GK Update 1st and 2nd August 2021

1. PM Modi to launch e-RUPI digital payment solution

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch e-RUPI, an e-voucher-based digital payment solution, via video conferencing.
  • The e-RUPI initiative will be one of the programmes launched over the years to limit touchpoints between the government and the beneficiary and “ensure that the benefits reach its intended beneficiaries in a targeted and leak-proof manner”.
  • e-RUPI is a cashless and contactless instrument for digital payments. It acts as an e-voucher based on a QR code or SMS string, which is delivered to the mobile phones of the beneficiaries.
  • e-RUPI connects the sponsors of the services with the beneficiaries and service providers in a digital manner without any physical interface. It also ensures that the payment to the service provider is made only after the transaction is completed.
  • The e-RUPI platform has been developed by the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on its UPI platform, in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and National Health Authority.

2. Vice Admiral SN Ghormade takes charge as Vice Chief of the Naval Staff

  • Vice Admiral SN Ghormade has assumed charge as the Vice Chief of Naval Staff  at a formal ceremony in New Delhi.
  • He succeeds Vice Admiral G Ashok Kumar who retired on July 31, 2021, after more than 39 years of illustrious service. The Flag officer SN Ghormade was commissioned in the Indian Navy on January 01, 1984.
  • He was awarded the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) on January 26, 2017, and Nausena Medal (NM) in 2007 by the President of India, and a Commendation by the Chief of the Naval Staff in 2000.

3. Deepak Das takes charge as new Controller General of Accounts

  • Deepak Das has taken over as the Controller General of Accounts (CGA) on August 01, 2021. Prior to assuming charge of CGA, Mr Das served as the Principal Chief Controller of Accounts in the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT).
  • Deepak Das, a 1986-batch Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) officer, is the 25th officer to hold the position of CGA. CGA is the account keeper of the government and derives its mandate from Article 150 of the Constitution.
  • It reconciles the cash balance of the centre with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) apart from consolidating monthly accounts; preparing trends of revenue realization and expenditures as well as annual accounts of the central government.

4. GST Collections Touched ₹ 1.16 Lakh Crore In July 2021

  • Goods and Services Tax (GST) collections for July 2021 were ₹ 1.16 lakh crore, 33 per cent more than the corresponding period of last year. GST collections in July 2020 had stood at ₹ 87,422 crore, while sequentially they had stood at ₹ 92,849 crores in June this year.
  • According to figures released by Finance Ministry, gross GST revenue collected in July 2021 are ₹ 1,16,393 crore, out of which Central GST is ₹ 22,197 crores, State GST is ₹ 28,541 crore and Integrated GST is ₹ 57,864 crore (including ₹ 27,900 crores collected on import of goods) and cess of Rs 7,790 crore (including ₹ 815 crores collected on import of goods).

5. LIC Cards Services, IDBI Bank launch RuPay credit cards Lumine, Eclat

  • LIC Cards Services Limited (LIC-CSL) has partnered with IDBI Bank to launch ‘Lumine’ Platinum Credit Card and ‘Eclat’ Select Credit Card on the RuPay platform.
  • The cards will initially be available to LIC policyholders, agents, as well as employees of the corporation and its subsidiaries. The cards will offer a wide range of benefits to users.
  • Lumine and Eclat cardholders will have a credit limit that suits their lifestyles. The cardholders will earn 3 ‘delight’ points on every spend of Rs 100 via the Lumine card and 4 points on the Eclat card.
  • The cards also offer a special benefits of 2x reward points while paying the renewal insurance premiums of LIC. The cards also have a ‘Welcome Aboard’ offer for initial customers.

6. Meenakashi Lekhi leads Indian delegation at G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting

  • Meenakashi Lekhi, the Minister of State for Culture of India participated in the G20 Culture Ministers’ Meeting on behalf of the Government of India.
  • The two-day meeting was hosted by Italy on July 29 and 30 July 2021, during their ongoing Presidency of G20 in 2021. At the end of the discussions, the G20 Ministers of Culture adopted the G20 Culture Working Group Terms of Reference.

The main topic of discussion were:

  • Protection of Cultural Heritage;
  • Addressing the Climate Crisis through Culture;
  • Building Capacity through Training and Education;
  • Digital Transition and New Technologies for Culture; and
  • Culture and Creative Sectors as drivers for growth.

7. India takes over UNSC presidency for August 2021

  • India took over from France to assume the presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the month of August 2021.
  • This is the first presidency for India during its 2021-22 tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to preside over a meeting of the UNSC.
  • As the president of the top UN Body, India will decide the agenda for the month, coordinate important meetings and other related issues. India will focus on three priority areas during its presidency. These include maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Security Council Headquarters: New York, United States;
  • United Nations Security Council Founded: 24 October 1945.

