GK Update 12th March 2021

1. Union Cabinet approves Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Nidhi (PMSSN), as a single non-lapsable reserve fund.
  • This has been approved for the share of Health from proceeds of Health and Education Cess which is levied under the Section 136-b of Finance Act, 2007.
  • This is a non-lapsable reserve fund for the Health in the Public Account. This fund will comprise of the proceeds from the share of health in the Health and Education Cess.
  • This revenue in the fund will be used for the flagship schemes of the Health Ministry including the National Health Mission, Ayushman Bharat – Health and Wellness Centres, Ayushman Bharat – Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana and for the emergency & disaster preparedness and responses in cases of health emergencies.

2. Cabinet Approves Amendments in Insurance Act 1938

  • The Union Cabinet has given its nod for amendments in the Insurance Act, paving way for 74 per cent foreign direct investment in the sector. Currently, the permissible FDI limit in life and general insurance stands at 49 per cent with ownership and management control with Indian.
  • According to sources, the Cabinet in its meeting has approval for amendments in the Insurance Act, 1938. It was in 2015 when the government hiked the FDI cap in the insurance sector from 26 per cent to 49 per cent. 
  • The majority of directors on the board and key management persons would be resident Indians, with at least 50 per cent of directors being independent directors, and a specified percentage of profits being retained as a general reserve.
  • An increase in FDI will help improve life insurance penetration in the country. Life insurance premium as a percentage of GDP is 3.6 per cent in the country, way below the global average of 7.13 per cent, and in the case of general insurance, it is even worse at 0.94 per cent of GDP, as against the world average of 2.88 per cent.
  • The government has earlier allowed 100 per cent foreign direct investment in insurance intermediaries.

3. World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer Fugaku is ready for use

  • The Japanese scientific research institute called RIKEN and Fujitsu started developing the “Fugaku” six years ago. It is the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Fugaku has been named after an alternative name for Mount Fuji.
  • Now, this supercomputer is fully ready and developed in Japan and is now available for research use. This supercomputer has been developed with the aim of making the device core of the computing infrastructure of Japan.
  • The computer comprises 100 times the application performance of the K supercomputer.
  • It has been developed to implement high-resolution, large-scale and long-duration simulation.
  • It started development in the year 2014 as the successor to the K computer. It is built with the Fujitsu A64FX microprocessor.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Japan Capital: Tokyo.
  • Japan Currency: Japanese yen.
  • Japan Prime minister: Yoshihide Suga.

4. GoI appoints Dr. GP Samanta as new Chief Statistician of India

  • The Central Government has appointed Dr G P Samanta as the new Chief Statistician of India (CSI) for a period of two years.
  • He is India’s fourth CSI. He will replace Kshatrapati Shivaji who was holding an additional charge of the post since September 2020.
  • Currently, Dr Samanta was serving as an adviser in the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) Department Of Statistics and Information Management. Dr Samanta will also serve as the Secretary of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI).

5. Union Minister Anurag Thakur promoted as Captain in Territorial Army

  • Union Minister Anurag Thakur has become the first serving MP to be appointed as Captain in the Territorial Army. Thakur has been promoted to the rank of Captain at 124 Infantry Battalion Territorial Army (Sikh).
  • The four-time BJP MP from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur was commissioned into the Territorial Army as a Lieutenant by then Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Dalbir S Suhag TA in July 2016.

6. IBM signs MoU with U’khand Government to introduce STEM for Girls

  • IBM has announced a collaboration with Samagra Sikhsha Uttarakhand, the Government of Uttarakhand’s education mission, to introduce the ‘IBM STEM for Girls’ program in 130 secondary and higher secondary schools across five districts in the state.
  • The collaboration is part of a three-year program between IBM and Uttarakhand State Government with the American India Foundation as the implementation partner to increase the participation of girls and women in STEM careers.
  • The program will advance the skills and careers of close to 25,600 students in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields.
  • The ‘IBM STEM for Girls’ program features a comprehensive approach that builds technical capabilities as well as life and self-actualization skills.
  • ‘STEM for Girls’ is an IBM Corporate Social Responsibility initiative primarily aimed at improving education-to-work and career pathways for girls who are studying in Government schools.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IBM CEO: Arvind Krishna.
  • IBM Headquarters: Armonk, New York, United States.
  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya.
  • Uttarakhand CM: Tirath Singh Rawat.

7. World Kidney Day observed globally on 11th March 2021

  • World Kidney Day is observed globally on the second Thursday of March every year. This year World Kidney Day is observed on 11th March 2021. The theme of the 2021 World Kidney day is “Living Well with Kidney Disease”.
  • World Kidney Day is a global campaign aimed at raising awareness of the importance of our kidneys. World Kidney Day aims to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.

8. Ivory Coast Prime Minister Hamed Bakayoko passes away

  • The incumbent Prime Minister of Ivory Coast, Hamed Bakayoko, has passed away due to cancer. He was named prime minister in July 2020 following the sudden death of his predecessor, Amadou Gon Coulibaly.
  • President of Ivory Coast, Alassane Ouattara, has named Patrick Achi as interim prime minister in place of Bakayoko. Patrick Achi was serving as the chief of defence staff of the country.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Ivory Coast President: Alassane Ouattara.
  • Ivory Coast Capital: Yamoussoukro.
  • Ivory Coast Currency: West African CFA franc.

9. 2021 Dandi March to mark 75 years of Independence

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has flagged off the 91st anniversary of Dandi March on March 12 in Ahmedabad to celebrate the 75th anniversary of India’s Independence.
  • The Salt March, which took place from March to April 1930, was an act of civil disobedience led by Mahatma Gandhi to protest the British rule in the country.
  • The event is kicked off from Mahatma Gandhi’s Sabarmati Ashram and this event is also the part of the State government’s programme to mark “Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav.”
  • The Dandi March or Salt March as part of Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent protest against the British monopoly on the production of salt. Led by Gandhi, 78 people started the 24-day march on March 12 and reached Dandi on April 5, 1930. After making salt at Dandi, Gandhi headed to Dharasana Salt Works, 40 km south, but was arrested on May 5.

10. J&K celebrates festival of Shivratri ‘Herath’

  • In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, the festival of Shivratri ‘Herath’ is being celebrated across Jammu and Kashmir. Festival Mahashivratri locally known as Herath in Kashmir is being celebrated across J&K by Kashmiri Pandit Community with religious fervour by offering “Watak Nath Pooja”.
  • The festival assumes colossal importance among the Kashmiri Pandit Community who celebrate it to mark the wedding of “Lord Shiva with Goddess Parvati”. This festival symbolizes the values of devotion and harmony, which are the hallmarks of the glorious tradition & cultural ethos of Jammu and Kashmir.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Lieutenant Governor of J&K: Manoj Sinha.

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