News in Numbers, Mar 27, 2017: The Art of No Deal 📉

Rs 1000 crore

What is it? The amount Indian telecom companies might have to spend to verify all mobile phone connections with Aadhaar.

Why is it important? Last month, Supreme court directed the central government to link all mobile phone connections with Aadhaar within a year. The onus on verification is on the telecom companies and it comes at a challenging time when they are fighting a tough battle for market share.

Tell me more: Linking Aadhaar number to phones might strengthen national security and ease mobile payments and banking, but it also raises questions about privacy.

 

2.77 lakh

What is it? The number of State Bank of India employees post merger with six associate banks

Why is it important? State Bank expects the headcount to come down to 2.6 lakh by March 2019, as it turns its attention towards efficiency. The state owned bank said there won’t be layoffs, and the reduction in workforce will happen through a voluntary retirement scheme it cleared last December, and by hiring less. The associate banks employ around 70,000 people.

Tell me more: State Bank chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said last month that the merger will be completed by financial year 2018.

 

35 million

What is it? The number of jobs that India’s textile policy aims to create in the sector by 2025.

Why is it important? It comes at a time when the industry across the world is adopting automation at an increasing rate. Indian government has now said it would look at handicrafts sector – especially premium products –  to achieve this. The policy is aiming at exports of $300 billion by 2025.

Tell me more: The growth of brands such as Fabindia suggest that there could be a growing market for handloom and handicrafts. To tap that the country needs right policies, some experts have argued.

 

56

What is it? The number of people Egypt jailed over a capsized boat carrying migrants last year.

Why is it important? Last september a boat heading to Italy with migrants from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia capsized on the coast of Egypt, killing 200 people. It was one of the deadliest disasters in the Mediterranean, which hundreds of thousands crossed to escape violence and to reach Europe at great risk. Over 5000 people have drowned in the Mediterranean last year alone.

 

Tell me more: The jail terms ranged from two to thirteen years on charges of manslaughter and fraud.

 

$1,257.97

What is it? The price of gold per ounce.

Why is it important? This is the highest in the last one month, and is attributed to market reaction to US President Donald Trump’s failure in pushing through his healthcare reform. Trump, who wrote a best selling book called The Art of the Deal, campaigned for presidency saying that the country will benefit from his skill at making good deals. However, his legislation to reform US healthcare system failed even though his party controls both houses of Congress.

Tell me more: US dollar rates came down against other currencies following the news. US dollar index was down to 99.263 on early trades in Asia from 100 on Friday.

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News in Numbers, Feb 06, 2017: It takes seven to play fair

7 out of 10

What is it? Countries which voted in favour of the motion at the International Cricket Council (ICC) to remove the ‘Big Three’ model of revenue-sharing between member country cricket boards and the ICC, introduced in 2014.

Why is it important? The vote, in line to get ratified in ICC’s April board meeting, will replace the Board Of Control For Cricket India’s (BCCI) claim to ICC’s highest revenue share. The ICC will likely move towards a more equitable distribution of its earnings among member countries, away from the controversial rule implemented in 2014 that gave India the lion’s share of 20.3% of ICC global revenues, followed by England 4.4% and Australia 2.7% in the 2015-2023 revenue cycle. The rule was based on the argument that these three were more influential in the game and brought in more revenue for the ICC.

Tell me more: India’s old ally Bangladesh and the other two beneficiaries voted against while Sri Lanka was the only country to vote with India, for the Big Three. Zimbabwe did not vote.

 

61 days

What is it? The number of days O Panneerselvam held office as chief minister of Tamil Nadu after the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa

Why is it important? Panneerselvam’s resignation from his post on Sunday to let VK Sasikala succeed him comes amidst widespread frustration in the state. In his brief stint as chief minister, Panneerselvam had gained respect for his refreshingly different approach from the autocratic style of Jayalalithaa and for the way he handled the aftermath of cyclone Vardha and protests over Jallikattu. Sasikala, on the other hand, has no experience in administration, has not won any election so far, and faces a court case over accumulating disproportionate wealth.

Tell me more: Panneerselvam’s earlier terms as chief minister lasted longer. He held the office for 161 days after Jayalalithaa was forced to resign by the Supreme Court in 2001, and for 235 days after Jayalalithaa was sent to prison by a special court in 2015.

 

Rs 60,000 crore

What is it? The annual cost of Delhi’s traffic congestion.

Why is it important? Preventing traffic congestions in Delhi could mean saving Rs 60,000 crore for a region which contributes over 4.12% to the country’s GDP. The stakes could even increase to Rs 98,000 crore by 2030 according to a study by IIT Madras, as fuel wasted in idling vehicles, productivity loss, injury from air pollution and road accidents compound the loss further.

Tell me more: Productivity loss on bus commutes was found toconstitute 75% of the total cost and dedicated bus lanes could shave off 50% from the future economic toll traffic would take.

 

1,131

What is it? The number of migrants intercepted by the Libyan coast guard off its shores through last week.

Why is it important? Shows Libya is taking efforts on its own to curb the flow of illegal migrants, leaving their sub-Saharan countries for European shores. The migrants from last week are a fraction of the number of migrants pouring in Libya to travel onwards. Opportunist human smugglers have made Libya a hotbed of abuse and exploitation, with many migrants dying on the sea due to inhuman conditions of transport. The numbers have made European countries offer Libya aid to try and curb such entries.

Tell me more: Libya became the entry-hub for illegal migrants looking to cross the Mediterranean over to Europe after Turkey andGreece shut off theirs.

 

7

What is it? The number of times the winner of Directors Guild of America Award for directing a feature film did not go on to win an Oscar the same year since its inception in 1948

Why is it important? This year, Directors Guild award went to Damien Chazelle who directed La La Land, a musical starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone – indicating that the much coveted Academy Award will also go to him. La La Land which first hit the cinemas in November has 93% on movie rating aggregation site Rotten Tomatoesand has earned $223.5 million at the box office

Tell me more: La La Land has won 14 Oscar nominations. The winners will be announced on 26th February during the awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

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