June 17,2018

Quiz – June 14, 2018
June 15, 2018
Quiz – June 15, 2018
June 17, 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:Social development

Karunya Suraksha Padhati

Kerala has moved a step closer to achieving universal health coverage by integrating the numerous health-care protection schemes in the State, including the Karunya Benevolent Fund (KBF), into a new comprehensive health insurance scheme.

Highlights:

  • It is aligning with the Centre’s newly announced National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS), which offers a health protection coverage of Rs. 5 lakh for a BPL family.
  • The new scheme will cover all major secondary and tertiary medical care services, including the treatment of cancer or cardiac diseases, in all empanelled public or private hospitals.

Read more at: The Hindu

Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is in the process of finalising an Accelerated Plan for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (APELF).

Highlights:

  • Lymphatic Filariasis (LF), a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, has been endemic in India.
  • Numerous cases has been recorded and millions are suffering from disability associated with the disease.
  • In addition, 650 million people across 256 districts in 21 States and Union Territories still face a risk.
  • India’s mass drug administration (MDA) strategy has been successful in consistently reaching more than 80% of the population under risk.
  • A rapid scale-up of MDA that has focus on coverage and compliance is essential to decrease the number of rounds required to attain LF elimination.
  • In future rounds of MDA, high community demand and compliance will be the critical indicators of success.
  • The WHO’s recent recommendation of adopting the triple drug therapy or IDA (a combination of Ivermectin along with Diethylcarbamazine citrate and Albendazole) has shown encouraging results in clinical trials across the globe and in India.

Prevention:

  • The use of insecticide-treated bed nets or larval control to check the breeding of vectors or mosquitoes that spread the disease.
  • Collaborating across government departments to build cross-linkages with other national programmes such as the Swachh Bharat Mission or malaria prevention efforts.
  • The re-emergence of infection in non-endemic areas due to migration of people from areas with ongoing transmission needs to be tackled.
  • The global LF elimination target is of 2020.

What is meant by endemic disease?

An endemic disease is a disease that is always present in a certain population or region. ie it is one that is constantly present in a group or geographic area. Pandemics are worldwide epidemics.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

Shift focus from land to water productivity in farming

A report released by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) says that changing the objective of agriculture development to increasing productivity per unit of water, especially irrigation water, is crucial.

The report:

  • The report is part of a research project with ICRIER, mapping a water atlas for 10 major crops — rice, wheat, maize, red gram or tur, chickpea or channa, sugarcane, cotton, groundnut, rapeseed-mustard and potato.
  • These together occupy more than 60% of the country’s gross cropped area.
  • The productivity per unit of water is called water productivity.

Highlights:

  • The stark differences between land and water productivity are seen in rice and sugarcane cultivation
  • Punjab reports the highest land productivity for rice, producing four tonnes per hectare. However it only produces 0.22 kg of rice for every metre cube of irrigation water.
  • Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, on the other hand, produce 0.75 and 0.68 kg for the same amount of water.
  • For sugarcane Tamil Nadu reports the highest land productivity, producing 105 tonnes per hectare.
  • Karnataka, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh also have high rates of land productivity.
  • However, all four States in the water-stressed sub-tropical belt have an irrigation water productivity of less than 5 kg/m3.

Suggestions:

  • The cropping patterns be re-aligned to water availability, using both demand and supply side interventions.
  • A shift from the price policy approach of heavily subsidising inputs to an income policy approach of directly giving money to farmers on per hectare basis.
  • The prices will then be determined by market forces

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Par-Tapi-Narmada inter-state river link project

Gujarat government has expressed its inability to divert 434 MCM water for Maharashtra in Tapi basin as part of the Par-Tapi-Narmada inter-state river link project.

  • The main aim of Par-Tapi-Narmada Link Project is to provide irrigation for 2.30 lakh ha by transferring water from Par, Auranga, Ambika and Purna rivers in Maharashtra and south Gujarat to water short north Gujarat and Kutch region
  • It will save water in Narmada dam
  • There is also en route irrigation and hydropower generation 21 MW.
  • The reservoirs will also provide flood relief to the people residing in downstream areas

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Artificial leaf that creates biofuel

IISc scholars have developed an artificial ‘leaf’ that’ll help reduce carbon footprint and create biofuel.

Key findings:

  • The researchers used copper aluminium sulphate and zinc sulphide.
  • The two materials, which are otherwise wide band gap semiconductors, became low band gap semiconductors when combined.
  • The lower the band gap, the better conductivity a substance will have.
  • Basically, for photosynthesis or the process of plants taking in carbon dioxide to produce oxygen and glucose. For this process to happen, a high energy photon, electron and sunlight are needed.
  • The electron needs to have a lot of kinetic energy.
  • This quantum leaf had a much better rate of energy conservation compared to natural leaves – 20% as compared to 0.4-0.5% in photosynthesis.
  • The team then harnessed this capacity to produce a sulphate format bio fuel which not only allows for 100% combustion but whose carbon dioxide emissions can be recycled by the quantum leaves.
  • It will also help in reducing the carbon footprint.

Wide band gap semiconductors and low band gap semiconductors

  • The term “band gap” refers to the energy difference between the top of the valence band and the bottom of the conduction band.
  • Electrons are able to jump from one band to another. 
  • Wide-band gap semiconductors (WBG or WBGS) are semiconductor materials which have a relatively large band gap compared to typical semiconductors.
  • Typical semiconductors like silicon have a band gap in the range of 1 – 1.5 electron volt (eV), whereas wide-band gap materials have band gaps in the range of 2 – 4 eV.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

SWAYAM

  • Study Webs of Active Learning For Young Aspiring Minds is an indigenous IT platform for hosting the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
  • It targets those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
  • Professors of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs, central universities will offer online courses to citizens of India through this platform.
  • However, it would not run courses such as engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, and physiotherapy.

Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA)

  • It is to actively engage the students of Higher Education Institutions to encourage them to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of funds.
  • Ministry of HRD also aims to make financial transactions completely digital in all higher education institutions.

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