Fertilizers Can Cause Diabetes


Rs 83 crore

What is it? Bharti Airtel’s net profit in the January-March quarter of 2017-18, down 78% from Rs 373 crore in the same period a year ago.

Why is it important? This is the lowest net profit lowest net profit in 15 years reported by India’s biggest telecom firm by market share (over 25%) and comes amidst rising competition and a cut-throat tariff war initiated by Reliance Jio, besides a reduction in international termination rates. The firm’s return on capital employed declined to 4.7% in 2017-18, from 6.5% in the previous year.

Tell me more: Bharti Airtel’s consolidated revenues for the full year were Rs 83,688 crore, a decline of 9.8% from the previous fiscal. Its net profit was Rs 1,099 crore, a decline of 71.1% from a year ago.



What is it? The number of Maoists killed within 72 hours in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district since Sunday. The toll increased to 37 after 15 more bodies were discovered from the Indravati river on Tuesday.

Why is it important? This makes it the most successful anti-Maoist operation by Maharashtra’s security forces in nearly four decades. Gadchiroli is among the worst-affected by Maoist insurgency and the latest encounters are said to have effectively wiped out the Maoist organisation in the district. Other Maoist-affected states such as Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh have been put on a high alert.

Tell me more: A total of 514 people have been killed in Left-Wing extremist violence in Maharashtra between 2005 and 2018, of which 165 are civilians, 146 from the security forces and 203 insurgents.



What is it? The number of people whose urine samples were tested for a government-funded research that examines the link between the use of synthetic fertilisers and their effect on farmers.

Why is it important? Indian government scientists found a close link between toxic heavy metals used in fertilisers and the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in farmers. The prevalence of pre-diabetes, diabetes and atherosclerosis was found to be 43.4%, 16.2% and 10.3%, respectively, in a village in Tamil Nadu, where 82.5% of the study population was engaged in farming.

Tell me more: According to a 2011 study conducted in 28 districts in 12 states, about a fifth of respondents had experienced negative side effects such as weakness, fever, dizziness and blurred vision, after handling pesticides.



What is it? The lowest target in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), set by the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Why is it important? The Mumbai Indians failed to surpass it, despite facing a depleted Hyderabad attack. Mumbai capitulated for just 87, marking only the third time in IPL history that all 20 wickets have fallen in a match. This result left reigning champions Mumbai languishing near the bottom of the table, with just one win from five matches, and Hyderabad third.

Tell me more: Hyderabad lost another top signing yesterday, with fast bowler Billy Stanlake ruled out due to a finger injury.


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When is criminal charge < corruption?

Rs 350-400 crore

What is it? The amount for which Axis Bank is reportedly set to buy digital payments platform Freecharge from Snapdeal.

Why is it important? With this deal, the private lender would get a digital payments brand under its umbrella as well as access to superior technology that traditional companies find difficult to build when compared to startups. For Snapdeal, this would help provide it with some much-needed cash and also, free up space to better negotiate its sale to its larger rival, Flipkart.

Tell me more: Others such as Paytm (One97 Communications) and Amazon had also reportedly bid to buy Freecharge.



What is it? The number of MLAs facing serious criminal charges in the proposed alliance between Janata Dal United (JDU) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Bihar.

Why is it important? Ruling alliance can change but the underlying nature of people forming part of the government doesn’t change much. Nearly one in four MLAs in the Bihar assembly have a serious criminal charge against them. All the four major parties – JDU, BJP, Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal – have between 36% and 43% of their MLAs facing serious criminal charges.

Tell me more: Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar submitted his resignation last evening, citing differences with RJD over corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav, deputy chief minister. Hours later, BJP announced support to Nitish to form the next government.



What is it? The number of security personnel deaths due to Left-wing extremist violence in the first half of 2017, according to information submitted by the government to the Parliament on Wednesday.

Why is it important? This is the highest in the last three years and has also surpassed the number of security personnel killed (65) in the entire 2016. This number also exceeds the number of security personnel killed in Jammu and Kashmir in up to June this year (38) and also, those killed by insurgents in the north eastern parts of the country (9) and in the hinterland (0).

Tell me more: As many as 70 Maoists were killed in the first half of 2017 compared to 222 in 2016 and 89 in 2015. The number of left-wing extremism incidents until June this year was 478 compared to 1,048 in 2016.



What is it? The number of Army personnel whose life sentence was suspended by the Armed Forces Tribunal.

Why is it important? This order overturns the first punishment for Army personnel for human rights abuse in the Kashmir valley. The earlier conviction, by an Army court martial came in 2015, following the fake encounter of three Kashmiri youth in 2010 in Macchil.

Tell me more: The Jammu & Kashmir police had cracked the case, leading to the initial convictions. The five were acquitted based on a broken chain of evidence argument.



What is it? The number of farmer suicides in 2016, according to agriculture minister Radha Mohan Singh in the Rajya Sabha.

Why is it important? The official database with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) on farmer suicides is yet to be updated with 2016 information. But the minister’s numbers indicate a fall in such suicides, and the lowest in 21 years. In 2015, there were 12,602 suicidal deaths among agriculturists, both farmers and labourers, hence, a 9% drop in 2016.

Tell me more: The year 2016 and the ongoing 2017 have been rife with farmer protests and suicides, dictating the national discourse. Farm loan waivers and debates around it have increased in 2017. The long speech on Wednesday saw the Opposition in RS walk out on the minister, miffed at the mention of farmer suicides.

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