July 9, 2018

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July 9, 2018
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July 10, 2018


Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

Video Lectures for Engineering Services Exam (ESE)

Topic 1:Social development

Simultaneous Elections

Political parties were divided on the issue of holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections during consultations with the Law Commission of India.

What is Simultaneous elections

  • It refers to holding elections to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies simultaneously, once in a five year.

Why Simultaneous elections

  • Huge expentiture in terms of logistics, security personnel and money involved.
  • Model Code of Conduct (MCC) comes into operation during election season.
  • The simultaneous election once in five years provides stability to the governments.
  • It allows the government to take difficult and harsh decision in larger public interest.

Why not Simultaneous elections

  • Simultaneous elections may reduce the importance of state elections. Thus it affects the concept of federalism.
  • There would be no opportunity to dissolve Lok Sabha or State Assemblies.

Read more at:The Hindu

Ayushman Bharat National Health Protection Scheme (AB-NHPS)

Ayushman Bharat

  • The scheme has the benefit cover of Rs. 5 lakh per family per year.
  • The target beneficiaries of the proposed scheme will be more than 10 crore families belonging to poor and vulnerable population based on SECC database.
  • AB-NHPM will subsume the on-going centrally sponsored schemes -RashtriyaSwasthyaBimaYojana (RSBY) and the Senior Citizen Health Insurance Scheme (SCHIS),
  • The Ayushman Bharat programme addresses health holistically, in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems.
  • It covers both prevention and health promotion.
  • Two flagship programmes under Ayushman Bharat programme are Health and Wellness Centre and National Health Protection Scheme

Why Ayushman Bharat

  • In-patient hospitalization expenditure in India has increased nearly 300% during last ten years. (NSSO 2015).
  • Out of pocket (OOP) expenditure in India is over 60% which leads to nearly 6 million families getting into poverty due to catastrophic health expenditures.
  • AB-NHPM will have major impact on reduction of Out Of Pocket (OOP) expenditure on ground of:

i) Increased benefit cover to nearly 40% of the population, (the poorest & the vulnerable)

ii) Covering almost all secondary and many tertiary hospitalizations. (except a negative list)

iii)Coverage of 5 lakh for each family, (no restriction of family size)

Other Benefits

  • This will lead to increased access to quality health and medication.
  • This will lead to timely treatments, improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, improvement in productivity and efficiency, job creation thus leading to improvement in quality of life.

Read more at:The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Fish samples in Chennai test positive for formalin

As many as 11 out of 30 samples of fish species purchased from the two major fish markets in Chennai have tested positive for formalin, a cancer-inducing chemical used illegally to preserve fish.


Is a colourless solution of formaldehyde in water, used chiefly as a preservative for biological specimens.

Why formalin

  • Formalin treatment increases the shelf life of the fish
  • when formalin is used the gills remain red for longer periods
  • Formalin is available over the counter and is cheap, hence it is often used to illegally preserve perishable food items like fish and fruit.

Why not formalin

  • Formalin causes irritation in the eyes, throat, skin and stomach.
  • In the long run continued exposure causes harm to the kidneys, liver and can even cause cancers.

Read more at:The Hindu

Alternative to use-and-throw plastic drinking straws

A scientist from the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, has come out with a green alternative to use-and-throw plastic drinking straws, by tapping bamboo.

  • The bamboo species Schizostachyum andamanicum , endemic to the islands.
  • This bamboo is characterised by thin large hollow stem with long internodes.

Why bamboo straw

  • Bamboo straw biodegradable
  • it can be reused for years
  • Costs just 50 paise per piece.
  • Its longevity makes it cheaper than plastic.

Read more at:The Hindu

Topic 4: Key Initiatives of Government


        Reservations for Divyangs in Govt. jobs rose from 3% to 4%.


        Sugamya Bharat Abhiyan launched by the Government on 3rd December, 2015

        Objective is to make at least 50 percent of all government buildings in the national capital and all state capitals “fully accessible” for the disabled by December 2018.

        Similar deadlines have been set to make all airports and at least 50% railway stations accessible to the disabled.

        Special camps organized for distribution of Aids and Assistive devices to 6 lakh persons with disabilities.


    Scholarship scheme  to provide scholarship to differently abled students to pursue technical education


     Rs one lakh health insurance cover to people with autism, cerebral palsy and many disabilities


        Types of disabilities have been increased from existing 7 to 21

        Speech and Language Disability and Specific Learning Disability have been added for the first time

        Acid Attack Victims have been included


        Provides for the establishment of exclusive special courts for the speedy trial of offences of atrocities against the members of SCs & STs

        To insert a new chapter relating to “Rights of Victims and Witnesses”

        To impose certain duties and responsibilities upon the State for making necessary arrangement for protection of victims, their defendants and witnesses

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