News in Numbers – May 27, 2016

Rs 1211.65 crore

What is it? The net profit of Jet Airways in FY 2016 .

Why is it important? The carrier, which controls a little less than a fifth of market, is making a profit after eight years. While the profits came mainly as a result of lower fuel prices, the company was also working on a restructuring plan that aimed for profitability by FY 2017.

Tell me more: In the quarter ended March, the airline made a net profit of Rs 426 crore against a net loss of Rs 1,803 crore a year before. Sales was up 6% to Rs 20,572.22 crore.


What is it? The new retirement age of doctors serving in government hospitals (from 62 in some states and 60 in others at present).

Why is it important? This is expected to address the shortage of doctors in the country. India has acute shortage of doctors, just seven for 10,000 people, against the global average of 14. In rural areas, the problem is even worse. More than 8% of 25,300 primary health centres had no doctors.

Tell me more: Prime minister Narendra Modi made this announcement at a rally that was held to mark his two years in the office. It will be approved by cabinet this week.

6600 km

What is it? The length of the transatlantic cable that will connect United States with Southern Europe

Why is it important? Capable of carrying 160 terabits of data per second, it will address the growing demand for demand for high-speed cloud and online services. More importantly, it is to be built by Facebook and Microsoft, underlining the infrastructural investments they need to make to keep their services business growing. It is expected to be complete by October next year.

Tell me more: Google is building a 9000 km undersea cable connecting US and Japan.



What is it? The number of tinkering labs the government will establish in schools over the next five years.

Why is it important? This is to help students understand science concepts.  Nearly three-fourths of higher secondary schools (class 11 and 12) don’t have separate science labs. The tinkering labs will help bridge this gap in a small way, as there are 109,318 higher secondary schools in India in 2014-15.

Tell me more: Each school will receive a grant of Rs 10 lakh to set-up these tinkering labs, and another Rs 10 lakh spread over five years to meet operational expenses.

Rs 556,715

What is it? Median salary of a TCS employee in 2015-16.

Why is it important? Only a tenth (or around 1.1 million) of India’s salaried tax payers earn more than that amount. Shows the importance of software industry, which employs over 3.5 million people. Median salary at Infosys is Rs 524,064

Tell me more: TCS CEO earned Rs 25.6 crore, around 459 times more than the median salary. In comparison, Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, earned Rs 49 crore or 935 times the median salary.

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News in Numbers, May 23, 2016: Distressed asset sale deals, ISRO’s latest milestone…


What is it? The number of 10 million-people-plus megacities in 2015 compared with 14 in 1995.

Why is it important? Four out of five of them are in developing countries (Asia, Africa and Latin America), indicating that these regions would contribute increasingly to the global economy and attract global businesses. However, this also highlights the challenges these countries would face in tackling urban migration, pressure on infrastructure and the availability of resources.

Tell me more: As many as 49 metropolitan clusters are likely to account for 77% of incremental GDP from 2010 and 2015 in India. The country, which is implementing an ambitious programme to create 100 smart cities by 2022, has just 0.23 urban planners per 100,000 population and the municipal expenditure as a percentage of GDP is just 1.1% (compares very poorly with the other BRICS nations, and OECD countries).



What is it? The average percentage of tickets Jet Airways sold in the highest fare bucket across the 20 busiest domestic routes in April, according to Directorate-General of Civil Aviation’s (DGCA) first monthly report aimed at checking soaring airfare prices.

Why is it important? Its competitors – Indigo, Spicejet and GoAir – did not sell a single ticket in the highest fare bucket in many of the 20 domestic routes. Some Parliamentarians had raised the issue of high airfares despite low fuel prices, and also the surge in prices during certain events (such as the Jat agitation in Haryana) and natural calamities. The first set of data do not support the lawmakers’ concerns on this issue, though it would be monitored every month to see if it justifies to impose a cap on airfares.

Tell me more: The DGCA will hold consultation talks with the airlines to discuss a cap on airfares. The Ministry of Civil Aviation has proposed the levying of a 2% fee on all domestic and international commercial flights in order to cross-subsidise air tickets on non-metro routes and bring it down to around Rs 2,500 per flying hour.



What is it? The number of asset sale deals announced by the top 10 most indebted business houses (as profiled by Credit Suisse last year) since April 2015.

