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
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications
Half a dozen public and private sector banks have been slapped with monetary penalties by the Reserve Bank of India for non-compliance of directions in the Swift (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) messaging system used by banks worldwide for foreign currency transfers.
- The penalty has been levied for delay in compliance to RBI’s directives on Time-bound implementation & strengthening of SWIFT-related controls.
What is SWIFT?
- It is a messaging network that financial institutions use to securely transmit information and instructions through a standardized system of codes.
- Under SWIFT, each financial organization has a unique code which is used to send and receive payments.
- SWIFT neither holds funds on its own nor manages external client accounts.
- SWIFT is headquartered in Belgium.
Why does it matter?
- Messages sent by SWIFT’s customers are authenticated using its specialised security and identification technology.
- Encryption is added as the messages leave the customer environment and enter the SWIFT Environment.
- Messages remain in the protected SWIFT environment, subject to all its confidentiality and integrity commitments, throughout the transmission process while they are transmitted to the operating centres (OPCs) where they are processed — until they are safely delivered to the receiver.
Read more at: IndianExpress
Topic 1:Social development
Aspirational Districts Programme
NITI Aayog recently launched Aspirational Districts Programme for 112 aspirational districts.
- The broad contours of the programme are:
- Convergence (of Central & State Schemes)
- Collaboration (of Central, State level ‘Prabhari’ Officers & District Collectors)
- Competition among districts driven by a mass Movement
- With States as the main drivers, this program will focus on the strength of each district, identify low-hanging fruits for immediate improvement, measure progress, and rank districts.
- The program focuses closely on improving people’s ability to participate fully in the burgeoning economy.
- Health & Nutrition, Education, Agriculture & Water Resources, Financial Inclusion & Skill Development, and Basic Infrastructure are this programme’s core areas of focus.
- After several rounds of consultations with various stakeholders, 49 key performance indicators have been chosen to measure progress of the districts.
- Districts are prodded and encouraged to first catch-up with the best district within their state, and subsequently aspire to become one of the best in the country, by competing with, and learning from others in the spirit of competitive & cooperative federalism.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA)
Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce & Industry has notified a scheme for Transport and Marketing Assistance (TMA) for Specified Agriculture Products.
- The “Transport and Marketing Assistance” (TMA) for specified agriculture products scheme aims to provide assistance for the international component of freight and marketing of agricultural produce.
- To mitigate disadvantage of higher cost of transportation of export of specified agriculture products due to trans-shipment.
- To promote brand recognition for Indian agricultural products in the specified overseas markets.
- The scheme would be suitably included in the Foreign Trade Policy (2015-20).
- The scheme will be available for exports effected from March 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
- Eligibility: All exporters, duly registered with relevant Export Promotion Council as per Foreign Trade Policy, of eligible agriculture products shall be covered under this scheme.
- The assistance, at notified rates, will be available for export of eligible agriculture products to the permissible countries, as specified from time to time. The assistance shall be admissible only if payments for the exports are received in Free Foreign Exchange through normal banking channels.
- The scheme shall be admissible for exports made through EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) ports only.
- The scheme covers freight and marketing assistance for export by air as well as by sea.
- Exceptions: The assistance is available for most agricultural product exports with some exceptions such as live animals, products of animal origin, milk, cream, curd, butter, buttermilk, whey, rice, wheat, tobacco and garlic.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Ban on import of solid plastic waste
The government has plugged a loophole that allowed the import of plastic waste into India for processing.
- Solid plastic waste has been prohibited from import into the country including in Special Economic Zones (SEZ) and by Export Oriented Units (EOU).
- The change in law was part of the Hazardous and Other Wastes (Management & Transboundary Movement) Amendment Rules, 2019.
- India consumes about 13 million tonnes of plastic and recycles only about 4 million tonnes.
- The rules were amended keeping in view the huge gap between waste generation and recycling capacity in the country and also India’s commitment to completely phase out single-use plastic by 2022.
What are the items banned?
- A ban on plastic waste imports, imported PET bottles from abroad for processing in Special Economic Zones (SEZ).
- Import of solid plastic waste
- Lack of an efficient waste collection.
- Lack of segregation system.
- No adequate capacity of recycling of plastic waste, causing substantial damage to soil and water bodies.
- The provision of partial ban was misused by many companies on the pretext of being in an SEZ.
Significance of the ban:
- Promote ease of doing business
- Boosting ‘Make in India’ initiative
- Upholding the principles of sustainable development
- Ensuring minimal impact on the environment,
Read more at: The Hindu
MNRE to Frame Rules for coated Solar Modules
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) will come up with a blueprint for the utilization, manufacture, disposal, and import of solar photovoltaic (PV) module and glass containing antimony
What is Antimony?
Antimony is a chemical element that has been found to have hazardous effects on the environment.
- MNRE has to submit the blueprint regarding antimony usage in solar modules and their disposal by March 20, 2019.
- a plea with the National Green Tribunal has been filed related to the issue of severe adverse impact on the environment resulting from solar PV panels.
- It sought a direction to the Central Pollution Control Board to amend the E-Waste Rules, 2016 and bring antimony within the scope of Rules 16 pertaining to hazardous substances.
Read more at: MercomIndia