News in Numbers, Nov 24, 2016: Home sweet home?


What is it? The percentage of Indian millennials that live with parents, according to a survey.

Why is it important? This compares with 60% in China, 35% in Australia and 63% in Asia Pacific, suggesting that cultural influence of regions on families is still a strong factor and/or the high property prices and rentals could be a reason. A quarter of the Indian millennials have no intention of leaving their family homes (this is the highest among the countries surveyed and is more than twice the global average at 12%) while 23% said they would move out within the next 2-5 years. Indian and Chinese millennials have the strongest intentions to buy a property, the former for mainly investment purposes while for the latter, stability is the primary reason.

Tell me more: The survey included 13,000 millennials (those born between 1986 and 1993) across 12 countries in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe.


Rs 21,000 crore

What is it? The amount that has been deposited in Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts in the last 13 days since the government announced the withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes. These are zero-balance accounts opened to promote financial inclusion.

Why is it important? This raises questions about the sudden inflow of cash into such accounts where the maximum deposit allowed is Rs 50,000. The share of zero-balance accounts (an indicator of inactivity) has declined to 23.27% as of November 9 from 28.88% as on February 24. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said on Wednesday that the Jan Dhan Yojana bank accounts are being misused to help those who have hoarded money and has warned of taking strict action against those involved in such unauthorised dealings. Suspicious accounts in these accounts have come under the scanner of the Financial Intelligence Unit.

Tell me more: The RBI, in a circular, announced that banks would not accept old currency notes in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denominations in small savings schemes such as Public Provident Fund, National Savings Certificates, Senior Citizens Savings Scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra, with immediate effect. Post office savings accounts are exempt from this rule.



What is it? The interest rate offered on deposits by India’s first payments bank rolled out by Airtel in Rajasthan on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This is higher than the 4-6% interest rate offered by commercial banks on deposit, and it also beat online marketplace Paytm that was planning to launch its payments bank on the eve of Diwali last month. Being the first one in the market, it would be an indicator of how successful this new model of banking would turn out to be in the country. Of the 11 that have received payment banks licenses from the RBI, three have already backed out of setting up payments banks and of the remaining eight, only four have a clear business plan.

Tell me more: Airtel Payments Bank Ltd will run its pilot at 10,000 Airtel outlets in Rajasthan and it plans to expand its merchant network in the to 100,000 by the end of the year. Customers can open bank accounts at the outlets without any documents with the help of Aadhaar based e-KYC (Know Your Customer) and basic services such as cash withdrawal and deposits can be availed.


Rs 7.5 lakh crore

What is it? The combined market capitalisation of the larger listed Tata Group companies on November 23.

Why is it important? This is down by Rs 1.16 lakh crore from Rs 8.7 lakh crore (as on October 24) before the ouster of former chairman of Tata Sons, Cyrus Mistry and the subsequent spat between the group and him. All the group companies have been impacted with the most erosion seen in TCS, Tata Motors, Titan and Tata Steel in absolute terms. However, in percentage terms, Indian Hotels, Voltas, Tata Global and Tata Chemicals have taken the maximum hit. Retail investors have lost about Rs 11,000 crore since the day Mistry was fired. The S&P BSE Sensex, an index of the 30 most financially-sound and large stocks, declined by 7.5% during this period (about half of Tata’s).

Tell me more: With the market regulator looking into any possible breach of corporate governance norms and listing regulations and the spat showing no signs of any abatement, it remains to be seen the extent of impact this issue has on the stocks’ value.


Rs 6 lakh crore

What is it? The total deposits received by the Indian banking system since Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes ceased to be legal tender.

Why is it important? An impact of demonetisation, banks have deposited Rs 4.1 lakh crore with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) as of November 23 under the liquidity adjustment facility (a monetary policy where banks can borrow or lend money to the RBI with government securities as collateral). This is the highest liquidity absorption ever by the apex bank, surpassing the Rs 1.7 lakh crore deposited in May 2009. This is likely to put pressure on RBI’s government securities worth Rs 7 lakh crore and it may have to look at offering other collateral against the bank deposits.

Tell me more: With excess liquidity in the system, deposit rates have already been slashed by 5-100 basis points (a basis point is one-hundredth of a percentage point) by many Indian banks, which are likely to pull down lending rates as well.


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News in Numbers, June 24, 2016: CNG-powered two-wheelers in India, voters say yes to Brexit…


What is it? The number of popular iconic places that will be cleaned up/maintained to international standards. It includes Taj Mahal, Jagannath Temple, Tirupati and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Why is it important? If successful, it would provide a fillip to tourism, to the Indian government’s Swachh Bharat Mission and could have a trickle-down effect on the other monuments and religious structures. At a two-day workshop next month, experts would be consulted to make site-specific plans, fix international standards and decide on the timeline and financial resources required. The World Bank would provide technical assistance for the same.

