Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
Video lectures for ESE prelims 2020
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Economic development
Exchange Traded Fund (ETF)
The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) is slated to launch a fresh tranche of Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE) Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) to raise Rs 4,000-5,000 crore in disinvestment.
What is ETF?
- ETFs are index funds that are listed and traded on stock exchanges just like regular shares.
- They are a basket of stocks with assigned weights that reflect the composition of an index.
- The ETFs trading value is based on the net asset value of the underlying stocks that it represents.
- They enable investors to gain broad exposure to entire stock markets in different countries and specific sectors with relative ease, on a real-time basis and at a lower cost than many other forms of investing.
- The ETF is aimed at helping speed up the government’s disinvestment programme.
What are Bharat 22 ETF?
- Bharat 22 ETF comprises of stocks of 22 Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSEs), Public Sector Banks (PSBs) and Specified Undertaking of Unit Trust of India (SUUTI).
- Bharat 22 ETF is managed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund.
- The foundation of Bharat 22 ETF was laid by the government in the Union Budget 2017.
Read more at: Finance.in
Topic 1:Industrial development
India gets first TIR shipment via Chabahar Port
The first shipment under the United Nations ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ (TIR) convention arrived in India from Afghanistan through Iran’s Chabahar Port. The consignments arrived at port of Nhava Sheva, Mumbai and Mundra.
What is TIR?
- TIR is ‘Transports Internationaux Routiers’ which is a UN convention that allows goods to be sealed in compartments and requires no need for physical checking of the contents.
- Customs clearance can take place at internal Customs locations thereby avoiding clearances at Border Crossing Points and ports that may often be congested.
- Movement under the TIR can be allowed by checking only the seals and the external conditions of the load compartment or the container thereby reducing border delays, transport and transaction costs thereby leading to increased competitiveness and growth for the trade and transport sectors.
What is TIR Convention?
- The Customs Convention on International Transport of Goods under cover of TIR Carnets, 1975 (TIR Convention), is an international transit system under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
- It will facilitate the seamless movement of goods within and amongst the Parties to the Convention.
- At present there are 70 parties to the Convention, including the European Union and India.
- India had joined the TIR Convention on June 15, 2017.
What are the benefits?
- The traders will have access to fast, easy, reliable and hassle free international system for movement of goods by road or multi- modal means across the territories of other contracting parties under this convention.
- The convention will help boost India’s exports and enable greater participation in the global value chains.
- Improving ease of doing business.
- It pave the way for smoother and safer transport of goods across international borders and will help boost trade between India, Central Asia, Europe and Russia.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Environment
Global Environmental Outlook 2019
The most comprehensive and rigorous assessment on the state of the environment report titled Global Environmental Outlook completed by the UN in the last five years was published.
- The report stated drastically scale up environmental protections, or cities and regions in Asia, the Middle East and Africa could see millions of premature deaths by mid-century.
- It warns that pollutants in our freshwater systems will see anti-microbial resistance become a major cause of death by 2050 and endocrine disruptors impact male and female fertility, as well as child neurodevelopment.
- The report highlights the fact that the world has the science, technology and finance it needs to move towards a more sustainable development pathway, although sufficient support is still missing from the public, business and political leaders who are clinging to outdated production and development models.
Innovative policy options
- The green investment of 2 per cent of countries’ GDP would deliver long-term growth as high as we presently projected but with fewer impacts from climate change, water scarcity and loss of ecosystems.
- Adopting less-meat intensive diets, and reducing food waste in both developed and developing countries, would reduce the need to increase food production by 50% to feed the projected 9-10 billion people on the planet in 2050.
- An opportunity to increase citizens’ well-being while decreasing their environmental footprint through improved governance, land-use planning and green infrastructure in urban areas.
- The strategic investment in rural areas would reduce pressure for people to migrate.
- The report calls for action to curb the flow of the 8 million tons of plastic pollution going into oceans each year.
- Policy interventions that address entire systems – such as energy, food, and waste – rather than individual issues, such as water pollution, can be much more effective.
About Global Environment Outlook:
- It is often referred to as UN Environment’s flagship environmental assessment.
- It is a flagship report because it fulfills the core functions of the organization, which date back to the UN General Assembly resolution that established the UN Environment Programme in 1972.
- It is a consultative and participatory process to prepare an independent assessment of the state of the environment, the effectiveness of the policy response to address these environmental challenges and the possible pathways to be achieve various internationally agreed environmental goals.
Read more at: UNEnvironment
Topic 2 : Energy
Six U.S. nuclear power plants to be set up in India
India and U.S have agreed on a proposal to build six nuclear power plants in India.
- They committed to strengthen bilateral security and civil nuclear cooperation, including the establishment of six U.S. nuclear power plants in India.
- A major aspect of the deal was the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) that gave a special waiver to India enabling it to sign cooperation agreements with a dozen countries.
India’s other civil nuclear cooperation agreements:
India signed civil nuclear cooperation agreements with the U.S., France, Russia, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Sri Lanka, the U.K., Japan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan and South Korea.
Read more at: The Hindu