April 6,2018

Quiz-April 04,2018
April 5, 2018
Quiz-April 5,2018
April 6, 2018

Current Affairs for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)

Video Lectures for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)

  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

Topic 1:Economic development

Monetary Policy Committee

The Ministry of Finance, Government of India welcomes the First bi-monthly Statement of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in the Financial Year 2018-19.

Highlights:

  • It  updated its real GDP growth and inflation projections for 2017-18 and 2018-19.
  • The MPC revised upwards its forecast of real GDP growth from 7.2 % in its February 2018 Statement to 7.4 %, broadly in line with the forecast in the Economic Survey
  • MPC has maintained all policy rates unchanged.
  • The inflation forecast for H1 2018-19 has been revised downwards from 5.1 -5.6 percent to 4.4-4.7 percent, and from 4.5-4.6 percent to 4.4 percent in H2 2018-19

MPC:

  • The Monetary Policy Committee of India is a committee of the Reserve Bank of India that is responsible for fixing the benchmark interest rate in India. The meetings of the Monetary Policy Committee are held at least 4 times a year and it publishes its decisions after each such meeting.
  • The committee comprises six members – three officials of the Reserve Bank of India and three external members nominated by the Government of India
  • The Governor of Reserve Bank of India is the chairperson ex officio of the committee.
  • Decisions are taken by majority with the Governor having the casting vote in case of a tie.
  • The current mandate of the committee is to maintain 4% annual inflation until March 31, 2021 with an upper tolerance of 6% and a lower tolerance of 2%.

Read more at: PIB

Tax on alcohol, tobacco to benefit poor

A a study published in the Lancet noted that levying taxes on unhealthy products can produce major health gains for the poorest in society, especially if tax revenues are used to fund pro-poor programmes

Highlights:

  • These unhealthy products include soft drinks, alcohol and tobacco.
  • The  taxes on unhealthy products have the potential to produce major health gains among the poorest in society, who are disproportionately affected by non-communicable diseases NCDs.

Read more at: The Hindu

RBI bars banks from dealing with virtual currencies

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked banks to stop providing service to any entity dealing with virtual currencies, with immediate effect.

Highlights:

  • Regulated entities that are already providing such services should exit the relationship within three months.
  • RBI said it would explore introducing digital currency and had formed an interdepartmental group to study and provide guidance on the desirability and feasibility to introduce a central bank digital currency.
  • RBI recognise that the blockchain technology or distributed ledger technology that lies beneath the virtual currencies has a potential benefit for financial inclusion

Virtual Currency:

  • Virtual currency, also known as virtual money, is a type of unregulated, digital money, which is issued and usually controlled by its developers (Bitcoin is an exception), and used and accepted among the members of a specific virtual community.
  • Unlike regular money, it is relying on a system of trust and not issued by a central bank or other banking authority.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

Skill India reforms

In 2016, the Government of India formed the Sharada Prasad Committee to rationalise the Sector Skill Councils (SSCs), which are employer bodies mostly promoted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Indian Industry and other industry associations, and improve ‘Skill India’.The committee submitted its report in 2016

The major  recommendations:

  • It suggests concrete steps to ensure a mindset change, such as having a separate stream for vocational education (in secondary education), creating vocational schools and vocational colleges for upward mobility, and having a Central university to award degrees and diplomas
  • Private vocational training providers (VTPs) that mushroomed as private industrial training institutes (ITIs) and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC)-financed short-term training providers are no substitute for industry-employer engagement with each pillar of the VET ecosystem
  • Aligning the courses to international requirements, ensuring a basic foundation lifelong learning
  • It implies national standards for an in-demand skill set with national/global mobility that translates into better jobs.
  • Short duration courses (with no real skills) that provide low pay for suboptimal jobs cannot be called national standards
  • It could ensure reimbursements for those companies undertaking training while rewarding industry for sharing and undertaking skilling until everyone in the company is skilled

Skill India:

Skill India is a campaign launched by Prime Minister on 15 July 2015 which aim to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. It includes various initiatives of the government like “National Skill Development Mission”, “National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, 2015”, “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)” and the “Skill Loan scheme”.

Goals of Skill India:

  • To meet employers’ needs of skills
  • To prepare workers (young and old) for a decent livelihood.

Read more at:The Hindu

RBI fiat on payment system operators’ data

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has said all payment system operators’ data must be stored only within the country.

