March 23,2018

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March 23, 2018

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

Topic 1:Economic development

Linking of SWIFT to the Core Banking System

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has informed that it has reiterated its instructions regarding Linking of SWIFT to the Core Banking System


  • Cyber Security Controls – SWIFT and Cyber Security Controls – frauds related to trade finance transactions – misuse of SWIFT
  • It mandated banks to implement the prescribed measures for strengthening the SWIFT operating environment in banks within the stipulated deadlines.

About SWIFT to the Core Banking System:

  • SWIFT, or the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, is the world’s largest electronic payment messaging system.
  • SWIFT is basically just a bank-to-bank messaging system.
  • It supplies a standardized language that institutions use to communicate payment instructions and other info to each other.
  • SWIFT messages are programmed in a language known as FIN. A sample of FIN language is shown at right.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 1:Social development

Digital empowerment for Atal Pension Yojana subscribers

Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA), the administrative Authority for Atal Pension Yojana (APY), has taken several steps for extension of the benefits of the Scheme to the Citizens of India


  • Going ahead PFRDA has offered several online features to facilitate subscribers for access of APY features without visiting the Bank/Post Branch.
  • The number of Subscribers under APY is expected to attain 1 crore mark shortly.

Atal Pension Yojana:

  • Atal Pension Yojana (APY), a pension scheme for unorganised sector workers such as personal maids, drivers, gardeners etc, was launched in June 2015 by the government.
  • This social security scheme was introduced as a replacement to previous government’s Swavalamban Yojana NPS Lite, which wasn’t well accepted by people.
  • The scheme also promises a co-contribution by Central Government of 50% of the total prescribed contribution by a worker, up to Rs. 1000 per annum, but only to those who joined APY before 31.12.2015

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Environment

Global energy demand rose fastest in five years in 2017

Global energy demand increased by 2.1 per cent in 2017, growing at twice the rate recorded in the previous five years, International Energy Agency said today, adding the growth in energy demand led to global CO2 emissions reaching a historic high of 32.5 Gigatonnes (Gt) last year after three years of flat emissions.


  • A decrease in global energy efficiency was another driver of the increase in carbon emissions.
  • Energy efficiency slowed down dramatically in 2017, broadly caused by an apparent weakening of efficiency policy coverage and stringency, and by lower energy prices.
  • The overall share of fossil fuels in global energy demand remained at 81 per cent, a level that has remained stable for more than three decades despite strong growth in renewable energy
  • The report also said the trend of growing emission was not universal, with countries like United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Mexico and Japan experiencing a decline in their carbon emissions
  • While China and India accounted for 40 per cent of the growth in energy demand in 2017, China’s carbons emissions only increased 1.7 per cent to 9.1 Giga tonne, 1 per cent higher than their 2014 level
  • Southeast Asian economies also contributed to the rise in emissions, with Indonesia leading the growth with an increase of 4.5 per cent relative to 2016.

Read more at: ET

New lease of life for Kozhikode rivers

The rivers in Kozhikode are likely to get a fresh lease of life with the Haritha Keralam Mission taking the initiative to bring together various stakeholders for a year-long drive for the upkeep of the water bodies.


  • To coordinate the efforts in territories of 13 local bodies through which the river passes and to ensure the participation of local agencies such as residents’ associations, environmentalists and other organisations in the cleaning process.
  • They will remove all forms of waste from the river to ensure its smooth flow.
  • The non-biodegradable waste thus collected would be sent for recycling under the aegis of Niravu Vengeri while the biodegradable waste would be composted on the spot, said P. Prakash, district coordinator of the Haritha Keralam Mission.
  • A re-survey will be held along the banks of the river to check encroachments. There are also plans to set up high nets on bridges and other places, from where waste is dumped into rivers. The local bodies will fund the initiative.

About Haritha Keralam Mission:

Haritha Keralam is an Umbrella Mission integrating the components of Waste Management, Organic Farming, Water Resources Management. It has an ambitious outlook to address the issues of piling waste, impending drought and health hazards due to the consumption of pesticide treated vegetables and in general, the agricultural dependency of Kerala State.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Trina Solar launches TrinaPro smart PV solution

The world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) maker, China’s Trina Solar, on Thursday launched its smart PV solution TrinaPro  that combines its solar modules with a solar tracker system and inverter.


  • TrinaPro will help improve system stability with higher power generation and lower costs by reducing system losses.
  • The hi-tech product provides hardware and software integration that will result in “energy gain” of up to 30 per cent and reduce losses by 10 per cent through a ground mounted package that consists of smart modules, solar tracker and inverter.
  • By interconnecting ‘Edge Computing’ and a smart operations and maintenance (O&M) system on a cloud platform, TrinaPro can analyse and process data from the cloud to optimise the system’s operation model and ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently,

Read more at: ET

Topic 3 : ICT

New robot fish from MIT to study ocean life

Scientists have created a remote-controlled robot named SoFi that swims quietly through coral reefs and schools of fish and uses a fisheye lens to capture high-resolution photos and video with a camera built into its nose.


  • SoFi can swim forward, move up and down, turn and change speeds, propelling itself by wiggling its tail side to side like a real fish, a motion created by pumping water with a small motor into two balloon-like tail chambers.
  • SoFi, built with a generic fish design, is white, weighs less than 1.6 kg and is about 47 cm long.
  • SoFi’s “soft artificial muscle” tail is made of silicone elastomer, a type of rubber. Its nose houses the electronic elements. It has two side fins for maneuvering.
  • SoFi is operated using a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller by a diver who can be almost 70 feet away.
  • The robot can be used as a marine biology instrument and also to measure pollution in coastal waters, to create maps, to do inspection, to monitor and track

Read more at: The Hindu


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