GK Update 17th August 2021

1. Narendra Singh Tomar inaugurates world’s second-largest refurbished gene bank

  • The Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar has inaugurated the world’s second-largest National Gene Bank at the National Bureau of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR), Pusa, New Delhi.
  • The refurbished state-of-the-art National Gene Bank provides the facility for germplasm, to secure the heritage of seeds for years in minus 20 degrees Celsius temperature.
  • The new facility will help in the conservation of the diversity of indigenous crops in the country, as well as benefit the farmers by making them self-reliant and providing a source of increasing their income. A National Gene Bank is a facility to preserve the seeds of Plant Genetic Resources (PGR) for future generations.

2. Venkaiah Naidu laid foundation stone of Innovation and Development Centre

  • The Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone of the Innovation and Development Centre of Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru.
  • The JNCASR Innovation and Development Centre will be developed into a facility where laboratory inventions will be taken forward for scale-up and technology transfer, and in turn help in meeting the missions of “Make in India” and “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.
  • Scientists will be provided with state-of-the-art processing and prototyping tools to enable the translation of inventions. JNCASR is established by the Department of Science and Technology at Jakkur, Bangalore.

3. Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel announces 4 new districts

  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has announced the creation of four new districts and 18 new tehsils in the state.
  • The four new districts are: Mohla Manpur, Sarangarh-Bilaigarh, Shakti, Manendragarh.
  • With the creation of four new districts, the total number of administrative districts in the state have reached 32.

4. Hockey star Vandana Katariya made U’khand Women & Child Development ambassador

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has announced that Indian women’s hockey team player Vandana Katariya will be the brand ambassador of the state’s Department of Women Empowerment and Child Development.
  • The announcement came at a program organized to felicitate the recipients of awardees of the Tilu Rauteli Award and the Anganwadi Workers Award.
  • Earlier, Dhami had announced a cash reward of Rs 25 lakh to Indian women’s hockey team player Vandana Katariya for her brilliant performance at the Tokyo Olympics.

5. RBI cancels license of Raigad based Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India has cancelled the license of Raigad based Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank Limited in Maharashtra.
  • As informed by the Reserve Bank of India, the license of Karnala Nagari Sahakari Bank was cancelled due to insufficient capital and earning prospects and its continuance would have adversely affected depositors.

6. RBI imposes ₹1 crore penalty on Cooperatieve Rabobank U.A

  • RBI imposed a monetary penalty of ₹1 crore on Cooperatieve Rabobank UA. Its Mumbai Branch is a part of the Netherlands-based Rabobank Group. The penalty has been imposed for contravention of certain provisions of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and directions related to ‘transfer to reserve funds’.
  • The RBI said it conducted a statutory Inspection for Supervisory Evaluation (ISE) of the bank with reference to the bank’s financial position as on 31 March last year.
  • Examination of the risk assessment report pertaining to the same revealed contravention of the provisions of the Banking Regulation Act and the directions issued by the central bank.

7. HDFC unveils ‘Green & Sustainable’ fixed deposit

  • HDFC Bank has announced the introduction of ‘Green & Sustainable Deposits’ to safeguard the environment from climate change. These fixed deposits will be directed towards financing green and sustainable housing credit solutions and services.
  • With a deposit period of 36-120 months, both residents and NRIs can invest in this instrument that will offer interest rates up to 6.55% p.a.
  • Senior citizens will be eligible for an additional 0.25% p.a. on deposits up to ₹2 crores.
  • Additional ROI of 0.10% p.a. will be applicable on these deposits up to ₹50 lakh per calendar month per customer if placed/renewed through our online platform.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarters of HDFC Bank: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • MD and CEO of HDFC Bank: Sashidhar Jagdishan;
  • The tagline of HDFC Bank: We understand your world.

8. President Ram Nath Kovind confers 144 Gallantry awards in 2021

  • President Shri Ram Nath Kovind, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has approved 144 Gallantry awards for armed forces, police and paramilitary personnel on the occasion of Independence Day 2021.
  • Besides, President Kovide also approved 28 Mention-in-Despatches to the army personnel for their significant contributions in different military operations.

The 144 Gallantry awards include:

  • Ashok Chakra: Babu Ram (posthumously), ASI, Jammu and Kashmir Police.
  • Kirti Chakra: Altaf Hussain Bhat (posthumously), Constable, J&K Police.

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9. Government announces ‘Prime Minister Gatishakti Scheme’

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced a Rs 100 lakh crore Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti scheme while addressing the nation on the 75th Independence Day from Red Fort.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti scheme aims to adopt a holistic and integrated approach in infrastructure growth and create employment opportunities for the youth of the country.
  • The government will soon announce the Master Plan for the scheme, to help boost the productivity of industries, and boost the economic growth of the country, besides creating job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of youths.

10. A book to explore life and works of Jayaprakash Narayan

  • A new biography of revolutionary leader and independence activist Jayaprakash Narayan will hit the stands on August 23, publisher Penguin Random House India.
  • The book, “The Dream of Revolution: A Biography of Jayaprakash Narayan”, shares anecdotes and never-before-told stories from the life of the man who was known for his “emotional hunger for transformative politics, shunning power and incubating revolutionary ideas”.
  • According to the publisher, the book, written by historian Bimal Prasad and author Sujata Prasad, explores “the ambiguities and ironies of a life lived at the barricades, and one man’s unremitting quest to usher in a society based on equality and freedom”.

11. Harshit Raja becomes India’s 69th Chess Grandmaster

  • The 20-year-old Chess player Harshit Raja from Pune, Maharashtra has become the 69th Grandmaster of India in Chess.
  • He achieved the feat of becoming the GM at Biel Masters Open 2021 where he drew his game against Dennis Wagner to get his final GM norm with one round to spare.
  • Grandmaster (GM) title is awarded to chess players by the world chess organization FIDE and is the highest title a chess player can attain.

12. 75 new Vande Bharat trains to connect all parts of India

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of 75th Independence Day and announced that 75 ‘Vande Bharat’ trains would connect different parts of the country in 75 weeks of the celebration of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
  • The 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of the country, in 75 weeks of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, which is being celebrated from March 12, 2021, upto August 15, 2023.
  • Presently two Vande Bharat Express trains are operating in the country by the Indian Railways. The first Vande Bharat Express operates between Varanasi and New Delhi and the other Vande Bharat Express operates between Katra and New Delhi.

13. AIIMS Delhi becomes first Indian hospital to house fire station inside premises

  • The All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS)New Delhi has become the first hospital of India to house a fire station inside the hospital premises, to meet any emergency.
  • For this, AIIMS has collaborated with Delhi Fire Service (DFS). The fire station, meant for quick response in case of fire emergency, will have its infrastructure developed by the AIIMS, while the fire tender, equipment, and manpower will be managed by the DFS.
  • Having a total of 61 fire stations and 3,616 personnel, including 3,280 firefighters, the DFS attends to nearly 22,000 fire and rescue calls on an average in a year.

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