The Expensive India-China Standoff


What is it? The number of listed entities that will not be allowed to trade this month.

Why is it important? The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) directed stock exchanges to take action against these entities, which are suspected to be shell companies and include some large companies such as Parsvnath Developers, VB Industries, Adhunik Industries and Prakash Industries (market cap of over Rs 300 crore). These firms, which were identified by a panel formed by the government after demonetisation saw high investments through layering and fund flows from non-listed shell companies, will not be allowed to trade this month.

Tell me more: As part of the government’s efforts in curbing the black money menace, the corporate affairs ministry has already cancelled the registration of around 1.63 lakh companies that have not been carrying out business activities for so long.


Rs 20,000 crore

What is it? The additional amount the Defence Ministry has reportedly sought from the Finance Ministry.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when Indian and Chinese troops continue to remain in a standoff at Doklam (Sikkim-Bhutan-China trijunction) since mid-June. The face-off has now entered the eighth week even as China has ruled out any possibility of a dialogue with India as long as Indian troops were in the disputed territory of Doklam. The Chinese have also not seemed to rule out military action to end the standoff.

Tell me more: Recently, the Comptroller and Auditor General raised the issue of shortage of ammunition and said the Indian Army faces a shortfall of 40% of some types of ammunition required to fight a 10-day long war.



What is it? The percentage of rural households that have access to toilets, according to a government survey.

Why is it important? There have been reports that raise the question of whether the government will be able to achieve its goal of making India defecation-free by 2019, as promised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Swachh Bharat programme is a much-needed intervention to improve hygiene and sanitation levels in the country as India had a worse record than poorer countries such as Sub-Saharan Africa, Ghana and Haiti in terms of open defecation in 2012, according to a report.

Tell me more: The survey, which covered 1.4 lakh rural households across 4,626 villages in May and June this year, found that over 91% of those who have access to toilets, actually use it. A total of 45 million toilets have been built since the mission was launched in October 2014.



What is it? The number of votes secured by Ahmed Patel, a senior congress leader, to retain his Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the other two seats.

Why is it important? This was a morale boosting win for Congress in Gujarat, which goes to assemble elections later this year. Two months back, Congress had 57 legislators in the states, but six quit the party to join the BJP and eight voted against Patel. This reduced the Congress strength to 43 as against 45 required to win the third seat. Two votes polled by Congress legislators against Patel were not considered, as they showed the ballot papers to unauthorised persons. This meant that Patel needed only 44 votes to win the election. The rules say legislators can show the ballot papers only to their party’s polling agent.

Tell me more: It is still not clear from whom the Congress got the 44th vote, with one legislator each from Nationalist Congress Party and Janata Dal (United) claiming to vote in favour of Patel.



What is it? The projected percentage of rainfall of the long period average (LPA) in second half of monsoon (August and September)

Why is it important? This would mean India will receive normal monsoon this year. The monsoon, which accounts for over 70% of India’s annual rainfall, is the primary source of irrigation for half of the country’s cropland and refills over 80 nationally-monitored water reservoirs (important for drinking purposes, power and irrigation).

Tell me more: A rainfall of 89 centimetres is considered the LPA in India. In the first half of monsoon till August 7th, India has received 3% less than normal rainfall.

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