India Today, which boasts of its ‘competent’ Data Intelligence Unit (DIU), which often goofs up with numbers and charts, has yet again been at the epicentre of social media criticism for goofing up with numbers. On the day of counting for the crucial Hyderabad civic polls, India Today was seen drawing a comparison between the election results of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) in 2016 and 2019.
While DIU is not new to peddling fake data, India Today claimed that TRS had secured 99 seats in 2016 while it had only 56 seats in 2020. It is important to mention that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has a total of 150 seats. While Indian Express report, claimed TRS had secured 88 seats in 2016 and not 99 seats as claimed by India Today, multiple other reports suggested that the TRS had secured 99 seats in 2016.
According to the Data Intelligence Unit of India Today, 56 seats of TRS in 2020 elections meant that the party’s tally came down by 46 seats this time. However, a simple subtraction of 99 and 56 shows the result at 43. Anchor Rahul Kanwal, who openly professes his belief in DIU, had to mentally do calculations to tell his viewers that the TRS was short of 43 seats while the numbers on the screen contradicted him.
The joke is when he was reading the figures he calculated it In his mind and said “that’s a loss of 43 seats” then he got bamboozled by DIU’s visualisation and corrected it to 46 https://t.co/Vh7SMfTOfB— Code-daata (@ravithinkz) December 4, 2020
Misleading chart of India Today on economic relief
After Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced a ₹1.70 lakh crore welfare package in March, India Today journalist Geeta Mohan posted a chart comparing India’s package with packages announced by some other countries in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, and concluded that India’s package was inadequate.
There were too many errors in the comparison made by the infamous Data Intelligence Unit of India Today, as there was no compatibility in the packages announced by various countries, and that’s why they were not directly comparable. While the most packages announced by other countries were comprehensive measures to help the economy to combat the losses incurred due to the Covid-19 outbreak, India’s package is not an economic package, but it is a welfare package targeted only a section of the society. While the most packages announced by other countries were comprehensive measures to help the economy to combat the losses incurred due to the Covid-19 outbreak, India’s package was not an economic package, but it is a welfare package targeted only a section of the society.
India Today falsely claims Delhi has the most ‘aggressive’ Coronavirus testing
Earlier in April, Indian Today Managing Editor Rahul Kanwal continued his obsession with flawed data as he came up with another infographic to show which states were most ‘aggressive’ when it came to coronavirus testing. The infographic posted by India Today’s controversial Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) stated that Delhi had conducted more number of tests compared to any other states in the country. Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan followed Delhi in carrying out tests while West Bengal stood at the last position in carrying out aggressive testing.
Although the numbers were correct, as they had been provided by the states themselves, it was misleading to compare them. The reason for the same was, most tests in India were being done on the basis of symptoms and known contacts. Means, mostly those persons were being tested who had shown symptoms of Coronavirus, or who had come to contact of Coronavirus patients or high-risk groups like Tablighi Jamaat. Further, the ‘aggressive’ testing in Delhi also resulted from the fact that more number of cases were detected, especially after Tablighi Jamaat positive cases began to emerge resulting in more screening tests rather than pre-emptive tests in Delhi.