June 11,2018

Quiz – June 08, 2018
June 10, 2018
Quiz – June 10, 2018
June 11, 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

Topic 1:Economic development

Insolvency and Bankruptcy code (Amendment) Ordinance 2018.

Highlights:

  • In a major change, homebuyers would now be treated as financial creditors or, in other words, on par with banks.
  • The amendment now defines related party in relation to an individual running the firm and they would be barred from bidding for the firm under the resolution process.
  • It has changed the voting share required in committee of creditors (CoC) meetings
  • If a financial creditor (banks and other financial institution) or his authorised representative is a related party to the company facing insolvency, it shall not have any participation or voting during a meeting of the CoC.
  • Moratorium not to be available to the guarantors of a company
  • A company can file an insolvency application, provided it seeks shareholders’ approval and at least three-fourth of the stakeholders approve the proposal.
  • Operational creditors (suppliers of the company) are required to furnish a certificate from the financial institution managing their accounts regarding pending dues from the company, only if it is available
  • Under the insolvency process, an interim resolution professional (IRP) is appointed first and then, a resolution professional.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

Government opens doors to lateral entry

In an apparent bid to bring in expertise from the private sector individuals and infuse talent into the country’s bureaucracy, government has invited “outstanding individuals” to join the government at the joint secretary level at the Centre.

Highlights:

  • Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) has invited applications for 10 senior level positions in the Departments of Economic Affairs, Revenue, Commerce and Highways among others.
  • The joint secretary level positions are normally filled by career bureaucrats, who join the service after passing UPSC exam., which prepares merit list and allot the different cadres like IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS as per the marks obtained in the three tier exam.
  • Though the idea of lateral entry of private individuals into the administrative framework has been under discussion for some years now, this is the first move towards implementing the idea, which is generating curious debate on the pros and cons of the move.
  • The lateral entry candidates would bring in a vast number of fresh and vibrant ideas.
  • It may affect the regular selection candidates through entrance exam and promotions

Read more at: The Hindu

World Hindi Conference

The 11th World Hindi Conference is in planning to be held in Mauritius.

Objectives:

  • To produce concrete guidelines for the promotion of Hindi as a language of globalisation and possibly at the United Nations
  • The World Hindi Conference is a major event organised every three years by the Government of India under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

Draft Pesticides Management Bill

The Bill, a draft of which was made available for public feedback by the Ministry for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in February 2018, is intended to replace and update the Insecticides Act, 1968.

Objectives:

  • Ensuring availability of quality pesticides
  • Minimizing the contamination of agricultural commodities by pesticide residue
  • Creating awareness among users regarding safe and judicious use of pesticides.
  • The maximum punishment for violation (such as sale of prohibited or spurious pesticides) is a penalty of up to Rs 50 lakh and up to five years’ imprisonment.
  • The bill has tightened the guidelines for registration and licensing of new molecules.
  • It allows provisional registration of new pesticides in India in case of “national exigency” for a period of two years.
  • The state governments have to report all cases of poisoning to the centre on a quarterly basis and states can also ban chemical pesticides for up to six months.
  • It provides for paying compensation to the affected farmers or users under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
  • It also says that anyone who “uses” a pesticide contravening provisions under the Act can face punishment.
  • The draft Bill will allow importers to register readymade products without registering the active ingredients.

Concerns:

  • The bill would prevent Indian manufacturers from registering ‘me-too registrations’, and producing pesticides at a cheaper rate.
  • The foreign manufacturers will get total monopoly and can loot the Indian farmer
  • It would demolish the concept of Make in India in the pesticides sector.
  • Most of  the imported products are 25-30 years old, and their patents have long expired. By not registering active ingredients, they are effectively ever-greening their patents and harming the domestic industry.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Eco-sensitive zones tag

In a bid to conserve wildlife habitats in the State, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has proposed to declare areas around the Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary in Ramanathapuram district and Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu as Eco-Sensitive Zones (ESZ).

