The Fake-User Purge

What is it?Number of people arrested in Karnataka lynching incident, in which a man suspected to be a child kidnapper was killed based on Whatsapp rumors.

Why it’s important? Whatsapp, a popular messaging app owned by Facebook, has been in the news in India for being used to spread misinformation, sometimes spilling over into the real world as violence. The crime took place in Karnataka on Friday, and is one of a series of such attacks on people suspect of kidnapping children. Between 2012 and 2014, over 2,37,000 children have gone missing according to a database maintained by Ministry of Women and Child Development.

Tell me more: Whatsapp released full page ads warning people against misinformation. Some have pointed out that it’s more a state capacity problem than a Whatsapp problem.




What is it?The number of followers prime minister Narendra Modi’s official account @PMOIndia lost on Twitter after the social media platform purged fake accounts in large numbers.

Why is it important?It represents about 0.48% of his followers. Indian president’s Twitter list came out in a better shape compared to several of his peers, including US president Donald Trump, who lost 307,606 followers or 0.58%, and former US president Barack Obama, who lost  2,344,375 or 2.26% of his followers.

Tell me more: Twitter, faced with criticism about a large number of fake accounts, has been removing tens of millions of accounts it has identified as fake. It might turn out to be ineffective. Twitter’s official twitter account has lost 12.33% of its followers or 7,748,704 accounts.


62.3 million units


What is it? PC shipments in second quarter of 2018, according to research by International Data Corporation.

Why is it important? It’s up 2.7% from same period last year, the strongest growth the segment has seen in over 6 years. Reasons range from users upgrading their old PCs to growing demand for gaming.

Tell me more: Gartner, another firm that also tracks PC shipments (but unlike IDC, counts Windows tablets as PCs but not Chromebooks), also said PC shipments grew for the first time in six years, but only by 1.4%.




What is it?The number of languages covered by parliament’s simultaneous interpretation services.

Why is it important? The upcoming monsoon session of the Parliament, starting 18 July, would be the first time that the lawmakers will be able to speak in any of the 22 scheduled languages.

Tell me more: With the next elections less than a year away,  session is key for NDA, as it seeks to push a number of legislations including  Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017; Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017; Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. NDA does not enjoy majority in Rajya Sabha.




What is it? The number of Sharia courts approved by All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

Why is it important? The news of the Muslim Personal Law Board setting up sharia courts has led debates, with some arguing that it is a parallel judicial system, and subverts rule of law. Former president Hamid Ansari recently said it was social practice and not a legal system. Muslim Personal Law board said, it was more like an arbitration council.

Tell me more: The board received ten proposals and the first five will be set up between now and November, including in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The other five are under consideration. Local communities send their proposals, the board appoints a Qazi (or judge).

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Bru tribe will go back to their homeland after 22 years


What is it? The number of companies – IHH Healthcare Berhad and TPG-backed Manipal Health Private Enterprises – that have submitted fresh binding bids to the board of Fortis Healthcare.

Why is it important? The family offices of Munjals and Burmans have reportedly pulled out of the race to acquire Fortis, India’s second-largest hospital chain, after having submitted a partially binding joint bid at the beginning of the fresh round of bidding. The bidders who have not proceeded with the offer have likely been deterred by the deteriorating financials of Fortisin addition to a new law by the Delhi government to cap profit margins of city hospitals on drugs and devices.

Tell me more: In June, Fortis had extended the deadline for the submission of bids due to the delay in the release of audited financial results. It initiated a fresh bidding process after the Fortis board was reconstituted in late May.

What is it? The reported number of people killed (at the lower end) over the last one year in 10 different states by lynch mobs due to rumours of child lifting circulated via Whatsapp.

Why is it important? On Tuesday, the Indian government, in a strong warning to Whatsapp, said that it must take immediate steps to ensure that its platform is not used for “such malafide activities” and that it “cannot evade accountability and responsibility”. India is Whatsapp’s biggest market in the world with over 200 million users and has been increasingly battling with a deluge of misinformation circulated on its platform.

Tell me more: The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, said mob lynching is a crimeno matter what the reason and said that that is a law and order issue, which is the responsibility of state governments.

What is it? The number of people including 12 boys and a football coach who have been trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand for 10 days and have received food and medical treatment on Tuesday.

Why is it important? Though this comes as a partial relief to the group, which has been surviving on next to no food or fresh water, search teams are unsure of how to bring them back to safety. It is believed that most of the group, which are said to be 2 km inside the cave and 1 km underground, cannot swim. The rescue teams may be forced to act soon as rain has been forecast in the next few days.

Tell me more: There are limited options to rescue the group including providing them four months’ supply of food and teach them to dive and attempting to pump water out of the cave.

Rs6 crore
What is it? The amount of annual subsidy for Haj pilgrims to be provided by the Tamil Nadu government.

Why is it important? The decision comes six months after the central government decided to scrap the Haj subsidy and will use the funds for providing education of minorities. Tamil Nadu government has existing scheme offering subsidy for Hindu and Christian pilgrims to visit Mansarovar and Jerusalem respectively.

Tell me more: BJP, as part of the election campaign, promised free pilgrimage to Jerusalem for senior citizens in Nagaland, a christian-majority state.

What is it? The number of Bru community refugees who would go back to their native place in Mizoram, after a tripartite agreement signed between the two state governments (Mizoram, Tripura) and the union home ministry.

Why is it important? Brus (or Reang tribe) were living as refugees for last 22 years in Tripura. They flew from their native land in Tripura, following ethnic tensions with Mizos- who form majority in Mizoram. Trouble began in 1995 when Mizos demanded stripping away of voting rights of Brus, claiming the Reang tribe is not native to the state. This led to an armed uprising by the Brus who killed a Mizo forest guard in 1997. Retaliation by Mizos led to mass exodus.

Tell me more: Each of the 5,407 families will receive financial assistance of Rs4 lakh, a monthly support of Rs5,000 for two years, and house building assistance of Rs1.5 lakh. The repatriation will be complete by September 30th.

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