GK Update 15th & 16th August 2021

1. 75th Indian Independence Day 2021

  • India is celebrating the 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2021 to mark the country’s freedom from nearly two centuries of British colonial rule. India is marking its 75th Independence Day as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is leading the celebrations from Red Fort in New Delhi and is addressing the nation from Red Fort in New Delhi. This is his eighth address as the prime minister.
  • The Indian Independence movement began during World War I and was led by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. On August 15, 1947, India got its freedom, ending an almost 200-year British rule.
  • India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of Red Fort in Delhi on August 15, 1947. It is a tradition that has since been followed by the incumbent Prime Minister, followed by an address to the country.

2. Union Minister Dr. Virendra Kumar flags off ‘Operation Blue Freedom’

  • The Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Dr Virendra Kumar has flagged off a pioneering world record expedition named ‘Operation Blue Freedom’ from Dr. Ambedkar International Centre, New Delhi on the occasion of 75th Independence Day.
  • The Operation Blue Freedom expedition comprise of a team of people with disabilities from across the country to reach Siachen Glacier, to create a new World Record, for the largest team of people with disabilities reaching the world’s highest battlefield.

3. PM Modi sets India’s target to become ‘energy independent’ by 2047

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set the target of becoming an ‘energy independent country by the year 2047, the year when India will celebrate the 100th year of Independence.
  • For this, PM has announced a ‘Mission Circular Economy’ that will replace petroleum with other forms of energy to make India achieve self-reliance in energy production by 2047.
  • Mission Circular Economy would include a mix of electric mobility, gas-based economy, doping ethanol in petrol and making the country a hub for hydrogen production.
  • Modi government has decided to set up the National Hydrogen Mission to make India a new global hub and the exporter of green hydrogen.

4. Ministry of Social Justice launches an e-study platform “TAPAS”

  • Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment has launched an online portal named TAPAS (Training for Augmenting Productivity and Services) to provide filmed lectures/courses and e-study material in the field of social defence.
  • TAPAS is the initiative of the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD), Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. The course can be taken up by anyone and is free of cost.
  • TAPAS seeks to provide access to lectures by subject experts, study material and more, but in a manner that it supplements the physical classroom without compromising on the quality of teaching.
  • The main objective of introducing the course modules, is to impart training and enhance the knowledge and skills for the capacity building of the participants. It can be taken up by anyone who wishes to enhance his or her knowledge on the topics and there is no fee for joining.

5. MoHUA launches brand and logo for urban SHG products ‘SonChiraiya’

  • Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs has launched ‘SonChiraiya’, a brand and logo for marketing of the urban Self-Help Group (SHG) products. To make urban SHG products popular, the ministry has signed MoUs with e-Commerce Portals like Amazon and Flipkart, with an underlying narrative of women empowerment.
  • Due to this partnership, more than 2,000 products of nearly 5,000 SHG members have been onboarded on the e-commerce portals. This initiative is a significant step of increasing visibility and global access for the products made by urban SHG women.
  • Under the initiative, a variety of professionally packaged and hand-crafted ethnic products will reach the doorsteps of customers worldwide.

6. Afghanistan Prez Ashraf Ghani steps down, as Taliban forces takes power

  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani will shortly tender his resignation, as the government has surrendered to the Taliban forces, which entered Kabul and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government.
  • Following this, a new interim government has been announced, which is likely to be headed by Ali Ahamd Jalali, a US-based academic.
  • President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Islamist terrorists entered the city, he wanted to avoid bloodshed, while hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flooded Kabul airport.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Afghanistan Capital: Kabul.
  • Afghanistan Currency: Afghan afghani.
  • Afghanistan Official languages: Pashto, Dari.

7. WHO forms Advisory Group named “SAGO”

  • World Health Organization (WHO) has created a new advisory group named, The International Scientific Advisory Group for Origins of Novel Pathogens, or SAGO.
  • The function of SAGO will be to systematically study the emergence of future emerging pathogens with pandemic potential, and advise the development in this regard to WHO.
  • WHO has made an open call for nominations to SAGO from the member countries, thus providing a transparent foundation for the new scientific advisory group. The group will also work towards finding the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • President of the World Health Organisation: Tedros Adhanom.
  • Headquarters of WHO: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • WHO founded: 7 April 1948.

8. India’s first Drone Forensic Lab comes up in Kerala

  • India’s first Drone Forensic Lab and Research Center has come up in Kerala. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan was inaugurating the State police department’s ‘Drone Forensic Laboratory’ at the Kerala State Police CyberDome.
  • Cyberdome is a technological research and development centre of the Kerala Police Department.
  • The centre will help in keeping a watch over unauthorized drones and also for the production of drones for the use of the police force. This lab-cum-research centre will look into both utility and threat aspects of a drone.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Kerala CM: Pinarayi Vijayan;
  • Kerala Governor: Arif Mohammad Khan.

