News in Numbers, Nov 17, 2016: Silent killer…

199 million

What is it? The estimated number of Indians who suffer from high blood pressure, according to a study published in the medical journal Lancet.

Why is it important? This is 17.6% of the total number of people suffering from high blood pressure globally (1.13 billion in 2015), which has doubled from 594 million in 1975. Raised blood pressure or hypertension is the leading global risk factor for kidney disease and cardiovascular disease (leads to strokes and heart attacks and causes an estimated 7.5 million deaths globally). The highest worldwide blood pressure levels have shifted from high-income countries to the poorer ones (mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa) in the last four decades.

Tell me more: The analysis is based on 1,479 studies that measured blood pressure in 19.1 million individuals aged 18 years and above. Over 2 out of every 10 people with hypertension are in South or East Asia.

 

36

What is it? The number of hours within which search engines run by firms including Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have to bring down information or advertisements related to pre-natal sex determination once they are brought to their attention, according to an order by the Supreme Court.

Why is it important? The apex court directed the government to set up a nodal agency to monitor and act on public information received on ads promoting sex determination techniques or kits on the Internet. Pre-natal sex determination is illegal in India though this direction could raise questions such as the role of search engines and if it is possible to screen and remove all information related to a particular topic. However, this is an interim arrangement and would continue until the top court takes a final decision on the issue.

Tell me more: As per the Census 2011 data, India’s population ratio was 943 females for every 1,000 males, up from 933 females per 1,000 males in 2001. However, the decline in child sex ratio (number of girls per 1,000 boys) to 918 in 2011 from 927 in 2001 is a cause for concern. This is the lowest since 1961.

 

Rs 7,016 crore

What is it? The amount of loans written off by the State Bank of India owed to it by 63 wilful defaulters.

Why is it important? This includes the amount owed by the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines, whose founder Vijay Mallya slipped away to London in March even as lenders and investigating authorities are chasing him for non-repayment of his companies’ dues and alleged financial irregularities. Some of the opposition parties including the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and CPI (Marxist) used this point to attack the government, which has been facing flak from them over its demonetisation move. SBI and the government clarified that these loans had only been written off and not waived off, and that efforts are on for their recovery.

Tell me more: The opposition has been attacking the government for the withdrawal of the old currency notes in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations terming it ‘anti-poor’ and alleged that it has inconvenienced the common man.

 

8-10%

What is it? The expected growth of India’s IT services industry in 2016-17, according to industry body Nasscom.

Why is it important? This is lower than the 10-12% (in constant currency terms) growth rate it had projected in February. This is the second time that Nasscom has predicted a single-digit growth for the industry in the last 10 years after it reported its lowest growth of 5% in 2009-10 due to the 2008 global financial crisis. The growth rates have been revised downwards following Donald Trump’s win in the US elections (he was quite vocal about his anti-immigration stance and putting restrictions on foreign companies that took away US jobs) and UK’s exit from the European Union.

Tell me more: Indian IT firms have been struggling to grow in the last few quarters with some of their results falling below the market expectations and a couple of them downgrading their own guidance. Indian IT exports are expected to be in the range of $116-118 billion, down from the earlier projection of $119-121 billion.

 

1.7

What is it? The total compensation in basis points (as a percentage of company net sales) paid to top executives (managing directors and chief executive officers) at the most indebted firms among 313 BSE-500 companies. A basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point.

Why is it important? This is much lower than the 5.06 basis points paid to the top executives of the overall sample of 313 firms in the same year. Also, the growth in compensation to the people at the helm of the most indebted companies has been slower than that recorded for the total sample in the last four years. Interestingly, the salaries of the promoters leading the most indebted firms grew at a faster rate than those headed by non-promoter professionals while the growth of the overall top executive compensation at the most indebted firms was higher than the overall employee compensation in these firms.

Tell me more: The analysis, which excluded banks and other financial firms, divided the 313 companies into four quartiles based on their level of indebtedness. The total compensation includes salary, sitting fee, commission and any other payment, excluding earnings from exercise of stock options.

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What’s killing Indians? Depends on where you live…

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

 

Over 22,000 Indians die every day. In the 60s, communicable diseases were the main cause, accounting for about half the deaths. Since the 90s, it’s non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes. But all-India data doesn’t give the complete picture, as India is a diverse country. Economic and social conditions, and public health infrastructure, differ from state to state, region to region.

Besides, incidence of disease also varies depending on age group and gender. Granular data on the cause of deaths helps design better policies and solutions, and monitor public health.

India has been collecting data on the causes of deaths for over four decades now, following the passage of the Registration of Births and Deaths (RBD) Act in 1969. The Office of the Registrar General recently released a report with data for the year 2013, looking at 928,000 medically-certified deaths (about a fifth of medical deaths). The above data interactive captures the causes of death: by gender and age group, and for different regions and states. By default, the chart represents India numbers. To choose a specific region or state, use the dropdown. For gender-specific results, click on the buttons.

