Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Economic development
New Delhi International Arbitration Centre, 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved promulgation of an Ordinance for establishing the New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) for the purpose of creating an independent and autonomous regime for institutionalised arbitration.
- to bring targeted reforms to develop itself as a flagship institution for conducting international and domestic arbitration.
- provide facilities and administrative assistance for conciliation mediation and arbitral proceedings
- maintain panels of accredited arbitrators, conciliators and mediators both at national and international level or specialists such as surveyors and investigators;
- facilitate conducting of international and domestic arbitrations and conciliation in the most professional manner;
- provide cost effective and timely services for the conduct of arbitrations and conciliations at Domestic and International level;
- promote studies in the field of alternative dispute resolution and related matters, and to promote reforms in the system of settlement of disputes; and
- co-operate with other societies, institutions and organisations, national or international for promoting alternative dispute resolution.
Constitution of NDIAC:
- New Delhi International Arbitration Centre (NDIAC) will be headed by a chairperson who has been a Judge of the Supreme Court or a Judge of a High Court or an eminent person, having special knowledge and experience in the conduct or administration of arbitration law or management, to be appointed by the Central Government in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
- There will be two Full time or Part time Members from amongst eminent persons having substantial knowledge and experience in institutional arbitration, both domestic and international.
- Also, one representative of a recognised body of commerce and industry shall be chosen on rotational basis as Part time Member.
- Secretary, Department of Legal Affairs, Financial Adviser nominated by the Department of Expenditure and Chief Executive Officer, NDIAC shall be ex-officio Members.
- The benefits of institutionalized arbitration will accrue to Government and its agency and to the parties to a dispute.
- This shall be to the advantage of the public and the public institutions in terms of quality of expertise and costs incurred and will facilitate India becoming a hub for Institutional Arbitration.
Arbitration is a procedure in which a dispute is submitted, by agreement of the parties, to one or more arbitrators who make a binding decision on the dispute. In choosing arbitration, the parties opt for a private dispute resolution procedure instead of going to court.
About institutional arbitration:
An institutional arbitration is one in which a specialised institution intervenes and takes on the role of administering the arbitration process. Each institution has its own set of rules which provide a framework for the arbitration, and its own form of administration to assist in the process.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
National Mineral Policy, 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved National Mineral Policy 2019.
The aim of National Mineral Policy 2019 is to have a more effective, meaningful and implementable policy that brings in further transparency, better regulation and enforcement, balanced social and economic growth as well as sustainable mining practices.
- It will ensure more effective regulation.
- It will lead to sustainable mining sector development in future while addressing the issues of project affected persons especially those residing in tribal areas
Provisions of policy:
- introduction of Right of First Refusal for RP/PL holders
- encouraging the private sector to take up exploration,
- auctioning in virgin areas for composite RP cum PL cum ML on revenue share basis,
- encouragement of merger and acquisition of mining entities
- transfer of mining leases and creation of dedicated mineral corridors to boost private sector mining areas.
- The 2019 Policy proposes to grant status of industry to mining activity to boost financing of mining for private sector and for acquisitions of mineral assets in other countries by private sector
- It also mentions that Long term import export policy for mineral will help private sector in better planning and stability in business
- The Policy also mentions rationalize reserved areas given to PSUs which have not been used and to put these areas to auction, which will give more opportunity to private sector for participation
- The Policy also mentions to make efforts to harmonize taxes, levies & royalty with world benchmarks to help private sector.
Significance of the policy:
- It focus on make in India initiative and Gender sensitivity in terms of the vision.
- E-Governance, IT enabled systems, awareness and Information campaigns have been incorporated.
- Regarding the role of state in mineral development online public portal with provision for generating triggers at higher level in the event of delay of clearances has been put in place.
- It aims to attract private investment through incentives while the efforts would be made to maintain a database of mineral resources and tenements under mining tenement systems.
- It focusses on use coastal waterways and inland shipping for evacuation and transportation of minerals and encourages dedicated mineral corridors to facilitate the transportation of minerals.
- The utilization of the district mineral fund for equitable development of project affected persons and areas.
- It proposes a long term export import policy for the mineral sector to provide stability and as an incentive for investing in large scale commercial mining activity.
- It introduces the concept of Inter-Generational Equity that deals with the well-being not only of the present generation but also of the generations to come
- It proposes to constitute an inter-ministerial body to institutionalize the mechanism for ensuring sustainable development in mining.
Read more at: TOI
Topic 2 : Energy
India joining IEA Bioenergy TCP
Government of India joining International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy TCP) as its 25th member on 25th January, 2019.
About IEA Bioenergy TCP:
- International Energy Agency’s Technology Collaboration Programme on Bioenergy (IEA Bioenergy TCP) is an international platform for co-operation among countries with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programmes in bioenergy research, development and deployment.
