What is Tactical Voting and Proportional Representation?

Tactical Voting  Also known as strategic voting, this refers to the act of voting for a particular candidate or political party not because the voter necessarily supports them but because she wants to prevent some other party or candidate from winning. For example, a voter who prefers a leftist candidate Read More …

What is Absentee Ballot?

This refers to a vote cast by someone who is unable to go to the polling station. The system is designed to increase voter turnout. In some countries, the voter is required to give a reason for not going to the polling station, before participating in an absentee ballot. In Read More …

What is a ‘Hung Parliament’?

When no party or pre-poll alliance is able to secure a majority in the election, this leads to a hung Parliament. The total number of seats in the Lok Sabha is 543. A party or coalition needs to win one seat above the 50% mark, or 272 seats, in order Read More …

What is the Belt and Road Initiative, and why is China pushing it hard?

The story so far: Six years ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a mammoth infrastructure project straddling many countries and continents. Of the projects, the most ambitious is the $60+ billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, aimed at linking China’s Xinjiang province with the Arabian Sea. What is it? The Belt and Road Read More …

What is significant about Mission Shakti?

Anti-sat weapons date back to Cold War: Prime Minister announced that the DRDO-developed anti-satellite system A-SAT successfully destroyed a live satellite in the Low Earth Orbit. With this test, dubbed as Mission Shakti, India is only the fourth country after the U.S., Russia and China to have the technology. What Read More …

Yellow fever vaccine; necessity and risk

What is controversial about vaccines, and the yellow fever vaccine in particular? Why is a yellow fever vaccine necessary? Yellow fever spreads through mosquitoes. It is often associated with jaundice, hence the name yellow. It leads to death in a significant proportion of patients, which is why the vaccine is Read More …

What is Poverty Trap?

Definition: Poverty trap is a spiraling mechanism which forces people to remain poor. It is so binding in itself that it doesn’t allow the poor people to escape it. Poverty trap generally happens in developing and under-developing countries, and is caused by a lack of capital and credit to people. Description: Poverty Read More …

In biology, what is Primordial Soup?

This refers to a hypothesis regarding the origin of life on earth. It states that life on the planet originated around 4 billion years ago through the combination of abiogenic material on the earth’s surface and some form of external energy. This natural reaction led to the birth of the Read More …

In Biology, what is Extreme Male Brain?

Also known as the empathising-systemising theory, this refers to a theory of autism which states that the condition may be the result of overexposure of foetuses to testosterone from their mothers. Such overexposure to testosterone may cause the brains of people with autism to specifically adapt to analyse and construct Read More …

What is Biological Immortality?

This refers to the biological state where certain organisms like the bristlecone pine and the jellyfish can live forever. These organisms can be killed by external causes like injuries caused by harmful predators, catastrophic changes in their environment and fatal diseases, but they do not get fatally affected by the Read More …