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:Economic development
Annual Meeting of AIIB
The third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will be held in Mumbai.
- The theme for this year’s meeting is “Mobilizing Finance for Infrastructure: Innovation and Collaboration.”
- Leaders from varied organizations and levels of government will be participating
- Aims ideas for a sound infrastructure investment.
- The meeting will launch the inaugural Asian Infrastructure Forum
- AIF will be focused on matching innovative finance to critical infrastructure needs.
Applicable to large- and small-scale organizational frameworks, infrastructure can include a variety of systems and structures as long as there are physical components required.
Types of Infrastructure
- Soft infrastructure: These types of infrastructure makeup institutions that help maintain the economy. Examples include the healthcare system, financial institutions, governmental systems, law enforcement and education systems.
- Hard Infrastructure: These make up the physical systems that make it necessary to run a modern, industrialized nation. Examples include roads, highways, bridges, as well as the capital/assets needed to make them operational (transit buses, vehicles, oil rigs/refineries).
- Critical Infrastructure: These are assets defined by a government as being essential to the functioning of a society and economy, such as facilities for shelter and heating, telecommunication, public health, agriculture, etc.
About Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank:
- A multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia and beyond.
- Headquartered in Beijing
- Commenced operations in January 2016
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Social development
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana
Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) runs the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Urban component.
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) – Urban:
- The Mission is being implemented during 2015-2022
- Provides central assistance to Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) and other implementing agencies through States/UTs for:
- In-situ Rehabilitation of existing slum dwellers using land as a resource through private participation
- Credit Linked Subsidy
- Affordable Housing in Partnership
- Subsidy for Beneficiary-led individual house construction/enhancement.
- Credit linked subsidy component will be implemented as a Central Sector Scheme while other three components will be implemented as Centrally Sponsored Scheme
- Use of innovative and fast-track construction technology has been adopted in a big way under the scheme.
- The progress of the houses on the ground has been monitored through geo-tagging using space technology.
- The Ministry has further rolled out eight models of Public-Private Partnerships for Affordable Housing.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
BSE to launch new platform
To make stock market listing attractive for start-ups, stock exchange Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) will unveil a platform to list new-age firms.
- The platform will facilitate the listing of firms in sectors such as IT, ITES, biotechnology and life sciences, 3D printing, space technology and e-commerce.
- The platform will aid in listing of companies from hi-tech defence, drones, nano technologies, artificial intelligence, big data, virtual reality and robotics sectors, among others
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Environment
Malnutrition in trees
Air pollution is causing malnutrition in trees by harming a fungi that is important for providing mineral nutrients to tree roots.
- Mycorrhizal fungi is hosted by the trees in their roots to receive nutrients from the soil.
- These fungi provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from soil in exchange for carbon from the tree.
- This plant-fungal relationship is an example of symbiotic relationship
Effects of pollution:
- High levels of the nutrition elements like nitrogen and phosphorus in the mycorrhizae changes them to act as pollutants rather than as nutrients
- The signs of malnutrition can be seen in the form of discoloured leaves and excessive falling of leaves
- Ecosystem changes can determine which species of mycorrhizae fungi would be present and their numbers.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
Smart electricity meters
Under the Uday scheme old meters are being replaced with new smart meters. It was done in district Panipat as a pilot project.
- Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under Union Ministry of Power will assist the state discoms through the Smart Meter National Programme (SMNP).
- First in the states of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, states with AT&C losses as large as 28.42% and 34.36% respectively
About Smart Meters and Smart Grids:
- The first step towards realising Smart Grids is the implementation of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI).
- AMI is a collective term for an integrated infrastructure of Smart Meters, two way-communication networks, control centre equipment, and the applications that enable near real-time gathering and transfer of energy usage information.
- A smart, automated metering system reduces meter-reading, data-entry errors and costs
- These meters are connected through a web-based monitoring system
- These smart meters would be GPRS equipped
Advantages of Smart meters:
- To improve the financial condition of power distribution companies
- Smart Meter can enable utilities to reduce their Aggregate Transmission and Commercial (AT&C) losses and billing inefficiencies
- To encourage energy conservation
- To tackle problems relating to payment of electricity bills.
- This would enable electricity distribution companies to collect real time data on usage
Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) model
- EESL will undertake all the capital and operational expenditure with zero upfront investment from states and utilities.
- EESL, on its investment, shall earn through a mutually agreed automated payback structure, along with payment security mechanism from state governments and utilities.
Read more at: ET
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
Mega Food Parks
- The Scheme aims at providing a mechanism to link agricultural production to the market by bringing together farmers, processors and retailers
- The food parks aims to ensure maximizing value addition, minimizing wastage, increasing farmers’ income and creating employment opportunities.
- It is based on “Cluster” approach
- It envisages a well-defined processing zone containing state-of-the art processing facilities with support infrastructure and well-established supply chain.
Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi (RAN)
- It aims to provide financial assistance to BPL patients, who are suffering from major life threatening diseases, to receive medical treatment at any of the 13 listed super specialty institutes or government hospitals.
- The financial assistance to such patients is provided in the form of one-time grant, which is released to the Medical Superintendent of the Hospital.
- The States are needed to create their own State Illness Assistance funds in which central government contribute 50% of the fund.
- A Revolving Fund has been set up in 13 Central Government hospitals/institutes.
- Union Petroleum Ministry has launched LPG Panchayat, aimed at encouraging rural communities to turn to clean fuel.
- The first LPG Panchayat was held in Gandhinagar, which brings LPG users of a village and officials of fuel companies together
- It created an interactive platform to discuss safe and sustainable usage of LPG, its benefits and linkages between using clean fuel and empowering women.