News in Numbers – May 27, 2016

Rs 1211.65 crore

What is it? The net profit of Jet Airways in FY 2016 .

Why is it important? The carrier, which controls a little less than a fifth of market, is making a profit after eight years. While the profits came mainly as a result of lower fuel prices, the company was also working on a restructuring plan that aimed for profitability by FY 2017.

Tell me more: In the quarter ended March, the airline made a net profit of Rs 426 crore against a net loss of Rs 1,803 crore a year before. Sales was up 6% to Rs 20,572.22 crore.


What is it? The new retirement age of doctors serving in government hospitals (from 62 in some states and 60 in others at present).

Why is it important? This is expected to address the shortage of doctors in the country. India has acute shortage of doctors, just seven for 10,000 people, against the global average of 14. In rural areas, the problem is even worse. More than 8% of 25,300 primary health centres had no doctors.

Tell me more: Prime minister Narendra Modi made this announcement at a rally that was held to mark his two years in the office. It will be approved by cabinet this week.

6600 km

What is it? The length of the transatlantic cable that will connect United States with Southern Europe

Why is it important? Capable of carrying 160 terabits of data per second, it will address the growing demand for demand for high-speed cloud and online services. More importantly, it is to be built by Facebook and Microsoft, underlining the infrastructural investments they need to make to keep their services business growing. It is expected to be complete by October next year.

Tell me more: Google is building a 9000 km undersea cable connecting US and Japan.



What is it? The number of tinkering labs the government will establish in schools over the next five years.

Why is it important? This is to help students understand science concepts.  Nearly three-fourths of higher secondary schools (class 11 and 12) don’t have separate science labs. The tinkering labs will help bridge this gap in a small way, as there are 109,318 higher secondary schools in India in 2014-15.

Tell me more: Each school will receive a grant of Rs 10 lakh to set-up these tinkering labs, and another Rs 10 lakh spread over five years to meet operational expenses.

Rs 556,715

What is it? Median salary of a TCS employee in 2015-16.

Why is it important? Only a tenth (or around 1.1 million) of India’s salaried tax payers earn more than that amount. Shows the importance of software industry, which employs over 3.5 million people. Median salary at Infosys is Rs 524,064

Tell me more: TCS CEO earned Rs 25.6 crore, around 459 times more than the median salary. In comparison, Vishal Sikka, CEO of Infosys, earned Rs 49 crore or 935 times the median salary.

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News in numbers, Apr 25, 2016: Mixed signs of economic recovery, judge-population ratio…


What is it? The year-on-year net profit growth of 60 companies in the January-March 2016.

Why is it important? This is the lowest in four quarters, though it is better than the 10.6% growth a year ago. The analysis of companies that have declared their fourth quarter results so far indicates mixed signs of economic recovery. The net profit growth numbers disappointed observers, but the combined revenue growth at 0.6% the highest in seven quarters provided some cheer.

Tell me more: A better picture would emerge after key manufacturing and infrastructure companies declare their results. This sample of companies analysed includes some of the biggest companies in India – Reliance Industries, Infosys, HDFC Bank, Wipro – which account for a majority of the combined net profit and revenues in the three months to March 2016.


What is it? The number of judges for every 10 lakh population in India.

Why is it important? Lack of judges is one of the main factors for India’s slow justice system. It has serious economic costs too. A survey by Bengaluru-based NGO Daksh estimated that the loss of wages and business for litigants attending lower court hearings, in addition to legal fees and other costs works out to be over Rs 80,000 crore a year, 0.7% of India’s GDP in 2015-16.

Tell me more: The Supreme Court has six vacancies while as of February 29, the High Courts had 464 vacancies of judges. This has resulted in high pendency of cases – as of February 19, 59,468 cases were pending before the apex court; around 45 lakh cases pending before all 24 high courts and 2.75 crore cases before the trial courts as reported in early January.


What is it? The number of complaints against private universities received by the Indian government and University Grants Commission (UGC) in the last three years.

Why is it important? The government and UGC have stepped up their scrutiny of private universities, which are loosely regulated and enjoy a great amount of freedom in their operations. The challenge for India is to improve the quality of higher education even as it aims to increase gross enrolment ratio to 30% by 2020 from 23.6% in 2014-15.

Tell me more: The complaints – including on fake degrees and irregularities in finance – have seen a threefold increase in the last couple of years.