Tell me more: Besides these iconic places, the government is working on creating standard operating procedures to improve cleanliness in popular national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves including Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Gir Wildlife Sanctuary and Flamingo Sanctuary.


$1.17 billion

What is it? The amount Tata Sons has been ordered by the London Court of International Arbitration to pay to Japan’s largest mobile-phone carrier NTT Docomo for breach of an agreement over Tata Teleservices.

Why is it important? This is a victory for Docomo, though it’s unclear if Tata Sons would make the payment. In 2014, Docomo had exercised its right to ask Tata Sons to find a buyer for its stake at a fair price of 50% of the acquired cost (whichever was higher). However, Tata failed to find a buyer and India’s central bank did not allow it to buy the stake due to a rule that prevents foreign buyers from selling their stakes in Indian companies at a predetermined price.

Tell me more: Docomo paid $2.6 billion in 2009 and 2011 for a 26.5% stake in Tata Teleservices.



What is it? The number of Honda Activas that would be retro-fitted with CNG (compressed natural gas) kits as part of the government’s pilot programme.

Why is it important? This is the first time that India will have two-wheelers running on CNG to determine their efficiency and emission rates. Based on its success, this would be available for the public. The CNG-vehicles would have 75% and 20% less hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions (according to the manufacturer of the kits) and the running cost on CNG is estimated to be 40% lower than that of petrol.

Tell me more: The CNG kits are made by the Indian arm of Iranian firm ITUK Manufacturing at its Pune factory and the pilot is being conducted by GAIL (India) and Indraprastha Gas Ltd. The retrofitted two-wheelers would be given to the delivery boys of Domino’s Pizza for free.



What is it? The number of BSE 100 companies that fully complied with disclosure norms in 2015, according to India Disclosure Index 2016 by FTI Consulting.

Why is it important? This is up from 41% in 2015, suggesting better compliance of reporting and disclosure rules by the top 100 large-size companies on the Bombay Stock Exchange, though still nearly a third are not up to the mark. Just 3% of the top 100 companies had mandatory disclosure scores of less than 2.5 (out of 4) compared to over half of the companies scoring lesser than 2.5 in 2015.

Tell me more: In terms of voluntary disclosure, the average score of the BSE 100 companies marginally improved from 3.5 (out of 6) in 2015 to 3.7. However, over three-fourths of the companies did not provide enough information on risk management metrics while 37% did not provide convenient whistleblowing mechanisms to report fraud or unethical practices in their firms.



What is it? Percentage of voters who want the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (at around 10 am Indian time).

Why is it important? Though this is not legally binding, the government may not go against the will of the people expressed in the referendum. It is the first time that a full member has voted to leave the 28-nation political and economic union. Those favouring the exit argue that the UK would be free from the EU’s undue bureaucratic, legal and financial control and prevent the free movement of EU nationals into the UK. Those against leaving fear that UK’s economy would be hit, jobs would be lost and the rate of growth would go down to 3-6%.

Tell me more: The Brexit may affect the 800 Indian companies in the UK, which employ over a lakh people. The annual profit of Jaguar Land Rover, owned by the Tata Group, is reportedly estimated to decline by around $1.47 billion in the next 10 years.

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News in Numbers – September 4, 2015

News In Numbers: September 4, 2015


Rs 20,000 crore

The one-time impact on profitability of banks in 2016-17 if the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) draft guidelines on computation of base rate are implemented in their present form, according to ratings agency Crisil. This would be about 15% of their collective estimated profits in the next fiscal. The central bank on Tuesday invited comments on these guidelines. Currently, banks use different methods to compute their base rate and the one suggested by RBI “should be more sensitive to changes in policy rates”. However, Crisil says this would create an adverse impact as banks would be reluctant to cut deposit rates given its impact on their profitability. Banks are already battling rising bad loans, which is affecting their profitability.


$7.94 billion

Mumbai’s economic output at risk in the event of a terrorist attack between 2015 and 2025, according to Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest active insurance marketplace. In the terrorism context, Mumbai ranks number one among 301 cities, with 16.8% of its GDP (gross domestic product) at risk. The Lloyd’s City Rank Index says 10 Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, are the top ones in terms of GDP at risk. In terms of overall threats (besides terrorism, volcano, nuclear accident, market crash, etc), the three cities with maximum economic output at risk are Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul, and none of the Indian cities figure in the top 20.



