News in Numbers, Mar 31, 2017: Seats of learning in darkness 💡😥🎓✏📚

Rs 2465.21 crore

What is it? The amount of equity infusion in Air India during financial year ending today.

Why is it important? This is 8% of the total equity of Rs 30,231 crore planned till 2021 by the government as part of Air India’s turnaround plan. Public money keeping the airlines afloat has been a bone of contention as Air India recently came under the Comptroller and Auditor General scanner, which accused it of understating losses as recently as 2014-15 (Rs 1,992.77 crore).

Tell me more: The government carrier has been getting government funds regularly and so far received nearly 82% of the proposed bailout.

 

300 million

What is it? The number of people living with depression worldwide.

Why is it important? The number has grown by over 18% between 2005 and 2015, but healthcare spends to combat depression is low. The World Health Organisation says global average is 3% of healthcare spends but low-income countries see only 1% of total spends. But high-income countries with 5% health expenditure do not necessarily fare better in treating depression, as nearly 50% go untreated in such countries.

Tell me more: Stigma and lack of support for people with mental disorders aggravate the loss of productivity and quality of life due to depression, one of the more prevalent mental afflictions.

 

1 GB a second

What is it? The speed of Internet through wired broadband services provided by ACT Fibernet in Hyderabad.

Why is it important? This puts Hyderabad in a club of a handful cities with such internet speed, which includes Seoul (South Korea), Hong Kong, Singapore, Kansas (US). Even though it is being seen as a large stride towards the Telangana government’s aim to connect its 23 million citizens to the Internet by 2018, the delivery mode might prove a hurdle. The enviable speed might be thwarted by the low adoption of wired delivery of broadband services. Of the 236 million broadband subscribers in December, 2016, wired connections accounted for around 7% (8% if fixed wireless was considered).

Tell me more: The Giga speed is expected to enable Internet downloads faster than transferring data from a USB drive.

 

78%

What is it? The percentage of primary and upper primary schools in Odisha that doesn’t have power connectivity.

Why is it important? With temperature already touching 43 degrees Celsius in some parts of the state, the lack of electricity in 40,087 of the 51,094 primary and upper primary schools indicate serious lack of basic infrastructure for students. In 20 of the 30 districts in the state, each school have at least 1,000 students.

Tell me more: In another instance, 60% of the 2,739 schools in Vizianagaram district in Andhra Pradesh have no overhead tanks with running water facility.

 

31

What is it? The number of new cities that will have air connectivity via the government’s UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik or ‘Let the common man fly’) scheme. A total of 128 routes covering 71 cities were announced on Thursday.

Why is it important? This will bring more air passengers from smaller cities at affordable prices. Under UDAN, half the seats will be capped at Rs 2,500 for flight journeys that take up to an hour. Eighty per cent of the loss from this price ceiling will be funded by levying cess on non-regional routes, and rest by state governments.

Tell me more: Around 1.3 million new seats will be created from these 128 routes, with a subsidy bill of Rs 200 crore each year.

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News in Numbers, Mar 02, 2017: Hiring to strain finances 💰😓

Rs 295-299

What is it? The price band of shares of Avenue Supermarts, owner of the profitable supermarket chain, D-Mart, that would be sold in its initial public offering starting March 8.

Why is it important? The upcoming IPO, worth Rs 1,870 crore, has evinced interest as it is one of the few organised retail chains, especially in grocery segment, which makes a profit. In 2015-16, it made a profit of Rs 321 crore on a revenue of Rs 8,605 crore.

Tell me more: While Maharashtra and Gujarat contribute over 81% of its revenue, D-Mart also has footprint in Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh.

 

4-52%

What is it? The sales growth range of passenger cars across seven manufacturers in February, 2017.

Why is it important? Passenger car sales are picking up after being hit in the last two months of calendar 2016, following the cash crunch. A measure of consumer discretionary spending, the growth was fuelled by higher shipments to dealers and new models for some manufacturers.

Tell me more: Growth for Ford India was the highest at 52%, albeit on a small base of 8,338 cars. Maruti Suzuki, selling 120,735 cars, managed to grow in double-digits over 2016. Mahindra and Mahindra was the only company to report a decline of 13% owing to demonetisation.

