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News in numbers - July 22

109 million
That's the number of people who had come out of poverty in rural India between 2004-05 and 2011-12. As per latest estimate, 217 million in rural India live in poverty as compared to 326 million. And 52 million urban Indians live under poverty compared to 81 million in 2004-05. This means rural poverty fell by 17 percentage points to 25.8%. Together, there are 269 million (or 22%) people live in poverty. But its significantly lower than Planning Commission's earlier estimate of 407.4 million, which was submitted to India's apex court. 

Three-fifths of people living in rural areas have to travel beyond 5 kilometers to reach healthcare facility. And only 34% of hospital beds are in rural areas while 68.8% of India's population live there, highlighting the concentration of medical facilities in urban areas. Out-of-pocket expenses for medical treatment can be reduced by 40-45% if healthcare facilities is made accessible. 

Rs 1,300 crore
India Post, which recently applied for a bank licence, will get Rs 1,300 crore to meet capital requirement if granted license to run a commercial bank. State Bank of India- which is India's largest bank- is no match when it comes to branch network. India Post has nearly 150,000 branches as compared to 14,816 branches run State Bank of India. Only 58.7% of households avail banking services as per latest Census data, and India Post can be effectively used to expand banking services in hitherto unreached areas. 

Getting admission into Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) might be even tougher than clearing the Indian Institute of Technology's (IIT) entrance exam. Only 48 (0.61%) out of 7,800 applicants were admitted into MCA program this year as compared to success rate of 1.97% in IIT's entrance exam. Overall 62,000 applications were received for 1,750 seats in various post-graduate programs. 

Hourly wage of men who speak fluent English is 34% higher and 13% higher for men who speak little English as compared to men who do not speak English. This is after controlling for factors like "age, social group, schooling, geography and proxies for abilities", says this report. Recently, the leader of India's largest opposition party was reported saying rise of English resulted in loss of local language and culture. But he later clarified he was misquoted. 


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