Why is it important? Of these, only six deals have been completed. Of these six, the total value of four deals (for which information is available) is Rs 2,546 crore,  a mere 3% of the total value (Rs 82,343 crore) of the 33 deals. Indicates that companies are struggling to find buyers for their assets. Some may not be willing to mark down the value of their assets to reflect the actual market value, betting that the market may improve, prompting them to either delay the sale of assets or not sell at all.

Tell me more: As many as 14 deals are pending, nine of which account for Rs 48,910 crore. Another 12 are in the proposal stage, of which seven are worth Rs 28,810 crore and one has been withdrawn.



What is it? The number of months the poor families in drought-hit Bundelkhand region will get free rice, wheat and coarse grain starting June 1.

Why is it important? Last week, Uttar Pradesh declared eight districts (seven of them in Bundelkhand) drought-hit – a much-delayed move, according to ruling Samajwadi Party’s political rivals. The region has seen at least 3,000 farmer suicides over the last five years. It also suffered continuous drought between 2003 and 2010, floods in 2011, late and deficit rainfall in 2012 and 2013 and drought in 2014.

Tell me more: The Uttar Pradesh government has sanctioned Rs 145 crore for rejuvenating 100 extinct ponds in the region. The farmers are being encouraged to cultivate oilseeds, especially sesame, and the government has increased subsidy on these crops.


70 km

What is it? The distance India’s indigenous version of a space shuttle travelled today, after which it descended into the Bay of Bengal.

Why is it important? This is the country’s first reusable space shuttle and its first step towards creating a full–fledged reusable rocket, which might take another 10-15 years. The use of a reusable launch vehicle would reduce the cost of space exploration and utilisation, besides providing on-demand space access.

Tell me more: The Indian Space Research Organisation declared the mission a success. It took about 10 minutes from lift-off to splash-down. The 6.5-metre long ‘aeroplane’-like structure weighs 1.75 tonnes and is almost six times smaller than the final version.

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News in numbers, Nov 30, 2015: Climate change cross-border flows, Spicejet’s FY17 plans…


$2.2 billion


What is it? The cross-border flows from 17 special climate funds since their inception, according to a discussion paper by the Department of Economic Affairs, India.


Why is it important? Stating this figure, the Economic Affairs Secretary has said that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) claims that the rich nations had provided an average of $57 billion in 2013 and 2014 in climate finance flows are flawed. This is a serious allegation against the world powers and is a far cry from the goal of $100 billion annual climate finance flows. This also comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Paris to participate in the global climate change conference that begins on Monday.


Tell me more: The discussion paper has also questioned the methods and accuracy of reporting of the numbers in the OECD report. It remains to be seen what steps the government would take as the discussion paper states that it doesn’t reflect the views of the government.




What is it? Likely percentage of power that distribution companies have to mandatorily buy from renewable sources by 2022.


Why is it important? The current target is 3%. The increase would be challenging for some state electricity boards, given that a majority of them have been unable to meet their renewable purchase obligation (RPO) targets. Experts say, one of the biggest challenges faced by the Indian government would be the enforcement of RPO targets.


Tell me more: The government has set an ambitious target of adding 175 GW of capacity from clean energy sources by 2022.


6.09 lakh


What is it? Number of grievances regarding central government and ministries filed on the Central Public Grievance Redress and Monitoring System (CPGRAMS) portal since the beginning of 2015.


Why is it important? This is a nearly threefold jump from the number of grievances lodged in 2014. Shows one of the two things or a combination of the two: increase in dissatisfaction levels against the central government and ministries or increase in belief that grievances filed with the government is likely to be resolved.


Tell me more: The government has resolved nearly 80% of the grievances filed in the current year with the disposal rate being higher at 90% in 2014 and 2013.




What is it? Number of aircraft Spicejet is planning to buy in 2016-17.


Why is it important? A sign of ongoing turnaround. The second biggest budget airline by market share, was near bankruptcy last financial year, and has started reporting profits during the last three quarters.


Tell me more: Earlier this month, Jet Airways placed its largest ever aircraft order of 75 Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft (at a list price of $8 billion) while in August, Indigo finalised the purchase of 250 Airbus A320neo Aircraft (a deal worth $26.55 billion at list prices).


481 million

What is it? Projected number of people without access to clean cooking facilities (and instead use solid fuels such as wood and coal) in India by 2040, all living in rural areas, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).


Why is it important? The projected number is 30% of the Indian population. At present the number is 840 million or over two thirds of population. Use of improved solid biomass cookstoves, biogas systems, LPG, ethanol and solar stoves are considered to be safer, more efficient and environmentally more sustainable than the traditional methods of depending on energy derived from wood, sawdust and crop waste.


