News in Numbers – September 12, 2016
What is it? The percentage increase in the minimum fare of Delhi Metro, from Rs 8 to Rs 10, suggested by a panel tasked with revision of fares.
Why is it important? The last time Delhi Metro revised its fares was in 2009. Meanwhile, mounting costs have reduced its operating margin from 65.3% in 2008-09 to 34.8% in 2014-15.
Tell me more: A compilation by the World Metro Database of metro fares of 55 cities shows Delhi to be the cheapest: 0.12 euros for a journey of 10 km or 10 stops. Stockholm was the most expensive, at 3.73 euros.
What is it? The number of commercially insured rocket launches in a year across the world.
Why is it important? This is about a fourth of launches that take place in a year, and reflects the economics of satellite insurance, with its low volumes and high risk of failure. Insurers therefore charge a high premium. In 11 of the 15 years from 2000, premium collections were well over the amount paid out.
Tell me more: The most recent rocket failure took place earlier this month when SpaceX Falcon 9 exploded during a prelaunch test. While the rocket’s cost was $60 million, the satellite, Israel’s AMOS-6, was estimated to cost $200 million. The rocket was reportedly not insured, but the satellite was. Last week, India sent its own weather satellite using its Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. GSLV has had 10 flights so far, of which five were successful. ISRO doesn’t insure its launches.
What is it? India’s August retail inflation rate according to HSBC Global Research.
Why is it important? It’s a percentage point lower than 6.1% in July, and a sign that price rise may be cooling down, closer to the target of bringing it down below 5% by the end of this year. A Reuters poll last week said lower food prices could have brought the consumer inflation down.
Tell me more: It’s not clear if this would prompt the new Reserve Bank governor Urjit Patel to cut interest rates. While some believe it could bring the rates down by 25 basis points, some believe there is too little headroom for rate cuts.
What is it? The number of Muslim pilgrims who have gathered in and around Mecca, Saudi Arabia for annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Why is it important? The pilgrimage – that reenacts the actions of Prophet Mohammad – is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all muslims are to make it at least once in their lives. This year’s gathering comes amidst tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia over a stampede that happened last year (and other political reasons). Over 2000 pilgrims lost their lives in the 2015 stampede, many of them Iranians. Iran has boycotted the event, endorsing an alternate event in Iraq.
Tell me more: Saudi Arabia has pumped up monitoring and security to avoid mishaps. It has deployed drones to watch over the crowd, and provided the pilgrims with electronic bracelets to store personal and health information.
What is it? Number of race winners in the 500cc MotoGP championship in 2016 so far—the most in a single season since the series began in 1949. Dani Pedrosa’s win on Sunday in San Marino made him the eighth winner in eight races.
Why is it important? This is twice the number of winners in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, each of which saw 18 races. The open-ended nature of MotoGP is in contrast to Formula 1, where Mercedes dominance has resulted in just three winning drivers in 14 races in 2016.
Tell me more: Last week, Formula 1 got a new owner, and it’s widely expected that one of the objectives of rule changes in this moneyed sport will be have more teams contend for the top step.