Donald_J._Trump_at_Marriott_Marquis_NYC_September_7th_2016_04

“nothing but lies and deceit”

As Donald Trump and Pakistan ushered in new year, the latter got reprimanded by the leader of the world’s most powerful economy in his first tweet of 2018. Trump said that Pakistan had given them “nothing but lies and deceit”, as he laid out in his tweet, the quantum of funds US has given to Pakistan in last 15 years. Well, that’s some way to ring in the new year.

For more news in numbers, read on.

 

Rs 68,826 crore

What is it? The total amount raised by Indian firms via the initial public offering (IPO) route in 2017, according to Prime Database.

Why is it important? This is the highest amount raised through this route so far, indicating increased buoyancy in the Indian equity markets. This is likely to continue in 2018: 15 companies have Sebi (Securities and Exchange Board of India) approval to raise Rs 12,000 crore; another 10 companies, looking to raise Rs 19,000 crore, are awaiting regulatory consent; and more filings are expected in the near future.

Tell me more: According to SBI’s research report Ecowrap, the heightened IPO activity could spur credit growth in some sectors—as seen in previous years—even though there is no direct relation between the two.

 

119.2 million

What is it? The number of shares that Bandhan Bank is looking to offer to the public via its proposed initial public offering (IPO).

Why is it important? On Monday, the bank said it had filed a Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP) with capital market regulator Sebi. Back in June 2015, Bandhan, which was then India’s largest microfinance company, was one of the two entities to receive a banking licence, the other being IDFC. Going public within three years, a statutory requirement, will mark another milestone in Bandhan’s transformation from a giver of small loans to a full-fledged bank.

Tell me more: The proposed Bandhan IPO will consist of a fresh issue of up to 97.6 million shares and an offer for sale of 21.6 million shares. As of September 30, 2017, the Kolkata-headquartered bank had 864 bank branches and 386 ATMs, and current account and savings account deposits of Rs 7,170 crore.

 

6.8%

What is it? The rate at which India’s infrastructure output grew in November from a year ago.

Why is it important? This is the fastest in 13 months, which suggests a possible revival in Indian industrial production. The growth in eight core industries, which account for 40% of industrial production, is likely to boost India’s factory output (as measured by the Index of Industrial Production), which had slowed to a three-month low of 2.2% in October.

Tell me more: The growth in infrastructure output in October was led by double-digit growth in steel and cement. The eight core sectors cumulatively grew 3.9% between April and October of 2017-18, lower than the 4.9% growth in the same period a year ago.

 

$33 billion

What is it? The total aid the United States has given Pakistan over the last 15 years, according to a tweet by US President Donald Trump yesterday.

Why is it important? In a strongly-worded tweet, which is also his first in 2018, Trump accused Pakistan of harbouring terrorists and said it had given them “nothing but lies and deceit”. The US is reportedly considering withholding $255 million in aid to Pakistan to express its displeasure over the latter’s alleged role in abetting terrorism. This is likely to boost India’s efforts in isolating Pakistan, whom it has blamed for sponsoring terrorism.

Tell me more: Minister of state Jitendra Singh tweeted that the American stance on Pakistan has vindicated India’s stand on terror.

 

61

What is it? The number of seasons that Vidarbha have played the Ranji Trophy, the premier competition in Indian domestic cricket.

Why is it important? On Monday, playing their first Ranji final, unfancied Vidarbha trounced Delhi by nine wickets to win their first title. Only two teams have taken longer to win their first title: Gujarat (83 seasons) and Uttar Pradesh (72 seasons).

Tell me more: Vidarbha’s win was scripted by a young squad mentored by a team of Ranji veterans, including 39-year-old opening batsman Wasim Jaffer, who won eight titles with Mumbai, coach Chandrakant Pandit and bowling coach Subroto Banerjee.

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The dirty dozen

12

What is it? The number of loan defaulters identified by Reserve Bank of India for bankruptcy proceedings.

Why is it important? Each of these accounts has more than Rs 5,000 crore of outstanding loans, at least 60% of which are non-performing. Together, they account for more than a fourth of bad loans in the banking system. The move – to direct banks to file for insolvency proceedings under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 – underlines the seriousness with which the central bank sees the bad loans problem facing India’s banking system, especially public sector banks.

