104 days

What is it? The number of days of indefinite shutdown in Darjeeling hills that ended at 6am today. Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM), a regional party that demands a separate Gorkhaland, called off the shutdown after home minister Rajnath Singh made an appeal.

Why is it important? The indefinite shutdown adversely affected 87 tea gardens that employed more than 90,000 workers. Tea industry will lose more than 500 crore in the last 100 days, claims Darjeeling Tea Association, which represents tea estates. Withdrawal of the shutdown lead to re-opening tea estates and bring back tourists.

Tell me more: Rajnath Singh has asked the home secretary to convene a meeting of all three parties—centre, West Bengal government and GJM— within a fortnight for discussion. 11 people lost their lives during the 104 days agitation.


What is it? The reported cost of making the JioPhone, Reliance Jio’s basic 4G handset.

Why is it important? Reliance Industries Ltd, which will collect Rs1,500 as refundable deposit, will subsidise 40% of the cost. The total subsidy bill will be Rs15,000 crore to sell 150 million handsets.

Tell me more: Reliance Jio has just started dispatching its 4G feature phones and aims to complete delivery of 6 million handsets by 19 October. Following JioPhone’s rollout, Intex has launched a 4G feature phone at Rs1,999 while Micromax has also said it will bring out a similar phone soon; others are likely to follow suit.

Rs500 crore

What is it? The size of the corpus the Indian government is reportedly planning to create as a support fund for the roll out of 5G technology.

Why is it important? The government on Tuesday set up a high-level forum that seeks to go for an early launch of 5G services in the country. It also aims to strengthen the domestic product development and manufacturing ecosystem necessary for the technology such that the local manufacturers are able to capture about half of the local market and 10% of the global market over the next 5-7 years. The government is looking to promote research and development, build start-up friendly regulatory environment and enable an inclusive business environment for the launch of the advanced technology.

Tell me more: The total investment by the major telecom operators in China in 5G infrastructure, Asia’s other major economy, is forecast to be $180 billion over a seven-year period, per some reports.


What is it? The latest estimated number of Rohingya Muslims that have fled to Bangladesh since violence broke out in Myanmar on 25 August, according to the United Nations.

Why is it important? The agency has upped its estimates by 45,000 in just two days (from 435,000 on Saturday) and attributed it to an additional estimated 35,000 settling in two refugee camps who had not been accounted for and that the numbers had started to rise again. Bangladesh has eased its restrictions on aid groups working in refugee camps and cleared 30 local and international groups to meet emergency needs even as it sought a $250-million emergency relief fund from the World Bank. The country had strict rules regarding access to Rohingya camps and though it did not mention any reasons for the same, it is suspected that security is one of its main concerns.

Tell me more: The Bangladeshi government has banned its telecom firms from selling SIM cards to Rohingya refugees due to security concerns. The ban extends to all citizens without an official identity card.

Rs90,669 crore

What is it? The amount of goods and service tax (GST) collected in August, as compared to Rs94,063 crore in July this year.

Why is it important? Only 55% of registered entities (3.7 million out of 6.8 million) filed their tax returns for August. Even if 1.02 million entities that have opted for composition scheme (with turnover less than Rs75 lakh) is excluded, more than 2.08 million entities have not filed their tax returns.

Tell me more: Taxpayers have complained of unreliable GST network while filing tax returns, and exporters claimed their tax refund is yet to come. This is in addition to input credit demand of more than Rs60,000 crore for July tax returns.

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