As one might expect, the causes of death differ based on age group. For example, while infections account for 12% of deaths across age groups, it accounts for about 25% of deaths in the 1-4 years age group. As people become older, chances of being claimed by circulatory and cardiovascular diseases go up. The risk of death by external causes—such as injuries or poisoning—is the highest between 15 to 34 years; and men are more likely to victims (8%) than women (6.5%). Cancer, on the other hand, claims more women (5.7%) than men (4.7%).

Even at the state level, there are many such nuances and comparative surprises. For example, Chhattisgarh is most prone to cardiovascular diseases (over 50% of its deaths were caused by diseases of the circulatory system), Uttarakhand the least (13.3%). In Kerala, at 15.2%, cancer as a cause of death is a full 10 percentage points above the national average. Similarly, deaths due to external causes are the highest among all states in Karnataka, followed by Nagaland.

It’s not clear why some states are more prone to certain categories of diseases. The report doesn’t go into those details. However, it could serve as a starting point for further research and appropriate intervention.

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News in Numbers, July 1, 2016: World Bank’s loan to India for solar, Flipkart vs Amazon…

$1 billion

What is it? The amount the World Bank would lend to India for its solar energy programme.

Why is it important? This is the biggest ever loan given by the bank for a solar programme to any country and would help India achieve its ambitious target of installing 100 GW (gigawatts) by 2022. The solar power generation had crossed 19,000 MW (megawatts) in 2015-16 though the Minister for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy is looking to achieve this target by the end of 2017 itself.

Tell me more: India wants non-fossil fuel (wind, water, solar and nuclear) to account for 40% of the total installed power capacity by 2030 from 30% currently. The World Bank has lent $4.8 billion to India between 2015 and 2016, making it its biggest client.

Rs 2,28,986 crore

What is it? India’s fiscal deficit (excess of expenditure over receipts) for April and May of 2016.

Why is it important? It’s 42.9% of the budget target for this fiscal compared to 37.5% for the same period last year (despite a slowdown in government’s capital expenditure.) This may make it challenging for the Finance Minister to restrict fiscal deficit to Rs 5.33 lakh crore in 2016-17, especially with the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission that would cost the exchequer over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Tell me more: The government’s capital expenditure was down by nearly 12% to Rs 33,231 crore in the first two months of 2016-17 from Rs 37,743 crore in the same period last year. The revenue expenditure, which would go up further due to the Seventh Pay Commission payout, increased by 17.6% to Rs 2.64 lakh in April and May from a year ago.

 

Rs 8,392 crore

What is it? The amount held by Indians in Swiss banks at the end of 2015, a third lower than the previous year.

Why is it important? This is the lowest amount of funds held by Indians in the Swiss Banking system since the country started making its data public in 1997 and marks the second straight year of decline. This seems to be the impact of clampdown of illicit wealth by countries including India, which is likely to lead to Swiss banks become more transparent than ever. India has sought faster responses to its pending information requests from the Alpine nation and an automatic financial information exchange would begin in 2018.

Tell me more: The funds held by Indians in Swiss banks was at a record high of Rs 23,000 crore at the end of 2006.

 

91

What is it? E-commerce firm Flipkart’s score in the quarter ended March based on metrics including trust in a brand, product assortment and prices, overall buying experience in terms of ease of using its platform and the ease of product cancellations and returns.

Why is it important? Flipkart is still slightly ahead of Amazon India, which entered the country in June 2013 and had a score of 87, though Snapdeal was a distant third at 60. This is yet another sign that Amazon is ahead of Snapdeal and breathing on the neck of Flipkart. With a recent investment announcement of $3 billion in the country, Amazon India has an advantage over both Flipkart and Snapdeal, which has to depend on external investors. A US mutual fund managed by Vanguard Investment marked down the value of its shares in Flipkart by 25%, the sixth such markdown in recent times.

Tell me more: In terms of ‘Most trusted brand’ and ‘Best value proposition’, Flipkart scored higher than Amazon India while the latter beat the former in terms of ‘Great experience’. The analysis is by RedSeer Management Consulting for Mint.

 

683

What is it? The number of invitees to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, of which 46% are women and 41% are minorities.

Why is it important? It will make the voters more diverse. The Academy had recently promised to double it female and minority membership by 2020. The Oscars came in for heavy criticism for having no nominees from minority actors for the second year in a row. However, it has a long way to go because even if all the invitees join, the share of women and minorities would only marginally increase (25% to 27% and 8% to 11% respectively).

Tell me more: If all those who invited were to join, it would increase the academy’s total voters to 6,945, a record in the last few years.

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News in Numbers – January 27

Rs 13,000 crore


What is it:
Black money unearthed by Indian income tax (IT) officials in banks abroad.

Why is it important:  Any progress in identifying and retrieving black money is important for the government which came to power on the promise that it would bring back thousands of crores of money stashed abroad. The leaked Panama Papers, legal and financial records detailing the transactions which featured several Indian names, has increased the public pressure on the government to act fast.

