Independence Current Affairs - 2020

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March 18: Ordnance Factory Day

On March 18, 2020, 219th Ordnance Factories Foundation Day was observed. Every year India observes March 18 as Ordnance Factory Day. The first Ordnance Factory was established in Kolkata in 1801. There are 41 ordnance factories in the country.

History

The history of ordnance factory is directly linked to the British reign of India. The Board of Ordnance Factories that still govern the ordnance factories in the country was established in 1775 at Fort Williams, Kolkata.

There were 18 ordnance factories before India became independent. The Ordnance Factory Board was established in 1979.

Ordnance Factory Board

The Ordnance Factory Board operates under Ministry of Defence. It is the largest and oldest Government operated defence organization. The Board is always called the fourth arm of defence. It is the 37th largest arms manufacturer in the world.

The Board is responsible for manufacturing small arms, missiles, rocket launchers, chemicals, explosives, mines, grenades, anti-tank warfare, etc.

The revenue generated by the board on behalf of the Indian Government in the year 2017-18 was 2 billion USD.

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Supreme Court seeks immediate floor test from Madhya Pradesh State Government

On March 17, 2020, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh State Government to conduct a floor test. A bench headed by Justice Chandrachud issued the notice.

What is the issue?

Jyotiraditya Scindia, who lost 2019 election in Madya Pradesh ended his 18 years association with Congress party and joined BJP. Following this, 16 Members of the Legislative Assembly who won elections with congress ticket submitted their resignation letter to the speaker of the assembly. The assembly commenced for the budget session recently. The speaker accepted their resignation.

Now, there is a question of majority in the house for which when appealed by the MLAs to the SC, the apex court has ordered for a floor test.

Floor Test

The Floor test is conducted in order to prove majority of a government. The Chief Minister or Prime Minister moves vote of confidence. If he gains majority support, he continues to remain in power else he has to resign.

Scindia

The Scindia family ruled the princely state of Gwalior. Jivajirao Scindia (grandfather of Jyotiraditya Scindiya) was the last Maharaja of princely state of Gwalior. His son Madhavrao Scindia was a titular ruler. The 26th amendment of constitution abolished the official symbols of princely states in the country. This put an end to titles, privy purses and privileges enjoyed.

26th Constitutional Amendment

The 26th Constitutional amendment put an end to the privy purse in India. Privy purse was the payment made by the royal families of princely states to stay integrated with India after independence. At the time of independence there were 555 princely states covering 48% of the area and 28% of the population. The rulers were free to make choice in joining India or stay independent. It was Sardar Vallbhbhai Patel, who initiated unification of the princely states.

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