Test not the licence to kill ⚠


What is it? The number of bills listed for introduction, consideration and passing in the Monsoon session of the Parliament to be held between July 17 and August 11.

Why is it important? Important and controversial bills like Whistle Blower Protection (Amendment) Bill that exempts 10 categories of information including cabinet proceedings, and Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill that makes giving a bribe an offence will be introduced during the current session.

Tell me more: The productivity in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session was 108% (a third of it spent on legislative business) while that in the Rajya Sabha was 86% (a fifth of it spent on legislative matters).



What is it? The percentage of people who did not take a test to get a driving licence across 10 cities, according to a survey by road safety advocacy group, SaveLife Foundation.

Why is it important? The high share of people obtaining licences by illegal means highlights the extent of corruption in the licensing system and how this issue is likely a major reason for road accidents and injuries in the country. On an average, 17 people were killed every hour in 2015 and nearly three-fourths of the road accidents were caused due to overspeeding (41%) and dangerous/careless driving (32.2%) in the same year.

Tell me more: About 88% of the respondents did not take the driving test in Agra and the corresponding numbers for Jaipur, Guwahati, Delhi and Mumbai are 72%, 64%, 54% and 50% respectively.



What is it? The number of Wimbledon titles won by Roger Federer so far.

Why is it important? The Swiss player has created a record by winning the most number of Wimbledon titles, surpassing Pete Sampras and William Renshaw who won their seventh Wimbledon titles in 2000 and 1889 respectively. As Croatia’s Marin Cilic struggled with an injury, this was the most one-sided Wimbledon final in 15 years and Federer just took 1 hour and 41 minutes to defeat his opponent.

Tell me more: With his first Wimbledon final victory since 2012, he extended his record 19 Grand Slam titles and at 35 years 342 days, he became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon title in the modern era.



What is it? The number of votes with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), headed by the BJP for the presidential election.

Why is it important? This is around 12,000 votes short of majority in the electoral college for the presidential vote, where total votes number 1,098,882. But the expected support of regional parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress could shore up the numbers for a majority for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Votes would be counted on July 20.

Tell me more: The incumbent president, Pranab Mukherjee, had secured 713,763 in the 2012 elections.



What is it? The number of pending cases in courts where the Indian Railways (IR) is a party to, according to records in the Legal Information Management and Briefing System.

Why is it important? The railways account for the majority of the 135,060 court cases of the government. Of these cases, 10,464 cases are pending for over 10 years. The cases involve service matters, disputes with private parties, other government departments or public sector units. IR’s cases increased by 13.5% from 2016’s records of 58,735 cases.

Tell me more: The finance ministry comes second in number of litigations with 15,646 cases. The railways also lead in contempt cases, including flouting of judicial directions, failure to file affidavits or appear before the court, with 241 cases (out of 369 contempt cases).

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News in Numbers, Nov 30, 2016: Security breach…


What is it? The number of Indian Army personnel killed in a terrorist attack in Nagrota near Jammu on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This is the biggest attack on an Indian Army unit since the attack in Uri when 17 army men were killed on September 18. Heavily-armed terrorists stormed into an army unit and their attempt to create a hostage-like situation was foiled by the Indian army – 16 people were rescued. Three terrorists were killed in this incident. This raises questions as to how the terrorists managed to travel to Nagrota, if the security measures taken by India are adequate and how effective surgical strikes carried out by India in late September have been in deterring militant groups operating from across the border.

Tell me more: In another strike, terrorists attacked a Border Security Force patrol at Chamliyal (Samba district) where four army personnel were injured. Again, three terrorists were gunned down here.


$5.54 billion

What is it? Flipkart’s valuation, according to a mutual fund managed by Morgan Stanley, one of the e-commerce firm’s investors.

Why is it important? Morgan Stanley has slashed down the value of its shares by about 38.2% to $52.13 a share from $84.29 a share in the June quarter. The e-commerce firm’s valuation is down from $9 billionin the June quarter and is about a third of its valuation ($15 billion) when it last raised funds in July 2015. This is the fourth time the investor has marked down the value of its shares in the last nine months and comes at a time when Flipkart is looking to raise funds (reportedly, about $500 million to $1 billion) by the end of the year to compete with cash-rich Amazon in India.

Tell me more: Two other investors Valic and Fidelity marked down the value of their shares in Flipkart earlier this month by 11.3% and 3.2% respectively for the quarter ended August. Meanwhile, Flipkart Internet’s vice-president and private label head Mausam Bhatt and senior vice-president of engineering Peeyush Ranjan have quit the company. At least seven Flipkart employees (at the level of senior vice-president) have left the company this year.



