Current Affairs for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)
Video Lectures for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
Topic 1:Economic development
Crisil, ICRA differ on stressed asset outlook
Two major rating agencies Crisil and ICRA have painted differing pictures on stressed asset outlook. While the former said there had been an improvement in credit quality sustained through fiscal 2018, the latter claimed that pressure on credit quality persists.
- ICRA said while there were more upgrades that the downgrades, these trends did not imply that the credit quality pressures on India Inc had subsided.
- The volume of the debt downgraded rose sharply to almost Rs. 3 trillion in FY2018, significantly higher than the debt of Rs. 1.7 trillion, downgraded in the previous fiscal
- Crisil’s credit ratio, that is, the number of upgrades as compared to downgrades, continues to reflect the improvement in the ‘good loan-book’, though it has moderated from the levels seen in the first half
- Upgrades outnumbered downgrades in the good loan-book on the back of better financial indicators due to lower capital expenditure (capex) and record equity issuances
- CRISIL (formerly Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited) is a global analytical company providing ratings, research, and risk and policy advisory services.
- CriSidEx is a composite index based on a diffusion index of 8 parameters and measures MSE business sentiment on a scale of 0 (extremely negative ) to 200 ( extremely positive) .
- CriSidEx will have two indices, one for the ‘survey quater’ and another for ‘next quater’ once a trend emerges after few rounds of the survey, providing independent time series data.
- ICRA Limited (ICRA) is an Indian independent and professional investment information and credit rating agency. It was established in 1991, and was originally named Investment Information and Credit Rating Agency of India Limited (IICRA India).
- ICRA’s credit ratings are symbolic representations of its current opinion on the relative credit risks associated with the rated debt obligations/issues.
- These ratings are assigned on an Indian (that is, national or local) credit rating scale for Indian Rupee denominated debt obligations.
- ICRA ratings may be understood as relative rankings of credit risk within India.
- ICRA ratings are not designed to enable any rating comparison among instruments across countries; rather, these address the relative credit risks within India.
Read more at: The Hindu
Samridhi – the virtual assistant & ‘ Bankability Kit’
SIDBI celebrated its foundation day today as day of Sampark (connect), Sanwad (interaction), Suraksha (security) and Sampreshan (disseminate).
- MSMEs to come closer in understanding their opportunities, challenges and the eco system so as to grasp as to what can be done to ease the way they do business.
- SIDBI has taken a series of steps both from direct lending (launch of growth support to MSME -SMILE loans around 8.12% and enhancing its footprint through string of Resident Representative Office ) as also policy advocacy ( launch of CRISIDEX, to gauge MSME aspirations, and MSME pulse, the health tracker for MSMEs).
- Besides providing crisp and precise information about the various strategic interventions made by SIDBI, it exhibits a great potential for the MSME aspirants through its other offerings in the form of a “Contactless Loan Platform” likely to be introduced on the website shortly.
- Bankability Kit (brought in partnership with Bank of Baroda and IDBI Bank) was also launched. It is a step to look beyond financial literacy and be a trusted guide for aspirants and existing entrepreneurs to know entrepreneurial self, know banker & know banking.
- To create a network which will result in selection of model entrepreneurs every year who will be supported by SIDBI in creating sustainable business models.
- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) is the principal development financial institution in India headquartered at Lucknow with branches all over India. Set up on April 2, 1990 through an Act of Parliament
- SIDBI acts as the Principal Financial Institution for the Promotion, Financing and Development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector and for co-ordination of functions of institutions engaged in similar activities
- In line with its mandate of resolving the difficulties, both financial and non-financial, faced by small scale industries aka MSEs, SIDBI has undertaken a lot of activities which inter-alia include development of Micro Finance Institutions, rural enterprises promotion, direct assistance to MSEs and increasing and supporting the money supply to the MSE sector through its refinance programme.
