Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- The Key Initiatives of Government
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Social development
Startup India Yatra
Startup India organizes the Startup India Yatra in one state every month.
- To promote job creation in tier 2 and tier 3 towns and cities
- The Yatra conducts boot camps where students are taught lessons in business planning followed by a pitch fest where ideas are invited.
- Shortlisted business ideas get incubated in State run incubators
- Startup India Yatra van is equipped with facilities for individuals and startups to pitch their ideas
About Startup India:
- The Startup India initiative of the Government of India envisages to build a robust startup ecosystem in the country
- It will facilitate nurturing innovation and providing opportunities to budding entrepreneurs
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
Mission for Integrated Development Horticulture (MIDH)
Mission for Integrated Development Horticulture (MIDH), a centrally sponsored scheme is implemented for the holistic development of horticulture sector in the country.
- It covers fruits, vegetables, roots and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo through various interventions
- Under MIDH, cluster-based approach is adopted for production and linking it with available infrastructure, or to be created, for post harvest management, processing, marketing and export.
- Special emphasis is also given for adoption of area based cluster approach towards developing regionally differentiated crops, which are agro-climatically most suitable for the State/region.
Read more at: PIB
Soil Health Card
A dedicated scheme on “Soil Health Card” has been launched to take care of Soil Health for the first time in a uniform manner to evaluate the soil fertility across the country by the GOI in cooperation with state governments.
- Soil Health Card contains the status of soils with respect to 12 parameters, namely – N, P, K (Macro-nutrients), S (Secondary-nutrients), Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, B (Micro-nutrients) and pH, EC, OC (Physical Parameters).
- It provides crop wise fertiliser recommendations.
- Soil Health Card helps farmers to improve productivity by maintaining soil health.
- SHC also promotes the judicious use of the fertilisers thus reducing the cost of cultivation.
- to enables farmers to apply soil health card based recommended dosages of fertilizers including micro-nutrients, bio-fertilizers, manures as well as soil ameliorants
- To check the declining fertility of agriculture land and improve the fertility of soils to increase productivity across the country
- To enhance farmers income.
- Under these schemes financial assistance are provided to State Governments and not farmers directly.
Read more at: PIB
Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF)
The administrative control of Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF) has been transferred to the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Finance Ministry. It was under the domain of Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
- It will be under the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), Finance Ministry,
- The budget 2018 has amended the Central Road Fund Act, 2000, and has renamed the Central Road Fund as Central Road and Infrastructure Fund (CRIF).
- Main purpose of the amendment is to use the proceeds of the road cess under CRIF to finance other infrastructure projects
- The road cess is first credited to the Consolidated Fund of India and later, after adjusting for the cost of tax collection, should go to the CRIF.
- The government recently constituted a ministerial panel headed by the Finance Minister to decide on fund allocation for infrastructure projects from the CRIF.
- The share for each infrastructure areas and projects from the CRIF shall be finalised by a Committee, constituted by the Central government
- The Committee will prioritise the list of infrastructure projects each year for financing from the fund.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
National policy on biofuels-2018
Rajasthan has become the first State in the country to implement the national policy on biofuels unveiled by the Centre.
- It primarily tries to address supply-side issues that have discouraged the production of biofuels within the country.
- It allows for a wider variety of raw materials to be used as inputs to produce ethanol that is blended with petrol.
- Under the new policy, feedstock for biofuels includes sugar beet, corn, damaged food grain, potatoes, even municipal solid waste.
- It will likely reduce the cost of producing biofuels and improve affordability for consumers, particularly during times when oil prices reach discomforting levels.
- The new policy will also benefit farmers, who will be able to sell various types of agricultural waste to industry at remunerative prices.
- The production of biofuels from agricultural waste, it is hoped, will also help curb atmospheric pollution by giving farmers an incentive not to burn it
- The new policy envisages investment to the tune of ₹5,000 crore in building bio-refineries and offering other incentives over the next few years
Salient Features of National Policy on Biofuels – 2018
- The Policy categorises biofuels as
- Basic Biofuels viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel
- Advanced Biofuels – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels and Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc
- The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
- The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
- The Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
- The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
Government Programmes to Encourage Sterilisation
- As per Government of India guidelines, sterilization can be conducted at established health care facilities with functional operation theatres.
- Health being a state subject, this list is maintained by respective State Governments.
- Family Planning Programme in India is voluntary in nature and the Government promotes all family planning choices including female sterilization equally.
The initiatives undertaken by the Government:
- Vasectomy Fortnight’ is being observed in the month of November every year in all States of India to raise awareness on male participation and promotion of male sterilization.
- Training of service providers in No Scalpel Vasectomy (NSV) to enhance the pool of service providers.
- Under the enhanced compensation scheme for sterilization, the compensation for male sterilization has been substantially increased.
- A 360 degree media campaign underlining the role of men in family planning has been rolled out to encourage men to adopt FP methods.
Topic 5: General Knowledge
Proposed site for UNESCO World Heritage recognition
The site namely “The Walled City of Jaipur, Rajasthan, India” has been proposed for World Heritage.
- As per Operation Guidelines 2017, only one site can be nominated by the state party each year.
- The recognition of World Heritage is a matter of great pride
- It impacts the local economy by giving a boost to domestic
- International tourism leading to increased employment Generation, creation of World class infrastructure and augmentation of sale of local handicrafts, handlooms and heritage memorabilia.
- It adds to the prestige of the country as well as prescribed site.
- There are a total of 37 World Heritage sites in India at Present.
About UNESCO World Heritage:
- A World Heritage site is a landmark or area which is selected by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as having cultural,historical, scientific or other form of significance
- They are legally protected by international treaties.
- The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity
Read more at: PIB