19th September 2018, Current Affairs and News Analysis for UPSC Civil Service Examination, SSC CGL and State Civil Service Examinations.

19 September 2018 - Current Affairs for UPSC IAS and State Civil Service Exam

National

Delhi, Seoul sign MoU to tackle air pollution, improve infrastructure

The Delhi government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to work closely in the fields of environment, tourism, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.

The Mou on the 'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement' was signed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Seoul mayor Park Won-Soon in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. The Delhi CM particularly sought the city’s expertise in dealing with transport and air pollution.

'Friendship and Cooperation Agreement'

The agreement has listed 11 areas for exchange of expertise and cooperation including environment, culture, tourism, smart city, transportation, education, land use planning and management, science and technology, MICE industry, waste water and solid waste management, infrastructure and public health.

Key Challenges

Air pollution: Air pollution is a major issue faced by Delhi almost throughout the year and especially during winter. Since the past two years, Delhi has witnessed very severe smog during winter.

Landfill Management: Delhi with four towering landfills is still struggling when it comes to dealing with it.

Water Crisis: The only river passing through Delhi- Yamuna- is facing serious water pollution problems. Hence, Delhi faces an acute water crisis every summer as it is dependent on neighbouring states for the supply.

Public Transport: Though Delhi’s public transport system has seen vast improvement with the advent of the new metro lines and low floor buses, the state government is still trying to improve the experience, as the use of public transport will be key to fighting pollution and reducing congestion.

International Relation

India-Morocco Tourism Bilateral Meeting Held in New Delhi

Agreement of Cooperation signed between ITDC and Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development

A bilateral meeting on Tourism Cooperation between India and Morocco led by the Minister of Tourism, Air Transport, Handicraft and Social Economy, Kingdom of Morocco, Mr. Mohamed Sajid and the Minister of State for Tourism (IC), Government of India, Shri. K. J. Alphons, held in New Delhi.

During this meeting both the Ministers agreed to enhance the tourism cooperation between India & Morocco and to work towards increasing tourist arrivals between both countries

This meeting was followed by signing of an agreement of cooperation between the India Tourism Development Corporation and La Societe Marocaine D’Ingenierie Touristique, also known as Moroccan Agency for Tourism development (SMIT).

Economy/Business

Centre proposes to merge Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank

The central government has announced the merger of Bank of Baroda, Vijaya Bank and Dena Bank, making it as the third largest domestic bank entity. Merger to provide total business of more than ₹14.82 trillion.

After getting in-principle approval, the banks will take steps in accordance with the law and SEBI requirements. Final scheme will be notified by the Central government in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India. The merger will be based purely on commercial considerations

Why was the decision taken?

  • India aspiring to be the fastest growing economy has to be supported by stronger and globally competitive banks with increased choices to the stakeholders.
  • Dena Bank has been placed under the prompt corrective action framework (It is in a bad shape with higher NPAs, higher cost to income and falling profitability).
  • So the idea is to merge the weaker bank with stronger bank (BoB and Vijaya Bank) so that it would be a strong competitive bank with economies of scale.
  • The entity would also be positioned for substantial rise in customer base, market reach and operational efficiency.
  • The amalgamation is aimed at catering the massive credit requirements of the growing economy, and cutting costs as well as dependence on the government for capital infusion in the longer term.

Defence; Security

Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurates smart fence project at international border

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday inaugurated two "smart" border fencing pilot projects under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) programme at Jammu's International Border (IB).

  • These two pilot projects under CIBMS will go a long way in strengthening border security infrastructure
  • The project is touted to be the government's important measure in border security.
  • Each of two newly inaugurated border fencing projects covers a 5.5 km stretch along the international border. The system is said to be a first-of-its-kind high-tech surveillance system that will create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water, air and underground. This will help BSF detect and foil infiltration bids.

    Maharashtra to set up cyber varsity

    It will train 3,000 professionals to fight online space attacks, internet crimes

    The Maharashtra Government has taken the first step towards setting up a varsity dedicated to mitigating cyber threats.

    Need?

    A 2015 skill gap analysis for Maharashtra by the consultancy firm KPMG had pointed to a gap of 1.5 crore professionals in 10 sectors. “Of these, there was a greater shortfall in the IoT and Cyber Forensics sectors. The new varsity will bridge this skill gap”.

  • The current supply of cyber professionals in the country is about a lakh while the demand hovers around 30 lakh.
  • A cyber-attack is taking place every 10 minutes as opposed to 12 minutes previously. The varsity will remedy this.
  • Sci. & Tech.

    India calling: 5G networks may be in place by 2020

    Next generation mobile Internet connectivity will offer faster, more reliable networks that will form the backbone for era of IoT.

    Having missed the bus for early adoption of latest technologies in the past, India — one of the fastest growing telecom markets in the world — is pushing for a timely roll-out of 5G technology in the country.

  • The Indian government is aiming to commercially introduce 5G services in the country by the end of 2020, almost in line with rest of the world.
  • Once commercialised, 5G is expected to disrupt not only telecom but other industries as well as. 5G is expected to see use beyond delivery of services just on “personal phone platforms.” It will also connect new devices including machines, sensors, actuators, vehicles, robots and drones, to support a much larger range of applications and services.

    What is 5G Network?

    • 5G is the next generation of mobile Internet connectivity that would offer much faster and more reliable networks, which would form the backbone for the emerging era of Internet of Things (IoT).
    • Previous generations of mobile networks addressed consumers predominantly for voice and SMS in 2G, web browsing in 3G and higher speed data and video streaming in 4G. The transition from 4G to 5G will serve both consumers and multiple industries.
    • Globally, over 150 pre-commercial 5G trials are under way around the world, including South Korea, China and the U.S., 5G trials are yet to begin in India.

    Indian economy; Employment

    Machines will rule workplace by 2025: “The Future of Jobs 2018” report by WEF

    In less than seven years, by 2025, machines are projected to overtake humans in workplace task hours in 12 key industry sectors, according to a ‘Future of Jobs’ report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

    Machines will rule workplace by 2025
    • Globally, almost half of all companies expect automation to cut their full-time workforce in the next four years; however, new jobs will still lead to a net gain in employment opportunities if sufficient reskilling is done.
    • In India, 54% of employees in these sectors will need reskilling by 2022, the WEF said in the report.
    • The trend could displace 75 million jobs globally by 2022.
    • The report surveyed executives from different industries around the world, aiming to get a look at how new technologies, like artificial intelligence, will affect the global labor force.

    What is in the report?

    • In 2018, humans performed an average of 71% of total task hours across the 12 industries spanning manufacturing, services and high tech.
    • By 2025, that will drop to just 48%, according to the WEF. Machines will perform the remaining 52%.
    • Globally, almost half of all companies expect automation to cut their full-time workforce in the next four years;
    • However, new jobs will still lead to a net gain in employment opportunities if sufficient reskilling is done.
    • In India, 54% of employees in these sectors will need reskilling by 2022
    • Of this 35% would need at least six months’ worth of reskilling,
    • 10% would need more than a year of training in order to meet the demands of the new economy

    Significance

    • Roles that rely on human skills, like sales, marketing and scientific-based positions, will likely see an increase in demand.
    • The report calls on businesses and government leaders around the world to create a support system for their employees and ensure a smooth transition as the workforce evolves.