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
Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention
The Mahatma Gandhi International Sanitation Convention is being organised by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to mark the beginning of the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi, also coinciding with the fourth anniversary of the launch of Swachh Bharat Mission.
- Ministers from over 70 countries will be invited and taken on a ‘Gandhi Trail’ in Gujarat.
- The government will use the occasion to “showcase its performance” and “success story” in the Swachh Bharat programme in the past four years, which was launched on October 2, 2014
- A face-to-face dialogue with the world leaders to share their experiences on sanitation programmes.
Read more at: PIB
Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)
- SBM is intended at accelerating the efforts to achieve universal sanitation coverage.
- It aims at achieving Open Defecation Free (ODF) nation and a Swachh Bharat (Clean India) by 2nd Oct, 2019, the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
- SBM is being implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development in Urban areas and by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in Rural areas.
- Elimination of open defecation
- Eradication of Manual Scavenging
- Modern and Scientific Municipal Solid Waste Management
- To effect behavioral change regarding healthy sanitation practices
- Generate awareness about sanitation and its linkage with public health
- Capacity Augmentation for ULB‘s
- Creating an enabling environment for private sector participation
Components of SBM:
- Household toilets, including conversion of insanitary latrines into pour-flush latrines
- Community toilets
- Public toilets
- Solid waste management
- Public Awareness and IEC (Information, Education and Communication)
- Behaviour change is the primary focus and fundamental tool for achievement of ODF outcomes.
- The Ministry’s focused Information, Education and Communication (IEC) programme.
- Promotes gender sensitive information, behaviour change guidelines and various mass education activities
- States will contribute a minimum of 25% funds towards all components to match 75% Central Share.
- This will be 10% in the case of North East and special category States.
Read more at: PIB
Swachhata Ranking Awards 2018
The Union Ministry for Human Resource Development conferred Swachhata Ranking Awards 2018 for higher educational institutions.
- Universities ( Residential & Non-Residential)
- Colleges (Residential & Non-Residential)
- Technical Institutions (Universities – Residential)
- Technical Colleges (Residential & Non-Residential)
- Government Universities
Salient features of Swachhata Ranking Award:
- To generate healthy peer pressure among higher educational institutions for keeping and maintaining hygienic campuses
- Adopting villages around their area for promoting hygiene through awareness creation and other assistance.
- To include aspects like rain water harvesting, solar power, quality of hostel kitchen apparatus, water supply system quality, maintenance method sophistication etc.
- HRD Ministry would be developing careers in Waste & Environment Management by introducing an elective course in the subject and also a PG Diploma in Waste Management that includes internship.
- To encompass every educational institution and encourage them to undertake not only campus cleanliness but also village cleanliness and contribute to a clean & pure thinking India.
Read more at: PIB
People’s Plan Campaign
The People’s Plan Campaign will be rolled out as ‘Sabki Yojana Sabka Vikas’ from 2nd October to 31st December 2018. During the campaign, structured Gram Sabha meetings will be held for preparing Gram Panchayat Development Plan for the next financial year 2019-2020.
- It would involve geotagged visuals of GS meetings, report of facilitators in standard format, Planplus uploading of GPDP for all 29 sectors,visit to Gram Sabhas for every district /state /central level official of concerned departments and NLM(national level monitors) visits to random Gram Sabhas.
- To strengthen the role of 31 lakh elected Panchayat leaders and 2.5 crore SHG Women under DAY-NRLM in effective gram sabha.
- Public Information Campaign of all programmes in Gram Panchayat office and on Gram Samvad App.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 1:Industrial development
Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has requested the Ministry of Panchayati Raj and the State Governments to include Gram Sabhas across the country and asked to inform the farmers about the enrolment and benefits of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) at the beginning of the Rabi Season as an agenda in the upcoming Gram Sabhas.
Revised operational guidelines:
- The Govt expects the companies to reduce premium rates, especially as the general cut-off date for enrolment has been advanced by 15 days for both seasons.
- The farmers get 72 hours to intimate individual claims against the existing 48 hours through any of the channels provided under the Scheme and directly on the portal of PMFBY. In case of any grievance, the farmers can access dedicated grievance redressal authorities.
- Appointment of District Level Grievance Redressal Officer
- Creation of State and District Grievance Redressal Cells for fast redressal of grievances.
- Non-loanee farmers can approach designated Common Service Centres, banks and insurance agents for insuring their crops or directly enrol on the portal.
- The farmers who avail short term crop loans from formal financial institutions at concessional rates of interest are automatically covered under the Scheme.
About the Yojana:
- It is to provide comprehensive insurance coverage against crop loss.
- It is compulsory for farmers availing crop loans for notified crops in notified areas and voluntary for non-loanee farmers
- Premium rate – There is no capping in premium and one premium rate on pan-India basis. It is 1.5%, 2% and 5% for all Rabi, Kharif and annual horticultural/commercial crops, respectively.
- There is no upper limit on the government subsidy i.e the difference between premium and insurance charges paid by the farmer.
- Losses covered – Non-Preventable risk such as Natural Fire, Storm, Hailstorm, Cyclone and Inundation has also been included as a localized calamity. Post Harvest losses also covered.
- A cluster approach will be adopted under which a group of districts with variable risk profile will be allotted to an insurance company
- Use of Remote Sensing Technology, Smart phones & Drones for quick estimation of crop losses to ensure early settlement of claims.
Read more at: PIB
Topic 2 : Environment
IUCN threat categories for plants
Scientists have identified the threat status of 59 Indian plant species based on criteria used by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), in the hope that this “streamlines” conservation efforts for the plants.
- Around 2,700 plant species in India are at risk but very few have been assessed by the IUCN,
- Experts from several institutes prioritized 59 plant species that are at risk of “elimination” if the threat levels they face are not assessed soon. They assigned each species a threat status based on IUCN criteria.
- This included the extent and area of each plant’s geographical range, which revealed that 10 species are critically endangered, 18 endangered, six vulnerable, five near threatened and one species each are data deficient and least concern.
- Habitat loss
- Low seed viability
IUCN Red List:
- The world’s most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species.
- It uses a set of criteria to evaluate the extinction risk of thousands of species and subspecies.
- These criteria are relevant to all species and all regions of the world.
- A series of Regional Red Lists are produced by countries or organizations, which assess the risk of extinction to species within a political management unit.
Goals of the Red List:
- To provide scientifically based information on the status of species and subspecies at a global level
- To draw attention to the magnitude and importance of threatened biodiversity
- To influence national and international policy and decision-making
- To provide information to guide actions to conserve biological diversity
Read more at: The Hindu
Topic 4: The Key Initiatives of Government
Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA)
- It is the new scheme to make rural households digitally literate by 2019.
- This scheme is initiated under Digital India Programme and expected to be one of the largest digital literacy programs in the world.
- It would empower the citizens by providing them access to information, knowledge and skills for operating computers/digital access devices.
Varishtha Pension Bima Yojana
- It is a part of Government‘s commitment for financial inclusion and social security.
- The scheme will be implemented through Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC).
- It is to provide social security to elderly persons aged 60 years and above by giving an assured pension at a guaranteed rate of 8% per annum for 10 years.
- The differential return, i.e., the difference between the return generated by LIC and the assured return of 8% per annum would be borne by Government of India as subsidy on an annual basis.