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A file photo of an AN-32 aircraft. Photo: Courtesy IAF website
A file photo of an AN-32 aircraft. Photo: Courtesy IAF website

News in numbers | 18 ships, 13 aircraft searching for IAF’s missing plane

In other news, 88.1 billion cigarette sticks Indians smoked in 2015


What is it? The number of Chinese journalists whose visas in India have not been renewed by the government and who have, hence, been asked to leave the country.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when relations between India and China are strained after the latter opposed India’s entry into the elite Nuclear Suppliers’ Group last month. Analysts say this could result in a tit-for-tat approach by the Chinese government that could send back Indian journalists stationed there. There are five Indian journalists who work out of Beijing in addition to a number of them working with China’s English state media.

Tell me more: While the government maintains that the Chinese scribes overstayed their visas in India and that it would accommodate their replacements, a couple of reports attribute this to the Chinese journalists meeting some Tibetan activists recently and for engaging in activities beyond their journalistic brief, which came under the scrutiny of security agencies.


What is it? The number of Navy and Coast Guard ships, including a submarine, in addition to 13 aircraft and four helicopters that are involved in a search operation to find the Indian Air Force’s AN-32 plane that went missing on Friday morning.

Why is it important? There are 29 people on board. Three days of search has yielded no results so far and the search and rescue team is now seeking satellite imagery to find clues about the missing plane that lost contact over the Bay of Bengal. The search is difficult because the depth is over 3,500 metres and the weather is rough. India’s technical capabilities do not allow it to search beyond 500 metres in the oceans.

Tell me more: In 1968, another Indian Air Force plane carrying 98 defence personnel went missing between Chandigarh and Leh, and after 35 years, a trekking team discovered the remains of a human corpse. This led to the discovery of the remains of the people in the aircraft, which had fallen into a glacier.

88.1 billion

What is it? The number of cigarette sticks Indians smoked in 2015, according to a study by Euromonitor.

Why is it important? A decline of 8.2% from 2014 figures, cigarette sales dropped to a 15-year low last year. One of the main reasons could be an increase in illicit trade volume in cigarettes—India was the fourth largest market in this regard in 2015, which could be a result of steep tax increases on cigarettes.

Tell me more: India has the second highest number of tobacco users in the world and its share in illicit cigarettes increased to 19% in 2014 from 12% in 2006.

80-90 crore

What is it? The estimated earnings of Kabali worldwide on the first day of its release.

Why is it important? The movie opened amid crazy fan frenzy (as is the case with any Rajinikanth movie) but drew mixed reviews from various quarters. This may result in a drop in its box office collections in the coming days. In India, the movie earned 48 crore on the opening day, beating Salman Khan’s Sultan’s first-day collections of 46.5 crore.

Tell me more: The movie, largely set in Malaysia, portrays the Tamil superstar as an aged don. In the US also, Kabali broke the first-day box office record collections of Aamir Khan’s movie PK ($1,418,817) and Sultan ($784,194) and earned nearly $2 million.


What is it? The number of islands in the Andaman and Nicobar region, Lakshadweep and the east and west coasts that would be opened up to the public soon.

Why is it important? This gives additional options to tourists who tend to feel restricted while exploring the pristine beaches and trails, as these provide limited access to outsiders and are often the preserve of the natives or tribes. For instance, the Andaman archipelago has 300 islands, of which only a dozen or more are open to the public, while the Nicobars is not accessible to tourists at all.

Tell me more: The islands would be given public access once the government prepares a blueprint for the development of these islands and ensures coastal security. is a search engine for public data

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