News in numbers, Nov 16, 2015: Discounts on cancer drugs, ISIS’ share in terror attacks…

50-60%

 

What is it? Discounts to be given for 202 cancer drugs, 186 medicines to treat cardiovascular diseases and 148 types of cardiac implants at central government hospitals.

 

Why is it important? Cancer is already the biggest or the second biggest killer in India and affordability of drugs is a major concern. For instance, Imatinib, a generic drug used to treat certain types of blood cancers, retails for Rs 850-1,029 per 100 mg tablet strip.

 

Tell me more: The Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment (AMRIT) scheme, launched by the government in partnership with government-owned HLL Lifecare, will set up and run a chain of pharmacies across the country to sell these drugs at lower costs. The first AMRIT outlet was inaugurated at AIIMS in New Delhi on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

7.5%

 

What is it? Share of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in terrorist attacks perpetrated in 2014, according to the Global Terrorism Database.

 

Why is it important? The Jihadist group, which claimed responsibility for the multi-venue attacks in Paris on Friday night, is turning out to be the most significant terrorist threat globally. The attacks, which claimed the lives of 129 people, reflect an increase in the capabilities of the terrorist group (if investigations confirm their claims).

 

Tell me more: The attacks targeted six venues including a concert hall, a stadium, restaurants and bars. Three coordinated teams of eight attackers shot at people and blew themselves up, while one was shot dead by the police.

 

$772 million

 

What is it? Penalty levied by the US on French multinational Alstom for bribing government officials in Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Taiwan.

 

Why is it important? In the global context, this is the largest criminal fine ever levied under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the US anti-corruption regulation. In the Indian context, Alstom was recently awarded the letter of award for contracts worth $5.6 billion to supply 800 electric locomotives to the Indian Railways between 2018 and 2028. This could be worrisome for the Indian government, which is trying to improve its rankings in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, where corruption is cited as a major impediment.

 

Tell me more: Alstom had pleaded guilty to charges of falsifying its books and records and not implementing adequate internal control, besides bribing government officials. A Connecticut district court judge on Friday formally sentenced the company to pay the fine.  

 

3

 

What is it? Number of children in political life of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, one of whom is reportedly likely to be anointed deputy chief minister of Bihar.

 

Why is it important? Between Misa Bharati Devi, Tej Pratap Yadav and Tejashwi Yadav, the choice might be a pointer of the second rung of leadership in the RJD. Also, it shows dynastic politics, which is seen as a threat to democracy, continues to thrive. Research by political scientist Kanchan Chandra of the New York University shows that 21% of the current Members of Parliament (MPs) come from political families, which though down from 29% in 2009, is still high.


Tell me more: RJD won 80 seats in the recently concluded Bihar elections, 9 more than JD (U). Nitish Kumar is set to take oath as chief minister, for the third consecutive time, on November 20.

 

50%

 

What is it? Percentage by which the Indian government plans to reduce deaths due to road accidents in the next five years.

 

Why is it important? Deaths due to road accidents (140,000) accounted for 83.7% of all traffic accidents in India in 2014. An average of 51 cases of road accidents were reported per hour last year, resulting in 16 deaths per hour. Accidents involving two-wheelers accounted for over a fourth of the lives lost.

 

Tell me more: The national action plan being drawn by the government includes new two-wheeler safety norms, working on road designs, penalties on companies and engineers for bad road designs, a separate fund for road accident victims, and action against registered public and private hospitals who detain bystanders bringing in the injured or demand payment from them (unless they are family members of the injured).

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News in numbers, Nov 9, 2015: Grand Alliance parties versus BJP, IPO lapses in 2015 so far…

64,911 versus 59,287

What is it? Average number of votes per seat of the Grand Alliance parties (JD(U), RJD and Congress) versus number of votes per seat of the BJP in the recently concluded Bihar elections.

Why is it important? BJP, which lost the election, stood first in terms of vote share. But that masked the fact it contested more seats compared to JD(U) and RJD. Calculating votes per seat contested reveal the extent of victory margin. Congress, which won 27 seats, has a higher average number of votes per seat than the BJP, which won 53. Also, BJP contested in 157 seats, the maximum for any single party this time.

Tell me more: BJP got 59,287 votes per seat it contested, as compared to 69,262 for RJD and 63,529 for JD(U).

 

Rs 2.85 lakh crore

What is it? The aggregate non-performing assets (NPAs) or bad loans of 34 of the 39 listed banks in the September quarter that have declared their financial results so far. It has ballooned by 23% since September 2014, and 6% from June this year.

Why is it important? Reveals continued stress in the Indian economy with borrowers not being able to service their loans. Higher NPAs would mean banks have to set aside higher amount to cover the loss.

Tell me more: The central bank in July this year had said that the asset quality of banks is likely to deteriorate before it shows some signs of improvement at the end of the current financial year, though it warned bad loans would increase if the macro-economic situation worsens. Stressed assets (NPAs and loans that are restructured) accounted for 12% of total lending as on March 2015.

 

Rs 10 lakh per annum

What is it? The income limit of households above which they are likely to be asked to give up their LPG subsidy.

Why is it important? The Indian government has been urging people to give up their LPG subsidy if they can afford to buy cooking gas cylinders at market rates. This is because the government is looking to reduce its oil subsidy bill, which was over Rs 40,000 crore in 2014-15. The voluntary nature of the campaign is likely to partially change, depending on households’ income limit.

Tell me more: So far, around 40.1 lakh consumers have voluntarily surrendered their cooking gas subsidy.

 

2

What is it? Number of companies that let their approvals for initial public offerings (IPOs) from the market regulator to lapse in 2015 so far.

Why is it important? The equivalent numbers were as high as 41 and 22 in 2012 and 2013 respectively, though it tempered down to seven in 2014. This shows that the improved market sentiments are encouraging companies to take the plunge even as investor appetite remains healthy.

Tell me more: After four years of near-muted responses to IPOs, Indian companies have raised around Rs 7,500 crore so far this year, which is still way below the total amount raised via this route in 2010 ( Rs 37,535 crore).

 

Rs 40 crore

What is it? The base price for reverse bid from IPL governing council’s central revenue pool to set up two new teams.

Why is it important? Number of teams to play in the tournament, which is estimated to have a brand value of $3.5 billion, would remain intact for the next two seasons (2016 and 2017). Television rights is one of the major sources of revenue for the teams and without the new additions, earnings from this stream would have been impacted for the other six teams.

Tell me more: The new teams will replace Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals, which are serving two-year suspension terms for spot fixing and illegal betting. The IPL governing council has omitted Jaipur and Kochi from the list of cities that would bid for new IPL teams. Nine potential franchise venues have been finalised.

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