Maternity Benefits, Job losses

1.8 million

What is it? The number of women expected to lose their job, post the new maternity benefit bill in India.

Why is it important? The law, which makes India the most progressive country after Canada and Norway in granting maternity benefits, will probably lead to job losses for women, as per a survey by TeamLease Services. The survey showed an estimated 1.1 million to 1.8 million women may lose their job across 10 sectors in 2018-19.

Tell me more:The law seeks to increase the paid maternity leave for women from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, which will add to the costs of small- and medium-sized employers. The share of women in the workforce has traditionally been low at sub-25%.


What is it? The number of times the defending champions have been eliminated in the group stages of the football world cup.

Why is it important? Yesterday, it was the turn of four-times champions Germany to experience this ignominy, losing 0-2 to South Korea and finishing at the bottom of its group. Since 2000, other than Brazil in 2002, no other defending champion has made it past the group stage.

Tell me more: Sweden topped the group and Mexico also qualified. In another set of matches, Brazil and Switzerland qualified from Group E. The group stages conclude today and the Round of 16 kicks off on Saturday.


What is it? The percentage of drains in Delhi that had been de-silted till Wednesday.

Why is it important? The Public Works Department of Delhi has completed de-silting just 27% of drains in the city, according to figures placed before the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. Delhi received its first showers of the season on Wednesday, raising fears of waterlogging. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has claimed that all de-silting work will be completed by June 30. The deadline was June 15 earlier, according to PWD Minister Satyendra Jain.

Tell me more:Progress has been as slow, with up to 25% drains de-silted in 419 out of 1,034 roads, according to the PWD. None of the 54 roads under the North Roads division, 106 in the West Roads I Division and 49 roads in the SRDP Road division have been de-silted.


What is it?The number of Indian goods on which China plans to reduce or cancel tariff, according to a tweet by China’s ambassador to India on Wednesday.

Why is it important? These goods include chemicals, farm products and metals from India and some other Asian countries. The move is being seen in the context of China’s ongoing trade war with the US: for several of these items, China imposes a higher tariff when it imports from the US.

Tell me more:Indo-China bilateral trade reached a historic high last year of $ 84.44 billion. This move will also help ease the staggering $ 16.34 billion trade deficit between the two countries. Currently, India is the 7thlargest export destination for Chinese products and the 24thlargest exporter to China.

300 million

What is it?The distance in kilometers a Japanese probe has travelled to collect information on the birth of the solar system.

Why is it important?Hayabusa2 has reached an asteroid 300 million kilometers away to collect information about the origin of life after more than a 3-year voyage through deep space. Japanese Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced the probe had successfully settled into an observation position 20 km above the Ryugu asteroid.

Tell me more:Over the next 18 months, the probe will explore the asteroid, with the immediate next phase identifying suitable sites to take samples from once the probe touches down on the asteroid surface. The probe had returned in 2010 from a 7-year space odyssey from a smaller asteroid with dust samples.

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News in numbers, Jan 4, 2016: Pathankot terror attack, revenue from excise duty hikes…


Rs 10,000 crore

What is it? Additional revenue Indian government expects to earn in 2015-16 from hikes in excise duty on petrol and diesel.


Why is it important? It will partially help in covering for the shortfall in revenue from disinvestments in public sector units (PSUs) and direct tax collections. The government had aimed to raise Rs 69,500 crore from selling shares in PSUs but managed to mop up just over 18% or Rs 12,700 crore so far. Between April and November 2015, the direct tax collections was less than half (46.26%) of the budgeted target of Rs 7.97 lakh crore in 2015-16.


Tell me more: The government on Saturday increased excise duty on petrol by Rs 0.37 per litre and by Rs 2 per litre on diesel. This is the third hike in 2015-16 and since November 2014, the seventh. The three excise duty hikes translate to a total increase of Rs 2.27 per litre on petrol and Rs 3.47 a litre on diesel.




What is it? India’s score in the 11th edition of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship. India beat defending champion Afghanistan on Sunday.


