Prelim Snippets 25-06-2019

  • It is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia, which promotes intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  • Founder countries of ASEAN were Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines  and Thailand. Later the body expanded with the joining of 5 more Nations Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam did the latest entry into the group in 1999.


  • It is a proposed free trade agreement (FTA) between the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam) and the six Asia- Pacific states with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements (Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand).

National Institute of Public Finance and Policy

  • The  National  Institute  of  Public  Finance  and  Policy  (NIPFP)  is  a  centre  for  research  in public economics and policies. Founded in 1976, the institute undertakes research, policy advocacy  and  capacity  building  in  areas  related  to  public  economics.  One  of  the  major mandates of the institute is to assist the Central, State and Local Governments in formulating  and  reforming  Public  Policies  by  providing  an  analytical  base.  The institute was  set  up as  an  autonomous society, at  the  joint  initiative of  the  Ministry of Finance,  Planning  Commission,  several  State  Governments  and  distinguished academicians. It is registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • NIPFP is overseen by a governing board comprising a chairman and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Planning Commission of India and Reserve Bank of India. 

National Institute of Financial Management

  • The National Institute of Financial Management (NIFM) is a Center of Excellence Specializing in Capacity Building of Professionals in the fields of Public Policy, Financial Management and other governance issues for promoting highest standards of professional competence and practice.
  • NIFM  was  set  up  in  1993  as  a  Registered  Society  Under  Ministry  of  Finance, Government of India.
  • NIFM plays a pivotal role in governance and administrative reforms by providing a platform for interaction and exchange of ideas & experiences among officers from different organized services, different state governments and between personnel of civil and defense establishments.
  • The Union Finance Minister of Government of India is the President of the NIFM Society and Secretary (Expenditure), Government of India is the Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG).
  • The Director, NIFM is responsible for the administration and academic programs of the Institute.

National Council of Applied Economic Research

  • Established in 1956, NCAER is India’s oldest and largest independent, non-profit, economic policy research institute.
NCAER’s Work Falls into four Thematic Areas:
  • Growth, Macro, Trade, and Economic Policy
  • Investment Climate, Industry, Infrastructure, Labour, and Urban Agriculture and Rural Development, Natural Resources, and Environment Poverty, Equity, Human Development, and Consumers

Water Clinic for Elephants opens in Mathura

  • India has opened its first specialised hydrotherapy treatment for elephants
  • suffering from arthritis, joint pain and foot ailments in Mathura.
  • The  new  hydrotherapy  jumbo  pool  has  21  high-pressure  jet  sprays  that  create  water
  • pressure that massage the elephants’ feet and body.
  • The facility is run in collaboration with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department and the NGO Wildlife SOS.


  • Commonly known as North Indian Rosewood/shisham Tree, is  a  fast-growing, hardy deciduous rosewood tree native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southern Iran.
  • Sissoo is a large, crooked tree with long, leathery leaves and whitish or pink flowers. It is economically important for its value in forestry, agroforestry, and horticulture.
  • Provides timber, fuelwood, fodder, has medicinal value, used extensively as an ornamental tree as well as for shading, erosion control, and soil fertility.
  • It is listed in Appendix II of CITES
  • Recently India has proposed to remove rosewood (Dalbergia sissoo) from Appendix II (Not threatened) of CITES
  • Appendix II of CITES states that trade must be controlled to avoid utilisation incompatible with their survival.
  • According to the India’s proposal, Listing of Dalbergia genus may create unnecessary complications in the trade.

 NASA’S Curiosity Rover

  • It has recently detected the highest ever levels of methane on Mars.
  • The finding came from the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer.
  • The finding is important because microbial life is an important source of methane on Earth, but methane can also be created through interactions between rocks and water.
About Curiosity Rover:
  • Curiosity is    a car-sized rover designed    to explore the    crater    Gale on Mars as    part of NASA’s Mars  Science  Laboratory Mission  (MSL).  It  was  launched  in  November 2011.
  • The rover will analyse samples scooped from the soil and drilled from rocks in order to detect chemical building blocks of life (e.g., forms of carbon) on Mars and will assess what the Martian environment was like in the past.
  • The Main Scientific Goals of the MSL mission are to help determine whether Mars could ever have supported life, as well as  determining  the role  of  water,  and  to  study the climate and geology of Mars.

Scheme for Smokeless Kitchens in Maharashtra

  • A pilot project aimed at providing a smoke-free environment in the kitchen for women will be launched by the Maharashtra government.
  • The project, named ‘Chullah-free and smoke-free Maharashtra’, will target the women who have not benefited under the Ujjwala scheme.
  • The pilot project will be implemented in Naxal-affected areas as well as the districts where the farmer suicide rate is high.

No-Confidence Motion

  • Council of Ministers is collectively responsible to Lok Sabha and it remains in office till it enjoys confidence of majority of the members in Lok Sabha.
  • No-confidence motion can be moved only in Lok Sabha (or State Assembly)
  • It is moved against the Entire Council of Ministers and not Individual Ministers or Private Members.
  • It needs support of at least 50 Members when introduced in Lok Sabha.
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