Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Economic development
Asian Development Outlook 2019
Asian Development Bank has published Asian Development Outlook 2019.
- ADB has cut India’s growth forecast to 7.2% for 2019-20 because of a slower-than-expected pickup in investment demand.
- The growth rate in Financial Year 2020-21 is likely to be 7.3%.
- India will remain the fastest growing major economy, as China is projected to grow at 6.3% in 2019.
- India’s strong growth is because of strong household spending and corporate fundamentals.
- Strong household spending– Income support to farmers, hikes in procurement prices for food grains, and tax relief to taxpayers earning less than Rs 5 lakh, declining fuel and food prices.
- Strong corporate fundamentals– An increase in utilization of production capacity by firms, falling levels of stressed assets held by banks and easing of credit restrictions on certain banks, is expected to help investment grow at a healthy rate.
- Imports are expected to rise mainly due to stronger domestic demand, while a growth slowdown in India’s key export destinations would dent export growth.
- The current account deficit is expected to widen a bit to 2.4% of GDP in FY2019 and 2.5% of GDP in FY2020.
- The inflation is expected to average around 4% in the first half of FY2019, and therefore the Reserve Bank would have some room for lowering policy rates further increasing credit.
- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is a regional development bank established on 19 December 1966.
- ADB is headquartered in Manila, Philippines.
- It aims to promote social and economic development in Asia.
- ADB now has 67 members, of which 48 are from within Asia and the Pacific and 19 outside.
- Japan holds the largest proportion of shares in ADB followed by the USA.
Read more at: Businesstoday
Advance Pricing Agreement (APA)
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) entered into 18 APAs in the month of March 2019, which include 3 Bilateral APAs (BAPAs).
- The total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT in the year 2018-19 stands at 52, which includes 11 BAPAs.
- The total number of APAs entered into by the CBDT as of now stands at 271, which inter alia include 31 BAPAs.
What are APAs?
- An APA is an agreement between a taxpayer and the tax authority determining the Transfer Pricing methodology for pricing the tax payer’s international transactions for future years.
- An APA provides certainty with respect to the tax outcome of the tax payer’s international transactions.
- Transfer pricing is the setting of the price for goods and services sold between controlled (or related) legal entities(may be situated in different countries)within an enterprise.
- The agreement helps in addressing complex transfer pricing issues in a fair and transparent manner.
What are the types of APAs?
- A Unilateral APA is an APA that involves only the taxpayer and the tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located.
- Bilateral APA (BAPA) is an APA that involves the tax payer, associated enterprise (AE) of the taxpayer in the foreign country, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located and the foreign tax authority.
- Multilateral APA (MAPA) is an APA that involves the taxpayer, two or more AEs of the tax payer in different foreign countries, tax authority of the country where the taxpayer is located and the tax authorities of AEs.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
The world’s southernmost coral reef has been hit by bleaching highlighting that the rising sea temperatures from climate change were affecting even the most isolated ecosystems.
- The corals off Lord Howe Island (600 km offshore from Sydney) were affected by elevated temperatures, despite escaping severe bleaching that damaged the Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017.
- Bleaching occurs when abnormal environmental conditions, such as warmer sea temperatures, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, draining them of their colour.
- Increasing baseline temperatures caused by climate change, and local factors such as elevated temperatures in the area this summer, caused the bleaching to occur.
What is Coral Bleaching?
Coral bleaching, whitening of coral that results from the loss of a coral’s symbiotic algae(zooxanthellae) or the degradation of the algae’s photosynthetic pigment. Bleaching is associated with the devastation of coral reefs, which are home to approximately 25 percent of all marine species.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 3 : ICT
World’s first 5G networks
South Korea will launch world’s first 5G mobile networks on April 5, 2019. South Korea will be the first country to launch 5G networks.
- Experts say 5G will bring smartphones near-instantaneous connectivity—20 times faster than 4G—allowing users to download entire movies in less than a second.
- The technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034.
Read more at: The Hindu