What is it? The number of loan defaulters identified by Reserve Bank of India for bankruptcy proceedings.
Why is it important? Each of these accounts has more than Rs 5,000 crore of outstanding loans, at least 60% of which are non-performing. Together, they account for more than a fourth of bad loans in the banking system. The move – to direct banks to file for insolvency proceedings under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 – underlines the seriousness with which the central bank sees the bad loans problem facing India’s banking system, especially public sector banks.
What is it? The number of obese children (aged 2-19 years) in India, according to a study.
Why is it important? That makes India second only to China. In all, the study found 180 million Indians to be obese. Obesity is increasingly considered to be a public health crisis, and is associated with life threatening diseases including heart attacks and cancer. It played a role in 4 million deaths in 2015.
Tell me more: The study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, also categorised more than 10% of the world’s population as obese. It covered 195 countries.
What is it? The estimated cost of Diamer-Bhasha dam that Pakistan plans to construct in Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Why is it important? The region is a part of disputed Kashmir, and India had objected to infrastructure projects there, keeping international institutions such as World Bank and Asian Development Bank from funding the project. Now, Pakistan is looking to China to fund it, encouraged by the partnership between the two countries for China’s Belt and Road Initiative, and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, a set of infrastructure projects connecting the two countries.
Tell me more: The Diamer-Bhasha dam is expected to generate 4,500 megawatts of electricity and regulate water to farm lands. It will also displace 4200 families.
What is it? Global energy consumption growth in 2016, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy.
Why is it important? It’s lower than 10 year average of 1.8% a year, and in pace with last two years growth (0.9% in 2015 and 1% in 2014). It’s an indicator of sluggish global economic activity. On the positive side, greenhouse gas emissions growth was also muted in 2016, even though the emissions are much higher than the target set by Paris accord.
Tell me more: The energy demand is being driven by the developing countries, especially China and India. Renewables accounted for almost 40% of the growth in global power generation in 2016.
What is it? The number of countries that have formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan.
Why is it important? In the 90s, this number about 30. It has been dwindling. The latest to cut ties with the self-ruled state is Panama, in a move considered to be a diplomatic coup for Beijing. China considers Taiwan a rebel region of China, and has been consciously weaning its allies away.
Tell me more: Panama, which was recently in news as a tax haven, is of strategic importance to trading countries, as it lies at the intersection of Atlantic and Pacific oceans and north and south American continents. China is the second biggest user of Panama canal. The Asian giant’s concern about Taiwan has increased after the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen who is pushing for its independence.