GK Update 18th March 2021

1. Sahitya Akademi Award 2020 announced

  • Sahitya Akademi announced its annual Sahitya Akademi Awards in 20 languages. Seven books of poetry, four of the novel, Five short stories, two plays, and one each of memoirs and epic poetry in 20 Indian languages.
  • The awards for Malayalam, Nepali, Odia and Rajasthani will be announced later. Sahitya Akademi Award is a literary honour in India. It is a dream for all Indian writers to look forward to one of the prestigious literary awards.
  • The political-writer M Veerappa Moily, poet Arundhathi Subramaniam will be bestowed with the Sahitya Akademi Award 2020.
  • Sahitya Akademi Award 2020 winners will be bestowed with the award in the form of a casket, containing the engraved copper-plaque, a shawl and a cash amount of Rs. 1,00,000/- at the Sahitya Akademi Award Presentation function.

The complete list of winners in different language and genre categories is given in the table below. 

S.NoLanguageTitle and GenreName of the Author
 1Assamese Bengsata (Short stories)Apurba Kumar Saikia
 2BengaliEka Eka Ekashi (Memoirs)Mani Shankar Mukhopadhyay
 3BodoGwthenay Lamayao Gwdan Agan (Short stories)Dharanidhar Owari
 4DogriBaba Jitmal (Play)Gian Singh
 5EnglishWhen God Is a Traveller (Poetry)Arundhathi Subramaniam
  6GujaratiBanaras Diary (Poetry)Harish Meenakshru
 7HindiTokeri Mein Digant ‘ Their Gatha” (Poetry) Anamika
 8KannadaSri Bahubali Ahimsadigvijayam (EPIC POETRY)M. Veerappa Moily
 9KashmiriTilasm-e-Khanabadosh (Short stories)Hiday Koul Bharti
10KonkaniYugaparivarathanancho Yatri  (Poetry)RS Bhaskar
11MaithiliGachh Roosal Achhi (Short Stories)Kamalkant Jha
12ManipuriMalangbana Kari Hai (Poetry)Irungbam Deven
13MarathiUdya (Novel) Nanda Khare
14PunjabiAam Khass (Short stories)Gurdev Singh Rupana
15SanskritVaishali (Novel)Mahesh Chandra Sharma Gautam
 16Santali Gur Dak Kasa Dak(Poetry)Rupchand Hansdah
 17SindhiJehad (Plays)Jetho Lalwani
 18TamilSellaatha Panam (Novel)Imaiyam
19TeluguAgniswaasa(2015-17) PoetryNikhileswar
 20UrduAmawas Mein Khwab (Novel)Hussain-ul-Haque

2. M. A. Ganapathy appointed Director General of National Security Guard

  • Senior IPS officer, M. A. Ganapathy was on March 16, 2021, appointed Director-General of the National Security Guard.
  • Ganapathy, a 1986 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer of the Uttarakhand cadre, is currently Director-General, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
  • He has been appointed the Director-General, National Security Guard (NSG), from the date of joining the post and up to February 29, 2024, i.e. date of his superannuation.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • National Security Guard Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • The motto of the National Security Guard: Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha.

3. Lt Gen DP Pandey takes over as new commander of 15-Corps

  • Lt General DP Pandey has taken over the command of strategic Kashmir-based 15 Corps from Lt Gen BS Raju, who has been appointed as the new Director-General of Military Operations (DGMO) of the Indian Army.
  • An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, General Pandey was commissioned into the Sikh Light Infantry Regiment in December 1985 from Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.

4. RBI Imposes Rs 2 Crore Fine on State Bank of India

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of 2 crores on the State Bank of India (SBI) for contravention of certain provisions of Section 10 of the Banking Regulation (BR) Act, 1949.
  • The central bank’s specific directions issued to the bank on payment of remuneration to employees in the form of commission.
  • This penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested with RBI under the provisions of the BR Act. The penalty is not intended to pronounce upon the validity of any transaction or agreement entered into by the bank with its customers.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.
  • SBI Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955.

5. India’s arms imports down by 33%, says Sipri report

  • India’s arms imports fell 33% between 2011-15 and 2016-20, said a report released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri).
  • The report on international arms transfers attributed the drop in India’s arms imports mainly to an attempt to reduce its dependence on Russian arms and complex procurement processes. Russia was the most affected supplier, although India’s imports of US arms also fell by 46%.
  • India’s top three arms suppliers during 2016-20 were Russia (accounting for 49% of India’s imports), France (18%) and Israel (13%), the report. Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Mauritius were the top recipients of Indian military hardware, the report.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Sipri Headquarters: Oslo, Norway.
  • Sipri Founded: 6 May 1966.
  • Sipri Director: Dan Smith.

