Current Affairs for Engineering Service Exam
Video Lectures and Test Series for ESE 2019
- National and International Issues on
- Economic Development
- Social Development
- Industrial Development
- Energy and Environment
- Information and Communication Technology
- The Key Initiatives of Government
- General Knowledge
Topic 1:Economic development
Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme
Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds-2018-19.
- Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGBs) are government securities denominated in grams of gold
- The bonds are to be issued by RBI.
- They will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
- They will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
- Recently, RBI has increased the maximum investment to 4 kg (from 500g) for individuals and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and 20 kg for Trusts.
- The tenor of the bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from 5th year
- The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable.
- The capital gains tax arising to an individual on redemption of SGB has been exempted.
- Bonds can be used as collateral for loans and are eligible for Statutory Liquidity Ratio purposes in Banks.
- Bonds will be tradable on stock exchanges.
- The redemption price will be in Indian Rupees based on previous week‘s simple average of closing price of gold.
- Absolute safety
- Extra income
- Indexation benefit
Read more at: Livemint
Topic 2 : Environment
Tiny spheres to trap water contaminants developed
Scientists have created tiny spheres that can catch and destroy bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical used to make plastics.
- The micron-sized spheres developed resemble tiny flower-like collections of titanium dioxide petals.
- The supple petals provide plenty of surface area to anchor cyclodextrin a sugar-based molecule often used in food and drugs.
- It has a two-faced structure, with a hydrophobic (water-avoiding) cavity and a hydrophilic (water-attracting) outer surface.
- BPA is hydrophobic and naturally attracted to the cavity. Once trapped, reactive oxygen species (ROS) produced by the spheres degrades BPA into harmless chemicals.
About bisphenol A :
- BPA is commonly used to coat the insides of food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines, and was once a component of baby bottles.
- Concerns: While BPA that seeps into food and drink is considered safe in low doses, prolonged exposure is suspected of affecting the health of children and contributing to high blood pressure.
Read more at: TOI
National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC)
India’s and Asia’s first Dolphin Research Centre will be set up on the banks of the Ganga river in Patna University campus in Patna, Bihar.
- It will be named- National Dolphin Research Centre (NDRC).
- NDRC will play important role in strengthening conservation efforts and research to save endangered mammal whose population is decreasing.
- Bihar is home to around half of the country’s estimated 3,000 dolphin population.
About Gangetic Dolphins:
- The Ganges River dolphin, or susu, inhabits the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna and Karnaphuli-Sangu river systems of Nepal, India, and Bangladesh.
- It is classified as endangered by the IUCN.
- India has declared Ganga Dolphin as the National Aquatic Animal of India
Read more at: Deccan Herald
Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA)
Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has reconstituted Supreme Court-empowered Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA).
Composition of EPCA:
- The EPCA has 14 members and a chairman
- It aims to protect and improve quality of environment and prevent and control environmental pollution in National Capital Region.
- To enforce Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in NCR as per the pollution levels.
- The objective is ‘protecting and improving’ the quality of the environment and ‘controlling environmental pollution’ in the National Capital Region.
- The EPCA assists the apex court in various environment-related matters in the region.
- EPCA is Supreme Court mandated body tasked with taking various measures to tackle air pollution in the National Capital Region
- It was notified in 1998 by Environment Ministry under Environment Protection Act, 1986.
Read more at: NDTV
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
National Pension Scheme
- NPS is a government approved pension scheme for Indian citizens in the 18-60 age group.
- While central and state government employees have to subscribe to NPS, it‘s optional for others.
- The NPS is regulated by the Pension Funds Regulatory Development Authority(PFRDA).
- Study Webs of Active Learning For Young Aspiring Minds is an indigenous IT platform for hosting the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).
- It targets those students who could not complete their studies and professionals who wish to upgrade their knowledge.
- Professors of centrally funded institutions like IITs, IIMs, central universities will offer online courses to citizens of India through this platform.
- However, it would not run courses such as engineering, medicine, dental, pharmacy, nursing, architecture, and physiotherapy.
Topic 5: General Knowledge
ESIC wins ‘ISSA GOOD Practice Award, Asia & the Pacific 2018
The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has won the ‘ISSA Good Practice Award’ for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at the “Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific” held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- The award recognizes the measures taken by ESIC for extension of coverage-SPREE (Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees)
- Reduced rate of contribution rates for 24 months in newly implemented areas and raising the wage limit for coverage under the ESI Act, etc.
- International Social Security Association ( ISSA) is the principal international organization for Social Security Organizations, Govts. and Departments of Social Security.
- It promotes excellence in social security administration through professional guidelines, expert knowledge, services and support to enable its Members to develop dynamic social security systems.
Read more at: PIB