Home > politics > policy > News in Numbers: Facebook content restriction in India surges


What is it? The number of pieces of content restricted by Facebook in India, reported primarily by law enforcement agencies and the ministry of communications and technology because these were anti-religious and hate speeches that could cause unrest or disharmony in India. This pertains to the period between January and June 2015.

Why is it important? This is the highest among the 92 countries for which data has been provided by the social networking site. There has been a raging debate on the alleged increasing levels of intolerance under the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the country in the last few days. Artists, writers and filmmakers have been returning awards bestowed upon them by the government as a way of protesting against some of the recent communal incidents that took place in India.

Tell me more: The Indian government had sent in 5,115 requests to Facebook for data, in the first six months of 2015. Of this, Facebook shared some data pertaining to 45.32% of the total requests. The social media networking site says each request is checked for legal sufficiency and that it responds to “valid requests relating to criminal cases". This also shows the extent of user vulnerability and, to some extent, threat to security.


What is it? The amount one can donate through an app introduced by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) to help feed the 4 million displaced Syrians living in neighbouring countries.

Why is it important? The crowdfunding combines the use of technology, ease of payment and generosity to feed Syrian refugee children. If successful, agencies and not-for-profit organisations working in remote locations may be able to mobilise resources at a fraction of the cost. The WFP, which requires $26 million a week to feed 4 million refugees, had to cut back its feeding programme to 1.3 million people in 2014 due to shortage of funds.

Tell me more: The app was tested in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in June. More than 120,000 users donated 1.7 million meals for schoolchildren in Lesotho, a South African country.


What is it? The multiple by which revenue of Flipkart India, the wholesale arm of India’s largest e-commerce company, grew in 2014-15 compared to a year ago.

Why is it important? The number shows Flipkart’s ability to scale up its operations and, to an extent, the growth of e-commerce market in India. Profitability is another question though. In 2013-14, Flipkart India reported a loss of 400 crore, but the same was not revealed this year. E-commerce companies have been criticised for offering heavy discounts and losing money to boost sales and some experts and investors have asked if there is an e-commerce bubble in India.

Tell me more: Flipkart India’s revenue increased to 9,351.7 crore in 2014-15 from 2,846 crore in the previous fiscal.


What is it? The percentage of posts vacant at the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), according to a report by economic policy think-tank, ICRIER.

Why is it important? It questions the effectiveness of drug regulators in India. The central regulator is primarily responsible for approval of new drugs and clinical trials. Lack of adequate staff points to improper discharge of duties that is likely to compromise the quality of drugs in India.

Tell me more: The actual strength at CDSCO is 220 regular officers against the 2014 sanctioned strength of 474. A total of 250 contractual staff have been recruited “to assist in processing applications for new drugs and clinical trials". Relying on temporary staff for jobs that are critical in nature may not be a great idea.


What is it? The share of people who walk to their workplaces situated up to 20 km from their homes (excluding agricultural workers and domestic workers), according to recently released 2011 Census data.

Why is it important? Around 13.1% of workers cycle to work. This means over one-third (35.6%) of the workers walk or cycle to work, but the roads are not designed keeping them in mind. Apart from the need for infrastructure development, it is also required that planning authorities take into account such factors while developing policies.

Tell me more: About 12.7% of workers use a two-wheeler to travel to their workplaces, while 11.4% and 3.5% of them use buses and trains, respectively. About 2.7% use a jeep, car or van to commute, while 3% rely on auto-rickshaws or taxi services.

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