A new airport ✈

News in Numbers – September 16

chandigarh-172617_1280

22

What is it? The number of international airports in India, following the addition of Chandigarh to this list yesterday.

Why is it important? India is one of the fastest-growing markets in world aviation. The creation of new airport pairs, as is expected to happen with the Chandigarh airport in the international segment over time, is a big lever of passenger growth.

Tell me more: In 2013-14, the Chandigarh airport serviced 9,690 domestic flights and 10.50 lakh passengers. In terms of flights serviced, it was the sixth busiest in North India, after New Delhi Jaipur, Lucknow, Srinagar and Amritsar.

 

$ 21.51 billion

What is it? India’s exports in August, down 0.3% from August 2015. Imports declined by 14%, helping India to narrow the trade deficit.

Why is it important? The headline number masks the relatively better performance of the top 5 export groups, barring petroleum products. Non-petroleum exports increased by 1.79% in August 2016.

Tell me more: Imports declined sharply because of 78% dip in gold imports, partly aided by sharp dip in gold prices. Non-oil and non-gold imports- a proxy economic indicator – declined by 1.52%.

 

-3.4%

What is it? The drop in share price of Reliance Communications yesterday, a day after it announced the merger of its mobile wireless business with a smaller company, Aircel.

Why is it important? Along with sharing additional details on the merger, Reliance yesterday said it planned to raise $1 billion from outside investors. Meanwhile, rating agency Moody’s placed the company’s credit rating under “review for downgrade”.

Tell me more: Over much of its listing, the Reliance Communications stock has been a value destroyer: overall, it has depreciated 84% since debuting in March 2006.

 

22 million tonne

What is it? The expected production of pulses this year, up 33% from last year.

Why is it important? Pulses shortage and the resultant rise in prices have been among the biggest concerns of the government and policy makers over the last few months. The government has more than doubled its buffer stock of pulses, and warned that it would invoke essential commodities act to impose price control. Higher production would alleviate those concerns.

Tell me more: The rise in pulses production (and food grains in general) is expected on the back of normal monsoon this season, coming after two years of drought. The area under food grain cultivation has gone up by 5.3 million hectare.

 

30

What is it? The number of lives lost to Dengue and  Chikungunya in Delhi this year

Why is it important? Over 2800 people have been affected by these two diseases in the capital alone, raising questions about government’s ability to manage public health.   Across the country, the number of cases has crossed 12,000. Both viral diseases cause fatigue, fever and body pain, and can last a couple of weeks. Complications can lead to death.

Tell me more:  Both diseases have been causing concern to public health officials across the world. There is no specific treatment for either, and vaccines have caused their own problems. According to WHO, there are 390 million dengue infections per year, and the year 2016 saw five fold increase in reported Chikungunya cases

 

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Chart of the Day: India’s Shrinking Gold Imports

Gold imports fell in July to $ 1.07 billion, contracting year on year for the sixth month in a row. One of the largest importers of gold in the world, India uses most of it to meet the demand in the jewellery industry. The sustained contraction over the last six months, which began with the strike of jewellery sellers in February, has helped narrow the trade deficit for the country. It is now down to $ 7.76 billion in July this year, compared to $ 13 billion a year ago.

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News in Numbers, June 16, 2016: India’s first civil aviation policy, coffee not cancer-causing…

$7 billion

What is it? The amount Didi Chuxing has raised recently.

Why is it important? This is double of what Uber had raised about a fortnight ago, leaving the Chinese company flush with $10 billion in cash – signalling intensifying competition in China. This may force Uber, which spent $1 billion this year to grow its share in China, to increase its focus on India that only makes it a tougher battle for Ola Cabs in India.

Tell me more: Uber, which received $3.5 billion funding from Saudi Arabia’s wealth fund a few days ago, is looking at the leveraged-loan market to raise as much as $2 billion. Didi has a pact with US’ Lyft, India’s Ola and Grab in Southeast Asia – to take on Uber- to use each other’s apps when customers travel to other markets in their network.

 

Rs 2,500

What is it? The maximum airlines can charge per hour of flying on regional routes, as per India’s first National Civil Aviation Policy.

Why is it important? This, along with other rules, are aimed to encouraging more people to take up air travel and boost economic growth. The policy is aimed at helping the government achieve its target of growing domestic passengers from 80 million to 300 million by 2022. India’s annual trips per capita is just 0.04 compared to 0.3 in China.

Tell me more: The other decisions include: allowing all airlines to fly international routes but they need to deploy 20 aircraft or 20% of their total capacity (whichever is higher) for domestic operations, development of ‘no-frills’ airport at an indicative cost of Rs 50-100 crore and stricter rules for making airlines fly on underserved routes.

 

1,000

What is it? The number of studies on humans and animals reviewed by an international working group of 23 scientists, after which they concluded that there is inadequate evidence to show that drinking coffee causes cancer.

Why is it important? This surely brings cheer to the millions of coffee-lovers across the world, who may or may not have known that the World Health Organization (WHO) had listed the beverage as a “possibly carcinogenic” agent for nearly 25 years. While coffee drinking has been observed to have reduce the risks of liver and uterine cancers, the evidence was inconclusive for 20 other types of cancer.

