Explained: What is Floccinaucinihilipilification?

Context In the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee, which decides on India’s monetary policy, released on Wednesday, one of the government-nominated members, Chetan Ghate, is quoted as stating: “Estimates of economic growth in India have unfortunately been subject to a fair degree of floccinaucinihilipilification. Notwithstanding this, growth is likely Read More …

What was Sikkim’s history before this new phase of political instability?

According to the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890, representatives of the British Crown and the Emperor of China mutually agreed that Sikkim would remain a protectorate of the British Government. Sikkim itself was not consulted for the agreement. Under the Indo-Sikkim Treaty of 1950, Sikkim was to become a protectorate of Read More …

Why India celebrates Independence Day on 15 August

Context In 1929, when Jawaharlal Nehru as Congress President gave the call for ‘Poorna Swaraj’ or total independence from British colonial rule, January 26 was chosen as the Independence Day. In fact, Congress party continued to celebrate it 1930 onwards, till India attained independence and January 26, 1950, was chosen as the Republic Read More …

What is Red Mud?

In a step towards productive utilization of bauxite residue, commonly known as the ‘Red Mud’, an interactive workshop called ‘Waste To Wealth’ was organized by Ministry of Mines in New Delhi. Red mud is a side-product of the Bayer process, the principal means of refining bauxite en route to alumina. This Read More …

India’s seed bank at Chang La

At Chang La in the Himalayas, at a height of 17,300 feet, there is a storage facility with over 5,000 seed accessions. One accession consists of a set of seeds of one species collected from different locations or different populations. The vault is a joint venture of the National Bureau Read More …

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 …