News in Numbers: Army canteens report annual sales of Rs17,000 crore in 2016-17
What is it? The number of deaths at Gorakhpur’s BRD Medical College Hospital due to acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) and hepatic encephalopathy on 10 and 11 August, as per the hospital records.
Why is it important? This data is contrary to what the state government portrayed after 30 infants died in those two days, claiming deaths are due to encephalitis and the number of children died correspond to average deaths in previous weeks or months. Rest (24) of the deaths were of terminally ill newborns, the hospital record shows.
Tell me more: Dealing with terminally ill newborns requires expert care services, which include continued supply of ventilation. Oxygen supply ran out in the hospital on those two days (10 and 11 August) after the distributor discontinued supplies because of non-payment of bills.
What is it? The amount owed by wilful defaulters to public sector banks as of March 2017, an increase of 20.5% from Rs76,685 crore recorded a year ago.
Why is it important? The increase in this amount will force banks to increase their provisioning against bad loans, putting further pressure on their profitability, which is already under stress. The gross non-performing advances of Indian banks has increased to 9.5% as on 31 March 2017 from 3.6% as on 31 March 2014. The scenario is especially bad for public sector banks with rating agencies having downgraded the credit ratings of 13 of the 21 existing state-run banks in the last three years.
Tell me more: The number of wilful defaulters with respect to state-run banks at the end of March this year was 8,915, an increase of 9.2%, from 8,167 in the previous financial year. Of the nearly 9,000 wilful defaulters, banks have filed first information reports in 1,914 cases with outstanding loans of Rs32,484 crore.
What is it? The number of electric cars government-run firm Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) is planning to procure for which it has floated a tender.
Why is it important? This is part of the government’s efforts to step up sales of electric vehicles (EV) in the country. It has set a target for India to sell 6 million units of EVs by 2020 and an all-EV fleet by 2030, though it has recently admitted it might take a bit longer than that.
Tell me more: A total of 22,000 units of EVs (of which, 2,000 were four-wheelers) were sold in 2015-16, an increase of 37.5% from the previous fiscal year’s sales. This is less than 1% of the total passenger vehicles sales recorded in the same year.
$4.6 billion (Rs29,900 crore)
What is it? The value of gift given by Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, to an unnamed charity.
Why is it important? This represents the biggest gift to charity since 2000, when Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates set up Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The gift is in the form of 64 million shares of Microsoft. Bill and Melinda have donated $35 billion since 1994.
Tell me more: Even after giving away $39.6 billion, Bill Gates’s fortune is still worth around $ 85 billion.
What is it? Annual sales of Canteen Stores Department (CSD) that sells goods to defence personnel in India at a discount to market price for fiscal year 2016-17.
Why is it important? CSD is now embracing e-commerce with the state-run retail chain planning to sell “white goods” online. This will help 12 million defence personnel, both serving and retired, and their dependents to buy durable goods easily. CSD sold Rs4,000 crore worth of white goods and cars.
Tell me more: Future Retail, which runs Big Bazaar, reported sales of Rs16,900 crore last financial year, while Reliance Retail achieved a turnover of Rs10,332 crore in 2016-17. This will make CSD India’s largest offline retail chain.
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