March 11,2019

March 9,2019
March 9, 2019
March 12,2019
March 12, 2019

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. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Economic development

New Interest Rate Strategy

State Bank of India has become the first domestic lender to link the interest rate offered on savings bank deposits over Rs 1 lakh to the Reserve Bank of India’s repo rate.

Key facts:

  • Starting May 1, these deposits will earn interest at 2.75 percent below the repo rate, which currently stands at 6.25 percent.
  • By linking savings bank accounts to repo rate, the Marginal Cost Lending Rate will also get adjusted automatically with the change in repo rate.
  • Under SBI’s new interest rate strategy, retail loans, including home loans, will continue to be linked to MCLR. Every 25 basis point change in the repo rate will impact MCLR linked loans by 7-8 basis points.
  • Interest rates on cash credit and overdraft will also be linked to the repo rate.
  • An additional spread based on a borrower’s credit quality will also be added to arrive at the final interest rate.
  • It will mark an important shift in the pricing of deposits and loans in the Indian banking system.

Will It Improve Transmission In The Economy?

  • The external benchmarking system will allow transmission of changes in the benchmark monetary policy rate in a commensurate manner, conditional on whether all banks choose to move to a similar structure.
  • The move also reflects the failure of the previous system to transfer policy rate
  • The other lenders will slowly move towards external benchmarking, thereby improving transmission.

What is MCLR?

  • It refers to the minimum interest rate of a bank below which it cannot lend, except in some cases allowed by the RBI.
  • It is an internal benchmark or reference rate for the bank.
  • MCLR actually describes the method by which the minimum interest rate for loans is determined by a bank – on the basis of marginal cost or the additional or incremental cost of arranging one more rupee to the prospective borrower.

Reasons for introducing MCLR

  • To improve the transmission of policy rates into the lending rates of banks.
  • To bring transparency in the methodology followed by banks for determining interest rates on advances.
  • To ensure availability of bank credit at interest rates which are fair to borrowers as well as banks.
  • To enable banks to become more competitive and enhance their long run value and contribution to economic growth.

Read more at: Bloommergquint

New eKYC charges

The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) proposed revised pricing for eKYC transactions is all set to raise operational costs for companies using the architecture for electronic signatures (eSign) of documents.

About eKYC:

  • The eKYC is a paperless Know Your Customer (KYC) process, wherein the Identity and Address of the subscriber are verified electronically.
  • The main objective of e-KYC is to register the customer with least amount of paper work and in the shortest possible time.
  • It can be used as an alternative to the current KYC process which is done on the basis of physical photocopies of the original documents (ID proof and Address proof).
  • With the explicit consent / authorization by the resident, the Aadhaar e-KYC service provides an instant, electronic, non-repudiable “Proof of Identity” and “Proof of Address” along with date of birth and gender.
  • It also provides the resident’s mobile number and email address to the service provider, which helps in further streamlining the process of service delivery.

Read more at: Timesnow

Topic 2 : Environment

Protecting the Sundarban wetlands

The Indian Sundarban was accorded the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’ under the Ramsar Convention.

About Sundarban wetlands:

  • The Sundarbans comprises hundreds of islands and a network of rivers, tributaries and creeks in the delta of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra at the mouth of the Bay of Bengal in India and Bangladesh.
  • Located on the southwestern part of the delta, the Indian Sundarban constitutes over 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area.
  • It is the 27th Ramsar Site in India
  • The largest protected wetland in the country.
  • The Indian Sundarban, also a UNESCO world heritage site, is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger.

Why is this important?

  • The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, better known as the Ramsar Convention, is an international agreement promoting the conservation and wise use of wetlands.
  • Traditionally viewed as a wasteland or breeding ground of disease, wetlands actually provide freshwater and food, and serve as nature’s shock absorber.
  • Wetlands, critical for biodiversity, are disappearing rapidly, with recent estimates showing that 64% or more of the world’s wetlands have vanished since 1900

What are the causes of wetlands degradation?

  • Major changes in land use for agriculture
  • Grazing
  • Water diversion for dams and canals
  • Water diversion for dams and canals

How did it qualify?

  • The Indian Sundarban met four of the nine criteria required for the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’ — presence of rare species and threatened ecological communities, biological diversity, significant and representative fish and fish spawning ground and migration path.
  • The Ramsar website points out that the Indian Sundarban is also home to a large number of “rare and globally threatened species
  • The Indian Sundarban is home to 2,626 faunal species and 90% of the country’s mangrove varieties.

Will the status help?

  • It will help to highlight conservation issues of the Sundarbans at the international level.
  • The international cooperation between India and Bangladesh for the protection of this unique ecosystem will increase.
  • Better conservation strategy for flagship species such as the tiger and the northern river terrapin.

What are the threats?

  • Concerns have been raised about natural ecosystems being changed for cultivation of shrimp, crab, molluscs and fish.
  • Fishing and harvesting of aquatic resources as a “high impact” actual threat to the wetland.
  • Dredging, oil and gas drilling, logging and wood harvesting, hunting and collecting terrestrial animals.
  • Vulnerable to climate change

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

NERO technology

Indian Institute of Technology-Madras will collaborate with Teerthaa, a sustainable technology company, to develop a device that can generate potable water from air. Called ‘NERO,’ the ‘optimised desiccant solar-still device’ will produce 4-5 litres of potable water daily.

The technology:

The proposed technology traps water molecules from the atmospheric air during the night and yields water during the day by utilising solar energy

Benefits:

  • The product will be cost-effective, as it is intended for the mass market.
  • It will have negligible operating costs as its power source will be solar energy.
  • It will also have minimal maintenance cost as there are no moving parts.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 3 : ICT

GI Website

  • The Geographical Indications (GI) of India website showcases Indian GIs products, classified state wise as well as product category wise.
  • The website has specific and comprehensive details of geographical area, description of product, uniqueness, history, product process/ processing in addition to enlisting GI authorized users.
  • It will increase the visibility and marketability of GIs of India and hence help in their commercialization.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 5: Material Science

Single-layer graphene

Researchers at Delhi’s National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL) have designed a low-pressure chemical vapour deposition (LPCVD) device that allows high quality, single-layer graphene.

Highlights:

  • The thickness of a single layer is 0.34 nanometre and average grain size of graphene is 1-3 micrometre.
  • Though there are about one billion grains in 4×2 square-inch single-layer graphene, the grains are highly connected to give a single continuous layer of graphene.
  • The quality of the single-layer graphene grown using this device is superior than the ones reported in the literature.
  • The quality of the single-layer graphene is metrology-grade, and can be used in next-generation quantum devices.
  • The graphene was grown on a substrate made of copper, which acts as a catalyst.

Read more at: The Hindu

2 Comments

  1. Deepthi says:

    Sir ,
    I personally thank you for the study materials you are offering for IES GS preparation. Sir could you please add the PDF version of daily current affairs intended for IES preparation on daily basis ? Your hyperloops are very useful for revising, but for daily preparation PDF versions would have been more comfortable.

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