Why is it important? With this win, India has lifted the SAFF cup for the seventh time. This is also likely to have an impact on India’s position in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings to be released on January 7. From 121 in 2001, India’s ranking has slid to 166 currently, reaching a low of 171 in 2014 since the start of the new millennium.


Tell me more: India had lost to Afghanistan 0-2 in the final match of the 2013 edition.


$522 billion


What is it? Estimated global oil and gas investments in 2016, according to Oslo-based consultancy Rystad Energy.


Why is it important? If this happens, it would be the lowest in six years. In 2015, global investments in this sector had seen a 22% fall to $595 billion. This would also be the first time that there may be a decline in investments for two straight years since the 1986 oil crash, according to Bjoernar Tonhaugen, vice president of oil and gas markets at Rystad Energy . One of the major fallouts of this is the loss of jobs. In November last year, the number of job losses in oil and gas companies had crossed the 250,000 mark worldwide, according to industry consultant, Graves & Co.


Tell me more: Crude oil prices fell 35% in 2015 and are expected to decline even further in 2016. A combination of factors — global glut, suppliers refusing to cut down on production and engaging in price war to attract customers — are responsible for the rapid decline in oil prices.




What is it? Number of military personnel killed in a terrorist attack on Pathankot air base situated in Punjab, about 30 km from the Pakistan border. As many as 20 have been wounded.


Why is it important? Raises questions about security lapses and how the terrorists managed to enter the air base undetected. This is the second attack on Punjab after the Gurdaspur district attack in July 2015 that killed 10 people including the Gurdaspur Superintendent of Police. In the latest terror attack, militants disguised as soldiers, stormed the base a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid an impromptu visit to his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif. Four terrorists have been reportedly killed and two more are said to be holed up at the base.


Tell me more: The government claimed the operation successful on Saturday but fresh attacks on Sunday, it said the operation was not over yet.


160 million


What is it? Number of one rupee notes issued in 2014-15 and 2015-16 so far by the government.


Why is it important? The cost of printing a one rupee note at Rs 1.14, exceeds its value – and the life of a paper note is 9 to 10 months. It’s a reason why currencies of lower denominations tend to be in coins. The government had stopped issuing one rupee notes between 1995-96 and 2013-14.


Tell me more: In 2014-15, a total of five million notes of one rupee denomination and in the current fiscal year, 155 million notes were introduced in the market.

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News in Numbers – September 24, 2015

News In Numbers: September 24



The number of jobs Vedanta Group has slashed in India since January this year due to lower commodity prices and subdued market sentiment. Of these, 67.5% are direct jobs while the rest indirect. The job cuts have been effected in four of its group companies – Vedanta Aluminum (2,000 jobs cut), Balco (1,000), Sesa Goa and Cairn India (450 each). The metals and mining conglomerate has 69,000 direct and indirect employees. The revenue of the group in 2014-15 stood at Rs 73,364 crore, up by 1% from the previous financial year. The group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) declined by 13% in 2014-15 year-on-year.



The number of acres of land that Coal India Limited said it will need to acquire in the next 5 years to open new coal mines and expand existing mines, so as to meet its production target of 908 million tons. Further, the capital needed for such expansion – at around 60,000 crore- had risen sharply due to the increased costs of acquiring such land and rehabilitating those who lived on that land. The cost to companies of acquiring land for industry have risen in recent years due both to increased opposition from local populations, and because of legal changes requiring better rehabilitation and resettlement of people from whom land had been.



Number of people whose statements were recorded by by Justice (Retired) Vishnu Sahai to prepare his report on the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal riots. Of these 478, 101 were officials and the rest common people. Though the contents of the report are not officially released, a media report indicates that the local members of the Samajwadi Party and the BJP have been indicted. The one-man commission has also accused senior police and administrative officials posted in the district for lapses that lead to the violence. As many as 60 people were killed and around 50,000 were rendered homeless. The report was submitted to the Uttar Pradesh governor on Wednesday.The Special Investigation Team probing the riots had said recently that it had completed the investigation of 503 cases out of 510. Over 1,400 people involved in the riots were arrested.


