Now, pay for dirtying Ganga 🌊

Rs 50,000 

What is it? The penalty that will be imposed for dumping waste into the Ganga river between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, one among a slew of directions passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday to rejuvenate the water body.

Why is it important? A pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ‘Clean Ganga’ project has progressed slowly with only $205 million spent till now as compared to the total commitment of $3.06 billion till 2020.

Tell me more: The environment regulator has declared a no-development zone 100 metres from the river’s edge (between Haridwar and Unnao) and dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river has been prohibited.

 

Rs 5,945

What is it? The net profit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter, in the first quarter of 2017-18, 5.8% lower on a year-on-year basis.

Why is it important? This is the 11th consecutive month when the firm has either under-performed or failed to meet analysts’ estimates. A survey of 20 analysts by Bloomberg had estimated TCS’ net profit to be Rs 6,203.5 crore. This is the biggest drop in profits in two years. A stronger rupee impacted TCS’ results even as concerns over US President Donald Trump’s order for a review of a visa program for skilled workers remain.

Tell me more: The company’s headcount was lesser by 1,414 people to 385,809 at the end of June 2017 compared to the previous quarter – a net decline in its employee strength for the first time since 2010.

 

80

What is it? The number of people who have died due to floods and landslides in three north-eastern states – Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh – so far this season.

Why is it important? As many as 58 districts have been affected in the three states. In Assam, around 2,500 villages have been submerged and over 17 lakh people have been affected. Many district headquarters in Arunachal Pradesh have been cut off from the rest of the country while its capital Itanagar is cut off from its main connecting road (NH-415).

Tell me more: Jitendra Singh, the minister for the Development of North Eastern Region said that his team has approached the Ministry of Health to take steps to prevent the outbreak of epidemics and also, with the telecom ministry for the restoration of communication lines.

 

Rs 10 lakh

What is it? The money McDonald’s Corp will have to pay Vikram Bakshi, managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, its estranged joint-venture partner for North and East India, according to a National Company Laws Tribunal (NCLT) ruling on Thursday.

Why is it important? The long-brewing dispute between the JV partners had seen Bakshi being ousted as the chief in 2013. The ruling reinstates Bakshi as the MD, restoring all the powers of an administrator to him.

Tell me more: The ruling reiterated allegations made by Bakshi, including violation of JV terms and an attempt to buy him out at a low valuation. In the kerfuffle, Connaught Plaza Restaurants recently shut 43 of its restaurants in Delhi, citing failure to renew requisite licences.

 

Rs 70,000 crore

What is it? The monthly value of card payments at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, according to a State Bank of India (SBI) research report.

Why is it important? The report claims this average (both debit and credit cards) would have taken another three years at 25% growth in card transactions at PoS terminals if not for demonetisation.

Tell me more: The greater focus on digital payments after demonetisation, which happened in November 2016, was supplemented by the addition of 1.18 million PoS terminals. The lack of PoS terminals had held back card usage earlier.

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Three to Zika

3

What is it? The number of cases with confirmed Zika infection, reported by the health ministry.

Why is it important? The mosquito-borne viral disease can lead to neurological malfunction. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India has confirmed three such cases from Ahmedabad. It reports the ministry as having confirmed two cases in February and November, 2016, in addition to the one in January, 2017.

Tell me more: The health agency also said the findings indicate low level transmission and did not revise its global risk assessment due to India.

 

1.03%

What is it? The drop in pass percentage points in the CBSE Class XII exams this year, from 83% who cleared the exam in 2016.

Why is it important? The drop in pass percentage comes in a year when the central school board was made to reinstate its grace-marks rule.  Its practice of granting extra marks (upto 15%), to pass students or peg their results at a higher percentile became an issue ahead of the results.

Tell me more: Last month, it decided to scrap the moderation policy from this year. The Delhi High Court ordered it to reinstate the rule. CBSE says it followed the high court’s orders. Count of students in the 95-100% category increased from 9,351 to 10,091 while in the 90-95% category, the count decreased from 54,036 to 53,156.

 

4

What is it? The number of countries Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit on his multi-nation tour.

Why is it important? Modi will be visiting Germany, Spain, Russia and France to discuss trade and security issues. On the table could be the European Union-India free trade agreement, which could help India counter China’s One Belt One Road initiative. The four-nation trip is his second travel abroad this year, after a trip to Sri Lanka.

Tell me more: PM Modi made 56 foreign trips since May, 26 in 2014 till April 2017. The duration of stay dropped from 55 days in 2014-15 to 24 days in 2016-17. Cost of foreign visits has come down too.

 

10

What is it? The number of airports which restrict passengers from carrying large electronic devices in cabins in the flights to the United States since March this year.

Why is it important? US is now considering a move to ban laptops in all flights into and out of the country for better security. Airlines are worried it might impact customer demand.

Tell me more: The ten airports which restrict laptops in cabins include United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. UK has a similar policy applying to six countries.

 

151

What is it? Death toll due to landslides and floods in Sri Lanka.

Why is it important? Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst disasters since tsunami in 2004, and its worst torrential rains since 2003. Over 500,000 people have been affected and over 100 are still missing.

Tell me more: India has sent three Navy ships with supplies and other aid. Sri Lanka has sought international help to manage the disaster.

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News in Numbers, July 4, 2016: Uttarakhand floods and landslides, Aadhaar enrolment…

40

What is it? The number of people feared dead due to flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand over the weekend.

Why is it important? The toll could be higher as many people are missing and/or stranded due to the blockage of hundreds of roads by landslides. Continuous rains have added to the problem. The previous major floods were in 2013, where the state government announced that 5,748 people were presumed to be dead as they remained untraced. A report by the National Institute of Disaster Management had attributed the 2013 disaster to climatic conditions in addition to haphazard human intervention.

