• Mayavati gets to power in UP
    • By winning in 206 of the 403 Assembly constituencies, BSP is in a position to form the government on its own. This is the first time in 14 years that a party is able to form government on its own in Uttar Pradesh.
    • It is widely believed that the support extended by the Brahmin community in UP to Mayawati, has catapulted her to power. Some sane comments made about Mayawati’s coming to power on the back of support extended to her by the Brahmin community:
      • The Dalit-Brahmin consolidation under the BSP has been no more than a tactical coming together of two castes worst hit by the ascendancy of a section of the OBCs, if only to undo the OBCs what has been done unto them. The BSP must not see in its elevation to power an opportunity to extend patronage to ‘loyal’ caste groups. It should realize that problems of poor development, crime, and social oppression, which currently plague UP, are the consequence of years of identity based patronage politics. Such sectionalism has obviously done little to challenge the inequitable socio-economic structure and render it more inclusive. If anything, it has only served to reinforce the status quo. The BSP’s task is cut out: figure out a way of articulating popular disaffection in the idiom of modern development and socio-economic transformation, not primitive identity politics.
  • IAF phases out Canberra
    • The saga of the Indian Air Force’s longest serving aircraft came to an end yesterday, when the aircraft was phased out from the IAF.
    • It was inducted into the Air Force in 1957.
  • Chairman of PFRDA
    • D. Swarup. PFRDA: Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
  • Presidential Election
    • Presidental election has gained lot of importance in view of the fact that Mayawati now commands close to 45,000 votes in the eelectoral college. While the UPA is stated to be needing about 5,49,442 votes to have its nominee elected as the President, the Congress has 2,80,000 votes, the Left Front 1,10,988 and the allies have 1,40,647 votes. This still leaves a gap of close to 10,000 votes. So Mayawati will wield lot of influence in the Presidential election.
    • The President of India is elected, by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of the Parliament and the elected members of the State Legislative Assemblies (Vidhan Sabha). The election uses the Single Transferable Vote method of proportional representation. Voting takes place by secret ballot.
    • Each elector casts a different number of votes. The general principle is that the total number of votes cast by Members of Parliament equals the total number of votes cast by State Legislators. Also, legislators from larger states cast more votes than those from smaller states. Finally, the number of legislators in a state matters; if a state has a few legislators, then each legislator has relatively more votes; if a state has many legislators, then each legislator has fewer votes.
    • The actual calculation for votes cast by a particular state is calculated by dividing the state's population by 1000, which is divided again by the number of legislators from the State voting in the electoral college. This number is the number of votes per legislator in a given state. For votes cast by those in Parliament, the total number of votes cast by all state legislators is divided by the number of members of both Houses of Parliament. This is the number of votes per member of either house of Parliament.
  • Hubble Telescope and its successor – James Webb telescope
    • Hubble telescope was launched in 1990. Its future is now in doubt because the space shuttle program is winding down in the coming years and the telescope needs manned maintenance missions to continue operations.
    • James Webb telescope is planned as the successor to Hubble telescope. It will peer deep into the cosmos from beyond the moon, after its planned launch in 2013.
    • It is more powerful and capable than the Hubble telescope.