News in Numbers, Oct 14, 2016: The Times They Are a-Changin’…

Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature got mixed reactions: some totally excited, some surprised while others critical. One of the numbers in today’s edition is interesting as it indicates the kind of influence he wielded through his songs. To those questioning the decision to award him this honour, ‘How many songs must he sing for you before you call him worthy of this?’ ‘The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind’!

Just kiddin’!

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What is it? The number of references to American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s lyrics in medical papers, according to a study.

Why is it important? It is an indicator of his influence. His songs not only reflected American culture but also helped shape it. According to a 2012 study, Dylan has been cited the most by judges at all levels in the country’s judicial system. He is the first singer-songwriter to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Some have questioned the decision.

Tell me more: Some of his songs include: “Blowing’ in the Wind”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and “The Times They Are a-Changin’”.


What is it? Retail inflation rate in September, down from 5.05% in August.

Why is it important? This is the lowest in 13 months. This is due to a sharp fall in food prices (vegetables, fruits and pulses) – food inflation fell to 3.88% in September from 5.91% in the previous month. With strong crop sowing due to good rains, food prices are expected to be moderate in the coming months and it remains to be seen if this prompts the apex bank’s recently constituted monetary policy committee to go for another rate cut this financial year.

Tell me more: The committee cut repo rate (the rate at which the central bank lends to other banks) by 25 basis points (one-hundredth of a percentage point) to 6.25% earlier this month.


$1.05 billion

What is it? The investment into venture-backed capital companies in India in the July-September quarter this year, according to a report.

Why is it important? This is 69% lower than the investments recorded in the same period a year ago – $3.41 billion across 156 deals. However, the investments in the September quarter were nearly double than those in the previous quarter ($584 million). Though investments have declined compared to a year ago, investors have focused on companies with “clear business models” and “greater profitability potential”, according to the report.

Tell me more: Globally, venture-backed capital companies raised$24.1 billion across 1,983 deals, which was at a two-year low, as per the report by KPMG International and CB Insights. Compared to 25 companies that were valued at a billion dollars (popularly known as unicorns) between July and September 2015, just eight companies touched or crossed that level in the last quarter.


Rs 19,379.1 crore

What is it? The amount 21 companies have raised via initial public offerings (IPOs) in the January-September period of this year.

Why is it important? This is the highest amount raised during this period since 2007 when companies raised Rs 28,993.65 crore across 81 IPOs. The positive sentiment seems to be a result of a good monsoon after two years of successive drought, slowing inflation rates, expected boost to consumption demand due to pay and pension hikesto former and current government employees and the possibility of a faster economic growth than the 7.6% (which was at a 5-year high) recorded in the previous financial year.

Tell me more: The amount raised in the first nine months of 2016 is about triple the amount (Rs 6,346.01 crore) raised by 15 companies in 2015 and nearly 23 times that raised (Rs 850.51 crore) by four companies in 2014.


2.8 million

What is it? The number of new tuberculosis (TB) patients in India in 2015, higher than 2.2 million in 2014, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Why is it important? This is higher than any other country and accounts for over a fourth of the global estimates. The WHO increased India’s estimates from 1.7 million and 1.6 million new and relapse cases in 2015 and 2014 respectively. The change in estimates reflect the difficulty in getting accurate numbers. India is planning to conduct a prevalence study over the next three years to get a better picture. It is looking to provide free medicines and diagnostic tools to patients under private medical care just as it does for patients getting assistance from government-run programmes.

Tell me more: India’s estimates, which have been revised, have impacted the global figures: there were estimated 10.4 million new TB patients in 2015. The low estimates in India seems to be due to underreporting of cases in the private sector. The disease, which has been curable for decades, claimed the lives of an estimated 1.4 millionin 2015.

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Jiogantic investments


News In Numbers: September 14

Rs 1,35,726 crore

What is it? Total assets of Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom subsidiary of Reliance Industries, as of March 31, 2016.

Why is it important? It shows the massive scale of the Reliance Jio telecom launch. And this figure is likely to increase further, with the company yesterday announcing it would raise another Rs 15,000 crorethrough an optionally convertible debt instrument.

Tell me more: This fund-raising announcement comes in the wake of Jio’s commercial launch of 4G services on September 5 and as a prelude to the spectrum auctions in October.


What is it? The number of economic corridors that India planning to develop

Why is it important? It will involve developing 35,000km of roads (21,000km of   economic corridor and 14,000km of feeder routes). It could cost Rs 6 lakh crore of investments. It’s billed as the most ambitious roads project since the golden quadrilateral project under National Democratic Alliance under Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and can boost the economy, bring down costs and create jobs.

Tell me more: Consulting firm A.T. Kearney is expected to submit its final report on the project in a month


What is it? The number of additional army personnel deployed in Kashmir to restore normalcy.

Why is it important? They have been told to use minimum force. Army recently came under heavy criticism for using pellet guns. By using more people and minimum force, the government hopes to “calm down” the valley with broader public support.

Tell me more: The troops are spread out mostly in four districts of Pulwama, Shopian, Anantnag and Kulgam which were at the centre of violent protests following the killing of militant Burhan Wani.

