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News in Numbers: Union cabinet has 76 members after reshuffle

LiveMint logoLiveMint 04-09-2017 howindialives.com

76

What is it? The number of ministers in the Union cabinet after the reshuffle on Sunday.

Why is it important? This is nearly two-thirds higher than the size of the cabinet it started with (46), a departure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise of minimum government and maximum governance. The latest shuffle resulted in less representation for women, increase in percentage of ministers above 60 years, a fall in share of the Lok Sabha, and no obvious state play.

Tell me more: Article 12 of the Constitution restricts the total number of ministers to 15% of total Lok Sabha seats. As per this, council of ministers can have a total strength of 82.

6

What is it? The number of nuclear tests carried out by North Korea so far, the latest being on Sunday.

Why is it important? This is the country’s most powerful nuclear test till date where it claims to have detonated a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on an intercontinental ballistic missile. This is in defiance of United Nations sanctions and international pressure to develop nuclear weapons and test missiles that have the potential to reach the US, increasing geopolitical tensions. The US, South Korea, Russia, Japan and China have strongly criticised North Korea’s moves.

Tell me more: According to South Korea, the latest test triggered an artificial quake that was 9.8 times more powerful than the tremor caused by North Korea’s fifth test conducted last September though it is not entirely possible to verify its claim that it detonated a hydrogen bomb or whether it could be loaded onto a missile.

800

What is it? The number of engineering colleges that would be closed down, according to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) chairman Anil Dattatraya Sahasrabudhe.

Why is it important? These colleges are being shut down because of lack of proper infrastructure and declining takers for their seats, an indication of the quality of these colleges. As per a study based on 150,000 engineering students (who graduated in 2013) by employment solutions company Aspiring Minds, only 7% could handle core engineering tasks and just 3% had the skills to be employed in the software sector.

Tell me more: According to an AICTE rule, colleges that do not have adequate infrastructure and have less than 30% admissions for five consecutive years would have to close down. The AICTE has approved the progressive closure (institute cannot admit students to the first year but the existing students would continue) of 410 colleges across India between 2014-15 and 2017-18.

60,000

What is it? The number of people evacuated from Frankfurt, Germany to defuse a massive World War Two bomb.

Why is it important? This is the largest evacuation undertaken by Germany to defuse a World War Two bomb; the bomb was discovered in a construction site. The 4,000-pound bomb could flatten an entire block (around 100,000 sq. ft) if it exploded. The previous biggest evacuation was in December last year when 54,000 people were shifted to defuse a bomb found in Augsburg, Germany.

Tell me more: Allied forces dropped 1.5 million tonnes of bombs that killed 600,000 people during World War Two, and between 10-15% of such bombs failed to explode.

$3 billion

What is it? The amount set apart by Hindalco Industries Ltd, a part of the Aditya Birla Group, to buy overseas business in the aluminium industry.

Why is it important? This comes at a time when overseas investment by Indian companies shrank by $6.6 billion during last financial year. The money could be used to buy Constellium NV - which sells aircraft parts - and Aleris Corp - which makes rolled aluminium sheet products - according to an earlier report.

Tell me more: The market cap of the Aditya Birla Group crossed $50 billion (Rs3.42 trillion) mark on Friday, after the market cap of newly listed Aditya Birla Capital touched Rs 55,000 crore.

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