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News in Numbers: Rs11,725 crore to be spent on roads to connect 44 Naxal-hit districts

LiveMint logoLiveMint 15-05-2017 howindialives.com

$124 billion

What is it? The amount pledged by Chinese president Xi Jinping for China’s Silk Road plan or ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ (BRI).

Why is it important? India has boycotted China’s forum for the initiative. The forum where the investment was declared saw India’s neighbours such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka participate. India has an issue with the new Silk Road plan as China is approaching connectivity projects in various parts of South Asia without taking it into confidence.

Tell me more: Recent data, however, shows, China’s investment in the BRI to have gone down by 2% in 2016 and 18% in 2017 so far.

Rs11,725 crore

What is it? The amount to be spent on roads to connect 44 Naxal-affected districts.

Why is it important? The connectivity of Naxal-stricken areas was again under the scanner following the recent attack in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, which was one of the deadliest, killing over 24 security personnel in an ambush attack. The battalion under attack was providing cover for road construction. Rs55 crore or 5% of the expenditure would be for administrative purposes, which includes deployment of security forces.

Tell me more: The states besides Chhattisgarh are Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra. The project will be implemented under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

150

What is it? The number of countries which were hit by a cyber attack that affected 200,000 computers.

Why is it important? Car factories, hospitals, shops, schools were affected, among others, by the widespread computer worm, ‘WannaCry’, over the weekend. A type of ransomware, the virus could cause more damage as offices open on Monday. It locks users out of their computers and demands a ransom to be paid for restoring access to files. Microsoft has squarely laid the blame at governments’ door for the creation of such threats.

Tell me more: The software giant whose operating system the virus exploits, blamed the governments for not sharing software weak spots that they know as part of their intelligence gathering but are kept secret. The virus was the result of one US National Security Agency’s hacking tools getting leaked online earlier this year.

9.15 km

What is it? The length of Dhola-Sadiya bridge over the Brahmaputra river in Assam.

Why is it important? India’s longest bridge. It is to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 26 May. It will improve connectivity in the region, help India strengthen its defence on the border (the bridge is situated close to India-China border and can withstand the weight of a 60-tonne battle tank and act as a counter to China’s infrastructure geo-politics).

Tell me more: The construction of the bridge started in 2011, at a project cost of Rs950 crore. It’s lengthier than Bombay Worli Sea Link by 3.5 km.

50,000

What is it? The number of candidates who contested the elections in 283 local municipalities in Nepal.

Why is it important? This is the first time in 20 years that Nepal held its local body elections, and its first major step since adopting a democratic constitution in 2015.

Tell me more: The elections saw 71% turnout. There was sporadic violence, and one person died in police firing.

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