Facts Corner-Part-87

Floor test

  • A floor test is primarily taken to know whether the executive enjoys the confidence of the legislature. It is a constitutional mechanism under which a Chief Minister appointed by the Governor can be asked to prove majority on the floor of the Legislative Assembly of the state. As per the Constitution, the Chief Minister is appointed by the Governor of the state.
  • When a single party secures the majority of the seats in the house, the Governor appoints the leader of the party as the Chief Minister. In case the majority is questioned, the leader of the party which claims majority has to move a vote of confidence and prove majority among those present and voting. The Chief Minister has to resign if they fail to prove their majority in the house. This happens both in the parliament and the state legislative assemblies.
  • In situations when there are differences within a coalition government, the Governor can ask the Chief Minister to prove majority in the house.

Composite Floor Test

  • There is another test, Composite Floor Test, which is conducted only when more than one person stakes claim to form the government.
  • When the majority is not clear, the governor might call for a special session to see who has the majority.
  • The majority is counted based on those present and voting.
  • This can also be done through a voice vote where the member can respond orally or through division voting. Some legislators may be absent or choose not to vote.
  • In division vote, voting can be done through electronic gadgets, ballots or slips. The person who has the majority will form the government. In case of tie, the speaker can also cast his vote.

Pro-tem Speaker’s role

  • Pro-tem speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited time period to conduct the works in Lok Sabha or in state legislatures.
  • When the Lok Sabha and Legislative Assemblies have been elected, but the vote for the speaker and deputy speaker has not taken place, the pro-tem speaker is chosen for the conduct of the house.

Abetment to suicide

According to the 306 section of the Indian Penal Code, a person abetting the suicide of another person shall be punished with imprisonment up to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine. Abetting a suicide is a non-bailable charge.

A person is guilty of abetment when:

1) He instigates someone to commit suicide (or)
2) He is part of a conspiracy to make a person commit suicide (or)
3) He intentionally helps the victim to commit suicide by doing an act or by not doing something that he was bound to do

As per the 305 section of the IPC, if any person under eighteen years of age, any insane person, any delirious person, any idiot, or any person in a state of intoxication commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

World Urbanization Prospects

  • The 2018 Revision is the most recent revision of World Urbanization Prospects which are the official United Nations estimates and projections of urban and rural population as well as urban agglomerations. It was released on 16 May 2018.
  • The proportion of urban (and rural) population is estimated from the most recently available census or official population estimate of each country.
  • If this estimate is only available for some period in the past, the proportion urban is extrapolated to the base year. In the 2018 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects the base year is 2018.

Urban Agglomeration

  • The term “urban agglomeration” refers to the population contained within the contours of a contiguous territory inhabited at urban density levels without regard to administrative boundaries.
  • It usually incorporates the population in a city or town plus that in the suburban areas lying outside of, but being adjacent to, the city boundaries.
  • Whenever possible, data classified according to the concept of urban agglomeration are used.
  • However, some countries do not produce data according to the concept of urban agglomeration but use instead that of metropolitan area or city proper.
  • If possible, such data are adjusted to conform to the concept urban agglomeration. When sufficient information is not available to permit such an adjustment, data based on the concept of city proper or metropolitan area are used.

Diaoyu/Senkaku islands

  • Japan and China have one of the most tense, yet economically intertwined relationships.
  • Beijing believes Japan is yet to properly atone for its brutal invasion of China in the run-up to and during the Second World War.
  • In the post-War alignment Japan has remained firmly tethered to the U.S., often putting it in an adversarial position vis-à-vis China.
  • Perhaps the most challenging point of contention is the territorial dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands as they are known in China and Japan, respectively, in the East China Sea.

