U.S. Started It. Europe Is Now Responding.



10 pages

What is it? The number of pages in a list of items released by the European Union on Friday of potential items on which it could slap retaliatory duties on shipments from the US.

Why is it important? The move comes about 10 days after the Donald Trump administration slapped new duties on steel and aluminium coming into the US from all countries except Canada and Mexico, while allowing for case-by-case exemptions. It triggered fears of retaliatory action by other countries against the US move and the eruption of trade wars, something which is likely to come up in an informal meeting of WTO countries in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Tell me more: In calendar 2017, Germany accounted for 4% of US steel imports and was ranked number eight among countries.



What is it? The likely inflation in airfares in April and May due to the interim reduction in fleets of IndiGo and GoAir, according to Sharat Dhall, chief operating office of travel website Yatra.com.

Why is it important? The aircraft in question is A320Neo, with a certain configuration of Pratt & Whitney engines. On Sunday, IndiGo “proactively” withdrew another A320Neo aircraft citing engine issues, despite it not being among those listed by the aviation regulator for grounding.

Tell me more: IndiGo and GoAir have cancelled flights on 41 routes. On most affected trunk routes, the reduction in capacity is below 10%. But on smaller routes, the capacity impact is more pronounced.


$450 million

What is it? The amount that Match Group, which owns the dating app Tinder, reportedly previously offered to buy Bumble, a rival dating app that lets only women make the first move.

Why is it important? On Friday, Tinder’s parent company sued Bumble, alleging patent infringement and stealing secrets. The two companies have always had a fractitious relationship. Bumble was set up in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd, who left Tinder after alleging sexual harassment and discrimination, a case that was eventually settled out of court for $1 million.

Tell me more: Bumble has about 22 million registered users, against Tinder’s 46 million, but is growing faster.



What is it? The number of British diplomats expelled by Russia on Saturday, in a tit-for-tat move.

Why is it important? On March 14, the UK expelled 23 Russian diplomats after blaming the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and her daughter by a nerve agent on Russia. This is reportedly the first time a nerve agent was used since World War-II, a move that was condemned by prominent world leaders, who issued a statement backing the British government.

Tell me more: On Sunday, Russian president Vladimir Putin was elected for his fourth term. His next term runs till 2024, which will make him the first Kremlin leader since Josef Stalin to serve two decades in power.



What is it? The number of balls taken by Dinesh Karthik to score 29 runs in the final of the Nidahas T20 series against Bangladesh in Colombo yesterday.

Why is it important? Karthik’s blitzkrieg helped India past the line. When he walked into bat, India needed 34 runs of 12 balls. They needed 5 off the last ball, which Karthik smashed for a six to bring up the 20th last-ball finish in T20 internationals and India’s second.

Tell me more: Sri Lanka have the maximum last-ball wins in T20 internationals: four.


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The Case Of Fleeing Willful Defaulters


What is it? The number of months within which the government aims to achieve “tangible results” from its recently launched ‘LaQshya’ programme, which aims to improve the quality of care in labour rooms and maternity operation theatres.

Why is it important? India has a high maternal mortality rate: 167 maternal deaths occur for every 100,000 births. Obstetric violence is prevalent with to-be-mothers facing problems such as verbal abuse and discrimination, denial of pain relief to avoid prolonged birth and use of invasive procedures without their knowledge or permission.

Tell me more: A recent study conducted in five states in 11 public and five private hospitals listed seven types of abuse that women seeking maternal care face, such as neglect or denial of care, non-consented care, physical abuse and non-confidential care.



What is it? The fine that Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, will pay the US market regulator to close a case in which she and her company were accused of making false claims while raising $700 million from private investors.

Why is it important? It competes the fall from grace of one of the most visible voices in Silicon Valley of moonshot entrepreneurship and casts a harsh light on the hype in startup investing. Holmes pitched Theranos as a revolutionary blood-testing process, but it was later revealed the company could service only 12 of the 200 tests it claimed. Theranos has, so far, raised $1.4 billion from investors and raised funds in 2014 at a valuation of $9 billion.

