Three to Zika


What is it? The number of cases with confirmed Zika infection, reported by the health ministry.

Why is it important? The mosquito-borne viral disease can lead to neurological malfunction. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare-Government of India has confirmed three such cases from Ahmedabad. It reports the ministry as having confirmed two cases in February and November, 2016, in addition to the one in January, 2017.

Tell me more: The health agency also said the findings indicate low level transmission and did not revise its global risk assessment due to India.



What is it? The drop in pass percentage points in the CBSE Class XII exams this year, from 83% who cleared the exam in 2016.

Why is it important? The drop in pass percentage comes in a year when the central school board was made to reinstate its grace-marks rule.  Its practice of granting extra marks (upto 15%), to pass students or peg their results at a higher percentile became an issue ahead of the results.

Tell me more: Last month, it decided to scrap the moderation policy from this year. The Delhi High Court ordered it to reinstate the rule. CBSE says it followed the high court’s orders. Count of students in the 95-100% category increased from 9,351 to 10,091 while in the 90-95% category, the count decreased from 54,036 to 53,156.



What is it? The number of countries Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit on his multi-nation tour.

Why is it important? Modi will be visiting Germany, Spain, Russia and France to discuss trade and security issues. On the table could be the European Union-India free trade agreement, which could help India counter China’s One Belt One Road initiative. The four-nation trip is his second travel abroad this year, after a trip to Sri Lanka.

Tell me more: PM Modi made 56 foreign trips since May, 26 in 2014 till April 2017. The duration of stay dropped from 55 days in 2014-15 to 24 days in 2016-17. Cost of foreign visits has come down too.



What is it? The number of airports which restrict passengers from carrying large electronic devices in cabins in the flights to the United States since March this year.

Why is it important? US is now considering a move to ban laptops in all flights into and out of the country for better security. Airlines are worried it might impact customer demand.

Tell me more: The ten airports which restrict laptops in cabins include United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Turkey. UK has a similar policy applying to six countries.



What is it? Death toll due to landslides and floods in Sri Lanka.

Why is it important? Sri Lanka is facing one of its worst disasters since tsunami in 2004, and its worst torrential rains since 2003. Over 500,000 people have been affected and over 100 are still missing.

Tell me more: India has sent three Navy ships with supplies and other aid. Sri Lanka has sought international help to manage the disaster.

Read More

Spying apps 👂


What is it? The number of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) commandos to be deployed in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh.

Why is it important? The commandos will be from the highly trained CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action) division and will focus on neutralising the Naxals in the region. In the last two months, 37 CPRF personnel were killed by Naxals/Maoists in and around Sukma district.

Tell me more: About 20-25 CoBRA companies – each comprising 100 commandos – are expected to be moved to this region from their current locations in West Bengal, Bihar, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh



What is it? The number of IMAX theatres in the US which played the Tollywood blockbuster “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion”.

Why is it important? The super hero film had the third biggest opening in the US after “Hero” (2004) and “Fearless” (2006), both starring Jet Li. In the US, the film grossed $10.3 million in the opening weekend of April 28.

Tell me more: Globally, the film has grossed over Rs 1000 crore, the first Indian film to break that barrier.


What is it? The number of students who appeared for NEET – National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for medical and dental degree courses – on Sunday.

Why is it important? The measures enforced by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to check cheating during the entrance test were seen as excessive and raked up protests in some parts of the country. West Bengal called for a retest claiming Bengali papers were tougher than English question papers.

Tell me more: Earlier CBSE used to conduct tests for only 15% of the seats, and the rest were administered by respective state governments. The system changed last year, when CBSE took over the full responsibility. The change was then opposed by many state governments including Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Gujarat.


What is it? The compound annual growth rate of print publications circulation in India over the last 10 years according Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Why is it important? The growth outpaced India’s population growth during this period and came at a time when print is dying in most developed countries. The growth was primarily driven by regional language publications. Hindi (8.76%), Telugu (8.28%) and Kannada (6.40%) were the top three languages by circulation growth.

Tell me more:  English publications grew at a CAGR of 2.87% in the last 10 years.


What is it? The number of Android apps in Google Play store that can covertly track  users via ultrasonic signals from nearby devices.

Why is it important? Two years back the number of apps that had this technology was just five. The rise in the number of such apps underlines how user data gets sucked in by businesses without their consent. The tech can also be used to identify anonymous users of services such as Bitcoin and Tor.

Tell me more: These apps have been downloaded about 11 million times according to a study by researchers from the Braunschweig University of Technology.

Read More