July 16, 2018

Quiz – July 13 , 2018
July 15, 2018
Quiz – July 15, 2018
July 16, 2018

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
  4. The Key Initiatives of Government
  5. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Economic development

Caution with Direct Benefit Transfer

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has advised States that are planning to shift to direct cash transfer to be cautious.

Problems outlined:

  • Inadequacy of transfers to maintain the requirement
  • Insufficiency of last-mile delivery mechanisms
  • A weak grievance redressal system

The pre-conditions for DBT:

  • Complete digitisation of the beneficiary database
  • De-duplication of the beneficiary database
  • Seeding of bank account details
  • Seeding Aadhaar numbers in the digitised database

Benefits of DBT in PDS:

  • The cash transfer mode reduced the need for large physical movement of food grains
  • Greater autonomy to beneficiaries to choose their consumption basket
  • Enhancing dietary diversity
  • To reduce the leakage in the PDS

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Threats to Golden jackal

Destruction of mangrove cover in the Bandar Reserve Forest of Andhra Pradesh is forcing the golden jackal (Canis aureus) out of its habitat, triggering a conflict with the local communities.

Threat:

  • The sighting out of its habitat is a sign of its destruction
  • Encroachment of the mangrove

Suggestions:

  • Protection of mangroves
  • Better protection of the reserve forests

About golden jackal:

  • The golden jackal (Canis aureus) is a wolf-like canid that is native to Southeast Europe, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and regions of Southeast Asia
  • It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List

Read more at: The Hindu

Threats to Harrier birds

Harrier birds, a migratory raptor species that regularly visits vast swathes of India, are declining.

Threats:

  • The loss of grasslands, either to urbanisation or to agriculture
  • Excessive use of pesticides in farms in and around the roosting sites. The pesticides kills grasshoppers, the harriers’ primary prey.

Conservation:

  • Conservation of India’s grasslands
  • Avoid the use of pesticides in the identified sites

About Harrier bird:

  • Every winter, several species of harrier birds travel thousands of kilometres to escape frigid Central Asia for the grasslands of the subcontinent.
  • India has one of the largest roosting sites in the world for Pallid Harriers and Montagu’s Harriers.
  • Globally, of the 16 harrier species, two are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Coal auction reforms

An high-power committee, headed by former Central Vigilance Commission Pratyush Sinha, has recommended a complete overhaul of regulations governing mine auctions.

Proposals:

  • Bidding on revenue share basis
  • Allowing captive mines to sell part of the output in the market
  • Easing of bank guarantees
  • Linking the value of to-be-auctioned blocks with a proposed monthly coal index which is to be developed on the basis of the prevalent spot price and rates for captive mining, international markets and Coal India.
  • Flexibility in coal mining to captive bidders in line with requirements of the attached end-use plants.

Captive coal mining 

  • Means that the coal mined could be used only in the said industry for which the allocation/auction of the block has been done.
  • It can’t be used for any other purposes.

The revenue sharing

  • The government’s share of revenue will be calculated on the basis of actual revenue or actual production 
  • This calculation would ensure that the government got its share of any windfall gains too

Present Rules:

  • The coal mine auction mechanism has been provided under the Coal Mines Special Provisions Act and the amended Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act.
  • It provides for reverse online auctions for power projects and forward bidding for other uses.

Read more at: ET

Topic 3 : ICT

Domestication of cybersecurity products

The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) mandated giving preference in all public procurement to locally produced cybersecurity products where intellectual property rights are owned by companies or start-ups incorporated in India.

Aims:

  • To protect  information space
  • To enhance income
  • Enhance employment in the country
  • To use and promote indigenous cybersecurity products

Read more at:The Hindu

IFFCO iMandi

Fertiliser major Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) has partnered with Singapore-based technology firm iMandi to start an e-commerce platform for farmers

The App:

  • An e-commerce app, ‘IFFCO iMandi’, has been introduced.
  • It is a ‘one stop shop’ for agri inputs and produce, FMCG, electronics, loans, insurance etc.

About IFFCO:

  • Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited, also known as IFFCO, is a large scale fertiliser cooperative federation based in India which is registered as a Multistate Cooperative Society.
  • The marketing of IFFCO’s products is channelled through cooperative societies and institutional agencies.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

LOTUS HR Project

  • The project LOcal Treatment of Urban Sewage Streams for Healthy Reuse (LOTUS HR) is an Indo- Netherlands joint project funded by Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Govt of India and The Govt of Netherlands
  • The project aims to demonstrate a novel holistic waste-water management approach, that will produce clean water, while simultaneously recovering nutrients and energy from the urban waste water, thus converting drain into profitable mines
  • Special attention will be paid to pathogen removal and removing conventional and emerging pollutants
  • The project will develop an innovative pilot scale plant, suitable to cope with Indian conditions in a location specific manner.

Devasthal Optical Telescope

  • It is India‘s largest ground-based optical telescope
  • The telescope is the product of an Indo-Belgian collaborative effort.
  • It is going to be operated by the Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), an autonomous research body under the Department of Science and Technology.
  • It will also be Asia‘s largest ground-based optical telescope, succeeding the Vainu Bappu Observatory in Kavalur, Tamil Nadu

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