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Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam

Video Lectures and Test Series for ESE 2019

 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
  4. The Key Initiatives of Government
  5. General Knowledge

Topic 1:Social development

National Monitoring Framework on Sustainable Development Goals

The Union Cabinet approved National Monitoring Framework on Sustainable Development Goals.

Targets:

  • Measures to mainstream SDGs into on-going national policies, programmes and strategic action plans to address the developmental challenges.
  • Statistical indicators of NIF will be the backbone of monitoring of SDGs at the national and state level and will scientifically measure the outcomes of the policies to achieve the targets under different SDGs.
  • Based on statistical indicator, the MoSPI will bring out national reports on implementation of SDGs. The Report will facilitate assessment of progress, identify challenges and give recommendations for follow up at the national level.
  • High Level Steering Committee will review the National Indicator Framework on regular basis for its improvement.
  • Data source Ministries / Departments will be responsible for providing regular information to MoSPI on these indicators at required intervals and disaggregation for national and sub-national reporting of SDGs.
  • Advanced IT tools will be used for close and effective monitoring.

Major impact:

  • SDGs integrate economic, social and environmental dimensions of development. It intends eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world with basic motto of ‘SabkaSaathSabkaVikash’.
  • SDGs with 17 Goals and 169 Targets intend for promotion of sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, creating greater opportunities for all, reducing inequalities, raising basic standards of living, fostering equitable social development and inclusion, promoting integrated and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems.
  • NIF will help in outcome-based monitoring & reportingon progress on SDGs at National level.

About Sustainable Development Goals:

  • The UN General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs) for the next 15 years.
  • The 17 SDGs came into force with effect from 1stJanuary, 2016.
  • They are not legally binding, the SDGs have become de facto international obligations and have potential to reorient domestic spending priorities of the countries during the next fifteen years.
  • Countries are expected to take ownership and establish a national framework for achieving these Goals.
  • Implementation and success will rely on countries’ own sustainable development policies, plans and programmes.
  • Countries would be responsible for follow-up and review at the national level, with regard to the progress made in implementing the Goals and targets.
  • Actions at the national level to monitor progress under SDGs will require quality, accessible and timely data.

Read more at: PIB

Indian Institute of Skill(IISs)

The Union Cabinet has approved the for setting up of Indian Institute of Skills(IISs) at different locations across the country in Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Benefits:

  • It shall augment the global competitiveness of key sectors of Indian economy by providing high quality skill training, applied research education and a direct and meaningful connection with industry.
  • It will provide opportunity to aspiring youth across the country to have access to highly skilled training, and
  • Enhance the scope of accountability through its linkage with industry and global competitiveness across sectors.
  • It would create new institutes of expertise, knowledge and competitiveness.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 1:Industrial development

Ban of BS-IV vehicles

The Supreme Court said that no Bharat Stage-IV (BS-IV) vehicle shall be sold across the country with effect from April 1, 2020.

Key Facts:

  • The BS-VI emission norm would come into force from April 1, 2020 across the country.
  • BS-IV norms have been enforced across the country since April 2017.

About BS-IV:

  • Introduced in 2000, the Bharat norms are emission control standards that are based on the European regulations (Euro norms).
  • They set limits for release of air pollutants from equipment using internal combustion engines, including vehicles.
  • The BS IV norms were introduced in 13 cities apart from the National Capital Region from April 2010 onwards. The entire nation was to be covered under BS IV by April 1, 2017.
  • BS IV norms stipulate only 50 parts per million sulphur compared with up to 350 parts per million under BS III. Also, hydrocarbon, nitrogen oxide and particulate matter emissions are lower under BS IV.

BS-VI emission norms:

  • BS VI is in lines with Euro VI norm already adopted in European countries.
  • The new emission norm will also address one major drawback in the Euro VI norm that allows emission of higher PM (particulate matter) in diesel engines.

Major benefits of Bharat Stage VI norms:

  • NOx emission will come down by approximately 25% for the petrol engine and 68% for the diesel engines.
  • The PM emission will see a substantial decrease of 80% in diesel engines.
  • On board Diagnostics (OBD) will become mandatory for every vehicle and it will help monitor the pollution caused by the vehicle in real time.
  • RDE (Real Driving Emission) will be introduced for the first time that will measure the emission in real-world conditions and not just under test conditions.
  • Bharat Stage VI norms will also change the way particulate matter is measured. It will now be measured by number standard instead of mass standard thereby, regulating the fine particulate matter as well.

Read more at: ET

Topic 2 : Environment

SC moves to make festivals less noisy

The Supreme Court struck a balance between the interests of the firecracker industry and the right to public health, allowing the manufacture and sale of only “green” and reduced-emission or “improved” crackers.

