What is it? The subscriber base of the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO).
Why is it important? It has increased in the last six months by 26% (from 38 million). The spurt follows EPFO allowing firms to enroll their real staff strength instead of under-reporting, with a negligible penalty, under an amnesty scheme from January to June this year.
What is it? The medals India won at the recently-concluded Asian Athletics Championships.
Why is it important? The wins put India at the top of the medals tally at the continental event for the first time since 1973. India’s performance pushed China, the usual champions, to the second spot with 20 medals.
Tell me more: The Chinese contingent did not comprise its first rung of sportspeople who are scheduled to appear at the World championships in London. India sent 34 athletes to compete in 19 events in last year’s summer Olympics, but none of them won a medal.
What is it? The percentage of training centres funded by the Indian government under the Skill India mission that reportedly do not exist, according to an internal audit by the skills development ministry.
Why is it important? Exposes the lack of proper checks and balances within the skills development ministry. Besides the non-existence of certain centres, the audit also found that that of the training centres that do exist, about 21% do not have the required basic equipment to impart skills training and an equal percentage do not have a placement cell to help the passouts in getting a job.
Tell me more: The Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has been allocated a budget of Rs 3,016.14 crore for 2017-18.
What is it? The death toll in 20 years from Naxal violence in the country.
Why is it important? Out of these, over 77% were civilians, either killed in crossfire or for being suspected police informers. The information release from the home ministry succeeds a period of violence that has made 2017 the deadliest in Naxal casualties so far. Yet, the information says Naxal violence casualties has declined in May, 2014-April, 2017 by 25% compared to May, 2011-April, 2014.
Tell me more: One of the deadliest attacks in recent Naxal history in the last decade had been the April, 2010 attack in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh, claiming the lives of 76 security personnel. Out of 12,000, 2,700 have been security personnel.
What is it? The number of Indian fishermen released by Pakistan, allowing their return to the country.
Why is it important? Another set of 298 Indian fishermen are set to be released after verification. Then, it would be the largest batch of Indian fisherman released from Pakistani jails. In January, Pakistan repatriated 218 fishermen to India as a friendly gesture, taking the total number of freed fishermen to 439.
Tell me more: Pakistan captured Indian fishermen as recently as in May. Fishermen from both countries are frequently captured and detained by the other country for breaching marine borders as their rudimentary boats are ill-equipped to make out the Arabian Sea border.