GK Update 23rd February 2021

1. Dr Harsh Vardhan launches Mission Indradhanush 3.0

  • Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched the Intensified Mission Indradhanush 3.0, (IMI 3.0), to expand immunization coverage across the country.
  • The focus of IMI 3.0 will be on children and pregnant women who missed their vaccine doses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The IMI 3.0 will have two rounds, of 15 days each.
  • The first round will begin on February 22, 2021, and the second round will begin on March 22, 2021.
  • The vaccination drive will be conducted in pre-identified 250 districts and urban areas across 29 States and UTs in the country to reach out to every dropped out and left out the child and pregnant woman.
  • The scheme was launched in 2014 to provide affordable and accessible healthcare to all citizens of the country.
  • It aims to immunise all children under the age of 2 years, as well as all pregnant women, against eight vaccine-preventable diseases.
  • These diseases are diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, measles, meningitis and Hepatitis B.

2. Israel launches “green pass” for people with vaccination certificate

  • Israel has launched a coronavirus “green pass” system, which allows people who have been vaccinated to access public facilities that would otherwise be off-limits. As of Sunday COVID-19 inoculation is a sort of status symbol in Israel.
  • Israelis who have gotten both Pfizer vaccine shots and those who have recovered from the virus get a “Green Pass” certificate in the form of a QR code or printout for people without smartphones.
  • The pass allows entry to gyms, swimming pools, hotels, entertainment venues and sporting events. Green Pass privileges and restrictions are raising legal and moral questions.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Israel: Benjamin Netanyahu.
  • Israel Capital: Jerusalem.
  • Israel Currency: Israeli Shekel.

3. PM Modi inaugurates Oil & Gas projects in Assam

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated to the nation INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery, Oil India Limited’s Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh, and a Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia remotely from Dhemaji in Assam.
  • He also inaugurated the Dhemaji Engineering College and laid the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College in Assam.
  • INDMAX Unit at Indian Oil’s Bongaigaon Refinery
  • Oil India Limited’s Secondary Tank Farm at Madhuban, Dibrugarh – Rs 490 crore
  • Gas Compressor Station at Hebeda Village, Makum, Tinsukia – Rs 132 Crore
  • Dhemaji Engineering College – Rs 45 Crore
  • Laid the foundation stone for Sualkuchi Engineering College – Rs 55 crore.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Assam CM: Sarbananda Sonowal.
  • Assam Governor: Jagdish Mukhi.

4. 47th Khajuraho Dance Festival 2021 begins

  • The 47th Khajuraho Dance Festival began in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh which is based on the Indian classical dance tradition. Khajuraho Temples come alive with splendour, beams, and the hustle-bustle of art lovers at the Festival.
  • The first-day event is dedicated to Bharatanatyam performance by Geeta Chandran and her troupe and Kathak performance by Deepak Maharaj.
  • The festival is being organized by the Culture Department through Ustad Alauddin Khan Music and Arts Academy Bhopal. 
  • This year festival will give the audience a chance to watch the performance of the dancers amid the aura of the temple as the event is being held once again in the temple complex of the Western Temple Group of Khajuraho after a gap of 44 years.
  • The festival was hosted each year at the magnificent city of Khajuraho located in the district of Chhatarpur, the artists perform in the backdrop of historical monuments.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh: Shivraj Singh Chouhan; Governor: Anandiben Patel.

5. HSBC Raises India’s GDP Forecast for FY22 to 11.2%

  • HSBC has raised its growth forecasts for India in the coming fiscal year 2021-22 (FY22), from 9 per cent to 11.2 per cent, following a pick up in business activity and a steady fall in COVID cases.
  • The 2020-21 GDP forecast of India by HSBC remains -6.3 per cent, as projected earlier.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • HSBC CEO: Noel Quinn.
  • HSBC Headquarters: London, United Kingdom.
  • HSBC Founder: Thomas Sutherland.
  • HSBC Founded: 3 March 1865, Hong Kong.

6. RBI brings State Bank of Sikkim under its regulatory purview

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has brought the State Bank of Sikkim under its regulation. Till now, RBI had the right and obligation to function as a banker to all the state government except for the state government of Sikkim.
  • Now the bank will be regulated by the RBI on a par with other banks, however, the bank’s ownership structure will not change.
  • The State Bank of Sikkim was established as an autonomous body wholly owned by the Government of Sikkim, in the year 1968, five years before Sikkim became part of India in 1973.
  • It was established under the State Bank of Sikkim Proclamation, 1968.
  • The bank provides treasury operations for the state government and operates only within the jurisdiction of Sikkim.
  • The bank currently has 42 branch offices and operates three revenue counters for government works.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • RBI 25th Governor: Shaktikant Das; Headquarters: Mumbai; Founded: 1 April 1935, Kolkata.

