The Case Of Fleeing Willful Defaulters


What is it? The number of months within which the government aims to achieve “tangible results” from its recently launched ‘LaQshya’ programme, which aims to improve the quality of care in labour rooms and maternity operation theatres.

Why is it important? India has a high maternal mortality rate: 167 maternal deaths occur for every 100,000 births. Obstetric violence is prevalent with to-be-mothers facing problems such as verbal abuse and discrimination, denial of pain relief to avoid prolonged birth and use of invasive procedures without their knowledge or permission.

Tell me more: A recent study conducted in five states in 11 public and five private hospitals listed seven types of abuse that women seeking maternal care face, such as neglect or denial of care, non-consented care, physical abuse and non-confidential care.



What is it? The fine that Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, will pay the US market regulator to close a case in which she and her company were accused of making false claims while raising $700 million from private investors.

Why is it important? It competes the fall from grace of one of the most visible voices in Silicon Valley of moonshot entrepreneurship and casts a harsh light on the hype in startup investing. Holmes pitched Theranos as a revolutionary blood-testing process, but it was later revealed the company could service only 12 of the 200 tests it claimed. Theranos has, so far, raised $1.4 billion from investors and raised funds in 2014 at a valuation of $9 billion.

Tell me more: Holmes and Theranos neither denied nor admitted the charges. In addition to the fine, Holmes will have to relinquish her shares acquired during this period of dispute and all her voting shares, and is barred from holding an executive position or serving as a director in a listed company for 10 years.



What is it? The number of individuals the Indian government is reportedly planning to prevent from leaving India.

Why is it important? These individuals are directors or owners of companies that have been identified as wilful defaulters, which have defaulted on loans despite having the capacity to repay. A total of 31 top defaulters have already fled the country to avoid prosecution, including Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi. As of December 2017, lenders had filed suits against 8,598 wilful defaulters to recover loans worth Rs 1,07,221 crore.

Tell me more: Earlier this month, the Union Cabinet approved the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2017 to seize the assets of loan defaulters and financial offenders who flee the country to escape prosecution in cases that have claims of Rs 100 crore or more.



What is it? The number of members required to support the motion of no-confidence moved by YSR Congress against the BJP-led NDA government. It has asked the Lok Sabha secretariat to include it in today’s list of business.

Why is it important? If accepted, this would be the first no-confidence motion against the government. This comes as the Centre has refused to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh. YSR Congress has nine MPs in the Lok Sabha. The motion, if accepted, is likely to be defeated as BJP has 274 members and 56 members from allies in the 536-member Lower House.

Tell me more: The Telugu Desam Party, which pulled out its ministers in the Central government a week ago, is reportedly going to back the motion and likely to pull out of the NDA alliance today.


41 years

What is it? The age that Valentino Rossi, seven-time MotoGP world champion, will be if he sees out the two-year contract extension he signed with Yamaha yesterday.

Why is it important? It’s a testament to the charismatic Italian’s longevity as a premier racer. Rossi first drove in MotoGP in 2000, finishing second. The following year, he won his first title. Rossi said he was still motivated to compete at the highest level and wanted to avoid a situation like Michael Schumacher’s, who walked from Formula 1 in his prime only to make a difficult comeback a couple of years later.

Tell me more: Rossi last won the world championship in 2009. Last year, he finished fifth, with 1 race win, in which he became the oldest man to win a race in MotoGP.


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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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