June 5,2016

Environment & ICT Course Questions in Civil Services Prelims Exam
June 4, 2018
Quiz – June 04, 2018
June 5, 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
  1. The Key Initiatives of Government
  2. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Economic development

Centralised Authority for Advance Rulings

India is looking at creating a centralised Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) for the goods and services tax (GST) after divergent rulings on identical issues fuelled confusion over applicability and the rate of tax.

Highlights:

  • The AAR is a quasi-judicial body that allows assessees to get guidance on their potential tax liabilities relating to any transaction beforehand.
  • The rulings by the AAR are case-specific, but they have a persuasive impact on tax assessment in cases of other firms under similar circumstances.
  • AAR decisions are specific to the case, but they do have some precedence value
  • The previous indirect tax regime had a centralised body ensuring consistency in orders.
  • The structure of the proposed centralised authority will be decided once a decision is taken to set it up.
  • The taxability of solar power plants, liquidated damages, exemption on sale by duty free shops at airports, etc, the authorities have taken a view which is not in line with the industry practice, globally accepted principles or government’s own intention while framing the laws.
  • Given that each AAR can potentially decide differently on an issue, it makes sense to create a central AAR which will take up issues where more than one AAR has been approached on a similar issue.
  • A mechanism needs to be created where all AARs should be listed on the GST portal and in case of similar applications, the state AAR should refer it to the central AAR .

Read more at: ET

NBFCs to meet RBI on Ind AS implementation

The non-banking finance companies are planning to meet the Reserve Bank of India on the issue of implementation of Indian Accounting Standards, popularly known as Ind AS.

Highlights:

  • RBI has deferred the implementation of Ind AS for banks by a year, while it is applicable for NBFCs from April 1, 2018.
  • NBFCs will have to compute their first quarter result this month and it is expected to have an impact on capital due to enhanced provisioning.
  • Ind AS is a global accounting practice that NBFCs are mandated to adopt, which may lead to initial credit losses.
  • The practice is on a par with the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 9.
  • The provisioning requirements under IFRS 9 would be higher as NBFCs will have to provide for on expected losses rather than incurred losses.
  • Now, 2019-20 would be the first year of Ind AS with 2018-19 as the comparative year for banks. Also, Ind AS implementation date has been deferred for insurance companies by two years.

Read more at: ET

Topic 1:Industrial development

Krishi Kalyan Abhiyan

The Ministry of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare in line with the Hon’ble Prime Minister vision of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 has launched the Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan from 1st June, 2018 till 31st July, 2018 so as to aid, assist and advice farmers on how to improve their farming techniques and raise their incomes.

Highlights:

  • The Krishi kalyan Abhiyaan will be undertaken in 25 Villages with more than 1000 population each in Aspirational Districts identified in consultation with Ministry of Rural Development as per directions of NITI Ayog.
  • In districts where number of villages (with more than 1000 population) is less than 25, all villages will be covered.
  • The overall coordination and implementation in the 25 villages of a district is being done by Krishi Vigyan Kendra of that district.
  • The demonstration programmes on Micro Irrigation and Integrated Cropping Practice will also take place so as to familiarize farmers with the latest techniques and how they can be incorporated at the grass root level.
  • Training programmes are being conducted in each of the villages by ICAR/KVSs for Bee Keeping, Mushroom cultivation and Kitchen garden.
  • Women participants and farmers will be given preference for the training program.

About Krishi Vigyan Kendra:

  • Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) are agricultural extension centers created by ICAR to provide various types of farm support to the agricultural sector.
  • It is created to serve as a single window mechanism for addressing the technology needs of farmers and acts as a link among researchers, extension functionaries like NGOs and farmers.
  • The farm support includes farm advisory service including climate resilient technologies, training programme for NGOs and front line demonstration and on Farm testing.
  • KVK operates under the administrative control of State Agricultural University (SAU) or central institute.

Read more at: PIB

Janaushadi Suvidha

Union Minister of State for Chemicals & Fertilizers, Road Transport & Highways, Shipping launched the ‘JANAUSHADHI SUVIDHA’, the Oxo-biodegradable Sanitary Napkin, under the Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP).