Rs 53.92 crore

The total losses incurred by the Maharashtra State Road Transportation Corporation (MSRTC) between April 2014 and March 2015. Between January 1, 2013 to January 30, it earned Rs 267.9 per commuter; overall, it earned Rs 468.87 crore and transported 1.75 crore people in this period. The Transport Minister blamed illegal operators such as six-seater auto-rickshaws, jeeps and mini-trucks for the losses. He also said due to the condition of the roads, the maintenance costs increase, putting a pressure on MSRTC’s finances. India’s public sector bus transportation network carries 30 billion passengers every day. In 2013, the country’s 38 state road transport undertakings posted a cumulative loss of Rs 6,719.17 crore in 2013. Only two state-run networks made a profit: Odisha State Road Transportation Corporation and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation.



The share of the number of people who did not receive any kind of vocational training, according to data released by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) from its 2011-12 round on education and vocational training. In other words, only one out of every 10 adults received vocational training – most of them informally. Among people aged 15-59 years, about 2.2% received formal vocational training while 8.6% received non-formal vocational training. This kind of training includes passing down of hereditary skills and on-the-job learning. While ‘driving and motor mechanic work’ was the most preferred kind of training among rural males, ‘computer trades’ was the top pick for urban males. Among rural females, ‘textile related work’ was the most popular while urban females chose ‘computer trades’. The NDA-led government recently launched a Skill India mission where it has set targets to skill 40.2 crore workers by 2022.



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News In Numbers – July 30

News In Numbers: July 30


Rs 64.4 crore

Nestle India’s first quarterly loss (April-June 2015) in more than 15 years. In the same period a year ago, the Swiss food maker had posted a profit of Rs 287.9 crore. Last month, India’s food regulator banned the company’s popular 2-minute Maggi noodles snack for containing excessive amounts of lead. This led to a one-time loss of over Rs 450 crore for Nestle India. The company had filed a petition before the Bombay High Court challenging the ban, and on Wednesday, Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration argued in court that if the company was confident about the quality of Maggi, it should have asked for re-tests of its samples or offered other samples for testing.



The number of people estimated to have been sentenced to death in 2014 across the world, according to a report by Amnesty International. This was a 28% increase over the figure for 2013. These figures do not include the number of people executed or sentenced to death in China as it is a “state secret”. In India, 1,303 capital punishment verdicts were given between 2004 and 2013, but only three executions took place. The Supreme Court twice rejected petitions, including an overnight plea, to stay the execution of of Yakub Memon, who was convicted for his involvement in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai. He was hanged to death at around 7 AM today.


32 times

The number of times the initial share sale of Syngene International, a contract research firm, was subscribed, when the issue closed on Wednesday. The retail portion was subscribed 4.78 times, while demand from non-institutional investors like corporates and non-retail investors was 90.24 times. The success of Syngene, especially in terms of retail interest, will boost the prospects of other businesses that are looking to go public, including Cafe Coffee Day, Indigo Airlines and Matrix Cellular. Syngene will raise around Rs 550 crore by selling 16 million shares at between Rs 240 and Rs 250 per share.


1,100 jobs

General Motors Company will shut down its Gujarat plant and expand capacity at its other manufacturing facility in Maharashtra, a move that is expected to result in job losses for 1,100 workers. The US-based company, which is the world’s third largest automaker by sales, entered India in 1994, but has struggled to in a market that has so far been dominated by Maruti Suzuki, the Indian unit of Suzuki Motor Corporation. GM currently has less than 2% market share and wants to double it by 2020 with an additional investment of $1 billion. The move to shift the factory from Gujarat is a counter-trend, where companies like Maruti, Tata Motors, Ford and Honda are setting up manufacturing facilities in the western state.


Rs 3,200 crore

India’s Kalyani Group has tied up with Rafael Advanced Systems of Israel to make Spike missiles in India. State-run Bharat Dynamics will be the third partner. The deal, worth Rs 3,200 crore, will supply 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles to the Indian army. Ties between India and Israel have strengthened in recent years, with the Indian president likely to visit the Jewish state, making it the first visit by a top Indian statesperson. The Indian government is looking at defence projects to boost its ‘make in India’ programme by encouraging private companies to produce locally. So far, nearly all defence production made locally are from state-run units.



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