News in Numbers, July 21, 2016: Mobile service quality complaints, fine for noise pollution…

89 crore

What is it? The number of person-days of employment generated under India’s flagship national rural employment scheme in the first quarter of 2016-17.

Why is it important? This is a jump of nearly 65% from the 54 crore during the same period last year comes on the back of rural distress caused by droughts in 13 states this year. Compared to last year’s allocation of Rs 20,000 crore in the three-month period, the central government has allocated Rs 30,000 crore in the last quarter, which is nearly 78% of the total budget.

Tell me more: To ensure proper implementation of the scheme, all assets created under the programme are being geo-tagged in addition to increased number of field visits for assessments.

 

9,720

What is it? The number of complaints the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has received for poor services in 2016 until June 30.

Why is it important? The trend seems to be similar to last year when 20,548 complaints were registered with the telecom regulator (2015 figure doesn’t include the complaints received against smaller players). Indicates that the quality of service of telecom players has not improved from last year, which is likely to be a crucial factor in retaining customers as competition among the players intensifies, especially with the impending launch of services by Reliance Jio Infocomm.

Tell me more: Of the total complaints received till last month this year, 3,257 are against Airtel, 2,130 against Vodafone, 1,526 against RCom, 997 against Idea Cellular with those against the other players being less than 500.

 

Rs 5,000

What is it? Fine for causing noise pollution in Delhi.

Why is it important? If this rule is successfully implemented, the capital city would be free of pressure horns’ usage and forbid people from removing silencers from their bikes. This is likely to bring down noise pollution levels in Delhi, which was ranked as the fourth noisiest city in India, according to a report by the Central Pollution Control Board released a few months ago. High noise pollution levels can lead to aggression, hypertension, hearing loss, tinnitus (hearing of sound when there is no external sound) and sleep disturbance.

Tell me more: The prescribed standards mandate that noise levels should not exceed 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels in the night.

 

26

What is it? The number of districts the Indian government is rolling out direct cash transfers to kerosene customers.

Why is it important? This is to help prevent the diversion of the subsidized fuel and to ensure it reaches the intended beneficiaries. However, the idea of doing this is also to reduce the usage of kerosene for cooking and lighting purposes and instead, encourage people to use LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) cylinders while pushing to electrify all villages by the end of 2016, ahead of its target of May 2017.

Tell me more: It remains to be seen how the scheme will be implemented given that around half of the 80 million households that use kerosene for lighting, of a total of 250 million households as per the 2011 Census, are situated in rural areas that have limited banking services. The districts are spread across eight states.

 

$1 billion

What is it? The worth of copyrighted materials including movies, musical recordings and video games illegally distributed by Kickass Torrents, the world’s largest torrent site.

Why is it important? The US government arrested the alleged owner of Kickass Torrents, who is an Ukranian, in Poland. Even as governments and authorities try to fight digital piracy, the popularity of such torrent sites indicates that many people are reluctant to pay for content.

Tell me more: The torrent site’s net worth is estimated to be over $54 million while its annual advertising revenue is estimated to be in the range of $12.5-22.3 million, according to a criminal complaint filed in US District Court in Chicago. The site received an enviable 50 million unique visitors every month and was estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website.

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