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
National Anti-profiteering Authority
The National Anti-profiteering Authority (NAA) has been constituted under section 171 of the Central Goods and Services Tax to determine whether the reduction in tax rates or benefit of input tax credit is being passed on to the recipient by way of commensurate reduction in prices.
- The anti-profiteering framework under new indirect tax regime consists of NAA at top level, standing committee, screening committees in every state and Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) in Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC)
- NAA will be headed by senior officer of level of a Secretary to Union Government and shall have four technical members from Centre and/or States. The chairman and four members will be less than 62 years of age.
Powers and functions:
- If NAA finds that company has not passed on benefits of tax reduction, it can direct entity to pass on benefits to consumers along with interest from the date of collection of the higher amount till date of return of such amount.
- If the beneficiary cannot be identified, NAA can ask company to transfer the to the ‘Consumer Welfare Fund’, as provided under Section 57 of CGST Act.
- In extreme cases NAA can impose a penalty on defaulting business entity and even order cancellation of its registration under GST.
- NAA also has power to cancel registration of any entity or business if it fails to pass on benefit of lower taxes under GST regime to consumers, and empowers consumers to approach it in case of any complaint
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Social development
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY)
Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana is a government-backed accident insurance scheme in India with a view to enhance the level of insurance penetration in the country and to provide insurance cover to common people especially poor and the under-privileged sections of the society.
- The Yojana is available to people between 18 and 70 years of age with bank accounts.
- It has an annual premium of ₹12 exclusive of taxes
- The accident insurance scheme will have one year cover from June 1 to May 31 and would be offered through banks and administered through public sector general insurance companies.
- In case of accidental death or full disability, the payment to the nominee will be ₹2 lakh and in case of partial Permanent disability ₹1 lakh
Read more at: PIB
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana
Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is a government-backed Life insurance scheme in India.
- Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana is available to people between 18 and 50 years of age with bank accounts
- It has an annual premium of ₹330
- In case of death due to any cause, the payment to the nominee will be ₹2 lakh
- The scheme will be offered by Life Insurance Corporation and all other life insurers who are willing to join the scheme and tie-up with banks for this purpose.
- A person has to opt for the scheme every year. He can also prefer to give a long-term option of continuing, in which case his account will be auto-debited every year by the bank.
Read more at: PIB
Mahila Shakti Kendra Scheme
Government of India has approved a new scheme namely Mahila Shakti Kendra for 2017-18 upto 2019-20 to empower rural women through community participation.
- The scheme is envisaged to work at various levels, and at the National level (domain based knowledge support) and State level (State Resource Centre for Women) technical support to the respective governments on issues related to women is provided.
- It will aim to improve declining child sex ratio, ensure survival and protection of the girl child, ensuring her education and empowering her to fulfil her potential.
- It will provide an interface for rural women to approach the government for getting their entitlements and for empowering them through training and capacity building.
- Student volunteers will play an instrumental role in awareness generation regarding various important government schemes/ programmes as well as social issues
- District Level Centre for Women (DLCW) has also been envisaged for 640 districts to be covered in phased manner.
- These centres will serve as a link between village, block and state level in facilitating women centric schemes and also give foothold for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) scheme at the district level.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP):
- The Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao (BBBP) Scheme has been introduced to address the issue of declining Child Sex Ratio (CSR).
- The Scheme was launched on 22ndJanuary, 2015 at Panipat in Haryana.
- It is a tri-ministerial effort of Ministries of Women and Child Development, Health & Family Welfare and Human Resource Development.
Read more at:PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Seaweed to remove lead, chromium and dyes from wastewater
CSIR-Central Salt & Marine Chemicals Research Institute, Bhavanagar, Gujarat have synthesised a graphene–iron sulphide nanocomposite to remove these toxic materials from wastewater.
- The graphene nanocomposite functionalised with iron sulphide facilitates the adsorption of heavy metals and dyes
- The amount of lead adsorbed is the highest ever reported for any biomass derived carbon material.
- Lead adsorption was irreversible even at low pH as the interaction of lead with the composite is very strong
- Lead has high affinity for chromate and dichromate leading to the formation of lead chromate or lead dichromate
- The researchers tested the ability of the material to remove the toxic reactive black-5 dye in a continuous flow condition by coating a filter paper with a thin layer of the composite.
- The preliminary results using filter paper coated with the material highlights the potential of the composite to be used in combination with other membrane-based processes
Read more at:The Hindu
Tough terrain saves Sikkim’s high-altitude forests
Being higher and out of reach is probably saving Sikkim’s high-altitude tropical forests
- Scientists find that land-use patterns changed more drastically in the more-accessible lower regions, causing a staggering 16% decline in primary broadleaved forest cover in the Sikkim Himalaya
- The team results show a 16% decline in primary forest cover in this Eastern Himalaya biodiversity hotspot.
- Primary forests, which host native vegetation and are still undisturbed by human activities, are declining worldwide
- The elevation, slope and aspect (the direction a slope faces) influenced land-use patterns
- Undisturbed primary broad leaved forest is now restricted to higher reaches that are relatively difficult to access and unsuitable for activities like agriculture and agroforestry.
Read more at :PIB
Van Dhan Vikas Kendra
The Ministry of Tribal affairs has approved establishment of the first multipurpose “Van Dhan Vikas Kendra” on pilot basis for establishment in Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh State for providing skill upgradation and capacity building training and setting up of primary processing and value addition facility
- This first model Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being implemented for training of 300 beneficiaries with a total outlay of Rs 43.38 lakhs for training, providing equipments & tools for primary level processing and infrastructure & building for housing the Kendra.
- This Kendra to start with will have processing facility for Tamarind brick making, Mahua flower storage facility and chironjee cleaning and packaging.
- The selection of the tribal beneficiaries and formation of the SHGs has been undertaken by The Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED)
- Van Dhan Vikas Kendra is being established in a Panchayat Building so that the primary processing can be commenced by the SHGs
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Energy
Diu:India’s first solar-powered island
Fudam is Diu’s 9 MW solar park and is helping the district of Diu, part of the Daman & Diu Union territory, get on the green map of the country
- Along with solar, Diu is also exploring wind energy
- The foundation stone of the first phase of the solar park, spread over 30 acres, was laid in 2014 with a capacity to generate 3MW
- In the second phase get the benefits of economies of scale.
- Energy from solar parks is supplemented by rooftop solar
Read more at:ET
Topic 5: General knowledge
Initial step to treat breast, prostate cancer
By using a smartly designed, customised E. coli vector, researchers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar have successfully produced a large quantity (15 mg/ml) of a biologically active protein (human tousled-like kinase-1b or TLK1b) in pure form
- The researchers found a handful of the 120 small molecules they had designed and synthesised were able to inhibit the protein.
- Though the protein is produced in excess in cancer cells, the inhibition, which was as high as 75%, prevents the protein from repairing the DNA damage leading to death of cancer cells.
- The researchers were able to get high yield of the protein by inserting a recombinant DNA into E. coli.
- The recombinant DNA has a gene that expresses both TLK1b protein and the bacteriophage lambda phosphatase protein.
- The simultaneous expression of both the proteins is responsible for the high yield,
- The team has biochemically confirmed that the protein produced by the bacteria is active
Read more at: The Hindu