GK Update 11th March 2021

1. Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou wins Africa’s top prize

  • Mahamadou Issoufou, the incumbent President of Niger has won the “2020 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership”, the world’s largest leadership prize, worth $5 million.
  • He is the sixth winner of the Ibrahim Prize since it was introduced in 2006, by Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim’s foundation to promote good governance in the world’s poorest continent.
  • The 69-year-old Issoufou is stepping down as president of Niger in April 2021, after serving two terms in office. He first took office in 2011 and was then re-elected in 2016.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Niger Capital: Niamey.
  • Niger Currency: West African CFA franc.

2. China and Russia Inks MoU to jointly build Lunar Space Station

  • The space agencies of China and Russia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of their national governments, to jointly construct a lunar space station that will be open to all countries.
  • The MoU was officially signed between the Chinese space agency, China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the Russian space agency Roscosmos, on March 09, 2021.
  • Dubbed as the “International Scientific Lunar Station (ISLS)”, the centre will be a “complex of experimental and research facilities” created on the moon’s surface and/or in orbit of the moon.
  • The goal of setting up ISLS is strengthening research cooperation and promoting the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes in the interests of all mankind.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • China Capital: Beijing.
  • China Currency: Renminbi.
  • China President: Xi Jinping.
  • Russia President: Vladimir Putin.
  • Russia Capital: Moscow.
  • Russia Currency: Russian Ruble.

3. MeitY released the list of “Digital Payment Scorecard”

  • The Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) has released the list of “Digital Payment Scorecard”. In the list, the State Bank of India (SBI) has topped for the third consecutive months.
  • The digital payment scorecard tracks the performance of the Commercial Banks on several digital parameters. SBI maintained the top remitter bank by recording the highest UPI transaction volume which accounted for nearly Rupees 640 million.
  • SBI has also emerged as the largest issuer of debit cards. It issued over 290 million debit cards with a 30% market share with respect to card spends and 29% share with respect to transaction volume. Bank has also made steady progress with respect to increasing payment acceptance infrastructure.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955.

4. RBI removes PCA restrictions on IDBI Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India has removed IDBI Bank from its enhanced regulatory supervision or Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework.
  • It was noted that as per published results for the quarter ending December 31, 2020, the bank is not in breach of the PCA parameters on regulatory capital, net NPA and leverage ratio.
  • The bank has also provided a written commitment that it would comply with the norms of minimum regulatory capital, net NPA and leverage ratio on an ongoing basis and has apprised the RBI of the structural and systemic improvements that it has put in place which would help the bank in continuing to meet these commitments.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IDBI Bank CEO: Rakesh Sharma.
  • IDBI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

5. Axis Bank launches “Wear N Pay” contactless payment wearable devices

  • Axis Bank has launched a range of wearable contactless payment devices under the brand Wear ‘N’ Pay. These devices come in different forms of wearables like a band, key chain and watch loop and are available starting at Rs 750.
  • The wearables are directly linked to the bank account of an Axis Bank customer and function like a regular debit card. It allows purchases at any merchant store which accepts contactless transactions.
  • Axis Bank’s new ‘Wear N Pay’ devices are available in a variety of accessories like the band, key chain, and watch loop.
  • Users do not need to carry their smartphones and wallet for payments anymore. These wearable devices can be worn easily to carry out contactless transactions on the go.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Commenced operations: 1994.
  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Axis Bank Tagline: Dil Se Open.
  • Axis Bank MD and CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry.

