What is it? The victory margin of T.T.V. Dhinakaran, nephew of jailed politician V.K. Sasikala, in the bypolls held for the prestigious RK Nagar assembly seat in Tamil Nadu, the results for which were declared on Sunday.
Why is it important? The seat had fallen empty following the death of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa in December 2016. This unraveled a churn in Tamil Nadu politics that has seen, among other things, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) showing greater interest in the state, infighting in the AIADMK, the ouster of Sasikala (the closest aide of Jayalalithaa), and iconic actors plotting political entries. This upset by Dhinakaran—who contested as an independent and beat candidates from AIADMK and DMK, that too by authoritative margins—adds another variable in this potent mix.
Tell me more: In other bypoll results declared on Sunday, BJP retained Sikandra in Uttar Pradesh, and won the Pakke-Kasang and Likabali seats from Congress in Arunachal Pradesh, while the Trinamool Congress won Sabang in West Bengal.
What is it? The annual turnover of EXOR Group, which is ranked 20th by revenues in the Fortune Global 500 List 2017.
Why is it important? On Saturday, Reliance Industries Ltd chairman Mukesh Ambani, speaking at an event to mark 40 years of the company, outlined its ambition to be among the world’s top 20 companies. In the same Fortune 500 Global List, Reliance Industries is ranked 203, with annual revenue of $47 billion.
Tell me more: Saying the company was entering its “golden decade", Ambani added that Reliance wanted to be a leading provider of clean energy, and become a leading global producer of innovative new materials in manufacturing.
What is it? The number of people, including Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief and former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad, convicted in a case related to the Rs900-crore fodder scam by a special CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) court in Ranchi on Saturday.
Why is it important? Of the six cases pertaining to the fodder scam against Prasad, this is the second case where a judgment has been pronounced and the politician convicted. In 2013, Yadav was convicted and sentenced to five years; he is out on bail, but he can’t contest elections for 11 years. The quantum of sentence in the second case will be announced on 3 January, isolating him longer from electoral politics and weakening the prospects of an anti-NDA alliance in Bihar.
Tell me more: Yadav plans to move the high court to challenge the verdict. In the second case related to the fodder scam, the court acquitted another former chief minister of Bihar Jagannath Mishra and five others.
What is it? The number of army men, including a major, killed after Pakistani troops opened fire on forward Indian positions along the line of control in Keri Sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district on Saturday.
Why is it important? There have been nearly 300 instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistan in 2017, against 228 recorded in 2016, which have killed at least a dozen people including soldiers and civilians. This is reportedly due to Pakistan’s attempts at pushing armed terrorists into India before the mountain passes are closed for the winter. A day after the killings, India and Pakistan exchanged heavy fire in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district after the latter attacked forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector on Sunday afternoon.
Tell me more: Indian security and police forces have killed over 200 militants this year, some of them key operatives for terrorist organisations.
What is it? The discharge of Cauvery river into the sea, which is defined as the volume of water that flows through a channel at a given point of time and is measured in cubic kilometre per year.
Why is it important? Although this is the lowest among the four major rivers (the others being the Ganga, Krishna and Godavari), it has the highest levels of chemicals as measured by the total dissolved solids (TDS): 753 mg per litre. Although the World Health Organization says there is no reliable data on the possible health effects of ingesting TDS, the study’s authors claim the high chemical load in the water, caused due to geological reasons and man-made pollution, has contaminated groundwater in parts of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, making it unsuitable for drinking and irrigation.
Tell me more: In comparison, the discharge of the Ganga, Krishna and Godavari are 493, 30 and 105 (in cubic km per year), respectively, while their TDS figures are 130, 320 and 200 (in mg per litre), respectively.
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