News in numbers, Dec 16, 2015: India’s falling exports, purchasing power in 71 global cities…

$20 billion

What is it? India’s merchandise exports in November.

 

Why is it important? It fell for the 12th consecutive month, a decline of 24.4% on a year-on-year basis. Shows the effect of global meltdown, decrease in global demand and lower commodity prices on Indian exports. Fall in exports of engineering goods (fall of 28.6% in terms of value), petroleum products (54% decline) and gems and jewellery (21.5% fall) had a significant impact on overall export figures. After the financial crisis in 2008-09, India had diversified its exports towards Asian markets (accounts for half of India’s exports in 2015-16 so far) and this continent leads the fall in export growth this financial year.

 

Tell me more: Imports fell by 30.3% in last month compared to November 2014, thereby recording trade deficit of $9.7 billion this November. Since the beginning of 2015-16, exports have contracted 18.4% and imports fell by 17%.

 

73

 

What is it? Number of minutes a Delhiite needs to work to buy a kilo of rice, according to UBS’ Prices and Earnings 2015 report, which compares the purchasing power in 71 cities worldwide.

 

Why is it important? It’s an indicator of how expensive a kilo of rice is, given average wages in a city, and is useful for comparisons across geographies and over time. Delhi tops the list, ahead of Cairo (66 minutes) and Nairobi (62 minutes). A Mumbaikar can buy the same after working two-thirds of that time – or 49 minutes. Rice is the cheapest at Oslo, where one needs to work just four minutes to buy a kilo of rice.

 

Tell me more: In terms of net hourly pay, the two Indian cities in the study – Mumbai and New Delhi – figure among the bottom 10. While New Delhi is last but four, Mumbai is in the sixth position backwards.

 

0.4%

 

What is it? Share of patents in India that came from industry-academia collaboration between 2000 and 2014, according to a report by Thomson Reuters.

 

Why is it important? Shows industry – academia collaboration – which often boosts innovation – has a lot of ground to cover in India. Academia and government filed 20% of patents and the corporate segment filed over 70% between 2010 and 2014.  

 

Tell me more:  According to the study, the main focus areas in innovation in India are in the following categories: human necessities, chemistry and metallurgy, physics, performing operations and transporting and electricity.

 

Rs 4.63

 

What is it? The price at which, SBG Cleantech has bid per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to build a 350-megawatt (MW) solar project in Andhra Pradesh. SBG Cleantech is a joint venture between SoftBank Group Corp., Bharti Enterprises and Foxconn Technology Group.

 

Why is it important? The price bid is the same as the record low solar tariff when US-based Sun Edison bid for a 500 MW tender put out by NTPC in Andhra Pradesh. This could mean such low tariffs are here to stay raising concerns about the viability of such projects. Also, signals the interest by global players in India’s solar industry where the government has a solar energy target of 100 gigawatt by 2022. For SBG Cleantech, this is the first renewable energy project it has won in India after the joint venture was set up this June. SoftBank has pledged to invest $20 billion in solar energy projects in the country.

 

Tell me more: The 350 MW capacity is to come up in a solar park being developed by state-run NTPC and it would buy the power produced from the plant.

 

 

What is it? The amount the two new Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises – Pune and Rajkot – have spent to acquire five players each for the upcoming IPL season in 2016 at the draft conducted in Mumbai on Tuesday.

 

Why is it important? With a salary cap of Rs 66 crore for the players, both the teams are now left with Rs 27 crore each (40.9%) to buy the rest of the squad.

 

Tell me more: While Pune owned by Kolkata-based New Rising picked up MS Dhoni for the stipulated price of Rs 12.5 crore, Suresh Raina was the first preference for Rajkot owned by Intex Mobiles who was bought for the same price.

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