GK Update 11th August 2021

1. PM Modi announces palm oil initiative

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 11,000 crore National Edible Oil Mission-Oil Palm (NMEO-OP) to make India self-sufficient in cooking oils, including palm oil.
  • The government will ensure that farmers get all the facilities, from quality seeds to technology under the mission. While India has become self-sufficient in rice, wheat and sugar, it was not enough as the country is hugely dependent on imported edible oils.
  • The Centre has already been running a National Mission on Oilseeds and Oil Palm to boost oilseeds and palm oil production in India for the last few years with an aim to lower imports.

2. Mohammad Mokhber named as first Vice President of Iran

  • Iran’s new President Ebrahim Raisi named the chairman of a powerful state-owned foundation sanctioned by the United States as his first vice-president.
  • Mohammad Mokhber has for years headed the foundation known as Setad or the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s order.
  • Mokhber was appointed to the position by the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in 2007. The Setad was originally founded in the late 1980s to manage confiscated properties following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Iran Capital: Tehran;
  • Iran Currency: Iranian toman.

3. Maharashtra government announces Rajiv Gandhi award for IT sector

  • Maharashtra government has announced a new award named after the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi for outstanding performance in the Information and Technology (IT) sector.
  • The Rajiv Gandhi Award in Maharashtra will be given to institutes doing remarkable work in the field of information technology.
  • The decision to start an award in the state after former PM Rajiv Gandhi was taken in a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Minister of State for Information Technology and Home Satej Patil.
  • Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced that the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award will be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari;
  • Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai;
  • Maharashtra CM: Uddhav Thackeray.

4. RBI appoints Neeraj Chopra for banking fraud awareness campaign

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has started a public awareness campaign to warn people against digital banking frauds. For the new campaign, RBI has roped in Olympic Gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.
  • The central bank has asked people to be a little cautious as doing so can protect them from a lot of troubles. A little caution takes care of a lot of trouble. The campaign sees Chopra urging users to not divulge details like OTP, CVV number and ATM PIN in front of anyone.
  • The users should keep changing their online banking passwords and PIN numbers frequently and immediately block ATM card, credit card, debit card and/or prepaid card if one loses it. Block your card if stolen, lost or compromised.

5. RBI hikes collateral-free loans to Self Help Groups

  • The Reserve Bank of India has raised the limit for collateral-free loans to Self-Help Groups (SHG) under the DAY-NRLM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission) from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 20 Lakhs.
  • The DAY-NRLM is the flagship program of Govt. of India for promoting poverty reduction through building strong institutions for the poor, particularly women, and enabling these institutions to access a range of financial services and livelihoods.
  • The Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Government of India launched the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) by restructuring Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY). NRLM was renamed as DAY-NRLM (Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission) w.e.f. March 29, 2016.

6. RBI to penalise banks if ATMs run out of cash from October 1

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced the launch of the ‘Scheme of Penalty for non-replenishment of ATMs’, as per which it will impose monetary penalties on ATMs/WLAs that run out of cash.
  • The Scheme shall be effective from October 01, 2021. Therefore, banks/ WLAOs should put in place a robust system for monitoring the availability of cash in ATMs and ensure timely replenishment to avoid cash-outs.
  • Cash-out at any ATM of more than ten hours in a month will attract a flat penalty of ₹ 10,000/- per ATM. In the case of White Label ATMs (WLAs), the penalty would be charged to the bank which is meeting the cash requirement of that particular WLA. The bank, may, at its discretion, recover the penalty from the WLA operator.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

7. SIDBI unveils “Digital Prayaas” lending platform

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has unveiled ‘Digital Prayaas’ an app-based digital-lending platform to facilitate loans to entrepreneurs from low-income groups.
  • The objective is to sanction a loan by the end of the day. The platform has engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
  • To cater to those from the urban area, SIDBI has tied up with BigBasket to provide loans to its delivery partners for the purchase of e-bikes and e-vans. the SIDBI-BigBasket initiative would create digital footprints that would further facilitate loans to the borrower’s family members for their own micro-enterprises.
  • SIDBI should enter into similar arrangements with more partner institutions to increase its outreach.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CMD of SIDBI: S Ramann;
  • SIDBI founded: 2nd April 1990;
  • SIDBI Headquarters: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

8. Finance Ministry: over 5.82 crore Jan Dhan accounts inoperative

  • The Finance Ministry has informed Rajya Sabha that over 5.82 crore Jan Dhan (PMJDY) accounts are inoperative. This is 14 per cent of the total number of accounts. It means at least one out of 10 Jan Dhan accounts is inoperative.
  • According to guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, “savings, as well as current account, should be treated as inoperative/dormant if there are no transactions in the account for over a period of two years.
  • According to the website of PMJDY, the total number of Jan Dhan accounts is 42.83 crore with a balance of nearly ₹1.43 lakh crore.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Finance Minister of India: Nirmala Sitharaman.

