1.03 billion

What is it? The number of mobile subscribers at the end of October in India, according to data by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai).

Why is it important? The number indicates the huge market that’s driven by falling mobile prices, and intensifying competition among 12 telcos. The only other country with a huge population is China, which crossed the milestone early last year. This, however, doesn’t translate to mobile users as several have multiple connections.

Tell me more: The first call made using a mobile device in India was by former chief minister of West Bengal Jyoti Basu to then telecom minister Sukh Ram in July 1995. At that time, call rates were 16 per minute and mobile devices were priced at a minimum of 45,000.

5,000 crore

What is it? The budget approved by the Indian government for the installation of rooftop solar panels over the next five years to generate up to 4,200 MW of power. The earlier budget was 600 crore.

Why is it important? It is still a small fraction of the 40,000 MW target that is to come from rooftop solar systems by 2022. The rest, the government hopes, will come from private investment through a multiplier effect . With prices falling dramatically, the government expects solar power to replace a significant bit of coal based power.

Tell me more: As of 31 July 2015, India had grid-connected solar power installed capacity of 4,102 MW.

68,608 crore

What is it? The amount Indian firms raised through the capital markets in 2015.

Why is it important? This is nearly twice or 76% higher than the amount ( 39,067 crore) raised in 2014. It indicates improved market sentiments and healthy investor appetite. As many as 21 main-board initial public offers (IPOs) came up in 2015 and raised a cumulative amount of 13,062 crore. This revived the primary markets, which had seen near-muted responses to IPOs for four years.

Tell me more: Even before 2016 begins, there are 20 companies who have received the market regulator’s approval to raise 7,315 crore. An additional 11 firms are awaiting approval to raise 5,445 crore.


What is it? India’s child sex ratio, according to Census 2011 data released on Wednesday. Child sex ratio is the number of girls aged 0-6 years for every 1,000 boys in the same age group.

Why is it important? It shows that the declining trend of child sex ratio is continuing. It has declined from 927 in 2001 and 976 in 1961. This is also lower than the overall sex ratio of 943. This reflects the persisting gender discrimination despite advancements in various spheres.

Tell me more: The child sex ratio among Hindus declined the most—from 925 in 2001 to 913 in 2011. Among Muslims, it declined from 950 to 943, among Christians, from 964 to 958, and among Buddhists, from 942 to 933 in the same period. Only Sikhs and Jains showed an increase in child sex ratio. For Sikhs, it increased from 786 in 2001 to 828 in 2011, while among Jains, the increase was from 870 to 889 in the same period.

95 million hectares

What is it? Land used for agricultural production in 2012-13, according to the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO).

Why is it important? This is 65 million hectares lower than the estimated operational holdings by the ninth agricultural census conducted in 2010-11. Given that the divergence between the two sets of data is huge, it might prove difficult for the government to roll out its direct benefit transfer scheme for farmers. This scheme aims to transfer government benefits directly to individuals’ bank accounts to prevent corruption.

Tell me more: The gap between the two estimates has seen a sharp increase in the last two decades or so. In 1991-92, the difference between estimates by the NSSO and agricultural census was around 40 million hectares, which went up to 50 million hectares in 2002-03.

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