GK Update 25th August 2021

1. NITI Aayog and WRI Jointly Launch ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’

  • NITI Aayog and World Resources Institute (WRI), India, jointly launched the ‘Forum for Decarbonizing Transport’ in India.
  • NITI Aayog is the implementing partner for India. The aim of the project is to bring down the peak level of GHG emissions (transport sector) in Asia (in line with a well below 2-degree pathway), resulting in problems like congestion and air pollution.
  • The Forum has been launched under the NDC-Transport Initiative for Asia (NDC-TIA) project. The NDC Transport Initiative for Asia (TIA 2020-2023) is a joint programme of seven organizations that will engage China, India, and Vietnam in promoting a comprehensive approach to decarbonizing transport in their respective countries.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • NITI Aayog Formed: 1 January 2015;
  • NITI Aayog Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • NITI Aayog Chairperson: Narendra Modi;
  • NITI Aayog CEO: Amitabh Kant;
  • World Resources Institute Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States;
  • World Resources Institute Founder: James Gustave Speth;
  • World Resources Institute Founded: 1982.

2. Assam celebrates Wanchuwa Festival 2021

  • Tiwa tribesmen perform their traditional dnac eas they take part in Wanchuwa Festival in Assam. This festival is celebrated by Tiwa tribesmen to mark their good harvest. It comes with songs, dances, a bunch of rituals and people clad in their native attires.
  • Tiwa is also known as Lalung is an indigenous community inhabiting the states of Assam and Meghalaya and are also found in some parts of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. They are recognized as a Scheduled tribe within the state of Assam. They practice Jhum or shifting cultivation.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

3. Abhay Kumar Singh appointed as joint secretary in Ministry of Cooperation

  • Abhay Kumar Singh has been appointed as joint secretary in the Ministry of Cooperation. This ministry was recently formed with an aim to strengthen the cooperative movement in the country.
  • The appointment of Abhay Kumar Singh has been cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet headed by PM Modi.
  • Singh, a 2004-batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Bihar cadre, has been appointed as joint secretary in the ministry for a combined tenure of seven years against the newly created post.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister of Cooperation: Amit Shah.

4. RBI appointed panel suggests 4-tier structure for Urban Co-operative Banks

  • RBI appointed panel under the chairmanship of N. S. Vishwanathan suggests 4-tier structure for Urban Co-operative Banks; minimum CRAR (Capital to Risk-Weighted Assets Ratio) for them could vary from 9 per cent to 15 per cent.
  • A Reserve Bank-appointed committee has suggested a four-tier structure for the urban cooperative banks (UCBs) depending upon the deposits and prescribed different capital adequacy and regulatory norms for them based on their sizes.

The RBI committee said that UCBs can be split into four categories:

  • Tier-1 with deposits up to Rs 100 crore;
  • Tier-2 with deposits between Rs 100-Rs 1,000 crores;
  • Tier-3 with deposits between Rs 1,000 crore to Rs 10,000 and
  • Tier-4 with deposits of over Rs 10,000 crore.

5. Infosys hits $100 billion m-cap, fourth Indian firm to reach milestone

  • The shares of Information Technology major, Infosys hit a record high during intraday trading, which helped the company cross $100 billion in market capitalisation. Infosys is the fourth Indian company to achieve this milestone.
  • Reliance Industries (m-cap of $140 billion), Tata Consultancy Services (m-cap $115 billion) and HDFC Bank (m-cap $100.1 billion) are the other Indian firms in the club with Infosys.
  • Infosys has been one of the fastest-growing companies in India, providing business consulting, information technology and outsourcing services. In the quarter ending June 2021, Infosys reported a net consolidated profit of ₹5,195 crores, showing a growth of 2.3 per cent.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Infosys Founded: 7 July 1981.
  • Infosys CEO: Salil Parekh.
  • Infosys Headquarters: Bengaluru.

6. India emerges as Second in Global Manufacturing Risk Index

  • India has emerged as a global manufacturing hub and effectively surpassed the United States to become the world’s second most desired manufacturing destination.
  • This indicates the growing interest in India by manufacturers as a preferred manufacturing hub over other countries including the United States and the manufacturing giant nation, China.
  • India’s ranking was reflected in Cushman & Wakefield’s 2021 Global Manufacturing Risk Index. The index ranks 47 countries across Europe, the Americas, and the Asia Pacific.

7. Copenhagen tops EIU’s Safe Cities Index 2021

  • Copenhagen, the capital city of Denmark, has been named as the world’s safest city from among 60 global cities, in Safe Cities Index 2021, released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
  • Copenhagen scored 82.4 points out of 100, to top the fourth edition of the EIU’s biennial index, which measures the level of urban safety. Yangon is at the bottom of the index, as least safe city, with a score of 39.5.
  • From India, New Delhi and Mumbai have found a place in the index. New Delhi is placed at 48th position with a score of 56.1, while Mumbai is at 50th place with a score of 54.4.
  • The EIU’s Safe Cities Index is a global, policy benchmarking tool developed to measure global urban safety. The Index was first released in 2015.
  • In 2021, cities are ranked based on 76 indicators of security across five broad pillars, which are digital, health, infrastructure, personal and environmental.

