GK Update 21st July 2021

1. Govt to set up Indian Institute of Heritage at Noida

  • The government has decided to set up the Indian Institute of Heritage at Noida, Gautam Buddha Nagar.
  • This will impact higher education and research in the field of rich Indian heritage and its conservation, leading to Masters and PhD courses in History of Arts, Conservation, Museology, Archival Studies, Archaeology, Preventive Conservation, Epigraphy and Numismatics, Manuscriptology as well as conservation training facilities to in-service employees and students of the institute.

2. Russia successfully tested S-500 missile system

  • Russia has successfully test-fired its new S-500 air defence missile systems, from a southern training range, Kapustin Yar, on July 20, 2021. It hit a high-speed ballistic target as planned.
  • The S-500 missile system is under development by the Almaz-Antey Air Defence Concern. After tests are successfully completed the first S-500 systems which are also named the Triumfator-M and Prometheus will be placed at an air defence unit outside the city of Moscow.
  • The S-500 is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is expected to have a range of 600km.
  • This missile system is also capable of countering attacks from space.
  • The S-500, also known as Prometey or 55R6M “Triumfator-M”, is a Russian surface-to-air missile/anti-ballistic missile system which is the most advanced anti-missile system in the world and is capable of countering attacks from space.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Russia President: Vladimir Putin.
  • Russia Capital: Moscow.
  • Russia Currency: Russian Ruble.

3. China unveils 600 kph maglev train makes public debut

  • China unveiled a maglev train capable of a top speed of 600 kph. The maximum speed would make the train, self-developed by China and manufactured in the coastal city of Qingdao, the fastest ground vehicle globally.
  • Using electromagnetic force, the maglev train “levitates” above the track with no contact between body and rail. China has been using the technology for almost two decades on a very limited scale.
  • Shanghai has a short maglev line running from one of its airports to town.
  • At 600 kph, it would only take 2.5 hours to travel from Beijing to Shanghai by train – a journey of more than 1,000 km.
  • Launched in October 2016, the high-speed maglev train project saw the development of a magnetic-levitation train prototype with a designed top speed of 600 km per hour in 2019 and conducted a successful test run in June 2020.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • China Capital: Beijing;
  • China Currency: Renminbi;
  • China President: Xi Jinping.

4. Assam CM Himanta Biswa assures govt jobs for National Games Medalists

  • The Assam State Chief Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has assured jobs for all National Games medalists of Assam from now on.
  • He also mentioned that all those who won medals in National Games so far for Assam would be given Sports Pension by the State Government. He hoped that this decision would help the sportspersons of the state.
  • The Chief Minister also announced that the house would send a goodwill message to boxer Lovlina Borgohain who will be vying for a medal in Tokyo Olympics.
  • The Chief Minister stated about the increase of sports pension on the sixth day of the Assam Assembly cabinet meeting. Further, the minister also said that the government is planning to increase the pension of sportsperson from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 10,000.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

5. NMGC approves new projects for rejuvenation of 6 rivers in Uttarakhand

  • The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) in its 36th Executive Committee has approved new projects for the rejuvenation of six rivers in Uttarakhand.
  • According to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), there are a total of nine polluted stretches in Uttarakhand and six of them are in the Udham Singh Nagar district on various tributaries or small rivers such as Bhela, Dhela, Kichha, Nandor, Pilankha and Kosi.
  • The projects shall cover the six polluted river stretches in the Kumaon region. Out of the rest three polluted stretches, the project of Ganga at Jagjeetpur, Haridwar has already been commissioned and on the remaining two, Namami Gange projects are already under execution.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya;
  • The chief minister of Uttarakhand: Pushkar Singh Dhami.

6. Perumkulam is Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’

  • Perumkulam, in Kollam District, has been bestowed with the title Kerala’s first ‘Book Village’. This claim to fame results from years of concerted efforts aimed at encouraging the habit of reading.
  • Perumkulam is a small village in Kulakkada near Kottarakkara in Kollam district. Bapuji Smaraka Grandhasala’, a library in the village is at the forefront in this effort of making it the first book village of the State.
  • The library inculcates passion towards reading by setting up bookshelves, or ‘Book Nests’ placed at different corners of the village. Anybody can take books from the book nests, read them, and keep them back.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

7. Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi appointed Deputy Leader of House in Rajya Sabha

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced the appointment of the Union minister for minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi as the deputy leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha.
  • Naqvi takes over from Piyush Goyal who has been elevated as the leader of the house in the Upper House.
  • Both Goyal and Naqvi have their job cut out for them. They will have to handle the opposition in the Upper House and ensure that the house proceedings are conducted smoothly to allow the passage of bills.

8. ADB projected India’s economic growth forecast at 10% in FY22

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has downgraded India’s economic growth forecast for the financial year 2021-22 (FY22) to 10 per cent, in its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) Supplement for July. Earlier this was estimated at 11%.
  • The multilateral funding agency has lowered the GDP growth forecast on account of the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Further, ADB has projected the GDP growth rate for FY2022 (2022-23) to 7.5 per cent from the earlier projection of 7 per cent.