Astronomer’s Paradise

  • Much of northern Chile is desert; the central part of the country is a temperate region where the bulk of the population lives and where the larger cities, including Santiago, are located. South-central Chile, with a lake and forest region, is temperate and humid; the southernmost third of the country, cut by deep fjords, is an inhospitable region.
  • By some calculations, by 2025 the country will be home to more than half the image-capturing capacity in the world. Much of the reason for that lies in the desert skies, which are among the clearest on earth. In some parts of the Atacama Desert, rainfall has never been recorded.
  • Altitude is also important, particularly for ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/Submillimetre Array). Radio telescopes pick up wavelengths from outer space, but the signals are often distorted by water vapour in the earth’s atmosphere. By building at altitude (altitudes in the Atacama desert at some places such as the Chajnantor plateau are 5,000m), in dry air, engineers can get above some of that moisture.
  • Being in the southern hemisphere, its observatories are not in direct competition with those in the United States and Europe, which gaze out at different skies. Politics and infrastructure are also factors. Chile has emerged as one of the most stable, prosperous countries in the region since its return to democracy in 1990. That stability is essential for long-term investment projects like these.
  • The ALMA radio telescope is often in the news for discoveries that astronomers make using data collected by it.

Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana 

  • Prime Minister’s initiative to provide a shield to women and children from smoke, the Ujjwala Scheme, has been much admired in the new WHO pollution report. “Countries are taking measures to tackle and reduce air pollution from particulate matter. For example, in just two years, India’s Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana has provided some 37 million women living below the poverty line with free LPG connections to support them to switch to clean household energy use.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) or the Ujjwala Scheme was launched by PM Modi on May 1, 2016 in Ballia, Uttar Pradesh.
  • The scheme aims to protect women and children from the smoke emitted from households using firewood for cooking purposes. 
  • Under the scheme, families below the poverty line are to be provided with LPG connections with a support of Rs. 1,600 per connection in the next three years.
  • The ambitious scheme also laid down a condition — that the LPG connections will be issued in the name of the women of the households.
  • Identifying BPL families through the Socio Economic Caste Census Data (SECCD).
  • Beneficiaries from the SC/ST households, beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Gramin), Antyoday Anna Yojana, forest dwellers, most backward classes, Tea and Ex-Tea Garden Tribes, people residing in Islands and rivers were added to the SECCD.
  • The Ujjwala Yojana has been launched in other UP and Bihar districts as well.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill ,2016

  • The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.
  • Under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years. 
  • The Bill relaxes this 11 year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.

Banihal Pass

  • Banihal is a mountain pass across the Pir Panjal Range at 2,832 m (9,291 ft) maximum elevation.
  • This mountain range connects the Kashmir Valley in the Indian state Jammu and Kashmir to the outer Himalaya and plains to the south. In the Kashmiri language, “Banihāl” means blizzard.

Census towns in Indian

In India, a census town is one which is not statutorily notified and administered as a town, but nevertheless whose population has attained urban characteristics. They are characterized by the following:

  • Population exceeds 5,000
  • At least 75% of main working population is employed outside the agricultural sector
  • Minimum population densityof 400 persons per km
  • They are administratively rural and governed by panchayats.

Schengen Area

  • Schengen Area is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. Twenty-two of the twenty-eight European Union (EU) member states participate in the Schengen Area.
  • Under the Schengen agreement, transiting from one country to another within the Schengen area is done without border controls. In fact, the Schengen visa makes it possible to visit all the countries in the Schengen area and to cross internal borders without further formalities.
  • Please be aware that the European Union and the Schengen area are two different zones! The list below will enable you to see the difference and check that the countries where you are planning to stay are all in the Schengen area.



  • Ancient dance drama Ashtapadiyattam based on Gita Govindam, written by 12th century poet Jayadevan.
  • Calling Gita Govindam a remarkable piece of literature, the Vice President complemented the Sri Guruvayurappan Dharmakala Samuchayam Trust, headed by ‘metroman’ E. Sreedharan.
  • Gita Govindam’s unusually wide appeal came from the story of Sri Krishna and his love for Radha. The story of Sri Krishna had deep resonance in the Indian hearts and the composition was so lyrical and melodious that it was eminently suitable for various adaptations by musicians and dancers.

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