GK Update 24th June 2021

1. India’s official Olympic theme song ‘Lakshya Tera Samne Hai’ released

  • Ahead of the Tokyo Games, the official Olympic theme song for the Indian contingent was launched.
  • Mohit Chauhan has composed and sung the song titled “Lakshya Tera Samne Hai”. The Games will open on July 23 and over 100 Indian athletes have qualified for the event so far.
  • The event was organised by Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and attended by its President, Secretary-General, Deputy Chef De Mission, Sports Secretary and DG Sports Authority of India (SAI). Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju was the chief guest at the event.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Olympic Association President: Narayana Ramachandran;
  • Indian Olympic Association Founded: 1927.

2. Nikol Pashinyan elected as Armenia Prime Minister

  • Armenia’s acting prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, kept power in a parliamentary election that boosted his authority despite being widely blamed for a military defeat last year in the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Nikol’s Civil Contract party won 53.92% of the votes cast.
  • An alliance led by his rival, ex-leader Robert Kocharyan, came second with 21%, according to the results based on ballots from 100% of precincts counted. Kocharyan was Armenia’s president from 1998 to 2008.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Capital of Armenia: Yerevan.
  • Currency of Armenia: Armenian dram.

3. Odisha CM launches ‘Ashirbad’ for education and health of Covid orphans

  • Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced a new scheme ‘Ashirbad’ for the education, health and maintenance of Covid orphans.
  • The Chief Minister announced that Rs 2500 per month will be deposited in the bank accounts of family members who have taken the responsibility for the children after the death of their parents.
  • Children who lost their parents or the main earning person of the family on April 1, 2020, or thereafter to Covid-19 will be eligible to be covered under the scheme. Such children under distress have been divided into three categories.
  • Those who have lost both their parents, those who have lost either father or mother and those whose main earning member of the family, either father or mother have died.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Odisha: Naveen Patnaik and Governor is Ganeshi Lal.

4. Raghuram Rajan named in Tamil Nadu economic advisory panel

  • The Tamil Nadu government named Nobel laureate Esther Duflo and former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan as part of a five-member Economic Advisory Council for the state.
  • The other members in the council are former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, development economist Jean Drèze and former Union Finance Secretary S Narayan.
  • The five-member team was put together by finance minister Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, who was an investment banker in the US and Singapore before he entered politics. Based on the recommendations of this Council, the government will revitalise the state’s economy and ensure that the benefits of economic growth reach all segments of society.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Tamil Nadu governor Banwarilal Purohit;
  • MK Stalin chief minister of Tamil Nadu.

5. Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani e-launches Agricultural Diversification Scheme

  • Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has virtually launched the ‘Agricultural Diversification Scheme-2021’, with the aim of making agriculture sustainable and profitable in the tribal areas of the state.
  • The scheme will benefit more than 1.26 lakh vanbandhu- farmers from 14 tribal districts in Gujarat.
  • The state government would distribute fertilizer-seed assistance worth around Rs. 31 crores to tribal farmers, which will also include 45 kg of urea, 50 kg of NPK and 50 kg of ammonium sulphate.
  • Gujarat government has already provided assistance of Rs. 250 crore to 10 lakh tribal farmers under this scheme in the last ten years.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Gujarat Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani;
  • Gujarat Governor: Acharya Devvrat.

6. World’s first-ever genetically modified rubber planted in Assam

  • In Assam, the world’s first genetically modified (GM) rubber plant has been planted by Rubber Board, at the board’s farm in Sarutari near Guwahati.
  • The GM rubber sapling was developed at the Rubber Research Institute of India (RRII), in Puthuppally, Kottayam, Kerala.
  • This first of its kind plant has been developed exclusively for the northeast so that they can thrive in the climatic conditions of the region..
  • The need to develop the GM rubber plant was felt because Natural rubber is a native of warm humid Amazon forests and is not naturally suited for cold conditions in the northeast.
  • The crop is currently planted on an experimental basis and once the trials are over, the new crop will greatly benefit farmers as well as give a big boost to rubber production in the country.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

7. Jasprit Bumrah roped in as brand ambassador OnePlus

  • OnePlus, the global technology brand welcomed cricketer Jasprit Bumrah as Brand Ambassador for its Wearables category.
  • The partnership with Bumrah reiterates the brand philosophy of ‘Never Settle’ and the company’s pursuit towards perfection.
  • The OnePlus Wearable category includes the OnePlus Watch, the first global smart wearable from OnePlus that offers a premium design, seamless connection, smart fitness tracking and an incredible battery life.

Banking News

8. SBI General Insurance and IDFC First Bank tie-up for bancassurance

  • SBI General Insurance, one of the leading general insurance companies in India, has signed a corporate agency agreement with IDFC FIRST Bank for the distribution of non-life insurance Solution.
  • Through this agreement, SBI general insurance will access the IDFC first bank’s larger customer base resulting in wider penetration of its insurance products through the latter’s digital-first approach.
  • Under this strategic agreement, SBI General Insurance will offer insurance products such as health, personal accident, home, motor and travel along with the commercial line of insurance products such as property, marine and engineering insurance to the bank’s customers.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IDFC First Bank Establishment: 2018;
  • IDFC First Bank MD & CEO: V. Vaidyanathan;
  • IDFC First Bank Headquarters; Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • SBI general insurance MD & CEO: Prakash Chandra Kandpal;
  • SBI general insurance Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • SBI general insurance Tagline: Suraksha Aur Bharosa Dono.

