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, Oct 7, 2016: The raging storm…

41%

What is it? The percentage of airwaves that the government sold to telecom players in its latest spectrum auction. It had put up 2354.55 MHz for sale, and sold 965MHz at the end of five day sale.

Why is it important? The government raised Rs 65,789.12 crore in revenue, even though it’s only a fraction of what it hoped to raise (Rs 5.6 trillion). Rs 32,000 crore will be paid upfront, which is about half the amount estimated in the Union Budget earlier this year. Two bands, 700 MHz and 900 MHz, remained unsold as the bidders felt the base amount was too high.

Tell me more: Vodafone reportedly spent Rs 20,000 crore on the auction. Airtel, Jio and Idea bought telecom bands by paying Rs 14,244 crore, Rs 13,672 crore and Rs 12,789 crore respectively.

 

88,537 MW

What is it? The targeted capacity addition under the 12th five-year plan, of which thermal power, hydropower and nuclear power constitute 72,340 MW, 10,897 MW and 5,300 MW respectively.

Why is it important? The government is likely to achieve its overall power generation target by end of the current five-year plan period after having missed its targets in the previous two plan periods. Currently, it has achieved 99.4% of its target and the 12th five-year plan ends by March 2017. However, this is mainly because of capacity increases by private and state thermal power producers (they have exceeded their targets by nearly 15%) while hydroelectric and nuclear projects are nowhere near achieving their targets.

Tell me more: India’s current installed capacity is 305,554.25 MW as of August 2016.

 

22

What is it? The number of Indian airports in four states and Delhi that have been warned of a possible terror by intelligence agencies. These include all four border states: Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat and Punjab.

Why is it important? There are concerns about possible terror attacks after the Indian government claimed to have conducted surgical strikes (intended to cause damage to military target with no or minimum collateral damage to surrounding areas) targeting terrorist launchpads in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir last week. A couple of days ago, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval reportedly informed the Cabinet Committee on Security, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that 100 militants are gearing up to cross the Line of Control and launch attacks on India.

Tell me more: Inputs from intelligence agencies and the military reportedly suggest that militants are to launch attacks on security forces and rekindle violence in the Kashmir Valley, which is already simmering with tension after Hijb-ul-Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani was killed on July 8.

 

$5.8 billion

What is it? The amount Indian companies are expected to raise through initial public offerings (IPOs) this year, according to a report.

Why is it important? This would be the highest in six years as the capital raised so far by Indian firms via this route has already touched $2.93 billion – higher than the $2.18 billion raised in 2015. Upcoming IPOs of $2.9 billion are in the pipeline, as per data on September 22. Companies are expected to raise a similar amount in 2017 as well with financial and telecommunications firms likely to raise $3.98 billion and $3.12 billion over the next 12 months or so.

Tell me more: The expected capital to be raised this year is 31.5% lower than the $8.47 billion raised in 2010 by way of 64 IPOs. The estimates are by a global law firm Baker and McKenzie.

 

283

What is it? The number of people killed by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.

Why is it important? This is the strongest hurricane in the Carribean since Felix hit in 2007 and the strongest to hit the island nation in over 50 years. Haiti, which had an estimated population of 10.6 million in 2015, is vulnerable to disasters as over half of the city-dwellers live in congested shantytowns and other factors including deforestation, political instability and corruption have not helped. It ranks 163rd out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index.

Tell me more: Hurricane Matthew, now classified as Category 4 storm (on a scale of 1 to 5 with three or more having the potential to cause loss of lives and damage), is projected to be Category 3 by the time it hits central Florida. This is said to be the strongest storm in the US in 12 years and likely to be the most powerful to strike northeast Florida in 118 years.

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