February 20,2019

February 19,2019
February 19, 2019
February 21,2019
February 21, 2019

Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

 Topics list:

  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
  1. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Economic development

Ordinance to curb Ponzi schemes 2019

Benefits:

  • The proposed ordinance will tackle the menace of illicit deposit-taking activities launched by rapacious operators, who at present are exploiting regulatory gaps and lack of strict administrative measures to dupe poor and gullible people of their hard-earned savings.
  • It has provisions for punishment and disgorgement or repayment of deposits in cases where such schemes nonetheless manage to raise deposits.

Ponzi schemes:

  • A Ponzi scheme  is a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors.
  • The victims are led to believe that the profits are coming from product sales or other means, and they remain unaware that other investors are the source of profits.
  • The scheme is able to maintain the illusion of a sustainable business as long as there continue to be new investors willing to contribute new funds, and as long as most of the investors do not demand full repayment and are willing to believe in the non-existent assets that they are purported to own

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

National Policy on Electronics 2019

The Union Cabinet gave its approval to the National Policy on Electronics 2019 (NPE 2019), proposed by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

Mission:

The Policy envisions positioning India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing – (ESDM) by encouraging and driving capabilities in the country for developing core components, including chipsets, and creating an enabling environment for the industry to compete globally.

Salient Features of NPE 2019

  • Create eco-system for globally competitive ESDM sector: Promoting domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM.
  • Provide incentives and support for manufacturing of core electronic components.
  • Provide special package of incentives for mega projects which are extremely high-tech and entail huge investments, such as semiconductor facilities display fabrication, etc.
  • Formulate suitable schemes and incentive mechanisms to encourage new units and expansion of existing units.
  • Promote Industry-led R&D and innovation in all sub-sectors of electronics, including grass root level innovations and early stage Start-ups in emerging technology areas such as 5G, loT/ Sensors, Artificial Intelligence (Al), Machine Learning, Virtual Reality (VR), Drones,   Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, Photonics, Nano-based devices, etc.
  • Provide   incentives   and support   for significantly   enhancing availability of skilled manpower, including re-skilling.
  • Special  thrust on  Fabless Chip  Design Industry,  Medical Electronic Devices Industry, Automotive Electronics Industry and Power Electronics for Mobility and Strategic Electronics Industry.
  • Create Sovereign Patent Fund (SPF) to promote the development and acquisition of IPs in ESDM sector.
  • Promote trusted electronics value chain initiatives to improve national cyber security profile.

Implementation strategy:

The Policy will lead to the formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of ESDM sector in the country as per the roadmap envisaged therein.

Targets:

  • Promote domestic manufacturing and export in the entire value-chain of ESDM for economic development to achieve a turnover of USD 400 billion (approximately INR 26,00,000 crore) by 2025.
  • This will include targeted production of 1.0 billion (100 crore) mobile handsets by 2025, valued at USD 190 billion (approximately INR 13,00,000 crore), including 600 million (60 crore) mobile handsets valued at USD 110 billion (approximately INR 7,00,000 crore) for export.

Major Impact:

  • The NPE 2019 when implemented will lead to formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects, etc., in consultation with the concerned Ministries/ Departments, for the development of ESDM sector in the country.
  • It will enable flow of investment and technology, leading to higher value addition in the domestically manufactured electronic products, increased electronics hardware manufacturing in the country and their export, while generating substantial! employment opportunities.

Read more at: PIB

Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved launch of Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan with the objective of providing financial and water security to farmers.

Components of the scheme:

  • Component-A: 10,000 MW of Decentralized Ground Mounted Grid Connected Renewable Power Plants.
  • Component-B: Installation of 17.50 lakh standalone Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.
  • Component-C: Solarisation of 10 Lakh Grid-connected Solar Powered Agriculture Pumps.

Highlights:

  • The scheme aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022
  • The Component-A and Component-C will be implemented on pilot mode for 1000 MW capacity and one lakh grid connected agriculture pumps respectively and thereafter will be scale-up on success of pilot run.
  • Component-B will be implemented in full-fledged manner.
  • Under Component A, Renewable power plants of capacity 500 KW to 2 MW will be setup by individual farmers/ cooperatives/panchayats /farmer producer organisations (FPO) on their barren or cultivable lands.
  • Under Component B, individual farmers will be supported to install standalone solar pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP. Solar PV capacity in kW equal to the pump capacity in HP is allowed under the scheme.
  • Under Component C of the scheme, individual farmers will be supported to solarise pumps of capacity up to 7.5 HP. Solar PV capacity up to two times of pump capacity in kW is allowed under the scheme.

