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January 30 @ 7:00 am - 11:30 pm



A High-Level Committee (HLC) headed by former President Ramnath Kovind was formed in 2023 to explore simultaneous elections.

Simultaneous elections were held during the first four general election cycles (1952-1967), and the idea has been considered by the Election Commission and the Law Commission in the past.

Case for Simultaneous Elections:

  • Cost Efficiency: Estimated cost of Lok Sabha elections is ₹4,000 crore; simultaneous polls would reduce overall expenses.
  • Governance Impact: Frequent State elections hinder policy-making and governance, with a Model Code of Conduct limiting announcements.
  • Administrative Efficiency: Frequent elections impact administrative machinery and require deployment of paramilitary forces.
  • Reduced Polarization: Annual high-stake elections contribute to polarizing campaigns, deepening divides in a diverse country.


  • Federalism Concerns: Simultaneous elections may overshadow regional issues, giving national parties an advantage.
  • Constitutional Amendments: Fixed five-year terms for Lok Sabha and State assemblies would require amendments.
  • Feedback Mechanism: Elections serve as feedback for government policies; less frequent polls may affect this process.


  • Cycle Proposal: Conduct Lok Sabha elections in one cycle and State assembly elections in another after two and a half years.
  • No-Confidence Motion: Propose mandatory confidence motion with a no-confidence motion to form an alternate government.
  • Fixed Duration: If a house is dissolved prematurely, the newly constituted house’s duration should be for the remainder of the original house.
  • Clubbing By-Elections: Conduct by-elections once a year, clubbing together those necessitated by death, resignation, or disqualification.

International Practices:

  • South Africa: Simultaneous elections every five years for the National Assembly and provincial legislatures.
  • Sweden and Germany: Fixed tenures with elections for Prime Minister and Chancellor held every four years.



The Election Commission has notified that elections to 56 Rajya Sabha seats would be held on February 27

Rajya Sabha

  • Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of Parliament, modeled after the House of Lords in the UK.
  • Provisions in Article 80 of the Constitution.
  • Constitutional limit: Cannot exceed 250 members.

Retirement Cycle: One-third of Rajya Sabha members from each state retire every two years, leading to periodic elections.

Eligible Voters: Only elected members of State Legislative Assemblies can cast votes in Rajya Sabha elections.

Six-Year Term: Newly elected members serve a six-year term, addressing vacancies due to resignation, death, or disqualification through by-polls.

Election of Rajya Sabha Members

Blocs and Elections:

  • MPs from one or more parties can collaborate to elect a member by ensuring they have the required numbers.
  • Prevents the dominance of ruling party candidates, promoting diversity.

Union Territories Representation:

  • Delhi and Puducherry Assemblies elect members representing respective Union Territories, ensuring their representation.

Voting Procedure

  • Single Transferable Vote: Rajya Sabha elections use the single transferable vote system, ensuring proportional representation.
  • Candidate Nomination: Political party candidates require proposals from at least 10 Assembly members or 10% of the party’s House strength. Independent candidates need 10 proposers of all Assembly members
  • Preferences Voting: Electors can vote for multiple candidates in order of preference.
  • Winning Requirement: Candidates need a specific number of first preference votes to secure victory.
  • Transparency in RS Elections
  • Open Ballot System: Rajya Sabha elections utilize an open ballot system with limited transparency.
  • NOTA in Rajya Sabha: Initially, Rajya Sabha members had the option to use NOTA, but a 2018 Supreme Court ruling restricted its use to general elections.

Consequences of Crossvoting

  • Supreme Court’s Stand: The Supreme Court clarified that not voting for the party candidate in Rajya Sabha elections doesn’t trigger disqualification under the anti-defection law.
  • Legislators’ Freedom: MLAs retain the freedom to vote for a candidate of their choice.
  • Party Action: Parties are free to take disciplinary action against legislators who vote against their candidate.

Voting Eligibility before Taking Oath

  • Voting Without Oath: The Supreme Court ruled that members can participate in Rajya Sabha elections even before taking the oath as legislators.
  • Non-Legislative Activity: Rajya Sabha voting is considered a non-legislative activity, allowing members to vote without taking the oath.
  • Membership Status: A person becomes a member as soon as the Election Commission notifies the list of elected members.
  • Proposal Rights: Members can propose a candidate before taking the oath of office.



Kinnow growers in Punjab are concerned about potential losses this season, with nearly half of the 13 lakh tonnes of the crop still awaiting harvest.

The season is approaching its end in less than two months.

About Kinnow Farming:

  • Citrus Fruit Type: Kinnow, also known as Kinoo or Kinu, is a citrus fruit.
  • Cultivation Area: Punjab holds the major share in Kinnow production in North India, followed by states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Hybrid Nature: Kinnow is a hybrid of two citrus varieties, Citrus nobilis and Citrus deliciosa.
  • Similarity with Oranges: It is often confused with oranges due to similar appearances, seasonal availability, and nutritional benefits.
  • High Juice Content: Kinnow has high juice content, making it suitable for juice and pulp extraction.

