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Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

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  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

Cabinet approves ‘in principle’ strategic disinvestment of PSUs and SPSUs

  • The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister  gave ‘in-principle’ approval for strategic disinvestment in Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd (NINL) by selling the government’s stake to a strategic buyer which would be identified through a two stage auction procedure.
  • NINL is a joint venture company with equity shareholding of Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation Ltd(49.78%), National Mineral Development Corporation (10.10%), MECON (0.68%) and BHEL (0.68%).
  • Besides, Odisha government public sector units Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Ltd. and Odisha Mining Corporation hold 12% and 20.47% stakes respectively.
  • The proposed strategic disinvestment of NINL would unlock resources to be used to finance social sector or developmental programmes of the government, benefiting the public.
  • It is expected that the successful strategic buyer will bring in new management, technology and investment for the growth of the company and may use innovative methods for development of business operations of the company, which may generate more employment opportunities.

Difference between disinvestment and strategic disinvestment  

  • In case of disinvestment, the Govt  sells shares of a company so that it can fetch some money.
  • But strategic disinvestment involves sale of substantial volume of shares so that, part of the control of the company and or management passes to the private shareholder.

Why government plan strategic disinvestment 

  1. The government should not be in the business 
  2. When a turnaround has been attempted but was unsuccessful

Types of Disinvestment Methods in India

  1. Minority Disinvestment/Token Disinvestment

A minority disinvestment is one  the government retains a majority stake in the company, typically greater than 51%, thus ensuring management control.

2.Majority Disinvestment/Strategic Disinvestment

The government  retains a minority stake in the company i.e. it sells off a majority stake. It is also called Strategic Disinvestment.

Read more at:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1598713

Cabinet approves North East Natural Gas Pipeline Grid

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Viability Gap Funding (VGF)/ Capital Grant of 60% of the estimated cost to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Viability Gap Funding (VGF)/ Capital Grant, which is 60% of the estimated cost, to Indradhanush Gas Grid Limited. 

Aim:

  • To build Natural Gas Pipeline Grid covering 8 North-Eastern states namely Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. 
  • This is second such funding by the government for the gas pipeline project.

Natural Gas Pipeline Grid:

  • The current approval by the government is expected to cover 60% cost of the project. 
  • The Natural Gas Pipeline Grid project is a 1,656 km pipeline. 
  • Gas Pipeline Grid would be developed in the eight states of the North-Eastern region i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.. 
  • The project will provide natural gas supplies to various types of consumers and help in substituting the liquid fuels. 
  • It is expected that the pipeline grid will ensure reliability and uninterrupted natural gas supplies to the consumers.

Socio-Economic and Environmental Benefits

  • Development of industrial climate in eight states of the north-eastern region i.e. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
  • Reduction in the usage of kerosene, wood etc. due to increased usage of environment friendly fuel natural gas thereby improving the environment in the region.
  • Improvement in the standard of living of peoples living in the region.
  • It will boost Exploration & Production activities and connect regional gas sources with pipeline network for early monetisation of natural resources in the region.
  • Possibility of installing bottling plants for LPG can be explored for reducing transportation cost. 
  • Uninterrupted supply of LPG and other value added products can be ensured in the region which will bring energy security to the people in the area.

Read more at:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1598709

Topic 1:Social development

Cabinet approves conferring the status of institution of national importance to the cluster of Ayurveda institutions at Gujarat 

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister has given its approval to confer the status of Institution of National Importance to the Institute of Teaching and Research in Ayurveda Jamnagar by conglomerating the cluster of Ayurveda Institutes at Gujarat Ayurveda University campus, Jamnagar , namely, 

(a) Institute for Post Graduate Teaching and Research in Ayurveda 

(b) Shri Gulabkunwerba Ayurveda Mahavidyalaya and 

(c) Institute of Ayurveda Pharmaceutical Sciences including Pharmacy Unit and 

  • Considering the rapidly growing role of AYUSH Systems in addressing the Public Health challenges of India, conferring the status of National Importance will boost the role and importance of Ayurveda in Public Health. 
  • The strengthening of Ayurveda will reduce government expenditure on health as Ayurveda is cost-effective because of its preventive and curative approaches.
  • There is rising interest and demand for knowledge and services of Ayurveda all over the world. 
  • India is the country of origin of Ayurveda and the world is looking up to India to showcase state of the art institutions providing international level education and training in Ayurveda. 
  • Elevation of the proposed Institute to the status of Institution of National Importance will provide it the autonomy to upgrade standard of Ayurveda education, frame various courses in Ayurveda as per national and international demand, adopt advanced evaluation methodology, etc. 
  • It will have the mandate to frame its own certification courses for deeper penetration of AYUSH across masses and will give the capacity to bring out the unrealized potential of Ayurveda for addressing the major public health challenges faced by the country. 
  • It will help the institute to develop tertiary care in Ayurveda and to secure inter-disciplinary collaborations to give a contemporary thrust to Ayurveda.

Read more at:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1598708

Topic 4: General Knowledge

Operation Sankalp

The Indian Navy has launched ‘Operation Sankalp’ in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman as a measure to assure the safety and security of the Indian vessels, following the recent maritime incidents in the region.

Key facts:

  • The operation has been launched in the wake of escalating tension in the Gulf of Oman, where two oil tankers were attacked recently. Indian Navy Ships Chennai and Sunayna have been deployed in the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf to undertake maritime security operations. In addition, aerial surveillance by IN aircraft is also being undertaken in the area.
  • The Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region is also keeping a close watch on the movement of ships in the Gulf region.

Read more at:https://pib.gov.in/PressReleseDetail.aspx?PRID=1598858 

 

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