June 14,2018

Quiz – June 12, 2018
June 13, 2018
Quiz – June 13, 2018
June 14, 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

Cleaning up balance sheets

The Central government has revived the idea of setting up an asset reconstruction or asset management company, a sort of ‘bad bank’.

Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency:

  • A Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency would take on public sector banks’ chronic bad loans and focus on their resolution and the extraction of any residual value from the underlying asset.
  • This would allow government-owned banks to focus on their core operations of providing credit for fresh investments and economic activity.
  • May purchase bad loans from public sector banks.
  • The bad bank will require significant capital to purchase stressed loan accounts from public sector banks.
  • Thus it can clean up bank balance sheets and get them to start lending again to businesses.

About Bad Bank:

  • A bad bank is one, set up to buy the bad loans of another bank with significant non performing assets at market price.
  • By transferring such assets to the bad bank, the original institution may clear its balance sheet.

Balance sheet:

  • A balance sheet reports a company’s assets, liabilities and shareholders’ equity at a specific point in time
  • It provides a basis for computing rates of return and evaluating its capital structure.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

Polio-free status

The experts commended the strong leadership of the Government of India, as well as the ownership of the state governments to for maintaining polio-free status for more than seven years and ensuring that every child is vaccinated against the disease.

Steps Taken:

  • There are both mass polio vaccination campaigns and childhood immunization.
  • There are two types of polio vaccine – oral polio vaccine and injectable polio vaccine.
  • The last case of polio in India was reported in January 2011.
  • More than 23 lakh vaccinators are mobilized to support every polio mass campaign during which 17 crores children get the oral polio drops.

Facts about polio certification by WHO:

  • For certification, all countries in the WHO Region need to have no case of wild polio for 3 consecutive years in presence of high quality AFP(acute flaccid paralysis) surveillance systems.
  • No single country can be certified as polio-free. WHO regions as a whole are certified as polio-free.
  • There are national certification committees (NCCs) that prepare national documentations for certification of polio eradication at the country level.
  • Three regions (Americas, 1994; Western Pacific, 2000; Europe, 2002) have already been certified as polio-free.

Read more at: PIB

National Dam Safety Authority

The Union Cabinet has approved a proposal for introduction of the Dam Safety Bill, 2018 in Parliament.

The Bill:

  • The Bill envisages a National Dam Safety Authority, which will liaise with State-level dam safety organisations and the owners of dams for standardising safety-related data and practices.
  • The NDSA will investigate dam failures and have the authority to fine the States that are found remiss in implementing safety measures.
  • It will look into unresolved points of issues between the States which share dam territory.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic: Industrial Development

Solar Charkha Mission

The Solar Charkha Mission of the Ministry of Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME), will be launched by the President, Ram Nath Kovind on June 27, 2018 in New Delhi.

Objectives:

  • The objective is to link 5 crore women to this initiative.
  • The mission is expected to create one lakh jobs during the first two years
  • 15 new state-of-the-art technology centers are being set up all over the country including North-East, of which 10 centers will become operational by March 2019
  • The Mission will cover 50 clusters and every cluster will employ 400 to 2000 artisans.

Read more at: ET

Topic: Environment

Composite Water Management Index

NITI Aayog has come up with the Composite Water Management Index as an useful tool to assess and improve the performance in efficient management of water resources.

The Index:

  • This index is an attempt to inspire States and UTs towards efficient and optimal utilization of water and recycling.
  • The index comprises of nine parameters and 28 indicators.
  • These include various aspects of ground water, restoration of water bodies, irrigation, farm practices, drinking water, policy and governance.
  • For the purposes of analysis, the reporting states were divided into two special groups – ‘North Eastern and Himalayan states’ and ‘Other States’, to account for the different hydrological conditions across these groups.
  • Gujarat has ranked as the top state in composite water management in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Energy

India’s renewable energy targets

The Union government has set an ambitious target of achieving 175 GigaWatt (GW) of installed capacity from renewable energy sources by 2022, which 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind power capacity. The total renewable power installed capacity in the country stood at about 70 GW in financial year 2017-18 .It stands to meet its greenhouse-gas emission goal under the Paris climate agreement.

Concerns:

  • India has missed several interim milestones.
  • Technological and financial challenges remain: both wind and solar generation could be erratic, and India’s electricity grid must be modernised to distribute such power efficiently.
  • The wind and solar tariffs have hit such low levels that suppliers are working with wafer-thin margins.
  • The  homeowners need to be able to sell electricity back to the grid, which in turn needs a nationwide “net-metering” policy,only a few States have such policies.

Read more at: The Hindu

Oil Buyers Club

  • India discussed with China the possibility of forming an ‘oil buyers club’ that can negotiate better terms with sellers as well as getting more U.S. crude oil to Asia to cut dominance of the oil block.
  • At present he Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) supplies about 60% of India’s oil needs.

Read more at:The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

Utsonmobile’ app

The Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS) has developed a mobile based application ‘utsonmobile’ towards digitalization and moving towards a cashless economy.

The app:

  • The ‘utsonmobile’ application enables booking and cancellation of unreserved tickets, issue and renewal of season and platform tickets, check and load R-wallet balance and helps maintain user profile management and booking history.
  • Is available for both Android and Windows smart phone
  • Upon successful registration of the user,  Railway Wallet (R-Wallet) will be created automatically with zero balance to the passenger.
  • No advance ticket booking is allowed. (i.e.) the journey date will always be current date.
  • The passenger can travel without taking hard copy of the ticket.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

Antyodaya Anna Yojana

  • The scheme aims to make Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) more focused and targeted towards the poorest section of population.  
  • Beneficiary families under the scheme are distributed 35 kg of rice and wheat at the rates of Rs. 3 per kg and Rs. 2 per kg respectively. Coarse grains, on the other hand, are distributed at the rate of Rs. 1 per kg.
  • Under the scheme, subsidies are fully borne by the central government and States/UT bears the distribution cost.
  • The scheme has been expanded to cover 2.50 cr households and scale of issue has been increased to 35 kg per family per month.

Jal mani Programme

  • This programme is launched to provide value and quality addition to the ongoing Rural Drinking Water Supply Programme to mainly address the water quality in rural areas.  
  • It involves installation of Stand Alone Purification System in rural Schools
  • It is implemented by the State Governments through the Gram Panchayat/Village Water and Sanitation Committees/Self Help Groups.

Stand Up India Scheme

  • It is to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Schedule Tribe and Women.
  • The schemes provides for composite loans by banks between Rs. 10 lakh and upto Rs. 100 lakh for setting up a new enterprise in the non-farm sector.   
  • These loans would be eligible for refinance and credit guarantee cover.  

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