Record-breaking women’s cricket

1.54

What is it? The consumer price index for June, 2017 – the lowest in five years.

Why is it important? The inflation is much lower than central bank’s target of 4%. The government is urging the central bank to cut key interest rates to boost the economy. Index of industrial production expanded at a slower rate of 1.7% in May, as compared to 3.1% in the previous month.

Tell me more: Retail inflation was low mainly due to falling falling food prices, as consumer food price index was -2.12 in June, 2017.

 

 

6,028

What is it? The total number of runs scored by Indian cricketer Mithali Raj.

Why is it important? She is the first player to cross 6,000 runs in women’s one day internationals (ODIs). With an average of 51.8 runs per innings, Raj is one among the five women players who have an average of 50 and above.

Tell me more: Raj’s teammate, Jhulan Goswami, is the world’s highest wicket taker in ODIs.

 

 

17,771

What is it? The number of dengue cases in government hospitals and dispensaries in Mumbai in 2016-17, according to NGO Praja Foundation.

Why is it important? The number cases has jumped by over 265% since 2012-13 (4,867). It is a 16.6% rise over last year’s count at 15,244 dengue cases, despite Mumbai having health budget of Rs 3,312 crores for 2017-18.

Tell me more: The incidence of malaria, another mosquito-borne disease, seems to have gone down from 21,939 cases in 2012-13 to 11,607 in 2016-17 (14,631 in 2015-16).

 

 

Rs 900 crore

What is it? The investment by US retail chain, Walmart, in Maharashtra to open 15 modern cash and carry wholesale stores.

Why is it important? After the break-up with Bharti Enterprises in 2013, Walmart has been slow to expand, restarting in 2015. The new slew of stores would be in addition to the 21 stores Walmart operates out of India.

Tell me more: FDI rules do not allow international retail brands to serve end-customers through single-brand retail, except in the cash and carry wholesale format.

 

 

25.1 million tonne

What is it? The sugar output forecast by the Indian Sugar Mills Association for 2017-18.

Why is it important? The estimate is higher than last year’s 20.3 million sugar produced, a seven-year low. Above-average monsoon rainfall and its timely arrival have encouraged sugarcane farmers to plant more crops.

Tell me more: The three major sugar producers — Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka — are expected to yield over 19.8 million tonne (over 78%) of the estimated sugar output.

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News in numbers, Apr 26, 2016: The water wasters, India’s malaria elimination plans…

1.32

What is it? The number of times Punjab’s water footprint exceeds world average for growing wheat.

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of inefficient water usage across the country. For example, UP’s water footprint for wheat is 2.27% and Madhya Pradesh’s is 0.93%. With the drought affecting several parts of the country, this indicates the need for taking a fresh approach towards the crops India grows and how efficiently it grows them.  

Tell me more: The government procurement also seems to be tilted towards water inefficient states. For example, Rajasthan, the highest wheat producing state in 2014-15 and which has a low water footprint of 0.69 has a procurement share of just 4.6%.

Rs 22,085 crore

What is it? Government subsidy for petroleum products such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and kerosene in the first nine months of 2015-16, 71% lower than the subsidies in 2014-15.

Why is it important? While reduction can be attributed to low crude oil prices, it also shows market reforms are working. The government had linked diesel and petrol prices to market and introduced direct benefit transfer scheme. India, which imports 80% of its oil needs, can use this saving along with the amount gained due to lower oil import bills, to spend on other purposes such as education and health.

Tell me more: India’s crude oil import bill is expected to almost reduce by half (45%) to $62 billion in 2015-16 from $113 billion the previous year.

3

What is it? The number of students who have been rusticated by Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) for allegedly raising anti-national slogans at an event organised in support of Afzal Guru, a convicted terrorist.

Why is it important? JNU can be expected to sizzle for some more time. Kumar said he rejects the punishment as it is biased and that the students “will fight back and will win”.

Tell me more: A university committee set up to probe the incident found the students guilty on various charges such as not following university procedures, providing misinformation, instigating communal violence, participating in sloganeering, indiscipline, misconduct, and creating discord among students. Reportedly, financial penalty has been imposed on 14 students including student leader Kanhaiya Kumar. Some of the students including Kumar were arrested on sedition charges and are currently, out on bail.

200,000

What is it? The number of households in Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh where a malaria elimination project will be implemented by the Indian Council for Medical Research and Sun Pharma over the next 3-5 years. Mandla is one of the most malaria-endemic districts in the state.

