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 1:Industrial development
WTO e-commerce negotiations
India decided to stay out of the WTO e-commerce negotiations announced by about 75 members at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The negotiation agendas:
- Permanent moratorium on customs duties.
- Free flow of data located on computer servers without data localization requirements.
- Non-disclosure of source code.
- Prohibition of forced technology transfer.
Problems with E-commerce
- Highly asymmetrical space with a few dominant players having the potential to distort a level playing field.
- Meaning of e-commerce varies from one country to the other
- E-commerce rules are yet at nascent stage.
- Not to be part of any plurilateral talks because such initiatives strike at the very root of multilateralism.
- India’s huge data reserve and its impact on real economy and management of data without compromising privacy and security considerations are still in progress.
- RBI’s recent policy mandating data localization.
- Unsettled E-commerce regulations especially those related to foreign direct investment: marketplace and inventory model.
What needs to be done?
- India should manage its huge precious data resource on its own terms.
- Status-quo on e-commerce should be maintained till developing countries understand what is at stake in the area of global e-commerce rule-making.
- Provide weight to India similar stand on e-commerce issues at ongoing talk of RCEP.
- China is a proponent of e-commerce negotiations both at the WTO and RCEP is another reason for India to step carefully.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Environment
Waste-to-Energy plants threats
The Waste-to-Energy (WtE) plants that use solid waste as feedstock pose threat to environment as per the recent study.
- WtE plants process municipal solid waste to generate electricity through incineration.
- There are 5 municipal WtE plants operational in India with a total capacity of 66.4 MW electricity per day, of which 52MW per day is generated in Delhi by its three existing plants.
- WtE plants in India burn mixed waste.
- The presence of chlorinated hydrocarbons like PVC results in the release of dioxins and furans when the waste is burnt at less than 850 degree C.
- Dioxins and furans are known to be carcinogenic and can lead to impairment of immune, endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems.
- They are extremely difficult and costly to measure, as the experience of Okhla shows.
- The large amounts of flue gases, mercury vapour and lead compounds are released.
- About 30 per cent residue from incineration in the form of slag (bottom ash) and fly ash (particulate matter), which are also known to be serious pollutants of air and water.
- Solid Waste Management (SWM) Rules 2016 require that PVC be phased out in incinerators by April 2018.
- SWM policy requires that wet and dry wastes should not be mixed so that only non-compostable and non-recyclable wastes with at least 1,500 kcal/kg should reach WtE plants.
- As a preventive measure, the National Green Tribunal(NGT) directed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to consider the phase out of such single-use short-life PVC and issue appropriate directions by July 2017.
What needs to be done?
- Wet and dry wastes segregation at source
- Awareness about the harmful effects of WtE technologies
- There should be adequate use of activated charcoal to filter out dioxins, furans and mercury from the emissions in plants.
- Strict penalties for non-compliance.
- Exploration of low cost options such as composting and bio-methanation
- Proper implementation of SWM policy
- Follow NGT directions
Read more at: Indian Express
Topic 3 : ICT
Julia programming language
The Julia programming language ranked #37 in the TIOBE index ranking of programming languages.
- The programming language is known for its speed, high performance, and versatile nature to run on several platforms.
- It allows researchers to write high-level code in an intuitive syntax
- It produce code with the speed of production programming languages
- It has been widely adopted by the scientific computing community for application areas that include astronomy, economics, deep learning, energy optimization, and medicine.
About programming language:
- A programming language is a vocabulary and set of grammatical rules for instructing a computer or computing device to perform specific tasks.
- The term programming language usually refers to high-level languages, such as BASIC, C, C++, COBOL, Java, FORTRAN, Ada, and Pascal.
Read more at: The Hindu
The black eye bug
The black eye bug affected the iPhones under the FaceTime users across the world.
- The bug, which was transmitted audio to a caller despite the recipient not having accepted the call.
- It was triggered when the initial caller added a third person to a FaceTime call.
- It was serious cyber security issue across the world.
Cyber security refers to the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. Cyber security may also be referred to as information technology security.
It is an error, fault or flaw in any computer program or a hardware system. A bug produces unexpected results or causes a system to behave unexpectedly. In short it is any behavior or result that a program or system gets but it was not designed to do.
A patch is a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data designed to update, fix, or improve it.This includes fixing security vulnerabilities and other bugs, with such patches usually being called bug fixes or bug fixes and improving the usability or performance.
Read more at: Guardian