What is it? The number of seats the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won out of a total of 123 in local bodies elections in different parts of Gujarat.

Why is it important? This comes about a year ahead of the state elections in Gujarat and at a time when people seem to be polarised on the issue of demonetisation. This was by gaining 40 seats from the Congress, which managed to bag just 17 seats. The victory follows BJP winning 851 of 3,705 seats across 147 municipal councils and 17 panchayats in Maharashtra. The party’s candidates also won in 52 councils in the state. BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi attributed the victories to people supporting its demonetisation move.

Tell me more: Five states – Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Goa – are due for elections early next year and it remains to be seen how BJP fares in these polls.


$58 billion

What is it? Loss to India’s economy due to road accidents every year, according to a study by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

Why is it important? This translates to about 3% of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually. It follows Japan ($63 billion) in value terms among 19 countries covered by the study in the Asia Pacific region while in terms of percentage to GDP, it comes behind Iran (6%). Last year saw the greatest increase in the number of accidents in five years. On an average, 55 accidents were recorded per hour killing 15 people (or one death every four minutes). The top 13 states account for 86.7% of all road accidents in India.

Tell me more: In the Asia Pacific region, 15,000 lives are lost due to road accidents per week (or one person every 40 seconds) and the loss to the GDP of these countries is $293,568 million annually.


Rs 18,110 crore

What is it? The potential additional costs Indian banks would have to bear annually due to the central bank’s introduction of incremental cash reserve ratio (CRR) of 100% on all deposits between September 16 and November 11, according to CARE Ratings.

Why is it important? This means despite a surge in deposits following the government’s demonetisation move, banks would not be able to earn on them either by lending or investing in government securities and instead, would have to bear additional costs. This is likely to hurt the finances of banks, which are already reeling under increasing bad loans. Before the CRR move, there were hopes that banks would cut lending rates after they reduced the deposit rates but now, there is uncertainty as to what would follow. It remains to be seen if there is a cut in interest rates in the next monetary policy review on December 9.

Tell me more: The incremental deposits with the banks during the period mentioned above were around Rs 3.24 lakh crore and CARE Ratings estimates the banks’ potential earnings to have increased by around Rs 25,205 crore (from lending and investments in government-securities). The difference between earnings from these incremental deposits and costs incurred would have been around Rs 7,100 crore.

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News in Numbers, June 10, 2016: Road accidents in 2015, drug abuse problem in Punjab is real…

Rs 200 crore

What is it? The amount Micromax Informatics is planning to invest in its Uttarakhand facility over the next year to make split and window air conditioners.

Why is it important? The handset-maker is looking to grow into a consumer durables company with an aim to generate about a fifth of its revenue from this segment in the next 12 months. Diversification into new businesses is likely to help Micromax boost its overall revenues as it lost its market leader position to Samsung in the smartphones segment last year.

Tell me more: The firm, which entered into the television business in 2014, earns 12% of its revenue from this segment.

945 – 2039

What is it? The estimated range of premature deaths due to outdoor air pollution per year per million people in India by 2060, according to a report.

Why is it important? The number was 508 in 2010. India is likely to continue to be among the worst affected countries even by 2060. Its impact on GDP is estimated to be 0.9% by that year.

Tell me more: The economic impact is calculated based on increased worker sick days and healthcare costs and, damage to crops. Globally, outdoor air pollution could cause 6-9 million premature deaths by 2060 with an economic cost of $2.6 trillion a year by 2060 or 1% of GDP, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.



What is it? Percentage of passenger vehicles that were sold to government employees in 2015-16, up from approximately 10% in 2014-15.

Why is it important? Car makers are expecting this to go further up with the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission in the current fiscal even as they faced slower growth in May with car sales declining by 0.86%. Along with government pay hikes  the monsoon cheer is likely to result in a consumption-led demand and more profits.

Tell me more: Government employees accounted for 16% of Maruti Suzuki’s domestic sales in 2015 and for Hyundai and Honda, the corresponding figures are 7.2% and 15% respectively,



What is it? The total number of road accidents in India in 2015, according to a report released by the government.