~ $1 billion

What is it? The value of offshore loans, which SSG Capital Management, a Hong Kong-based distressed-asset investor, is reportedly interested in buying from Standard Chartered’s India portfolio. It’s the only firm that has shown interest so far.

Why is it important? Indicates tepid response to the sale of distressed assets in India as banks scramble to clean their balance sheets before the March 2017 deadline set by the central bank.

Tell me more: Standard Chartered’s sale of India loans was reported about a fortnight ago. The Hong Kong-based firm is also seeking a 30% discount on the value of the assets.


What is it? The number of people killed in a gun battle between two rival groups at Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) during the weekend.

Why is it important? AMU is ranked among the top 10 universities in India, and it comes on the back of unrest at Jawharlal Nehru University and Hyderabad University. The AMU incident was said to be due to groupism, which also resulted in the destruction of 28,000 students records in fire.

Tell me more: Reports say that trouble began when a hostel student was assaulted and an attempt was made to set his room afire. Following the student’s complaint to the proctor against this, a rival gang arrived with weapons and both the groups resorted to firing at each other.

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News in numbers, Oct 29, 2015: Internet freedom in India, AP joins list of drought-hit states…


What is it? India’s score in Freedom on the net 2015.     

Why is it important? It improved the score from 42 last year. A reduction in score means more freedom. It’s still tagged ‘partly free’. Of the 65 countries compared by US-based Freedom House, 32 countries have seen their scores coming down. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 66A of the Information Technology Act. Though the apex court upheld Section 69A that allows government to block online content, the safeguards put in place like having a written order explaining why the content is being blocked.

Tell me more.  Score is based on three parameters – obstacles to access (maximum score of 25), limits on content (25), and violations of user rights (40).     



What is it? Oversubscription ratio in InterGlobe Aviation IPO (Initial Public Offer) in two days. Interglobe is the parent company of India’s largest domestic airline Indigo.

Why is it important? This is the largest IPO since 2012. A positive response would indicate increased investor appetite for large issuance of shares by other companies waiting to test the waters. The demand was fuelled mainly by Foreign Institutional Investors who bidded  5 times more than what was allocated under Qualified Institutional Buyers category.              

Tell me more: Demand for individual retail investors was muted with only 19% of shares receiving bids. Today is the last day of the IPO.   


Rs 83 crore

What is it? Net profit reported by Jet Airways, a full service airline, in quarter ended September 2015.   

Why is it important? September quarter is considered a lean season. This is the first time in eight years Jet Airways has reported a profit in this quarter. Operating profits was also higher than June quarter, the first time it has happened in five years. A 20% growth in domestic passenger traffic in January – September this year, along with low crude oil prices has helped Jet Airways to turnaround.      

Tell me more? JetLite, the budget airline of Jet Airways, continued to make losses at Rs 50 crore in September quarter.



What is it? The average number of hand luggage an air passenger carry, excluding laptop or handbag, while getting through security check at the Delhi airport.  

Why is it important? Normally only one hand luggage is allowed per passenger excluding a laptop or handbag. More bags means more time to scan the luggage. An ideal scan rate of an X-ray machine is 300 bags per hour or around 12 seconds per bag. But because of increased bags leads to clearing the bags in 5-7 seconds. This pose a clear security risk.   

Tell me more. Delhi airport handled 36.88 million passengers last fiscal, that’s around 101,000 passengers each day.  



What is it? The number of sub-districts in Andhra Pradesh declared as drought-hit, after two years of deficit monsoon. The southern state is the fifth to declare drought in parts of their state.   

Why is it important? A wide spread drought will impact rural income and rural demand, and would make it difficult to meet government’s GDP growth target of 7.5%.     

Tell me more? Monsoon was 12% deficit in 2015, making it the fourth time in last 115 years where India experienced consecutive deficit monsoon years.Andhra Pradesh received 5.4% less rain this Monsoon.   

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Higher taxes and bigger warning labels did nothing to slow down ITC in the past decade

This piece originally appeared on


In the last decade, when taxes on cigarettes increased tenfold, when warning labels on cigarette packs exploded in size, when curbs were placed on smoking in public places, when public advocacy and awareness of the dangers of smoking was probably at its loudest, the operating profit of ITC’s cigarette business increased fivefold and operating margin 14 percentage points.

Including product taxes, ITC made a profit of 37 paise on every rupee of cigarettes sold in 2014-15; excluding taxes, it made 67 paise. In terms of profitability, nothing in listed corporate India even comes close.















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