News in Numbers, Aug 19, 2016: SBI board approves merger, Sindhu aims for the gold…

63,000

What is it? The number of jobs technology companies in the US have shed so far this year, according to an outplacement agency.

Why is it important? Automation is replacing jobs, and analysts say that this trend is likely to continue. Hardware engineers are the most hit with firms such as Cisco making the shift to more profitable software-oriented services. Cisco laid off 5,500 employees recently and it may affect its research and development centre in India.

Tell me more: Other companies that are likely to lay off employees are IBM Corp, Oracle Corp, Dell Inc and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, according to analysts. A Global Equities Research analyst said the tech industry is likely to shed 370,000 jobs this year.

 

Rs 37 lakh crore

What is it? The balance sheet size of State Bank of India (SBI) and its five associate banks post merger. This proposal was cleared by its board on Thursday.

Why is it important? The announcement was made in May and this is the first step in what is believed to lead to a major consolidation phase in the banking sector after many years. This, despite the fact that bank unions have been opposing the move and have gone on strikes in the recent past.

Tell me more: The SBI has announced swap ratios (acquiring company offers its shares in exchange for the target company’s shares) for three of its associate banks (State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, State Bank of Mysore and State Bank of Travancore), in addition to that for Bharatiya Mahila Bank. It is yet to announce the swap ratios for State Bank of Hyderabad and State Bank of Patiala.

 

1.6 million

What is it? The number of pellets fired by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) between July 8 and August 11 to control violent mobs in Kashmir, as per its admission to the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday.

Why is it important? The use of pellet guns, which caused eye injuries (including loss of vision) to many, has come under sharp criticism by human rights organisations and political parties. After Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement in July that the government would form an expert panel to consider other non-lethal alternatives for crowd control measures, the court had said this meant that pellet guns are not non-lethal weapons and this is enough reason to discontinue its usage.

Tell me more: The protests erupted after separatist militant, also the head of a terrorist group called Hijb-ul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani was killed in July. The CRPF told the court that pellet guns were introduced in 2010 as an accepted form of riot control and if these are withdrawn, then it would have no option but to open fire with rifles in extreme situations, which could be fatal.

 

41%

What is it? The gap between the actual number of toilets built under the Swachh Bharat Mission and the official numbers as put up by the sanitation ministry in Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur, as per a field survey report of select districts.

Why is it important? Such a mismatch raises concerns about the real progress of the programme. India has set a target to eliminate open defecation by 2019. In some states such as Jharkhand, Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the gaps between the actual numbers and those reported to the central government are 19%, 23%, 27% and 28% respectively. The field survey numbers for Sikkim, which became the first to achieve the open defecation free status, are the only ones that match with those with the ministry of sanitation.

Tell me more: Retired civil and defence services officers and non-government institutions with rural development experience are empanelled by the rural development ministry as individual and institutional National Level Monitors. These monitors covered 24.22 lakh random households in some districts across states.

 

51

What is it? The duration of the semi-final match between Indian shuttler PV Sindhu and World Number 6 Nozomi Okuhara from Japan on Thursday. Sindhu smashed her way into the finals.

Why is it important? With her Thursday’s win, Sindhu has assured India of at least a silver medal – the second one after Sakshi Malik won a bronze in the 58 kg women’s freestyle wrestling category on Wednesday, and the fifth Indian female athlete to get a medal overall. All eyes are on the 21-year-old athlete from Hyderabad who would face World Number 1 Carolina Marin from Spain this evening and if Sindhu defeats Marin, she would be the second Indian sportsperson to win the gold after ace shooter’s Abhinav Bindra’s victory at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

Tell me more: This was Sindhu’s debut at the Olympics. She trains under Pullela Gopichand at his academy in Hyderabad.

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How infrastructure gains helped gender gains in school

This piece originally appeared on Livemint.com

 

Besides a changing society and rising aspirations, a schooling ecosystem and infrastructure that are more welcoming to girls—more toilets for girls, more women teachers, food in school, more rural and private schools—form the backdrop to this long-awaited gender reversal in school enrolments.

Where girls gained the most

The gross enrolment ratio (GER) for girls indicates what percentage of girls who should be in school at a certain level are in school. Likewise for boys. The difference between the girls GER and boys GER is the gender gap (columns 1 and 2 in the three tables below): a negative value points the needle in favour of boys, a positive value towards girls. In order to see which states made the most progress in bringing girls to school, we looked at the change in this metric between 2008-09 and 2014-15 (column 3).

 

g-charticle_gender_gains_in_school_chart_1

 

More schools with toilets for girls

All states showed an increase in the percentage of schools having toilets for girls. And the top 10 touched the North-East as well as some of the poorest states.

 

g-charticle_gender_gains_in_school_chart_2

 

Fewer schools with no women teachers

Of the 35 states and Union territories, 32 showed a decline in number of schools with male-only teachers.

 

g-charticle_gender_gains_in_school_chart_3

 

More schools with kitchen sheds

Previous studies had shown the absence of kitchen sheds was as a critical factor affecting mid-day meals and education. Storage and cooking was being done in classrooms or in the open. Hence, the importance of kitchen shades, and sizeable gains have been recorded here.

 

g-charticle_gender_gains_in_school_chart_4

 

More rural and private schools

The increase in the number schools is happening not only in urban areas and in the private sphere. Their shares are increasing, but rural has held its own, and the government, which accounts for 78% of all schools in India, has nearly matched private players in capacity addition.