Tell me more: Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan who kickstarted the bad loans clean-up process with the seriousness it deserves had said it demanded a ‘deep surgery.’

14.4 million

What is it? The number of obese children (aged 2-19 years) in India, according to a study.

Why is it important? That makes India second only to China. In all, the study found 180 million Indians to be obese.  Obesity is increasingly considered to be a public health crisis, and is associated with life threatening diseases including heart attacks and cancer. It played a role in 4 million deaths in 2015.

Tell me more: The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, also categorised more than 10% of the world’s population as obese. It covered 195 countries.

$12-$14 billion

What is it? The estimated cost of Diamer-Bhasha dam that Pakistan plans to construct in Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Why is it important? The region is a part of disputed Kashmir, and India had objected to infrastructure projects there, keeping international institutions such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank from funding the project. Now, Pakistan is looking to China to fund it, encouraged by the partnership between the two countries for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a set of infrastructure projects connecting the two countries.

Tell me more: The Diamer-Bhasha dam is expected to generate 4,500 megawatts of electricity and regulate water to farm lands. It will also displace 4200 families.

1%

What is it? Global energy consumption growth in 2016, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.

Why is it important? It’s lower than 10 year average of 1.8% a year, and in pace with last two years growth (0.9% in 2015 and 1% in 2014). It’s an indicator of sluggish global economic activity. On the positive side, greenhouse gas emissions growth was also muted in 2016, even though the emissions are much higher than the target set by Paris accord.

Tell me more: The energy demand is being driven by the developing countries, especially China and India. Renewables accounted for almost 40% of the growth in global power generation in 2016.

20

What is it? The number of countries that have formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.

Why is it important? In the 90s, this number about 30. It has been dwindling. The latest to cut ties with the self-ruled state is Panama, in a move considered to be a diplomatic coup for Beijing. China considers Taiwan a rebel region of China, and has been consciously weaning its allies away.

Tell me more: Panama, which was recently in news as a tax haven, is of strategic importance to trading countries, as it lies at the intersection of Atlantic and Pacific oceans and north and south American continents. China is the second biggest user of Panama canal. The Asian giant’s concern about Taiwan has increased after the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who is pushing for its independence.

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News in Numbers, Oct 4, 2016: Firing and shelling from across the border…

52.1

What is it? India’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in September, a composite indicator of India’s manufacturing activity based on a survey by Markit, a financial information and services company.

Why is it important? Though it expanded for the ninth straight month due to increase in new orders and purchasing activity, the rate has slowed down from 52.6 in August (which was at a 20-month high). This was due to inflationary pressures, though this is still lower than historical standards and that the central bank may cut interest rates in 2016. The next monetary policy review is today.

Tell me more: Companies saw new export orders expand at the fastest pace in 14 months.

 

4

What is it? The number of times Pakistani troops violated ceasefire on Monday, targeting Indian Army posts and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC).

Why is it important? Five civilians have been injured leaving several shops ablaze. The Indian Army retaliated and said that a Pakistani post Twiven1 was destroyed. There have been 10 ceasefire violations since the surgical strikes by India on the night of September 28/early morning the next day. As many as 405 cross-border firing incidents by Pakistan have been recorded last year where 17 civilians lost their lives, leaving 71 injured.

Tell me more: On Sunday night, fidayeen (belonging to a suicide squad) militants launched an attack on a 46 Rashtriya Rifles army camp in Baramulla. Though it was foiled, two Border Security Forces troopers were injured, one of whom died later.

 

178

What is it? The number of runs by which India defeated New Zealand in the second test match on Monday at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.

Why is it important? With this, India has reclaimed the top position in the ICC Test Rankings from Pakistan. This is irrespective of how India performs at the third and final test match to be held in Indore starting October 8. India was behind Pakistan by a single pointand needed to win the series to get to number one position. This would be the fourth time that India would reclaim the top position since the current rankings system was introduced in 2003.

Tell me more: After India and Pakistan, Australia, England and South Africa round up the top five ranks. India has been ranked number one between November 2009 and August 2011, January-February 2016 and in August 2016.

 

6

What is it? The number of Japanese Nobel prize winners in medicine.

Why is it important? The latest to win the Nobel is Tokyo Institute of Technology biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi. He won the 2016 prize for his work on the mechanics behind autophagy, a basic cellular function in which cells break down parts of themselves for reuse. Ohsumi showed this process helps also helps in fighting off infections with bacteria and viruses, and in generating energy under stressful situations.

