9 PM Current Affairs Brief – March 16th, 2020

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Explained:What is floor test

News: Recently, the Madhya Pradesh Governor has ordered a floor test in the state Assembly to allow the State Government to prove its majority.


About 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.

About Composite Floor Test:

  • It is conducted only when more than one person stakes claim to form the government and the majority is not clear.During this time,the governor calls for a special session to see who has the majority. 
  • The majority is then counted based on those present and voting.This can be done through a voice vote or through division vote.
  • The person who has the majority will form the government.In case of tie, the speaker can also cast his vote.

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Explained: What is a notified disaster and how is the SDRF used

News:The Ministry of Home Affairs has decided to treat COVID-19 as a notified disaster for the purpose of providing assistance under the State Disaster Response Fund(SDRF).


About Disaster:

  • Disaster is an extreme disruption of the functioning of a society that causes widespread human, material, or environmental losses that exceed the ability of the affected society to cope with its own resources.
  • According to a High Power Committee on Disaster Management,1999 it identified 31 disasters organised into five major sub-groups namely a) water and climate related disasters b) geological related disasters c) chemical, industrial and nuclear related disasters and d) biological related disasters which includes biological disasters and epidemics.

About SDRF:

  • The State Disaster Response Fund(SDRF) has been constituted under the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and is the primary fund available with state governments for responses to notified disasters.
  • The Central government contributes 75% towards the SDRF allocation for general category states and UTs, and over 90% for special category states/UTs which includes northeastern states, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
  • The disasters covered under the SDRF include cyclones, droughts, tsunamis, hailstorms, landslides, avalanches and pest attacks among others.

Chaitra Jatra Festival

News:The annual Chaitra Jatra festival scheduled to be held in Odisha’s Tara Tarini hill shrine was cancelled as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 infection.


About the Festival:

  • Chaitra Jatra is celebrated at Tara Tarini hill shrine in the Hindu month of Chaitra.
  • Tara Tarini hill shrine is located at Kumari hill on banks of the Rushikulya river.It is a major centre of Shakti worship in Odisha.

Note:Indian Navy’s sailboat INSV Tarini was named after Tara Tarini hill shrine.The first Indian all-woman crew had circumnavigated the globe in INSV Tarini.

Additional information:

Other important Festivals of Odisha:

About Chhau Festival

  • Chhau Festival is celebrated every year by the Bhuiyan tribes in Odisha. 
  • The main attraction of the festival is the performance of Chhau dance by the people of Odisha. 
  • Chhau dance is a semi-classical form of dancing that includes a little bit of martial arts and folk elements.The dance is performed while wearing a mask or chhau that comes from the word chaya which means shadow.

About Nuakhai Festival:

  • Nuakhai is an agricultural festival mainly observed by people of Western Odisha in India.
  • The farmers offer the first produce of their respective lands to Goddess Samaleswari and then consume it personally.

Explained:What is sepsis

News:Recently,many coronavirus patients have died of sepsis after the body’s immune system goes into overdrive.


About Sepsis:

  • Sepsis is a life-threatening organ dysfunction caused by the body’s immune system overreacting in response to an infection.This overactive, toxic response can lead to tissue damage, multiple organ failure and death.


  • It can be triggered by a variety of pathogens such as Viruses, bacteria, fungi or parasites.The causes of sepsis are usually pneumonia, wound infections, urinary tract infections or infections in the abdominal cavity.
  • Other viruses that are highly infectious such as coronaviruses, Ebola and yellow fever viruses, dengue, swine flu or bird flu viruses can also cause sepsis.


  • Drop in blood pressure with a simultaneous rise in heart rate, fever, rapid, heavy breathing, an unusually strong feeling of illness and sudden confusion.


  • When diagnosed, sepsis is immediately treated as an emergency. The blood is examined, a broad-spectrum antibiotic is administered, and sufficient blood circulation and ventilation are ensured. 
  • As a precautionary measure, many sepsis patients are protectionally incubated which means put into an artificial coma.

ROPAX Service

News: The Ministry of Shipping has launched a roll on-roll off cum passenger ferry service called ‘ROPAX’, between Mumbai and Mandwa (Maharashtra).


About ROPAX:

  • It is a water transport service project under the Eastern Waterfront Development.
  • The benefits of this service include reduction in the travel time, vehicular emission and traffic on the road.

Additional information:

About Eastern Waterfront Development:

  • The Eastern Waterfront is the Mumbai Port Trust’s plan to develop the port lands across Mumbai’s eastern coast stretching from Sassoon Dock to Wadala.

Explained: Herd immunity

News:Recently,the UK government has announced that it is aiming to achieve herd immunity as a way of tackling COVID-19.


About Herd Immunity:

  • Herd immunity is when a large number of people are vaccinated against a disease, lowering the chances of others being infected by it.
  • However,this type of immunity is usually viewed as a preventive strategy in vaccination programmes.
  • Since,we don’t have a vaccine for COVID-19 – achieving herd immunity would require a significant proportion of the population to be infected and recover from COVID-19.
  • This will allow us to retain an immunological memory of the disease that enables us to fight off that same disease in the future.


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