 

g-charticle_gender_gains_in_school_chart_5

 

 

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News in numbers, Oct 15, 2015: Pharmacy stores’ protest, wholesale inflation of pulses…

~ 800,000

What is it? The estimated number of Pharmacy stores that closed their operations for a day protesting against online sale of drugs.

Why is it important? The All India Organization of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD),which represents the offline pharmacy stores, claims their business is affected 50% since online sales of drugs. Snapdeal.com, Zigy and 1mg are among the several startups backed by investors like Intel Capital, Omidyar Network, and Sequoia Capital that sell drugs online.

Tell me more: The protests by AIOCD is a broad reflection of conflict between brick and mortar retailers and online portals. Last week, a traders body complained to the Commerce Ministry that online retailers like Flipkart, Snapdeal, and Amazon India are violating India’s foreign investment rules.

 

7%

What is it? Price cut on soaps and detergents sold by Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), India’s largest fast moving consumer goods firm, to boost sales in three months ended September 2015.

Why is it important? HUL’s sales is a proxy of consumer demand, especially in rural market because of its extensive network. Price deflation because of poor rural demand and lower commodity prices is a validation of the Reserve Bank of India’s outlook that inflation has moderated.

Tell me more: Soaps and detergents account for nearly half of HUL’s revenue of Rs 30,791 crore. This is a better reflector of rural demand compared to personal products or beverages.

 

Rs 249 crore

What is it? The amount Corporate India donated to Swachh Bharat Kosh, a fund created to get contributions from individuals and companies, towards government’s pet project, ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Clean India).

Why is it important? Swachh Bharat had set an ambitious target of building 25 lakh individual toilets in urban areas, and achieve 100% collection of solid waste in 1,000 cities and towns in current fiscal. In the first year, this report says, only 25% of targets were met in urban areas.

Tell me more: Larsen & Toubro, a conglomerate with interests in engineering, construction and financial services, donated the maximum with Rs 60 crore.

 

38.56%

What is it? Wholesale inflation of pulses in September this year, as consecutive deficit monsoon rain has hit domestic production.

Why is it important? Pulses is a major source of protein for Indians. India consumes 22 million tonnes of pulses annually, and domestic output is not enough to meet the demand. A further fall in production will mean increased prices.

Tell me more: A fall in domestic production of pulses is a boon for Canadian farmers, who are getting 50% more prices for their red lentils and yellow peas.

 

8 years

What is it? The duration for which Nissan will be the global partner to cricket’s governing body. The Japanese car manufacturer will sponsor all multilateral events of the International Cricket Council, including the 2019 World Cup. The deal size was not announced.

Why is it important? While it has sponsored other sporting events, this is the first time Nissan, which is owned by French company Renault, is padding up for cricket. It’s part of its international push, especially India, where it started selling in 2010 and has managed a market share of 2% so far. It is now targeting 5% by 2020.

Tell me more: The previous global partner of ICC was South Korea’s Hyundai, one of the three global car manufacturers whose India ride has not been bumpy.

 

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News in Numbers – September 10, 2015

News In Numbers: September 10, 2015

 

Rs 50 lakh

The amount the National Stock Exchange (NSE) has been fined by the Mumbai High Court in a defamation case it had filed against financial news website Moneylife. The bourse filed a Rs 100 crore defamation suit against Moneylife following an article written by Sucheta Dalal alleging that NSE staffers were leaking sensitive information related to high-frequency trading, which helped a select set of investors to trade faster than their competitors. Despite repeated requests by Moneylife, NSE did not participate in the story. According to Hoot, a media watch website, there were 21 instances of defamation cases and legal notices being filed by politicians, business houses, lawyers, former judges and media houses to book publishers, advertisers, other media houses and journalists in 2014.

 

7.5%
Share of revenue Infosys expects to earn by way of acquisitions of the total 2020 target revenue of $20 billion. The Bengaluru-based IT firm is working towards a 30% operating margin and $80,000 revenue per employee in another five years. In 2014-15, Infosys earned $8.7 billion in revenue. Quoting the way Accenture and Cognizant have acquired other companies, Vishal Sikka, managing director and chief executive of Infosys, said they need to do something similar without copying them. The company has made two acquisitions this year. Since the beginning of 2015, Accenture has acquired nine companies.

 

1.9 percentage points

The amount by which global corporate profits as a share of global GDP will fall by 2025, according to a new study by McKinsey, the consulting firm. According to McKinsey, the share of corporate profits as a share of world GDP was 9.8% in 2013. By 2025, this will fall to 7.9% due to a range of factors. Increased competition as firms in emerging markets continue to expand beyond their borders is one major reason.  Another reason, McKinsey says, is the fall in labour costs and interest rates observed over the last few decades is unlikely to continue.

 

21.6%
According to a survey conducted by the Indian government, over a fifth of the toilets it has constructed are non-functional and effectively beyond use. The government has built 6 crore toilets. Chaudhary Birendra Singh, Union Rural development minister, said a change in mindset was needed to make people use toilets. The government is aiming to do away with open defecation under the Swachh Bharat mission by 2019. Over half a billion people in India – or 59% of the 1.1 billion people in the world — still defecate in the open, according to the World Health Organization.

 

400
The number of Indian railway stations Japan will help India redevelop by sending an official mission to “study the opportunities for industries”. Besides this, Japan has agreed to participate in Indian railways’ investment plan of $140 billion in the next five years and engage in technology cooperation for modernising and upgrading Indian railways. Japanese railways and companies would also assist India in its zero-accident mission. Indian railways posted a loss of Rs 30,000 crore in the passenger segment in 2014. Japan has announced a funding of $35 billion across various infrastructure projects over the next five years.

 

 

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