April 1, 2018

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April 2, 2018

Current Affairs for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)

Video Lectures for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)

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
  4. Material Science
  5. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Economic development

Public Financial Management System (PFMS)

A “historic” Rs 71,633 crore was processed and routed through the PFMS portal on a single day. This is a Historical Record Breaking Volume of Digital Transactions achieved by PFMS.

About PFMS:

  • The Public Financial Management System (PFMS),earlier known as Central Plan Schemes Monitoring System (CPSMS), is a web-based online software application developed and implemented by the Office of Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
  • PFMS was initially started during 2009 as a Central Sector Scheme of Planning Commission with the objective of tracking funds released under all Plan schemes of GoI, and real time reporting of expenditure at all levels of Programme implementation.
  • Subsequently in the year 2013, the scope was enlarged to cover direct payment to beneficiaries under both Plan and non-Plan Schemes.
  • The latest enhancement in the functionalities of PFMS commenced in late 2014, wherein it has been envisaged that digitization of accounts shall be achieved through PFMS and the additional functionalities would be built into PFMS in different stages.

Objectives

  • The primary objective of PFMS is to facilitate sound Public Financial Management System for Government of India (GoI) by establishing an efficient fund flow system as well as a payment cum accounting network.
  • PFMS provides various stakeholders with a real time, reliable and meaningful management information system and an effective decision support system, as part of the Digital India initiative of GoI

Read more at:PIB

Topic 1:Industrial development

MP’s black chicken Kadaknath wins GI tag

Madhya Pradesh has won the Geographical Indication (GI) tag for Kadaknath, a black-feathered chicken known for its flavourful meat.

Highlights:

  • It is native tribal districts of Jhabua, Alirajpur and parts of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Kadaknath is in demand not only because of its taste but also due to its low cholesterol and high protein content.

About GI tag:

  • A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin.
  • In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
  • In addition, the qualities, characteristics or reputation of the product should be essentially due to the place of origin.

Who accord GI tag?

  • Chennai based Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property of India accord locally.
  • At international level, GI is governed by WTO’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
    The registration of a GI is valid for 10 years after which it needs to be renewed.

Read more at:Indian Express

Topic 2 : Environment

Arctic permafrost may unleash carbon within decades: NASA

Permafrost in the coldest northern Arctic will thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere this century, with the peak transition occurring in 40 to 60 years, a NASA study warns

Highlights:

  • NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, calculated that as thawing continues, by the year 2300, total carbon emissions from this region will be 10 times as much as all human-produced fossil fuel emissions in 2016.
  • Permafrost is soil that has remained frozen for years or centuries under topsoil. It contains carbon-rich organic material, such as leaves, that froze without decaying.
  • The warmer, more southerly permafrost regions will not become a carbon source until the end of the 22nd century, even though they are thawing(make something warm enough to become liquid or soft) now.
  • As rising Arctic air temperatures cause permafrost to thaw, the organic material decomposes and releases its carbon to the atmosphere in the form of the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane.
  • Over the course of the model simulations, northern permafrost lost about five times more carbon per century than southern permafrost. The southern region transitioned more slowly in the model simulations

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project

Construction works on 60 MW Naitwar Mori Hydro Electric Project have begun.

Highlights:

  • The Naitwar Mori Project with a generation potential of 60 MW is located on River Tons, a major tributary of River Yamuna on the Ganga basin, in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand state in North India.
  • This run-of-the river project type.

Read more at:PIB

Microbes help in making hydrocarbons

Scientists at the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi, have succeeded in engineering the metabolic pathway of Escherichia coli in such way that it would synthesise hydrocarbons of carbon chain length 15 and 17, which are the fundamental components of diesel.

