What is it? The number of websites that help people buy rare animals and their body parts – either by giving space to ads or by enabling trade.
Why is it important? These websites, collated by the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, include popular ones such as Amazon, Snapdeal, Quickr, Olx, eBay and Youtube. They go against laws that prevent trade in over 1,800 species of wild animals, plants and their derivatives.
Tell me more: Various instances of offline illegal trade of barking deer, endangered pangolins, leopard skins, tiger skin and bones, turtles, rhinoceros, smooth-coated otters, elephant tusks have been reported in the recent past in the country.
What is it? India’s gold imports in April-June 2016, down 48% from same period last year.
Why is it important? The fall, aided by a decline in gold prices, is likely to help narrow down current account deficit (excess of imports of goods, services and investments over exports), and the similar but narrower metric of trade deficit. India has recently introduced gold monetisation schemes to curb gold imports, the second-biggest component of the import bill after crude oil.
Tell me more: India’s trade deficit fell to a record low of $5.07 billion in March 2016 while its current account deficit narrowed to 1.3% of the GDP in the third quarter of 2015-16 compared to 1.5% in the same period in the previous year.
What is it? The number of months in the hands of India’s cricketing board to implement reforms recommended by Lodha committee.
Why is it important? The reforms would help bring transparency and accountability in India’s most powerful and richest sports body. It is also likely to lead to resignations of BCCI president Anurag Thakur (Himachal Pradesh), Sharad Pawar (aged 75, Mumbai) and N Srinivasan (aged 71, Tamil Nadu) from their respective positions in the regional cricketing bodies. The committee recommended allowing only one vote per state (even if they have more than one cricket association), banning ministers and civil servants from being in BCCI’s board or that of their respective state associations, capping the age limit of BCCI office bearers at 70 years.
Tell me more: Other recommendations accepted by the apex court are: each of the office-bearers would have a three-year term and can contest a maximum of three terms with a mandatory cooling-off period between two terms, and no person can hold office at the BCCI and state associations simultaneously.
Rs 15,000 crore
What is it? The additional equity investment by Reliance Industries in its telecom unit Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Why is it important? This will help Reliance Jio, which has already covered 70% of India with 270,000 km of fibre optic cables and 92,000 towers, to enable it to provide 4G wireless services to 90% of the country. This is likely to lead to a price war (recently, Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel made their data services cheaper to retain customers) even though Reliance Jio says it would not give discounts to attract and retain customers.
Tell me more: The additional investment will be by way of rights issue (offering of shares by a company at a special price to its existing investors according to the proportion of shares held by them). The company’s services, which is now available for 15 lakh people including employees, vendors and their referrals, would be launched for all later this year. Reliance Industries has spent Rs 1.3 lakh crore on Reliance Jio so far and some analysts believe that the company would exceed its initial investment forecast of Rs 1.5 lakh crore by the launch time.
What is it? The number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel killed in an encounter with naxalites in Bihar’s jungles in the Aurangabad district on Monday.
Why is it important? This is one of the biggest casualties of the elite Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA), a specialised unit of the CRPF trained in guerilla tactics and jungle warfare. This comes a few months after reports emerged about decline in naxal violence in some of the north-eastern states including Bihar and Jharkhand. The number of people killed by naxalites, naxal attacks on security forces, number of naxal cadres killed and number of naxalites arrested or surrendered – have all decreased between 2010 and 2015.
Tell me more: Three naxalites have reportedly been killed in the clashes, which followed after an IED blast killed the 10 COBRA commandos, leaving five injured.