February 6,2019

February 5,2019
February 5, 2019
Quiz February 01, 2019
February 6, 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

Stock Lending and Borrowing

Stock lending and borrowing (SLB) is a system in which traders borrow shares that they do not own.

What is SLB?

Securities Lending and Borrowing is a mechanism through which investors can borrow or lend shares to other market participants. The platform provides a viable alternative to derivatives market for purposes of hedging (A hedge is an investment to reduce the risk of adverse price movements in an asset). Borrowers in SLB are usually short-sellers i.e. traders who want to sell shares that they don’t own. Lenders on the other hand are those investors who have bought shares for long-term purposes and such shares are lying idle in their demat accounts.

Why SLB?

The interest rate varies from stock to stock and also depends on tenure of such borrowings. As per SEBI rules, stocks can be borrowed for a maximum period of 12 months. The interest rate for such lending is not fixed but is determined by the market conditions. Globally, long-term investors such as mutual funds or insurance companies are key lenders in SLB. On the other hand, SLB is a less risky option for short-sellers compared to the more complex options and futures contracts.

What is the current relevance of SLB?

Market regulator Sebi has announced transition of Indian derivatives market from cash settlement to physical settlement by September this year. Until now, investors largely used SLB for reverse arbitrage opportunities i.e. those situations where future contracts of a company are trading at a discount to the cash market prices. In such scenario, traders sell stocks and buy futures contracts.

Read more at: ET

Fiscal Slippage for 2018-19

Fiscal slippage from the fiscal deficit targets for the past two years, coupled with tax cuts and spending ahead of the general elections, is credit negative for India, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

Key Facts:

  • In the interim budget for 2018-19, the government had revised the fiscal deficit target for 2018-19 to 3.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) from its original target of 3.3%.
  • The deficit for FY20, is pegged at 3.4%


  • Increase in spending to provide income support for small farmers
  • Introduce tax cut


  • Higher debt burden to the country
  • It can impact the country’s credit rating
  • Affects future GDP growth
  • Affects country’s development

What is fiscal deficit?

The difference between total revenue and total expenditure of the government is termed as fiscal deficit. It is an indication of the total borrowings needed by the government.

What are the ways of financing Fiscal deficit?

A deficit is usually financed through borrowing from either the central bank of the country or raising money from capital markets by issuing different instruments like treasury bills and bonds.

What is FRBM Act?

  • The Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act was enacted in 2003 which set targets for the government to reduce fiscal deficits. In May 2016, the government set up a committee under NK Singh to review the FRBM Act.
  • The committee recommended that the government should target a fiscal deficit of:
  1. 3 per cent of the GDP in years up to March 31, 2020
  2. 2.8 per cent in 2020-21 and
  3. 2.5 per cent by 2023.

Read more at: ET

Topic 1:Industrial development

Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index

Ease of Doing Agri-Business Index  rank the States to reorienting the agriculture sector by focusing on an income-centeredness which goes beyond achieving merely the targeted production.

The Index:

  • The proposed index has taken the aspects(parameters) of
  1. increasing production/productivity
  2. increasing price realization of agri produce
  3. decreasing input costs of production
  4. risk mitigation and
  5. investment related attributes.
  • The concept is to consider farming not solely as a production oriented activity carried out to achieve food security for the country, but as a business activity carried out by farmer as entrepreneur.
  • The index will help in fostering agriculture among States by promoting a competitive spirit amongst the States.

Agriculture being a State subject, the State Governments undertakes development of perspective plans and ensures effective implementation of the programmes/ schemes and Government of India supplements the efforts of the State Governments through various Schemes/ Programmes.

Read more at: ET

Categorisation of Farmers

As per the results (provisional) of latest Agriculture Census 2015-16, the operational holdings are categorised in five size classes as follows:-

Sl. No. Category Size-Class
      1 Marginal Below 1.00 hectare
      2 Small 1.00-2.00 hectare
      3 Semi- Medium 2.00-4.00 hectare
      4 Medium 4.00-10.00 hectare
      5 Large 10.00 hectare and above

  • The operational holdings are also classified in three social groups, viz., Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Others.
  • The average size of land holdings for all social groups is highest in Nagaland(5.06) hectare and lowest in Kerala (0.18) hectare.
  • The overall size of land holdings for all social groups at all India level is 1.08 hectare.
  • To improve the condition of Small  and Marginal farmers and to double the income of farmers by 2022, Government is realigning its interventions from production-centric approach to farmers’ income-centric initiatives, with focus on better and new technological solutions.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 3 : ICT

Ayushman Bharat app

Ayushman Bharat has stabilised as the largest health scheme in the world, benefiting over 10 lakh patients since its launch, and created an atmosphere of positivity. The Ayushman Bharat (PM-JAY) mobile app launched.

The App:

  • It aimed at helping users get easy access to information on the scheme
  • Check eligibility
  • Find hospitals nearby and
  • Get assisted help.

About Ayushman Bharat Yojana

  • Ayushman Bharat Yojana or Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) or National Health Protection Scheme or ModiCare is a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, under the Ayushman Bharat Mission of MoHFW in India.
  • The scheme aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.
  • Features- Ayushman Bharat consists of two major elements.

1.National Health Protection Scheme

  • It will cover over 10 crore poor and vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization.
  • Beneficiary covered under the scheme will be allowed to take cashless benefits from any public or private impaneled hospitals across the country.
  • Benefits of the scheme are portable across the country.
  • It will be an entitlement based scheme with entitlement decided on the basis of deprivation criteria in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) database.
  • One of the core principles of Ayushman Bharat – National Health Protection Mission is to co-operative federalism and flexibility to states.
  • It is proposed to set up Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Mission Council (AB-NHPMC) at apex level Chaired by Union Health and Family Welfare Minister. States would need to have State Health Agency (SHA) to implement the scheme.
  • Covering almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations

2. Wellness centres

  • Pregnancy care and maternal health services
  • Neonatal and infant health services
  • Child health
  • Chronic communicable diseases
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Management of mental illness
  • Dental care
  • Geriatric care Emergency medicine

Read more at: The Hindu

Blockchain technology

What is Blockchain?

It is a database, where the data gets verified with a piece of an algorithm. This essentially means that the data in a block cannot be changed without altering subsequent blocks.

What are the benefits?

This ensures data security and works for situations, where there is an element of trust at play. The data on the blockchain are also encrypted and cannot be misused.

How can it be used?

Example: If somebody have a contract with an insurance dealer, with a lot of conditions ingrained into it, you can build that logic into the contract on the blockchain, to ensure that once verified, it comes into force automatically, without the need for any human intervention. It ensures that no one can play a negative role and also removes trust issues that can crop up.

What are the applications?

Blockchains are  going to impact financial technology in a major way, from regular trading to secondary markets. It is more secure and adds a lot of value. I also foresee blockchain technology being used in healthcare and allied services as well.

Read more at: The Hindu

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