Tell me more: Ohsumi is the 23rd Nobel Laureate to be born in Japan. This is the third consecutive medicine Nobel win for Japan.

 

377

What is it? The rise in Sensex, India’s benchmark equity index, on Monday a day ahead of monetary policy announcement by the new Reserve Bank governor and monetary policy committee.

Why is it important? The 1.35% rise in Monday is seen as a reflection of market expectation that the interest rate will be cut down. Equities tend to go up when interest rates go down. It remains to be seen if Urjit Patel takes a hawkish stance against inflation like his predecessor Raghuram Rajan and keep it steady to tame inflation, or if he (and the committee members) would go with the demand of the industry and politicians and cut the rate.

Tell me more: The easing of tension between India and Pakistan could also have helped in the market move on Monday. Sensex dropped by over 450 points last Thursday on the news that India carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the line of control.

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News in Numbers, Sep 30, 2016: How to become a self-driving car engineer

8

What is it? The number of terrorist launch pads attacked by the Indian Army in surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) Wednesday night. A surgical strike is a military attack that is intended to inflict damage on a specific target with minimum collateral damage to the surrounding areas.

Why is it important? Indian army acted upon information that terrorist teams had positioned themselves at launch pads along the LoC to infiltrate and carry out terrorist strikes in Jammu and Kashmir, according to the Director General of Military Operations. 38 terrorists were killed. Indian Army didn’t suffer any casualties. This comes nearly 10 days after 18 Indian jawans were killed in a terror strike in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.

Tell me more: The operation, which used a combination of heliborne and ground forces and took place 2-3 km away from the LoC, were carried out Wednesday night. While Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack, the Pakistani Army has said there were no surgical attacks by India and that only cross-border fire had been initiated.

 

5%

What is it? India’s unemployment rate in 2015-16 under the usual principal status approach (counts a person as employed if they spent more time within the labour force than out of it or seeking employment), according to a report by Labour Bureau.

Why is it important? This is the highest in five years. The unemployment rate for women was more than double than that for men: 8.7% (women) and 4.3% (men). This was worse in urban areas: unemployment rate for women was estimated to be 12.1% compared to 3.3% for men. For transgenders in urban areas, this rate was 10.3%. One of the main priorities of the NDA government is that of creating jobs. The number of jobs created in eight core sectors in 2015 was down by over two-thirds when compared to that in 2013.

Tell me more: About 77% of the households were said to have no regular wage or salaried person at the all-India level, as per the fifth employment-unemployment survey.

 

3 lakh

What is it? The number of train berths that go unutilised every year.

Why is it important? Indian Railways is addressing it. It has introduced the facility to transfer vacant berths (after the second chart is prepared at the train-originating station) to the subsequent stations where they may be waitlisted passengers. This would help those boarding at roadside stations (smaller intermediate stations on a route) to get confirmed berths.

Tell me more: The TTEs would be able to provide vacant berths after the train departure up to the next station only (where quota is available) and if nobody boards the train at the next station, this can be extended to the next quota station. This would help better utilisation of available berths at the time of departure and also, minimise the TTE’s discretion in berth allotments.

 

200,000

What is it? The number of cars that Uber is reportedly planning to buy and lease to its drivers over the next two years through its leasing unit, Xchange Leasing.

Why is it important? It will be one of the largest purchase by a single buyer in India. It will help Uber expand its driver pool even as it faces stiff competition from Ola. Ola already has a similar leasing arrangement for its drivers.

Tell me more: Uber has said the programme will help drivers who have been rejected by other lenders. However, the company has been criticized for looting its drivers through this arrangement, because of its terms and conditions.

 

11,000

What is it? The number of applicants for Udacity’s nine month Self-driving car engineer nanodegree program.

Why is it important? While online courses tend to get a lot of applications, in this case the available slots are just 250, and it costs $2,400. The high number of applications underscores the heavy demand for talent. Sebastian Thrun, who is often referred to as father of self driving cars, recently said there was a dearth of self driving car talent and it is valued at $10 million. Average salary for engineers is $138,000, according to Paysa.com.

Tell me more: The first batch begins in October. For the second batch starting November, Udacity has increased the class strength to 1000. 126 people have applied so far.

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