6. New Delhi Ranked as World’s most polluted capital city

  • New Delhi has been adjudged as the world’s most polluted capital city for the third straight year in the 2020 World Air Quality Report by Swiss organisation, IQAir. Globally, New Delhi is ranked as the 10th most polluted city in the world.
  • The topmost polluted city in the world is Xinjiang in China. This is followed by nine Indian cities as the most polluted cities in the world, which are Ghaziabad, Bulandshahar, Bisrakh Jalalpur, Noida, Greater Noida, Kanpur, Lucknow and Bhiwari.
  • The IQAir report measures air quality levels based on the concentration of lung-damaging airborne particles known as PM 2.5, which is measured by ground-based monitoring stations.

7. GoI forms experts committee for Startup India Seed Fund Scheme

  • The government has constituted an experts advisory committee for the overall execution and monitoring of the Startup India Seed Fund Scheme. The committee would be chaired by H K Mittal from the Department of Science and Technology.
  • The other representatives of the committee would include members from DPIIT, the department of biotechnology, science and technology, electronics and IT, Niti Aayog, and expert members from the startup ecosystem.
  • The committee will evaluate and select incubators for allotment of funds under the scheme, monitor progress and take all necessary measures for efficient utilisation of funds towards the fulfilment of objectives of the scheme.

8. Dhanalakshmi beats Dutee Chand to win Federation Cup gold

  • Sprinter S Dhanalakshmi beat national record holder Dutee Chand to win women’s 100m sprint final in the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships in Patiala.
  • The 22-year-old Dhanalakshmi of Tamil Nadu clocked 11.39 seconds to become the fastest woman of the championships. Odisha-based Dutee clocked 11.58 seconds to be placed in second place.
  • Another Tamil Nadu runner Archana Suseendran was third in 11.76 seconds. Hima Das was disqualified after a false start. In men’s 100m final category, Gurindervir Singh of Punjab won gold in 10.32 seconds, while Elakkiyadasan Kannada of Tamil Nadu (10.43) and Maharashtra’s Satish Krishnakumar (10.56) were second and third respectively.

9. Maharashtra Governor releases e-book titled Dawn Under The Dome

  • The Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari released a digital e-book titled Dawn Under The Dome.
  • The digital book depicts the history of the Mumbai General Post Office building. It has been authored by Post Master General of Mumbai Swati Pandey in collaboration with Orchida Mukherjee.
  • The book says that three types of Indian stones were used in the construction of the building: the grey basalt with buff trachyte and the Yellowstone from Mumbai’s Kurla and Malad respectively and the white stone from Dharandhra.

10. A Book ‘Battle Ready for 21st Century’ released

  • A book titled “Battle Ready for 21st Century” co-edited by Lt Gen AK Singh, Distinguished Fellow CLAWS and Brig Narender Kumar, Visiting Fellow CLAWS was released by Gen Bipin Rawat. The book lays down the conceptual framework for the strategic management of future conflicts.
  • The book “Battle Ready for the 21st Century” has endeavoured to postulate and define emerging areas of conflict, desired capabilities and doctrinal issues that need careful examination.

11. Global Recycling Day 2021: 18 March

  • Global Recycling Day is observed every year on March 18 to create awareness among the masses about the rapid pace at which our natural resources are being used. The day also promotes the concept and practice of recycling. Every year, events are organised by environmentalist and activists to promote the cause.
  • In 2021, the theme of Global Recycling Day is “Recycling Heroes”. Its main aim is to recognise the people, places and activities that showcase the importance of recycling in preserving natural resources.
  • Recycling has helped in reducing carbon emissions by over 700 million tonnes every year. Notably, over 1.6 million people are employed around the world in the recycling industry. In this decade, the yearly contribution of recycling will increase up to $400 billion.

12. Former Bangladesh PM Moudud Ahmed passes away

  • Barrister Moudud Ahmed, who held various political offices for short stints in the Government of Bangladesh, has passed away.
  • He had served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1988–1989), Vice President of Bangladesh (1989–1990), Deputy Prime Minister (1976–1978 and 1987–1988), and Minister of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (2001–2006). He was also a standing committee member of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

13. Former Union Minister Dilip Gandhi passes away

  • Former Union Minister and BJP leader, Dilip Gandhi passed away, due to coronavirus. He had served as the Union Minister of State, Ministry of Shipping from 29 January 2003 to 15 March 2004.
  • He won the Lok Sabha elections three times since 1999 from Ahmednagar South constituency in Maharashtra. First in 1999 in 13th Lok Sabha, followed by 15th Lok Sabha in 2009 and then 16th Lok Sabha in 2014.

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