News in Numbers, Feb 10, 2017: How safe are your debit cards?

3.2 million

 

What is it? Bank customers whose debit card data was stolen in 2016 due to the hacking of Hitachi Payment Services that manages ATMs of certain banks.

 

Why is it important? While millions of users were stricken between May and July of 2016 and had their money stolen, Hitachi Payments only now admitted on Thursday it still does not know the amount of user data compromised. The hacking, detected in September, led to an audit of Hitachi Payments, whose ATMs for banks like ICICI Bank, Yes Bank, Axis Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI were affected the most.

 

Tell me more: The audit results, now out, by SISA Information Security and commissioned by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), tells of a sophisticated malware that concealed its tracks and was able to delete them. Hitachi in its admission says containment measures have been deployed.

 

 

113%

 

What is it? The productivity of the Lok Sabha in the first phase of the Budget session for 2017.

 

Why is it important? The phase which saw the Specified Bank Notes (Cessation of Liabilities) Bill or the bill on demonetisation, along with others such as the Finance Bill, Payment of Wages (Amendment) Bill, passed, saw the Lok Sabha accomplish 13% more work than scheduled. This was less than the first phase productivity of 2016’s Budget session (123%). While the data was shared by the Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar, it reiterates a study by think-tank PRS Legislative Research which showed having a majority in the lower house helped keep up Budget session productivity levels for this government. While productivity hovered between 49-89% in 2010-2013 Budget sessions, 2014 onwards, it was at 103-121%.

 

Tell me more: Rajya Sabha productivity in the first phase of the ongoing session was 97%.

 

 

>3 million

 

What is it? The number of people forced from their homes by the civil war going on in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country.

 

Why is it important? The United Nations now says the fighting between the government and rebel forces is reaching “worrying proportions”. Aid workers have had to be evacuated and military supplies and reinforcements find their way to the country.

 

Tell me more: South Sudan’s brief history has been fraught with the ongoing civil war leading to a humanitarian crisis, rife with displacement and food insecurity. A tentative peace agreement struck in 2015 is still to be acted upon.

 

 

$ 250 billion

 

What is it? The amount analysts expect India to spend on defense modernisation over the next 10 years

 

Why is it important? With this large budget, it hopes to get manufacturers shift their production facilities to India, boosting its Make in India campaign. Its deal with Lockheed Martin to make its F-16 combat jets in India was in this direction. However, the defense firm has now said US government under Trump might take a fresh look at the deal, which could be a setback for Make in India efforts.
Tell me more: One of the key campaign promises of Donald Trump was to bring back jobs to America, and the indications are that he will try protectionist measures to achieve that.

 

 

2 million

 

What is it? The number of users Twitter added in the last quarter of 2016. It now has 319 million monthly active users.

 

Why is it important? In contrast, Facebook, its rival in the social media space, added 72 million users. It came during the height of American presidential campaign, with Donald Trump making his most impactful statements on Twitter. The user growth, as well as the merely 1% increase in quarterly revenues hammered the stock price down by 11%.

 

Tell me more: Despite this, Twitter suggested its users are getting more addicted to the platform pointed to the growth (11% quarter on quarter) in daily active user numbers.

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News in Numbers, Dec 6, 2016: Deified and demonised in equal measure…

17

What is it? The crime rate against women (number of crimes registered per 100,000 people) in Tamil Nadu, according to the National Crime Records Bureau 2015.

Why is it important? This is the lowest among all Indian states and is one of the many social, crime and industrial indicators in which Tamil Nadu ranks among the top five. A five-time chief minister, J Jayalalithaa who breathed her last on December 5 in Chennai, played a key role in the development of the southern state. One of the decisions that made her extremely popular (and attracted a great deal of criticism too) was the record number of ‘freebies’ and welfare schemes that she doled out in the state. She was convicted in a disproportionate assets case by a special court in 2014, which was overturned by the Karnataka High Court a year later. She was acquitted of all charges. Her death now raises questions about the future of AIADMK and how this would change the dynamics of Tamil Nadu politics.

Tell me more: A former actor, she starred in over 140 films since the 1960s and was paired with the leading heroes of all South Indian languages. Popularly known as ‘Amma’ or ‘Puratchi Thalaivi’ (revolutionary leader), she was one of the longest serving women politicians and enjoyed a cult status among many Tamilians. Jayalalithaa was hospitalised on September 22 and just when the hospital authorities and her party members assured people that she would return to normal life, she suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday and was declared dead on Monday.

 

12%

What is it? The reduction in India’s emission intensity of gross domestic product (GDP) between 2005 and 2010. Emission intensity is the volume of emissions per unit of GDP.