Tell me more: Holmes and Theranos neither denied nor admitted the charges. In addition to the fine, Holmes will have to relinquish her shares acquired during this period of dispute and all her voting shares, and is barred from holding an executive position or serving as a director in a listed company for 10 years.



What is it? The number of individuals the Indian government is reportedly planning to prevent from leaving India.

Why is it important? These individuals are directors or owners of companies that have been identified as wilful defaulters, which have defaulted on loans despite having the capacity to repay. A total of 31 top defaulters have already fled the country to avoid prosecution, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi. As of December 2017, lenders had filed suits against 8,598 wilful defaulters to recover loans worth Rs 1,07,221 crore.

Tell me more: Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017 to seize the assets of loan defaulters and financial offenders who flee the country to escape prosecution in cases that have claims of Rs 100 crore or more.



What is it? The number of members required to support the motion of no-confidence moved by YSR Congress against the BJP-led NDA government. It has asked the Lok Sabha secretariat to include it in today’s list of business.

Why is it important? If accepted, this would be the first no-confidence motion against the government. This comes as the Centre has refused to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh. YSR Congress has nine MPs in the Lok Sabha. The motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated as BJP has 274 members and 56 members from allies in the 536-member Lower House.

Tell me more: The Telugu Desam Party, which pulled out its ministers in the Central government a week ago, is reportedly going to back the motion and likely to pull out of the NDA alliance today.


41 years

What is it? The age that Valentino Rossi, seven-time MotoGP world champion, will be if he sees out the two-year contract extension he signed with Yamaha yesterday.

Why is it important? It’s a testament to the charismatic Italian’s longevity as a premier racer. Rossi first drove in MotoGP in 2000, finishing second. The following year, he won his first title. Rossi said he was still motivated to compete at the highest level and wanted to avoid a situation like Michael Schumacher’s, who walked from Formula 1 in his prime only to make a difficult comeback a couple of years later.

Tell me more: Rossi last won the world championship in 2009. Last year, he finished fifth, with 1 race win, in which he became the oldest man to win a race in MotoGP.


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Mission: Eliminate Tuberculosis



What is it? The number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed after Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle at Sukma in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This is reportedly a revenge attack after a joint operation by the police of Telangana and Chhattisgarh resulted in the deaths of 10 suspected Maoists on March 2. Over 1,900 security personnel have been killed in Maoist violence between 2005 and 2018 (up to March 11).

Tell me more: In March and April last year, Maoists had killed 12 and 25 CRPF men in ambush attacks, which are counted among the biggest in the last few years.



What is it? The number of leaders of opposition parties that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had invited for dinner at her residence on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when Congress has been losing a string of elections, the latest being in the northeast region (Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland). The meet is likely to be an attempt at stitching an alliance to defeat the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) led by BJP, which now covers 71% of India’s population in 20 states, in the 2019 General Elections.

Tell me more: Those who have not been invited include the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Biju Janata Dal and Telugu Desam Party, which pulled out its ministers in the central government but continues to be part of the NDA alliance.



What is it? The percent by which the Indian government has cut Monsanto’s royalties on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This could trigger another row similar to the one in 2016 when the government had cut royalties that local firms pay Monsanto for its genetically (Bt) modified seeds by 70% and the latter had threatened to quit India. Monsanto says its royalties currently account for less than 0.5% of the cultivation cost, which would be further reduced due to the latest order.

Tell me more: The government also reduced the prices of GM cotton seeds by 7.5% to Rs 740 for a packet of 450 gms to help farmers whose crops have been affected by pest infestations.


Rs5,000 crore

What is it? The amount of pension liabilities under-reported by the Indian Railways during 2016-17.

Why is it important? This artificially boosted the operating ratio – the percentage of working expenses to traffic earnings – to 96.5%, as compared to 99.54%. Had the true amount of pension liabilities were accounted, the Comptroller and Auditor General of India – the national auditor- said the pension fund would show a negative balance, with no surplus available to service debt fund.