The number of state quota seats illegally filled between 2009 and 2013 in private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state government. Known as the DMAT scam, it came to light when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The DMAT exam is conducted by the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC) to fill 58% of around 2,800 seats in 15 private dental colleges and six private medical colleges. The rest are filled under the state quota, through Vyapam. The whistleblower alleged that almost all admissions under the management and NRI quota are rigged. The CBI recently told the Supreme Court that the DMAT scam looks bigger than the Vyapam scam “in its scope and depth”.


Rs 300 crore

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the sales tax demand of Rs 300 crore made by the Maharashtra government on the royalty it earns from its subsidiaries for using the ‘Tata’ brand name. In January, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of the Maharashtra government. The Tata Group had argued that the right to use the trademark was not exclusive and conditional, and therefore, should not come under the provisions of the ‘Transfer of Right to use any Goods for any Purpose Act, 1985’. Tata Sons earned over Rs 400 crore in royalty in 2014-15. According to Brand Finance, the Tata Group ranked 65 globally in terms of brand value in 2015 and was valued at $15.4 billion.


August 28

The air quality in Delhi has been in the ‘poor’ zone since August 28, almost a month earlier than usual. Typically, air quality drops gradually at the onset of winter and reaches its peak in January, when cold air and fog trap more pollutants. This year, due to the receding of rainfall a month earlier, PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) which is an air pollutant causing serious health problems, had started rising since August 26. In 2013, when rainfall was normal, the air quality was better in the corresponding period. The forecast for the next three days in Delhi shows ‘poor’ air quality, while Mumbai and Pune fare better with ‘good’ air quality predictions. Recently, the World Health Organization named Delhi as the worst of 1,600 cities globally in terms of PM2.5 particles. is a search engine for public data

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News In Numbers – August 18

News In Numbers: August 18


211 vs 175

India’s largest airlines by market share, IndiGo, has placed an order to purchase 250 Airbus A320neo aircraft, in a deal worth $26.55 billion at list prices. This is the largest-ever order for Airbus in terms of number of planes. The IndiGo order will help Airbus open its lead over rival Boeing in the Indian market. Data from the aviation regulator shows Airbus had 211 aircraft in operation in India, against Boeing’s 175. Globally, though, with revenues of $233 billion in 2014, Boeing was bigger in size than Airbus ($175 billion), primarily because the former’s sales include bigger and more expensive airplanes.


Rs 7,957 crore

The extent to which power distribution companies in Delhi reportedly overstated accumulated losses over the years. The estimate has been arrived at by the auditor to the government in a forthcoming report. If true, the report is a major boost to the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, which made high power charges in the national capital one of the main points in its electoral campaign. The report gives room to the AAP government to press for a reduction in power rates. According to the report, the three discoms, two from the Anil Ambani Group and one from the Tata Group, bought costly power, ‘suppressed’ revenue and gave undue favours to group firms.


$75 billion

The amount the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has committed to invest in India as part of an infrastructure fund created by the two countries. This fund seeks to invest and expand India’s network of railways, ports, roads, airports and industrial corridors. The two countries also plan to increase their trade by 60% in the next five years. India received $239 million as foreign direct investment (FDI) from the UAE in 2013-14, and $1.31 billion between 2009-10 and 2013-14. India received $34 billion as FDI in 2014.



The number of verticals that are reportedly being created by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to implement the proposed Goods and Services (GST) Bill. Besides these two verticals (one for performance management and the other for taxpayer services), there are various sub-groups working under the CBEC, and state officials are working on the law and procedures. The GST Bill, which is supposed to merge all central and state taxes into a single tax rate, was passed by the Lok Sabha but not by the Rajya Sabha, where the NDA is in a minority. A few media reports, quoting anonymous sources, say the government is considering a special session of Parliament in September to pass the GST Bill.


Rs 143 crore

The Supreme Court has asked the Central government to update it about the three-member committee it had asked to constitute to ensure the implementation of its order on government advertisements. This May, the court laid down certain guidelines for government advertisements to avoid misuse of public funds for glorifying the ruling party, and had suggested only the photographs of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India be used in government advertisements. An NGO had filed petitions in the Supreme Court in July to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the Delhi government (alleging it had earmarked Rs 526 crore for government ads in 2015-16) and the Tamil Nadu government for putting out ads that glorified their respective leaders. Previously, the Congress-led UPA government spent Rs 143 crore to place 84,733 advertisements in print publications between 2008-09 and 2012-13 related to the birth and death anniversaries of 15 leaders. is a search engine for public data


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