Tell me more: These projections are based on ‘New Policies Scenario’ which takes a cautious view factoring in regulatory, financial and administrative barriers and IEA has another set of projections based on if India’s key targets such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Electricity for all’ are achieved in full.

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News in numbers, Nov 10, 2015: OECD’s India GDP forecast, global warming impact on India…



What is it? The growth estimate for the Indian economy in the current financial year by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a Paris-based economic organization

Why is it important? This has remain unchanged from its September forecast. However, OECD has said despite having relatively better growth prospects, the delay in passing key structural reforms and the rising bad loans are the main impediments. It remains to be seen if the Parliament would pass key bills such as the GST Bill, Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2008 the Coal Regulatory Authority Bill, 2013 and the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 as the BJP needs to rely on the Congress in the Rajya Sabha for its support to push through these bills.

Tell me more: OECD estimates for India’s economic growth is 7.3% in 2016-17 and 7.4% in 2017-18.


Rs 40,000 crore

What is it? The size of two contracts the Indian Railways has awarded to US-based General Electric Company (GE), and French multinational Alstom for setting up diesel and electric locomotive factories in Bihar. Only the first project was officially announced on Monday.

Why is it important? The first big foreign direct investments in the railways sector in India. This would bolster indigenous production backed by the latest technology, help the Indian Railways improve its infrastructure and provide employment opportunities by giving rise to ancillary industries. Under the agreement, GE and Alstom would supply 1,000 diesel locomotives and 800 electric locomotives in 10 years. Railways had 5,633 diesel and 4,568 electric locomotives at the end of March 2014.

Tell me more: Though both the projects were approved in 2007 by the then Railways Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav but were mired in controversy and bureaucratic red tape. The Indian Railways (26% stake) and the foreign companies (74% stake) would form joint venture companies to construct and run the diesel and electric locomotive factories.


Rs 31.2

What is it? The central and excise duties’ components in the retail price of a litre of petrol at Rs 60.7 in Delhi. This is Rs 6.45 higher than the cost of producing a litre of petrol at the refineries based on the average cost of gasoline and the foreign exchange rate in the second half of October.

Why is it important? Shows the relative inflexibility of taxes as crude prices move up and down. To protect tax revenue as oil prices dropped sharply, government moved away from ad-valorem (tax as percentage of price) to a tax per litre. This means customers will not fully benefit from fall in oil prices. Both central and state governments are expected to earn around Rs 80,000 crore by taxing petroleum products this fiscal.

Tell me more: Central government hiked excise duty for the fifth time in a year. The previous four hikes were made between November 2014 and January 2015 and resulted in additional revenue of Rs 20,000 crore for the government in the 2014-15.


8 billion

What is it? The value of the order for 75 Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft placed by Jet Airways at list price, though aircraft manufacturers usually sell aircraft below the list price.

Why is it important? This is the largest ever aircraft deal for the Naresh Goyal-founded airlines and large orders usually get a good discount. This deal is seen to be good for Jet Airways in terms of upping its game in the fiercely competitive industry, though the delivery of the aircraft would begin from mid-2018. The new aircraft is said to be fuel efficient, which uses 20% less fuel than the first Next-Generation 737s and has the lowest operating costs in its class at 8% per seat less than its nearest competitor, according to Boeing. This is significant because jet fuel accounts for 45-55% of an airline’s revenue in India.

Tell me more: Jet Airways currently has 115 aircraft with an average age of 6.04 years. The second biggest airline (in terms of passengers carried) posted its biggest standalone quarterly profit in the first quarter of 2015-16 for the first time in nearly nine years.


55 million

What is it? Number of people in India who would be endangered if the global temperature rises by 4°C, according to a report by Climate Central, a US-based research organisation. This is about 4.4% of India’s current population.

Why is it important? Carbon emissions would cause warming, which in turn would lead to rise in sea levels that could submerge land, causing danger to the inhabitants. Though India is the world’s third largest greenhouse gas emitter, the government says its historical cumulative emission is below 3% currently. All the countries, especially the advanced economies have to keep up their commitments of keeping the earth’s average temperature from rising beyond 2°C, a widely accepted benchmark for preventing further damage due to global warming.

Tell me more: A 4°C rise in temperature could submerge land inhabited by 470-760 million people. However, if countries are able to contain carbon emissions resulting in 2°C warming, then the number of people who could be affected could be brought down to 130 million.






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