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:Social development
Pradhan Mantri JanDhan Yojana
The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved the continuation of National Mission for Financial Inclusion – Pradhan Mantri JanDhan Yojana (PMJDY).
- The National Mission for Financial Inclusion (PMJDY) to continue beyond 14.8.2018
- Existing Over Draft (OD) limit of Rs 5,000 to be raised to Rs 10,000
- There will not be any conditions attached for OD upto Rs 2,000.
- Age limit for availing OD facility to be revised from 18-60 years to 18-65 years
- expanded coverage from every household to every adult
- accidental insurance cover for new RuPay card holders to be raised from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for new PMJDY accounts opened after 28.8.18
- The Mission would enable all adults/households of the country to have atleast a basic bank account with access to other financial services, social security schemes and overdraft upto Rs. 10,000.
- It will bring them into the mainstream of financial services.
- It will facilitate transfer of benefits of various subsidy schemes of the Government more efficiently.
About Pradhan Mantri JanDhan Yojana (PMJDY):
- It aims to expand and make affordable access to financial services such as bank accounts, remittances, credit, insurance and pensions.
- Run by Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance
- Account holders will be provided bank accounts with no minimum balance.
- RuPay debit cards will be issued.
- Accidental insurance cover of ₹1 lakh
- After six months of opening of the bank account, holders will be eligible for ₹5,000 overdraft from the bank.
- overdraft is the amount that the account holder is allowed to withdraw over and above the available balance.
- Mobile banking for the poor would be available through National Unified USSD Platform (NUUP) for which all banks and mobile companies have come together.
Read more at :Livemint
Initiatives towards strengthening the skills ecosystem
Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE) announced an array of initiatives towards strengthening the skills ecosystem in India.
Details of initiatives:
- To ensure standardization of training and learning across all programs, DGT has aligned its courses with National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF), a competency based framework.
- A tripartite MoU was signed between DGT, NSDC and Adobe India.
- A MoU was signed between National Skill Development Corporation(NSDC) and IBM India to address the demand of skilled workforce in futuristic job roles.
- Affiliation has been granted to an ITI in Pune Cantonment for 5 trades. MSDE plans to open similar ITIs in other Cantonment areas.
- Affiliation has been granted to an ITI being run by Blind People’s Association- Ahmedabad.
- In line with the MSDE’s mission to ensure the best quality of training in ITIs, a special one month Crafts Instructor Training Scheme (CITS) Course was announced.
- A new course “UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE/DRONE PILOT” was launched to create trained people who can fly drones, observing standard guidelines and carry out its maintenance.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats
The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH)beyond the 12th Plan period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- The Scheme consists of Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT), Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH) and Project Elephant (CSS-PE).
- The schemes would result in overall strengthening/ consolidation of tiger, elephant and wildlife conservation in the country.
- The schemes would address the human wildlife conflict effectively
- These schemes would generate employment opportunities resulting in economic upliftment of people in and around tiger reserves/ Protected Areas besides
- Reduction in natural resource dependency with substitution by clean energy use
- The schemes would foster imparting various skills towards making people self-dependent through various eco-development projects, thereby enabling them to go for self-employment.
- Resource generation through tourist visits, thereby fostering in securing tiger source areas and other areas important for wildlife conservation
- Sustaining life support systems as well as ensuring the food, water and livelihood security.
- The implementation of the schemes would be done through the respective States in designated Tiger Reserves, Protected Areas and Elephant Reserves.
- Project Tiger is a tiger conservation programme launched in 1973 by the Government of India.
- The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage forever represented as close as possible the diversity of ecosystems across the tiger’s distribution in the country.
- The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimize human-tiger conflicts.
Development of Wildlife Habitats:
- Centrally Sponsored Scheme launched during the 11th Plan period to provide technical and financial assistance to States/UTs for protection of wildlife habitat.
- The activities covered under the scheme include the staff development and capacity building, wildlife research and evaluation, anti-poaching activities, wildlife veterinary care, addressing man-animal conflicts and promoting eco-tourism.
- Financial assistance is also provided to States for relocation of communities from within protected areas to other areas.
- It launched in 1992 by the Government of India Ministry of Environment and Forests to provide financial and technical support of wildlife management efforts by states for their free ranging populations of wild Asian Elephants.
- The project aims to ensure long-term survival of viable conservation reliant populations of elephants in their natural habitats by protecting the elephants, their habitats and migration corridors.
Read more at: PIB
GM mustard trials may get nod
The environment ministry is set to convene this month a “special meeting” of the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) to decide on field-trial approvals for the controversial transgenic mustard developed by the University of Delhi’s Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants (CGMCP).
- GEAC, which had initially cleared the GM crop for “commercial cultivation”, backtracked and demanded more tests and additional data on honeybees and other pollinators and on soil microbial diversity.
- Environmentalists, farmer groups and some scientists argue that transgenic mustard poses several environmental and health risks.
- DMH-11 is a Genetically Modified (GM) mustard hybrid.
- Hybrids are normally obtained by crossing 2 genetically diverse plants from the same species.
- The 1st-generation offspring resulting from it has higher yields than what either of the parents is individually capable of giving.
- GM mustard will require almost double the quantity of fertiliser and water.
- The movement of genes from GM plants to conventional crops, posing indirect threats to food safety and security.
- GM mustard can affect honeybees directly and indirectly through effecting flowering and pollen production
- Regulatory weakness.
- Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is apex body under Environment Ministry for regulating manufacturing, use, import, export and storage of hazardous micro-organisms or genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) and cells in the country.
- It is also responsible for giving technical approval of proposals relating to release of GMOs and products including experimental field trials.
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 2 : Energy
World’s largest offshore wind farm
The world’s largest offshore wind farm will open off the northwest coast of England when Danish energy group Orsted unveils the Walney Extension project.
- The wind farm has a capacity of 659 megawatts (MW)
- Walney Extension was among the first renewable projects to secure a so-called contract for difference (CFD) subsidy from the British government.
- The contract guarantees it a minimum price for electricity of 150 pounds ($195) per megawatt hour (MWh) for 15 years.
Read more at: ET
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.
Operation Digital board
- The Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE), an advisory body under Ministry of HRD recently passed a resolution to take steps towards Operation Digital Board.
- The idea of Operation Digital Board is aimed at providing better digital education in all schools.
- These steps will be on the lines of Operation Blackboard of 1987, which was started with the purpose of providing minimum basic facilities to all primary schools.
- This will offer new opportunities and ways of teaching and learning in schools.