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.
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.
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.
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.