Highlights:

  • If the proposals go through, 4.7 sq. km around the Chitrangudi sanctuary and 5.5 sq. km around the Karaivetti sanctuary would be declared ESZs, with restrictions on construction, commercial mining and tourism activities.
  • The Bar Headed Goose, the highest-flying bird in the world having its breeding ground in Ladakh and Tibet, arrive in Karaivetti by February-end and remain until May before flying back.
  • About 50,000 to 60,000 birds frequent the fresh water feeding ground in Ariyalur district annually.
  • Chitrangudi, about 11,000 birds belonging to 43 species are known to visit the sanctuary during the peak season.
  • The sanctuary is also home to pelicans, painted storks, Eurasian spoon bills, white ibis, among others.
  • The draft notification issued in respect of each of the locations also lists out measures to be taken by the State government for giving effect to various provisions of the notification.
  • A Monitoring Committee is to be constituted in each of the locations that would recommend actions to be taken in this regard.

About eco-sensitive zones:

  • The purpose of declaring ESZs around national parks and sanctuaries is to “create some kind of shock absorber for protected areas.”
  • They are to act as a transition zone from areas of high protection to areas involving lesser protection.
  • The Ministry has declared ESZs around 165 national parks and sanctuaries.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

Safety Islands

Among the various initiatives to be taken up under the Nirbhaya Fund, is the concept of ‘Safety Islands’, wherein the police will select various spots in the city to set up the panic button in Bengaluru.

Highlights:

  • The service will be under CCTV camera surveillance and will be linked to the police control room.
  • Any distress alert through the panic button will be immediately conveyed to the nearby Hoysala patrol vehicle.

Read more at: The Hindu

Open data, open government

Open government data means publishing information collected by the government in its entirety, such as government budgets, spending records, health-care measures, climate records, and farming and agricultural produce statistics

Merits:

  • The availability of data on yearly produce of crops, soil data health cards and meteorological data sets can help companies develop customised crop insurance solutions with specific risk-based pricing.
  • Data points around progress in literacy rates, demographic data and density of educators can help develop customised solutions for villages.
  • The information on availability of facilities in public hospitals, current occupancy rates, hospital and demographic data can pave the way for curated health-care applications.
  • The time is now ripe for the government to create a data-driven governance architecture by building digital trust in the economy and its intent.

Five-point framework:

  1. To ensure completeness of data stacks opened for use either through machine-readable formats or direct application programme interfaces (APIs). Completeness would imply a data set.
  2. Comprehensiveness of a data stack or various data sets is essential.
  3. Clustering of relevant data sets and APIs would be the next step.
  4. Building anchor cases or use-cases to encourage data usage.
  5. Setting up a comprehensive governance framework which includes an open data council with cross-sector representation to monitor, regulate and build usage after proportionate oversight.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

Panchayat Empowerment and Accountability Incentive Scheme

  • It is a central sector scheme aimed at incentivization of States  for devolving funds, functions and functionaries (3Fs) to Panchayats and incentivization of Panchayats to put in place accountability systems to make their functioning transparent and efficient.   
  • The scheme is 100% centrally funded.
  • State Governments/UTs are ranked on a Devolution Index which measures the extent of devolution of 3Fs by States to Panchayats.
  • Based on the index, the best performing states and panchayats have been incentivized since 2011.

National LED Programme:

  • It is to ensure promotion of energy efficiency in the country.
  • It has two components – Domestic Efficient Lighting Programme (DELP) and Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP).
  • DELP – UJALA Scheme was launched to provide LED bulbs to domestic consumers.
  • SLNP – It aims to replace conventional street light with smart and energy efficient LED street lights by March, 2019.
  • The project is funded by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a Public Energy Services Company under the administration of the Union Ministry of Power.

Logistic Efficiency Enhancement Programme (LEEP)  

  • The programme is aimed at enhancing the freight transportation in India through improving cost, time, tracking and transferability of consignments through infrastructure, procedural and Information Technology (IT) interventions.
  • The parks are expected to serve four key functions – freight aggregation and distribution, multimodal freight movement, storage and warehousing, and value-added services such as custom clearances.

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