Home >Politics >Policy >News in numbers | Over 30% of Tamil Nadu’s revenues come from state-run liquor shops


What is it? The percentage of 38 commonly available brands of pre-packaged bread in Delhi that have tested positive for potassium bromate and potassium iodate, according to a report by NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

Why is it important? Potassium bromate is possibly cancer-causing to humans, while potassium iodate can contribute to thyroid-related diseases (both have been banned in many countries). The food regulator said it had already decided to remove potassium bromate from the list of permitted additives and is gathering evidence against the other substance before it restricts its usage. Some of the companies have denied the use of these chemicals.

Tell me more: Both the chemicals are used for treating flour. The CSE study conducted tests on bread samples of brands such as Britannia, Harvest Gold, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway, Domino’s, McDonald’s and Slice of Italy.


What is it? The number of supercomputers India is planning to build over the next seven years, the first of which will be ready by August 2017.

Why is it important? They can be used for discovery of drugs, weather forecast and climate modelling, among others. India, which launched a 4,500 crore National Supercomputing Mission last year, has 11 machines among the world’s 500 most powerful supercomputers (as of November 2015), though lower than the US (233 systems) and China (37 systems).

Tell me more: This mission is likely to improve India’s position in the list of top 500 most powerful supercomputers, though it has to tackle the challenges of heat and power management. China has the world’s most powerful supercomputer, which retained its top position for the fifth straight year in 2015.

$500 million

What is it? India’s investment commitment to develop Iran’s Chabahar port in the first phase.

Why is it important? This provides increased trade access to India with Iran, Afghanistan and central Asia and gives landlocked Afghanistan an alternate route to access the Indian Ocean, bypassing Pakistan. The tripartite deal signed by India, Iran and Afghanistan is also a sign of India’s strategic victory over China, which has been vying to develop this port and increase its influence in the region. It is seen as a sort of counter to Pakistan’s Gwadar port, which China has been developing as part of a $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Tell me more: It’s the first visit by an Indian leader to Iran in 15 years. Prime Minister Modi has also signed 12 deals with Iran (including the Chabahar port) on economy, trade, transportation, culture, science and academic cooperation.


What is it? The average percentage points by which Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump is ahead of Democratic party’s likely nominee Hillary Clinton in presidential polling, according to polling data aggregator RealClearPolitics.

Why is it important? This is the first time that Trump has overtaken Clinton. However, this could just be a temporary deviation as Trump has wrapped up his nomination, while Clinton is yet to (likely in early June), but the increasing Republicans’ support for Trump could mean that this is going to be tight race between the two.

Tell me more: There are questions raised about the way in which the average is calculated, which is a simple straight average of the five most recently-conducted polls, which use different methodologies to calculate their numbers.


What is it? The number of liquor retail outlets run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corp. (TASMAC) that will be closed down by the state government.

Why is it important? Besides being an indication that the newly elected chief minister J. Jayalalithaa intends to keep her promises of phased prohibition, it also raises questions on how she would manage the state’s finances. Over 30% of Tamil Nadu’s revenues come from state-run liquor shops even as it faces a revenue deficit of over 9,000 crore.

Tell me more: By the state’s own admission, one of the main reasons for the sharp increase in Tamil Nadu’s revenue deficit is the host of freebie and subsidy schemes being implemented by the state. The state-run liquor shops have been a major source of funding for these schemes. There are 6,286 TASMAC outlets in Tamil Nadu and the state ranks sixth among 17 states and UTs in terms of alcohol consumption, according to a 2015-16 survey report. is a search engine for public data

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