The power of 3

5.6%

What is it? India’s gross value added (GVA) growth in January – March quarter of 2017.

Why is it important? It’s the lowest in the last eight quarters, down from 6.7% in the previous quarter and 8.7% from the same period last year. GVA, which is calculated after subtracting the taxes and adding subsidies on products, is considered by some economists as superior to GDP in capturing economic realities. Sometimes GDP and GVA growth rates diverge, but in this quarter both declined. India saw its GDP growth rate for the quarter declining 6.1%, yielding the status of fastest growing large economy to China, which grew at 6.9% in the same quarter. GDP growth rate for the year was 7.1%.

Tell me more: GDP growth was largely affected by the construction industry which shrank (-3.7%) and by financial, real estate and professional services which grew by a meagre 2.2%. Some attributed the slowdown to lingering effects of Q3’s demonetisation, but Chief Statistician T C A Anant said it demands more study.

 

Rs 93.5 crore

What is it? The reserve price of the Kingfisher House in Mumbai, the defunct office of Kingfisher Airlines.

Why is it important? A sale failed to fructify at this price at the latest auction. Reserve price, set by the 17-lender consortium led by SBI, had been cut 38% since its first auction held in March, 2016. In every subsequent auction – there have been four since then, the price was cut by 10-15% from the previous. But the bankers’ hopes of recovering part of the Rs 9,000-crore dues, remained unrealised as there were no buyers for the property.

Tell me more: Another Kingfisher Airlines-property, the Kingfisher Villa in Goa, which was put on the block at the same time, has had better luck after three failed auctions. It was sold for Rs 73 crore.

 

3

What is it? The number of times that women have topped the Union Public Service Commission exams in a row.

Why is it important? Nandini KR, an Indian Revenue Services officer from Karnataka, has topped the latest (2016) civil services exams, whose results were announced yesterday. Interestingly, this contrasts with the gender gap in the overall success rate. Over three times as many men (846) cleared the exam than women (253). Among the top 25 candidates, 18 were men and 7, women.

Tell me more: For the 2016 exams, 11,35,943 candidates applied; 4,59,659 appeared;  15,452 cleared the preliminary exams. Finally, 1099 candidates have been recommended by the commission for appointment to various public services.

 

13

What is it? The number of airports in India that don’t require tagging / stamping of hand baggage for domestic travellers.

Why is it important? The new procedure aimed at travellers convenience was first introduced in seven airports in April this year, and has now been expanded to six more starting Thursday. This measure, in addition to using Aadhaar and mobile phones for authentication and pre-boarding checks, could help strike a better balance between safety and convenience.

Tell me more: Central Industrial Security Force, which is in charge of airport security had introduced the system in Delhi, Mumbai, Cochin, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad airports, has now extended it to Patna and Chennai among others.

 

3

What is it? The number of non-participating countries in Paris climate agreement if US decides to pull out of the deal.

Why is it important? The other two countries are Syria and Nicaragua. While the White House hasn’t made an announcement on this yet, US President Donal Trump, as a presidential candidate, had promised to pull out of the Paris deal in his first 100 days to boost US oil and coal sector. The agreement binds participating nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Tell me more: If US decides to pull out, it will impact the country’s relationship with its allies which are more committed to tackling climate change. Within the US, Trump is likely to alienate institutions and people who have been warning about the dangers of climate change. Elon Musk, for example, tweeted that he would leave White House councils if Trump decides to pull out of the deal.

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News in Numbers, Mar 01, 2017: Saying ‘Tata’ to DoCoMo

$1.18 billion

 

What is it? The amount Tata Sons will pay Japanese telecom firm, NTT DoCoMo for its stake in their Indian joint venture.

 

Why is it important? This ends the dispute between two former partners in the telecom venture. The settlement was 60% lower than what DoCoMo demanded initially in a London court. The resolution was finally done in an out-of-court settlement.

 

Tell me more: DoCoMo had decided to withdraw from India in 2014 but a pre-determined price of either half of its original investment of $2.2 billion in 2009 or a fair market value was opposed by India’s central bank. Unable to find another buyer, Tata Sons had offered to buy back the stake which was devalued by a PWC audit.

 

 

4.4%

 

What is it? The official estimated rate of growth of the farm sector (agriculture, forestry and fishing) in fiscal 2017.

 

Why is it important? The sector, 60% of which is made up by crop output including fruits, vegetables and grains, contributes 16.11% to India’s Gross Added Value (GVA). But the expected growth above 5% after two years of drought is still elusive.

 

Tell me more: Production of food grains in the Kharif and Rabi seasons of 2016-17 grew by 9.9% and 6.3%, respectively, compared to the decline of 2.3% and growth of 2.0%, respectively, in the previous year.

