May 3,2018

Quiz – May 01, 2018
May 2, 2018
May 4,2018
May 4, 2018

Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

 Topics list:

  1. National and International Issues on
    1. Economic Development
    2. Social Development
    3. Industrial Development
  2. Energy and Environment
    1. Energy
    2. Environment
  3. Information and Communication Technology
    1. Technology
    2. Application

Topic 1:Economic development

Sugarcane subsidy

The government has approved a subsidy of Rs. 5.5 per quintal of sugarcane crushed in the 2017-18 season to help sugar mills clear more than Rs. 19,000 crore in dues to cane farmers

Highlights:

  • The decision was taken by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
  • The assistance will be paid directly to the farmers on behalf of the mills.
  • It will be adjusted against the Fair and Remunerative Price (FRP) of Rs. 255 per quintal set by government as the rate that mills must pay to cane farmers, as well as the arrears of payments pending from previous years.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

Framework Convention on tobacco control

The Union Cabinet has given approval to accede to the Protocol under World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention on tobacco control to eliminate illicit trade in tobacco products.

Highlights:

  • It will be applicable to both smoking and chewing or smokeless tobacco (SLT) forms as negotiated and adopted under Article 15 of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC).
  • The protocol lays down obligations of the parties.
  • It spells out supply chain control measures that must be adopted by the parties
  • The protocol lists out offences, enforcement measures such as seizures and disposal of seized products.
  • It calls for international cooperation in information sharing, maintaining confidentiality, training, technical assistance and cooperation in scientific and technical and technological matters.
  • Elimination of illicit trade in tobacco products through strengthened regulation will help in strengthening comprehensive tobacco control, leading to reduction in tobacco use which in turn, will result in reduction in disease burden and mortality associated with tobacco use.

About WHO FCTC:

  • The WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) is the first international public health treaty negotiated under the auspices of the WHO.
  • India is a party to WHO FCTC.
  • The objective of FCTC is to provide a framework for supply and demand reduction measures for tobacco control at the national, regional and global levels.
  • One of the key tobacco supply reduction strategies contained in Article 15 of WHO FCTC envisages elimination of all forms of illicit trade and tobacco products, including smuggling, illicit manufacturing and counterfeiting.
  • Accordingly, the said Protocol was developed and adopted by the Conference of Parties (COP) which is the governing body of FCTC

Read more at: PIB

Topic 1:Industrial development

Krishonnati Yojana

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Umbrella Scheme, “Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana” in agriculture sector beyond 12th Five Year Plan for the period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

Highlights:

  • The Umbrella scheme comprises of 11 Schemes/Missions.
  • These schemes look to develop the agriculture and allied sector in a holistic and scientific manner to increase the income of farmers by enhancing production, productivity and better returns on produce.
  • All these schemes/missions were appraised and approved independently as separate scheme/mission

Read more at:PIB

Bengaluru Expressway project

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) is mulling the idea of tendering out the 262-km greenfield Bangalore-Chennai Expressway (BCE) under the hybrid annuity mode (HAM). Under HAM, a portion of the costs is borne by the government and the contractor is paid an annuity.

Highlights:

  • This is in place of the engineering — procurement — construction (EPC) mode where a one-time payment is made to the contractor, who is expected to complete the work within a stipulated time and cost
  • It has been divided into three phases for operational ease.
  • It was subject to all standard conditions including obtaining of a No objection Certificate from the Archaeological Survey of India if any structures fell within a distance of 300 metres from the proposed alignment.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Improvement in Air Quality

The Government has made serious efforts to deal with air pollution. Significant action has been taken in Delhi and NCR, including the formulation of Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) by CPCB.

Highlights:

  • Data for the year 2017 for PM 2.5 shows an improvement over 2016 and so far in 2018, it shows a further improvement, as compared to 2017.   
  • The Government has also taken several bold initiatives, including leap-frogging from BS-IV to BS-VI.
  • The improvement in Particulate Matter concentration in Delhi has happened in spite of episodic events in two successive years in November 2016 and November 2017.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) organised seven workshops at various locations in different states, in which guidelines for preparing action plans were disseminated.
  • National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) was launched by MoEFCC in April, 2018 and this was preceded by Clean Air Programme in Delhi in February 2018 to sensitise the public in general and implementing agencies in particular.

Read more at: PIB

Endangered tortoises rescued in Madagascar

International conservationists in Madagascar have been treating more than 10,000 critically endangered radiated tortoises that were seized from traffickers who had crammed them into a home with no access to food or water.

Highlights:

  • The Turtle Survival Alliance and other groups are caring for the tortoises at a wildlife facility in the Ifaty region of the Indian Ocean nation, though hundreds have died from illness and dehydration.
  • Radiated tortoises are coveted for the star pattern on their shells.

Read more at:The Hindu

Glow-in-the-dark algae-the sign of Global Warming

The phenomenon of Mumbai’s beaches glowing in the dark maybe a consequence of global warming and not industrial pollution, according to a year-long investigation by Indian and American scientists.

Highlights:

  • Noctiluca algae commonly known as sea tinkle devours one of the most important planktonic organisms at the base of the fish-food chain, namely diatoms, and also excretes large amounts of ammonia, which is linked with massive fish mortality.
  • The increase in algal patches is linked to global warming conditions
  • A warming ocean means greater temperature differences among layers of the sea water.
  • Intensifying global-warming conditions may be expected to disrupt the fish-food chain and cause a decline of fisheries in the region

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Formation of technical cadre of PESO

The Union Cabinet has approved formation of a group ‘A’ service of technical cadre of Petroleum and Safety Organisation (PESO) to be known as Indian Petroleum and Explosives Safety Service.

Highlights:

  • PESO is a subordinate office under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion.
  • It is a nodal agency for regulating safety of substances such as explosives, compressed gases and petroleum.
  • To remove acute stagnation in all grades and uplift the morale of the workforce and enhance its performance, it has been decided to form group ‘A’ service and restructure the newly-formed service.
  • The measure will enhance the capacity and efficiency of the organisation and it will also enhance career progression of its Group ‘A’ officers

Read more at: ET

Topic 3 : ICT

National Digital Communications Policy 2018

The draft new telecom policy branded as ‘National Digital Communications Policy 2018’ was unveiled by the government.

Highlights:

  • It proposes broadband access for all with 50 mbps speed, 5G services and 40 lakh new jobs in the sector by 2022
  • Under the new policy, the government aims to enable fixed line broadband access to 50 per cent of households and start landline portability services
  • The draft also proposes to address woes of the sector by reviewing licence fees, spectrum usage charges, universal service obligation fund levy – all of which add to cost of telecom services

Read more at: TOI

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