News in Numbers: Devendra Fadnavis says will clear pending claims of farmers in 6 months
The Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grows at 7.5% in January 2018 compared to January 2017
What is it? The number of months within which Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has promised to clear all pending claims made by forest dwelling scheduled tribes in the state under the Forest Rights Act (FRA).
Why is it important? On Monday, an estimated 30,000 protesting farmers reached Azad Maidan in Mumbai after a 180-km, six-day walk from Nashik. Land rights under the FRA was a key demand. They have been farming on forest land for decades, but they don’t own part or all of this forest land, because of which they can’t access bank loans or damage benefits.
Tell me more: In 2011, of the 1.8 million scheduled tribe households in Maharashtra, 66% were manual casual labourers and 27% were cultivators.
What is it? The rate at which India’s industrial production, as represented by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), grew in January 2018 compared to January 2017.
Why is it important? This is the third consecutive month that the IIP has increased at a rate above 7%, lending credence to the thought that the economy might be emerging from the lower trajectory it had slipped into. In other data released by the government yesterday, retail inflation, as represented by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), fell to 4.4% for February 2018—its second consecutive month of decline.
Tell me more: In January, manufacturing grew 8.7% and electricity 7.6%; further, 16 of the 23 industry groups in manufacturing registered positive growth.
What is it? The amount of money that Bharti Airtel is looking to raise. On Monday, its board cleared the issuance of non-convertible debentures of up to Rs10,000 crore and foreign currency bonds of up to $1 billion (about Rs6,500 crore).
Why is it important? It shows the headwinds that India’s number one telecom company is facing while trying to defend its position from the onslaught unleashed by Reliance Jio. Amid declining profits, Bharti’s consolidated borrowings have increased 51% in two years—from Rs67,825 crore in March 2015 to Rs1,02,581 crore in March 2017. It plans to use these new funds to refinance debt and meet spectrum liabilities, among other things.
Tell me more: Rival Idea Cellular too raised funds last month, amounting to Rs6,750 crore.
What is it? The number of trekkers, including five women and a child, who were killed after being trapped in a forest fire in the Kurangani Hills in Tamil Nadu late on Sunday.
Why is it important? The incident raises questions over whether due processes involved in forest treks had been followed: whether the Chennai-based club that organised the trek secured the requisite permissions; and if so, whether forest authorities failed to notify the trekkers of potential risks.
Tell me more: Every year, between February and June, India sees about 20,000 forest fires a year, partly due to rising temperatures and the agricultural practice of shifting cultivation. Between 2012 and 2016, Odisha registered the maximum incidents of forest fires (10,636), followed by Mizoram (10,335).
What is it? The number of test matches that South African pace bowler Kagiso Rabada stands to miss for disciplinary reasons in the ongoing four-match series against Australia.
Why is it important? In the second test that ended on Monday, Rabada once again ripped through Australian batting to take six wickets in the second innings and finish with match figures of 11 for 150. This is the fourth time in just 28 tests that Rabada has taken 10 wickets in a match—the second-most by a South African bowler, after Dale Steyn, whose haul of five has come in 86 tests. As a result, South Africa levelled the series 1-1 and set it up beautifully, but probably without Rabada.
Tell me more: There’s still a slim chance for Rabada to play: if Rabada appeals, and his appeal is overturned or if he is allowed to play pending a verdict on his appeal.
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