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The ‘Criminal’ Quotient of Gujarat Elections

 

When the crime accused stands to administrate the people in his region, it’s probably the biggest irony of all. In Gujarat elections, something like that is unfolding. Both the ruling BJP and Congress have fielded some candidates that are accused of crimes against women, and attempt to murder. Here, take a look.

 

101

What is it? The number of candidates fighting the second phase of Gujarat elections with criminal cases.

Why is it important? This represents 12% of all candidates, and more than 8% of candidates have serious criminal cases like crimes against women, attempt to murder, offence carrying punishment more than 5 years. Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress – the two leading parties – have 13 and 18 candidates with serious criminal cases.

Tell me more: In the first phase, 137 or 15% of candidates have criminal cases against them.

 

155 crore litres

What is it? The amount of ethanol that will be purchased by oil marketing companies (OMCs) in current financial year.

Why is it important? This is more than double the amount purchased by OMCs during last financial year, and this would mean sugar companies or ethanol manufacturers will get additional revenue of Rs 4,500 crore. This will benefit sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra which together will provide more than 75% of the 155 crore litres.

Tell me more: India targetted ethanol blending of 10% in fossil fuel to reduce import bill. Ethanol is produced from molasses, the byproduct from sugar production.

 

30,000

What is it? The number of Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh in last month. 1,500 arrived last week alone, according to UNCHYR

Why is it important? The flow of refugees continues, though the numbers have come down. More than 625,000 refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since August 25. Both  Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed on November 23 to start the return of refugees. The continued flow of refugees is an indicator of unsafe conditions still prevailing in Myanmar, said United Nations High Commission for Refugees or UNHCR.

Tell me more: Rohingya are muslim minorities with majority of them living in Rakhine state of Myanmar, a predominantly Buddhist country. The latest exodus started after Rohingya Arsa militants attacked more than 25 police posts on August 25 this year.

 

12 million

What is it? The number of people eligible to vote in the second phase of the elections in Nepal.

Why is it important? This is the first time Nepal will elect representatives to seven state assemblies since the land-locked country adopted the republican constitution in 2015. Since the civil war ended in 2006, Nepal has seen political instability with 10 governments in as many years and two years later, the Hindu monarchy ended.

Tell me more: Voter turnout is estimated at 67%, and the elections will be closely watched by India and China. The left alliance is seen as pro-China, and the alliance led by Nepali Congress Party is seen as pro-India.

 

Rs5 crore

What is it? The amount of penalty levied by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living for damaging the Yamuna floodplains in 2016.

Why is it important? NGT held Art of Living responsible for ‘causing damage and environmental degradation’ of the Yamuna floodplains. The tribunal did not impose additional penalty despite its own expert committee estimated the damages at Rs42.02 crore. Art of Living has denied the charges and is now planning to file an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Tell me more: NGT was established in 2010 to deal fast with environmental cases. So far, it has decided on 20,696 out of 23,720 cases filed.

 

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Now, pay for dirtying Ganga 🌊

Rs 50,000 

What is it? The penalty that will be imposed for dumping waste into the Ganga river between Haridwar in Uttarakhand and Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, one among a slew of directions passed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday to rejuvenate the water body.

Why is it important? A pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the ‘Clean Ganga’ project has progressed slowly with only $205 million spent till now as compared to the total commitment of $3.06 billion till 2020.

Tell me more: The environment regulator has declared a no-development zone 100 metres from the river’s edge (between Haridwar and Unnao) and dumping of waste within 500 metres from the river has been prohibited.

 

Rs 5,945

What is it? The net profit of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), India’s largest software services exporter, in the first quarter of 2017-18, 5.8% lower on a year-on-year basis.

Why is it important? This is the 11th consecutive month when the firm has either under-performed or failed to meet analysts’ estimates. A survey of 20 analysts by Bloomberg had estimated TCS’ net profit to be Rs 6,203.5 crore. This is the biggest drop in profits in two years. A stronger rupee impacted TCS’ results even as concerns over US President Donald Trump’s order for a review of a visa program for skilled workers remain.

Tell me more: The company’s headcount was lesser by 1,414 people to 385,809 at the end of June 2017 compared to the previous quarter – a net decline in its employee strength for the first time since 2010.

 

80

What is it? The number of people who have died due to floods and landslides in three north-eastern states – Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh – so far this season.

Why is it important? As many as 58 districts have been affected in the three states. In Assam, around 2,500 villages have been submerged and over 17 lakh people have been affected. Many district headquarters in Arunachal Pradesh have been cut off from the rest of the country while its capital Itanagar is cut off from its main connecting road (NH-415).

Tell me more: Jitendra Singh, the minister for the Development of North Eastern Region said that his team has approached the Ministry of Health to take steps to prevent the outbreak of epidemics and also, with the telecom ministry for the restoration of communication lines.

 

Rs 10 lakh

What is it? The money McDonald’s Corp will have to pay Vikram Bakshi, managing director of Connaught Plaza Restaurants, its estranged joint-venture partner for North and East India, according to a National Company Laws Tribunal (NCLT) ruling on Thursday.

Why is it important? The long-brewing dispute between the JV partners had seen Bakshi being ousted as the chief in 2013. The ruling reinstates Bakshi as the MD, restoring all the powers of an administrator to him.

Tell me more: The ruling reiterated allegations made by Bakshi, including violation of JV terms and an attempt to buy him out at a low valuation. In the kerfuffle, Connaught Plaza Restaurants recently shut 43 of its restaurants in Delhi, citing failure to renew requisite licences.

 

Rs 70,000 crore

What is it? The monthly value of card payments at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals, according to a State Bank of India (SBI) research report.

Why is it important? The report claims this average (both debit and credit cards) would have taken another three years at 25% growth in card transactions at PoS terminals if not for demonetisation.

Tell me more: The greater focus on digital payments after demonetisation, which happened in November 2016, was supplemented by the addition of 1.18 million PoS terminals. The lack of PoS terminals had held back card usage earlier.

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