Tell me more: Operating ratio is an indicator of operational efficiency. A lower ratio is needed to generate surplus to buy new assets or have adequate funds for safety operations. At 99.5%, the operating ratio is the lowest since 2000-01.



What is it? The year by which India is planning to eliminate Tuberculosis (TB), five years ahead of the global target.

Why is it important? India has the highest number of TB infection and TB death rates. 28 million new cases were detected in 2016, with 400,000 deaths arising out of TB infection. The number of TB deaths is 2.6 times the number of people killed from road accidents. Advancing of target would save that many lives each year.

Tell me more: The World Health Organisation’s ‘End TB Strategy’ aims to reduce TB deaths and new cases by 80% and 90% respectively by 2030. TB is one of the top 10 causes of deaths, and 1.7 million people died worldwide in 2016.


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The Right To Die With Dignity


What is it? The number of judges on a Supreme Court panel who reaffirmed that passive euthanasia is legal in India, besides allowing the execution of living wills of those suffering from chronic diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state.

Why is it important? In a landmark judgment, the top court upheld the right to die with dignity and said that it is a fundamental right. Although passive euthanasia has been legal in India since 2011, since the judgment was delivered on the Aruna Shanbaug case, the government is yet to pass a law to that effect. The court said it will lay down guidelines on how laws should be drafted and implemented to prevent their abuse.

Tell me more: Passive euthanasia is when you allow the patient to die who is on complete life support or in a vegetative state and cannot live without medical treatment. Active euthanasia is when steps are taken to end the life of a person who is terminally ill.

3 GW

What is it? The cumulative solar capacity of projects whose tendershave been reportedly cancelled in 2017-18.

Why is it important? This is said to be due to new tax increases on solar companies since last July when the GST (goods and services tax) was introduced and India’s proposal to levy a 70% tariff on solar equipment made in China, Malaysia and the West. This raises questions about India achieving its target of 100 GW of installed solar capacity by 2022.

Tell me more: In a related development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted the first meeting of the International Solar Alliance on Sunday. French President Emmanuel Macron, who is on an India visit as well, said an investment of $1 trillion is required to achieve 1 TW (terawatt) of solar capacity by 2030.


What is it? The number of farmers from across Maharashtra who reached Mumbai on Monday after a four-day walk to demand for the complete waiver of their loans and for the acceptance of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations.

Why is it important? This is the latest in a number of farmer protests to occur in the state, mainly due to a delay in the rollout of the loan waiver scheme, the decrease or projected decline in production of some key crops and a government failure/delay in fulfilling other promises made to the agrarian sector. As of March 6, the state government has passed on Rs 13,782 crore as loan waivers to 35.68 lakh farmers out of a total 89 lakh farmers expected to benefit from the scheme.

Tell me more: Last year, 2,144 farmer suicides were reported from six divisional commissionerates across the state between January 1 and October 31.


What is it? The number of years for which Chinese president Xi Jinping has been in power.

Why is it important? The 64-year-old Xi, whose second and last term as the president of China was to end in 2023, can now remain president for longer, even for life. This change came on Sunday after China’s National People’s Congress scrapped presidential term limits, a 36-year-old provision that allowed a president a maximum of two terms. US President Donald Trump recently also joked about being a president for life.

Tell me more: In the voting held on Sunday, 2,957 ballots were cast in favour of the change, while three delegates abstained and two voted against.


What is it? The number of times in three innings that South African batsman AB de Villiers has been dismissed by Australian bowlers in the ongoing test series.

Why is it important? On day two of the second test match, de Villiers ended with an unbeaten 126. This follows his 71 not out in the first innings of the first test match; in the second innings of that match, he was run out. His unbeaten effort yesterday put South Africa in the driver’s seat in the second test and served a reminder of his importance to its batting line-up.

Tell me more: Since his comeback in the test format, AB de Villiers has scored 461 runs in 10 innings, the highest among South African batsmen.

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