 £ 85,000

What is it? The cost of resettling a Syrian refugee in the United Kingdom, as compared to £ 17,000 in US and £ 21,000 in Germany.

Why is it important? Four western countries – UK, US, Germany and Canada – are planning to resettle more than 900,000 Syrian refugees. The wide range in costs show the different ways in which countries are dealing with the influx. In the UK, the government takes care of entire cost including housing. But in US, the government involves churches and charities, who adopt families and take care of accommodation.

Tell me more: India has more than 201,000 refugees, with more than 100,000 from Tibet. But India hasn’t signed the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention.


What is it? The combined difference in world ranking between the singles tennis players of Spain and India who face off in the Davis Cup world group playoff tie in New Delhi later this week.

Why is it important? Despite consistently not having high-ranking singles players, India has punched above its weight in this team tennis competition. Its current ranking is 20, out of 155 nations, is 20.

Tell me more: In the upcoming tie, India will be represented in singles by Saketh Myneni (world ranking of 137) and Ramkumar Ramanathan (203), and Spain by Rafael Nadal (4) and David Ferrer (13).

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India’s latest GDP Numbers: Five things you must know


Growth has slowed down: Asia’s third largest economy grew at 7.1% in quarter ended June 2016. This is the slowest in five quarters, and much lower compared to 7.9% recorded in the preceding three months.

Manufacturing picks up, but corporate investment still down: Manufacturing registered 9.1% growth in first quarter of current fiscal, as compared to 7.3% in same quarter last year. So this alone contributed one-fifth of India’s GDP growth.
However, corporate investment dipped by 3% (or by Rs 21,009 crore as measured in 2011-12 prices).
What does this say? Demand might have picked up resulting in higher manufacturing output. But not enough for the companies to see the invest in additional capacity.
When Indian economy was growing at 9% plus for five years in 2000-10, investment demand accounted for nearly half of the growth.

Government spending spurts: Nearly a fifth of GDP growth in latest quarter is due to government spending. This is clearly not sustainable as it would lead to widening fiscal deficit. Higher fiscal deficit will increase cost of borrowing for all others in the economy.

Exports finally showing growth: After many quarters of decline, exports reported a 3% increase. This is a positive as many export oriented industries are manpower-intensive sectors. This will create more jobs.

Mining, hotel, construction industries have slowed down


The positives: stable private consumption, growth in exports, pick up in manufacturing output.

The negatives: higher government spending not sustainable, key industries like mining and construction still sluggish, and corporate investment yet to pick up.

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News in numbers, Apr 15, 2016: VC & PE investments in startups, India’s remittances…

$1.15 billion

What is it? Venture capital and private equity investments in Indian startups in the January-March quarter of 2016.

Why is it important? This is the second consecutive fall in startup investments, indicating continued investor caution. The number of startup deals fell by 4% to 116 possibly on concerns over startups’ business models, valuation and economic slowdown.

Tell me more: The data by KPMG and CB Insights show that startups received investments worth $2.9 billion in the July-September quarter of 2015, which declined by 48% to $1.5 billion in the three months to December last year.

$68.9 billion

What is it? The remittances to India in 2015, according to World Bank.

Why is it important? They declined by nearly $1 billion (2.1%) from 2014, the first drop since 2009 during global financial crisis. Last year’s decline came on the back of low oil prices in the Middle Eastern countries, a major remittance-generating source for India. However, India retained its top spot in inward remittances.

Tell me more: After India, China and Philippines topped the list of remittance-receiving countries with $64 billion and $28 billion respectively. Mexico with $25 billion and Nigeria with $21 billion in remittances came in at the fourth and fifth positions respectively.


What is it? The number of people who died due to heatwaves this year.

Why is it important? It might get worse, with the weather department warning eight states of facing heatwave conditions in the next two days. Telengana and Andhra Pradesh, which had reported over 2,000 deaths due to heatwave conditions last year, are likely to see maximum temperatures increasing by 1-2 degree celsius in the next 2-3 days.

Tell me more: As many as 100 people have died due to heatwave conditions in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana and 30 in Odisha. Maximum temperatures are expected to increase by 2-4 degree Celsius over the north-western plains, 2-3 degree Celsius over central India and 1-2 degree Celsius over west India.


What is it? The share of companies in which investors got better returns (on the shares allotted to them during the IPO) on the day of the listing rather compared to a year later. This corresponds to 198 companies of 292 analysed.

Why is it important? As many as 71 stocks closed lower on the listing day and declined further in one year from listing. Indicates that promoters tend to price their public issues with little or no room for growth, and might reduce appetite for IPOs.

Tell me more: Over 30% of the companies analysed eroded more than 50% of their offer price within one year of listing. The study included IPOs launched in the last 10 years and have completed at least a year since listing.

3 lakh

What is it? The number of rural habitations, nearly a fifth of the total, that have less than the prescribed norm of 40 litres per capita per day of safe drinking water.

Why is it important? The primary reason for lack of adequate supply of safe water is reportedly due to delay in over 3,000 drinking water schemes, some of them which are over 5-10 years old.

Tell me more: There are 66,093 rural habitations where drinking water is contaminated. According to World Bank estimates, 21% of communicable diseases are related to unsafe water and diarrhoea alone causes over 1,600 deaths everyday.

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