Facts Corner-Part-125

The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM)

  • The Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) is an Asian–European political dialogue forum.
  • The ASEM Summit is a biennial meeting.
  • To enhance relations and various forms of cooperation between its partners.
  • The main components of the ASEM process rest on the following 3 pillars:
    (a) Political & Security Pillar
    (b) Economic & Financial Pillar
    (c) Social, Cultural & Educational Pillar
  • It was officially established on 1st March 1996.
  • At the first summit in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • ASEM currently has 53 partners: 51 countries and 2 regional organizations.

Chagos Island

  • The Chagos Islands are a group of seven atolls.
  • Comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometers (310 mi) south of the Maldives.
  • This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean.
  • Officially part of British Indian Ocean Territory.
  • The United Kingdom evicted the Chagossians people between 1967 and 1973.
  • To build a military base on Diego Garcia, the largest of the Chagos Islands.
  • Since 1971, only the atoll of Diego Garcia is inhabited, and only by military and civilian contracted personnel.

National Legal Services Authority of India (NALSA)

  • NALSA was formed on 5 December 1995.
  • Under the authority of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987.
  • Its purpose is to provide free legal services to eligible candidates.
  • To organize Lok Adalats for speedy resolution of cases.
  • The Chief Justice of India is patron-in-chief of NALSA.
  • The second seniormost judge of the Supreme Court of India is the Executive-Chairman.
  • The prime objective of NALSA is speedy disposal of cases and reducing the burden of the judiciary.

Atal Pension Yojana

  • Recently Atal Pension Yojana the scheme, which was earlier for four years, lapsed in August 2018, but the cabinet has decided to extend it and keep it open-ended.
  • Earlier, people of age 18 to 60 years were entitled to enroll in the scheme. But now have relaxed it further to 65 years.
  • All accounts opened after August 28 will have an accident insurance limit of Rs 2 lakh, double the earlier Rs 1 lakh limit.
  • The overdraft facility of the scheme from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000.
  • Atal Pension Yojana (previously known as Swavalamban Yojana) is a government-backed pension scheme in India targeted at the unorganized sector.
  • It was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 9th May 2015 in Kolkata.
  • Age- Min 18 years, Max- 40 years
  • The Union Govt. would also co-contribute 50% of the subscriber’s contribution or Rs. 1000 per annum, whichever is lower.
  • Under the scheme, a subscriber will receive a minimum guaranteed pension of 1000 to 5000 rupees per month, depending on his contribution, from the age of 60 years.

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)

  • PISA is a worldwide study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
  • Formed in 1997.
  • It intends to evaluate educational systems by measuring 15-year-old school pupils’ scholastic performance in mathematics, science and reading.
  • It was first performed in 2000.
  • It is then repeated every three years.
  • Its aim is to provide comparable data with a view to enabling countries to improve their education policies and outcomes.
  • It measures problem solving and cognition.

SLINEX exercise 

  • The navies of Sri Lanka and India conducted a joint naval exercise in the sea off Trincomalee in Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province. The joint naval exercise between the two nations was conducted after a gap of 6 years. The exercise was named “Operation Slinex II” and was aimed to develop greater interoperability and rekindle close cooperation between the two navies.
  • It is hoped that Slinex II” will pave way for both navies to rehearse the concept of joint naval operations and enhance skills by gaining expertise through each other’s experience. Since the last joint naval exercise with Sri Lanka was held in 2005, the current operation is a huge step in bridging the gap between the two navies who maintained a close affinity during Sri Lanka’s battle against the extremist outfit LTTE in the north and north eastern waters. 

The Hope Mars Mission or Emirates Mars Mission

  • It is a space exploration probe mission to Mars.
  • Set to be launched by the United Arab Emirates in 2020.
  • It will become the first mission to Mars by any Arab or Muslim country upon its launch.
  • The mission was announced in July 2014.
  • This spacecraft orbiter is a planned uncrewed mission to Mars by the United Arab Emirates to study the Martian atmosphere and climate.
  • The mission is being carried out by a team composed solely of Emirati engineers.
  • The probe has been named Hope probe or ‘Al-Amal’ and it is scheduled to reach Mars in 2021.

Kotri Barrage

  • Recently Pak allows inspection of Kotri barrage by India
  • Kotri Barrage is a barrage on the Indus River.
  • Between Jamshoro and Hyderabad.
  • In the Sindh province of Pakistan.
  • The barrage was completed in 1955.
  • Kotri Barrage is used to control water flow in the River Indus for irrigation and flood control purposes.
  • It provides additional water to Karachi city.

Indian Roofed Turtles

  • It can be distinguished by the distinct “roof” at the topmost part of the shell.
  • It is found in the major rivers of South Asia.
  • It is a common pet in the Indian Subcontinent.
  • Inhabits the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, and Mahanadi river drainages in Pakistan, northern and peninsular India, and Bangladesh.
  • Protection:
  1. Classified as Least Concern by IUCN.
  2. Listed on CITES Appendix I.
  3. Protected under Schedule 1 of Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Light combat aircraft Tejas (LCA Tejas)

  • It is the smallest and lightest multi-role supersonic fighter aircraft in its class.
  • Designed by the Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA) and manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • The aircraft has a digital computer-based attack system and autopilot mode.
  • It can fire air-to-air missiles, carry bombs and precision guided ammunition.


  • KAZIND 2018 will be conducted between the Indian and Kazakhstan Army in Otar region, Kazakhstan.
  • The aim is to build and promote bilateral Army to Army relations and exchange skills and experiences between Kazakhstan Army and the Indian Army.
  • This is the third joint military exercise between the two countries.
  • The second edition of this exercise was held in India last year.
  • Other military exercises between India and Kazakhstan:
  1. Prabal Dostyk
  2. Exercise Khanjar

South Asian Women Development Forum(SAWDF)

  • SAWDF is an autonomous, nonprofit organization.
  • Based in Kathmandu, Nepal.
  • SAWDF was granted the status by the 36th Session of the SAARC Council Ministers.
  • It is the first SAARC Recognized Body organisation, working on women entrepreneurs issues.
  • SAWDF membership is based on organizations with extensive work around women’s entrepreneurship.

Minimum Support Price or MSP

  • MSP is an Agriculture product price.
  • To purchase directly from the farmer.
  • This rate is to safeguard farmer to minimum profit for the harvest if the open market has lesser price than the cost incurred.
  • The first time it was introduced in 1966-67 for wheat in the wake of the Green Revolution.
  • The MSP is announced by the Government of India the beginning of each season viz. Rabi and Kharif.
  • Recommendations are given by the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices(CACP).


  • Recently India along with 23 other nations to participate in tsunami mock drill
  • IOWave18 exercise is being organised by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, which coordinated the setting up of the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System (IOTWMS) in the aftermath of December 2004 tsunami.
  • The primary objective is to enhance tsunami preparedness at the community level. 
  • The purpose of the exercise is to increase tsunami preparedness, evaluate response capabilities in each state and improve coordination throughout the region.
  • The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC-UNESCO), established in 1960 as a body with functional autonomy within UNESCO.
  • It is the only competent organization for marine science within the UN system.
  • The purpose of the commission is to promote international cooperation and to coordinate programmes in research, services and capacity-building.

Typhoon “Jebi”

  • “Jebi” – whose name means “swallow” in Korean.
  • It is the latest harsh weather to hit Japan.
  • It is set to make landfall on Shikoku, the smallest main island.
  • It is believed to cross the western part of the largest main island, Honshu, and Osaka, the nation’s second-largest city.

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