9. UNICEF India, Facebook collaborate to make a safer online world for children

  • UNICEF India and Facebook have launched a one-year joint initiative on ending violence against children with a special focus on online safety. The partnership seeks to create a safe environment for children online and offline.
  • It aims to improve children’s resilience and capacity to access the digital world safely, increase awareness on violence against children and its impact on children, families, and communities, and increase the skills of communities and frontline workers to better prevent and respond to violence.
  • The partnership includes a nationwide social media campaign and capacity building for 100,000 school children on online safety, digital literacy, and psychosocial support. Well-known actor and UNICEF India’s celebrity advocate on ending violence against children, Ayushmann Khurrana, gave his keynote message during the virtual event.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • UNICEF Headquarters: New York, United States of America;
  • UNICEF Executive Director: Henrietta H. Fore;
  • UNICEF Founded: 11 December 1946.
  • Facebook Founded: February 2004;
  • Facebook CEO: Mark Zuckerberg;
  • Facebook Headquarters: California, United States.

10. Nagaland wins 7 National Awards under Van Dhan Yojana Scheme

  • Nagaland has been conferred with seven national awards on the first Van Dhan Annual Awards 2020-21, during the celebration of the 34th foundation day of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India Limited (TRIFED).
  • The awards were presented by Union tribal minister, Arjun Munda through a Zoom webinar.
  • Meanwhile, the state has received seven national awards, such, as 1st positions in – ‘Best Survey State’, ‘Best Training’, and ‘Most number of VDVKC’s established’.
  • It has attained 3rd position for ‘Best Sales Generated’, and ‘Best Innovation & Creativity.
  • The state has also received Awards for Innovative & Creative Product Ideas for commodities like – Gooseberry Wine (Supplier: Toka Multipurpose Society Ltd.); Mushroom Cultivation (Supplier: NBHM).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Nagaland: Neiphiu Rio; Governor of Nagaland: R. N. Ravi.

11. South Africa grants patent to an artificial intelligence system

  • South Africa grants a patent relating to a “food container based on fractal geometry” to an artificial intelligence (AI) system called DABUS. DABUS (which stands for “device for the autonomous bootstrapping of unified sentience”) is an AI system created by Stephen Thaler, a pioneer in the field of AI and programming.
  • The system simulates human brainstorming and creates new inventions.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • South Africa Capitals: Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein;
  • South Africa Currency: South African rand;
  • South Africa President: Cyril Ramaphosa.

12. IT Ministry to host the first Internet Governance Forum in the country

  • India will host the first Internet Governance Forum in the country, starting from October 20, this year. The theme of this year’s meeting is Inclusive Internet for Digital India.
  • With this announcement, the Indian chapter of the United Nations-based forum namely the Internet Governance Forum has begun. It’s an Internet Governance policy discussion platform to bring representatives together from various groups, considering all at par to discuss public policy issues related to the Internet.
  • National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology(MeitY) and the Chairman of the Coordination Committee, India Internet Governance Forum 2021 (IGF), announced the launch of India Internet Governance Forum (IIGF) -2021.

13. India ranks 122nd on “New Global Youth Development Index”

  • India is ranked 122nd on a new Global Youth Development Index 2020 measuring the condition of young people across 181 countries, released by the Commonwealth Secretariat in London.
  • Singapore ranked topmost followed by Slovenia, Norway, Malta and Denmark. Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Niger came last respectively.
  • The triennial rankings of youth development found India among the top five risers on the index between 2010 and 2018, alongside Afghanistan and Russia, advancing their score on average by 15.74 per cent across areas such as education and employment.

14. Malayalam actor Saranya Sasi passes away

  • Popular Malayalam film and television actor, Saranya Sasi passed away due to Covid-19 complications. She had also battled cancer for nearly a decade, earning praise for showing remarkable grit and determination in battling the disease. She had been diagnosed with a form of brain tumour in 2012.
  • The actress’ body of work includes films like Chhota Mumbai, Thalappavu, Bombay March 12 and TV soaps like Kootukari, Avakashikal, Harichandanam, Malakhamar and Rahasyam.

15. Renowned Ayurvedacharya Balaji Tambe passes away

  • A well-known spiritual leader who was also an Ayurveda doctor and proponent of Yoga, Dr Balaji Tambe, passed away.
  • The founder of ‘Atmasantulana Village’, a holistic healing centre near Lonavala, Dr Tambe had written several books on spirituality, Yoga and Ayurveda. He dedicated his entire life to promote and popularize Ayurveda and Yoga.

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