Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- The Key Initiatives of Government
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Social development
National Medical Commission Bill,2017
The National Medical Commission (NMC) Bill 2017 seeks to replace the Medical Council of India with National Medical Commission as top regulator of medical education in India.
- The Bill sets up the National Medical Commission (NMC). The NMC will regulate medical education and practice. It will determine fees for up to 40% seats in private medical institutions and deemed universities.
- The NMC will consist of 25 members. A Search Committee will recommend names to the central government for the post of Chairperson, and the part time members.
- Four autonomous Boards have been set up under the supervision of the NMC. These Boards will focus on undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, assessment and rating, and ethical conduct.
- There will be a National Licentiate Examination for doctors to obtain a licence to practice after graduation. This examination will also be the basis for admission to post-graduate medical courses.
- State Medical Councils will receive complaints relating to professional or ethical misconduct against a doctor. If the doctor is aggrieved of a decision of the State Medical Council, he may appeal to successively higher levels of authority.
- It aims to move towards outcome-based regulation of medical education rather than process oriented.
- It will ensure proper separation of functions within regulator by having autonomous boards, create accountable and transparent procedures for maintaining standards in Medical education
Read more at: The Hindu
World No Tobacco Day 2018
The focus of World No Tobacco Day 2018 is “Tobacco and heart disease.” There is a sharp drop in smoking tobacco in India, says WHO report.
- From 19.4% in 2000, the prevalence of smoking tobacco in India dropped down to 11.5% in 2005, according to a World Health Organisation report.
- The report projected the prevalence to drop down further to 9.8% by 2020 and 8.5% by 2025.
- The prevalence of tobacco use has decreased more slowly in low and middle-income countries than in high-income countries, because the introduction of strong tobacco control policies by low and middle-income countries is impeded by relentless lobbying from the tobacco industry
- It also noted that while tobacco use has declined markedly since 2000, the reduction is insufficient to meet globally agreed targets aimed at protecting people from death and suffering from cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
- Tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure were major causes of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attacks and stroke, contributing to approximately three million deaths per year.
- World No Tobacco Day (WNTD) is observed around the world every year on 31 May. It is intended to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption around the globe.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 1:Industrial development
Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana Rural Roads Project
The Government of India and the World Bank signed a $500 million loan agreement to provide additional financing for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) Rural Roads Project, implemented by Ministry of Rural Development, Govt. of India.
- The World Bank has supported PMGSY since its inception in 2004 to support the rural economy and communities and households that depend on rural livelihoods
- The additional finance will bring a new shift in construction technology using green and low carbon designs and climate resilient construction techniques
About Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana:
- PMGSY aimed at providing all-weather road connectivity to unconnected habitations.
- A habitation which was earlier provided all-weather connectivity would not be eligible even if the present condition of the road is bad.
- It is a 100% Centrally Sponsored Scheme and 50% of the Cess on High Speed Diesel (HSD) is earmarked for this Programme.
- The target year of achieving 100% rural road connectivity under PMGSY is 2019.
- The unit of this programme is habitation and not revenue villages.
- Major District Roads, State Highways and National Highways cannot be covered under the PMGSY, even if they happen to be in rural areas.
- All habitations with a population of 500 persons and above in the plain areas and 250 persons and above in hill states, the tribal and the desert areas will be connected by PMGSY.
Read more at:PIB
Mandatory pre-litigation mediation in commercial disputes
The Mandatory pre-litigation mediation in commercial disputes has been introduced by the recent Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, which amends the Commercial Courts Act of 2015.
- The amendment is expected to alter parties’ sense of responsibility in resolving disputes.
- Mandatory pre-litigation mediation puts the ball in the court of the parties involved, rather than looking at external agencies like courts, and urges them to engage with and resolve disputes.
- The Commercial Courts Act was legislated to improve the enforcement of contracts, as part of improving the ease of doing business.
- The law defines “commercial disputes” to include regular commercial and business contracts, construction contracts, shareholder agreements, licensing agreements, etc.
- The law makes changes for reduction of timelines, tightening processes and designating special commercial courts and commercial divisions to deal with these disputes, among others.
- The ordinance stipulates that no suits concerning commercial disputes will be filed under this Act unless the person filing the suit exhausts the remedy of pre-litigation mediation.
- If an urgent interim relief is required, this pre-litigation mediation can be dispensed with.
- Any settlement arrived at through mediation will have the status of an arbitral award on agreed terms and be enforceable like a decree of court.
- Importantly, the time limits for filing cases will pause during the time the pre-litigation
- The process is managed by a neutral person called the mediator, who may evaluate the disputes and weigh in on options for settlement (a variant called conciliation) but has no authority to impose a settlement.
- The participation of the disputants is voluntary.
- The terms of settlement, if the parties do settle, are decided by the parties.
- The discussions are confidential.
- The advantages of mediation is its voluntary nature
Read more at: The Hindu
Ministry of Railways has revised its passenger reservation form to benefit the passengers booking tickets through Passenger Reservation System (PRS) Counters across the nation. Now, the VIKALP scheme option will also be available on booking made through reservation windows and not just through online bookings.
- In the revised reservation form, passengers are given an option either to avail the option of VIKALP scheme or not to avail it, where they may give their preference by ticking the column Yes or No.
- If the option of VIKALP is availed by passengers, he/she would have to mark his/her choice of alternate train departing within 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours.
- Also, passenger is given an optional choice to mention their Aadhar number in the reservation form.
About VIKALP-Alternate Train Accommodation Scheme:
- The scheme aims to facilitate waitlisted passengers to get an alternative train accommodation within 12 hours of the original train.
- The waitlisted passengers will get confirmed accommodation in next alternative train if they opt for it while booking.
- No extra charges will be paid by the passenger to avail this scheme or any refund provided for the difference of fare.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Mother of all lizards
Scans of the fossilised skeleton of Megachirella revealed the chameleon-sized reptile was an ancestor of today’s lizards and snakes, which belong to a group called squamates found in Italian Alps, an international team wrote in the science journal Nature.
- Megachirella, discovered some 20 years ago buried in compacted sand and clay layers in the Dolomites mountain range in northeast Italy, was initially misclassified as a close lizard relative.
- This finding dragged the group back in time by 75 million years, and means that “lizards inhabited the planet since at least 240 million years ago
- The squamates had split from other ancient reptiles before the Permian/Triassic mass extinction some 252 million years ago, and survived it.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
Digital Gudda Guddi Board
- It is a platform for dissemination of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) Material on Beti Bachao,Beti Padhao Yojana(BBBP), to update monthly birth statistics.
- The digital board displays audio video material as well as still frames for disseminating information and is being displayed at important state offices.
Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women (STEP)
- It is a Central Sector Scheme that aims to provide skills that give employability to women and to provide competencies and skill that enable women to become self-employed/entrepreneurs.
- The Scheme is intended to benefit women who are in the age group of 16 years and above across the country.
- The grant under the Scheme is given to an institution/ organization including NGOs directly and not the States/ UTs.
- The assistance will be available in any sector for imparting skills related to employability and entrepreneurship
- It is an initiative for meeting aspirations and needs of women.
- It is a bilingual portal provides unique direct online marketing platform leveraging technology for supporting women entrepreneurs/SHGs/ NGOs for showcasing their products / services.