9. Kaziranga becomes India’s first national park with satellite phones

  • Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in Assam has become the first national park in India to be equipped with satellite phones. Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Barua handed over 10 satellite phones to the forest personnel of the Kaziranga National Park.
  • The satellite phones will boost the anti-poaching measures in the park. BSNL will be the service provider of these phones.
  • The park which has been spread over a massive 430 sq km area and divided into six ranges in upper Assam, has certain areas with poor to no connectivity.
  • The satellite phones, given to the officials of Kaziranga Parks, which draw signals from the satellites instead of mobile towers will ensure connectivity in most of the remote locations. The move will also boost anti-poaching measures undertaken by the park.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi;
  • Assam Chief Minister: Himanta Biswa Sarma;
  • Assam Capital: Dispur.

10. Adi Godrej to step down from Godrej India board

  • Adi Godrej will step down as the chairman of Godrej Industries on October 01, 2021. He will be replaced by Nadir Godrej, his younger brother. Godrej Industries (GIL) is the holding company of the Godrej group.
  • Presently Nadir Godrej is the Managing Director of Godrej Industries. However, Adi Godrej will continue to serve as the Chairman of Godrej Group.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Godrej Industries Founded: 1963;
  • Godrej Industries Headquarters: Maharashtra.

11. HCL Foundation launches ‘My e-Haat’ portal to empower artisans

  • HCL Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of HCL Technologies has launched an online portal, ‘My e-Haat’, to empower artisans and strengthen the value chain of the handicraft sector in the country.
  • The platform will enable artisans and primary producers to conduct their business, by listing and showcasing their products directly to customers, thereby minimising the informal intermediaries and the long supply chains. Currently, more than 30 partners from eight states with over 600 products are listed on the portal.
  • The My E-Haat initiative will be a one-of-a-kind model (A2C) where artisans will directly connect with the customer for years to come. This portal would help in bringing the talent of skilled craftsmen from across the country to the world. It will also increase their recognition, appreciation and remuneration.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • HCL Technologies CEO: C Vijayakumar.
  • HCL Technologies Founded: 11 August 1976.
  • HCL Technologies Headquarters: Noida.

12. PM Modi declares August 14 as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that, August 14 will be observed as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ or ‘Vibhajan Vibhishika Smriti Diwas’, in memory of people’s struggles and sacrifices during the partition of the country in 1947.
  • The day aims to inspire us to eliminate the poison of discrimination, animosity and ill-will, as well as strengthen unity, social harmony and human sensibilities. Pakistan celebrates August 14 as its Independence Day.

13. German Football Legend Gerd Müller passes away

  • Former West Germany forward and the Bayern Munich football legend, Gerd Muller has passed away.
  • At the international level, he represented West Germany, scoring 68 goals in 62 appearances, and at the club level, he played for Bayern Munich, with which he scored a record 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games.
  • He was nicknamed “Bomber der Nation” (“the nation’s Bomber”) or simply “Der Bomber”, for his scoring prowess.

14. Former India defender Chinmoy Chatterjee passes away

  • Eminent India-international footballer Chinmoy Chatterjee, who played for the three Maidan heavyweights in his prime in the 1970-80s, has passed away.
  • He was a member of the Indian team at the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games where they finished fourth in the quarterfinal league.
  • Chatterjee played for Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting, during his domestic career. He also represented Bengal in the Santosh Trophy four times, and became champions in three of them.

Miscellaneous News

15. 4 more sites in India added to Ramsar list

  • Four more wetlands from India have been added to the list of Ramsar sites, giving it the status of ‘Wetland of International Importance’.
  • With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India have reached 46, covering a surface area of 1,083,322 hectares.
  • The sites have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention. Two of these sites are in Haryana, while the other two are in Gujarat.

These sites are:

  • Thol, Gujarat
  • Wadhwana, Gujarat
  • Sultanpur, Haryana
  • Bhindawas, Haryana

16. India’s first Cattle Genomic Chip “IndiGau” released by Jitendra Singh

  • Dr Jitendra Singh has released India’s first cattle genomic chip ‘IndiGau’ for the conservation of pure varieties of indigenous cattle breeds like, Gir, Kankrej, Sahiwal, Ongole etc.
  • The chip has been developed by scientists of National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NAIB), Hyderabad, an autonomous institution under the aegis of the Department of Biotechnology.
  • The chip will help in achieving the goal of conservation of our own breeds with better characters and help towards doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

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