Facts Corner-Part-93

IBSA Trust Fund agreement

  • India, Brazil and South Africa signed the IBSA Trust Fund Agreement that seeks to fight poverty in developing countries.
  • The agreement was signed at the 8th IBSA trilateral Ministerial Commission Meeting in Durban on 21st October 2017.
  • Each country contributes USD 1 million annually to this fund which is managed by the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Special Unit for South-South Cooperation.


  • Established in 1967 in Bangkok via Bangkok Declaration.
  • Currently, there are 10-member states and 2 observer states are part of it.
  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organisation comprising ten Southeast Asian states which promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, military, educational and cultural integration amongst its members and Asian states.
  • Its headquarter is in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • India is not a member of it.
  • The 10-member states of ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
  • The ASEAN Way- the doctrine that the member countries will largely business when it comes to internal matters of member countries.
  • ASEAN Plus Three: Was created to improve existing ties with China, Japan and South Korea.
  • ASEAN Plus Six: includes China, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia and India.

East Asia Summit

  • The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian, Southeast Asian and South Asian regions.
  • Membership expanded to 18 countries including the United States and Russia at the Sixth EAS in 2011.
  • EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings.

Global Initiative of Academic Networks

  • Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in Higher Education was launched in 2015. It is a program of Ministry of Human Resource and Development.
  • GIAN aims at tapping the talent pool of scientists and entrepreneurs to engage with the institutes of higher education in India to augment the country’s existing academic resources, accelerate the pace of quality reforms, and further strengthen India’s scientific and technological capabilities.

GIAN is envisaged to achieve the following objectives:

  • To increase the footfalls of reputed international faculty in the Indian academic institutes.
  • Provide opportunity to our faculty to learn and share knowledge and teaching skills in cutting edge areas.
  • To provide opportunity to our students to seek knowledge and experience from reputed International faculty.
  • To create avenue for possible collaborative research with the international faculty.
  • Develop high quality course material in niche areas, both through video and print that can be used by a larger body of students and teachers.
  • To document and develop new pedagogic methods in emerging topics of national and international interest.

Atal Bhujal Yojana (ABY)

  • Atal Bhujal Yojana has been formulated by the Ministry to address the criticality of groundwater resources in a major part of the country.
  • The scheme will also cover two major types of groundwater systems found in India – alluvial and hard rock aquifers.
  • The scheme aims to improve groundwater management in priority areas in the country through community participation.
  • It will be launched in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, covering 78 districts, 193 blocks and more than 8,300-gram panchayats.
  • The duration of the ABY will be five years.
  • It is a central sector scheme and world bank assisted.


  • Spanish scientists have identified absorbent materials that can help soak up pollutants found in urban wastewater in less than 24 hours.
  • The results show that the material C18-Mica-4 is capable of eliminating the majority of pollutants that were evaluated in urban waste water, as well as surface water and potable water.


  • E-waste includes all forms of waste products containing as a manufacturing component that runs on either battery or power supply.
  • E-waste typically includes discarded computer monitors, motherboards, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT), Printed Circuit Board (PCB), mobile phones and chargers, compact discs etc.
  • High and prolonged exposure to these chemicals/ pollutants emitted during unsafe e-waste recycling leads to damage to nervous systems, blood systems, kidneys and brain development etc.
  • Computer equipment accounts for almost 70% of e-waste material followed by telecommunication equipment (12%), electrical equipment (8%) and medical equipment (7%).

Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works

  1. The Berne Convention deals with the protection of works and the rights of their authors
  2. It is based on three basic principles and contains a series of provisions determining the minimum protection to be granted, as well as special provisions available to developing countries that want to make use of them
  3. The three basic principles are the following:(a) Works originating in one of the Contracting States (that is, works the author of which is a national of such a State or works first published in such a State) must be given the same protection in each of the other Contracting States as the latter grants to the works of its own nationals (principle of “national treatment”)

    (b) Protection must not be conditional upon compliance with any formality (principle of “automatic” protection)

    (c) Protection is independent of the existence of protection in the country of origin of the work (principle of “independence” of protection). If, however, a Contracting State provides for a longer term of protection than the minimum prescribed by the Convention and the work ceases to be protected in the country of origin, protection may be denied once protection in the country of origin ceases

  4. India has been the Member of Berne Convention since 28th April 1928

Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM)

  • The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) is one of the apex trade associations of India.
  • The goal of this organisation is to promote both domestic and international trade and reduce trade barriers while fostering the conducive environment for the growth of trade and industry of India.
  • ASSOCHAM was established in 1920 by promoter chambers, representing all regions of India.

Environmental Performance Index (EPI)

  • EPI ranking is a bi-annual report produced by researchers at Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.
  • India, which was ranked 141 out of total 180 countries on the Global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) rankings in 2016, has slipped further to the 177th position this year.
  • Failure to improve its air quality, protect biodiversity and cut greenhouse gas emissions has been cited as the reason for placing the country at the bottom, according to the State of India’s Environment (SoE) 2018 in Figures.
  • The SoE in Figures is an annual compendium of environmental statistics put together by Down To Earth magazine, which Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) helps publish.
  • The country is far behind in achieving any of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and ranked at 116 out of 157.
  • Six out of Ten Indians continue to be poor, surviving on less than the US $3.20 per day.

Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe

  • NASA’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP) mission will help researchers better understand the boundary of the heliosphere.
  • NASA is targeting 2024 for the launch of a new mission to learn more about the generation of cosmic rays in the heliosphere.
  • Heliosphere is the region where the constant flow of particles from our Sun, called the solar wind, collides with material from the rest of the galaxy.
  • Cosmic rays created locally and from the galaxy and beyond affect human explorers in space and can harm technological systems, and likely play a role in the presence of life itself in the universe.
  • The spacecraft will be positioned about 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth towards the Sun at what is called the first Lagrange point or L1.

Article 35A

  • Article 35A is a provision in the Constitution that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define permanent residents of the state. It was added through the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954, issued under Article 370.
  • Article 35A empowers Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define “permanent residents” of the state along with their special rights and privileges. This Article has an intricate relationship with Article 370.
  • Article 368 (i) of the Constitution empowers only Parliament to amend the Constitution.

Permanent Residents in J&K

  • Jammu and Kashmir Assembly defined Permanent Resident as a person who was a state subject on May 14, 1954 or who had been a resident of the state for 10 years and has “lawfully acquired immovable property in the state.”
  • A person who is not a permanent resident of Jammu and Kashmir is not allowed to buy or own properties in the state or vote in state Assembly election or contest election to the state Assembly. An outsider cannot get a job in the Jammu and Kashmir government.


  • Dhanush is a calibre artillery gun and is also called the “desi Bofors”
  • It has a strike range of 38 kilometres and 81 percent of its components are indigenously sourced
  • It has features like electronic gun-laying and sighting systems
  • The gun has passed tests under severe cold conditions in Sikkim and Leh and in hot and humid weather in Balasore, Odisha, Babina in Jhansi and in the desert of Pokhran in Rajasthan
  • The gun has been developed by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata
  • It is manufactured by the Jabalpur-based Gun Carriage Factory (GCF)
  • India’s first indigenous, long-range artillery gun “Dhanush” has passed its final test at Pokhran
  • It is now ready for its induction into the Army

GeoIntelligence Asia 2018

  • The Eleventh edition of GeoIntelligence Asia 2018 is being held in New Delhi. It is organised by GeoSpatial Media and Communication with Directorate General of Information System as Knowledge Partners and Military Survey as Co-organisers.
  • Geospatial intelligence is a critical foundation for many aspects of defense and internal security. It offers the capability of monitoring, predicting and countering threats, while helping strategize and support various field operations.
  • It facilitates multi-source information sharing and integration across agencies and organizations by providing a common framework on which other information is based.
  • The use of big data, advanced geospatial analytics software and sophisticated imaging technologies from (very) high-resolution remote sensing satellites, UAVs and other sensors, enables seamless flow of information in pre-, real-time and post-combat operations.
  • Real-time views and insights of impacted regions are key to improving emergency response times, especially in vulnerable areas such as a country’s border.
  • Geospatial data is invaluable to the border security operations, to deliver accurate situational awareness information, enabling quick and secure decision-making, while mitigating risks, and increasing national security.

