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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News in Numbers, Mar 20, 2017: The Wall (not Trump’s)

$130,000

What is it? Minimum wage for a H1B visa holder, as proposed in High Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act, introduced by Congressperson Zoe Lofgren of California earlier this year.

Why is it important? It’s one of the visa reforms being sought by some United States politicians, concerned about foreign nationals taking away American jobs. This bill was expected to impact the way Indian IT companies operate. One of the first signs of change on ground is a decision reported to have taken by Infosys not to apply for H1B visas for junior staff.

Tell me more: The introduction of the bill is potentially acting as a catalyst for IT companies even as they tweak their operating models so they are less dependent on H1B visas (and human resources in general).

 

139 days

What is it? The number of days Manipur was under economic blockade.

Why is it important? United Naga Council, which had imposed the blockade on the north eastern state to protest against the creation of Sadar Hills and Jiribam into full fledged districts, has called it off effective Sunday midnight.

Tell me more: It’s a win for the BJP-led coalition, which is awaiting a floor test in the State Assembly. In the recent elections, Indian National Congress emerged as the single largest party. BJP joined hands with smaller parties to claim the right to form the government.

 

47

What is it? The number of people who were sworn in as ministers in Uttar Pradesh government under chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and  Dinesh Sharma.

Why is it important? The focus of everyone’s attention was Yogi Adityanath himself, who is known for provocative and often divisive speeches, and controversial statements. His selection as the country’s largest state came as a surprise to many who thought of recent election results as a mandate for development.

Tell me more: The newly formed government has 21 ministers in cabinet rank. BJP won 312 of the 384 seats it contested (and of 403 available) in the recently held assembly elections. Samajwadi Party won 47 seats and Bahujan Samaj Party won 19.

 

~ 400 million

What is it? The number of customers that telecom players Vodafone and Idea will have as a merged group.

Why is it important? That would mean a 35% market share by number of users. While there were talks about Vodafone – Idea merger for some months now (especially after the launch of Reliance Jio), the companies acknowledged they were in talks last month, and formally announced it after Idea board approved the merger on Monday.  The merged entity will control over 40% of revenue market share, and a quarter of all the spectrum available in the country.

Tell me more: Vodafone will own 45.1%, and Idea promoters will own 26% in the new company.

 

525

What is it? The number of balls faced by Cheteshwar Pujara against Australian cricket team at Ranchi in the ongoing test series.

Why is it important? It is the longest innings ever played by an Indian, and beats Rahul Dravid’s record of 495 balls against Pakistan, in which Dravid scored 270 runs. Pujara scored 202. This is the third test in India – Australia series. The match ends on Monday.

Tell me more: The others in the top five list (of Indian players) who stayed longest on crease by number of balls faced) are Navjot Sidhu, Ravi Shastri and Sunil Gavaskar.

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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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