 

56.67 million

What is it? The number of Indians suffering from depression, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Why is it important? India has only 0.3 psychiatrists per 100,000 population, whereas incidence of depression is 4.5% of the population. Lack of mental health facilities, and concentration of doctors and hospitals in urban areas, mean a large number of people with mental health issues will go untreated for a long time.

Tell me more: The total estimated number of people living with depression increased by 18.4% between 2005 and 2015, according to the ‘Depression and Other Common Mental Disorders — Global Health Estimates’ report.

 

2.8 lakh

What is it? The number of hiring by central government in next financial year starting April 2017.

Why is it important? This will bloat government expenses and potentially suck money away from developmental schemes, unless tax revenues match the increased outgo. Salaries (excluding defence personnel) and pension payment totals Rs 317,529 lakh crore, or 25% of tax collections in 2017-18.

Tell me more: Current size of central government employees is 3.53 million.

 

Rs 2,500 crore

What is it? The amount of black money declared so far under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY). The last date under this scheme is March 31, 2017.

Why is it important? Tax authorities have identified 1.8 million taxpayers who have deposited more than Rs 5 lakh in cash during the two months’ period in November and December when old high value notes were replaced with new ones. Tepid response to the scheme could be an indicator these taxpayers are confident of explaining their sources of income, or waiting till the end of this month.

Tell me more: A flat tax rate of 50% would be levied on income declared under the PMGKY, and another 25% will be parked in an interest-free deposit for four years.

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News in Numbers, Oct 25, 2016: The mysterious coup…

66%

What is it? The collective stake held by two trusts – Sir Dorabji Tata Trust and Sir Ratan Tata Trust – (both chaired by Ratan Tata) in Tata Sons, the holding company of the $100-billion Tata Group.

Why is it important? These two trusts have the powers to appoint or remove the chairman and it was their decision that led to the sudden sacking of Cyrus Mistry, who was at the helm of the Tata Group for nearly four years. Ratan Tata has taken over the reins of the group temporarily even as a selection committee has been tasked to find a successor in four months. While the reasons for this abrupt decision is unclear, in a statement, the group has said it was on the “recommendation of the principal shareholder (Tata Sons)”.

Tell me more: Of the nine board members, six voted to remove Mistry as chairman while two abstained. He is Pallonji Mistry’s son, who heads Shapoorji and Palonji Group, which owns 18.5% in Tata Sons. The Shapoorji and Palonji Group has said it would contest the move.

 

Rs 91.46 crore

What is it? The net profit of Idea Cellular, India’s third largest telecom player, in the quarter ended September 30.

Why is it important? This is around 88% lower than that posted in the comparable period a year ago (Rs 757.8 crore). This is an effect of intensifying competition due to Reliance Jio’s entry – Idea Cellular showed a decline in voice minutes and fall in mobile voice and data segment. Along with other incumbents, the company reduced data tariffs by as much as 67% and it spent Rs 12,798 crore in the recently-concluded spectrum auction to retain customers.

Tell me more: The company plans to expand its 4G services to 20 service areas from the current 11 and 3G services to 15 service areas from the present 13 by March 2017.

 

4

What is it? The number of weeks the trust governing Haji Ali Dargah, a famous mosque in Mumbai, in which it would implement the Supreme Court’s order of allowing women into the sanctum sanctorum.

Why is it important? This is being considered as a step towards equality and justice by the petitioners (who fought against the ban against women’s entry into the sanctum sanctorum) and their supporters though women won’t be allowed to touch the grave as it is that of a man (a saint). This would also help Muslim women in their fight against triple ‘talaaq’ (divorce), according to the petitioners. It remains to be seen the impact of this event on other religious placesthat have gender restrictions.

Tell me more: The Haji Ali trust had challenged the Bombay High Court’s order lifting the ban that restricted women’s entry into the dargah’s sanctum sanctorum. Two women, Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Niaz from a non-governmental organisation called Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan had filed a public interest litigation in the High Court challenging the trust’s restrictions on women.

 

Rs 35,000-40,000 crore

What is it? The estimated amount that can be saved annually by 2025 under the Indian government’s Sagarmala project, which aims at promote port-led development, according to a study.

