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:Economic development
The India Post Payments Bank
The India Post Payments Bank is a public sector company under the department of posts and ministry of communication where the Indian government holds 100 per cent equity.
- The payments bank will be governed by Reserve Bank of India.
- It offer a range of products such as savings and current accounts, money transfer, direct benefit transfers, bill and utility payments, and enterprise and merchant payments.
- These products, and related services, will be offered across multiple channels (counter services, micro-ATM, mobile banking app, SMS and IVR), using the bank’s state-of-the-art technology platform.
- The IPPB will not offer any ATM debit card. Instead, it will provide its customers a QR Code-based biometric card.
- The payments bank will also provide access to third-party financial services such as insurance, mutual funds, pension, credit products and forex.
Is India Post Payments Bank different from traditional banks?
- A payments bank is a differentiated bank, offering a limited range of products.
- It can accept deposits of up to ₹ 1 lakh per customer.
- Unlike traditional banks, it cannot issue loans and credit cards.
- India Post Payments Bank will offer three types of savings accounts—regular, digital and basic—at an interest rate of 4% per annum.
- It will provide doorstep banking facility at a charge of ₹ 15-35 per transaction. The limit for doorstep banking is ₹ 10,000.
Read more at: ET
Topic 1:Social development
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana(Urban)
The Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (Urban) Programme launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (MoHUPA), in Mission mode envisions provision of Housing for All by 2022, when the Nation completes 75 years of its Independence.
The Mission seeks to address the housing requirement of urban poor including slum dwellers through following programme verticals:
- Slum rehabilitation of Slum Dwellers with participation of private developers using land as a resource
- Promotion of Affordable Housing for weaker section through credit linked subsidy
- Affordable Housing in Partnership with Public & Private sectors
- Subsidy for beneficiary-led individual house construction /enhancement.
- “Housing for All” Mission for urban area is being implemented during 2015-2022 and this Mission will provide central assistance to implementing agencies through States and UTs for providing houses to all eligible families/beneficiaries by 2022.
- Mission will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) except for the component of credit linked subsidy which will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme.
- Mission with all its component has become effective from the date 17.06.2015 and will be implemented upto 31.03.2022.
Read more at: FinancialExpress
Universal Basic Income (UBI)
Economic Survey for the year 2016-17 has an entire chapter dedicated to the discussion on Universal Basic Income (UBI).
- Universal Basic Income is a periodic, unconditional cash transfer to every citizen in the country.
- Here, social or economic positions of the individual are not taken into consideration.
Main features of UBI:
- UBI is universal in nature. It means UBI is not targeted.
- The second feature of UBI is cash transfer instead of in-kind transfer.
- The third feature is that UBI is unconditional. That means one need not prove his or her unemployment status or socio-economic identity to be eligible for UBI.
How UBI works?
- Under UBI, only those with zero income will receive the full benefits in net terms.
- For those, who earn additional income over the basic income, the net benefits will taper off through taxation.
- So even though the basic income is universal, only the poor will receive the full benefits.
What UBI means to the Government?
- There would be drastic changes in the way government spends its revenue generated from taxation and other sources.
- Currently, Government spends its revenue on various services as well as on subsidies.
- UBI would mean that government may move away from service delivery and empower its citizens to access services through cash transfer.
Advantages of UBI:
- UBI strengthens economic liberty at an individual level.
- It would be a sort of an insurance against unemployment and hence helps in reducing poverty.
- UBI will result in equitable distribution of wealth. As explained above, only poor will receive the full net benefits.
- Increased income will increase the bargaining power of individuals, as they will no longer be forced to accept any working conditions.
- UBI is easy to implement. Because of its universal character, there is no need to identify the beneficiaries.
- It promotes efficiency by reducing wastages in government transfers.
- Considerable gains could be achieved in terms of bureaucratic costs and time by replacing many of the social sector schemes with UBI.
Arguments against UBI
- A guaranteed minimum income might make people lazy and it breeds dependency. They may opt out of labour market.
- There is no guarantee that the additional income will be spent on education, health etc. there are chances that the money will be spent on ‘temptation goods’ such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs etc.
- Given the large population size, the fiscal burden on government would be high.
- If the UBI is funded by higher taxes, especially by the indirect taxes, it will result in inflation.
- A ‘guaranteed minimum income’ might reduce the availability of workers in some sectors which are necessary but unattractive and raise the wages of such works.
Read more at: Moneycontrol
Topic 3 : ICT
The cabinet approved the launching of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NMICPS) which is to be implemented by Department of Science & Technology for a period of five years.
About Cyber-physical system (CPS):
- CPS is an interdisciplinary field that deals with the deployment of computer-based systems that do things in the physical world. It integrates sensing, computation, control and networking into physical objects and infrastructure, connecting them to the Internet and to each other.
- Examples of cyber physical systems are Smart Grid Networks, Smart Transportation System, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Utility Service Infrastructure for Smart Cities, etc.
- CPS and its associated technologies, like Artificial Intelligence (Al), Internet of Things (loT), Machine Learning (ML), Deep Learning (DP), Big Data Analytics, Robotics, Quantum Computing, Quantum Communication, Quantum encryption (Quantum Key Distribution), Data Science & Predictive analytics, Cyber Security for physical infrastructure and other infrastructure plays a transformative role in almost every field of human endeavor in all sectors.
Difference between CPS and Internet of Things(IoT)
- CPS are physical and engineered systems whose operations are monitored, coordinated, controlled and integrated by a computing and communication core. Where as IoT is is the network of devices such as vehicles, and home appliances that contain electronics, software, actuators, and connectivity which allows these things to connect, interact and exchange data.
- CPS engineering has a strong emphasis on the relationship between computation and the physical world. IoT has a strong emphasis on uniquely identifiable and internet-connected devices and embedded systems.
- CPS are not necessarily connected with internet.The Internet of Things (IoT) forms a foundation for this cyber physical systems revolution.
- CPS It may be individual system which integrates the physical and cyber technology like smart electricity meters. Iot is smart Home in which all appliances are connected to each other through internet like TV is connected to mobile, lights are connected to mobile etc.
About National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems
- It is a comprehensive mission which would address technology development, application development, human resource development, skill enhancement, entrepreneurship and start-up development in CPS and associated technologies.
- It aims at establishment of 15 numbers of Technology Innovation Hubs, six numbers of Application Innovation Hubs and four numbers of Technology Translation Research Parks (TTRP).
- These Hubs & TTRPs will connect to Academics, Industry, Central Ministries and State Government in developing solutions at reputed academic, R&D and other organizations across the country in a hub and spoke model.
Read more at: PIB