9. Goldman Sachs open its global centre in Hyderabad

  • Banking and financial services major, Goldman Sachs has opened a new facility in Hyderabad as part of its commitment to expand its global centre for engineering and business innovation in India.
  • Hyderabad is emerging as a key investment destination for banking & financial service.
  • The new office is expected to have about 800 people by year-end and grow to over 2,500 people by 2023.
  • The new office will host functions across engineering, finance, human capital management, and support for consumer banking, and specialise in digital banking, artificial intelligence and machine learning areas.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  •  Goldman Sachs CEO: David M. Solomon (Oct 2018–);
  • Goldman Sachs Headquarters: New York, New York, United States;
  • Goldman Sachs Founded: 1869.

10. LIC launches Arogya Rakshak insurance plan

  • The Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has introduced Arogya Rakshak, a non-linked, non-participating, regular premium, individual, health insurance plan.
  • The plan provides fixed benefit health insurance cover against certain specified health risks. It provides timely support in case of medical emergencies and helps the insured and his family to remain financially independent in difficult times.
  • The Arogya Rakshak policy is different from the regular comprehensive health insurance in terms of method of payment reimbursement.
  • Generally, the comprehensive health policies reimburse the actual cost incurred on the medical treatment, up to the limit of the sum insured.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • LIC Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • LIC Founded: 1 September 1956;
  • LIC Chairman: M R Kumar.

11. OFT hands delivery of 25 remote control guns to Navy

  • Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli hands over Fifteen 12.7 mm M2 NATO Stabilized Remote Control Gun to Indian Navy & 10 to Indian Coast Guard. It is manufactured with the transfer of technology agreement from Elbit Systems, Israel.
  • This gun is equipped with an inbuilt CCD camera, thermal imager & a laser range finder for observation & tracking of targets through the day and night operations. The gun is meant for marine applications and can remotely engage targets.

12. IIT Ropar develops first-of-its-kind Oxygen Rationing Device ‘AMLEX’

  • The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Ropar has developed a first-of-its-kind Oxygen Rationing Device called AMLEX, to save the oxygen which otherwise gets wasted unnecessarily, and in turn, increase the life of medical oxygen cylinders three folds.
  • The device will supply a required volume of oxygen to the patient during inhalation and will trip when the patient exhales carbon dioxide.
  • “AMLEX”, on the other hand, was a system developed specifically for oxygen cylinders synchronising the flow of oxygen with inhalation and exhalation of the patient, thus conserving a large amount of oxygen in the reservoir for a long-lasting operation.
  • As “AMLEX” supplies a required volume of oxygen to the patient during inhalation and trips when the patient exhales CO2, it saves the flow of oxygen at that time.

13. Jeff Bezos launches to space aboard New Shepard rocket ship

  • Billionaire Jeff Bezos has made a short journey to space, in the first crewed flight of his rocket ship, New Shepard. He was accompanied by Mark Bezos, his brother, Wally Funk, an 82-year-old pioneer of the space race, and an 18-year-old student.
  • They travelled in a capsule with the biggest windows flown in space, offering stunning views of the Earth. On this flight was the oldest person who has been to space, Wally Funk and the youngest, student Oliver Daemen.
  • When the capsule touched back down after the 10-minute, 10-second flight, Jeff Bezos exclaimed: “Best day ever!”.
  • New Shepard, built by Bezos’ company Blue Origin, is designed to serve the burgeoning market for space tourism.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Amazon CEO: Andrew R. Jassy;

14. GoI extends ‘Stand Up India Scheme’ up to 2025

  • The Government of India has extended the duration of the ‘Stand Up India Scheme’ up to the year 2025.
  • The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister on 05 April 2016 to facilitate loans to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and women borrowers, to promote entrepreneurship among them.
  • The scheme offers bank loans to women and SC & ST communities to encourage them in setting up a greenfield enterprise, outside of the farm sector, that is in the manufacturing, services or trading sector.
  • A total of 1,16,266 loans amounting to Rs. 26204.49 crore has been extended under the Scheme since its inception. The loan under Stand Up India Scheme is extended by Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) between Rs. 10 lakh and Rs.1 Crore.

15. IOC to set up first ‘green hydrogen’ plant at UP

  • Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India’s largest oil firm, will build the first ‘green hydrogen’ plant of the country at its Mathura refinery, to meet the growing demand for both oil and cleaner forms of energy.
  • This will be the nation’s first green hydrogen unit. Previously, projects have been announced to produce ‘grey hydrogen’ using fossil fuels such as natural gas.
  • For this, the company will make use of 250 MW of electricity which it produces from renewable sources like solar power, to produce absolutely green hydrogen through electrolysis.
  • Mathura has been selected by virtue of its proximity to TTZ (Taj Trapezium Zone). Hydrogen is the latest buzz for meeting the world’s energy needs. Hydrogen, in itself, is a clean fuel but manufacturing it is energy-intensive and has carbon byproducts.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Oil Corporation Chairperson: Shrikant Madhav Vaidya;
  • Indian Oil Corporation Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • Indian Oil Corporation Founded: 30 June 1959.

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