What is it?The approximate number of people that use Philip Morris’ iQOSsmoking device in over 30 countries. The pen-like device heats but does not burn tobacco and produces a nicotine-containing vapour instead of smoke.
Why is it important? The firm is reportedly looking to launch its device in India, where the use of tobacco kills more than 900,000 people every year and is home to the second-largest adult smoking population in the world. Earlier this year, in the United States, a federal advisory committee had recommended that the Food and Drug Administration reject a bid by Philip Morristo sell its device in the US as a safer alternative to traditional cigarettes. The FDA’s decision is expected in a few months.
Tell me more:The firm promotes its Marlboro cigarettes in India but has a share of just 1.4% in India’s $10-billion cigarette market.
Rs 1,000 crore
What is it? The quantum of short-term loans Air India has sought from banks, who have been requested to submit their financial bids by June 13.
Why is it important?This comes at a time when the national carrier has failed to pay salaries to its over 11,000 employees for the third month in a row and is seeking working capital requirements on an urgent basis. The government’s plan to sell 76% stake in the airline met with zero bidders and as a result, it is reportedly will come out with revised bidding norms soon. The carrier has a total debt of Rs 52,000 crore, of which Rs 22,000 is aircraft loan and the rest, working capital loans and other liabilities.
Tell me more:Air India has asked the government to restore equity infusionin the carrier. It has received over Rs 26,000 crore under a Rs 30,231-crore bailout package announced by the UPA-II government in 2012.
What is it?The size of the committee the Indian government has set up for monitoring and redressal of grievances with respect to the alleged discrimination faced by the north-eastern people living in different parts of the country.
Why is it important? Discrimination against those from the North East came into focus after the death of Nido Tania, a 20-year-old from Arunachal Pradesh, in 2014. He was attacked in a South Delhi market due to his race and died due to severe lung and brain injuries. The panel would be given powers for ensuring strict action in cases of racial discrimination, atrocities and violence and also, for suggesting measures to curb such crimes.
Tell me more:The government recently said it has implemented all the recommendationsof the MP Bezbaruah committee to ensure people from the north-eastern states do not face discrimination. The committee’s report says over 2 lakh peoplemigrated from the North East to Delhi between 2005 and 2013, of which 86% have faced discrimination.
What is it?The cost of capturing one tonne of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) from air by Carbon Engineering, a Canadian firm backed by Microsoft founder, Bill Gates.
Why is it important?The cost is significantly lower than the current price of $600 per tonne, and could end up as viable solution to capture carbon in the environment. The Canadian company has an operational plant since 2015 that has converted one tonne of CO2 per day.
Tell me more:Through this technology, which is peer reviewed and published in a scientific journal, Carbon Engineering has produced 1 barrel of liquid fuel by combining the pure CO2 with hydrogen derived from water.
What is it?The number of cops identified to have received monthly bribesfrom businessmen in Telangana, according to a list prepared by the state’s top cop.
Why is it important?The practice of collecting monthly bribes (or mamools) is common, but this is the first known instance of identifying large number of corrupt cops. The identified cops are reassigned to armed reserves without any responsibilities.
Tell me more:Telangana police created a whatsapp number and email IDto receive complaints from the public regarding corrupt cops. Based on complaints, the DGP office investigated and included the corrupt cops in the list.