Why is it important? The project would reduce the cost of domestic and export-import cargo as the movement of the goods via coastal shipping and inland waterways is expected to be 60-80% cheaper than road and rail transport. Under this project, the government aims to increase the share of inland waterways and coastal shipping in the modal mix from 6% to 12%. It is looking to increase coal movement through the coastal route by nearly five times to 129 million tonnes per annum by 2025 and also, reduce the cost of power generation by 50 paise per unit.

Tell me more: In India, logistics cost as a percentage of gross domestic product is 19% (compared to 12.5% in China, 15.72% in Indonesia and 13.43% in the UK), is among the highest in the world.

 

150 million

What is it? The number of Indians aged 18 years and above that suffer from mental health issues, according to the National Mental Health Survey.

Why is it important? Just one of every five of those suffering from mental health issues gets treatment, reflecting the fact that it’s a less-talked about problem and one that has the burden of social stigma attached to it. One in every 20 people in India suffer from depression and one in 40 has dealt with this problem in the past. Substance use disorder was found to be prevalent in 22.4% of the population aged 18 years and above.

Tell me more: The survey, commissioned by the Indian government and implemented/coordinated by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, covered 34,802 people (18 years and above) in 12 states.

 

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News in Numbers, May 10, 2016: How young Indians die, leader in smartphones’ segment…

162,566

What is it? The number of cars sold in April, up 1.87% from same month last year.

Why is it important? The growth comes after a continuous three-month decline. While car sales is a proxy for economic growth, last month’s numbers could be a one-off surge due to demand for newly launched vehicles (such as Maruti Baleno) in urban areas. The rural areas showed signs of improvement mainly on account of marriage season.

Tell me more: Passenger vehicle sales (including cars, utility vehicles and vans) registered a growth of around 11% to 242,060. All the categories – commercial vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and three-wheelers – grew at double digits.

 

252.23 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated foodgrain production in 2015-16.

Why is it important? It’s higher than 252.02 million production in 2014-15. This comes amidst 11 states having declared themselves to be drought-hit. If the estimates are correct, it indicates that the agrarian economy has not been as badly hit as previously thought. Analysts have expressed surprise at these estimates and say that these could be revised downwards when the fourth advance estimates are released in a couple of months.

Tell me more: The production of some crops such as rice, coarse grains and cotton have been estimated to be lower in 2015-16 when compared to the previous year.

 

~60,000

What is it? The number of people who died due to self-harm in the age group of 15-24 years in India in 2013, according to a study.

Why is it important? Self-harm has replaced tuberculosis as the leading cause of death among adolescents/youth in India. Indicates rising stress levels among youngsters and the inability to cope with (new) challenges and underlines the importance of better policies (and implementation) for mental health. Youngsters (10-24 age group) account for nearly a third of India’s population, according to Census 2011.

Tell me more: After self-harm, road accidents and tuberculosis are the two biggest killers of the youth – they caused 41,168 and 32,171 deaths in 2013, as per the findings of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-Being.

 

214,000

What is it? The number of offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions (part of the Panama Papers) whose details have been made public by a group of investigative journalists.

Why is it important? This is likely to prompt regulatory authorities to probe individuals and firms for possible money laundering and tax evasion. The first set of information revealed by the organisation led to the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister while the British Prime Minister found himself in the line of fire after he acknowledged that he had profited from an investment fund created by his father (incorporated in Panama but managed in the Bahamas).

Tell me more: An India-related search shows the listing of 22 offshore entities, 1,046 individuals, 42 intermediaries and 828 addresses. The presence of names of individuals and companies by itself is not an indication of any wrongdoing.

 

58%

What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s ‘affordable’ smartphone segment (priced between Rs 6,000-15,000) in the first quarter of 2016, according to market research firm GfK.

Why is it important? Indicates the South Korean firm’s aggressive push in India, whose market share was 40% in the same period in 2015. With this, Samsung has established its dominance in the Indian smartphones market with a 41% share in the Rs 20,000+ smartphone segment in the three months to March 2016 (though Apple is fast gaining ground at the cost of Samsung) and a 50% share in the Rs 30,000+ segment (Apple has a 41% share).

Tell me more: Micromax still remains at the second spot though its market share fell by a couple of percentage points to 16.7% in the January-March quarter of 2016. India, with a smartphone user base of 220 million as of 2015, overtook US as the world’s second largest smartphone market, after China.

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