Agronomics

98%

What is it? This year’s southwest monsoon rainfall estimate as a percentage of the Long Period Average (LPA), India Meteorological Department’s long-term rainfall-tracking benchmark.

Why is it important? It’s up from the earlier estimates of 96% of the LPA (which is 89 cm for 1951-2000). In India, monsoons have a direct impact on agricultural GDP. Since 2014, the actual monsoon has been a lower percentage of LPA than forecast, though. In 2013, it was 106% of LPA compared to a forecast of 98%, while in 2016, it was 97% when it was predicted to be 106% of LPA.

Tell me more: The monsoon this year arrived early, hitting the Kerala coast in May itself, rather than in the first week of June.

 

86,119 tonne

What is it? The amount of buffalo meat (carabeef) exports in April.

Why is it important? It’s down 11.4% from April last year, according to Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. A strike by abattoirs is taking a toll on exports, in which India has had a lead (over Brazil) since 2014 worldwide. According to the United States Department of Agriculture which considers carabeef as beef in its statistics, India exported 17,64,000 tonne of the meat in 2016.

Tell me more: The appreciation in the value of the rupee has also affected exports. Abattoirs have been on a strike since March in the leading exporting state, Uttar Pradesh, after the government went after illegal slaughterhouses.

 

500 million

What is it? The number of people the government wanted to train in new skills by 2022.

Why is it important? The Union government delinked the target, set by the UPA II government, on Tuesday from its efforts at skill development. Around 150 million were expected to be trained by the private sector under the National Skill Development Corporation and 350 million by the ministries of the central government. But now training would be demand-driven rather than to meet a target.

Tell me more: 19.2 million people have been trained under the scheme since 2014-15.

 

5

What is it? The number of people killed in farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur district in Madhya Pradesh.

Why is it important? A firing during the protests also left more than a dozen injured. The state government insists that the shots were not fired by police or the central reserve police force, but some other accounts have pointed to police firing. The agitation underlines the growing discontent among farmers in the state, and in fact across the country. Their demands include loan waiver and higher minimum support price for agri products

Tell me more: Earlier this year, farmers from Tamil Nadu had staged protests in Delhi for more than 40 days making similar demands on the back of water shortage in the state.

103

What is it? The number of consecutive quarters of economic growth in Australia.

Why is it important? Australia now matches Netherlands’ record in sustaining a recession-free quarterly growth, the longest among developed countries. This translates to 26 years without a recession, even as its peers faced a number of financial hits including dotcom crash and financial crisis in the last two decades. Australia hasn’t had a recession since 1991.

Tell me more: Australia’s GDP grew by 0.3% in January-March quarter, slower than United States and United Kingdom, both of which grew at about 2% in the quarter.

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News in Numbers, July 6, 2016: Cabinet reshuffle ahead of state polls, apprenticeship training…

19

What is it? The number of new ministers inducted in the Union Council of Ministers on Tuesday.

Why is it important? With this, the size of the ministry is up to 78, one of the biggest in recent years and a departure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of minimum government and maximum governance.

Tell me more: Prakash Javadekar, who was Minister of State (independent charge) for environment, has been elevated to the post of Minister of Human Resource Development. The entire list of reassigned portfolios can be viewed here. While the Cabinet reshuffle has been likely on the basis of individual performance of the Union Ministers, it is happening ahead of state polls in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttarakhand.

Rs 550 crore

What is it? The amount raised by online movie ticketing company Bigtree Entertainment, which runs the BookMyShow website, in its fourth round of funding.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when startups are struggling to raise funds and investors have become cautious in letting their purse strings loose. The amount would be used to invest in big data analytics, expand in international markets such as Sri Lanka and enhance consumer experience for increased engagement.

Tell me more: This round of funding is more than double of the total amount the company has raised in the last six years and has increased its valuation to Rs 3,000 crore. The funding was led by US-based Stripes Group and existing investors including Network 18, Accel Partners and SAIF Partners.

 

$90 billion

What is it? The amount Indian banks need to meet Basel III norms to be implemented by March 2019, according to rating agency Fitch. Basel III accord mandates stricter capital adequacy and buffer norms for banks.

Why is it important? The burden is mostly on public sector banks, which would account for 80% of the requirement. However, the government is committed to invest only $7 billion in government-owned banks by 2018-19. The earnings are also likely to be weak due to muted credit growth and high credit costs.

Tell me more: The rating agency has downgraded its outlook for the Indian banking sector to ‘negative’ from ‘stable’.

 

80,000

What is it? The number of people affected due to floods in Assam. Another report puts the figure at around 88,000.

Why is it important? The floods are an annual occurrence in the state, mainly brought on by haphazard growth due to encroachment of water bodies and hills, and a poor solid waste disposal system. This comes nearly a week after Guwahati became the first Indian city to have undertaken a major mock drill for tackling floods in an urban setting. Over 6,000 hectares of crop have been destroyed in seven districts and flood waters have entered the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary – the world’s most dense habitat of one-horned rhinos.

Tell me more: The Lakhimpur district is the most affected with around 68,000 people hit as on July 4. The other most affected districts are Dhemaji, Nagaon and Jorhat. The Brahmaputra river is said to be above the danger levels in Jorhat and Tezpur.

 

Rs 10,000 crore

What is it? The budget approved by the Union Cabinet for providing apprenticeship training to over 5 million youngsters in the next four years to create more jobs.

Why is it important? This is the biggest outlay for skill development in the country in the last seven years and the first time a scheme offers financial incentives to employers to take up apprenticeship training. This is likely to help the government in its Skill India mission, where it has to impart skill development training to 40 crore people by 2022.

Tell me more: Job creation has not been a bright spot in the last couple of years. Eight key manufacturing and export-oriented sectors created 421,000 jobs in 2014 while that figure was less than 200,000 last year.

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