Financing:

  • For both Component-B and Component-C, central financial assistance (CFA) of 30% of the benchmark cost or the tender cost, whichever is lower, will be provided.
  • The State Government will give a subsidy of 30%; and the remaining 40% will be provided by the farmer.
  • Bank finance may be made available for meeting 30% of the cost.
  • The remaining 10% will be provided by the farmer. Higher CFA of 50% will be provided for North Eastern States, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Lakshadweep and A&N Islands.

Significance:

  • Substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emission.
  • It has employment potential.  
  • Increasing self-employment opportunities.

Read more at: PIB

SWAYATT initiative

SWAYATT is an initiative to promote Start-ups, Women and Youth Advantage Through eTransactions on Government e Marketplace (GeM).

  • The initiative will bring together the key stakeholders within the Indian entrepreneurial ecosystem to Government e-Marketplace the national procurement portal.
  • To facilitate Start-ups registered with Start -up India to access the public procurement market and sell innovative products and services to government buyers.
  • To promote inclusiveness by catapulting various categories of sellers and service providers, take proactive steps to facilitate the training and registrations of such specific category of manufacturers and sellers, develop women entrepreneurship and
  • Encourage participation of MSME sector and Start-ups in public procurement.

About GeM:

  • Government e-Marketplace (GeM) is a one stop portal to facilitate online procurement of common use Goods & Services required by various Government Departments / Organizations / PSUs.
  • GeM aims to enhance transparency, efficiency and speed in public procurement.
  • It provides the tools of e-bidding, reverse e-auction and demand aggregation to facilitate the government users achieve the best value for their money.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Energy

Rooftop Solar Programme

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has given its approval for the Phase-II of Grid Connected Rooftop Solar Programme.

Highlights:

  • The programme envisages achieving cumulative capacity of 40,000 MW from Rooftop Solar (RTS) Projects by the year 2022.
  • The programme will be implemented with total central financial support of Rs.11,814 crore.
  • In the Phase-II Programme Central Financial Assistance (CFA) for the residential sector has been restructured with availability of 40% CFA for RTS systems up to 3 kW capacity and 20% for RTS system capacity beyond 3 kW and up to 10 kW.
  • For Group Housing Societies/Residential Welfare Associations (GHS/RAW), CFA will be limited to 20% for RTS plants for supply of power to common facilities, however, the capacity eligible for CFA for GHS/RAW will be limited to 10 kW per house with maximum total capacity upto 500 kWp, inclusive of RTS put in individual houses in the GHS/RWA
  • CFA under residential category will be provided for 4000 MW capacity and the same will be provided on the basis of benchmark cost or tender cost, which is lower.
  • Central financial support will not be available for other category i.e., institutional, educational, social, government, commercial, industrial, etc.
  • Under Phase-II Programme, focus will be on increased involvement of DISCOMs.  Performance based incentives will be provided to DISCOMs based on RTS capacity achieved in a financial year (i.e. 1st April to 31st March every year till the duration of the scheme) over and above the base capacity

Impact of programme:

  • Substantial environmental impact in terms of savings of CO2 emission.
  • It has employment potential.  
  • Increasing self-employment opportunities.

Read more at: TOI

Topic 3 : ICT

A new company under Department of Space

The Union Cabinet has given its approval to the Setting up of a new company under Department of Space (DoS), to commercially exploit the research and development work carried out by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Centers and constituent units of DOS.

Salient features:

  • Small satellite technology transfer to industry, wherein the new company shall take license from DoS/ISRO and sub-license to industries;
  • Manufacture of small satellite launch vehicle (SLV) in collaboration with the Private Sector;
  • Productionisation of Polar SLV through industry;
  • Productionisation and marketing of Space-based products and services, including launch and applications;
  • Transfer of Technology developed by ISRO Centers and constituent units of DoS;
  • Marketing of some spin-off technologies and products, both in India and abroad; and
  • Any other subject which Government of India deems fit.

Read more at: TOI

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