more: The government notified on Tuesday that all phones rolled out from January 2018 must have the GPS feature and those sold after January 2017 must have a panic button. India crossed the 1-billion mark in mobile phone subscribers in January this year.

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