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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:Economic development

Electoral Bond Scheme 2018

Government of India has notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018.

Provisions of the scheme:

  • Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.
  • A person can buy Electoral Bonds either singly or jointly with other individuals.
  • Only the Political Parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the State, shall be eligible to receive the Electoral Bonds.
  • The Electoral Bonds shall be encashed by an eligible Political Party only through a Bank account.
  • State Bank of India has been authorised to issue and encash Electoral Bonds.
  • Electoral Bonds shall be valid for fifteen calendar days from the date of issue.

Benefits:

  • Transparency in electoral funding
  • Cashless transactions
  • Easy and Quick medium of electoral donations
  • Accountability by political parties
  • Reduces illegal donations to political parties

Read more at: ET

Topic 1:Industrial development

World’s highest railway line

India railways is planning to link New Delhi and Ladakh by means of a railway line that will run along the India-China Border.

The Proposed railway line:

  • The proposed Bilaspur-Manali-Leh Line will be the world’s highest at 5,360 metres above mean sea level which is comparable to China’s Quinghai-Tibet Railway Line at 5,072 metres.
  • It will provide quick all-weather access to the armed forces
  • The railway line will also boost tourism in the scenic Ladakh region
  • The project will include 74 tunnels, 124 major bridges and 396 minor bridges

Read more at: ET

Topic 2 : Environment

Migratory birds start arriving at Chilika

Migratory birds arriving in Chilika lake this year winters have declined than their usual numbers.

Highlights:

  • The arrival of migratory birds is awaited with the onset of winter every year on Chilika lake.
  • This year, however, fewer birds have descended in the lake.

Migratory birds on Chilika lake:

  • Migratory birds fly thousands of miles across continents, from snow-covered Siberia, Caspian Sea, Baikal Lake to remote parts of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ladakh, US and Canada, to the marshy lands of Nalabana inside Chilika.
  • The major species are White bellied sea eagles, Graylag geese, purple moorhen, flamingo jacana and herons.
  • Chilka Lake Bird Sanctuary is also one of biggest breeding places of flamingos in the world.

Safeguards to be taken:

  • The forest officials have taken several steps to ensure the security of birds.
  • They have set up camps and formed a mobile squad to oversee the security of birds.
  • The mobile squad will keep a tab on poaching.
  • Every camp will be equipped with a motorised boat and will be manned by a forester or forest guard and three members of the bird protection committee comprising villagers adjoining the Chilika lake.
  • Awareness programmes to sensitize villagers against bird poaching are being conducted.

About Chilika lake:

  • The Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.
  • The lake has been designated as Ramsar site (a wetland of international importance) since 1981.

Read more at: The Hindu

Climate Change Report: IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently released a report highlighting the impacts that developing countries like India would face if global warming touches 2°C as compared to 1.5°C.

Warnings to India:

  • Higher risks from heavy precipitation events, including flooding and tropical cyclones.
  • Increased number of hot days and Coastal flooding.
  • Denting India’s GDP by 2.8% and depress the living standards of nearly half the population by 2050.
  • Decreased food availability as a result of projected dip in crop production.
  • Increased risk of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.

Challenges:

  • The challenge is to create communities in peri-urban and hinterland areas designed for walking, cycling and sustainable neighbourhood.
  • To focus on the small and medium scale employees and modest capital investments for employment generation.

Suggestions:

  • Large investments are needed to make the transitions in each sector that would take the country to a near zero-carbon economy.
  • A carbon tax that curbs the non-essential consumption could be employed.
  • Decentralised, neighbourhood-scale micro-utilities, managed by locally owned enterprises and cooperatives.
  • Modern power electronics and innovations in hybrid waste to energy, water recycling etc.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 2 : Energy

Germany rolls out world’s first hydrogen train

Germany rolled out the world’s first hydrogen-powered train, a costlier but more eco-friendly technology.

Highlights:

  • First run was between the towns and cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervoerde and Buxtehude in northern Germany .
  • Hydrogen trains are equipped with fuel cells that produce electricity through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen, a process that leaves steam and water as the only emissions.
  • Excess energy is stored in ion lithium batteries on board the train.
  • A hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train, but it is cheaper to run

Benefits:

  • Alternative fuel
  • Environmental friendly
  • Lowers dependency on oil countries

Read more at: ET

Topic 3 : ICT

World’s smallest optical gyroscope developed

Scientists have developed the world’s smallest optical gyroscope.

Highlights:

  • It a device that helps vehicles, drones and handheld electronic devices know their orientation in 3D space.
  • The new gyroscope is 500 times smaller than the current best device.
  • It can detect phase shifts that are 30 times smaller than the best systems currently available.
  • The new gyroscope achieves improved performance by using a new technique called “reciprocal sensitivity enhancement.”
  • It improves the signal-to-noise ratio in the system and enables the integration of the optical gyroscope on to a chip smaller than a grain of rice.

The Sagnac effect:

  • Normal optical gyroscopes measure the rate of rotation by exploiting a relativistic phenomenon known as the Sagnac effect
  • The Sagnac effect relies on detecting a difference between the two beams as they travel in opposite directions, it is considered nonreciprocal.
  • With the development of optic gyroscopes based on the Sagnac effect, the bulky mechanical gyroscope was replaced by optical gyroscopes in many modern inertial navigation systems.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government

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.
  • Union government has recently tasked Labour Bureau to carry out the survey to ascertain the number of jobs created under the scheme.

Stand Up India Scheme

  • It is to promote entrepreneurship among Scheduled Caste/Schedule Tribe and Women.
  • The schemes provides for composite loans by banks between Rs. 10 lakh and upto Rs. 100 lakh for setting up a new enterprise in the non-farm sector.
  • These loans would be eligible for refinance and credit guarantee cover.   

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