Deendayal Port in Kandla

  • The Standing Finance Committee of Ministry of Shipping has cleared a project for setting up an exclusive, fully mechanized handling facility for fertilizer cargo at Deendayal Port in Kandla.
  • Kandla, also known as the Deendayal Port Trust is a seaport in Kutch District of Gujarat state in western India, near the city of Gandhidham.
  • It is located on the Gulf of Kutch.
  • It is one of major ports on west coast.
  • Kandla was constructed in the 1950s as the chief seaport serving western India, after the partition of India from Pakistan left the port of Karachi in Pakistan.
  • The Port of Deendayal is located some 256 nautical miles southeast of the Port of Karachi in Pakistan and over 430 nautical miles north-northwest of the Port of Mumbai (Bombay).
  • Deendayal Port Trust, India’s busiest major port in recent years, is gearing to add substantial cargo handling capacity with private sector participation.

Brasilia Declaration 

  • On 6 June 2003, the Brasilia declaration was signed by the foreign ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa.
  • They agreed on the urgent need for reforms in the United Nations, especially the Security Council.
  • The declaration was of the view that the United Nations Security Council should reflect the current world scenario.
  • It also touched upon the subjects of international terrorism, trans-national crime and illegal arms dealing, stating that such threats to international peace must effectively tackled with respect for the sovereignty of States and for International Law.

IBSA Dialogue Forum

  • The IBSA Dialogue Forum (India, Brazil, South Africa) is an international tripartite grouping for promoting international cooperation among these countries. It represents three important poles for galvanizing South-South cooperation and greater understanding between three important continents of the developing world namely, Africa, Asia and South America.
  • The forum provides the three countries with a platform to engage in discussions for cooperation in the field of agriculture, trade, culture, and defence among others.

National Mission for Clean Ganga

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council which was set up in October 2016 under the River Ganga (Rejuvenation, Protection and Management) Authorities order 2016. The order dissolved National Ganga River Basin Authority.
  • NMCG has a two tier management structure and comprises of Governing Council and Executive Committee. Both of them are headed by Director General, NMCG. Executive Committee has been authorized to accord approval for all projects up to Rs.1000 crore.
  • National Ganga Council under chairmanship of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India.
  • Empowered Task Force (ETF) on river Ganga under chairmanship of Hon’ble Union Minister of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

Outer Space Treaty

  • The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of April 2018, 107 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.
  • Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space.
  • The treaty forbids countries from deploying “nuclear weapons or any other kinds of weapons of mass destruction” in outer space. The term “weapons of mass destruction” is not defined, but it is commonly understood to include nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. The treaty, however, does not prohibit the launching of ballistic missiles, which could be armed with WMD warheads, through space.

Central Water Commission

  • a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development. It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.

Dam Rehabilitation & Improvement Project 

  • The Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR), Government of India, with assistance from the World Bank, is implementing the DAM REHABILITATION AND IMPROVEMENT PROJECT (DRIP), which would be a six-year project.
  • The Central Dam Safety Organisation of Central Water Commission, assisted by a Consulting firm, is coordinating and supervising the Project implementation.
  • The project originally envisaged the rehabilitation and improvement of about 223 dams within four states namely, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu and later Karnataka, Uttarakhand (UNVNL) and Jharkhand (DVC) joined DRIP and total number of dams covered under DRIP increased to 250.
  • The project will also promote new technologies and improve Institutional capacities for dam safety evaluation and implementation at the Central and State levels and in some identified premier academic and research institutes of the country.

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