October 17,2018

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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

Unified Payment Interface

The Reserve Bank of India has released the guidelines for interoperability between prepaid payment instruments (PPIs) such as wallets and cards that will effectively allow users of popular payment wallets to transfer money from one wallet to another.

The guidelines:

  • The wallets could implement interoperability through the Unified Payment Interface (UPI).
  • The RBI  allowed PPIs to issue cards using authorised card networks such as Mastercard, Visa or Rupay.

Benefits:

  • Boosting the e-wallet segment
  • Will ensure the safety and accuracy of the transfer of money
  • Effective and efficient interoperability
  • To reach the under-banked and unbanked segment

About UPI:

  • The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is an instant real-time payment system developed by National Payments Corporation of India facilitating inter-bank transactions.
  • The interface is regulated by the Reserve Bank of India and works by instantly transferring funds between two bank accounts on a mobile platform.

Read more at: The Hindu

Topic 1:Social development

Swastha Bharat Yatra campaign

The Union government  launched a national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ on the World Food Day under which a pan-India cycle rally is being organised to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy.

The campaign :

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is leading this campaign,to propagate a powerful message ‘Eat Right India’.
  • To create consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food for becoming healthy.
  • Volunteer cyclists and a convoy including the ‘Eat Right Mobile Unit’ and ‘Mobile Food Testing Unit’ would travel across the country to build awareness around food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.

About World Food Day:

  • World Food Day is celebrated on October 16 every year to raise awareness on the issues of poverty and hunger.
  • World Food Day was established by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in November 1979
  • 2018 theme: “OUR ACTIONS ARE OUR FUTURE. A #ZERO HUNGER WORLD BY 2030 IS POSSIBLE”

About FAO:

  • The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is a specialised agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger.
  • Serving both developed and developing countries, FAO acts as a neutral forum where all nations meet as equals to negotiate agreements and debate policy.

The Eat Right Movement

  • The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched national campaign ‘The Eat Right Movement’ to improve public health and combat.
  • FSSAI has asked industry to voluntarily reduce salt, sugar and saturated fat in packaged food products.

Read more at: ET

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP)

The Central Warehouse of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana at Bilaspur, Gurugram. It is setup by the Bureau of Pharma PSUs of India (BPPI).

Highlights:

  • The hi-tech Central Warehouse would facilitate seamless distribution of Jan Aushadhi generic medicines to all PMBJP Kendra functional across the country.
  • The Digital Cash Management System for Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana (PMBJP), to be implemented as a partnership between BPPI and Bank of Baroda was inaugurated.
  • This System will be implemented at all PMBJP Kendras for purchasing medicines and cashless payment system with BPPI.

About PMBJP:

  • The Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana  is a campaign launched by the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. Of India
  • To provide quality medicines at affordable prices to the masses through special kendra’s known as Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra.

About PMBJK:

Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Jan Aushadhi Kendra (PMBJK) have been set up to provide generic drugs, which are available at lesser prices but are equivalent in quality and efficacy as expensive branded drugs.

About BPPI:

Bureau of Pharma Public Sector Undertakings of India (BPPI) has been established under the Department of Pharmaceuticals, Govt. of India, with the support of all the CPSUs.

Read more at: PIB

Topic 1:Industrial development

Project Arya

To attract the youth of the country towards agriculture, a project called ‘Arya’ is being run through Krishi Vigyan Kendras and the Farmer Fest program.

Highlights:

  • Skill development internships for youth are provided at the graduation level.
  • Startups in the fields of seed and plant production, food processing and post-mortgage management, veterinary, farm machinery, poultry, fish production, biological products and bioplasty.  
  • Implemented by ICAR  (Indian Council of Agricultural Research), Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare

Objectives:

  • To attract and empower the Youth in Rural Areas to take up various Agriculture, allied and service sector enterprises for sustainable income and gainful employment in selected districts,
  • To enable the Farm Youth to establish network groups to take up resource and capital intensive activities like processing, value addition and marketing, and
  • To demonstrate functional linkage with different institutions and stakeholders for convergence of opportunities available under various schemes/program for sustainable development of youth

Read more at: PIB

Topic 2 : Environment

Climate change : UN report

A study by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) released the UN report on International Disaster Day on October 13.

Highlights of the report:

  • About 91 per cent of all disasters during 1998-2017 were caused by floods, storms, droughts, heat waves and other extreme weather events
  • Globally, disaster losses are estimated at $520 billion per annum, pushing more than 26 million people into poverty every year.
  • The inequality is rising and far greater than projected
  • An annual loss of human lives on account of just floods is an average 1,600, while loss of properties is more than Rs 1,800 crore per year.
  • The report has listed India among top five countries in the world with $80 billion in absolute economic loss due to disasters in the last 20 years.
  • 2 billion population displaced and rendered homeless, floods have affected the largest number of people, followed by drought
  • People in poor nations, exposed to natural hazards, are seven times more vulnerable than those in the richest nations.

Read more at: ET

The Air Quality Index of Delhi deteriorates

Delhi’s air quality for the first time this season deteriorated to ‘very poor’ category with several areas in the national capital nearing towards severe levels of pollution, according to authorities.

Highlights:

  • The overall Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was recorded at 309, according to a data of the Centre-run System of Air Quality Forecasting and Research
  • The PM10 level (presence of particles with diameter less than 10 micrometres) in Delhi stood at 287 and the PM2.5 level was recorded at 131

Factors responsible:

  • Vehicular pollution
  • Construction activities and
  • Meteorological factors.

About AQI:

  • Air Quality Index (AQI) is a tool to showcase air quality status. It transforms complex air quality data of various pollutants into a single number and colour.
  • As the AQI increases, an increasingly large percentage of the population is likely to experience increasingly severe adverse health effects.

AQI has six categories of air quality:

  1. Good- AQI between 0 and 50
  2. Satisfactory- AQI between 51 and 100
  3. Moderate- AQI between 101 and 200
  4. Poor- AQI between 201 and 300
  5. Very poor- AQI between 301 and 400
  6. Severe- AQI between 401 and 500

The measurement of air quality is based on eight pollutants namely:

  1. Particulate Matter (size less than 10 µm) or (PM10),  
  2. Particulate Matter (size less than 2.5 µm) or (PM2.5),
  3. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2),
  4. Sulphur Dioxide (SO2),
  5. Carbon Monoxide (CO),
  6. Ozone (O3),
  7. Ammonia (NH3), and
  8. Lead (Pb)

Read more at: ET

Topic 3 : ICT

The Ask Disha

The first-of-its-kind initiative by The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) recently launched an artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot- Ask Disha.

Highlights:

  • The chatbot is aimed at facilitating accessibility by answering users queries pertaining to various services offered by IRCTC.
  • It is already available on the bottom right corner of IRCTC’s revamped website.
  • The AI chatbot will be voice enabled and it will support several regional languages in the near future.
  • The Ask Disha chatbot has jointly been developed by IRCTC and CoRover Private Limited.
  • To provide seamless service to website and Android app users.

Read more at: IndiaToday

#Self4Society App

The Indian government will launch #Self4Society app on October 24 to help coordinate volunteer work undertaken by professionals.

The App:

  • The app developed by MyGov.
  • To create better synergies among so many initiatives and lead to a much better outcome of the efforts of professionals.
  • The platform will help to create better synergies among so many CSR and other initiatives and lead to a much better outcome of the efforts of professionals.
  • The volunteer time for the government’s flagship programmes such as Swachh Bharat is expected to increase.
  • The app will have incentives, gamification and intra- and inter-company competitions, and social networking.

Read more at: The Hindu

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