Key facts:

  • Only green or improved crackers would be used during religious festivals and other occasions, including weddings.
  • The time for bursting crackers during Deepavali and other festivals to two hours: between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • For Christmas and New Year, the time slot allowed is just half-an-hour, between 11.55 p.m. and half-past midnight.
  • The reduced time window is applicable across the country.
  • The sale of green and improved crackers would be only through licensed traders.
  • Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organisation (PESO) to clear all firecrackers
  • It banned online sale through e-commerce websites
  • In case of violations, the state House Officer will be liable for contemplate of court

Green crackers:

  • They do not contain harmful chemicals” that would cause air pollution.
  • The components in firecrackers are replaced with others that are “less dangerous” and “less harmful” to the atmosphere.

Benefits:

  • Reduced-emissions
  • Health improvements
  • Environment changes
  • Cost savings

Read more at: The Hindu

3rd Decadal International year of Reefs-2018

The International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR – 2018) was inaugurated at Bangaram coral Island of Union Territory of Lakshadweep.

Theme: Reef for Life

Highlights:

  • About 150 delegates both International and National, are participating in this mega event at Bangaram Island.
  • Discussed the importance of coral reefs and the need for its protection, emphasising on converting science into adequate policies for conservation.
  • Emphasized effective management strategies leading to restoration of coral reef, along with the practice of green good deed for behavioral change and social responsibility.

About STAPCOR:

  • The International Conference on Status and Protection of Coral Reefs (STAPCOR) established in the year 1998.
  • To have a international conference in every 10 years to review the status and progress of coral reefs all over the world.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 3 : ICT

Main Nahin Hum Portal and App

The Prime Minister launched the “Main Nahin Hum” Portal and App.

Key facts:

  • The portal, which works on the theme “Self4Society”.
  • It will enable IT professionals and organizations to bring together their efforts towards social causes, and service to society, on one platform.
  • The portal is expected to help catalyse greater collaboration towards the service of the weaker sections of society, especially by leveraging the benefits of technology.
  • It is also expected to generate wider participation of interested people who are motivated to work for the benefit of society.

Read more at: PIB

Norms for full-body scanner at airports

The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) is likely to release the technical norms for operating full-body scanners to screen passengers at airports next month.

Highlights:

  • A committee comprising representatives of the Intelligence Bureau, National Investigating Agency and Cabinet Secretariat will be finalising technical specifications for full-body scanners using millimetre wave technology
  • The BCAS had decided to recommend body scanners using active and passive millimetre wave technologies instead of back-scatter and full transmission X-ray technologies after consulting the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), which had expressed concerns about frequent exposure of passengers to X-ray radiation.
  • The two types of millimetre wave scanners produce a silhouette of the passenger being screened instead of a naked image, thereby safeguarding the privacy of the individual.
  • These scanners would not be mandatory for airports to deploy but could be used in addition to equipment such as door metal frame detectors, explosive trace detectors, explosive vapour detectors as well as pat down searches.

About Millimetre wave technology:

  • Millimeter wave is an undeveloped band of spectrum that can be used in a broad range of products and services like high speed, point-to-point wireless local area networks (WLANs) and broadband access.
  • In telecommunications, millimeter wave is used for a variety of services on mobile and wireless networks, as it allows for higher data rates up to 10 Gbps.

Benefits:

  • Safeguarding the privacy of the individual
  • Security enhancement
  • Avoid  X-ray radiation on human body

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

Portal PENCIL

  • PENCIL (Platform for Effective Enforcement for No Child Labour) is an electronic platform for no child labour developed by the Labour Ministry.
  • The portal creates a robust implementing and monitoring mechanism for enforcement of the legislative provisions of National Child Labour Policy (NCLP).
  • Since the subject of labour is in the concurrent list, the enforcement of the policy depends on respective state governments.
  • This online portal aims to connect the Centre to the state government, district and to all project societies for effective implementation of NCLP.  
  • The portal has a component of child tracking system.

Atal Tinkering Labs

  • Niti Aayog brainchild Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) has selected additional 1,500 schools across the country to establish Atal Tinkering Labs (ATLs).
  • ATLs are play workspaces fitted with state-of-the-art technologies like 3D printers, robotics, sensor technology kits, Internet of things (IoT), miniaturised electronics.
  • The labs are designed to spur the spark of creativity, and go beyond regular curriculum and text book learning.
  • AIM will enhance the coverage of ATLs to over 98 per cent smart cities and 93 per cent districts.
  • The addition of these schools will give a major boost to realise the vision of the mission to cultivate one million children in India as the innovators of tomorrow.

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