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
India Smart Cities Award 2018
Nine awards in three categories, i.e., Project Award, Innovative Idea Award and City Award have been announced under the India Smart Cities Awards, which was launched on June 25, 2017.
The city award:
- The city award is given to Surat for showing great momentum in implementation of projects especially in the categories of urban environment, transport and mobility and sustainable integrated development.
The Innovative Idea award:
- The Innovative Idea award is given to a project/idea particularly remarkable for its innovative, bottom-up and transformative approach towards achievement of sustainable integrated development.
- Joint winners in this category are Bhopal for their Integrated Command and Control Centre (ICCC) and Ahmedabad for Safe and Secure Ahmedabad (SASA) Project.
The Project awards:
- The Project awards are being given to most innovative and successful projects in seven categories that have been completed by April 1, 2018.
About Smart cities:
- The objective is to promote sustainable and inclusive cities that provide core infrastructure and give a decent quality of life to its citizens, a clean and sustainable environment and application of Smart‘ Solutions.
- The focus is on creating a replicable model which are meant to set examples that can be replicated both within and outside the Smart City, catalyzing the creation of similar Smart Cities in various regions and parts of the country
- Core infrastructure elements
- Water Supply
- Assured electricity supply
- Sanitation, including solid waste management
- Efficient urban mobility and public transport
- Affordable housing, especially for the poor
- Robust IT connectivity and digitalization
- Good governance, especially e-Governance and citizen participation
- Sustainable environment
- Safety and security of citizens, particularly women, children and the elderly
- Health and education
- Components of Smart Cities Mission:
- City improvement (Retrofitting)
- City renewal (Redevelopment)
- City extension plus a Pan-city initiative in which Smart Solutions are applied covering larger parts of the city.
- Approach – Area-based development
- Selection Process–Each state will get at least one smart city.
- The 100 such potential smart cities nominated by all the States and UTs will prepare Smart City Plans which will be rigorously evaluated in the Stage-2 of the competition for prioritizing cities for financing.
- The chosen ones will get Central fund of Rs 500 crore in the course of 5 years.
- Implementation -By SPVs which will be promoted by the State/UT and the Urban Local Body (ULB) jointly both having 50:50 equity shareholding
Read more at: PIB
Shillong bags Smart City tag
The Centre has announced the 100th and the last city which will be part of the Smart cities Mission project: Shillong
- The end date for the mission is June 2023, as every city gets five years to complete its projects
- The city is required to set up a Special Purpose Vehicle which will actually carry out the mission
- Under the scheme, each city will get Rs 500 crore from the Centre for implementing various projects. An equal amount, on matching basis, will have to be contributed by the state or urban local bodies.
Read more at: The Hindu
Smart City Advisory Forum
The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has suggested constitution of Smart City Advisory Forum.
- To monitor at city level the progress of projects implemented under the Smart City Mission.
- It is for all 100 smart cities with an aim to advise and enable collaboration among various stakeholders.
- The forum will include the District Collector, Member of Parliament, Member of Legislative Assembly, Mayor, CEO of Special Purpose Vehicle, local youth, technical experts and members from local areas.
- Under the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation, the government plans to set up a district-level review and monitoring committee which will monitor and review the implementation of the projects
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Environment
The Ken- Betwa river interlink project
The Ken- Betwa river interlink project which involves deforesting a portion of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, was accorded clearance by the National Wildlife Board.
- Disagreements over water sharing between Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in the Rabi season.
- Difficulty in acquiring non-forest land
- Deforesting a portion of the Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh
- Environmental concerns
- Habitat displacement
- It is India’s first river interlinking project that will connect Ken river in Madhya Pradesh with the Betwa in Uttar Pradesh.
- To transfer surplus river water to dry and arid areas of Bundelkhand region.
- Provide drinking water
- It will generate 78 megawatt of power.
Read more at: The Hindu
International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028
United Nations and Government of Republic of Tajikistan are jointly organizing high-level Conference on “International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028 to discuss key water related issues of sustainable development goals adopted by UN member countries.
- To focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives
- Implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects.
- It will focus on the furtherance of cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets
- It will highlights the importance of promoting efficient water usage at all levels, taking into account the water, food, energy, environment nexus.
Read more at:PIB
Ricin — bio-weapon
German authorities have confirmed that a Tunisian man arrested last week was creating a deadly biological weapon he intended to use for a terrorist attack somewhere in the country.
- Ricin is one of the most dangerous toxins found in nature.
- Depending on how you take up the substance, even small quantities amounting to less than a milligram is fatal.