- Member countries:Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Commission.
- IEA Bioenergy TCP works under the framework of International Energy Agency (IEA) to which India has “Association” status since 30th March, 2017.
Significance on joining IEA Bioenergy TCP:
- The primary goal of joining IEA Bioenergy TCP by Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas (MoP&NG) is to facilitate the market introduction of advanced biofuels with an aim to bring down emissions and reduce crude imports.
- It provides a platform for international collaboration and information exchange in bioenergy research, technology development, demonstration, and policy analysis with a focus on overcoming the environmental, institutional, technological, social, ‘and market barriers to the near-and long-term deployment of bioenergy technologies.
- The R&D work in IEA Bioenergy TCP is carried out carried out within well-defined 3-years programmes called “Tasks”.
Benefits for India:
- Shared costs and pooled technical resources.
- The duplication of efforts is avoided and national Research and Development capabilities are strengthened.
- An information exchange about best practices, network of researchers and linking research with practical implementation.
- Engagement with International Agencies will also apprise the Ministry of the developments taking place Worldwide in Biofuel sector, provide opportunity of personal interaction with innovators/ Researchers and help in bringing suitable policy ecosystem.
- After becoming member, India can participate in other related Tasks focussing on Biogas, Solid waste Management, Biorefining etc. which could be participated by relevant Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations of the Country.
Read more at: PIB
Pradhan Mantri Jl-VAN yojana
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the “Pradhan Mantri JI-VAN (Jaiv Indhan- Vatavaran Anukool fasal awashesh Nivaran) Yojana” for providing financial support to Integrated Bioethanol Projects using lignocellulosic biomass and other renewable feedstock.
About the yojana:
- Under this Yojana, 12 Commercial Scale and 10 demonstration scale Second Generation (2G) ethanol Projects will be provided a Viability Gap Funding (VGF) support in two phases:
- Phase-I (2018-19 to 2022-23): wherein six commercial projects and five demonstration projects will be supported.
- Phase-II (2020-21 to 2023-24): wherein remaining six commercial projects and five demonstration projects will be supported.
- The scheme focuses to incentivise 2G Ethanol sector and support this nascent industry by creating a suitable ecosystem for setting up commercial projects and increasing Research & Development in this area.
- Supplementing the targets envisaged by the Government under EBP programme.
- The ethanol produced by the scheme beneficiaries will be mandatorily supplied to Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs) to further enhance the blending percentage under EBP Programme.
Benefits of the programme:
- Meeting Government of India vision of reducing import dependence by way of substituting fossil fuels with Biofuels.
- Achieving the GHG emissions reduction targets through progressive blending/ substitution of fossil fuels.
- Addressing environment concerns caused due to burning of biomass/ crop residues & improve health of citizens.
- Improving farmer income by providing them remunerative income for their otherwise waste agriculture residues.
- Creating rural & urban employment opportunities in 2G Ethanol projects and Biomass supply chain.
- Contributing to Swacch Bharat Mission by supporting the aggregation of nonfood biofuel feedstocks such as waste biomass and urban waste.
- Indigenizing of Second Generation Biomass to Ethanol technologies.
Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme:
Government of India launched Ethanol Blended Petrol (EBP) programme in 2003 for undertaking blending of ethanol in Petrol to address environmental concerns due to fossil fuel burning, provide remuneration to farmers, subsidize crude imports and achieve forex savings.
Read more at: ET
Topic 3 : ICT
National Policy on Software Products – 2019
The Union Cabinet has approved the National Policy on Software Products – 2019 to develop India as a Software Product Nation.
The Software product ecosystem is characterized by innovations, Intellectual Property (IP) creation and large value addition increase in productivity, which has the potential to significantly boost revenues and exports in the sector.
Implementation strategy and targets
The Policy will lead to the formulation of several schemes, initiatives, projects and measures for the development of Software products sector in the country as per the roadmap envisaged therein.
- To promote the creation of a sustainable Indian software product industry, driven by intellectual property (IP), leading to a ten-fold increase in India share of the Global Software product market by 2025.
- To nurture 10,000 technology startups in software product industry, including 1000 such technology startups in Tier-II and Tier-III towns & cities and generating direct and in-direct employment for 3.5 million people by 2025.
- To create a talent pool for software product industry through
- up-skilling of 1,000,000 IT professionals,
- motivating 100,000 school and college students and
- generating 10,000 specialized professionals that can provide leadership.
- To build a cluster-based innovation driven ecosystem by developing 20 sectoral and strategically located software product development clusters having integrated ICT infrastructure, marketing, incubation, R&D/testbeds and mentoring support.
- In order to evolve and monitor scheme & programmes for the implementation of this policy, National Software Products Mission will be set up with participation from Government, Academia and Industry.
Read more at: Livemint