Why is it important? Youngsters in the age group of 15-34 years accounted for over half of the people killed in road accidents. The cause of the accidents is mostly cited as driver’s fault – over three-fourths of the road accidents were due to the driver’s fault and within this category, over 60% (each) of road accidents caused and people killed were due to over-speeding of drivers. Some activists have argued that citing drivers’ fault as the reason is the easiest way to close a case – because other possible causes such as faulty vehicle parts, bad roads or inadequate lighting/signs are difficult to establish. The latest death toll is yet another reminder that too little efforts are taken to solve the problem.

Tell me more: On an average, 17 people died every hour in road accidents in 2015. Road accidents killed 146,133 people last year (139,671 in 2014) and injured 500,279 (493,474 in 2014).



What is it? The minimum number of people charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act, who have died in Punjab prisons in 2014 and 2015, according to an analysis.

Why is it important? Highlights the seriousness of the drug abuse problem in the state, which has been at the top consistently or ranked among the top five in many of the metrics used to measure this abuse. There are 836 drug users per 100,000 population in Punjab (as per a 2015 survey) compared to the All-India figure of 250 per 100,000 (2012). The average rate of crime under the NDPS Act has been the highest in the state between 2005 and 2014.

Tell me more: The drug abuse problem in Punjab became a point of debate after the Censor Board decided to cut off all drugs-related references to Punjab in a Hindi film titled ‘Udta Punjab’. It quickly turned into a political issue after Congress and Aam Aadmi Party accused the BJP of influencing the Censor Board to prevent showing Punjab’s drug abuse problem (the party has denied it). The state, which is ruled by the Akali Dal-BJP combine, goes for state elections next year.

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News in Numbers, May 10, 2016: How young Indians die, leader in smartphones’ segment…


What is it? The number of cars sold in April, up 1.87% from same month last year.

Why is it important? The growth comes after a continuous three-month decline. While car sales is a proxy for economic growth, last month’s numbers could be a one-off surge due to demand for newly launched vehicles (such as Maruti Baleno) in urban areas. The rural areas showed signs of improvement mainly on account of marriage season.

Tell me more: Passenger vehicle sales (including cars, utility vehicles and vans) registered a growth of around 11% to 242,060. All the categories – commercial vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and three-wheelers – grew at double digits.


252.23 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated foodgrain production in 2015-16.

Why is it important? It’s higher than 252.02 million production in 2014-15. This comes amidst 11 states having declared themselves to be drought-hit. If the estimates are correct, it indicates that the agrarian economy has not been as badly hit as previously thought. Analysts have expressed surprise at these estimates and say that these could be revised downwards when the fourth advance estimates are released in a couple of months.

Tell me more: The production of some crops such as rice, coarse grains and cotton have been estimated to be lower in 2015-16 when compared to the previous year.



What is it? The number of people who died due to self-harm in the age group of 15-24 years in India in 2013, according to a study.

Why is it important? Self-harm has replaced tuberculosis as the leading cause of death among adolescents/youth in India. Indicates rising stress levels among youngsters and the inability to cope with (new) challenges and underlines the importance of better policies (and implementation) for mental health. Youngsters (10-24 age group) account for nearly a third of India’s population, according to Census 2011.

Tell me more: After self-harm, road accidents and tuberculosis are the two biggest killers of the youth – they caused 41,168 and 32,171 deaths in 2013, as per the findings of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-Being.



What is it? The number of offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions (part of the Panama Papers) whose details have been made public by a group of investigative journalists.

Why is it important? This is likely to prompt regulatory authorities to probe individuals and firms for possible money laundering and tax evasion. The first set of information revealed by the organisation led to the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister while the British Prime Minister found himself in the line of fire after he acknowledged that he had profited from an investment fund created by his father (incorporated in Panama but managed in the Bahamas).

Tell me more: An India-related search shows the listing of 22 offshore entities, 1,046 individuals, 42 intermediaries and 828 addresses. The presence of names of individuals and companies by itself is not an indication of any wrongdoing.



What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s ‘affordable’ smartphone segment (priced between Rs 6,000-15,000) in the first quarter of 2016, according to market research firm GfK.

Why is it important? Indicates the South Korean firm’s aggressive push in India, whose market share was 40% in the same period in 2015. With this, Samsung has established its dominance in the Indian smartphones market with a 41% share in the Rs 20,000+ smartphone segment in the three months to March 2016 (though Apple is fast gaining ground at the cost of Samsung) and a 50% share in the Rs 30,000+ segment (Apple has a 41% share).

Tell me more: Micromax still remains at the second spot though its market share fell by a couple of percentage points to 16.7% in the January-March quarter of 2016. India, with a smartphone user base of 220 million as of 2015, overtook US as the world’s second largest smartphone market, after China.

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