- The management of SIDBI have conceptualized SIDBI Vision 2.0 which underpins continued and renewed focus on the MSME sector and also has a set of structural initiatives planned to help the MSME sector
Read more at:PIB
Topic 1:Social development
Millets and wheat over rice and meat
A shift to wheat, millets and maize from polished rice, to chicken and legumes from beef and eggs, along with leafy vegetables and coconut could reduce India’s micronutrient deficiencies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a study titled ‘Healthy, affordable and climate-friendly diets in India’ suggests.
Nearly three-quarters of Indians consume less than the ideal number of calories a day, and more than half have protein deficiency, the deficiencies of micronutrients were more prevalent
- Nearly nine in 10 Indians are iron-deficient, 85% do not meet the required intake of vitamin A, and two-thirds have zinc deficiency.
- Urban households had increased deficiencies compared to their rural counterparts (apart from vitamin A), which the researchers attribute to greater diversity of cereals in rural areas
- The rice-based diets of south and east India make the people in these areas more vulnerable to micronutrient deficiencies than people elsewhere.
- Those above the poverty line can make up for this nutritional inadequacy without their food budgets being affected much, nearly 160 million people below the poverty line cannot without exceeding their food budgets.
- The required micronutrients can be met by reducing the intake of rice (from 61% to around 40% of calorie share) and meat (expensive and with high greenhouse gas emissions) and replacing them with coarse cereals such as bajra and ragi, along with legumes, dark, leafy vegetables, and coconut.
- These dietary changes could also reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in India by up to 25%, the study shows.
Read more at: The Hindu
National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF)
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has launched the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) on 29th September, 2015 to rank institutions across the country.
- The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) does the institutional assessment and accreditation, while National Board of Accreditation (NBA) does programmatic accreditation of technical programmes and courses.
- To rationalize the expansion of courses in engineering / technical, management etc. and to bring quality in technical education, AICTE has made it mandatory to have NBA
- Ranking promotes competition among the Universities and drive them to strive for excellence.
- In NIRF, to promote Research and Development in Higher Education, ‘Research and Professional Practices’ has been given the highest weightage of 40%, for ranking Universities.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Rain may delay olive ridley hatchings
Hatching of olive ridley eggs at Rushikulya rookery, a major mass nesting site of the endangered marine turtles, may get delayed by a few days because of the sudden drizzle
- Because of the rain the sand temperature has come down and this may delay the mass hatching of eggs by a few days
- The sudden rain has dampened the sand and also reduced the temperature of the eggs in the olive ridley nests.
- The rain has also tightened the sand covering the eggs in the nests.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 3 : ICT
Drones deployed to map Chennai
To map Chennai the Greater Chennai Municipal Corporation (GCMC) using drones.
- The exercise may throw light on encroachment of government land, officials say.
- The project will also enable authorities to levy property tax on owners who have illegally lowered the dues from their buildings, and help them plan for disaster management.
Read more at: The Hindu
Scientists were initially planning to push the Tiangong-1 satellite to Point Nemo. However, they could not do so as they lost control of it. China’s defunct Tiangong-1 space lab mostly broke up on re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere above the South Pacific.
- Point Nemo, or “ocean point of inaccessibility,” is a region in the South Pacific that is the loneliest place on the planet. It is used as a graveyard for controlled re-entries and a place where space junk can be dropped safely.
- Point Nemo, named after the submarine captain in Jules Verne’s classic science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, is about 2,688 kilometers from the nearest land – Pitcairn Islands – which lies to the north of this point. Also, Motu Nui — one of the Easter Islands — lies to the northeast and Maher Island, part of Antarctica, to the south.
- The region is safe to land all kinds of waste because there is also not much life in the water here. Coincidentally, it is also biologically not very diverse.
China’s Tiangong 1:
- The Tiangong 1 module is China’s first spacecraft designed for orbital docking tests and space research. It’s name translates to “Heavenly Palace” in English.
- The Tiangong 1 space lab intended to serve as a space station module prototype for China, which is the third country (after Russia and the United States) to develop the capability to launch astronauts into space and return them safely to Earth.
Read more at:TOI