Climatic Conditions for Kinnow Cultivation:

  • Temperature Range: Kinnow can thrive in temperatures ranging from 10-35°C.
  • Temperature Tolerance: It can withstand high temperatures up to 40°C in summer and 0°C in winter.
  • Soil Preference: Well-drained clay-loam soils with a pH of 6.0-7.5 are ideal for Kinnow cultivation.
  • Rainfall Requirement: Kinnow requires 300-400mm of rainfall.

Key Facts about Citrus Fruit:

  • Origin: Citrus originates in Southeast Asia.
  • Varieties: Citrus includes Kinnow, Oranges, Lime, and Lemon.
  • Importance in India: In India, Citrus is the third-largest fruit crop after Banana and Mango.
  • Vitamin C Source: Citrus fruits are crucial for their contribution as an important source of Vitamin C.



The International Health Regulations National Focal Point (IHR NFP) in Argentina has reported a human case of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus (WEEV) infection to the World Health Organization.

About WEEV:

  • Infection Type: WEEV is a mosquito-borne infection caused by the Western Equine Encephalitis Virus.
  • Virus Family: WEEV belongs to the Togaviridae family of viruses.
  • Genome: The virus has an approximately 11.5-kilobase long single-stranded RNA genome.
  • Recombinant Nature: It is a recombinant of the eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEEV) and a Sindbis-like virus.
  • Reservoir and Hosts: Passerine birds are considered the reservoir, and equine species serve as intermediate hosts.
  • Transmission Mode: Mosquitoes act as vectors for the virus, primarily transmitting the infection to humans.

Symptoms of WEEV Infection:

  • Asymptomatic Cases: Most infections are asymptomatic.
  • Severe Cases: In rare instances, approximately 4-5% of cases may lead to infection and inflammation of the brain, resulting in neurological symptoms and disease sequelae.


  • No Specific Antiviral Treatment: There is no specific antiviral treatment for WEEV.
  • Importance of Symptomatic Care: Symptomatic care is crucial, especially for neurologic symptoms, in managing the infection.



Astronaut Lora O’Hara, stationed on the International Space Station, shared mesmerizing images of the Alpenglow phenomenon near the Hindu Kush Mountain range.


About Alpenglow:

  • Natural Illumination: Alpenglow is a natural phenomenon where mountain slopes are illuminated by the sun during sunrise or sunset.
  • Colourful Hue: The slopes exhibit rosy, reddish, or orange hues, influenced by the sun’s angle and atmospheric conditions.
  • Twilight Occurrence: Alpenglow typically occurs during the twilight hours before sunrise or after sunset. It can also occur shortly after the sun rises or sets.
  • Colour Range: The phenomenon showcases a range of colours, including red, pink, and orange, attributed to the longest warm rays of sunlight.

Factors Influencing Alpenglow:

  • Sun’s Location: The vibrancy and colour of Alpenglow depend on the sun’s position.
  • Light Angle: The angle of sunlight, along with atmospheric factors like clouds, humidity, and particulates, contributes to Alpenglow’s appearance.
  • Dynamic Changes: Alpenglow can change rapidly based on the speed of the sun’s descent.

Key Facts about Hindu Kush Himalayan Region (HKH):

  • Geographical Extent: The HKH region spans over 3500 kilometres, encompassing eight countries.
  • River Sources: It serves as the source for ten major Asian rivers, including the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, and more.
  • “Third Pole”: Known as “the third pole,” the HKH region holds the world’s largest concentration of frozen water after the North Pole and South Pole.



Dr. Nitya Anand, the inventor of India’s first oral contraceptive pill, ‘Saheli’, passed away recently, leaving behind a remarkable legacy in the field of women’s health.

About Saheli:

  • Non-Steroidal Contraceptive: Saheli, also known as Centchroman (ormeloxifene 30mg), is the world’s first and only oral non-steroidal contraceptive pill.
  • Zero Side Effects: Unlike traditional oral contraceptive pills containing hormones like estrogen or progesterone, Saheli is free from side effects such as weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and headaches, making it a groundbreaking advancement in contraceptive technology.
  • Active Ingredient: Saheli contains the molecule Centchroman (ormeloxifene), which serves as the active ingredient ensuring contraceptive efficacy without adverse effects.

Inclusion in National Program:

Saheli was included in the National Family Welfare Programme in 1995, signifying its recognition and endorsement by the government for widespread adoption in family planning initiatives.



The President of India has given approval for the conferment of 132 Padma awards in 2024.

About Padma Awards:

  • Annual Recognition: Padma Awards are among the highest civilian honors in India, announced annually, with brief interruptions in 1978-79 and 1993-97.
  • Recognition Scope: These awards acknowledge outstanding achievements across various fields, recognizing contributions to public service.
  • Historical Evolution: Instituted in 1954 with three classes – Pahela Varg, Dusra Varg, and Tisra Varg, later renamed in 1955 as Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Shri.
  • Not a Title: Importantly, Padma Awards are not titles under Article 18 of the Indian Constitution.


January 30
7:00 am - 11:30 pm
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