July 29,2018

Quiz – July 26,2018
July 27, 2018
Quiz – July 27 , 2018
July 29, 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

GST reforms

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council reduced the tax rates on more than 50 items with certain tax filing reforms.

Highlights:

  • Sanitary pads have been exempt from the GST — it had a 12% tax rate earlier.
  • White goods have seen their tax rates reduced to 18% from the earlier 28%.

Reforms:

  • Assesses with an annual income of less than Rs. 5 crore can now file their returns on a quarterly basis.
  • The Council finalised two simplified forms — Sahaj and Sugam — for the large filers.

About White Goods:

The Heavy consumer durables such as air conditioners, refrigerators, stoves, etc.,which used to be painted only in white enamel finish.

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council:

  • GST Council is the governing body of GST having 33 members.
  • It is chaired by the Union Finance Minister.

Read more at:The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

National Viral Hepatitis Control Program

Government of India launched the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program to mark the World Hepatitis Day, 2018

Highlights:

  • The  goal of ending viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 in the country
  • The aim of the initiative is to reduce morbidity and mortality due to viral hepatitis
  • The key strategies include preventive and promotive interventions with focus on awareness generation, safe injection practices and socio-cultural practices, sanitation and hygiene, safe drinking water supply, infection control and immunization
  • Coordination and collaboration with different Ministries and departments;
  • Increasing access to testing and management of viral hepatitis
  • Promoting diagnosis and providing treatment support for patients of hepatitis B &C through standardized testing and management protocols with focus on treatment of hepatitis B and C
  • Building capacities at national, state, district levels and sub-district level up to Primary Health Centres (PHC) and health and wellness centres such that the program can be scaled up till the lowest level of the healthcare facility in a phased manner.

Read more at: PIB

Mission Satyanishtha

Indian Railways Launches “Mission Satyanishtha” a Program on Ethics in Public Governance

The objectives:

  • To train every employee to understand the need and value of ethics in Personal and Public life
  • To deal with ethical dilemmas in life and Public Governance.
  • To help understand the policies of Indian Railways on ethics and integrity and the employee’s role in upholding the same.
  • To develop inner governance through tapping inner resources.

Read more at:PIB

Topic 2 : Environment

India to give flash-flood warning to Asian nations

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) designated India as a nodal centre for preparing flash-flood forecasts.

Facts:

  • It implies that India will have to develop a customized model that can issue advance warning of floods in Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand.
  • IMD would be working   to customize a weather model, developed by the United States and donated to the WMO, to warn of flash floods atleast six hours in advance.
  • India currently has a warning system for Tsunami that also doubles up a warning system for several Asian countries.
  • The Central Water Commission, monitors India’s dams, warns of rising water level in the reservoirs.
  • The CWC recently tied up with Google to develop a software application to visualize rising water levels during the heavy rains.

About Flash flood guidance system:

  • It provides forecasts by computing the likelihood of rainfall and the soil moisture levels to warn of possible floods.
  • Use of satellite mapping and ground based observations.
  • Aims to provide forecasts six hours in advance.
  • According to WMO, flash floods account for 85% of flooding incidents across the world, causing some 5,000 deaths each year.

World Meteorological Organization:

  • It is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories.
  • It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873
  • It provides the framework for essential international cooperation among the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its 191 Member States and Territories

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

E-Government Development Index 2018

United Nation’s released  E-Government Development Index 2018.

Highlights:

  • The only  global initiative to measure and track how governments are faring on the e-governance front.
  • E-government can facilitate integrated policies and services across the three dimensions of sustainable development
  • To focus on e-government initiatives is that there is a clear link between greater e-governance and easier public access to government services and a reduction in poverty and inequality.
  • With an EGDI index score of 0.5669, India is just above the world average of 0.55.
  • The Asian leader in e-government, South Korea, scored 0.9010

E-Participation Index 2018:

  • The sub-index of E-Government Development Index 2018.
  • The EPI looks at issues like e-information, e-consultation and e-decision making to arrive at a score.
  • India  moved up 12 places in the E-Participation Index, from 27 in 2016 to 15 in 2018

Read more at: The Hindu

The data protection Bill 2018

An expert panel headed by Justice B.N. Srikrishna submitted its report on data protection as well as the draft ‘The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018’

Key recommendations:

  • The law should be applicable to processing of personal data if such data has been used, shared, disclosed, collected or otherwise processed in India
  • It covers the company which are incorporated under Indian law, irrespective of where it is actually processed in India or not.
  • The processing of personal data within India, including the State.
  • The  processing of sensitive personal data should be on the basis of “explicit consent.”
  • In case of fiduciaries that are not present in India (eg. Facebook), the law is applicable to one who carry out business in India.
  • Penalties may be imposed for violations of the data protection law.

Issues:

  • Amendment in existing 50 laws/ regulation would be a tough task for Government
  • Amendment in RTI and Aadhar act may dilute the existing laws
  • The provision of bill treating violations as criminal offences along with fine and compensation is excessive and would impact the enforcement mechanism greatly
  • The storage of one copy of personal data in India will impose additional cost to companies
  • All financial data has been classified as sensitive personal data which may be detrimental to Financial institutions
  • Restriction on cross border flow of data may prove detrimental in era of digital global economy

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

National Food Security Mission

  • It is launched to enhance the production of Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Coarse Cereals and commercial crops (Cotton, jute and Sugarcane)
  • Targets – Production of rice, wheat and pulses would be increased by 10, 8, 4 million tonnes respectively and Coarse cereals by 3 million tonnes.
  • Funding – 50:50 by Centre and State for food crops and 100% centre funding for cash crops.
  • It would be implemented through cluster demonstration, distribution of high yield seeds with farm mechanization, & Integrated pest management.

Topic 5: General Knowledge

CRISPR Technology

The clustered, regularly interspaced, short palindromic repeats, or CRISPR/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) (CRISPR-Cas9) system has revolutionised genetic manipulations and made gene editing simpler, faster and easily accessible to most laboratories

Highlights:

  • To repair defective genes for potential therapeutic applications
  • To produce gene-edited cells for cancer and HIV-1 therapy.

Concerns:

  • Unethical clinical trials
  • The mice with genome-edited cells developing cancer have not been reported
  • The cells with adverse studies are not the ones currently in clinical trials.

Read more at: The Hindu

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