What is it? The combined share of Mauritius and Singapore in India’s foreign direct investment in 2014-15.
Why is it important? This might reduce after a 1983 treaty between India and Mauritius was amended (which will also apply to India-Singapore treaty) on Tuesday to let India impose capital gains tax on investments starting next year. The amendment is expected to help India fight against black money.
Tell me more: The amended treaty allows India to impose taxes on capital gains relating to investments made from April 1, 2017 at 50% of the domestic rate until March 31, 2019, after which the full rate will be applicable. The phased reduction in capital gains would be applicable to only those companies that have a total expenditure of over Rs 27 lakh in the preceding 12 months.
What is it? The number of votes Congress has reportedly got in the floor test of the Uttarakhand Assembly on Tuesday against BJP’s 28.
Why is it important? The results would end political uncertainty stretching over the last few weeks in the state where President’s Rule has been imposed. The sacked chief minister Harish Rawat is likely to be back at the helm. lt remains to be seen if Uttarakhand will go in for elections earlier than scheduled (next year) and if Supreme Court will take a view on the imposition of President’s Rule.
Tell me more: The floor test results will be presented to the Supreme Court today, after which they would be made public. The crisis began when nine of Congress MLAs sided with the BJP in a debate over the state budget and after a series of appeals and counter-appeals, they were barred from participating in the floor test on Tuesday.
What is it? The number of votes Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has received in Philippine presidential elections, around 39% of the 54 million registered voters, according to a poll monitor accredited by the election commission.
Why is it important? With Duterte likely to be President, the unofficial results reflect Filipinos’ choice of a leader – a tough-talking candidate who promises to fight corruption and criminals but also, one who makes controversial statements and outlines little to show how he would fulfill his promises. He is often compared to Donald Trump. Though Duterte is known for bringing down crime rates in the city of Davao when he was vice-Mayor, he has been linked to alleged illegal killings of criminals.
Tell me more: Duterte’s spokesperson has said he would push for rewriting of the country’s constitution and bring in a federal system of government.
What is it? The number of plant species discovered in 2015, according to a report by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Why is it important? This is the first ever study of the world’s flora. It also revealed that one of every five plants is at the risk of extinction due to reasons including climate change, habitat loss, disease and invasive species. Plants are important for climate regulation besides being sources of food, medicines, fuels and timber. While this underlines the need for better environmental protection measures, the discovery of new plant species provides hope of new sources of food and medicines.
Tell me more: The new plant species discovered include an insect-eating sundew, five new types of onions and a close relative of sweet potato. There are 390,900 plant species known to science.
What is it? The number of patents filed by Google, Sony and Samsung relating to smart contacts, ocular implants and eye-computing devices since 2001, most in the last four years.
Why is it important? Such patents, though a bit away from commercialisation, have applications in medicine (such as Google’s parent company performing clinical trials to test glucose-monitoring contact lenses for diabetics) and augmented technology (includes devices – to be mounted on your noses – that can communicate wirelessly and a contact lens camera that can perform the main functions of a camera). It is likely that technology, which is an important aspect of a modern human being, might well become an integral part of human bodies.
Tell me more: However, it remains to be seen how privacy concerns brought on by such devices would be tackled.