News in Numbers, May 10, 2016: How young Indians die, leader in smartphones’ segment…

162,566

What is it? The number of cars sold in April, up 1.87% from same month last year.

Why is it important? The growth comes after a continuous three-month decline. While car sales is a proxy for economic growth, last month’s numbers could be a one-off surge due to demand for newly launched vehicles (such as Maruti Baleno) in urban areas. The rural areas showed signs of improvement mainly on account of marriage season.

Tell me more: Passenger vehicle sales (including cars, utility vehicles and vans) registered a growth of around 11% to 242,060. All the categories – commercial vehicles, motorcycles, scooters and three-wheelers – grew at double digits.

 

252.23 million tonnes

What is it? India’s estimated foodgrain production in 2015-16.

Why is it important? It’s higher than 252.02 million production in 2014-15. This comes amidst 11 states having declared themselves to be drought-hit. If the estimates are correct, it indicates that the agrarian economy has not been as badly hit as previously thought. Analysts have expressed surprise at these estimates and say that these could be revised downwards when the fourth advance estimates are released in a couple of months.

Tell me more: The production of some crops such as rice, coarse grains and cotton have been estimated to be lower in 2015-16 when compared to the previous year.

 

~60,000

What is it? The number of people who died due to self-harm in the age group of 15-24 years in India in 2013, according to a study.

Why is it important? Self-harm has replaced tuberculosis as the leading cause of death among adolescents/youth in India. Indicates rising stress levels among youngsters and the inability to cope with (new) challenges and underlines the importance of better policies (and implementation) for mental health. Youngsters (10-24 age group) account for nearly a third of India’s population, according to Census 2011.

Tell me more: After self-harm, road accidents and tuberculosis are the two biggest killers of the youth – they caused 41,168 and 32,171 deaths in 2013, as per the findings of the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health and Well-Being.

 

214,000

What is it? The number of offshore entities created in 21 jurisdictions (part of the Panama Papers) whose details have been made public by a group of investigative journalists.

Why is it important? This is likely to prompt regulatory authorities to probe individuals and firms for possible money laundering and tax evasion. The first set of information revealed by the organisation led to the resignation of Iceland’s Prime Minister while the British Prime Minister found himself in the line of fire after he acknowledged that he had profited from an investment fund created by his father (incorporated in Panama but managed in the Bahamas).

Tell me more: An India-related search shows the listing of 22 offshore entities, 1,046 individuals, 42 intermediaries and 828 addresses. The presence of names of individuals and companies by itself is not an indication of any wrongdoing.

 

58%

What is it? Samsung’s market share in India’s ‘affordable’ smartphone segment (priced between Rs 6,000-15,000) in the first quarter of 2016, according to market research firm GfK.

Why is it important? Indicates the South Korean firm’s aggressive push in India, whose market share was 40% in the same period in 2015. With this, Samsung has established its dominance in the Indian smartphones market with a 41% share in the Rs 20,000+ smartphone segment in the three months to March 2016 (though Apple is fast gaining ground at the cost of Samsung) and a 50% share in the Rs 30,000+ segment (Apple has a 41% share).

Tell me more: Micromax still remains at the second spot though its market share fell by a couple of percentage points to 16.7% in the January-March quarter of 2016. India, with a smartphone user base of 220 million as of 2015, overtook US as the world’s second largest smartphone market, after China.

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News in numbers, Oct 30, 2015: Indo-African ties, India home to highest number of TB cases…

$10 billion

What is it? Credit grant at concessional rates to be given by India to Africa over a period of five years.   

Why is it important? A step forward in Indo-African ties and a way to regain India’s lost influence in the resource-rich nation even as China’s dominance continues to grow there. Between 2000 and 2013, China has provided $95 billion in aid and other official financing to Africa according to US-based research project, AidData.

Tell me more: India has also announced a $600 million grant aid to Africa, which includes an India-Africa Development Fund, India-Africa Health Fund and 50,000 scholarships for African students in India. Since the first India-Africa summit in 2008, India has given $7.4 billion in soft loans and $1.2 billion in aid.

 

3.7 million

What is it? The number by which China’s working-age population came down in 2014. It stood at 916 million.

Why is it important? It’s the third decline in the three straight years, and demographers say this trend is expected to accelerate. It’s among the reasons why China dropped its one child policy. And made it into maximum two child policy. The reduction in the working age population would be a barrier in economic and social advancements even as China tries to battle a slowing economy.

Tell me more: The Asian country’s one-child policy is estimated to have prevented 400 million births and those who went against the law were subjected to a variety of punishments.

 

$500-550 million

What is it? Estimated combined losses of India’s airlines in 2015-16, according to consultancy Centre for Aviation (CAPA).

Why is it important? It has actually come down from June’s estimates of $680-750 million. Trimming down of losses could spell good news for the aviation sector, which has an industry-level debt of $11.3 billion. Better financials would mean better means of raising funds, which in turn could translate to better fares and services for passengers. However, it’s not clear how long this could last, because it’s primarily driven by lower fuel costs.

Tell me more: Indigo is the only major airline in India to consistently post profits. After Indigo’s recent listing on the bourses, CAPA says GoAir might follow the lead in 2015-16. Low-fare airlines such as Indigo, GoAir and Spicejet are likely to increase their combined profits to about $300 million from $200-220 million while Air India would post losses of $750-800 million in the current financial year.

 

2.2 million

What is it? Number of tuberculosis (TB) cases reported in India in 2014, the highest in the world.

Why is it important? This is nearly a fourth of the total TB cases reported worldwide. The disease is estimated to kill 300,000 Indians annually, which is one death every two minutes. Besides the loss of lives, TB causes an estimated economic loss of $43 billion and a loss of 100 million productive days annually.

Tell me more: The good part is there is a 29% increase in notifications of cases in 2014 after the government made it mandatory to report TB cases in May 2012. Most often, lack of proper data makes it difficult to assess the gravity of the situation to take adequate steps to address various issues.

 

5

What is it? The number of sheets an abridged prospectus should contain when companies file for initial public offerings (IPOs) from December 1, 2015.

Why is it important? It’s good for retail investors, who have to otherwise wade through 400-500 pages to find the key information. The abridged prospectus should contain all the important and relevant information an investor would look for while considering buying shares of the companies going public. The question though is whether it will lead to retail investors thinking they have read it all – after reading these five pages.

Tell me more? The abridged prospectus is to be printed in the form of a booklet, the size of an A4 sheet with information given in tabular format as against running text.

 

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