March 8,2019

Quiz March 05, 2019
March 7, 2019
March 9,2019
March 9, 2019

Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

 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:Industrial development

Regional connectivity scheme (RCS)

The Union Cabinet gave its approval for extending the “time and scope” of financial support of Rs. 4,500 crore to the Airports Authority of India (AAI) for the revival of small airports for the regional connectivity scheme (RCS).

About RCS:

  • Airports Authority of India (AAI) will connect 22 airports under regional connectivity scheme in the first phase.
  • Under RCS plans are to connect these underserved airports to key airports through flights that will cost Rs 2,500 for per hour flight. RCS envisages to provide subsidy to airlines to offer these fares. AAI would invest Rs 17,500 crore in upgrading airport infrastructure over a period till 2019-20.

Salient features:

  • The regional connectivity scheme will be applicable on route length between 200 to 800 km with no lower limit set for hilly, remote, island and security sensitive regions
  • The Central government will provide concessions to the tune of 2 per cent excise on Value Added Tax (VAT) and service tax at 1/10th the rate and liberal code sharing for regional connectivity scheme airports.
  • A Regional Connectivity Fund (RCF) will be created to fund the scheme via a levy on certain flights. States are expected to contribute 20 per cent to the fund.
  • For balanced regional growth, allocations will be spread equitably across 5 regions – North, West, South, East and North East with a cap of 25 percent.
  • Market-based reverse bidding mechanism to determine least VGF to select the airline operator with the right to match to the initial proposer. The government said VGF will be reduced if passenger load factor remains high and will be discontinued after 3 years when route becomes self sustainable.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP)

The Government has approved the “Flood Management and Border Areas Programme (FMBAP)” for Flood Management Works in entire country and River Management Activities.

Salient features:

  • The Scheme “FMBAP” has been framed by merging the components of two continuing XII Plan schemes titled “Flood Management Programme (FMP)” and “River Management Activities and Works related to Border Areas (RMBA)”.
  • The aim of the Scheme is to assist the State Governments to provide reasonable degree of protection against floods in critical areas by adopting optimum combination of structural and non-structural measures and enhancing capabilities of  State  / Central Government official in related fields.
  • The scheme will protect valuable land from erosion and flooding and help in maintaining peace along the border.
  • The Scheme aims at completion of the on-going projects already approved under FMP.
  • The scheme also caters to Hydro-meteorological observations and Flood Forecasting on common rivers with the neighbouring countries.

Funding pattern:

  • The funding pattern for FM Component for works in general category States will continue to be 50% (Centre) : 50% (State)
  • For projects of North Eastern States, Sikkim, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the funding pattern will continue to be 70% (Centre) : 30% (State).
  • River Management Activities and Works related to Border Areas component being specific to activities in border areas with neighbouring countries and in accordance with bilateral mechanisms, the projects / works will continue to be funded as 100% grant-in-aid / central assistance.

Benefits:

  • It will be implemented throughout the country for effective flood management, erosion control and anti-sea erosion.
  • It will benefit towns, villages, industrial establishments, communication links, agricultural fields, infrastructure etc. from floods and erosion in the country.
  • The catchment area treatment works will help in reduction of sediment load into rivers.  

Read more at: PIB

Swachh Survekshan awards 2019

The Swachh Survekshan awards 2019 were recently conferred by President Ram Nath Kovind and organised by Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs.

The awards:

  • Swachh Survekshan 2019 covered all urban local bodies in the country, making it the largest such cleanliness survey in the world.
  • Indore was adjudged India’s cleanest city for the third straight year. The second and third positions in the category were grabbed by Ambikapur in Chhattisgarh and Mysuru in Karnataka.
  • Bhopal is country’s Swachh capital.
  • New Delhi Municipal Council area was given the ‘Cleanest Small City’ award.
  • Uttarakhand’s Gauchar was adjudged the ‘Best Ganga Town’.
  • Ujjain has been the adjudged the ‘Cleanest Medium City’
  • Mathura-Vrindavan bagged the tag of the ‘Fastest Moving Medium Cities’.
  • The ‘Cleanest Big City’ award has been bagged by Ahmedabad, while Raipur is the ‘Fastest Moving Big City’.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Energy

Measures to promote Hydro Power Sector

The Union Cabinet has approved Measures to promote Hydro Power Sector.  These include Declaring Large Hydropower Projects (HPO) as part of non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation (RPO).

Measures:

  • Large Hydropower Projects to be declared as  Renewable Energy source (as per existing practice, only hydropower projects less than 25MW are categorized as Renewable Energy).
  • HPO as a separate entity within non-solar Renewable Purchase Obligation to cover LHPs commissioned after notification of these measures (SHPs are already covered under Non-Solar Renewable Purchase Obligation).
  • The trajectory of annual HPO targets will be notified by Ministry of Power based on the projected capacity addition plans in hydropower sector. Necessary amendments will   be introduced in the Tariff Policy and Tariff Regulations to operationalize HPO.
  • The large hydro projects (LHPs) would be allowed back loading (reducing) of tariff after increasing project life to 40 years, increasing debt repayment period to 18 years and introducing escalating tariff of 2 per cent.
  • Budgetary support for funding flood moderation component of hydropower projects on case to case basis; and
  • Budgetary support for funding cost of enabling infrastructure i.e. roads and bridges on case to case basis

Major Impact:

  • It will result in overall socio-economic development of the Himalayas and North- East Region.
  • Providing direct employment in the power sector.
  • It will provide indirect employment/ entrepreneurial opportunities in the field of transportation, tourism and other small scale businesses.
  • Having a stable grid considering 160 GW capacity addition by 2022 from infirm sources of power like solar and wind.

Features of hydro power sector:

  • Environment friendly
  • Ability for quick ramping, black start, reactive absorption etc.
  • Ideal for peaking power, spinning reserve and grid balancing/ stability.
  • Provides water security, irrigation and flood moderation benefits
  • socio-economic development of the entire region
  • Providing employment opportunities and
  • Boosting tourism

Hydro power targets:

  • The country has targeted to add 160 GW of intermittent Solar and Wind power by 2022 and 40% of the total capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030 to honour its Nationally Determined Contribution for Climate Change.
  • India is aiming 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022. With addition of large hydro to clean energy segment, India is poised to have 225 GW of renewable energy by 2022.

Challenges:

  • High tariff of hydropower
  • Cost of flood moderation
  • Infrastructural cost

Read more at: ET

Kiru Hydro Electric (HE) Project

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the investment sanction for construction of Kiru Hydro Electric(HE) Project (624 MW) by M/s Chenab Valley Power Projects Private Limited (M/s CVPPPL) in Jammu & Kashmir.

Key facts:

  • The project is located on River Chenab in Kishtwar district of Jammu & Kashmir.
  • It envisages construction of a 135 m high concrete gravity Dam above deepest foundation level.
  • The project shall provide much needed power in northern grid
  • It shall accelerate process of development of remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Project is scheduled to be completed in a period of 4 1/2 years.
  • Project is envisaged as a Run of River (RoR) Scheme, designed complying with the requirements of Indus Water Treaty 1960

Read more at: PIB

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.