Why is it important? Indicates India is likely on track to keep up its promise of reducing emissions intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 levels as part of an action plan submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Tell me more: The data is from India’s first biennial update report submitted to UNFCCC recently. India had committed to reduce the emission intensity of its GDP by 20-25% by 2020 from the 2005 levels under the UNFCCC though it is not bound by any obligations.

 

46.7

What is it? Nikkei’s Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) in November, a composite indicator of India’s services based on a survey by Markit, a financial information and services company.

Why is it important? It has declined from 54.5 in October, which marked the first time the index fell below the 50 mark (separates growth and contraction) since June 2015. It was also the first time that the biggest decline was recorded since November 2008 after the global financial crisis hit the world economy. This is attributed to the government’s withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes from circulation effective November 9 and is the among the first signs of indication of the impact of demonetisation on the Indian economy.

Tell me more: Sectors including financial services, hotels, restaurants, renting and business activities were hit due to the cash crunch. India’s services sector, which contributes about 60% of the country’s economy, is likely to affect its economic growth rate in the second half of the current fiscal. India’s private sector activity fell to 49.1 in November from 55.4 in October, which was close to a four-year high.

 

Rs 5,000

What is it? The minimum order value above which the finance ministry has mandated the government departments to make electronic payments to suppliers, contractors or grantee and loanee institutions with immediate effect. The earlier threshold was Rs 10,000.

Why is it important? This is one of the steps taken by the government recently to promote digital transactions, aimed at bringing more transparency and accountability, leaving a better money trail. The other steps include all toll plazas in national highways to accept payments through debit or credit cards and e-wallets (apart from accepting old notes until December 15), encouraging shop owners to use debit cards and asking government employees to use debit cards for transactions and become ambassadors for promoting digital payments.

Tell me more: Last month, the government asked all automobile manufacturers to provide a digital identity tag in all vehicles for e-payments at toll plazas and check posts and ensure their seamless movement.

 

$22.2 billion

What is it? The aid appealed for by the United Nations in 2017 for people hit by conflicts and disasters globally.

Why is it important? This is a record high, up from $20.1 billion requested in December 2015 for this year, which was later increased to $22.1 billion. However, donors managed only over half of this amount this year, raising questions about how much next year would bring in. This is the largest funding gap ever. Indicates that the extent of humanitarian crises is rapidly increasing and probably, lasting longer; the situation is only likely to worsen with climate change and natural disasters predicted to become more frequent and severe.

Tell me more: The amount requested for next year is to help 93 million people who are the most vulnerable across 33 countries. There are over 128 people who are affected by natural disasters, conflict and displacement. Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, three war-torn countries alone account for a third of all the people in need of help.

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News in numbers, Dec 11, 2015: Recall by Honda Cars India, Twitter’s India revenue…

 

 

90,210

 

What is it? Number of cars Honda Cars India will recall to replace the fuel return pipe, which leads unspent fuel back to the fuel tank.

 

Why is it important? Faulty return pipes could potentially result in fuel leakage and stop the engine. This is the fourth recall for the Japanese carmaker this year adding up to 3.3 lakh units in 2015. It’s about a fifth of the total number of cars that have been recalled in India since the Society of Indian Automobiles introduced a voluntary code on vehicle recall in July 2012.

 

Tell me more: The recall includes 64,428 units of diesel variants of Honda City (manufactured between December 2013 and July 2015) and 25,782 units of diesel variants of Honda Mobilio (manufactured between June 2014 and July 2015).

 

$140 billion

 

What is it? The capital Indian banks would need to ensure full implementation of Basel III norms by 2019, according to a report by ratings agency Fitch. Basel III norms require banks to have enough capital and liquid assets in its coffers.

 

Why is it important? It means banks will have to raise more capital. In case of public sector banks, that would mean government injecting capital to maintain its stake in the banks. The Indian government’s July announcement of providing $11 billion to state lenders over the next four years will not cover the requirement.

 

Tell me more: Bad loans account for 4.2% of the total lending in Indian banks, and more than a tenth of its loans are stressed (bad loans plus restructured loans)

 

Rs 13.26 crore

 

What is it? Revenue of the Indian unit of Twitter (TwitterCommunications India) in 2014-15.

 

Why is it important? It’s 0.12% of its global revenue ($1.59 billion), even though Twitter is estimated to have about 22.2 million users in India, or 7% of its global monthly users. It has a much bigger mindshare, and is being used extensively in the relief efforts around Chennai floods.

 

Tell me more: TwitterCommunications India’s revenue is up 3 times from Rs 4.17 crore last year. Its net profit also increased threefold to Rs 1.07 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 35.7 lakh the previous year. Globally, the company has been struggling to increase its user base.

 

Rs 21,457 crore

 

What is it? Total debt in ‘default’ category (It is considered ‘default’ if repayment is delayed by a day) as of December 8 this year, according to India Ratings and Research.