- Is colorless and odorless
- The toxic effect can occur orally, through the skin, the stomach and inhalation.
- Injected, inhaled or swallowed poison prevents the body from producing vital proteins.
- Ricin binds to sugar molecules that are attached to the surfaces of the body cells.
- As a result, the central nervous system, kidneys, liver and other organs fail.
- Ricin can also paralyze the respiratory tract; death from cardiovascular shock or organ failure occurs within a few days.
- The poison is found in the seeds of Ricinus communis, the castor bean or castor oil plant.
Chemical weapons watchdog OPCW
- The intergovernmental body has the task to keep the world free of chemical weapons
- It monitors the adherence and implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, an arms control treaty that entered into force in 1997.
- The accord prohibits the development, production, possession, dissemination and the use of chemical weapons.
- The OPCW aims at elimination of existing chemical weapons, as well as preventing their development.
- The member states can also seek advice on how they can protect themselves from threats related to chemical weapons.
- 192 states are currently members of the OPCW. Only Egypt, Israel, North Korea and South Sudan are missing.
In recognition of its work and particularly because of its mission in Syria, the organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013.
Read more at: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-germany-security/germany-detains-tunisian-suspected-of-planning-biological-attack-idUSKBN1JA1OD
Topic 2 : Energy
Gujarat announces Wind-Solar hybrid power policy
To boost solar and wind power generation in the state, the Gujarat government has announced a new Wind-Solar Hybrid Power Policy.
- The policy is meant to promote the production of wind and solar power simultaneously.
- Under the policy, developers can set up wind power unit on the land meant for a solar power unit, or vice versa.
- The policy allows the establishment of wind-solar hybrid power producing units.
- The objective of the new policy is the optimum utilization of land and grid land for clean energy.
- The electricity produced from such hybrid wind and solar units will be exempted from electricity duty, allowing land use for dual purpose.
- The new policy has the provision for 50% exemption from electricity duty for selling electricity to a third party
Read more at: ET
Cancer cases up near Kaiga plant
Tata Memorial Centre has found that the number of cancer cases in Karwar taluk where Kaiga Atomic Power Station (KAPS) is located, has increased by 200% over a period of three years.
- A study was conducted during 2010-2013 by a team of the Mumbai-based centre
- In men, lung, mouth, oesophagus, tongue and hypopharynx cancer was found, while in women, breast cancer is the most common case (19.6 percent), followed by cervix uteri, ovary, esophagus, mouth and thyroid corpus uteri cancer.
- However, the study also says cancer rate in Karwar is much lower compared to International Cancer Registries of Shanghai (China), Osaka (Japan), Finland, Oxford (UK), the United States and Haut-Rhin (France).
- Many environmentalists were opposed to the plant saying it would directly affect people’s health.
- Changing lifestyle and unhealthy food habits are also the reasons for cancer.
Read more at: Indian Express
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS)
- ICDS is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented by state governments and union territories.
- It aims at providing supplementary nutrition, immunization and pre-school education to the children.
- To prevent and reduce young child under-nutrition (% underweight children 0-3 years) by 10 percentage points,
- enhance early development and learning outcomes in all children 0-6 years of age,
- improve care and nutrition of girls and women and reduce Anaemia prevalence in young children, girls and women by one fifth by the end of 12th five year plan.
- Children in the age group of 0-6 years, Pregnant women and Lactating mothers.
Services under ICDS
- It offers a package of six services such as Supplementary Nutrition, Pre-school non formal education, Nutrition & health education, Immunization, Health check-up and Referral services.
- The services are offered at Anganwadi Centres through Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) and Anganwadi Helpers (AWHS) at grassroots level.
- All components of ICDS except Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) are financed through a 60:40 ratio (central : state).
- The Supplementary Nutrition Programme (SNP) component was funded through a 50:50 ratio. The North East states have a 90:10 ratio.
- PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) is an electronic platform for no child labour developed by the Labour Ministry.
- The portal creates a robust implementing and monitoring mechanism for enforcement of the legislative provisions of National Child Labour Policy (NCLP).
- Since the subject of labour is in the concurrent list, the enforcement of the policy depends on respective state governments.
- This online portal aims to connect the Centre to the state government, district and to all project societies for effective implementation of NCLP.
- The portal has a component of child tracking system.
- Electronic-Human Resource Management System (e-HRMS) is an online platform for central government employees to apply for leave and access their service-related information.
- It will help the employees to apply for different kind of claims/reimbursements, loan/advances etc on a single platform.
- The e-service book which is already in service for DoPT employees for accessing the service-related details of an employee will also be integrated in to the e-HRMS