Did you buy a 🚗 or 🚗 🚗 this year?


What is it? The growth in passenger vehicle sales (passenger cars, utility vehicles and vans) in FY17.

Why is it important? The segment saw a decline in sales due to cash crunch during demonetisation – sales had declined 1.4% in December.  As it recovered in January, the financial year ended with a sale of 3.05 million passenger vehicles. Between 2011-12 and 2016-17, the growth was the highest. But demand for passenger vehicles could fluctuate this year, as prices, especially of large passenger vehicles, are affected by GST and costlier BS IV norms coming into play.

Tell me more: Utility vehicles (sports utility vehicles or SUVs, multi-utility vehicles or MUVs) among passenger vehicle rose the sharpest, selling 30% more than FY16, while passenger cars sold 4% more.



What is it? The hike in school fees noted by over 75% parents in eight states in India, according to a survey.

Why is it important? The ~10% hike is more than the estimated increase in per capita income in FY17 (5.9%). The fee hike across states is not restricted to just 10%. Around 15% of the 9,000 guardians polled across India have been affected by a fee hike of over 20% this year.

Tell me more: The survey on school fees was carried out by the community social media platform, LocalCircles.


17 million

What is it? The number of urban households which do not have a separate kitchen in their homes.

Why is it important? This is around 26.1% of urban households (65.13 million), according to the Socio-Economic Caste Census, 2011. Families living in houses without separate kitchens are exposed to indoor pollution more than those with exclusive kitchens. It also means kitchens are missing from some households with more than one room, as one-room urban households number 15.93 million.

Tell me more: The SECC shows Mizoram and Bihar faring the worst. The SECC is different from the Census 2011.


What is it? The number of polling stations in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency where re-poll will be held on Thursday.

Why is it important? This comes a few days after a by-election was marred by violence that left eight people dead. The voter turnout – at 7.14% – during the by-polls on Sunday was the lowest in 30 countries. All the 38 polling stations are in Budgam district, the most affected by violence. Srinagar lok sabha constituency covers Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts.

Tell me more: Election commission had earlier postponed the by-election for Anantnag constituency, which was scheduled to be held on Wednesday, to May 25.


$255 million

What is it? The amount United Continental Holding lost in market cap on Tuesday.

Why is it important? United Continental is the holding company of United Airlines which hit the headlines on media after it manhandled a passenger who refused to deplane. United was widely criticized for the act, and its CEO’s half hearted apology didn’t cut ice. At one point during the trading, the stock price fell by over 4% shaving off a billion dollar in its valuation.

Tell me more: United had earlier threatened to handcuff a passenger because he refused to leave his first class seat, because the airline wanted to make room for another passenger who was higher up on the priority list.

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Short-staffed 👮/👮👮


What is it? The vacancy in the police department in Uttar Pradesh.

Why is it important? India’s most populous state has more than double the vacancy of the national average of 24%, and also the highest. While the sanctioned strength is 363,000, there are only 181,000 police personnel deployed in the state. The vacancies in IPS ranks in UP was revealed in the Parliament a few weeks ago. While the national average vacancy in IPS was 18.9%, UP had 22% vacant posts.

Tell me more: Only Nagaland was has a surplus in their police force, with 22,264 personnel against 21,574 sanctioned posts.



What is it? The growth in domestic passenger vehicles sold in March, 2017 over 2016.

Why is it important? The growth rate, as per company releases, indicates robust gains. The largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, posted an 8% and second-largest, Hyundai, a 9% growth. March has been the best month for passenger vehicle sellers since the days of demonetisation that dampened consumer spending.

Tell me more: Tata Motors and Toyota Kirloskar registered growth above 80% in March. Mahindra struggled with reported BS III inventory and saw a decline in sales.


72 million

What is it? The number of customers Reliance Industries claims have signed up so far for its telecom offering, Jio under the Prime offer.

Why is it important? While the number attempts to capture the rush to avail of the near-unlimited and free data and voice services offer for a year, it also highlights the Jio’ marketing coup. The hitherto free services which would eventually draw a Rs-303 monthly fee from April, 15, has made it the wireless operator with the largest subscriber additions in February. It accounted for 73% of the total 27.8 million additions in February.

Tell me more: The enrolment in Jio Prime was extended beyond the previous deadline of March, 31 to April.



What is it? The number of H1B visa applications United States received last year

Why is it important? The H1B cap of 85,000 got filled within a week. The application process for this year begins today, in a political environment far different from last years. Donald Trump administration is far less welcoming of foreign workers and the US congress is looking at several bills that call for H1B reforms. Thenumber of applications by Indian IT firms will be keenly tracked.

Tell me more: Indian IT companies are big users of H1B, and reforms in US would force them to change their strategy, and be less dependent on H1B visas. Some firms – including Infosys and Wipro, have been moving in that direction for some time now.


$12 billion

What is it? The combined net worth of US president Donald Trump’s senior staff members.

Why is it important? It’s wealthiest in the modern American history. Donald Trump won the elections mostly by appealing to the anger of the middle class Americans at the elite, and the fear of job losses. Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter and son in law, who have important roles in the administration, have business interests worth $740 million.

Tell me more: The details of personal wealth are from disclosures made by White House starting Friday night.

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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.



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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