 

Why is it important? This is more than double of what was recorded in the entire year of 2014 – Rs 9,035 crore. It’s yet another indicator that the economy is not performing as well as the GDP numbers suggest.

 

Tell me more: Data from another rating agency, Credit Rating Information Services of India (CRISIL), shows that debt in the default category was at Rs 25,895 crore as of September this year compared to Rs 28,323 crore for the full year in 2014.

 

$3 billion

 

What is it? Extent of economic loss caused by severe rainfall and flooding in November and December in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, according to reinsurance broker Aon Benfield.

 

Why is it important? One of the early estimates of the loss. Expect updates in the coming days, after on ground assessments and extrapolation of insurance data (Insurance penetration is low in India – about 3.9%). As it is, this is about a third of the annual economic losses India is estimated to incur per year, as per a report by the United Nations. The annual economic losses due to disasters is estimated to be about $9.8 billion per year, of which floods account for nearly three-fourth or 71% ($7 billion).

 

Tell me more: Claims by India’s sole domestic reinsurer, General Insurance Corporation, is likely to reach up to $300 million.

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News in numbers, Oct 6, 2015: Indo-German trade, impact of China on Asian countries…

18

What it is: Number of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed between India and Germany on Monday

Why is it important: A sign that things are getting better. Trade relations between India and the European Union (EU) have been cold since India cancelled a meeting with the latter’s trade negotiators to protest the ban of its 700 generic drugs for alleged manipulation of clinical trials. Now, Asia’s third largest economy and the world’s fourth largest economy have agreed to resume talks towards a free trade agreement between India and the EU. But, India still hopes the issue of the generic drugs is viewed “fairly and sensibly” by the EU.

Tell me more: Germany has agreed to provide $2.25 billion for developing a clean energy corridor and solar projects in India. Among the MoUs signed, the two countries have signed a deal where India would fast-track business proposals making it easier for German companies to operate in India. Germany was the 7th largest contributor to foreign direct investment in India in 2014-15 and bilateral trade between the two was nearly $18 billion in 2014.

 

0.3%

What it is: The impact of China on other Asian countries. It’s estimated percentage point decline in the growth of other Asian countries if there is a 1 percentage point decline in Chinese growth, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Why is it important: This contrasts with the view that the Chinese economic slowdown is actually good for India. This counter-view suggests India is more likely to get affected by the Chinese market meltdown indirectly (due to its effect on global markets) rather than directly. The Indian government is trying to attract global investors to ‘Make in India’, sensing an opportunity as China tries to make a shift from a manufacturing/export-led economy to a consumer-driven one.

Tell me more: In a recent report, the World Bank said India is the “least vulnerable” among emerging economies even as the world goes through a period of volatility. Further, it added that as China eases into an “environment of lower growth”, India could “durably occupy the top spot among large emerging markets”. The Indian government said on Monday it is confident of the economic growth exceeding 7.5% in 2015-16.

 

9.6%

What it is: Percentage of world population in exreme poverty by end of 2015 according to World Bank.

Why is it important: In 2012, it was 12.8%. The latest number shows both the progress and the distance to cover. United Nations wants to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Tell me more: Sub-Saharan Africa is the poorest with 35.2% of population in extreme poverty. For South Asia, it is 13.5%. “Reliable current poverty data is not available for the Middle East and North Africa because of conflict and fragility in key countries in the region,” World Bank said. The report places India’s poverty levels at 12.4% for 2012.

 

58%

What it is: Tamil Nadu’s share in total number of detenus under preventive detention laws in 2014, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). The state had 1,892 of 3,237  detenus.

Why is it important: It’s off the charts. Such metrics often raise questions about excessive use of police force. Besides, nearly half (47%) of them are illiterates and 53% Dalits (not mutually exclusive).

Tell me more: Gujarat and Karnataka figured in the second and third slots with 594 and 204 detenus respectively. Interestingly, 11 states including Haryana, Kerala, Odisha and Punjab have recorded zero detenus in 2014.  

 

Rs 2.5 lakh

What it is: The new tuition fee for graduate and post-graduate programmes at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) per student a year proposed by the IIT Council.

Why is it important: If implemented, this would perhaps be the steepest hike of fees in the history of the IITs. Currently, students enrolled for the bachelors programme pay around Rs 90,000 a year. Also, this narrows the gap between IITs’ spend per student (Rs 3.5 lakh) and the fees students pay.

Tell me more: IITs, which meet 80% of their expenses through financial grants from the Indian government, waive 90% of the tuition fees for 22% of the students from the Scheduled Castes/Tribes and 25% of the students whose parents’ annual income is less than Rs 4.5 lakh per annum. In January 2013, the annual tuition fees at the IITs was increased by Rs 40,000 to Rs 90,000.

 

 

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