Tell me more: The Uttarakhand government has announced a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victims’ families.

 

125

What is it? The number of people killed in a terrorist attack in central Baghdad on Saturday night.

Why is it important? The attack has been claimed by ISIS. The bombing happened a week after Iraqi security forces recaptured the city of Falluja (an hour away from Baghdad), which was used as a base to launch attacks by the ISIS militants on Baghdad.

Tell me more: It is the deadliest attack in Iraq this year and has left around 200 people wounded. This came a day after the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a cafe in Bangladesh that saw 20 people dead, including an 18-year-old Indian student.

 

9-43%

What is it? The range of error for energy expenditure recorded by popular wrist-worn fitness monitors, according to a study.

Why is it important? The demand for these devices have been going up (estimated to touch 5.8 billion by 2018), despite inaccuracies. The metrics recorded by such devices were compared to electrocardiography (measures the electrical activity of the heartbeat) readings and a portable gas analysis system that measured the number of calories burnt.

Tell me more: A total of 22 healthy people (an even split of males and females) were monitored while completing different activities such as running, walking, cycling, seated and rested.

 

150

What is it? The number of public meetings Priyanka Vadra will hold in Uttar Pradesh ahead of the assembly elections in 2017, as the likely leader of the campaign in India’s most populous state.

Why is it important? It indicates that Vadra may have a bigger role to play in the Congress, which has failed to revive under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership. The party which has been routed in the last few state elections has also had a poor performance in the state earlier: winning 28 of the 403 seats in the last assembly elections and just two seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Tell me more: Vadra has so far limited her campaigning to Rae Bareli and Amethi where Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have contested from.

 

16

What is it? The number of states in which the enrolment levels of Aadhaar exceeds 100% of the estimated 2015 adult population figures as of June 15. These include Maharashtra, Punjab, Kerala and Rajasthan.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator that migrants have enrolled for Aadhaar in states where they are employed – providing them some form of identification. The high numbers would also enable implementation of applications such as e-KYC (know your customer), payment services, e-signatures, besides helping plug leakages in government services.

Tell me more: Delhi has the highest Aadhaar enrolment rates at 127% of the projected adult population. Enrollments in Bihar and Gujarat are at 85% and 91% respectively.

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News in Numbers – September 9, 2015

News In Numbers: September 9, 2015

 

 

23,604

The number of village panchayats in which the government has laid optic fibre cable (OFC) till July 2015 to provide high-speed broadband connectivity under the BharatNet project. The government plans to connect all 250,000 village panchayats under this plan by end-2016. In a March 2015 report, a committee constituted to review the programme (earlier called the ‘National Optical Fibre Network’) estimated the project cost at Rs 72,778 crore. An addition of 100 users per village panchayat would increase the share of Internet subscribers as a percentage of the total population by 1.9%. The committee also estimated that the increased Internet penetration would translate to potential economic benefit of Rs 66,465 crore in 2018-19.

 

45%

Share of Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru in the total bids received for FM radio stations in the ongoing e-auctions. The bid price for a radio station was Rs 169.2 crore in Delhi, Rs 122.8 crore in Mumbai and Rs 109.3 crore in Bengaluru. Leading stations in Delhi and Mumbai currently generate yearly advertising revenue of Rs 35-40 crore each. There were no takers for 38 stations in 13 cities. The government received bids worth Rs 1,156.9 crore for 97 channels in 56 cities. A Ficci-KPMG study has projected the size of the radio industry to be $19.6 billion in 2015 (calendar year) and $22.3 billion in 2016.

 

6

The number of hotel deals done so far in 2015 as against two in 2014 and three in 2015, according to real estate consultant JLL India. With hotel valuations falling by over 25%, the consultancy expects five more hotel deals to be sealed by end-2015. The major deals concluded this year include ITC acquiring Park Hyatt Hotel in Goa for Rs 515.4 crore, Radhakishan Damani (promoter of hypermarket chain, D-Mart) acquiring Radisson Blu Resort & Spa (Alibaug) for Rs 135 crore and SAMHI Hotels buying a Vizag-based hotel for Rs 90-95 crore. Ratings agency ICRA expects the Indian hotel industry to grow by 5-6% in 2015-16, with occupancy rates improving by 2-4% and revenue per room by 3-5%.

 

20%

One of every five deaths of children below the age of 5 years took place in India in 2015, according to data put out by the British medical journal The Lancet. India lost 1.2 million children below the age of 5 years. The under-5 years mortality rate for India has dropped 62% in 15 years and, currently, stands at 48 deaths per 1,000 live births, against the global average of 43. Pneumonia (15%) and diarrhoea (9%) were the main killers. According to Unicef, India is unlikely to achieve the Millennium Development Goal 4, which aims to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015, unless the related determinants are “urgently addressed”. Only six states — Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and West Bengal — are likely to achieve this goal.

 

Rs 160-190
The black market cost of a litre of petrol in Manipur currently — about thrice the price in metros. The flow of essential commodities into the state has been hit due to a landslide, which blocked parts of the Imphal-Dimapur highway in August. Further, the weak condition of a bridge on the Imphal-Silchar highway has also hit the movement of supplies. Rationing of fuel is in force, and has led to long queues at petrol outlets. At least 20 people were reportedly killed when a landslide caused by heavy rains buried an entire village in Manipur’s Chandel district last month. Geological Survey of India has estimated that nearly 15% of India’s landmass or 0.49 million sq km area is prone to landslides. There are six states in which most districts fall under high to very high landslide hazard classes, and Manipur is one of them.

 

 

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