9. Kotak Mahindra Bank launches ‘Pay Your Contact’ service

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank has announced the launch of ‘Pay Your Contact’ the new feature that enables its customers to send money or make payments to any of their contacts across all payment apps simply by the beneficiary’s mobile number.
  • The ‘Pay Your Contact’ service is available on the lender’s mobile banking app and uses the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) platform.
  • The ‘Pay Your Contact’ feature on Kotak mobile banking app has made payments as easy and simple as can be. Kotak customers can now make their payments to a friend, household help, neighbourhood shop etc. just by knowing the beneficiary’s mobile number.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Establishment: 2003;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank MD & CEO: Uday Kotak;
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Tagline: Let’s Make Money Simple.

10. Moody’s Revises India’s GDP growth rate to 9.6%

  • Moody’s Investors Service has slashed India’s growth projection to 9.6 per cent for the 2021 calendar year, from its earlier estimate of 13.9 per cent. For the calendar year 2022, GDP growth is projected at 7 per cent.
  • In its report titled ‘Macroeconomics India: Economic shocks from second COVID wave will not be as severe as last year’s, Moody’s said high-frequency economic indicators show that the second wave of COVID-19 infections hit India’s economy in April and May.

11. Jamsetji Tata tops inaugural list of Top Philanthropists of the Century

  • Jamsetji Nusserwanji Tata, Indian pioneer industrialist and founder of the Tata Group, has topped the inaugural, EdelGive Hurun Philanthropists of the Century list, which ranks the world’s 50 most generous individuals in the last century.
  • As per the report, the total donations made by Mumbai-based Jamsetji Tata is estimated at US$102.4 billion. He is the only Indian among the top 10 list, compiled by Hurun Research and EdelGive Foundation.
  • The only other Indian in the list of 50 global philanthropists is Azim Premji, former chairman of Wipro. He is ranked at 12th position.
  • Bill Gates & Melinda French Gates ranked second with donations worth $74.6 billion. They are followed by Henry Wellcome ($56.7 billion), Howard Hughes ($38.6 billion), and Warren Buffett ($37.4 billion) respectively.

12. Actor Will Smith announced his autobiography ‘Will’

  • Actor Will Smith, who revealed the title and cover of his upcoming autobiography “Will”. The book, to be published Nov. 9 by Penguin Press.
  • Will Smith is co-writing the book with author Mark Manson, and the cover is designed by New Orleans artist Brandan “BMike” Odums. Smith will also narrate the audiobook of Will from Penguin Random House Audio.
  • The book will delve into him being raised in West Philadelphia to entering superstardom as an actor and rapper. He’s a two-time Academy Award nominee and won a four-time Grammy winner.
  • Smith starred in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bad Boys, Men in Black and Pursuit of Happyness. He’s won Grammys for Summertime, Men In Black, Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It and Parents Just Don’t Understand.

13. Harsh Vardhan unveils ‘My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child’ book

  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan has unveiled Krishna Saksena’s book “My Joys and Sorrows – as a Mother of a Special Child”. It is the epitome of the bravery and endurance of a mother, in the best tradition of Indian motherhood.
  • The book is full of beautiful photographs, including some black and white ones which have historical significance, not only because some of them feature public personalities but also because it chronicles the domestic as well as the professional context of the times.

14. NTPC wins recognition of India’s best employers among Nation-Builders 2021

  • For the first time, NTPC won recognition as India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. It has been recognized as the ‘Great Place to Work’ for the 15th straight year by the Great Places to Work Institute. It has been ranked at 38th. It was ranked 47 last year.
  • It also won its first-ever recognition of India’s Best Employers among Nation-Builders 2021. NTPC, a Maharatna Community and Public Sector Unit work under the Ministry of Power.
  • The PSU has also won the CII HR Excellence Role model award in March 2021. It is the highest award in the field of people management in the country.
  • The ‘Great Place to Work’ certification is recognised worldwide and is considered the gold standard in identifying and recognizing great workplaces with high trust and high-performance cultures. It is the most definitive ‘Employer of Choice’ recognition certification that the organization aim to achieve.

15. New Zealand crowned first ICC World Test Championship

  • New Zealand defeated India to win the first ICC World Test Championship. New Zealand chased down the target of 139 to win the first-ever World Test Championship final with eight wickets in hand.
  • The last day of the match was played on June 23, 2021. The match saw 6 days play in place of the regular 5 days due to the rain factor. Kyle Jamieson (NZ) has been adjudged as the “Player of the match”, while Kane Williamson (NZ) is the “Player of the series”.
  • The first test championship began in 2019 with the finals being played in 2021.
  • The top three teams, as a result, are: First: New Zealand; Second- India; Third- Australia.
  • The final match was played at Ageas Bowl Stadium (Rose Bowl Stadium) in Southampton, England.
  • The next Test Championship will be held between 2021-2023.

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