7. RBI ropes in Punjabi rapper for awareness campaign on cyber fraud

  • The RBI has roped in Punjabi singer-rapper Viruss in its public awareness campaign. The campaign also includes Viruss’ popular 2017 Indie hit ‘Bam Bhole’ that was recreated for Akshay Kumar-Kiara Advani starrer Laxmii.
  • As cyber frauds continue to increase, the Reserve Bank of India has undertaken an unusual measure to spread awareness.
  • The apex bank that has been very active on social media since the lockdown urges tech-savvy netizens to stay alert or ‘satark’ against common fraudsters and cybersecurity threats, including in UPI.
  • The RBI has been running the campaign ‘RBI Kehta Hai’ on social media accounts since 2016 but has never been accompanied by peppy music.
  • Since 2016 when it created the tagline RBI Kehta Hai, the central bank’s communication has been centred on financial literacy and public awareness towards frauds, etc.
  • The bank uses social media to talk about the facilities it offers for senior citizens, cybersecurity, digital banking, and setting limits on card transactions.

8. ICGS C-453 Interceptor boat commissioned into services in Chennai

  • The Indian Coast Guard Ship (ICG) named C-453 was commissioned into services in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. This was the 17th interceptor boats out of the 18 which are being indigenously built by Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
  • It is a 27.80-m-long interceptor boat. The boat has a displacement of 105 tonnes. It can attain a maximum speed of 45 knots (85 kmph).
  • It is capable to undertake multifarious tasks such as surveillance, close-coast patrol, interdiction, and search & rescue. It will also provide assistance to the boats and craft in case of distress at sea.
  • The ship will be deployed to do surveillance of the Exclusive Economic Zone and other duties in accordance with the Coast Guard Charter. This will help in safeguarding the maritime interests of India.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Larsen & Toubro Ltd CEO: S. N. Subrahmanyan.
  • Larsen & Toubro Ltd Founded: 7 February 1938, Mumbai.
  • Larsen & Toubro Ltd Headquarters: Mumbai.

9. DRDO Conducts Two Successful Launches of VL-SRSAM Missile System

  • Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted two successful launches of Vertical Launch Short Range Surface to Air Missile (VL-SRSAM). DRDO carried out the launch from a static vertical launcher from Integrated Test Range (ITR), Chandipur off the coast of Odisha.
  • The launches were monitored by senior scientists from various DRDO labs involved in the design and development of the system. During the test launches, flight path and vehicle performance parameters were monitored using flight data, captured by various Range instruments.
  • The VL-SRSAM is indigenously designed and developed by DRDO for the Indian Navy, VL-SRSAM aims to neutralize various aerial threats at close ranges including sea-skimming targets.
  • The missiles intercepted the simulated targets with pinpoint accuracy. The missiles were tested for minimum and maximum range. VL-SRSAM with Weapon Control System was deployed during the trials.

10. Rajnath Singh inaugurates DRDO skill centre for fire safety training

  • Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh has inaugurated Skill Development Centre (SDC) for Fire Safety Training of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) through virtual mode at Pilkhuwa in Uttar Pradesh.
  • The first of its kind in India facility has been created by Delhi based DRDO laboratory ‘Centre for Fire, Explosive and Environment Safety (CFEES)’.
  • The SDC DRDO facility will help in developing trained human resources, fire safety technology and products to save precious human lives and valued assets.
  • The facility would be utilised for imparting fire prevention and fire-fighting training to the Fire Service personnel of Indian Armed Forces, DRDO, Ordnance Factories, Coast Guard and defence undertakings.

11. Union Bank Of India wins World HRD Congress Awards

  • Union Bank of India was awarded “Best Service Provider” in Human Resources and also the best institution for “Excellence in Learning & Development” at the 29th Global HRD Congress awards.
  • Kalyan Kumar, Chief General Manager, HR was named as “Chief Human Resources Officer of the Year”.
  • Global HRD Congress Awards are given to institutions annually for the best HR practices under different categories. The eminent jury which consists of the best in the industry will select the organizations taking into account their remarkable achievements in HR.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Bank of India Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Union Bank of India CEO: Rajkiran Rai G.
  • Union Bank of India Founded: 11 November 1919.

12. Home Minister released a book ‘Rashtra Pratham – 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha’

  • Home Minister Amit Shah has released a book ‘Rashtra Pratham – 82 varshon ki Swarnim Gatha’ in New Delhi.
  • The book chronicles the glorious history of CRPF since its raising in 1939 and it has detailed and thoroughly researched accounts of CRPF’s journey, challenges, successes, and sacrifices and said it will become a source of inspiration for personnel joining the force.
  • CRPF jawans have always remained at the forefront be it in Left Wing Extremism affected areas, borders or providing security ring to the Indian Parliament.

13. Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy Resigns

  • The Chief Minister of the Union Territory of Puducherry, V Narayanasamy has submitted the letter of his resignation and his council of ministers on February 22, 2021, to Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan.
  • The decision was taken as the Congress-led Government in the UT lost its majority in the House, which is 14. Following a series of resignations, the ruling government was reduced to a strength of 12. Two MLA resigned in January 2021 while 2 resigned in February 2021.

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