June 28,2018

Quiz -June 26, 2018
June 27, 2018
Quiz – June 27, 2018
June 28, 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

The draft Higher Education Commission of India Act 2018

The Centre has placed in the public domain a draft Bill for a Higher Education Commission of India – aimed at replacing the University Grants Commission.

Functions of the commission:

  • The focus of the Commission will be on improving academic standards and quality of higher education
  • Specifying norms for learning outcomes, lay down standards of teaching/research etc.
  • It will provide a roadmap for mentoring of institutions.
  • It shall have the power to enforce its decisions through legal provisions in the Act
  • The Commission shall have the power to grant authorization for starting of academic operations.
  • It will also have the powers to revoke authorization granting to a higher education institution where there is a case of wilful or continuous default in compliance with the norms/regulations.
  • It will also have the power to recommend closure of institutions.
  • The Commission will encourage higher education institutions to formulate a Code of Good Practices covering promotion of research, teaching and learning.
  • The Bill also provides for the penal provisions
  • The Commission will also specify norms and processes for fixing of fee chargeable by higher education institutions and advice the Central Government or the State Governments
  • The Commission will monitor, through a national database, all matters covering the development of emerging fields of knowledge and balanced growth of higher education institutions in all spheres.

Constitution

  • The Commission is strengthened by the co option of Chairpersons of regulatory bodies in higher education, namely the AICTE and the NCTE
  • There will be an Advisory Council to render advice to the Commission on matters concerning coordination and determination of standards in the country

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

Sagarmala receives Gold Award

The Ministry of Shipping’s flagship programme for port-led-prosperity ‘Sagarmala’ received the ‘Gold Award’ in infrastructure sector in the recently concluded 52nd Skoch Summit 2018 in New Delhi.

Skoch Awards:

  • The Skoch Awards recognize leadership and excellence in accelerating socio-economic changes.
  • These awards have become a benchmark of best practices in India in the fields of governance, infrastructure, finance, banking, technology, corporate citizenship, economics and inclusive growth.

About Sagarmala :

  • It is the flagship programme of the Ministry of Shipping for port-led-development of the country through harnessing India’s 7,500 km long coastline.
  • India has potentially navigable waterways
  • India is strategically located on key international maritime trade route.
  • The programme hinges on four pillars, namely; Port Modernization, Port Connectivity, Port-linked Industrialization and Coastal Community Development.
  • The programme aims to double the share of domestic waterways (inland & coastal) in the modal mix and generate logistic cost savings

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Environment

Air pollution sensors to be certified

The government plans on certifying pollution monitoring instruments to improve the measurement and forecast of air pollution episodes.

Aims:

  • To boost local manufacturing anticipating a massive demand for such instruments as part of the government’s National Clean Air Programme (NCAP)

NCAP

  • The NCAP envisions setting up 1,000 manual air-quality-monitoring stations and 268 automatic stations.
  • It also plans to set up pollution-monitoring stations in rural areas.

Certification

  • The Department of Science & Technology (DST) would take the lead on technology interventions
  • The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-National Physical Laboratory (NPL) will be the certification agency for air quality measurement instruments
  • Certification of PM2.5 and PM10 volume samplers will commence from September, 2018

Read more at: The Hindu

Billion Tree Tsunami

In northwestern Pakistan, hundreds of millions of trees have been planted to fight deforestation under ‘The Billion Tree Tsunami ‘programme.

Highlights:

  • The Billion Tree Tsunami was launched in 2014, by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa(KPK), Pakistan, as a response to the challenge of  global warming
  • The project aims at improving the ecosystems of classified forests, as well as privately owned waste and farm lands
  • The project due to be completed in June 2020

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

PRAGATI

The Prime Minister chaired twenty-seventh interaction through PRAGATI – the ICT-based, multi-modal platform for Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation.

About PRAGATI:

  • PRAGATI  is a multi-purpose and multi-modal platform existing in the Prime Minister’s Office which apart from addressing common man’s grievances, does monitoring and reviewing of important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments.
  • This was launched in March 2015 by Prime Ministry.
  • This platform is used exclusively by the Prime Minister to give suitable directions for redressal of grievances and also on compliance on the projects and programmes and to motivate all officers to work in coordinated manner for the outcome.
  • PRAGATI is not a public web platform.
  • The PRAGATI platform bundles three latest technologies: Digital data management, video-conferencing and geospatial technology.
  • It brings on one stage the Secretaries of Government of India and the Chief Secretaries of the States. With this, the Prime Minister is able to discuss the issues with the concerned Central and State officials with full information and latest visuals of the ground level situation.
  • It is also an innovative project in e-governance and good governance.

