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 – 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.

 

721

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.

 

 

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News In Numbers – July 28

News In Numbers: July 28

 

13%

Percentage of assets owned by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) through participatory notes as of March 2014, according to India’s capital market regulator. One of the reasons given for the fall in share prices yesterday was that the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on black money had suggested greater scrutiny of participatory notes by the regulator. Participatory notes essentially allow foreign investors to trade in the Indian capital market without disclosing their identity to authorities. It is suspected that this lower benchmark, besides easing processes for foreign investors, also facilitates the flow of tainted money into Indian markets.

 

6

India’s rank out of 124 countries in the Global Terrorism Index 2014. Slotting in behind Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Syria, India recorded a score of 7.86 on a scale of 0-10 (with 10 being the highest) and accounted for 2.2% of global terrorist deaths. Between 2004 and 2015 (till July 19), there were 64,392 terrorism-related fatalities in India, with civilians and security force personnel accounting for 38.1% and 15% of deaths, respectively, the rest being terrorists. India witnessed its latest terror attack on Monday, in Punjab, when terrorists in army uniform fired at a moving bus and attacked a police station. The 12-hour gun battle resulted in 10 deaths, including that of all three terrorists.

 

8.5%

The Central government, public sector banks and paramilitary forces recruited 9,303 people from minority communities (non-Hindu communities) in 2014-15 or 8.5% of total recruitments. About 60% of hirings were by public sector banks and financial institutions, while paramilitary forces accounted for 25%. According to the 2001 Census, minority communities — including Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and Parsis — formed 19.4% of the Indian population. The government is yet to publish the 2011 census figures on religion.

 

131

India’s consumer confidence score in The Nielsen Global Survey of Consumer Confidence and Spending Intentions for the second quarter of 2015, the highest among all countries and a level last recorded by India in 2011. The latest survey score is despite 50% of respondents in the online survey feeling that India was still in an economic recession. The consumer confidence survey conducted by India’s central bank in March 2015 in six metro cities had shown 80% of the 5,400 respondents saying they were inclined to spend more.

 

160

The number of licenses of petrol and diesel retail outlets that have been terminated across India for malpractices such as under-measurement and adulteration of transport fuels between April 2012 and June 2015. During this period, the three state-run oil companies — IOC, HPCL and BPCL — have found 3,516 retail outlets guilty of under-measuring fuels and 195 units of adulteration. Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Maharashtra lead in such malpractices. Between April 2011 and September 2014, these companies terminated the licenses of 193 outlets.

 

 

 

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News in Numbers – June 10, 2015

 

4,470

In another round of de-registrations, the Indian government has cancelled the licence of 4,470 non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The list includes the names of prominent entities such as the Supreme Court Bar Association, Escorts Heart Institute, Panjab University (Chandigarh) and Gujarat National Law University. The Ministry of Home Affairs has cancelled the registration of these entities due to non-filing of annual returns and other irregularities. The new round of cancellation began on May 6 and 971 organisations (the highest number of such entities) were de-registered on June 9. Here is the link to a data story we did on NGOs receiving notices from the government and the foreign funding tangle.

1 lakh

Over 1,00,000 people have been affected by floods in Assam, a north-eastern state in India, this year. The flood has claimed the lives of two people since Monday. Heavy rains in the last three days have increased the water levels of Brahmaputra river and its tributaries, submerging many areas in the state. The districts of Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Sonitpur, Darrang, Baksa, Nalbari, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Goalpara, Kamrup (Metro) and Jorhat, have been affected by the floods. Take a look at some of the major disasters in India and the number deaths and victims.

5.6%

Only those restaurants with air-conditioning (AC) facilities will charge service tax and the others cannot, the Ministry of Finance clarified on Tuesday. And, the AC restaurants will charge only on the 40% of the total bill amount. This clarification comes in when there is confusion over the levy of service tax and complaints of higher charges, after the increase in service tax to 14% (from 12.26%) came into effect from June 1. The effective service tax rate for eating out in an AC restaurant will be 5.6% of the total food bill when compared to the earlier rate of 4.94%.

For instance, if A’s bill at an AC restaurant is Rs 1,000 (including the service charge), then the effective service tax levied would be 5.6% of the total bill amount (5.6% of Rs 1,000), which is Rs 56. Before June 1, A would have paid Rs 49.4 as service tax, the increase being Rs 6.6 on a total food bill of Rs 1,000.

 

$1.6 billion

India’s equity mutual funds (MFs) have received net inflows of around $1.6 billion in May, marking the 13th consecutive month of positive net inflows into the equity MFs. This adds up to $14.9 billion or Rs 91,800 crore. A Deutsche Bank report released on Tuesday said this is almost equal to net cumulative inflows since January 2002 to April 2014 (over the last 12 years), on a nominal basis.

 

36

The Indian Army’s Special Operations Forces killed about 36 militants and destroyed two terror camps “in a hot pursuit” along the India-Myanmar border on Tuesday. The army men were targeting militants who were responsible for an ambush on an army convoy and killing 18 soldiers in Manipur last week.

 

Re 1

In a different way of getting people use the public toilet facilities instead of defecating in the open, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has announced a scheme titled ‘Use and Get Paid’. The conventional way is the user would have to pay to use the public toilet facilities but the local body of one of the largest cities in Gujarat has turned it around. Not all the users will be paid (Re 1) but those who defecate in the open would be sensitised and rewarded for using the public toilets. The municipal corporation has identified 1,200 such people and the list would be revised on a regular basis.About 40% of people defecate in the open in Gujarat and the percentage of people defecating in the open in Ahmedabad is much lower at 13%, as per the 2011 Census data.

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