GK Update 23rd April 2021

1. CAG GC Murmu selected as external auditor for Hague

  • India’s Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), GC Murmu has been chosen as the external auditor by the Hague-based Conference of State Parties of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), for a three-year term starting 2021.
  • India was also selected as a member of the executive council of the OPCW representing the Asia group for another two-year term.

2. Rekha Menon takes over as first woman chairperson of Nasscom

  • Accenture India’s chairperson, Rekha M Menon has been appointed as chairperson of the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), becoming the first woman to take the top role in the software lobby group’s 30-year history.
  • She succeeds U B Pravin Rao, chief operating officer of Infosys as Nasscom’s chairperson. TCS President Krishnan Ramanujam will be the vice-chairperson.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • NASSCOM Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • NASSCOM Founded: 1 March 1988.


3. S&P Projects India’s GDP Growth Forecast at 11% in FY22

  • The S&P Global Ratings has estimated the Indian economy to grow at 11 per cent in the current fiscal, i.e. 2021-22 (FY22).
  • In terms of the sovereign rating, S&P currently has a ‘BBB-‘ rating on India with a stable outlook. Earlier, for 2020-21, the S&P estimated the Indian economy to contract 8 per cent.

4. Fitch Ratings Affirms India’s Sovereign Rating at ‘BBB-‘

  • Rating agency Fitch Ratings has kept the sovereign rating of India unchanged at ‘BBB-‘ with a negative outlook.
  • Earlier, Fitch had estimated GDP contraction of 7.5 per cent in 2020-21 and growth of 12.8 per cent in the fiscal year FY22, followed by 5.8 per cent in FY23.


5. Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to Cancel Licence of Sambandh Finserve

  • Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a show-cause notice prior to cancelling the licence of fraud-hit Sambandh Finserve Pvt Ltd. after its networth eroded below the regulatory minimum and financial situation worsened beyond redemption over the recent months. Sambandh is registered as an NBFC-MFI.
  • The Managing Director and CEO of Sambandh, Deepak Kindo, who was allegedly the main perpetrator of the fraud, has been arrested by Economic Offence Wing, Chennai.
  • According to the RBI norms, NBFC is required to maintain minimum capital levels consisting of Tier-I and Tier-II capital, of not less than 15 per cent of their aggregate risk-weighted assets.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Sambandh Finserve Private Limited founded: 1992;
  • Sambandh Finserve Private Limited Headquarters: Odisha.


6. PM Modi Participates in Leaders’ Summit on Climate

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the “Leaders’ Summit on Climate”, hosted by the President of the U.S.A. Joe Biden.
  • The two-day conference has been organised virtually on 22-23 April 2021, which coincides with the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Paris Agreement on climate change for signature.
  • The theme of the summit: Our Collective Sprint to 2030.
  • A total of 40 national leaders have been invited by Biden to attend this two-day virtual climate summit.
  • The Summit is being held in the run-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) that will take place in November 2021 in Glasglow.

7. Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 held

  • The opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 was held in Boao, south China’s Hainan Province.
  • The theme of the conference – “A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation”.
  • The forum, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, has not only played a unique role in pooling consensus and putting forward valuable “Boao proposals,” but also engaged countries in addressing global issues and promoting world development and prosperity.


8. India Ranks 87th in WEF Global Energy Transition Index 2021

  • India is placed at the 87th position among 115 countries in the 2021 Energy Transition Index (ETI).
  • The report is published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), prepared in collaboration with Accenture to track nations on the current performance of their energy systems across various aspects.
  • Sweden has topped the 10th edition of the index, followed by Norway (2nd) and Denmark (3rd), Switzerland (4), Austria (5).
  • The top 10 countries in the index are Western and Northern European countries: Finland (6), the United Kingdom (7), New Zealand (8), France (9) and Iceland (10).
  • Zimbabwe is the last ranked country in the index.


9. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover extracts first oxygen from Red Planet

  • According to NASA a toaster-size experimental instrument aboard Perseverance called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. Mars’ atmosphere is 96 per cent carbon dioxide.
  • MOXIE works by separating oxygen atoms from carbon dioxide molecules, which are made up of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms. MOXIE is expected to extract oxygen at least nine more times over the course of a Martian year (nearly two years on Earth).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Acting Administrator of NASA: Steve Jurczyk.
  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.
  • NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.


10. World Book and Copyright Day: 23 April

  • The World Book and Copyright Day (also known as ‘International Day of the Book’ and ‘World Book Day’), is an annual event organized on April 23 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to promote reading, publishing, and copyright.
  • April 23 is chosen because it marks the birth and death of several prominent authors. For instance, William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and Josep Pla died on April 23 and Manuel Mejia Vallejo and Maurice Druon were born on April 23.
  • As a part of the Day, UNESCO selects the World Book Capital every year for a one-year period, effective 23 April each year. The World Book Capital for 2021 is Tbilisi, Georgia.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Director-General of UNESCO: Audrey Azoulay.
  • UNESCO formation: 4 November 1946.
  • UNESCO Headquarters: Paris, France.

11. UN English Language Day & UN Spanish Language Day

  • The UN English Language Day and UN Spanish Language Day is observed annually on 23 April.
  • For English, 23 April has been chosen to mark both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare.
  • For the Spanish Language, the Day was chosen because the day is also observed as Hispanic Day in Spain, meaning the Spanish speaking world.


12. Renowned Qawwali Singer Farid Sabri Passes Away

  • Qawwali singer Farid Sabri, of the famous Sabri Brothers duo, has passed away. Sabri Brothers (Farid Sabri and Amin Sabri) were known for their evergreen numbers like ‘Der Na Ho Jaye Kahin Der Na Ho Jaye’ and ‘Ek Mulakat Zaruri Hai Sanam’.
  • The brothers and their father Saeed Sabri performed qawwali at several events held in Indian and abroad.

13. Padma awardee winning Indian Islamic Scholar Maulana Wahiduddin passes away

  • Noted Indian Islamic scholar, spiritual leader and author Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has passed away due to Covid-19 complications.
  • He has written over 200 books on several aspects of Islam and is best known for having written a commentary on the Quran and its translation in English, Hindi and Urdu.
  • He was the recipient of several notable honours like Padma Vibhushan (2021), Padma Bhushan (2000) and the Rajiv Gandhi National Sadbhavna Award (2009).

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