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
Norms on funds for States: NITI
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar on Sunday pitched for building ‘performance indicators’ for devolution of funds to States.
- The devolution of funds criteria have to include some performance-based criteria. And, therefore, those States which have done better in certain performance should not be punished.
- To start the process of building some performance indicators for the devolution of funds and then increase it in a phased manner
How do States get revenue from the Center?
- States’ share of taxes and Duties (As per Finance Commission recommendations)
- Non-Plan Grants & Loans (As per Finance Commission recommendations)
- Central Assistance for State & UT (with Legislature) Plans
- Assistance for Central and Centrally Sponsored Schemes
In addition to this:
- Direct release of Central assistance for State/UT Plans to implementing agencies (MPLADS)
- Direct release under Central Plan to State/ District level autonomous bodies/implementing agencies – Not applicable now.
- Investments made from National Small Savings Fund in Special State Government Securities
Read more at:The Hindu
Topic 1:Social development
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
Pradhan Mantri Matritva Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) is a maternity benefit rechristened from erstwhile Indira Gandhi Matritva Sahyog Yojana (IGMSY).
- The maternity benefits under Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY) are available to all Pregnant Women & Lactating Mothers (PW&LM) except those in regular employment with the Central Government or State Government or Public Sector Undertaking or those who are in receipt of similar benefits under any law for the time being in force.
- The scheme is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme under which cost sharing ratio between the Centre and the States & UTs with Legislature is 60:40
- North-Eastern States & three Himalayan States; it is 90:10. It is 100% Central assistance for Union Territories without Legislature.
Read more at:PIB
Swadhar Greh Scheme
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing the Swadhar Greh Scheme which targets the women victims of difficult circumstances who are in need of institutional support for rehabilitation so that they could lead their life with dignity.
- The Swadhar scheme was launched by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development in 2002 for rehabilitation of women in difficult circumstances.
- The beneficiaries include widows deserted by their families and relatives, women prisoners released from jail and without family support, women survivors of natural disasters, women victims of terrorist/extremist violence etc.
- The Scheme envisages providing shelter, food, clothing and health as well as economic and social security for these women.
- The State Governments/UT Administrations assess the number of new projects required in the State/UT and communicate to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, along with the justification by 30th September of every year.
- Subject to availability of resources, the central Government communicates number of projects those can be approved and make necessary provision in the budget of subsequent financial year.
- Swadhar Greh is a DBT compliant scheme.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Need of New Forest Policy revision:
India’s diverse forests support the livelihoods of 250 million people, providing them firewood, fodder, bamboo, beedi leaves and many other products.
- Forest policy focuses primarily on which benefits (and beneficiaries) to prioritise, where and through what process.
- Another focus area is to decide when and through what process to allow diversion of forest land for “non-forest” activities such as dam building, mining and agriculture.
- Forests were seen as sources of raw material for industry and local communities were simply treated as labour.
- Carping about the decline in forest productivity, it identifies “production forestry” and plantations as the “new thrust area”
- The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Act and its recently released rules demonstrate the government’s intent to fall back on state-managed forestry to meet new “national” goals.
National Forest Policy (NFP), 2018
- The Central government has come up with a new draft National Forest Policy (NFP), 2018, which takes into account a reality that has become the defining feature of the world today—climate change. This latest development suggests that a new forest policy is on the anvil after 30 years.
- NFP, 2018 talks about climate change mitigation through sustainable forest management.
- To address the issue of climate change, NFP, 2018 contributes to the forestry-related Nationally Determined Contribution Targets and by integrating, “climate change mitigation and adaptation measures in forest management through the mechanism of REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation plus) so that the impacts of the climate change is minimised”.
- The draft policy document also talks about degraded land and how it can be improved by undertaking afforestation activities using public private partnership models.
- The Compensatory Afforestation Fund 2016 Act provides for setting up Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) at both central and state level to ensure expeditious and transparent utilization of amounts realised in lieu of forest land diverted for non-forest purpose.
- The utilization of funds is expected to mitigate the impact of diversion of such forest land. We have already covered this topic in our documents, here is a more details analysis of the same.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY)
Providing LPG connections to BPL households will ensure universal coverage of cooking gas in the country. This measure will empower women and protect their health.
- Under the scheme, five crore LPG connections are to be provided to BPL households.
- The identification of eligible BPL families will be made in consultation with the State Governments and the Union Territories.
- The Scheme would be implemented over three years, namely, the FY 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 across the country.
- The Scheme provides a financial support of Rs 1600 for each LPG connection to the BPL households
- While the selection of beneficiaries would be from the BPL families only, preference would be given to SC/ST and weaker sections of society.
- While providing the new connections to BPL households, priority would be given to the States which have lower LPG coverage (compared to the national average) as on 1st Jan, 2016
Read more at: ET
Topic 3 : ICT
Humanity’s first flight to sun in July: NASA
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe humanity’s first mission to the Sun is undergoing final preparations for its launch scheduled for July 31.
- The spacecraft will continue testing, and eventually undergo final assembly and mating to the third stage of the Delta IV Heavy launch vehicle.
- After launch, it will orbit directly through the solar atmosphere the corona closer to the surface than any human-made object has ever gone.
- The mission will reveal fundamental science behind what drives the solar wind, the constant outpouring of material from the Sun that shapes planetary atmospheres and affects space weather near Earth.
- The spacecraft will undergo comprehensive testing.
- Just prior to being fuelled, one of the most critical elements of the spacecraft, the thermal protection system (TPS), or heat shield, will be installed.
Read more at:the Hindu