Higher Import Bill?

400,000 tonnes
What is it? The amount of copper produced annually by Vedanta India’s copper smelting plant in Tuticorin.Tamil Nadu government on Monday asked the plant to shut down permanently, citing larger public interest.

Why is it important? This will negatively impact around 800 small and medium units that make electrical wire and transformers that use copper as input. The Tuticorin unit accounted for 40% of India’s output, as per a report by ratings agency ICRA. Hindalco, another private company, and Hindustan Copper Limited,a state-run entity, produce 500,000 and 90,000 tonnes of copper respectively.

Tell me more:  Protest against the Vedanta’s copper smelting unit in Tuticorin turned violent last Tuesday. Police firing on protestors has so far killed 15 people.



What is it? The replacement rate of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)device in Kairana Lok Sabha elections held on Monday.

Why is it important? The number is much higher than acceptable failure rate of 5% for these machines which are attached to the Electronic Voting Machines. VVPAT allows voters to verify whether their votes have gone to the correct candidate or party. Two other Lok Sabha constituencies that went to poll on Monday also reported higher failure rate of 19% and 13% respectively.

Tell me more:Elections to four Lok Sabha and 10 assembly constituencies were conducted on Monday. The most watched is Kairana in Uttar Pradesh where three major opposition parties – BSP, SP and RLD – have come together to fight the BJP.


Rs 2,675 crore

What is it? The additional revenue that accrues to the states for every dollar increase in crude oil price because of tax on petroleum products.

Why is it important? As the states have gained (Rs18,728 crore of revenue higher than budget estimates) because of higher crude oil prices, the retail price of petrol can reduce by Rs2.65 a litre, if the states decide to pass the additional revenue as price cut, as per estimate by the State Bank of India’s research unit.

Tell me more: The average sales tax or value added tax levied by states on petrol and diesel is 27.41% and 19.41% respectively. This is on top of excise duty of Rs19.48 per litre of petrol levied by the central government.


1 million 

What is it? The number of French smokers who have quit in the last one year, according to a latest survey. 26.9% of people in the age group of 18 to 75 years smoke in 2017, as compared to 29.4% in 2016.

Why is it important? This is the sharpest drop in smoking in a decade, and decline has been observed among teens and low income people – the two groups where incidence of smoking is higher. Neutral packaging (where company name is printed in a standard font and size with no logo or branding), high cigarette pricing and support for buying cigarette alternatives have helped France to reduce number of smokers.

Tell me more: India’s tobacco consumption has steadily increased from 406 million kgs in 1981-82 to 562 mn kgs in 2014-15.



What is it?The monthly salary payable to Sudha Balakrishnan, who was appointed as the first chief financial officer or CFO of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Why is it important? Balakrishnan, whose position is equivalent to an executive director of the central bank, will handle the internal financial functions of the RBI like a CFO of a company. RBI’s balance sheet size is Rs33,040 billion as on June 30, 2017.

Tell me more: The idea to create a senior leadership position was floated by former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, who had suggested a designation equivalent of a deputy governor.

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Deadly mountain roads

Rs 7,400 crore

What is it? The worth of 30 properties of the Sahara group, many of which conglomerates have evinced interest in buying.

Why is it important? The auction, reportedly in its early stage, will not appease the Supreme Court, even if the entire money raised is deposited with it. The court turned down the proposal and insisted on the group selling its expansive Aamby Valley project as it had failed to meet the apex court’s timeline for depositing Rs 5,000 crore. Aamby Valley’s value is reportedly between Rs 34,000-39,000 crore, while the Sahara group says it is over Rs 1 lakh-crore. The 30 properties, which includes Lucknow’s Sahara Hospital, would fetch around 50% (Rs 14,779 crore) of the amount still owed to investors as per Sebi’s instructions if not sold in a hurry, and less if they are.

Tell me more: Knight Frank, the realty consultants, in India, has been tasked with carrying out the sale. The interested buyers include Tatas, Godrej, Adani, Patanjali, realty developers Omaxe, Eldeco, Indian Oil and Apollo Hospital.



What is it? The death toll in the bus crash near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh.

Why is it important? India’s killer roads become deadlier with altitude. The bus veered off a mountain road and plunged into a river, killing those onboard. In 2015, as many as four hilly states figured among 10 states with the highest severity (deaths in every 100 accidents), even though compared to cities and metros in other densely-populated states, traffic is less in such states. Himachal Pradesh had 36.4% severity while neighbouring Uttarakhand 59.9%.

Tell me more: Two people travelling on the bus were able to escape by jumping off before the bus fell.



What is it? The number of places in Arunachal Pradesh for which China has announced its own names and spellings – in Chinese, Tibetan and English.

Why is it important? This is being seen as China’s retaliation for theDalai Lama’s visit to the Indian state. China’s foreign ministry spokesperson mentioned the move as reflecting and explaining its claims on ‘Southern Tibet’, China’s name for Arunachal Pradesh. While India is yet to respond to the reaffirmation of China’s territorial claim, it had refuted the latter’s objections to Dalai Lama’s, the Tibetan spiritual leader visit, saying there was no political motive to it and was religious.

Tell me more: It was the Dalai Lama’s second visit to the state that stirred up such a storm.


1.6 million

What is it? The number of voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units to be bought by Election Commission.

Why is it important? The election commission wants to ensure that by 2019 general elections, all polling stations have electronic voting machines with VVPAT units, which will confirm to the voters that their votes were registered accurately. The machines will cost Rs 3,173 crore. The cabinet approved the funding on Wednesday.

Tell me more: These machines will be manufactured by state owned Bharat Electronics and Electronics Corporation of India.


4,000 kgs

What is it? The weight of payload that can be carried by Indian Space Research Organisation’s new rocket GSLV-Mk III.

Why is it important? It’s almost double the weight of the heaviest payload that Indian rockets launched so far. The first developmental flight of GSLV-Mk III (D1) is scheduled to take place next month. The second developmental flight is likely to happen a year from now. It would reduce India’s dependence on other countries to launch heavier satellite, besides creating more opportunities for revenue generation.

Tell me more:  The first developmental flight will take communication satellite GSAT 19, which will also monitor the effect of radiation on the satellite and electronic equipment.

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