Highlights:

  • The central bank gave the operators six months to comply with the directive
  • The move is intended to give unfettered access to all payment data for supervisory purposes
  • Ensuring the safety and security of payment systems data by adoption of the best global standards and their continuous monitoring and surveillance is essential to reduce the risks from data breaches while maintaining a healthy pace of growth in digital payments

Ind AS norms:

  • Indian Accounting Standards is essentially bringing in the global standards on accounting to India. Corporate entities have already started implementing Ind AS from April 1, 2016, in a phased manner, whereas banks and NBFCs  start implementing it from April 1, 2018

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

UDAN-Pathankot

The maiden flight from Delhi to Pathankot was inaugurated as the 21st airport under UDAN – RCS.

Highlights:

  • The flight from Delhi to Pathankot will operate on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • This will be the 19th route operated by Alliance Air under UDAN
  • Alliance Air has been a front-runner in regional connectivity and presently operates a network of 49 stations. Alliance Air continues to focus on new routes to connect regional destinations.

UDAN-RCS:

  • UDAN-RCS, UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik) is a regional airport development and “Regional Connectivity Scheme” (RCS) of Government of India
  • The objective is “Let the common citizen of the country fly”
  • It aimed at making air travel affordable and widespread, to boost inclusive national economic development, job growth and air transport infrastructure development of all regions and states of India

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Environment

Plastic fibres present in every meal

A study from Heriot-Watt University in the U.K which found that polymers from soft furnishings and synthetic fabrics get into household dust and settle on plates.

Highlights:

  • The average person swallows up to 68,415 potentially dangerous plastic fibres a year simply through sitting down to eat.
  • Two microplastics in each mussel and concluded that the average person can expect to consume 100 plastic particles a year through eating the shellfish.
  • Researchers found fewer than two microplastics in each mussel and concluded that the average person can expect to consume 100 plastic particles a year through eating the shellfish.
  • The researchers said that the plastic fibres found in the home-cooked meals did not come from the food or the cooking environment, but from household dust

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

UTTAM APP for Coal Quality Monitoring

The Union Minister for Railways and Coal launched UTTAM App for Coal Quality Monitoring.  UTTAM stands for – Unlocking Transparency by Third Party Assessment of Mined Coal (uttam.coalindia.in).

Highlights:

  • Aims to provide an App for all citizens and coal consumers to monitor the process of Third Party Sampling of coal across CIL subsidiaries.
  • The App is designed with an aim to make the citizens a stakeholder in the coal ecosystem. U
  • TTAM is an example of leveraging technology to facilitate a bidirectional channel between Coal India Limited and a common citizen.  
  • It ensures transparency and efficiency in the coal quality monitoring process and brings coal governance closer to people.

Read more at:PIB

Promotion of e-learning

The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has launched many schemes for promoting e-learning across students in schools & Universities.

The key e-learning initiatives:

SWAYAM:

  • The ‘Study Webs of Active Learning for Young Aspiring Minds’ (SWAYAM) an integrated platform for online courses, using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and covering school (9th to 12th) to Post Graduate Level.

SWAYAM Prabha:

  • SWAYAM Prabha is an initiative to provide 32 High Quality Educational Channels through DTH (Direct to Home) across the length and breadth of the country on 24X7 basis. It has curriculum based course content covering diverse disciplines.

National Digital Library (NDL):

  • The National Digital Library of India (NDL) is a project to develop a framework of virtual repository of learning resources with a single-window search facility. There are more than 153 Lakhs digital books available through the NDL.

E-pathshala:

  • E-books of the resources developed by National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) / State Institutes of Education (SIEs), State boards etc. SIEs in multiple languages and uploaded on e-pathshala website and disseminated through mobile app (android, iOS and Windows).
  • E-pathshala has been listed/made available on the UMANG App of Govt. of India, which was launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on 23 November, 2017 during GCCS-2017.

National Repository of Open Educational Resources (NROER) :

  • To make digital resources available for teachers and students as free and open source material.
  • To enable the participation of the community in development and sharing of digital resources.
  • To facilitate the adoption and creation of digital resources in different Indian languages.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 5: General Knowledge

Milky Way

Astrophysicists have detected a dozen black holes at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

Highlights:

  • The find provides the first evidence for a long-held theory that the massive black hole at the core of every large galaxy should be surrounded by thousands of smaller ones
  • When the captured star has a low mass, the binary emits X-ray bursts that are weak but consistent and easier to detect.
  • The team observed the X-ray signatures of 12 black hole binaries within three light years of Sagittarius A.
  • Based on data from studying black holes closer to the earth, they extrapolated there must be about 500 binaries around our galaxy’s core in all.

About Milky Way galaxy:

  • The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System.
  • The descriptive “milky” is derived from the appearance from Earth of the galaxy – a band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye.

Read more at: The Hindu

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