March 15,2019

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Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

Video lectures for ESE prelims 2020

 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

RBI categorises IDBI as a private bank

Debt-ridden Industrial Development Bank of India has been categorised as a private sector bank by the Reserve Bank of India, with effect from January 21, 2019.

Highlights:

  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) acquiring 51 per cent of the total paid-up equity share capital of the bank.
  • IDBI Bank was earlier categorised under a new sub-group “Other Public Sector Banks” by the RBI.

What is D-SIBs:

  • Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs) means that a bank is ‘too big to fail’.
  • The the State Bank of India, , ICICI Bank and HDFC Bank will continue to be identified as Domestic Systemically Important Banks (D-SIBs).
  • The Reserve Bank had issued the framework for dealing with D-SIBs on July 22, 2014
  • The framework requires the central bank to disclose the names of banks designated as D-SIBs starting from 2015 and place these banks in appropriate buckets depending upon their Systemic Importance scores.

Read more at: IndianExpress

Topic 1:Industrial development

Cabinet approves proposal to align with global trademark system

The Cabinet approved the proposal for India’s Accession to the Nice, Vienna and Locarno Agreements.

The Nice Agreement

  • The Nice Agreement on the International classification of goods and services for the purposes of registration of marks.
  • It concluded at Nice in 1957, revised at Stockholm in 1967 and at Geneva in 1977, and amended in 1979.
  • It establishes a classification of goods and services for the purposes of registering trademarks and service marks (the Nice Classification).

The Vienna Agreement

  • The Vienna Agreement for setting up an International classification of the figurative elements of marks.
  • It concluded in Vienna in 1973 and amended in 1985.
  • It establishes a classification (the Vienna Classification) for marks that consist of, or contain, figurative elements.

The Locarno Agreement

  • The Locarno Agreement for establishing an International classification for industrial designs.
  • It concluded at Locarno in 1968 and amended in 1979.
  • It establishes a classification for industrial designs (the Locarno Classification).

All three agreements are administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Significance:

  • The agreements would harmonise the classification systems for examination of trademark and design applications, in line with the systems followed globally.
  • The accession is expected to instill confidence in foreign investors in relation to protection of IPs in India.
  • The accession will facilitate in exercising rights in decision-making processes regarding review and revision of the classifications under the agreement.
  • It will give an opportunity to include Indian designs, figurative elements and goods in the international classification systems.

About WIPO:

  • World Intellectual Property Organization is one of the oldest specialized agencies of the United Nations.
  • It aims to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world.
  • It  currently administers 26 international treaties.
  • It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

About Intellectual Property:

  • Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property that includes intangible creations of the human intellect, and primarily encompasses copyrights, patents, and trademarks.
  • It also includes other types of rights, such as trade secrets, publicity rights, moral rights, and rights against unfair competition.

Read more at: Thehindubusinessline

Topic 2 : Environment

The Global Chemicals Outlook II

The second edition of the Global Chemicals Outlook has been released.

The outlook:

  • The Global Chemicals Outlook II – From Legacies to Innovative Solutions: Implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, mandated by the UN Environment Assembly in 2016.
  • It seeks to alert policymakers and other stakeholders to the critical role of the sound management of chemicals and waste in sustainable development.
  • It takes stock of global trends as well as progress made and gaps in achieving the global goal to minimize the adverse impacts from chemicals and waste by 2020.
  • It finds that the global goal to minimize adverse impacts of chemicals and waste will not be achieved by 2020.

Findings of the outlook:

  • Countries will not meet the internationally agreed goal to minimize the adverse impacts of chemicals and waste by 2020.
  • The current chemical production capacity of 2.3 billion tonnes, valued at US$5 trillion annually, is projected to double by 2030.
  • Despite commitments to maximize the benefits and minimize the impacts of this industry, hazardous chemicals continue to be released to the environment in large quantities.
  • While international treaties and voluntary instruments have reduced the risks of some chemicals and wastes, progress has been uneven and implementation gaps remain.
  • The World Health Organization estimated the burden of disease from selected chemicals at 1.6 million lives in 2016, which is likely an underestimate.
  • Driven by economic development, population dynamics and other global megatrends, the chemicals market across a range of industry sectors is growing.
  • From pharmaceuticals to plant protection, chemicals play an important role in modern society and in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Meanwhile, chemical production and consumption is shifting to emerging economies, in particular China.
  • Pesticides have been found to negatively impact pollinators, excess use of phosphorous and nitrogen in agriculture continues to contribute to ocean dead zone and chemicals used in sunscreens put pressure on coral reef ecosystems.

Read more at: UNEvironment

Climate vulnerability index

The researchers from Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) at Mandi and Guwahati, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, coordinated with Himalayan states to evolve a common methodology, and determine how districts there are equipped to deal with the vagaries of climate change.

The Index:

  • They prepared a ‘vulnerability index’ of each of these States based on district-level data.
  • The vulnerability would be a measure of the inherent risks a district faces, primarily by virtue of its geography and socio-economic situation.
  • Assam and Mizoram have been identified as most vulnerable to climate change in a study done by various IITs and IISc Bengaluru.
  • The key parameters on the basis of which a vulnerability score could be generated:
  1. Percentage of area in districts under forests
  2. Yield variability of food grain
  3. Population density
  4. Female literacy rate
  5. Infant mortality rate
  6. Percentage of population below poverty line (BPL)
  7. The average man-days under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act)
  8. The area under slope > 30%

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

First Workshop on India Energy Modelling Forum

The NITI Aayog and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organized the first workshop on development of the India Energy Modelling Forum (IEMF), which has been envisaged as a pan-stakeholder platform for debating ideas, scenario-planning & discussing the India’s energy future.

About the forum:

  • The forum seeks to provide a platform for leading experts and policy makers to study important energy and environmental issues and ensure induction of modelling and analysis in informed decision making process.
  • It aims to improve cooperation and coordination between modeling teams, the Government of India, knowledge partners and think-tanks, build capacity of Indian institutions, and identify issues for joint modeling activities and future areas of research.
  • The session featuring representatives of key central government ministries laid special emphasis on ensuring social, environmental and economic costs of energy production and consumption are accurately calculated to future-proof decision making and policy planning.
  • The workshop included extensive discussions about the framework of an India Energy Modelling Forum and its institutional, coordination and funding mechanisms.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 3 : ICT

ECI launches Observer App

The Election Commission has for the first time started using a mobile application titled ‘Observer App’ that will help poll observers to submit reports.

The Observers:

  • The IAS, IPS and IRS officials, besides some others from the Central services, who are to be deployed as observers in the coming Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls.
  • These officers are being deployed as general, police and expenditure observers.
  • They will get all the important notifications, alerts, and urgent messages through the “Observer App”.
  • It will help them get their deployment status, download the ID card and update their profile.

What does the observers do?

  • The observers will be closely involved in real-time disposal of Model Code of Conduct and expenditure violation cases received through another mobile application “cVIGIL”, those details will also be available on the “Observer App.”
  • The observers can make a written observation after the flying squads have investigated the matter.
  • They needed to ensure that no mistakes were committed in the process of conducting elections.

Read more at: The Hindu

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