News in Numbers, Mar 08, 2017: Billions, Season 2

5

What is it? The wickets taken by R Ashwin in India’s second test cricket match against Australia, in the on-going four part series.

Why is it important? The haul helped India to its win, after a drubbing in the first match. It added to R Ashwin’s total of 269 test wickets, India’s fifth-highest.

Tell me more: This was also Ashwin’s 25th five-wicket haul in 47 test matches, the fastest among all bowlers, beating New Zealander Richard Hadlee’s 25 fifers in 62 matches. The third and the fourth matches in the series will take place in Ranchi and Dharamsala.

 

11

What is it? The number of individuals who dropped off the billionaire list in 2016.

Why is it important? The note ban in November 2016, among others, took a toll on billionaires as it stripped some of them of substantial cash wealth – enough to reduce their total wealth below $1 billion (~Rs 6,600 crore). Flipkart’s co-founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal are among those who lost their spots.

Tell me more: India’s loss meant Germany’s gain in the Hurun India Rich List as it climbed to the third spot with an addition of 27 new billionaires.

 

Rs 275 crore

What is it? The money the Chinese Internet giant, Alibaba, paid to buy Reliance Capital’s (financial arm of the Reliance Group) nearly 1% stake in One97 Communication, Paytm’s parent.

Why is it important? Alibaba, already a major investor in Paytm’s various ventures, had recently purchased additional stake in its e-commerce arm. Tuesday’s move being seen as a not just consolidating its place in Paytm’s owners business but also as advancing its India ambitions. The sale values One97 Communication at over $4.1 billion.

Tell me more: Reliance Capital had bought the stake in 2009, for just Rs 10 crore, gaining more than 27 times the price it paid from yesterday’s sale.

 

715 million

What is it? The number of Apple iPhones in use, according to an analyst estimate.

Why is it important? Apple sold its billionth iPhone last year, nine years after its launch in 2007. The number of devices in simultaneous use is an indicator of Apple’s strength in the services part of its smartphone business – apps, music streaming, content sales etc. Apple’s app store revenue in 2016 was $28.5 billion, with the developers claiming $20 billion of the amount.

Tell me more: BMO Capital Markets analyst Tim Long also estimated that 300 million second hand iPhones will be in use by end of 2018.

 

10

What is it? The number of people injured in Ujjain train blast on Tuesday.

Why is it important? The blast is said to be the first Islamic State terror attack in the country. Islamic State first came into prominence in 2014, and a number of terror attacks in US, Europe and Asia are linked to the terror group. Police said it shot down one of the suspects who had links to Islamic State and was connected to the blast.

Tell me more: The blast took place on Bhopal-Ujjain train near Jabdi station in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh.

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News in Numbers, Feb 20, 2017: The cost of a Tirupathi Laddu

Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The estimated cost of re-verification of existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar-based electronic know-your-customer process.

Why is it important? The attempt to weed out fake or forged identities used to secure telecom connections, especially wireless ones, will be a costly one. In January, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) proposed the e-KYC for Aadhaar-based ratification of users, and suggested incentives to help it.

Tell me more: In a letter to the Telecom Department, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) estimates that not just the cost, but the process would also require resources to rope in about 1,000 million subscribers.

 

26

What is it? The number of army personnel that died in the first 50 days of 2017.

Why is it important? The unrest in Kashmir from summer last year continues this year, triggering more counter-insurgency measures that claimed six soldiers in 2017. The rest of the security forces were killed in avalanches in the valley, a result of global warming. These deadly 50 days follow a year with the highest death count of 82 among the J&K forces since 2008.

Tell me more: But the counter-insurgency operations led to the death of 22 militants, the highest since 2010.

 

-$1,020 million

What is it? The difference in income of terror group, Islamic State, between 2014 and 2016.

Why is it important? The effects of political moves against ISIS, such as Operation Tidal Wave II, reduction in cross-border smuggling in Turkish and Kurdish-controlled areas in Iraq etc. and military opposition to its expansion are starting to show. Unlike other terror groups, donors play a negligible part in ISIS’ finances. Its territories yield natural resources, and properties, businesses and people to pillage and tax, for its to extract revenue from. But a shrinking territorial grasp has hit its coffers too.

Tell me more: Its biggest source of money — looting, confiscations and fines — have declined from 52% of its income of $970-1,890 million in 2014 to 22% of its  $520-870 million income in 2016, according to a report by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence .

 

Rs 140 crore

What is it? The annual loss to Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam, the trust that manages the famous Tirumala temple in Andhra Pradesh, on account of laddus, an offering made to the deity of the temple, and sold at subsidised rates or given away free to the pilgrims.

Why is it important?  It costs Rs 32.50 to make a laddu and it’s sold for Rs 25 for the pilgrims in general, at Rs 10 for those who opt for free entry into the temple, and for free to those who walk up the hill. About 70 lakh people reach the temple every year by foot. About 4 crore to 5 crore people visit the temple annually.

 

Tell me more: TTD earns over Rs 2000 every year, primarily from hundi collection.

 

~ 50%

What is it? The share of coal in total exports of North Korea to China.

Why is it important? China has banned coal imports from North Korea following the country’s claim that it has successfully tested ballistic missiles recently. China also accounts for over two thirds of North Korea’s exports. The move is expected to cause a shock to the struggling North Korean economy under Kim Jong-un and aimed to increase pressure on the country to stop its nuclear programme.

Tell me more: North Korea tested a medium long range ballistic missile on February 12, which landed in the Sea of Japan. China has been reducing trade with North Korea partly due to local economic compulsions and partly because of international pressure to impose trade sanctions on the country.

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