News in Numbers – September 4, 2015

News In Numbers: September 4, 2015


Rs 20,000 crore

The one-time impact on profitability of banks in 2016-17 if the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) draft guidelines on computation of base rate are implemented in their present form, according to ratings agency Crisil. This would be about 15% of their collective estimated profits in the next fiscal. The central bank on Tuesday invited comments on these guidelines. Currently, banks use different methods to compute their base rate and the one suggested by RBI “should be more sensitive to changes in policy rates”. However, Crisil says this would create an adverse impact as banks would be reluctant to cut deposit rates given its impact on their profitability. Banks are already battling rising bad loans, which is affecting their profitability.


$7.94 billion

Mumbai’s economic output at risk in the event of a terrorist attack between 2015 and 2025, according to Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest active insurance marketplace. In the terrorism context, Mumbai ranks number one among 301 cities, with 16.8% of its GDP (gross domestic product) at risk. The Lloyd’s City Rank Index says 10 Indian cities, including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai, are the top ones in terms of GDP at risk. In terms of overall threats (besides terrorism, volcano, nuclear accident, market crash, etc), the three cities with maximum economic output at risk are Taipei, Tokyo and Seoul, and none of the Indian cities figure in the top 20.



The number of state quota seats illegally filled between 2009 and 2013 in private medical and dental colleges in Madhya Pradesh, according to the state government. Known as the DMAT scam, it came to light when a whistleblower filed a complaint with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The DMAT exam is conducted by the Association for Private Medical and Dental Colleges (APDMC) to fill 58% of around 2,800 seats in 15 private dental colleges and six private medical colleges. The rest are filled under the state quota, through Vyapam. The whistleblower alleged that almost all admissions under the management and NRI quota are rigged. The CBI recently told the Supreme Court that the DMAT scam looks bigger than the Vyapam scam “in its scope and depth”.


Rs 300 crore

Tata Sons, the holding company of the Tata Group, has moved the Supreme Court challenging the sales tax demand of Rs 300 crore made by the Maharashtra government on the royalty it earns from its subsidiaries for using the ‘Tata’ brand name. In January, the Bombay High Court had ruled in favour of the Maharashtra government. The Tata Group had argued that the right to use the trademark was not exclusive and conditional, and therefore, should not come under the provisions of the ‘Transfer of Right to use any Goods for any Purpose Act, 1985’. Tata Sons earned over Rs 400 crore in royalty in 2014-15. According to Brand Finance, the Tata Group ranked 65 globally in terms of brand value in 2015 and was valued at $15.4 billion.


August 28

The air quality in Delhi has been in the ‘poor’ zone since August 28, almost a month earlier than usual. Typically, air quality drops gradually at the onset of winter and reaches its peak in January, when cold air and fog trap more pollutants. This year, due to the receding of rainfall a month earlier, PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) which is an air pollutant causing serious health problems, had started rising since August 26. In 2013, when rainfall was normal, the air quality was better in the corresponding period. The forecast for the next three days in Delhi shows ‘poor’ air quality, while Mumbai and Pune fare better with ‘good’ air quality predictions. Recently, the World Health Organization named Delhi as the worst of 1,600 cities globally in terms of PM2.5 particles. is a search engine for public data

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News in Numbers – June 29, 2015

That’s the total number of people linked to the “Vyapam Scam” who have died “under mysterious circumstances” till date. One of the biggest scams in Madhya Pradesh, this relates to an admission and recruitment scam involving politicians, bureaucrats and officials where over 300 “ineligible” students managed to find their names in the merit list of the entrance test for the MBBS course. Vyapam, a self-financed autonomous body under the Directorate of Technical Education of the MP government, also conducts tests for various government posts. About 3,000 people have been accused of various irregularities in the conduct of examinations, of which nearly two-thirds are in jail.


Profit margins of Indian companies are under pressure due to raising debt and depreciation costs. Measured as a percentage of GDP, the ratio has declined for the fifth consecutive year to 4.1%, much lower than what is prevalent in developed countries and 10-year average of 5.3%. This is another data point that is contrary to GDP growth numbers projected by the Statistics ministry. Growth estimate of Asia’s third largest economy for 2014-15 was revised upwards to 6.9% from 4.7%, and rising corporate profits was cited as one of the reasons for doing so.

24 million tonnes

Relaxed procurement norms for wheat last year has created a problem for Food Corporation of India, a state-run agency which buys food grains at government mandated price. Quality standards for wheat procurement was lowered to help farmers compensate for the damage caused in March this year. 90% or 24 million tonnes of wheat procured last year was of inferior quality and had to be used within the next 10 months, or else it would be deemed unfit for consumption. But India’s public distribution system would require only 20 million tonnes of wheat every year. The rest – around 4 million – can’t be sold in open market as import prices are lower than government-fixed procurement price. The only solution: sell at lower than procurement cost.

Rs 15,600 crore

Deal-making in start-ups is moving at a rapid pace in India. Venture capital (VC) funds have invested Rs 15,600 crore ($2.46 billion) in start-ups in the first six months (up till June 26) this year. And, that has surpassed the total VC inflows into start-ups (Rs 14,850 crore or $2.34 billion) in all of 2014. Interestingly, the number of deals in 2014 was 1.5 times more than that recorded in the first half of this year, indicating a higher average deal size in 2015. The total angel investment funding in the first six months this year also marginally crossed the previous year’s total funding. Taxi aggregator raised $400 million in April this year, the biggest deal in 2015 so far. Recently, market regulator SEBI relaxed the listing norms for Indian start-ups making it easier for them to take the IPO route and also, giving an additional exit route to investors.


The Indian government is taking action against 43 officials in Indian diplomatic missions in 17 countries. Complaints against these officials, which also include low-ranking officials and locally hired staff, range from corruption to dereliction of duty. The number of complaints this year seems quite high when compared to those recorded in the last three years: six in 2012, 10 in 2013 and 27 in 2014.

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