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
BHIM UPI transactions touch Rs 1 trillion in FY18
According to data from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), there were BHIM UPI transactions of approximately 913 million in volume and close to Rs 1 trillion in value in FY18.
- UPI, which allows instant money transfer between bank accounts through mobile phones has witnessed a spike in growth over the last several months owing to smartphone based payment applications
- NPCI is planning to open up UPI as a mode of transaction for international inward settlements that now take place through IMPS or NEFT
- Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) is an initiative to enable fast, secure, reliable cashless payments through your mobile phone.
- BHIM is interoperable with other Unified Payment Interface (UPI) applications, & bank accounts for quick money transfers online.
- BHIM is developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) as a part of the Digital India initiative
Read more at:ET
Topic 1:Social development
Deficit in primary health centres
The total 25,650 primary health centres (PHCs) in the country, 15,700 (61.2%) function with one doctor each. As many as 1,974 (7.69%) PHCs do not have even a single doctor.
- As per to the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) guidelines, each 24/7 PHC should have a minimum of two doctors apart from a desirable third, apart from three nurses, one lab technician and one pharmacist.
- While 9,183 (35.8%) of the total number of PHCs do not have a lab technician, 4,744 (18.4%) do not have a pharmacist.
- A fully functional primary health centre can meet most healthcare needs, and only complicated cases need to be referred to secondary or tertiary facilities.
- Primary Health Centre (PHCs), sometimes referred to as public health centres, are state-owned rural health care facilities in India.
- They are essentially single-physician clinics usually with facilities for minor surgeries, too.
- They are part of the government-funded public health system in India and are the most basic units of this system
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 1:Industrial development
T.N. tops in Mudra Yojana loan disbursement
Tamil Nadu is the biggest recipient of loans to small and micro enterprises under the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)
- As of March 16, 2018, there were about 48.61 lakh accounts in Tamil Nadu under the PMMY scheme as per the data.
- Over 11.65 crore loans amounting to over Rs. 5.26 lakh crore have been sanctioned since the inception of the scheme
- Karnataka had the second highest disbursement at Rs. 51,591.65 crore, followed by Maharashtra at Rs. 48,811.16 crore, Uttar Pradesh at Rs. 44,560.6 crore and West Bengal at Rs. 41,127.41 crore, which accounts for the top five States under the scheme.
Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana (PMMY)
- The Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY) is a scheme launched by the Union Government on April 8, 2015 for providing loans upto Rs. 10 lakh (around US$15,000) to the non-corporate, non-farm small/micro enterprises.
- Under PMMY, all banks viz. Public Sector banks, Private Sector Banks, Regional Rural Banks (RRBs), State Co-operative Banks, Urban Co-operative Banks, Foreign Banks and Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFCs)/Micro
- Finance Institutions (MFIs) – are required to lend to non-farm sector income generating activities below Rs.10 lakh. These loans are classified as MUDRA loans under PMMY.
- Under the aegis of PMMY, MUDRA has created three products namely ‘Shishu’, ‘Kishore’ and ‘Tarun’ to signify the stage of growth / development and funding needs of the beneficiary micro unit / entrepreneur and also provide a reference point for the next phase of graduation / growth.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
Blockchain and the world of Energy Technology
The world of Energy is also getting ready for a taste of this revolutionary technology
- The smart meter monitoring this has a built-in smart contract and knows when to buy or sell.
- Generators, consumers and storage devices should be able to integrate in this system and provide services for electricity purchase, sale, storage or drawdowns.
- Universal access to charging infrastructure is a key factor that will help electric vehicles be successful. Imagine going to your office and while you are doing your work, the car gets charged based on rules you have setup.
- A meter connected to a renewable plant can measure the amount of electricity generated and record that as a secured block on the distributed ledger.
- Blockchain can help bring in significantly more visibility and optimization and aid in asset tracking along with trade documentation & finance
- Smart energy through blockchain could also help in building India’s smart cities
- Blockchain models operate on the assumption that all providers transact directly with their customers
Read more at: ET
Electric Vehicles and Hybrid Vehicles explained
Though the government seems to have dropped its plan to implement a comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) policy, it is still keen on shifting India’s petrol-diesel-based auto industry to electric. NITI Aayog has tasked seven Ministries, including Heavy Industries and Power, to come up with guidelines to encourage the use of EVs.
What are the differences between electric and hybrid vehicles?
- The key difference between hybrid and all-EVs is in the sources of fuel and locomotion available to them.
- Hybrid vehicles have two sources available to them— a battery that powers an electric motor and a fuel tank that powers a normal petrol engine.
- Typically, the battery can power the electric motor for only about 60-70 km, but there are constant improvements being made in the efficiency and capacity of lithium-ion batteries and so, this is expected to improve
- Once the battery is depleted, the hybrid car switches over to the petrol engine, which then functions like any other normal car engine.
- An all-EV does not have this advantage. Once its battery is depleted, it has no backup source of fuel.
- However, electric cars have the benefit of larger batteries since they do not have to share space with a petrol engine or fuel tank.
How do you refuel e-vehicles?
- A normal plug-in vehicle can be refuelled by plugging the car into a wall socket or a charging point.
- There are some hybrid variants that can recharge the electric battery through a technology called regenerative braking, where the vehicle converts the force of the car when it brakes into electrical energy.
- Charging time depends on the size of the battery and the source of electricity.
- A DC charging point can fully charge a car battery in a fraction of the time taken using an AC charging point, which is 6-8 hours.
How does the law differentiate between the two?
The main difference is in their tax treatment under the Goods and Services Tax. While EVs are taxed at 12%, hybrid vehicles are taxed on par with the luxury vehicles at 28% plus 15% cess.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 3 : ICT
India is world’s second largest mobile phone producer
- India has become the second largest producer of mobile phones in the world after China as per data shared by Indian Cellular Association
- India accounted for 11% of the global production in 2017 compared to 3% in 2014
Indian Cellular Association:
- Indian Cellular Association (ICA) is the apex body of the mobile industry comprising manufacturers, brand owners, application & solution providers, distributors, retailers and eminent consumers of mobile handsets.
- The Association has been constituted to provide value and service to the mobile cellular industry in India by fuelling its growth, improving competitiveness, helping create a legal and ethical market and regulatory environment, thereby providing long-term benefits of mobile connectivity to the Indian masses.
Read more at:The Hindu