News in Numbers, Mar 31, 2017: Seats of learning in darkness 💡😥🎓✏📚

Rs 2465.21 crore

What is it? The amount of equity infusion in Air India during financial year ending today.

Why is it important? This is 8% of the total equity of Rs 30,231 crore planned till 2021 by the government as part of Air India’s turnaround plan. Public money keeping the airlines afloat has been a bone of contention as Air India recently came under the Comptroller and Auditor General scanner, which accused it of understating losses as recently as 2014-15 (Rs 1,992.77 crore).

Tell me more: The government carrier has been getting government funds regularly and so far received nearly 82% of the proposed bailout.

 

300 million

What is it? The number of people living with depression worldwide.

Why is it important? The number has grown by over 18% between 2005 and 2015, but healthcare spends to combat depression is low. The World Health Organisation says global average is 3% of healthcare spends but low-income countries see only 1% of total spends. But high-income countries with 5% health expenditure do not necessarily fare better in treating depression, as nearly 50% go untreated in such countries.

Tell me more: Stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders aggravate the loss of productivity and quality of life due to depression, one of the more prevalent mental afflictions.

 

1 GB a second

What is it? The speed of Internet through wired broadband services provided by ACT Fibernet in Hyderabad.

Why is it important? This puts Hyderabad in a club of a handful cities with such internet speed, which includes Seoul (South Korea), Hong Kong, Singapore, Kansas (US). Even though it is being seen as a large stride towards the Telangana government’s aim to connect its 23 million citizens to the Internet by 2018, the delivery mode might prove a hurdle. The enviable speed might be thwarted by the low adoption of wired delivery of broadband services. Of the 236 million broadband subscribers in December, 2016, wired connections accounted for around 7% (8% if fixed wireless was considered).

Tell me more: The Giga speed is expected to enable Internet downloads faster than transferring data from a USB drive.

 

78%

What is it? The percentage of primary and upper primary schools in Odisha that doesn’t have power connectivity.

Why is it important? With temperature already touching 43 degrees Celsius in some parts of the state, the lack of electricity in 40,087 of the 51,094 primary and upper primary schools indicate serious lack of basic infrastructure for students. In 20 of the 30 districts in the state, each school have at least 1,000 students.

Tell me more: In another instance, 60% of the 2,739 schools in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh have no overhead tanks with running water facility.

 

31

What is it? The number of new cities that will have air connectivity via the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik or ‘Let the common man fly’) scheme. A total of 128 routes covering 71 cities were announced on Thursday.

Why is it important? This will bring more air passengers from smaller cities at affordable prices. Under UDAN, half the seats will be capped at Rs 2,500 for flight journeys that take up to an hour. Eighty per cent of the loss from this price ceiling will be funded by levying cess on non-regional routes, and rest by state governments.

Tell me more: Around 1.3 million new seats will be created from these 128 routes, with a subsidy bill of Rs 200 crore each year.

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News in Numbers, July 18, 2016: Kashmir valley tense, 3 Indian sites on UNESCO heritage list…

3

What is it? The number of Indian sites that got selected to be part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list.

Why is it important? This is the first time any country has got three sites in this list in a single session of UNESCO’s committee meeting. Not only does this tag help promote global recognition and tourism but also helps in increased protection of cultural and natural places for future generations to enjoy. Now, India has a total of 35 sites on the list, of which 27 are cultural, seven are natural and one is in the ‘mixed’ category.

Tell me more: The three sites chosen from India include Chandigarh’s Capitol Complex, Sikkim’s Khangchendzonga National Park and Nalanda University in Bihar.

 

2,000

What is it? The number of additional Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel rushed to Kashmir valley.

Why is it important? This is in addition to 2,800 troops of the CRPF sent to the region to tackle violence that erupted after the killing of Burhan Wani, a terrorist based in the valley, last week. The situation remains tense after 41 people were killed and over 2,000 were injured in the clashes that broke out between protesters of Wani’s killing and the security forces. There have been raids and clampdown on printing and distribution of newspapers to prevent flaring of further violence.

Tell me more: Mobile phone and internet services have been disabled in many parts of the state and schools and colleges that were to reopen tomorrow after the summer holidays have got a week’s extension.

 

1,068

What is it? The number of polluting units and industries that the Telangana industries department wants to shift out of Hyderabad city limits by December 2017.

Why is it important? Though different governments have tried to shift the factories outside the city limits for the last 15 years, they haven’t been successful due to opposition from the businesses. If successful, other state governments could follow suit to de-congest the major cities that face similar problem. Among five metros including New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, Hyderabad’s air quality index was the worst at 10 pm last night, as per the US Embassy and Consulates’ air quality monitor.

Tell me more: The government will hold consultations with industries and manufacturing units for the shifting out and housing them in industry-wise clusters and has agreed in principle, to provide certain concessions to them including tax rebates and easy land conversion.

 

Rs 20,000

What is it? The maximum compensation air passengers in India will be eligible for, in case of cancellation of a flight or denying them boarding, effective from August 1.

Why is it important? This is five times the maximum compensation air travellers are allowed in such cases, and is likely to force airlines to improve their on time performance and have a re-look at their overbooking strategies. As many as 1,873 people were denied boarding in the month of May, besides 7,165 cancellations and 87,323 delays, for which airlines gave a total compensation of Rs 192.4 lakhs.

Tell me more: For denied boarding, the compensation is up to Rs 20,000 while for cancelling or delaying a flight by over two hours would make travellers eligible for up to Rs 10,000. The compensation varies depending on factors such as the number of hours of delay or cancellation and alternate flight arrangements.

 

57%

What is it? The percentage of people who claimed to be allopathic doctors in 2001 but did not have any medical qualifications, according to a recent World Health Organization (WHO) report.

Why is it important? Highlights the extent of quackery in India and the need for stronger rules to tackle this, besides taking measures to increase the number of medical seats. The country is already battling low density of health workers. The doctor-patient ratio is less than 1:1000 – the recommended limit by the WHO – by the Indian government’s own admission.

Tell me more: The rural areas are worse off where just 18.8% of the allopathic doctors had a medical qualification. Overall, less than a fourth (23.3%) of all health workers had medical qualifications as per the 2001 Census.

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