Australians voted ‘Yes’ in favour of making same- sex marriag legal. To curb vehicular pollution, government would require diesel and petrol vehicles to limit sulfur content by 2018. India ranked eighth among the top 10 countries that were most affected by terrorism in 2016. And, Sri Lanka hasn’t won a single test match against India in India. How about that!
What is it? The percentage of Australians who voted in favour of legalising same-sex marriage, according to the results of a voluntary national survey.
Why is it important? A bill to change the marriage laws was introduced in the Senate on Wednesday and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government would try to pass the legislation by Christmas. Around 12.7 million or 79.5% of the Australian population participated in the survey, and every state and territory recorded a majority saying ‘yes’. With this, Australia could potentially join the list of over two dozen countries, including the Netherlands, Brazil, Canada, Ireland and Spain, to have national laws allowing same-sex marriages.
Tell me more: The postal survey, which was estimated to cost Australia around $122 million, has been criticised by some same-sex marriage supporters who said it was unnecessary and that the Parliament could debate the topic directly.
What is it? The number of years by which the Indian government has advanced introducing Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) fuel, which will now be available with effect from April 1, 2018, in Delhi.
Why is it important? The step has been taken to reduce vehicular pollution in the national capital, which is repeatedly seeing hazardous pollution levels. The new rules will require petrol and diesel vehicles to contain sulfur content of 10 parts per million, down from the current 50. According to a study by IIT-Kanpur, vehicle emissions contribute an average of 25% of PM 2.5 (fine particulate matter) levels, which go up to 36% during winters. This is the second biggest contributor to pollution after road dust.
Tell me more: In related news, the Delhi government said in a reply under the Right to Information Act that it had used only only Rs 93 lakh of the Rs 787 crore (or just 0.12%) collected as environment cess in the last two years.
What is it? The number of deaths due to terrorism in India between 2000 and 2016, according to Global Terrorism Index 2017.
Why is it important? This is the sixth highest among the top 10 countries ranked as the most affected by terrorism in 2016, where India ranks eighth. Its position has improved slightly in the last two years: it was ranked between second and sixth during the period from 2002-2015. Also, India has the lowest rate of deaths per attack (average of 0.4 deaths per attack) compared to an average of 2.7 deaths for the nine other countries. Last year, 929 terror incidents were recorded in India, killing 340 and injuring 636; Maoists were responsible for over half the deaths.
Tell me more: Only India, Pakistan and Afghanistan were ranked among the top 10 in 2002, with Libya and Syria being relatively new entrants. Between 2002 and 2016, eight of the nine regions in the world experienced an increase in terrorist activity.
What is it? The number of electric vehicles for which the state-owned Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is planning to float a tender in March-April 2018.
Why is it important? This would be the second tender for electric vehicles from EESL, as it tries to provide a fillip to electric mobility in India. The first tender for 10,000 vehicles for government use was awarded in September, to Tata Motors and Mahindra, the delivery of which is scheduled to start by November 30. The Indian government has a stated objective that by 2030 all new cars should be electric.
Tell me more: EESL is a joint venture of public sector undertakings under the power ministry. It has been leading the Indian government’s initiatives towards the adoption of energy-efficient alternatives.
What is it? The number of test matches won by Sri Lanka against India in India. Sri Lanka has played 17 tests in India, and lost 10 of them and drawn 7.
Why is it important? The first test of the three-match India-Sri Lanka series gets underway at Kolkata today, though under the threat of rain. Smarting from the loss of hardened veterans in recent years, Sri Lanka is in rebuilding mode, and is not fancied to change that record on this tour.
Tell me more: In the International Cricket Council test rankings, India is ranked number one and Sri Lanka six. India has four batsmen in the top 10, Sri Lanka none. India has two bowlers in the top 10, Sri Lanka one.