Tell me more: More than Rs 8000 crore of unaccounted income linked to Indian were in HSBC, Geneva, (followed up based on information IT department got from French government back in 2011) and Rs 5000 crore in other foreign accounts (based on documents published by Washington based International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)

$1.98 billion


What is it:
Education-related overseas expenditure by Indians in 2015-16

 

Why is it important: It’s down 20% from $2.47 billion in 2014-15, according to Reserve Bank of India data. The fall is attributed to smaller number of Indian students who went abroad, possibly because of tighter visa rules and better education option here. It could also be that 2014-15 saw an exceptional spike. The expenditure was $1.93 billion two years ago, and $1.63 billion three years ago.

 

Tell me more: The top destinations for Indian students are United States (103,968), United Kingdom (38,205),  Australia (20,429), New Zealand (6,650) and Canada, according to UNESCO data.

84%


What is it?
Growth in loan portfolio of microfinance institutions during the year ending March 2016

 

Why is it important:  This came during a year when the client base grew only by 44%, indicating higher ticket size of loans. A reason could be the aggressive expansion of their loan books by the larger players such as Janalakshmi and Bharat Financial Inclusion (formerly SKS) on the back of the change in lending rules by Reserve Bank in 2015. The relaxed rules expanded the customer base by opening doors for customers with higher annual household income and by letting MFIs lend more.
Tell me more: Some experts say such an aggressive growth could be a cause for concern. A few years back, MFIs expanded rapidly in Andhra Pradesh, only to be clamped down by the government worried about people getting into debt trap.

$750 million


What is it:
The amount India would reportedly spend to buy 145 artillery guns from BAE systems

Why is it important: It’s yet another sign that India is stepping up on gas in the defence sector.  The deal could also help boost local industry, as 120 of these 145 M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer artillery guns  would be assembled in India

Tell me more:  In the past some high profile defence deals have kicked up controversies, which in turn led to delays in ordering new equipment.  AK Antony, who was the defence minister under UPA government has often been criticised for sitting on his hands to avoid bad press.

11

What is it: The number of resignations at UK Labour party’s shadow cabinet

Why is it important? An immediate fallout of Brexit. Highlights the growing opposition to the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn over the EU referendum, who has been leading the party since last year. Two labour party MPs have called for a no confidence motion against Corbyn. The crisis in UK’s opposition party follows the criticism that Corbyn was not clear about his message on remaining with EU.

Tell me more: Following the referendum which resulted in favour of those who wanted UK to exit European Union, David Cameron announced his resignation.

 

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News in numbers, Apr 4, 2016: Amazon India’s authorised capital, spectrum usage charges…

> 500

What is it? The number of Indians who have allegedly set up offshore entities in tax havens such as British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Seychelles and Panama.

Why is it important? Indicates a means of tax avoidance and possibly, money laundering. According to the analysis, most of the offshore entities were set up before the rules allowed individuals to set up subsidiaries or invest in joint ventures abroad.

Tell me more: The list of Indians includes movie stars (Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), politicians (such as Anurag Kejriwal, the former chief of the Delhi unit of Loksatta Party) and businessmen (DLF owner KP Singh, elder brother of Gautam Adani, founder chairman of the Adani Group). This is according to an analysis of the 11 million leaked documents of a Panama law firm by the Indian Express.

Rs 16,000 crore

What is it? Amazon India’s authorised capital, the maximum capital a company can raise by selling its shares.

Why is it important? At double the earlier amount, it exceeds its $2 billion (over Rs 13,000 crore) commitment made by Jeff Bezos in 2014. This puts tremendous pressure on its rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal, which has to depend on VC funding to grow its business.

Tell me more: Amazon India’s market share in terms of gross merchandise value was 12% in 2015 while that of its rivals Snapdeal and Flipkart was 26% and 45% respectively, according to Morgan Stanley.

6.9%

What is it? India’s expected combined fiscal deficit, i.e, excess of expenditure over receipts of the centre and states, as a percentage of GDP in 2016-17, according to HSBC.

Why is it important? The ratio is same as in 2015-16. Bringing down fiscal deficit is key to improving credit ratings and to bring down interest rates, which are essential to boost India’s tepid economic growth.

Tell me more: The aggregate fiscal deficit of 17 states is likely to be higher at 2.9% of GDP in 2016-17 compared with 2.7% in 2015-16 due to the twin components of Seventh Pay Commission payouts and their interest bills on UDAY (financial turnaround and revival of power distribution companies) bonds.

276,000

What is it? The number of orders Tesla Motors Inc has received for its new Model 3 electric sedan since March 31.

Why is it important? If all these orders were converted into actual purchases, Tesla would earn $10 billion in revenues, which is 2.5 times its revenues last year. But some analysts say the company may find it difficult to ramp up its production to match the orders for its first mass-market car, potentially delaying delivery to customers.

Tell me more: Tesla, which posted net loss of $889 million in 2015, expects to turn profitable by the end of 2016.

3%

What is it? The spectrum usage charges of telecom companies as a percentage of adjusted gross revenues, down from 5% earlier.

Why is it important? This is likely to result in savings of Rs 3,200 crore for telecom companies, which are reeling under massive debts of Rs 3.5 lakh crore on revenues of around Rs 2.2 lakh crore. It remains to be seen if this cut brings down mobile and broadband charges.

Tell me more: The next spectrum auctions are scheduled for July when the government would sell over 2,000 MHz of spectrum across seven frequencies.

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