8. Sri Basava International Award for seer of Bhalki Hiremath

  • Karnataka government has selected Sri Basavalinga Pattaddevaru, senior seer of Bhalki Hiremath, for the prestigious Sri Basava International Award. Minister for Kannada and Culture V. Sunil Kumar will present the award at Ravindra Kalakshetra in Bengaluru.
  • The septuagenarian seer has spent over five decades in the Lingayat religious institution in the Bidar district.
  • The centre was set up in 2003 when an abandoned baby from Ujani village near Aurad in Bidar district was adopted. The seer moved the court to adopt the child. The Central and State governments later recognised the centre as an authorised Central adoption resource agency.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Karnataka: Basavaraj S Bommai;
  • Karnataka Governor: Thawar Chand Gehlot;
  • Karnataka Capital: Bengaluru.

9. Tekchand as India’s new flag-bearer in Tokyo Paralympics

  • Mariyappan Thangavelu, 2016 Rio Paralympic Games gold medalist will be replaced by Asian Games gold medalist Tekchand as the new flag-bearer of India at the opening ceremony.
  • The Paralympic Committee of India reported, “On his flight to Tokyo, Mariyappan came in close contact with a Covid positive foreign passenger.
  • Though on reaching the village he has been tested for 6 days and all his reports are negative, but the Organizing Committee has advised not to make Mariyaapan participate in the Opening Ceremony. India will be represented by 54 para-athletes.

10. Shaili Singh bags Long Jump silver in WAU20 Championships

  • Shaili Singh claimed the women’s Long Jump silver medal in the World Athletics U20 Championships. Her slight wind-aided effort of 6.59m was only 1cm short of the gold medal jump by Sweden’s Maja Askag but her silver medal ensured that Indian athletics continues to showcase the progress it has been making.
  • Shaili Singh’s was India’s third medal in the World Athletics U20 Championships, coming after the bronze won by the Mixed Team in the 4x400m Relay and the silver by Amit Khatri in the men’s 10,000m Race Walk. India finished 21st on the medal table, aware that a gold would have lifted it to the top 15.

11. Princepal Singh becomes first Indian to be part of NBA championship roster

  • Princepal Singh became the first Indian to be part of an NBA title-winning team when his side Sacramento Kings clinched the 2021 NBA Summer League crown.
  • The 6-foot-9 forward made history by being the first Indian to be part of a championship roster at any level of the NBA. The Kings dominated the championship game against the Boston Celtics, clinching the title with a 100-67 win.

12. Union minister Anurag Thakur to kick-off ‘Iconic Week’ celebrations

  • Union minister for information and broadcasting Anurag Thakur has kicked off a series of activities to celebrate the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ starting August 23. The series of events will go on till August 29.
  • The activities organised by the ministry will aim to ‘ showcase the convergence of the values and glories of the freedom struggle of the past with the aspirations and dreams of a young, new and iconic India’.
  • Thakur kicks off the ‘Iconic Week’ which attract participation from across the country under the overall spirit of ‘Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan’. During the Iconic Week, the ministry showcases the journey of new India and celebrate the contribution of freedom fighters, including the ‘Unsung Heroes of the freedom struggle, through massive outreach activities.

13. Former national football coach SS Hakim passes away

  • Syed Shahid Hakim, former India footballer and member of the last national team that played in the 1960 Rome Olympics, passed away. Hakim ‘saab’, as he was popularly known, was 82 years old.
  • In his more than five-decade association with Indian football, Hakim, a Dronacharya Awardee, has also been an assistant coach to late PK Banerjee during the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.
  • A former Squadron Leader of the Indian Air Force, Hakim was also a Regional Director of Sports Authority of India and his last assignment was as Project Director in charge of scouting before the 2017 U-17 FIFA World Cup.

14. British comedian Sean Lock passes away

  • British comedian Sean Lock has passed away. He was one of Britain’s finest comedians, his boundless creativity, lightning wit and the absurdist brilliance of his work, marked him out as a unique voice in British comedy.
  • In the year 2000, Sean Lock had won the gong at the British Comedy Awards for the best live stand-up performance.

15. India’s Evacuation Mission From Afghanistan named as ‘Operation Devi Shakti’

  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has given a name to India’s complex mission of evacuating its citizens from war-torn Afghanistan, as ‘Operation Devi Shakti’.
  • The name of the operation was known when External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar mentioned it in a tweet on August 24 while referring to the arrival of a fresh batch of 78 evacuees in Delhi.
  • India began the complex evacuation mission by airlifting 40 Indians from Kabul to Delhi on August 16, a day after the Taliban seized control of the Afghan capital city. So far, India has evacuated over 800 people amid a deteriorating security situation in Kabul and scramble by various nations to rescue their citizens.

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