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
- Material Science
Topic 1:Economic development
RBI approves interim dividend to the government
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has decided to transfer an additional ₹28,000 crore as dividend to the government.
- The move could help the government meet its revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of GDP in 2018-19 amid a shortfall in revenue collections.
- The interim dividend is the future income that the RBI has prepaid, this will have to be adjusted from its dividend payment due next year.
- In the interim budget, the government had revised the dividend from RBI, nationalized banks, and financial institutions to₹74,140.37 crore for this fiscal year from the ₹54,817.25 crore estimated earlier in budget 2018-19.
- The interim budget estimates to receive ₹82,911 crore in 2019-20 under the same head.
- RBI transfers its surplus amount to the government after making provisions for bad and doubtful debts, depreciation in assets, and contribution to staff and superannuation fund.
- The central bank follows a July-June financial year, while the central government follows an April-March year.
About fiscal deficit:
- The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government.
- It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government.
Read more at: Livemint
Topic 2 : Environment
Spike in Methane levels alarm Climate targets
The incremental rise in methane levels in the atmosphere are threatening to hinder the plans to hold the global temperature rise to two degrees.
- Methane breaks down much more quickly than carbon dioxide and is found at much lower levels in the atmosphere.
- As per the studies, increase in level can be attributed to the biological in origin, still the right reason remains unclear.
- The natural chemicals in the atmosphere which help in breaking down methane might be changing because of rise in temperature, causing it lose its ability to deal with the gas.
Sources of Methane:
- Rising number of cattle
- Wetter and warmer swamps
- Landfills and waste
- Biomass burning
- Rice agriculture
- Fossil fuel production
The Climate targets:
The nations in 2016, in Paris agreed to cooperate to hold global temperature rises to two degrees above the pre-industrial levels and if possible and feasible to keep the rise under 1.5 degrees.
Read more at: Skymetweather
Topic 2 : Energy
China to build world’s first solar power station in space
Following its successful and world-beating trip to the far side of the moon, China is preparing to build a solar power station in space, China strives to burnish its superpower credentials.
- Scientists have already started construction of an experimental base in the western Chinese city Chongqing.
- Initially, they plan to develop a smaller power station in the stratosphere between 2021 and 2025, a 1 megawatt-level solar facility in space by 2030, and eventually larger generators.
- China aims to build its own space station around 2022, known as Dubbed Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace.
- The facility would be used for scientific research in a dozen areas including biology, physics and material sciences.
Read more at: Bloomberg
World’s first diesel-to-electric converted locomotive
In a first, Indian Railways has converted a diesel locomotive into an electric one, as part of efforts to completely electrify broad gauge network in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
- The converted electric locomotive delivers 10,000 HP against 2 X 2612 HP of two diesel locomotive (92 percent more power). A 10,000 HP of haulage power is adequate to haul a load up to nearly 5300 Tonnes, providing around 2:1 HP to trailing load ratio.
- The ‘Make in India’ project was completed at DLW in a record duration of 69 days, starting from 22 December 2017 to 28 February 2018.
- The conversion cost of diesel locomotive into electric locomotive is less than the cost of midlife rehabilitation of a diesel locomotive.
- Other than being economical, it also leads to an increase in the average speed of freight trains, which would increase sectional capacity.
- The converted electric locomotive completed trials at a maximum permissible speed of 75 kmph and successfully hauled 5200 tonnes of freight on its maiden journey from Varanasi to Ludhiana.
Significance of the project:
- It will boost Make In India Project
- Economical than Diesel Locomotive
- Lower carbon footprints
- Contributes to green Economy
- It will enhance Indian R&D innovation for the entire world,
Read more at: Financial Express
Topic 3 : ICT
PCS1X Maritime e-Commerce Portal
Government of India will launch PCS1x at the Regional Maritime Safety Conference.
- PCS1x is an upgraded version of the e-commerce portal Port Community System(PCS).
- It has been developed in record time by the Indian Ports Association, based on feedback from stakeholders using PCS
- PCS Ix is a new generation system with a user-friendly interface that brings together various stakeholders of the maritime sector, and facilitates Government-to-Business, Business –to-Government and Business-to-Business transactions within the required legal framework.
- It ensures extreme levels of cyber security.
- The architecture of PCS is built on ‘open platform’ technology to integrate / latch on to any new concept or module available in the industry without disturbing the current ecosystem.
- This is a unique feature which provides unlimited landscape for growth and expansion.
- The platform allows improvement in payment cycle , transparency of transaction cycles, detailed tracking of vessels and berthing schedules.
- It can be integrated with Gate system with Radio-frequency identification( RIFD), can produce E-copy of reports and notices and be used for cargo/truck trailer tracking.
Read more at: PIB
Any Desk App
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is warning all the online banking users against Any Desk App fraudulent app stating that the app could first steal all your banking details and then all your money from the bank account.
- The Any Desk app works like a remote access service that takes control of your device and does transactions on users behalf.
- Reportedly, the app can detect all your OTPs which means it can siphon off all your money from bank account in minutes.
- As per the RBI alert message, all the online banking users are at risk but the UPI users are more vulnerable to it.
About the App:
- The app download request can come from either social media or from the Play Store/App store platforms.
- Once you have downloaded the app, the app will generate a nine-digit code on your device which will be used by the hacker to access the data and SMS service on your device.
- The hacker via this method can hack any mobile-banking or payment apps.
Read more at: Indiatoday
Topic 5: Material Science
Nano electronics based on graphene
A team of researchers from Denmark have solved one of the biggest challenges of making effective nano electronics based on graphene.
- The scientists have tried to exploit the “miracle material” graphene to produce nano-sized electronics.
- The graphene is ultra-thin – in fact, only one atom thick and therefore two-dimensional.
- It is excellent for conducting electrical current.
- It should be suited for brand new forms of electronics that are faster and more energy efficient.
- It can be altered to perform many different tasks within e.g. electronics, photonics or sensors simply by drawing tiny patterns in it.
- One task which was difficult, is to induce a band gap – which is crucial for making transistors.
Read more at: Nanowerk