 

 

$5.37 billion

 

What is it? The valuation of Flipkart by one of its investors, Morgan Stanley Institutional Fund Trust, as revised by it in the December, 2016 quarter.

 

Why is it important? Morgan Stanley is the fifth investor to revise downwards the valuation of Flipkart, India’s largest e-commerce player. It did it for the fifth time. Other investors such as Fidelity, T Rowe Price, Valic Co and Vanguard have cut their estimates of Flipkart’s value over the past year as well.

 

Tell me more: Flipkart’s valuation from its last funding had stood at $15 billion. It is now looking to raise $1.5 billion, according to reports, valuing the company at $10-12 billion.

 

 

6

 

What is it? Number of engine snags reported in Airbus ‘A320neo’ in the last one month, forcing India’s civil aviation regulator to start an investigation.

 

Why is it important? Though only 21 A320neo are operated in India by Indigo and GoAir, these two airlines have cumulatively ordered 500 jets of this model mainly on account of superior fuel efficiency.

 

Tell me more: Indigo, the market leader, will go ahead with planned expansion of its fleet despite the latest snags in engines manufactured by Pratt & Whitney. Airbus launched ‘A320neo’ in January last year.

 

 

Up to 1.0 degree Celsius

 

What is it? India will experience higher than normal (up to 1.0 degree C) temperature in the summer months of March-to-May, according to the Indian Meteorological Department

 

Why is it important? Above normal temperature impacts monsoon and causes heatwave conditions. Last year was the warmest on record since 1901, but India experienced normal monsoon in 2016 after two consecutive droughts in 2014 and 2015.

 

Tell me more: More than 700 people died last year because of heatwave conditions in India.

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News in Numbers – September 3, 2015

News In Numbers: September 3, 2015

 

5

The number of persons sent to jail by a Delhi court on Wednesday, the first conviction in a 2010 Commonwealth Games scam case. Four are officials from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), each of whom received four years, while the fifth person, the managing director of a private firm, got six years. They have been convicted for their involvement in a street-lighting scam, which resulted in a loss of Rs 1.4 crore to the exchequer. Of the 10 ongoing corruption cases that relates to the Games, one is against former Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi and nine others for alleged irregularities in awarding a contract to a Swiss company, causing a loss of Rs 95.6 crore to the exchequer. Last January, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) closed nine of the 19 FIRs (first information reports) filed for lack of evidence.

 

Rs 25,000 crore

The estimated loss to the Indian economy due to a one-day strike by 10 central trade unions on Wednesday, according to industry bodies CII and Assocham. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dismissed the strike as something that “had a marginal or an inconsequential impact”, saying that most people were not even aware. The trade unions claimed that over 15 crore organised sector workers participated in the strike, and media reports suggest banking and transportation services were hit in parts of the country. Workers from 23 public sector banks, 12 private banks, 52 regional rural banks and over 13,000 cooperative banks went on strike on Wednesday.

 

422

The number of trees estimated per person on earth, according to a group of researchers led by ecologist Thomas Crowther. The researchers have combined two methods – satellite imagery and ground-based counting – to arrive at an estimate of 3.04 trillion trees on earth. This is 7.6 times the previous estimate of 400 billion trees, which was arrived at by primarily using the second method. With an estimate of 15 billion trees being cut down every year, the number of trees has declined by 46% since humans began cultivation about 12,000 years ago. According to the World Wildlife Fund, about 36 football fields worth of trees are lost every minute across the world.

 

0.1%

According to gross-value added (GVA, which is essentially GDP minus taxes plus subsidies) data, inflation was 0.1% in the Indian economy in the first quarter of 2015-16. In the fourth quarter of 2014-15, this number was in negative territory, indicating the economy was in deflation. Except for agriculture, industry and services are in deflation. On Wednesday, chief economic advisor (CEA) Arvind Subramanian warned the Indian economy “appears to be in or close to deflation territory” but maintained that it would grow at around 8% in 2015-16. The CEA has said in the past that policymakers should also look at the Wholesale Price Index, which is in the negative, besides the Consumer Price Index. The Reserve Bank of India kept key interest rates unchanged in August citing inflationary concerns.

 

75,000

The number of Indians in the age bracket of 15 to 34 years who were killed in road accidents in 2014, of which 82% were men. The victims in this age group accounted for 53.8% of the road accidents recorded last year and those in the 35-64 age bracket accounted for 35.7%. Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra account for nearly one-third of total road fatalities last year. About 1.2 million Indians were killed in car accidents in the last 10 years or so, an average of one every minute. According to a World Health Organization report, India has the highest absolute number of recorded road deaths, followed by China.

 

 

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