President’s low vote share


What is it? The number of votes with a value of 702,044 won by Ram Nath Kovind in India’s 2017 Presidential Elections.

Why is it important? Kovind has been elected as the 14th President of India. However, with 65.65% vote share, it is the lowest for a presidential election winner since 1974. Cross voting from opposition parties in favour of NDA-backed candidate, Kovind, was reported in seven states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Punjab, Assam, West Bengal and Tripura.

Tell me more: Meira Kumar, who was backed by a 17-member bloc of opposition parties, polled in 1,844 votes with a value of 367,314.


1 million

What is it? The number of people who died from AIDS-related deaths globally in 2016, according to the UNAIDS.

Why is it important? This is a 48% drop from the peak of such deaths in 2005 (1.9 million AIDS-related deaths). Now, a higher number of people are accessing anti-retroviral therapy – 19.5 million in 2016, up from 17.1 million in 2015 and 7.7 million in 2010. This makes it the first time that more than half of those living with HIV are receiving life-saving treatment. Since 2010, new HIV infections have come down by an estimated 11% in adults to 1.7 million in 2016 and by 47% among children to 160,000 in 2016.

Tell me more: Achieving the 90-90-90 targets (90% of all living with HIV know their HIV status, 90% of those diagnosed with HIV are accessing sustained anti-retroviral therapy and 90% of those receiving this therapy are virally suppressed) by 2020 seems feasible. In 2016, 70% know their HIV status, of this, 77% were accessing treatment and of those accessing treatment, 82% were virally suppressed.



What is it? The percentage of salary and stipend cuts that Jet Airways has reportedly asked its junior pilots to take.

Why is it important? The airline has asked them to take these cuts or quit their jobs. These measures, which are to be implemented fromAugust 1, will impact 400 of its pilots of the approximate strength of 1,500. Jet Airways has attributed its actions slowdown in the Gulf region and to improve operational efficiency.

Tell me more: Jet Airways, which faces stiff competition from low-cost airlines such as Indigo and SpiceJet, saw its market share fall to 18% at the end of June this year from 23% two years ago.



What is it? The number of runs scored by cricketer Harmanpreet Kaur in the semi-finals against Australia in the Women’s World Cup.

Why is it important? The innings is the “third-highest score in a world cup and fifth-highest overall”. Before this match, India has won less than 30% of the matches against Australia, which has won the world cup six times.

Tell me more: This is Team India’s second time at the women’s ICC World Cup finals (after 2005). The semi-final match was cut down to 42 overs due to rain. India will now face England in the World Cup finals on July 23.


Rs 9,079 crore

What is it? The net profit of Reliance Industries (RIL) for the first quarter of FY18, ended June 30, an increase of 28%.

Why is it important? The gross refining margins – the profit from turning one barrel of crude oil into fuel – was at a nine-year high. Its gross refining margin was $11.9 a barrel, higher than the average Singapore benchmark at $6.4 a barrel in the June quarter.

Tell me more: RIL also gained from selling 76% stake in the Gulf Africa Petroleum Corp, a South African subsidiary, for Rs 1,087 crore.

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Test not the licence to kill ⚠


What is it? The number of bills listed for introduction, consideration and passing in the Monsoon session of the Parliament to be held between July 17 and August 11.

Why is it important? Important and controversial bills like Whistle Blower Protection (Amendment) Bill that exempts 10 categories of information including cabinet proceedings, and Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill that makes giving a bribe an offence will be introduced during the current session.

Tell me more: The productivity in the Lok Sabha during the Budget session was 108% (a third of it spent on legislative business) while that in the Rajya Sabha was 86% (a fifth of it spent on legislative matters).



What is it? The percentage of people who did not take a test to get a driving licence across 10 cities, according to a survey by road safety advocacy group, SaveLife Foundation.

Why is it important? The high share of people obtaining licences by illegal means highlights the extent of corruption in the licensing system and how this issue is likely a major reason for road accidents and injuries in the country. On an average, 17 people were killed every hour in 2015 and nearly three-fourths of the road accidents were caused due to overspeeding (41%) and dangerous/careless driving (32.2%) in the same year.

Tell me more: About 88% of the respondents did not take the driving test in Agra and the corresponding numbers for Jaipur, Guwahati, Delhi and Mumbai are 72%, 64%, 54% and 50% respectively.



What is it? The number of Wimbledon titles won by Roger Federer so far.

Why is it important? The Swiss player has created a record by winning the most number of Wimbledon titles, surpassing Pete Sampras and William Renshaw who won their seventh Wimbledon titles in 2000 and 1889 respectively. As Croatia’s Marin Cilic struggled with an injury, this was the most one-sided Wimbledon final in 15 years and Federer just took 1 hour and 41 minutes to defeat his opponent.

Tell me more: With his first Wimbledon final victory since 2012, he extended his record 19 Grand Slam titles and at 35 years 342 days, he became the oldest man to win a Wimbledon title in the modern era.



What is it? The number of votes with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), headed by the BJP for the presidential election.

Why is it important? This is around 12,000 votes short of majority in the electoral college for the presidential vote, where total votes number 1,098,882. But the expected support of regional parties such as the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the YSR Congress could shore up the numbers for a majority for NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind. Votes would be counted on July 20.

Tell me more: The incumbent president, Pranab Mukherjee, had secured 713,763 in the 2012 elections.



What is it? The number of pending cases in courts where the Indian Railways (IR) is a party to, according to records in the Legal Information Management and Briefing System.

Why is it important? The railways account for the majority of the 135,060 court cases of the government. Of these cases, 10,464 cases are pending for over 10 years. The cases involve service matters, disputes with private parties, other government departments or public sector units. IR’s cases increased by 13.5% from 2016’s records of 58,735 cases.

Tell me more: The finance ministry comes second in number of litigations with 15,646 cases. The railways also lead in contempt cases, including flouting of judicial directions, failure to file affidavits or appear before the court, with 241 cases (out of 369 contempt cases).

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