March 21,2019

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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:Social development

The World Happiness Report- 2019

The United Nations has released the World Happiness Report- 2019.

Key facts:

  • The list is topped by Finland for the second year in a row.
  • The US ranks at 19th place and India slips 7 spots, ranks 140th
  • People in war-torn South Sudan are the most unhappy with their lives.
  • The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

About World Happiness Report:

  • The World Happiness Report is a landmark survey of the state of global happiness that ranks 156 countries by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be.
  • It is released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations by the UN General Assembly.
  • It ranks the countries of the world on the basis of questions primarily from the Gallup World Poll.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

International Air Transport Association (IATA)

SpiceJet has announced its membership of global airlines’ grouping ‘International Air Transport Association’ (IATA).

Highlights:

  • SpiceJet is the first Indian low-budget carrier to join the IATA.
  • The membership will allow SpiceJet to explore and grow its collaborations with international member airlines of the IATA grouping through interlining and code shares.
  • It will also enable the low cost carrier in seamlessly expanding its network options for its passengers in future.

About IATA:

  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 280 airlines or 83% of total air traffic.
  • Formed in April 1945, it is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association.
  • It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • It supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards.
  • It also provides consulting and training services in many areas crucial to aviation.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Forest-certification scheme

Geneva-based non-profit decided to endorse the Certification Standard for Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) developed by Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), an Indian non-profit.

What is forest-certification?

Forest certification, a global movement initiated in 1990s after Rio Earth Summit, is a market-based non-regulatory conservation tool designed to promote sustainable management of forests and trees outside forests by an independent third party.

Significance of forest certification:

  • The NCCF’s forest certification scheme is aimed to improve India’s forest management regime that is often criticised for various issues ailing the sector such as forest rights, forest degradation, biodiversity losses, encroachments, lack of manpower etc.
  • It will facilitate finding the causes of these chronic problems through the lens of forest certification and third-party monitoring to suggest suitable and sustainable solutions to Indian forest management.
  • Forest certification has been accepted as an efficient tool for forest management world over.

About NCCF:

The NCCF was set up in 2015 by representatives of forest-based industries, non-profits, forest auditors and government forest departments with an aim to set standards for certifying India’s forests, their products and their sustainable management.

Read more at: DowntoEarth

Indian Forest Act amendment draft

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) has finalised the first draft of the comprehensive amendments to the Indian Forest Act, 1927 (IFA).

Key amendments:

  1. The draft has been prepared based on the inputs of a core committee constituted by the ministry.
  2. The amendment defines community as “a group of persons specified on the basis of government records living in a specific locality and in joint possession and enjoyment of common property resources, without regard to race, religion, caste, language and culture”.
  3. Forest is defined to include “any government or private or institutional land recorded or notified as forest/forest land in any government record and the lands managed by government/community as forest and mangroves, and also any land which the central or state government may by notification declare to be forest for the purpose of this Act.”
  4. While the preamble of IFA, 1927, said the Act was focused on laws related to transport of forest produce and the tax on it, the amendment has increased the focus to “conservation, enrichment and sustainable management of forest resources and matters connected therewith to safeguard ecological stability to ensure provision of ecosystem services in perpetuity and to address the concerns related to climate change and international commitments”.
  5. The amendments specifically deal with the Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA). The amendments say if the state government, after consultation with the central government, feels that the rights under FRA will hamper conservation efforts, then the state “may commute such rights by paying such persons a sum of money in lieu thereof, or grant of land, or in such other manner as it thinks fit, to maintain the social organisation of the forest dwelling communities or alternatively set out some other forest tract of sufficient extent, and in a locality reasonably convenient, for the purpose of such forest dwellers”.
  6. The amendment also introduces a new category of forests — production forest. These will be forests with specific objectives for production of timber, pulp, pulpwood, firewood, non-timber forest produce, medicinal plants or any forest species to increase production in the country for a specified period.

Read more at: DowntoEarth

Topic 3 : ICT

Aurora Supercomputer

The United States has decided to build the fastest supercomputer titled ‘Aurora supercomputer’.

About Aurora supercomputer:

  • It is scheduled to be delivered to the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago in 2021.
  • It will be the first machine to reach a milestone called “exascale” performance, i.e. one billion billion calculations per second.
  • This speed is around seven times the speed of the most powerful system built to date, or 1,000 times faster than the first “petascale” systems built in 2008.
  • The new machines will let researchers create significantly more accurate simulations of phenomena such as drug responses, climate changes, the inner workings of combustion engines and solar panels.
  • An International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation system called Summit(OLCF-4), built for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the USA is the fastest supercomputer in the world with a clocked speed of 143.5 petaflops.

Supercomputer in India

  • India’s first supercomputer called PARAM 8000 was launched in 1991.
  • At present, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology has Pratyush supercomputer, which is the fastest supercomputer in India, it has a speed of 4.0 Petaflops.
  • National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting has Mihir, which has a speed of 2.8 petaflops.

About Unit of Computing Speed:

  • Teraflops: It is a unit of computing speed equal to one million million (10^12) floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
  • Petaflops: It is a unit of computing speed equal to one thousand million million (10^15) floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).
  • Exaflops: It is a unit of computing speed equal to one billion billion (10^18) floating-point operations per second (FLOPS).

Read more at: The Verge

Topic 4: General Knowledge

First Woman To Win Abel Prize

The Abel Prize(Math’s Nobel) in mathematics was awarded to Karen Uhlenbeck of the U.S. for her work on partial differential equations, the first woman to win the award.

Highlights:

  • It is a Norwegian prize awarded annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. The prize is named after the 19th century Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel.
  • It was established by the Norwegian government in 2002 on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Niels Henrik Abel’s birth.
  • The main objective of the Abel Prize is to recognize pioneering scientific achievements in mathematics.

Read more at: The Hindu

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