What is it? The volume of blood and its various components, in 2.8 million units, discarded by blood banks across India in the last five years.
Why is it important? In 2015-16, the shortage in blood requirement was 10% at a national level, with some states facing acute shortage and others flush with excess supply through blood camps. The wastage, revealed in an RTI query, 24% of which occurred in 2016-17, points to the severe lack of a safe blood sharing network among banks, hospitals across states. Experts also fault indiscriminate blood donation camps, organised by politicians, which end up collecting blood that has no place to be stored and used fruitfully.
Tell me more: Maharashtra, UP, West Bengal, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh saw high wastage of various components such as plasma (long shelf-life), red blood cells and whole blood.
Rs 10,000 crore
What is it? The estimated advertising revenue the Indian Railways plan to earn from 200,000 giant digital screens.
Why is it important? It will boost advertising income, part of non-fare revenues, for IR. The screens alone could then fetch 67% of the estimated revenue of Rs 15,000 crore in non-fare revenue in the next 10 years as set in January. The screens would also display real-time passenger information. The railway display network would first be installed in 400 A category stations.
Tell me more: Non-fare revenue accounted for 6.17% of IR’s total revenue in FY17, and grew from Rs 5,928 crore in FY16 to Rs 10,181 crore FY17.
What is it? The percentage of cars in India Volkswagen has been able to correct, after recalling them as they had the defeat device installed along with the EA 189 diesel engine series.
Why is it important? The auto manufacturer admits to a delay in upgrading the recalled vehicles, spanning VW, Audi, and Skoda brands. It had started the recall of 340,000 cars in July 2016 through 2017. This is part of the larger global scandal which beleaguered 11 million of Volkswagen’s cars across the US, Europe and other markets. India’s vehicle testing agency, Arai, found the Indian cars were equipped with a derivative of the defeat device plaguing the EA 189 diesel engines, to pass emission tests.
Tell me more: So far, Volkswagen India has received approval for engine updates for 70% of the recalled vehicles, and says the delay is due to the different makes of cars involved.
What is it? The boost to real GDP of India, if the aggregate weighted GST (goods and services tax) works out to 16%.
Why is it important? The estimate, by the US Federal Reserve, is based on the assumption that the GST aggregate will work out to be 16%, goods and services are allocated to the four tiers of taxes — 5%, 12%, 18%, and 28% — in a certain way. Lower taxes on manufactured goods would make products cheaper and also help reach the aggregate taxation. An alternate estimate of aggregate weighted GST rate of 20% would provide a boost of 3.1%.
Tell me more: Meanwhile, India’s Niti Aayog estimates GDP to be Rs 469 lakh-crore by 2030.
What is it? The percentage of vote won by the far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the first round of French presidential elections, with 97% reporting
Why is it important? In the run-off, to be held on May 7th, Le Pen will be facing the centrist Emmanuel Macron of En Marche!, who outpaced her in the first round with 23.9% vote share. For the first time in France’s history, neither of the two mainstream parties in France — Socialists represented by Benoît Hamon and the Republicans represented by François Fillon — made it to the finals. If Le Pen wins, it could mean France taking a nationalist route, away from European Union and Euro.
Tell me more: Macron, a former banker, served as economy minister in Hollande administration till he resigned in 2016 to fight this election. He is 39, and has never fought an election before. Le Pen has been leading her party, FN since 2011, and has increasingly grown stronger, a rise similar to US President Donald Trump.