rahul gandhi

Lineage Wins Yet Again

 

Congress gave in to lineage once again. It’s sole candidate has filed his nomination and would soon be elected. The telecom watchdog, TRAI has recommended that a telecom firm should first test its network before going all out in the market. In the world, China may become the biggest importer in next five years. And, Madhya Pradesh has unanimously passed a bill to legalize death sentence for those guilty of raping minor girls.

 

1

What is it? Number of candidates who filed a nomination to contest elections for the post of the president of the Indian National Congress. The sole candidate, Rahul Gandhi, filed his nomination on Monday.

Why is it important? If elected, as is expected, Rahul Gandhi will become the sixth member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to become president of the Indian National Congress. It will further the hereditary nature of Indian politics, where political parties speak of party democracy in letter, but submit to supreme leadership in spirit.

Tell me more: From his immediate family, Rahul Gandhi, 47, will be the third member to become party president, following his father (Rajiv Gandhi, 1985-1991) and mother (Sonia Gandhi, current president since 1998). Before them, there were Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Motilal Nehru.

 

90

What is it? The maximum number of days a telecom firm should get to conduct network testing and enroll only a small number of users before commercially launching its services, according to recommendations by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) sent to the department of telecommunications.

Why is it important? If accepted, this suggestion could help new operators that are planning to launch their services in a telecom circle, given that under the current rules, a telecom service provider has to get its network testing done before launch of operations and also meet certain quality criteria. Incumbents had accused Reliance Jio, which made its entry last September, of running full-fledged services in the guise of trial launch/networking testing, though it has denied any wrongdoing.

Tell me more: TRAI also said that if a telecom operator was unable to carry out networking testing in the above mentioned time frame, it could be extended provided it had valid reasons to do so.

 

5

What is it? The number of years within which China is likely to become the largest importer in the world, leapfrogging the US, according to a research note by CICC.

Why is it important? This would help China in becoming a bigger economic power as it turns from being a major exporter to one that starts importing more consumer-led products. The Asian country recently reduced import tariffs on 187 consumer goods to an average of 7.7% from 17.3% in a bid to move towards a consumption-driven economy. The research note says this would help the global economy that has struggled with lower demand since the 2008 financial crisis.

Tell me more: In 2016, US imported goods and services worth $2.25 trillion while China’s imports were $1.59 trillion.

 

14

What is it? The minimum number of years of rigorous imprisonment for raping girls aged 12 or below, according to a bill passed unanimously by the Madhya Pradesh assembly on Monday. In addition, the bill proposes death sentence or life imprisonment for the same crime.

Why is it important? This is the first time a state in India has legalised death penalty for rape of minor girls. It now requires the assent of the President to become a law. According to the National Crime Records Bureau report for 2016, Madhya Pradesh reported the highest number of rape cases in India. However, some legal experts say this could have an adverse effect by resulting in under-reporting of such cases and may also put the lives of children in danger as they may be killed by their perpetrators.

Tell me more: The bill also proposes jail term and penalty for harassment, stalking, assault with intention to disrobe or use of force among others.

 

39

What is it? Number of years since Prithvi Theatre has had a permanent home in Juhu, Mumbai. It was set up by actor Shashi Kapoor, who died yesterday, and his late wife Jennifer Kendal.

Why is it important? Prithvi is a firmament on the theatre scene in Mumbai and India, promoting the art form in a holistic sense that includes staging performances, conducting workshops and promoting stage artists and others involved in theatre. It’s also a rare instance of a mainstream actor making theatre a bedrock of his or her life’s work.

Tell me more: Shashi Kapoor’s father Prithviraj Kapoor began Prithvi Theatres in 1944 as a moving theatre company, travelling across India and staging plays in Hindustani. He leased 2 plots of land in Juhu to build a permanent space, but could not see it through because of ill-health.

 

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News in numbers, Apr 7, 2016: Oldest Pota case comes to an end, Tata Motors’ Tiago launch…

3.5%

What is it? Upper limit of a state’s fiscal deficit for years between 2016-17 and 2019-20, up from 3% earlier.

Why is it important? This would allow state governments borrow more. This comes at a time when the aggregate fiscal deficit of 17 states is expected to be higher at 2.9% of GDP in 2016-17 from 2.7% of GDP in 2016-17 due to pay commission wage hikes and interest bills on UDAY (for turnaround of power distribution companies) bonds, according to HSBC.

Tell me more: The increase in upper limit comes with conditions: states should have a favourable debt-GSDP ratio and interest payments-revenue receipts ratio in the previous two years, and states should not have a revenue deficit (net amount received is lesser than the projected net amount to be received) in the year in which borrowing limits are fixed and also, the previous year.

3

What is it? The number of convicts who received life imprisonment in the triple Mumbai blasts of 2002-2003.

Why is it important? The judgment brings an end to the oldest Pota (Prevention of Terrorism Act) case. The blasts, which killed 12 people and injured 141, a special Pota court spared death sentence to Muzammil Ansari who was found guilty under 18 charges including planting the bombs at various locations.

Tell me more: Of the 10 convicts, four received 10 years of rigorous imprisonment while three others who have already served eight years in prison, got two years of simple imprisonment. Between December 2002 and March 2003, bombs had exploded at the Mumbai Central Railway Station, in the market area of Vile Parle station and in the first class ladies compartment of a Karjat-bound train.

40 lakh litres

What is it? The quantity of non-potable water used to maintain pitches and outfield for eight IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when Maharashtra is facing a water crisis, and could result in all the 20 matches (including the inaugural and the final) to be held in the state to be shifted elsewhere, thanks to a court case. The IPL begins on April 9. Some of the rural areas such as Marathwada, Vidharbha and Latur, have been the worst hit, and the cities Mumbai and Thane have not been spared too.

Tell me more: This case was a result of a public interest litigation filed by an NGO, Loksatta Movement and others, who questioned the use of large quantities of water for cricket matches when parts of the state were facing severe droughts.  

Rs 3.2 lakh – 5.54 lakh

What is it? The price range of Tata Motors’ Tiago model.

Why is it important? This is the least expensive compact hatchback car in its class. The launch is crucial for Tata Motors, which posted a drop of 6% in passenger vehicle sales in 2015-16 year-on-year, and also got pushed by Honda and Toyota to the sixth position in 2014-15 from the fourth the previous year.

Tell me more: The Tiago has five variants each of both petrol and diesel and will be the third all-new product launch by Tata Motors in 20 months.

321

What is it? The number of companies that declared dividends in March 2016, compared to 27 last March.

Why is it important? Companies rushed to pay dividends last month to avoid paying a 10% tax effective April 1 imposed in the recent budget. In all, dividends worth Rs 44,975 crore were declared, saving shareholders taxes worth Rs 1,452 crore. Last year in March, 27 companies issued dividends totalling Rs 5,854 crore.

Tell me more: The 10% tax is in addition to dividend distribution tax, which is effectively 20.36% including surcharge and cess and dividend income was exempt from tax in the hands of shareholders.

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