News in Numbers – September 2, 2015

News In Numbers: September 2, 2015

 

1 million

The number of workers who went on strike in 2014, nearly 45% down from the number registered in 2003. Ten central trade unions, which claim a combined membership of 15 million, have called for a nationwide strike on Wednesday to demand the withdrawal of the proposed changes in labour laws and stop disinvestment of public sector units. Essential services, including banking and public transportation, are likely to be affected. But data suggests that industrial unrest has gradually decreased in India. The number of person-days of work lost has dropped from 30.25 million in 2003 to 3.63 million in 2014. Likewise, the number of strikes and lockouts has come down from 552 in 2003 to 143 in 2014. The number of industrial closures, and workers affected and laid-off have also seen a gradual decline over the years.

60%

The percentage of seabird species, including penguins, gulls and albatrosses, that have plastic in their gut, which is likely to increase to 99% by 2050. Researchers, based on past data, have predicted that nine out of 10 individual seabirds have consumed plastic. This number was less than 5% in 1960. Seabirds are said to be good indicators of the state of the ecosystem and are “at the top of the marine food chain”, which could increase the ill-effects of plastic pollution through the chain. According to Plastic Pollution Coalition, an international collaboration of organisations and businesses, the ratio of plastic debris to zooplankton (tiny organisms drifting in seas and oceans) is 36:1. A 2015 study ranked India 12th among countries ranked by mass of mismanaged public waste estimated in 2010.

84,000

The number of unsold housing units in Bengaluru in the second quarter of 2015. With this, the Karnataka capital has surpassed Mumbai in terms of unsold inventory for the first time. The National Capital Region continued to lead, with an estimated inventory of 170,000 unsold units. Bengaluru saw an increase in the number of launches in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period a year ago, but the absorption rate decreased to 10%, from 11%. India’s top listed real estate companies had unsold inventory worth Rs70,000 crore in March this year, up 9.4% from a year ago.

40%

The drop in prices of aircraft fuel in Delhi between January 2014 and August 2015. On Monday midnight, state oil companies cut prices of aviation turbine fuel by 11.5%, the most in six months. This move is expected to boost the financial prospects of airlines in India, most of whom are labouring to return to profits.

44%

The percentage of Indian mothers who are able to breastfeed their babies within one hour of delivery, putting India in the lowest position among South Asian countries, according to a report. India’s score only marginally improved in 2015 from 2012. Of the 26 million babies born in India, mothers of nearly 56% of the babies are not able to follow optimal feeding practices during the first year. In India, about half of all births in 2007-08 happened at home, with institutional deliveries ranging from 35% in Chhattisgarh to 76% in Madhya Pradesh. India is also home to the highest number of maternal deaths, accounting for one-fifth of total maternal deaths in the world in 2010.

 

 

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News In Numbers – August 6

News In Numbers: August 6

 

$16 billion

An Australian Federal Court rejected environmental clearance to the $16-billion coal mining project by Gujarat-based Adani Group in the country for not having taken into consideration two endangered animal species. The Indian company has invested about $3 billion to acquire the port concerned (Abbot Point port), to buy land, and to secure approvals for the coal mine and connecting rail link. An Australian environment conservation group alleged that Australia’s Federal environment minister had not taken into account the company’s environmental history into account while approving the project. Back in 2013, the Indian government had fined a group company Rs 200 crore for causing damage to mangroves and creeks while developing a port project in Gujarat.

 

Rs 11,180 crore

The amount of private equity funds raised by India’s real estate sector in the first six months of 2015, thrice of what it raised a year ago. Of this, the residential sector received investments worth Rs 6,328 crore, with the commercial sector making up for the rest. Several major real estate companies are cash-strapped, given the current situation of low demand, high unsold inventory and falling property prices. According to a research report by Ambit Capital last month, prices of residential properties have fallen 7-18% across major Indian cities on a year-on-year basis. The country’s top listed real estate companies had unsold inventory worth Rs 70,000 crore in March.

 

2,060

The number of students who have dropped out of 16 Indian Institutes of Technology between 2012 and 2015. As many as 2,352 students have discontinued their studies from 30 National Institutes of Technology, human resources and development minister Smriti Irani told Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Dropouts have been the highest in 2014-15 and of this, IIT-Roorkee has recorded the maximum (about 30%). This institution had expelled 72 students last month for not meeting minimum passing grades; according to a news report, about 90% of them were from reserved categories and that lack of fluency in English was a major challenge for them. It took them back a few days ago. IIT-Bombay, which has been the most preferred among the IITs, saw 72 students drop out in these three years.

 

65.2%

Percentage of active workers on the muster rolls of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) whose bank accounts have been linked with their Aadhaar numbers. Yesterday, the Union Cabinet announced the direct transfer of work compensation to worker bank accounts, bypassing state and local government stops. This scheme, which assures 100 days of employment in a year to rural households, has been seeing flagging demand in the backdrop of payment delays and diversion of money.

 

Rs 3,786 crore

BSNL’s loss between April and September 2014, on revenues of Rs 14,125 crore. In 2013-14, the beleaguered state-run telecom company recorded a loss of Rs 7,020 crore. To reduce mounting losses, the Cabinet on Wednesday approved the hiving off BSNL’s tower business into a separate entity. Although the company has been attempting to generate revenues by sharing its assets for the last five years, it has a market share of less than 1%. This plan was mooted a few years ago and in 2012, the company had hoped to generate revenue of Rs 1,600 crore from its tower business in five years.

 

 

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