May 30,2018

Quiz – May 28, 2018
May 29, 2018
Quiz – May 29, 2018
May 30, 2018

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. The Key Initiatives of Government

Topic 1:Economic development

Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana

  • The programme was launched to give access to cheap credit to poor and small fledgling businesspersons with the objective to provide self-employment.
  • Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency Ltd. [MUDRA] is an NBFC supporting development of micro enterprise sector
  • Under the scheme, loans are given to non-farm income generating enterprises in manufacturing and trading and services whose credit needs are below Rs.10 lakh
  • MUDRA provides refinance support to Banks / MFIs for lending to micro business.
  • Public sector, regional, rural, State and urban cooperative banks to eligible for refinancing from MUDRA
  • Loans can be availed under three categories
  1. Shishu for loans up to Rs.50,000
  2. Kishor for loans above Rs. 50,000 and up to Rs.5 lakh
  3. Tarun for loans above Rs.5 lakh and up to Rs.10 lakh
  • Mudra debit cards are issued to borrowers. Using these, they can withdraw the loan from any ATM in India, as and when they need the money

Read more at: PIB

Topic 1:Social development

Bengal’s Chau mask acquires GI tag

Five rural crafts from the West Bengal have been presented with the Geographical Indication (GI) tag by the Geographical Indication Registry and Intellectual Property India.

Highlights:

  • The five rural crafts are-
  1. The Chau mask of Purulia
  2. The wooden mask of Kushmandi
  3. The Patachitra
  4. The Dokras of Bengal
  5. Madhurkathi (a kind of mat)
  • GI tags for these five rural crafts would help the artisans create their own brand but would also provide legal protection to artisans practising the crafts against attempts to duplicate them in other regions.
  • GI tags are given on the basis of the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
  • A GI tag connects the quality and authenticity of a given product to a particular geographical origin, thereby ensuring that no one other than the authorised user can use the popular product’s name.
  • The first product to be included in the list was Darjeeling Tea

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Industrial development

5/20 norm replaced with 0/20

In 2016 the Cabinet approved the National Civil Aviation Policy that the 5/20 norm was replaced with 0/20 allowing airlines to launch international operations

Highlights:

  • The 5/20 rule entailed that an airline based in India will need to have at least five years of experience of flying within the country and 20 aircraft on its fleet before it qualifies to fly overseas.
  • The 0/20 rule allows airlines to launch international operations with no domestic experience but at least 20 aircraft (or 20% of its entire fleet size whichever is higher) for domestic operations

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Environment

Global warming; Great Barrier reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, under severe stress in a warmer, more acidic ocean, has returned from near-extinction five times in the past 30,000 years.

Highlights:

  • In the past, the reef shifted along the seafloor to deal with changes in its environment, either seaward or landward depending on whether the level of the ocean was rising or falling
  • Based on fossil data from cores drilled into the ocean floor at 16 sites, they determined the Great Barrier Reef was able to migrate between 20 cm and 1.5 metres per year.
  • The reef  may face changes in SST (sea surface temperature) and acidification in the present scenario because of  the pace of change caused by the many current stresses and those projected into the near future.

Read more at:The Hindu

NGT issues notices halt road through Corbett

A plea seeking a stay on the construction of a link road linking Kotdwar to Ramnagar through the Corbett Tiger Reserve has led the National Green Tribunal to seek responses from the Uttarakhand government and the Centre.

Highlights:

  • The construction of the link road would damage the ecosystem and biodiversity of the tiger reserve.
  • The construction of the road was in violation of previous Supreme Court orders that prohibited the construction of any road through the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

About Corbett Tiger Reserve:

  • The World-renowned Corbett Tiger Reserve was established in 1936 as India’s first national park, and covers 1318 sq km of wild forests
  • It is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand and was named after Jim Corbett who played a key role in its establishment.
  • The park was the first to come under the Project Tiger initiative

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

PRAAPTI App and Web

A Web portal and an App namely PRAAPTI (Payment Ratification And Analysis in Power procurement for bringing Transparency in Invoicing of generators), www.praapti.in, has been officially launched.

