News in numbers, Apr 22, 2016: FDI into India in 2015, Time’s list of 100 most influential people…

$63 billion

What is it? Foreign direct investment into India in 2015.

Why is it important?  It’s more than what China, which has been a huge magnet for greenfield capital investments last few decades, received during the same period. China attracted $56.6 billion in 2015, spread over 789 projects. India’s $63 billion was spread over 697 projects. The FDI has created 2.25 lakh new jobs in 2015 in India (compared to 1.6 lakh new jobs in 2013).

Tell me more:  The report is from fDi Intelligence, data division of Financial Times. The report said the Asia Pacific region accounted for 45% of all greenfield investments, taking in $302.5 billion and 3883 projects.



What is it? The stake United Kingdom government is willing to buy in Tata Steel’s UK business.

Why is it important?  It might help Tata find a credible buyer, and in turn, help UK save about 15,000 jobs. Tata has been trying to sell its UK steel business, bought through its $12.9 billion acquisition of Corus Group in 2007. The business has turned sour with rising costs, drop in steel demand and cheap imports from China as well as a series of internal issues.

Tell me more:  Earlier this month, Greybull Capital offered to buy its long products business for one pound, and possibly save around 4,400 jobs. Tata Steel is in talks with a number of potential buyers.  


$42 million

What is it? The penalty on West Indies Cricket Board that BCCI (Board Of Control For Cricket In India) has now waived. It was imposed on WICB for West Indies team abandoning the 2014 tour midway.

Why is it important? This brings an end to a long spat between West Indies and India. The unfinished games will be played next year, as it was hinted last December. It also clears ground for more matches between the two teams since BCCI had suspended all bilateral tours till the issue was resolved.

Tell me more:  In 2014, West Indies, under captainship of Dwayne Bravo, had abandoned its tour in India midway over payment structure dispute between the players, WICB and West Indies Players’ Association.


> 150

What is it? The number of countries that will sign the Paris Climate Agreement on Friday, 22 April Earth Day in New York.

Why is it important? It’s the first significant step in taking forward the landmark deal struck in Paris last December, which seeks to limit the global temperature rise to below 2 degree C. It comes at a time when the effects of global warming are causing increasingly more concern. For example, the first three months this year has been the hottest ever.

Tell me more:  While it’s a significant first step, experts believe countries need more ambitious plans to tackle the impact of climate change – heat waves, food shortages and fast rising seas.  



What is it? The number of Indians in Time magazine’s 2016 list of 100 most influential people.

Why is it important? It’s a sign of soft power and widely followed and debated in India, even if the process of measuring people’s influence or someone making it to the list is far from perfect. Raghuram Rajan, Priyanka Chopra,  Sania Mirza, Sachin Bansal, Binny Bansal, Sunita Narain made it to the list. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, widely expected to be in the list, did not.

Tell me more: The first Time 100 list was published in 1999, with a list of 100 most influential people of 20th century. (Albert Einstein was ranked number 1, followed by Mahatma Gandhi). US President Barack Obama holds the record for maximum appearance, making to the list 11 times. The 2016 list also featured Aziz Ansari, Sundar Pichai, Raj Panjabi and Nikki Haley, all persons of Indian origin.

Read More

News in numbers, Apr 12, 2016: Tiger population, brand ambassadors may be made liable…


What is it? The percentage of rainfall over the long-period average (LPA) of 887 mm forecast between June and September this year.

Why is it important? The monsoons, which account for around 70% of the annual rainfall and are the primary irrigation source for over half of India’s farmlands, would alleviate rural distress caused by back-to-back droughts. This is also likely to help boost falling food production, increase farm wages and boost rural economy.

Tell me more: The predictions by India’s sole weather forecaster Skymet says there is a 20% chance of excess rainfall (over 110% of LPA), 35% chance of above normal (105-110% of LPA), 30% chance of normal (96-104% of LPA), 10% chance of below normal (90-95% of LPA) and 5% chance of drought (less than 90% of LPA).


What is it? The price at which Tata Steel is selling one of its factories in Scunthorpe in Northern England to investment firm Greybull Capital.

Why is it important? This would help save nearly a third of the total likely job losses after Tata Steel announced the sale of its loss-making steel assets in Britain. The turnaround plan for this unit, which includes a £400 million investment and financing package, does not call for any job cuts, according to Greybull co-founder.

Tell me more: Subject to union members’ approval, the deal includes two additional mills, an engineering workshop, a design consultancy, and a mill in northeast France. The business will be renamed ‘British Steel’.


What is it? The estimated number of tigers in the world.

Why is it important? This is the first time that the global count of the endangered species has increased since 1900 when there were 100,000 tigers in the world. The number had hit an all-time low of 3,200 recorded in the last global census in 2010. Indicates either or a combination of better conservation and survey methods/areas.

Tell me more: India accounts for over 57% of the tiger population (2,226) while Russia is a distant second with an estimated 433 tigers.

Rs 41,641 crore

What is it? The amount State Bank of India, the country’s largest bank, wrote off between 2005-06 and 2014-15, as against a recovery of Rs 11,566 crore in this period.

Why is it important? The government and the banking regulator said such write-offs were technical adjustments and that the processes to recover them would continue. However, the bank has not been transparent about the process, giving an unclear picture of how much of the written-off loans can be recovered.

Tell me more: The above information is from responses to RTI applications filed by the Indian Express. Bank of Baroda wrote off loans worth Rs 9,929 crore in the last 10 years and recovered less than a third of that (Rs 3,177 crore). The write-offs by Allahabad Bank, IDBI and Corporation Bank in the last decade are worth Rs 7,359 crore, Rs 7,174 crore and Rs 3,732 crore respectively.

2 years

What is it? The proposed jail term for brand ambassadors in addition to a fine of Rs 10 lakh (or both) if the claims related to products and services endorsed turn out to be false. This is for a first-time offence.

Why is it important? This is likely to make famous personalities wary of endorsing just any brand, affecting their revenue from such deals. This also renews a debate on whether brand ambassadors should be held accountable for claims made by companies about their products or services.

Tell me more: For second time offenders, the proposed punishment is five years of imprisonment and a fine of Rs 50 lakh. These recommendations are as per a Parliamentary Committee report on changes in the Consumer Protection Bill, subject to the Central government’s approval.

Read More