2,700 yuan ($415)
What is it? The subsidy paid to a border resident of Tibet in 2017, as compared to 1,000 yuan ($155) paid in 2012—an increase of 170%.
Why is it important? The increase in the subsidy amount is to encourage people to stay near border towns, so that they could act as the first line of defence with India, which has a border dispute with the Asia’s largest economy. The border areas between India and Tibet are sparsely populated. On the Indian side, Arunachal Pradesh, with an area almost equal to West Bengal, has a population of only 1.4 million in 2011—less than many Indian cities.
Tell me more: The border subsidy scheme, first started in Tibet, is given to any resident who is 18 years or above. The total expenses on this account is $185 million.
What is it? The number of solvent companies that have filed for voluntary liquidation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code with the National Company Law Tribunal.
Why is it important? The bankruptcy code—essentially drafted to deal with bad loans—is seen as a vehicle to quickly wind up companies, in a way that they have no debt outstanding or can pay debt when assets are sold. Previously, companies had to approach the courts which appointed an official liquidator to assess the claims from the creditors and recommend winding up of a company.
Tell me more: Three lenders have approached the corporate affairs ministry to keep promoters out of insolvency proceedings for faster resolution of cases.
What is it? The estimated number of drug addicts in Punjab, according to a study released by the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).
Why is it important? The estimate corroborates an earlier estimate by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), which said between 174,000 and 322,000 people are opioid dependent in Punjab. PGIMER—which used two different survey methodologies to estimate opioid dependency—undertook the survey in 2015 and 2016, while the AIIMS survey was done in 2014 with a small sample size.
Tell me more: PGIMER study says one of every six in Punjab is dependent on alcohol, tobacco, heroin and cannabis, and 31 lakh in Punjab use one or the other substance, and alcohol, tobacco and opioids are the most commonly used. Drug consumption in the state is said to be three times the national average.
What is it? The increase in cess on mid-sized sedans, large cars and SUVs by the GST Council, effective today. With this, the effective goods and services tax (GST) rate on mid-sized sedans, large cars and SUVs would be 45%, 48% and 50%, respectively.
Why is it important? Auto manufacturers such as Mahindra and Mahindra, Audi, Mercedes Benz, Toyota Kirloskar and JLR India are likely to pass on these hikes to the customers that could result in the prices of these vehicles going back to pre-GST levels. Car prices were down by up to Rs3 lakh after the tax rates fixed under the GST regime were lower than the combined state and central taxes before 1 July, when the indirect tax was rolled out.
Tell me more: The cess on 1,200cc, 1,500cc and hybrid cars and 13-seater vehicles have been left unchanged.
What is it? The number of sexual offences reported under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Posco) Act, 2012, in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
Why is it important? After kidnapping and abduction, these offences form the second major crime head (15.8%) in the cases against children. This is followed by rape (11.5%) and assault on girl children with intent to outrage their modesty (8.9%), which means over one of every three cases reported against children are sexual offences. Two horrific incidents reported over the weekend—a seven-year old boy found dead with his throat slit allegedly killed by a bus conductor who also tried to abuse him sexually and a five-year-old girl allegedly raped by a peon in a private school in Delhi—have sparked widespread outrage.
Tell me more: Following these incidents, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that a protocol would be developed for all schools to ensure the safety of children.
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