What is it? The number of people including Swami Aseemanand, a self-proclaimed monk and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist, that have been acquitted in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case.
Why is it important? The blast had killed nine people and injured 58 people. The National Investigation Agency, which took over the case after a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, has recently lost a few cases including the 2006 Malegaon blast, 2008 Malegaon blast and the 2007 Ajmer Dargah blast.
Tell me more: In the 2007 Mecca Masjid case, besides those that died in the blast, five more were killed in police firing that followed the explosion. The judge who delivered the verdict resigned a few hours after the judgment citing “personal reasons".
What is it? The percentage of the long-period average (LPA) monsoon rainfall India is likely to receive between June-September this year.
Why is it important? The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted a normal monsoon, which would be for the third straight year. This is good news for rural economy, which has suffered from the twin effects of drought years and demonetisation. This highlights the dependency on the annual rainfall when water reservoirs are dwindling in the country.
Tell me more: The monsoon season accounts for 70% of India’s annual rainfall and irrigates half of the country’s cultivated land.
What is it? The number of jobs India needs to create on an annual basis to keep employment rates constant between 2015 and 2025.
Why is it important? This is a challenge in India where employment shrank by 0.2% and 0.1% in 2014-15 and 2015-16 respectively. Between 2005 and 2015, the share of the working-age population in the total population increased by 0.5% in India whereas the employment rate decreased on an average by over 1.5% per year in the same period.
Tell me more: Between now and 2025, the working-age population is expected to increase by 250,000 per month in the country.
What is it? The amount of debt outstanding for Uttam Galva Steels Ltd as on September 2017.
Why is it important? The steelmaker informed the National Company Law Tribunal it will settle all the debt and sought additional time to arrange for funds. State Bank of India filed a bankruptcy petition after Uttam Galva defaulted on loan repayments. Last week, Uttam Galva offered to pay 51% of total debt but SBI refused the offer saying the remaining amount payable via instalments will continue till 2042.
Tell me more: ArcelorMittal, world’s largest steelmaker, owned 29% stake in Uttam Galva and recently it declassified itself as a promoter in Uttam Galva. It was needed as current rules don’t permit promoters of defaulting firms to participate in auction of distressed loan sales. ArcelorMittal had bid for Essar Steel earlier this year.
What is it? The number of municipalities in the Netherlands that allowed sale of cannabis, around 28% of all municipalities.
Why is it important? The Hague city became the first one to ban smoking of cannabis around the city centre, railway station and shopping areas. The move signifies a reversal of Netherlands’ ‘gedoogbeleid’ or tolerance policy. Possession and consumption of cannabis is an offence punishable by fines, but they are not enforced.
Tell me more: Under the tolerance policy, possession of 5 grams of cannabis is not prosecuted. Cultivation of five plants or less is also not prosecuted.
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