Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
Video lectures for ESE prelims 2020
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Economic development
Proposed Fiscal Council
The 15th Finance Commission’s Chairman NK Singh has called for institutional mechanism like a ‘Fiscal Council’ to enforce fiscal rules and keep a check on Centre’s fiscal consolidation.
Need of Fiscal council:
- A mechanism for enforcement which will be equally applicable for both centre and states
- Article 293 (3) provides a constitutional check over borrowings and state government liabilities but there are no such restrictions on the Centre.
- There is a need for coordination between the finance commission as well as the GST Council.
Read more at: ET
Topic 2 : Environment
IUCN red list of threatened species
The hump-backed Mahseer, found in the waters of the Cauvery, has been added to the IUCN Red List with Critically Endangered Status.
- The hump-backed mahseer—a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers)—is now “Critically Endangered”: more threatened than the tiger is, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
- Five other species have also made it to threatened categories: two wild orchids, the Arabian scad (a marine fish) and two wild coffee species found only in a few localities in the Western Ghats.
- Shoal (an international organisation working to conserve freshwater species) initiated ‘Project Mahseer’.
- along with other stakeholders to enable conservation action for the hump-backed mahseer.
About IUCN red list of threatened species:
- The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of plant and animal species.
- It uses a set of quantitative criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species. These criteria are relevant to most species and all regions of the world.
- With its strong scientific base, The IUCN Red List is recognized as the most authoritative guide to the status of biological diversity.
- The IUCN Red List Categories define the extinction risk of species assessed. Nine categories extend from NE (Not Evaluated) to EX (Extinct).
- Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU) species are considered to be threatened with extinction.
- The IUCN system uses a set of five quantitative criteria to assess the extinction risk of a given species, they are:
- The rate of population decline.
- The geographic range.
- Whether the species already possesses a small population size.
- Whether the species is very small or lives in a restricted area.
- Whether the results of a quantitative analysis indicate a high probability of extinction in the wild.
- The Red List is indeed being used in many developing countries including India as a standard to understand the conservation status of species
- Funding and research when a species is included in the List.
- Conservation managers use information from the Red List to understand threats to specific species.
- Planning effectively conservation strategies to improve the conservation status of individual or groups of species
Read more at: The Hindu
Earth Hour 2019
The Earth Hour 2019 was observed on March 30 from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm local time.
About Earth Hour:
- World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) Earth Hour is an annual global celebration in which people switch off their lights for one hour to show they care about the future of our planet.
- It began in Sydney, Australia in 2007, the number of countries taking part in Earth Hour has grown to over 180 countries and territories.
- It aims to put the spotlight on the issues facing the planet, and to inspire millions across the world to live more sustainably.
- The Earth Hour India carried hashtag#Bee4ThePlanet.
About World Wildlife Fund:
- The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961,working in the field of wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment.
- It was formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States.
- Headquartered in Gland, Switzerland.
- The group’s mission is “to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature”.
Read more at: The Hindu
India’s first carbon-positive settlement
Phayeng, a small village in Imphal West district of, Manipur has developed itself as India’s first carbon-positive settlement.
- Phayeng is a scheduled caste village of the Chakpa community in Imphal West district and its conservation efforts are mainly linked to the belief that the forest is a sacred grove.
- The transformation of the village from the dry and denuded village in the 1970s and 80s was funded under the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC).
- A village is given the carbon-positive tag if it sequesters more carbon than it emits, slowing the accumulation of greenhouse gases and mitigating the effects of climate change
- The hunting is completely banned in the village except once a year when a deer is usually killed as sacrifice to the “forest gods”.
- Restriction on outsiders’ entry into the forest without permission.
- Forest fires are carefully monitored
- Only dry twigs are extracted for firewood
- The entire 200 acres is patrolled by at least six people every day.
- The National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) is a Central Sector Scheme which was set up in the year 2015-16.
- The aim of NAFCC is to support concrete adaptation activities which mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.
- The activities under this scheme are implemented in a project mode. The projects related to adaptation in sectors such as agriculture, animal husbandry, water, forestry, tourism, etc. are eligible for funding under NAFCC.
- National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the National Implementing Entity (NIE).
Read more at: Hindustantimes
Topic 2 : Energy
Bolivia joined the International Solar Alliance
Bolivia joined the International Solar Alliance by signing the framework agreement on International Solar Alliance.
- The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an alliance of more than 122 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, now extended to all members of UN.
- The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.
- It is headquartered at Gurugram, India.
- The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
Read more at: PIB