Tell me more: The scientists, however, found positive associations between drinking very hot beverages (65 degree Celsius or more) and cancer of the esophagus and it is now classified as “possibly carcinogenic”.

 

0.79%

What is it? The year-on-year decline in exports in May to $22.17 billion.

Why is it important? This is the slowest pace of contraction in 18 months, driven by exports of gems and jewellery, chemicals and engineering goods. Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the decline in exports has bottomed-out though the pick-up may be slow. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations expects double-digit growth in exports from October onwards, which could help in achieving $300 billion in exports in 2016-17.

Tell me more: Imports declined 13.16% in May to $28.44 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $6.27 billion.

 

1.15 lakh tonnes

What is it? The quantity of pulses procured by the Indian government during the kharif and rabi seasons for buffer stock creation, against the target of 1.5 lakh tonnes this year.

Why is it important? Despite this, a sudden shortage in stocks has pushed the prices of pulses to as much as Rs 170 per kg. To bring down the prices of pulses, the government has increased the buffer stock of pulses to 8 lakh tonnes for this year and the Cabinet has okayed imports of pulses from Myanmar and some African countries.

Tell me more: The food ministry has asked private agencies that import pulses to dispose off the stocks within 45 days to ensure proper supply in markets and the state governments to take action against the hoarders.

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News in numbers, Dec 16, 2015: India’s falling exports, purchasing power in 71 global cities…

$20 billion

What is it? India’s merchandise exports in November.

 

Why is it important? It fell for the 12th consecutive month, a decline of 24.4% on a year-on-year basis. Shows the effect of global meltdown, decrease in global demand and lower commodity prices on Indian exports. Fall in exports of engineering goods (fall of 28.6% in terms of value), petroleum products (54% decline) and gems and jewellery (21.5% fall) had a significant impact on overall export figures. After the financial crisis in 2008-09, India had diversified its exports towards Asian markets (accounts for half of India’s exports in 2015-16 so far) and this continent leads the fall in export growth this financial year.

 

Tell me more: Imports fell by 30.3% in last month compared to November 2014, thereby recording trade deficit of $9.7 billion this November. Since the beginning of 2015-16, exports have contracted 18.4% and imports fell by 17%.

 

73

 

What is it? Number of minutes a Delhiite needs to work to buy a kilo of rice, according to UBS’ Prices and Earnings 2015 report, which compares the purchasing power in 71 cities worldwide.

 

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of how expensive a kilo of rice is, given average wages in a city, and is useful for comparisons across geographies and over time. Delhi tops the list, ahead of Cairo (66 minutes) and Nairobi (62 minutes). A Mumbaikar can buy the same after working two-thirds of that time – or 49 minutes. Rice is the cheapest at Oslo, where one needs to work just four minutes to buy a kilo of rice.

 

Tell me more: In terms of net hourly pay, the two Indian cities in the study – Mumbai and New Delhi – figure among the bottom 10. While New Delhi is last but four, Mumbai is in the sixth position backwards.

 

0.4%

 

What is it? Share of patents in India that came from industry-academia collaboration between 2000 and 2014, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.

 

Why is it important? Shows industry – academia collaboration – which often boosts innovation – has a lot of ground to cover in India. Academia and government filed 20% of patents and the corporate segment filed over 70% between 2010 and 2014.  

 

Tell me more:  According to the study, the main focus areas in innovation in India are in the following categories: human necessities, chemistry and metallurgy, physics, performing operations and transporting and electricity.

 

Rs 4.63

 

What is it? The price at which, SBG Cleantech has bid per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to build a 350-megawatt (MW) solar project in Andhra Pradesh. SBG Cleantech is a joint venture between SoftBank Group Corp., Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group.

 

Why is it important? The price bid is the same as the record low solar tariff when US-based Sun Edison bid for a 500 MW tender put out by NTPC in Andhra Pradesh. This could mean such low tariffs are here to stay raising concerns about the viability of such projects. Also, signals the interest by global players in India’s solar industry where the government has a solar energy target of 100 gigawatt by 2022. For SBG Cleantech, this is the first renewable energy project it has won in India after the joint venture was set up this June. SoftBank has pledged to invest $20 billion in solar energy projects in the country.

 

Tell me more: The 350 MW capacity is to come up in a solar park being developed by state-run NTPC and it would buy the power produced from the plant.

 

 

What is it? The amount the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises – Pune and Rajkot – have spent to acquire five players each for the upcoming IPL season in 2016 at the draft conducted in Mumbai on Tuesday.

 

Why is it important? With a salary cap of Rs 66 crore for the players, both the teams are now left with Rs 27 crore each (40.9%) to buy the rest of the squad.

 

Tell me more: While Pune owned by Kolkata-based New Rising picked up MS Dhoni for the stipulated price of Rs 12.5 crore, Suresh Raina was the first preference for Rajkot owned by Intex Mobiles who was bought for the same price.

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