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
Topic 2 : Environment
The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture report 2019
The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture report 2019 has been published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
Highlights of the report:
- Global biodiversity — the variety of life at the genetic, species and ecosystem levels — is under severe threat
- The proportion of livestock breeds at risk of extinction is increasing, and plant diversity in farmers’ fields is decreasing.
- many species of pollinators, natural enemies of pests, soil organisms and wild food species are vanishing due to the destruction and degradation of habitats, overexploitation and pollution.
- In many parts of the world, biodiverse agricultural landscapes are being replaced by monoculture.
- Forest loss represents a major global threat to biodiversity. Though rates of loss have decreased (and gone into moderate reverse in some regions), global forest area continues to decline.
- The main cause of deforestation is conversion to agriculture.
- With decline in forests, wild foods, an important source of food for many rural households, are vanishing.
- There are many ways in which agriculture and food production can become more biodiversity-friendly.
- Ensuring that the biodiversity of crop, livestock, trees and aquatic organisms remain available to breeders and producers is going to be vital to future production in the face of climate change.
- Biodiversity can help meet several Sustainable Development Goals. For instance in Goal 1 (end poverty in all its forms everywhere), biodiversity directly contributes to the livelihoods of millions of fisherfolk, forest dwellers, farmers and livestock keepers.
- Biodiversity is also vital to food security and nutrition, which is the aim of Goal 2 (end hunger and achieve food security). Biodiversity is also the basis of food diversity that people need for a healthy diet.
Read more at: DowntoEarth
Report on e-waste management
Toxic Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation, came out with a report which placed five out of 54 major electric and electronic companies in the poor category over implementing extended producer responsibility (ERP).
What is ERP?
ERP is a mechanism through which producers are made responsible for handling and recycling end-of-life products.
Highlights of the report:
- The report titled ‘Time to Reboot III’, categorised the companies using four colours — red, yellow, blue and green — red implying worst implementation and green implying an efficient take-back system.
- To evaluate EPR for companies, Toxic Link used several criteria, including take-back policy, compliance with Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS), e-waste collection target achieved, consumer awareness, ground collection system and information provided by the company representatives.
- The five companies placed in the red category lacked commitment towards setting up an e-management system and accessible information service for consumers on the take-back system.
- No substantive changes have taken place on ground as companies are not taking responsibility to dispose e-waste. Twenty-nine out of 54 brands were placed in below average category (yellow), with a majority being cell phone companies.
- The overall scenario has improved compared to 2014, when a report by Toxic Link placed 18 companies out of 50 in the red category.
- Thirteen brands were given an average rating — placed under the blue category — implying that these companies are making efforts towards a better take-back mechanism.
- These companies have tied up with authorised recyclers and have authorisation from the Central Pollution Control Board. Most of the new entrant brands were under the green category — these seven companies excelled in all the criteria chosen to assess EPR.
- Need to strengthen regulatory bodies.
- Improve monitoring and enforcement.
- Companies with no take-back system on ground should not be allowed to sell within the country.
- Creating awareness regarding e-waste management
Read more at: DowntoEarth
Topic 2 : Energy
Super-Efficient Air Conditioning programme
Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of four National Public Sector Enterprises under Ministry of Power, Government of India, today launched its Super-Efficient Air Conditioning Programme for residential and institutional consumers in the BSES area.
Highlights of the programme:
- The Super-Efficient Air Conditioners are 40 percent more efficient than, but priced comparably with, the 3-star ACs currently available in the market (ISEER 3.8).
- Promoting energy efficiency
- It will help to reduce the peak power demand
- The programme directly addresses the prospect of the nearly four-fold increase in energy consumption from buildings and cooling appliances in India by 2032
- It will address the goals of India’s Cooling Action Plan and Hydrochlorofluro carbons Phase Out Management Plan, enabling achievement of India’s targets under the Kigali and Paris Agreements.
- EESL is working towards making this programme and its benefits available to all consumers across the nation with the other DISCOMs likely to partner with EESL in future.
Read more at: ET
Topic 3 : ICT
India to have own DNS for safe browsing
The Government of India will soon roll out a public Domain Name Server, or DNS for India.
- It aimed at providing a faster and more secure browsing experience for Internet users in the country, while ensuring that citizens’ data is stored locally.
- To ensure availability, particularly for smaller Interest Service Providers (ISPs) who don’t have credible DNS.
- The roll-out, which will be executed by the National Informatics Centre – the technology arm of the government. NIC is already using the public DNS within the government network.
- The government’s system would prevent users from visiting malicious websites.
What is DNS?
A DNS is a like a directory for the Internet. It helps to convert domain names that are easy for people to remember into IP addresses, which are used by computers/machines to communicate. If the DNS is either slow or fails to work, users will not be able to locate web addresses.
Read more at: The Hindu