Highlights:

  • PRAAPTI App and web portal has been developed to bring transparency in power purchase transactions between Generators and Discoms.
  • The App and Web Portal will capture the Invoicing and payment data for various long term PPAs from the Generators.
  • This will help the stakeholders in getting month-wise and legacy data on outstanding amounts of Discoms against power purchase.
  • The app will also allow users to know the details related to the payments made by the Discoms to the power generation company and when they were made.
  • PRAAPTI will also enable the consumers to evaluate financial performance of their Discoms in terms of payments being made to the generation companies.
  • The Portal would also help DISCOMs and GENCOs to reconcile their outstanding payments.
  • The portal would facilitate relative assessment of various State DISCOMs on “Ease of making payments” to various Generation Companies, and will also help make transactions in the power Sector more transparent.

Read more at: PIB

Policy on biofuels: Green push

The Cabinet approved a National Policy on Biofuels, which encourages the generation and use of biofuels such as ethanol.

Highlights:

  • It primarily tries to address supply-side issues that have discouraged the production of biofuels within the country.
  • It allows for a wider variety of raw materials to be used as inputs to produce ethanol that is blended with petrol.
  • Under the new policy, feedstock for biofuels includes sugar beet, corn, damaged food grain, potatoes, even municipal solid waste.
  • It will likely reduce the cost of producing biofuels and improve affordability for consumers, particularly during times when oil prices reach discomforting levels.
  • The new policy will also benefit farmers, who will be able to sell various types of agricultural waste to industry at remunerative prices.
  • The production of biofuels from agricultural waste, it is hoped, will also help curb atmospheric pollution by giving farmers an incentive not to burn it
  • The new policy envisages investment to the tune of ₹5,000 crore in building bio-refineries and offering other incentives over the next few years

Salient Features of National Policy on Biofuels – 2018

  • The Policy categorises biofuels as
    • Basic Biofuels viz. First Generation (1G) bioethanol & biodiesel
    • Advanced Biofuels – Second Generation (2G) ethanol, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to drop-in fuels
    • Third Generation (3G) biofuels, bio-CNG etc. 
  • The Policy expands the scope of raw material for ethanol production by allowing use of Sugarcane Juice, Sugar containing materials like Sugar Beet, Sweet Sorghum, Starch containing materials like Corn, Cassava, Damaged food grains like wheat, broken rice, Rotten Potatoes, unfit for human consumption for ethanol production.
  • The Policy encourages setting up of supply chain mechanisms for biodiesel production from non-edible oilseeds, Used Cooking Oil, short gestation crops.
  • The Policy indicates a viability gap funding scheme for 2G ethanol Bio refineries of Rs.5000 crore in 6 years in addition to additional tax incentives, higher purchase price as compared to 1G biofuels.
  • The Policy allows use of surplus food grains for production of ethanol for blending with petrol with the approval of National Biofuel Coordination Committee.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

Impacting Research Innovation And Technology (IMPRINT) India

  • It is an IIT and IISc joint initiative to develop a roadmap for research to solve major engineering and technology challenges in technology domains relevant to India.
  • It aims at direct research in the premier institutions into areas of social relevance.

Vittiya Saksharata Abhiyan (VISAKA)

  • It is a financial literacy campaign
  • It is to actively engage the students of Higher Education Institutions to encourage them to use a digitally enabled cashless economic system for transfer of funds.
  • Ministry of HRD also aims to make financial transactions completely digital in all higher education institutions.

Nai Roshni

  • It is a scheme for leadership development among Minority Women
  • The objective is to empower and instill confidence among minority women by providing knowledge, tools and techniques for interacting with Government systems, banks and other institutions at all levels.

Topic 5: General Knowledge

Bacteria-coated broccoli sent to space

Scientists have sent broccoli seeds coated with a healthy dose of good bacteria to space in a quest to find a viable way for astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) to grow their own vegetables — and possibly one day on the Moon or Mars.

Highlights:

  • Six broccoli seeds were aboard the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft that launched as part of a space station cargo resupply mission.
  • Three of the seeds are travelling to space as it is, while the other three were coated with two different species of bacteria, that can live inside crop plants and improve their growth
  • These “beneficial” microbes, also called endophytes, may also help plants grow better in extreme low-gravity environments, and where nutrients or water could be lacking.
  • The goal of the experiment is to learn how to grow vegetables in the challenging, microgravity conditions of the space station  and eventually on the Moon and Mars as human space exploration expands.

Read more at: The Hindu

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