Read more at:PIB

NIMHANS Digital Academy

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare inaugurated the NIMHANS Digital Academy.

Mental Health Care:

  • The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 brings forth a new approach for mental healthcare in our country.
  • The objective is increasing skilled capacity in mental health in the country.
  • NIMHANS Digital Academy will provide large scale training to healthcare service providers like Medical Officers, Psychologists, Social Workers and Nurses.
  • The courses would be digitally delivered to remotely located healthcare providers across the country.

About NIMHANS:

  • The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences is a medical institution located in Bangalore, India.
  • Established in 1925.
  • The apex centre for mental health and neuroscience education in the country, operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare

Read more at: PIB

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

Central sector schemes and Centrally Sponsored Scheme

  • Central sector schemes are 100% funded by the Union government and implemented by the Central Government machinery.
  • Central sector schemes are mainly formulated on subjects from the Union List.
  • They account for 11% of the Central Government’s expenditure
  • In Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) a certain percentage of the funding is borne by the States and the implementation is by the State Governments
  • Centrally Sponsored Schemes are formulated in subjects from the State List to encourage States to prioritise in areas that require more attention.
  • They account for 10% of Central governments expenditure

National Food Security Mission

  • It is launched to enhance the production of Rice, Wheat, Pulses, Coarse Cereals and commercial crops (Cotton, jute and Sugarcane).
  • Targets – Production of rice, wheat and pulses would be increased by 10, 8, 4 million tonnes respectively and Coarse cereals by 3 million tonnes
  • Funding – 50:50 by Centre and State for food crops and 100% centre funding for cash crops.
  • It would be implemented through cluster demonstration, distribution of high yield seeds with farm mechanization, & Integrated pest management.
  • (Note – National Food Security Act is different from the Mission and the act is administered by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs).

Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) – UDAN

  • The objective is to facilitate regional air connectivity by making it affordable.   
  • It offers concessions to the airlines to encourage them to fly on regional routes.  
  • Concession include operating subsidies, excise duty at 2% and VAT at 1% on aviation turbine fuel, parking charges at airports and exempting these operations from the GST net.  
  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) is the implementing agency.  
  • The airfare per RCS seat should not exceed Rs 2,500 and will be determined based on the flight distance.   
  • The selected airlines will have to commit 50% of the seats on RCS flights as RCS seats with 3-7 operational flights per week.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be created to subsidise operations under the RCS.  
  • The central government will fund 80% of the losses incurred and the rest will be covered by the states.   
  • This is provided through the Viability gap funding (VGF) to the selected airline operators from RCF.   
  • VGF will be provided for three years from the date of commencement of operations of such RCS flights.    
  • RCS will be made operational only in states and at airports which are willing to provide concessions required under the Scheme.   
  • Maharashtra is the first state to sign agreement with centre for RCS.  

Topic 5: General Knowledge

2+2 dialogue

India and the US will hold their first 2+2 dialogue.

The Dialogue:

  • India and the U.S. have decided to set up a new dialogue mechanism that would include defence and foreign ministers of the two countries.
  • Will be on the lines of India-Japan 2+2 dialogue format
  • The dialogue would replace the existing India-U.S. Strategic and Commercial Dialogue for trade and commercial issues.

Significance:

  • The objective of this dialogue is to raise defence and security issues.
  • It is aimed at enhancing peace and stability across the Indo-Pacific region by elevating strategic consultations in the dialogue.
  • The shared priorities include job creation, improving the business and investment climate and sustaining a rules-based global order.

Read more at: The Hindu

China’s 2+1 format for India

China proposed 2+1 format for India talks.This is different from a trilateral mechanism.

Key Facts:

  • Under the Chinese proposal, China and India can jointly conduct a dialogue with a third regional country
  • China wants that this 2+1 format to be flexible and apply in other country in South Asia.

Read more at: The Hindu

 

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