6. India-Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II commences in Ranikhet

  • The India – Uzbekistan joint military exercise DUSTLIK II has commenced in Foreign Training Node Chaubatia, Ranikhet in Uttarakhand. This is the Second Edition of the annual bilateral joint exercise of both armies.
  • It will continue till the 19th of this month. The first edition of the exercise was held in Uzbekistan in November 2019. 45 Soldiers each from Uzbekistan and the Indian Army are participating in the exercise.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Uzbekistan: Tashkent; Currency: Uzbekistani Som.
  • President of Uzbekistan: Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

7. ISRO Develops Joint Earth Observation Satellite Mission Radar With NASA

  • ISRO has completed the development of a Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) capable of producing extremely high-resolution images for a joint earth observation satellite mission with the US space agency NASA. NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) is a joint collaboration for a dual-frequency L and S-band SAR for earth observation.
  • NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different radar frequencies (L-band and S-band) to measure changes in our planet’s surface less than a centimetre across.
  • The mission is targeted to launch in early 2022 from ISRO’s Sriharikota spaceport in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 km north of Chennai.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.
  • Acting Administrator of NASA: Steve Jurczyk.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.
  • NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.

8. Girish Murmu re-appointed Chairman of UN Panel of External Auditors

  • Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), Girish Chandra Murmu has been re-appointed as the Chairman of the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations for the year 2021. Prior to this, Mr Murmu was elected as Chairman of the Panel for 2020 as well.
  • At present, the panel consists of 13 countries which are India, Germany, Chile, China, United Kingdom, France, Philippines, Switzerland, Italy, Ghana, Indonesia, Canada and Russia.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CAG Founded: 1858.
  • CAG Headquarters location: New Delhi.

9. Amitabh Bachchan to be honoured with 2021 FIAF Award

  • Megastar Amitabh Bachchan will be honoured with an award by the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).
  • The veteran actor will be the first Indian cinema personality to be bestowed with the FIAF Award for his dedication and contribution to the preservation of the world’s film heritage.
  • Amitabh Bachchan was nominated for the award by the FIAF affiliate Film Heritage Foundation which is a not-for-profit organisation founded by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur a filmmaker & archivist. This foundation is dedicated to preserve, restore, document, exhibit and study the film heritage of India.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • FIAF Founded: 17 June 1938; Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

10. Central Industrial Security Forces Celebrates its 52nd Raising Day

  • The Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) – Raising Day (CRD) is observed on March 10 in India every year. In 2021, the nation is celebrating the 52nd Raising Day of CISF. The basic objective of the CISF is Better “protection and security” of industrial undertakings in both government and private sectors in the country.
  • CISF was set up under an Act of the Parliament of India on 10 March 1969, for the better protection and security of industrial undertakings in the country.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Director-General of Central Industrial Security Force: Subodh Kumar Jaiswal.

11. Veteran Marathi Actor Shrikant Moghe Passes Away

  • The Marathi stage and film actor, Shrikant Moghe has passed away. He was popular for his work in both Marathi and Hindi languages. He was born at Kirloskarwadi in the Sangli district of Maharashtra.
  • He is known for his performances in Marathi films like Madhuchandra, Sinhaasan, Gammat Jammat and Umbaratha, and plays such as Varyavarchu Varaat and Tuze Aahe Tujapashi.

12. President Ram Nath Kovind presents Baton of Honor to Kiran Bedi

  • President Ram Nath Kovind has presented a baton of honour and a letter of appreciation to former Puducherry lieutenant governor Kiran Bedi at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • The former Puducherry lieutenant governor received a Baton of Honor decorated with the emblem of the Indian Republic and the appreciation letter recognizing her service in the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  • Kiran Bedi was removed as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on February 16 by the President of India and Tamilisai Soundararajan took additional charge as the Lieutenant Governor on February 18.

13. Deepika Padukone joins WEF list of Young Global Leader

  • Actor Deepika Padukone has joined the list of the Young Global Leaders (YGLs) compiled by the World Economic Forum. The list also includes several Indian citizens and India-origin persons.
  • They join a group of Nobel Prize recipients, Pulitzer winners, heads of state and chief executive officers committed to improving the state of the world.
  • The Forum of Young Global Leaders was founded in 2005 by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, to create a world where leaders take responsibility for a sustainable future while meeting increasingly complex and interrelated challenges.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Economic Forum Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland.
  • World Economic Forum Founder: Klaus Schwab.
  • World Economic Forum Founded: January 1971.

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