What is it? The number of paramilitary personnel deployed in Darjeeling by the Centre.
Why is it important? They will help the West Bengal government in tackling the protests in the town. The protests, triggered by the West Bengal government’s decision to make Bengali compulsory in schools across the state, soon flared up into the longstanding demand for a separate state, spearheaded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.
Tell me more: The unrest has resulted in violence in the last few days. Protesters clashed with police and torched an outpost.
Why is it important? India’s energy use is expected to skyrocket with energy consumption set to more than double by 2040 to 1,908 mn-tonne. Oil companies are moving now to be ready for the demand. Both private companies such as RIL and BP and state-owned companies such as IOC, BPCL and HPCL are investing in increasing capacity.
Tell me more: BP, the British petroleum company, intends to set up fuel stations along with RIL.
What is it? India’s trade deficit, difference between the value of total exports and imports, in May, 2017.
Why is it important? The gap has been widening for the third straight month, and is the highest in two and a half years. Gold imports of nearly $5 billion widened the deficit.
What is it? The number of districts identified as having total fertility rate (TFR) of more than three children born per woman.
Why is it important? These districts, 145 of which were identified in 2016, are in the high TFR states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam — that make up 44% of the country’s population. The government has devised an initiative, Mission Parivar Vikas, to impart awareness and intensive family planning services in these places to control population growth.
Tell me more: High TFR in these districts also lead to unsafe conditions for mother and child, accounting for 25-30% of maternal deaths and 50% of infant deaths, as reported.
What is it? The tiger count in the national park of Kaziranga and Burachapori in Assam.
Why is it important? It shows an increase of 21 tigers since 2014. Last year and the start of 2017 seem to have been ominous for India’s tiger population, and this is a ray of good news. While 99 wild tigers died in 2016, 21 Royal Bengal tigers died in Jan-Mar this year.
Tell me more: The last official census was of 2,226 tigers in the wild, though widely contested by wildlife experts.