8. Cyrus Poonawalla wins Lokmanya Tilak National Award

  • Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Chairman of the Pune-based vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII), has been selected for the prestigious Lokmanya Tilak National Award for 2021.
  • He has been named for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic, by manufacturing the Covishield vaccine. He will receive the award on August 13. The award comprises a cash prize of Rs one lakh and a memento.
  • The Lokmanya Tilak national award is given annually since 1983 on August 1, the death anniversary of Lokmanya Tilak, by the Lokmanya Tilak Trust. However this year the date has been changed due to the coronavirus situation.

9. PV Sindhu Wins Bronze in Women’s Badminton at Tokyo Olympics

  • Ace Indian badminton player PV Sindhu defeated China’s He Bingjiao to win the bronze medal in the women’s singles event at the Tokyo Olympics on August 01, 2021.
  • With this win, Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman and the only second Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals in individual events.
  • Earlier she won the silver in women’s singles badminton at the Rio Olympics in 2016. This is India’s second medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

10. Esteban Ocon wins Hungarian GP 2021

  • Esteban Ocon, Alpine-Renault/ France, has won the Hungarian Grand Prix 2021, held on August 01, 2021, at the Hungaroring in Mogyoród, Hungary. This is the maiden F1 race win for Esteban Ocon.
  • Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin-Mercedes/Germany) came second. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) finished third.
  • With this win, he took the Formula One championship lead from Max Verstappen. Hungarian Grand Prix was the eleventh round of the 2021 Formula One World Championship.

11. Sri Lanka bowling all-rounder Isuru Udana retires from international cricket

  • Sri Lanka left-arm seam bowling all-rounder, Isuru Udana has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.
  • Udana had a very modest international career with sporadic appearances over 12 years in which he played only 21 ODIS and 35 T20 Internationals with just 45 wickets to show for his efforts.
  • The left-arm medium-pacer had made his T20I debut in 2009 against Australia at the T20 World Cup in which Sri Lanka lost the final to Pakistan. His maiden ODI game came against India in 2012.

12. Novelist Kunal Basu’s ‘In An Ideal World’ to come out in 2022

  • Renowned novelist Kunal Basu’s new work of fiction, In An Ideal World, will be released next year, Penguin Random House India (PRHI) announced.
  • The book, scheduled to be released under the publishing house’s ‘Viking’ imprint, is touted to be a “powerful, gritty and fast-paced literary novel” exploring a variety of themes relevant to the current times — college, politics, family, crime investigation and fanaticism.
  • According to the publishers, the story of his upcoming book revolves around the disappearance of a member of the Liberal Party of a college in Manhar. The prime suspect of this abduction is the leader of the Nationalist group of the same college.

13. World Breastfeeding Week 2021: 01 – 07 August

  • The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is marked every year in the first week of August, between 1 to 7 August, to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding for mothers and infants.
  • The theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2021 is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility​”. The annual week is organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF since 1991.
  • Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers.
  • And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Alliance for Breastfeeding Headquarters: Penang, Malaysia;
  • World Alliance for Breastfeeding Founder: Anwar Fazal;
  • World Alliance for Breastfeeding Founded: 14 February 1991.

14. Muslim Women’s Rights Day: 01 August

  • In India, “Muslim Women’s Rights Day” is celebrated across the nation on August 01 to celebrate the enactment of the law against Triple Talaq. The first Muslim Women’s Rights Day was observed in 2020.
  • The Government of India enacted the law against Triple Talaq on August 01, 2019 to make the social malpractice of Triple Talaq a criminal offence.
  • The law is formally called the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Act, 2019. It prohibits the practice of instant divorce by Muslim men and any violation of the law is punishable by a jail term of up to three years.

15. World Masters gold medal winner Man Kaur passes away

  • Multiple World Masters Championship gold medallist and multiple Asian Masters Championship medallist athlete 105-year-old, Man Kaur passed away.
  • She started running and won her first medal in Chandigarh Masters Athletics meet in 2007 before she won the gold in 100 m as well 200 m race in the National Masters Athletics meet in 2011.
  • Kaur would become the 100 m and 200 m champion in the World Masters Athletics Championships in the USA and was also adjudged the best athlete.
  • But it was her feat of becoming the champion in the 100 m in the 100+ category in the World Masters Athletics Championships in Auckland in 2017, which got her into the limelight.

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