News in Numbers, June 6, 2016: 29 killed in Mathura violence, India & Qatar sign 7 deals…

29

What is it? The number of people who have died in the Mathura clashes so far.

Why is it important? Violence erupted in Mathura on Thursday when the police tried to evict encroachers belonging to a religious group called Azad Bharat Vidhik Vaicharik Kranti Satyagrahi from government land (Jawahar Bagh). This may become one of the key issues in Uttar Pradesh, which faces elections next year.

Tell me more: Over 3,000 people of the cult attacked around a thousand policemen with swords, guns, knives and grenades when they went on the eviction drive. The leader of the cult group, who ran a private army and had eight cases (including murder and land-grabbing) cases against him, died in the clash.

 

7

What is it? Number of bilateral agreements signed by India and Qatar on Sunday.

Why is it important? The agreements cover tourism, health, skill development, youth and sports, and investment in India’s Rs 40,000-crore National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. India has also expressed interest in joint exploration of new oil and gas fields and development of discovered assets in Qatar, which is the largest supplier of LNG (liquefied natural gas) and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) to the country.

Tell me more: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a five-nation tour and he is currently in Switzerland where he is likely to seek support for India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group and also, raise the issue of black money.

 

Rs 15,800 crore

What is it? The minimum amount India would need to spend on family planning services by 2020, according to a study.

Why is it important? This is necessary if India wants to keep up its 2012 global commitment of covering 48 million new users of family planning services such as access to contraceptive methods and reproductive healthcare by 2020 while sustaining the existing 100 million users. A delay may result in high maternal and infant mortality and morbidity and poor child health due to poorly-spaced pregnancies, the study says.

Tell me more: Family planning budget allocation has decreased by 54% between 2013-14 and 2015-16 though that under the National Health Mission increased by 47% but still fell short of the required amount, as per the study by the International Institute of Health Management Research, Jaipur – commissioned by the Population Foundation of India.

 

6

What is it? Number of bulk drugs and medical devices parks Indian government is considering setting up under the public-private partnership mode. There will be three of each.

Why is it important? India is heavily reliant on imports for bulk drugs or active pharmaceutical ingredients (80%) and medical devices (65%). The setting up of such parks would help bring down the costs of production of devices and drugs by a minimum of 30% in the long-term, according to the Minister of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Tell me more: The government is considering to provide a one-time financial support for these bulk drug parks. The six bulk drug and medical devices parks would require an investment of around Rs 60,000 crore.

 

78%

What is it? Percentage of voters in Switzerland who opposed a plan to give a monthly income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,555) for adults per month whether they work or not, according to projections by GFS polling outfit for Swiss broadcaster SRF.

Why is it important? Switzerland is the first country to vote on such a proposal. As technology increasingly replaces jobs, other countries including Finland are considering a similar proposal. Those who supported the proposal argued that productivity would be better if one is not obliged to work to earn money and unpaid work would be more valued. Those against (including the government) cited high costs, decrease in inclination to work and likely large-scale immigration as the reasons.

Tell me more: The government had estimated that this proposal would cost 208 billion Swiss francs and most of the current social security programmes would have made up for this though it would have had to resort to spending cuts and tax increases to make up for a gap of 25 billion Swiss francs.

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