Highlights:

  • The affordable sanitary napkins will now become available at over 3600 Janaushadhi Kendras functional in 33 States/UTs across India
  • The unique product would ensure Affordability, Hygiene as well as Ease of use and disposal for them.
  • Jan Aushadhi Suvidha comes with a special additive, which makes it biodegradable when it comes in contact with oxygen after being discarded.
  • This would ensure ‘Swachhta, Swasthya and Suvidha’ for the underprivileged Women of India.
  • The average price of sanitary napkins available in the market today is around Rs. 8 per pad, whereas now with the launch of the SUVIDHA napkins at Rs. 2.50 per pad, this will go a long way in making the basic hygiene requirement aid for Women.
  • According to the National Family Health Survey 2015-16, about 58 percent of women aged between 15 to 24 years use locally prepared napkins, sanitary napkins and tampons.
  • Further, about 78 percent women in urban areas use hygienic methods of protection during menstrual period; only 48 percent women in rural areas have access to clean sanitary napkins.

About Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP):

  • Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana‘ is a campaign aimed to provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra‘s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.
  • Kendras have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.
  • Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, for co-coordinating procurement, supply and marketing of generic drugs through PMBJK.
  • Earlier, only medicines manufactured by Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) were being supplied to Kendra. Later medicines which the CPSU‘s not able to supply are being made from private manufacturers.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 3 : ICT

India begins importing LNG from Russia

India has begun importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Russia as part of its strategy to diversify its supply sources and cater to the rapidly rising local energy needs.

Highlights:

  • Russia is the latest country to begin supplying long-term LNG to India after US, Australia and Qatar.
  • India imports 45% of the total amount of natural gas it consumes. With the government’s plan to raise the share of natural gas in the country’s energy mix to 15% by 2030 from about 6.5% now, import of LNG is expected to rise.
  • The government expects half of India to have access to piped gas for cooking and transport after the new city gas licensing round, which is currently underway.
  • A sharp drop in the price of LNG, following a crude collapse four years ago, made imported natural gas more affordable in India and also pushed up local demand for the commodity.
  • Under the deal renegotiated with Gazprom, the duration of the contract has been extended by three years and GAIL has agreed to buy an additional two million tonnes of LNG over the life of the contract.

Read more at: ET

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

DARPAN

  • Ministry of Communication launched ―DARPAN – Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India‖.
  • The project aimed at realizing financial inclusion of un-banked rural population.
  • It is IT modernization project which intends to provide a low power technology solution to each branch postmaster to improve service delivery.
  • DARPAN offers core banking services such as cash deposit and withdrawal in savings bank and recurring deposit, mini statement, Aadhaar seeding and daily transaction report.
  • The application will also be used for the reimbursement of social security benefits such as MNREGS, old age pension and DBT.
  • It is targeted to complete the project by March 2018.

Price Stabilisation Fund Scheme

  • The Price Stabilization Fund (PSF) was set up in 2014-15 under the Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare (DAC&FW).
  • The PSF scheme was transferred from DAC&FW to the Department of Consumer Affairs (DOCA) in 2016.
  • The fund is to help regulate the price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities like onion, potatoes and pulses were also added subsequently.
  • The scheme provides for maintaining a strategic buffer of aforementioned commodities for subsequent calibrated release to moderate price volatility and discourages hoarding and unscrupulous speculation.
  • For building such stock, the scheme promotes direct purchase from farmers/farmers‘ association at farm gate/Mandi.
  • The PSF is utilized for granting interest free advance of working capital to Central Agencies, State/UT Governments/Agencies to undertake market intervention operations.
  • Apart from domestic procurement from farmers/wholesale mandis, import may also be undertaken with support from the Fund.
  • The agricultural ministry has recently proposed to include Milk in the PSF which is not yet confirmed.

National Pension Scheme

  • NPS is a government approved pension scheme for Indian citizens in the 18-60 age group.
  • While central and state government employees have to subscribe to NPS, it‘s optional for others.
  • The NPS is regulated by the Pension Funds Regulatory Development Authority(PFRDA).

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