Why is it important? This is India’s first public-private-partnership for research and innovation in preventive health care. This is likely to help India in its goal of eliminating malaria by 2030. According to official estimates, there were 561 deaths due to malaria in 2014 though this is much lesser than WHO’s estimates of 15,000 deaths a year and an independent research, which claims malaria kills over 200,000 people a year in India.

Tell me more: The project would include measures such as strengthening existing health systems, development and testing of medical products and disease surveillance and the learnings would be used to draw strategies for malaria elimination in other parts of the country.

458

What is it? The number of examiners the Indian government has hired for clearing applications for patents, designs and trademarks.

Why is it important? This increases the examiner strength by over 3.5 times, which would help in bringing down the time taken to process applications to 18 months by March 2018 from the current 5-7 years. As many as 237,000 patents and 544,000 trademarks registrations are pending approval.

Tell me more: Another 263 examiners would be hired on a contract basis to help clear the backlog.

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News in Numbers – September 17, 2015

News In Numbers: September 17, 2015

 

10

The number of entities that have received ‘in principle’ approval for setting up small finance banks from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The central bank had received 72 applications. Last month, the RBI gave in principle approval to 11 entities to set up payment banks and PayTM has recently announced that it would be the first one to set up a payments bank in India by the end of the current financial year. A small bank, as the name suggests, would provide basic banking services such as deposits and loans but “in a limited area of operation”  whereas payment banks cannot offer loans but would provide small savings accounts, remittances and payments services. Small banks would help in financial inclusion  would help in the cause of furthering financial inclusion by “provision of savings vehicles”, giving credit to small business units, small and marginal farmers, micro and small industries and other unorganised sector entities through high-technology, low-cost operations. The minimum paid-up equity capital for small finance banks was set as Rs 100 crore.

 

300

After 100 smart cities, the Indian government is now planning to develop 300 ‘smart village clusters’ at a cost of Rs 5,142 crore in the next three years. These would be developed as economic hubs that would offer employment opportunities, skill development training linked to economic activities, agro-processing, digital literacy, better schools, provision of piped water and sanitation, among other things. Besides this, the cabinet also approved the increase the number of days of employment under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to 150 days from 100 in the areas that have been hit by drought or natural calamities. These two decisions are aimed at alleviating rural distress building up due to below-average monsoon in many parts of the country.The number of farmers committing suicide due to agricultural stress in certain states including Karnataka and Maharashtra are on the rise. A Crisil report says four states (Bihar, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh) and five crops (jowar, soyabean, tur, maize and cotton) “are most hurt by deficient rains”. These states contribute to over a third of India’s total foodgrain production in India.

 

Rs 6 lakh

Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decided to increase life cover for its 40 million subscribers to Rs 6 lakh, as compared to Rs 3.6 lakh at present. Life insurance payments were given to 30,000 subscribers’ families in 2014-15, at an estimated outgo of Rs 180 crore. Employers, who don’t provide health cover to their employees, contribute 0.5% towards the corpus, Employees Deposit Linked Insurance (EDLI). EPFO manages Rs 8.5 trillion corpus. At 40 million subscribers, they represent mostly the organised employment whereas bulk of India’s workforce are unorganized and don’t get to benefit from this move.

 

 

23 lakh

The number of people who have applied for 368 positions of peons at the state assembly in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Of these, over 2 lakh applicants hold at least a graduate degree. There are 255 of them with doctorate degrees too. The requirements for this position is school education and bicycle-riding skills. A peon’s position would get pay a salary of at least Rs 16,000 per month plus other government benefits. The unemployment rate in India was estimated to be 4.9% in 2013-14 and that in the age group of 18-29 years was 12.9%. The unemployment rate of people in this age group who are at least graduates was 28%. The 66th round of National Sample Survey Organisation report has estimated that Uttar Pradesh would have 1 crore unemployed youth aged 15-35 years by 2017.

 

66%

The percentage of drop in central government funding allocation to Delhi for controlling vector-borne diseases between 2012 and 2015. It stands at just Rs 17 crore now. The Delhi government, in turn, has allocated a smaller proportion of funds to the municipal corporations. Of the total expenditure by the directorate of health services, the share of funds for controlling malaria and dengue has come down to less than 5% from 10%. The Delhi Health Society, set up to receive funds from the central government, had asked for Rs 2.5 crore to fight dengue and malaria in 2015-16 but received only 50% of that amount. The state government has unspent balance of Rs 19 crore from the previous year. Until September 12, over 1,800 cases of dengue have been reported in Delhi and as on September 16, the death toll rose to 13. Delhi is witnessing its worst dengue outbreak since 2010.

 

 

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