Highlights:

  • The approach of in-silico metabolic pathway, and finally over-expressed a gene (zwf gene) and removed few genes from E. coli which resulted in significantly high hydrocarbon production.
  • A total of three gene additions and eight gene deletions were carried out to increase the hydrocarbon production rate and concentration.
  • The added genes included those which code for cyanobacterial alkane producing enzymes and a host gene which can lead to availability of higher electrons needed for alkane production.
  • The deletions helped in saving the substrate (glucose) from going to other competing products, and also helped in limiting the cell growth so that more carbon is available for alkane formation.
  • The pathway engineering also led to higher production of fatty alcohol, which has a role in cosmetic industries.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS)

China has successfully launched two satellites with a single rocket to strengthen its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). The two satellites are coded as the 30th and 31st members in the BDS.

Highlights:

  • Named after the Chinese term for Big Dipper, the BeiDou system started providing independent services over China in 2000.
  • It is being projected by Beijing as a rival to the American Global Positioning System (GPS).
  • It has total 22 Operational satellites in orbit and the full constellation is scheduled to comprise 35 satellites.
  • BeiDou has two separate constellations, BeiDou-1 and BeiDou-2. BeiDou-1 also known as first generation was a constellation of three satellites. BeiDou-2, also known as COMPASS, is the second generation of the system. It became operational in the year 2011.

Other Satellite Navigation Systems in the world:

Global Positioning System (GPS)

  • The NAVSTAR GPS system is composed of 24 satellites, and was created by the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • It can be accessed anywhere on or near the Earth where there is an unobstructed line-of-sight to four or more GPS satellites.

Global Satellite Navigation System (GLONASS)

  • GLONASS is also composed of 24 satellites but was developed in the Soviet Union and is operated by the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces.
  • This is the only other navigational system in operation with global coverage and of comparable precision.

Galileo (In development)

  • Galileo is a global navigation system currently being developed by the European Union and European Space Agency intended primarily for civilian use.

Compass (In development)

  • Compass is a global navigation system currently being developed in China.

Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS)

  • The Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS) is a regional satellite navigation system being developed by the Indian Space Research Organization.
  • IRNSS will provide standard service for civilian use and an encrypted restricted service for authorized users (military).

Read more at:The Hindu

largest cloud infrastructures in the world

Technology giant Microsoft is betting big on areas such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and augmented reality to woo customers by constructing largest cloud infrastructure.

Importance:

  • A whole range of devices from small IoT (Internet of Things) sensors to large screens that someone is going to have in their homes and those need to be powered by operating systems and mechanisms will be integrated seamlessly with each other.
  • Connected Vehicle Platform(to connect cars) is built and based on Azure Cloud(microsoft).

What is Cloud Infrastructure:

  • Cloud infrastructure is the collection of server hardware, networking gear, storage resources, and software that is needed to build applications that can be accessed by the cloud.
  • In a cloud infrastructure, applications can be accessed remotely using networking services such as wide area networks (WANs), telecom services, and the Internet.

Components of Cloud Infrastructure:

a) Computing:

  • This provides computing power for the cloud service and is usually provided by racks of servers powered by server chips.

b) Networking:

  • Routers and switches are used to move data between the computing resources, the storage systems, and the outside world.

c) Storage:

  • The cloud service usually requires large amounts of storage resources, which are often pooled and separated from the server hardware in separate racks that might use a combination hard disks and flash storage.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 5: General Knowledge:

A new biological ‘switch’

Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation.

Highlights:

  • Itaconate – a molecule derived from glucose – acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lie at the heart of many inflammatory diseases.
  • The researchers are now exploring its relevance to the onset and development of inflammatory and infectious diseases
  • The macrophage(type of white blood cells) takes the nutrient glucose, whose day job is to provide energy, and surprisingly turns it into itaconate.

About macrophages:

  • macrophage is a type of phagocyte, which is a cell responsible for detecting, engulfing and destroying pathogens and apoptotic cells.
  • Macrophages are produced through the differentiation of monocytes, which turn into macrophages when they leave the blood.

Read more at:The Hindu

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