GK Update 25th June 2021

1. India and World Bank signs USD 32 million loan for Mizoram

  • The Government of India, along with the Government of Mizoram has signed a $32 million loan agreement with World Bank for Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project.
  • The project aims to improve the management capacity and quality of health services in Mizoram, with a focus on the benefit of under-served areas and vulnerable groups.
  • The project will strengthen the governance and the management structure of the Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) and its subsidiaries, improve the quality and coverage of services delivered by the state government health systems, and invest in a comprehensive Quality Assurance program which would enable quality certification of health facilities.
  • The Mizoram Health Systems Strengthening Project will benefit the people across all eight districts of the state. It will also benefit health sector staff, specifically at the secondary and primary levels, by strengthening their planning and management capacity along with building their clinical skills and competencies.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.
  • Chief Minister of Mizoram: Pu Zoramthanga; Governor: P.S. Sreedharan Pillai.

2. SBI launches Aarogyam healthcare business loan

  • The State Bank of India (SBI) has launched the Aarogyam healthcare business loan to provide enhanced support to the healthcare sector amid the pandemic.
  • Under this new product, the entire healthcare ecosystem such as hospitals, nursing homes, diagnostic centres, pathology labs, manufacturers, suppliers, importers, logistic firms engaged in critical healthcare supply can avail of loans up to Rs 100 crore (as per the geographic location) repayable in 10 years, the country’s largest state-owned bank.
  • The Aarogyam loan can be availed either as a term loan to support expansion or modernisation or as working capital facilities such as cash credit, bank guarantee/letter of credit.
  • In metro centres loans under Aarogyam can be availed up to Rs 100 crore, Tier I & Urban centres up to Rs 20 crore and in Tier II to Tier VI centres up to Rs 10 crore.
  • The beneficiary units/borrowing Companies availing loan of up to Rs 2 crore will not be required to offer any collateral or security to the bank as this will be covered under the guarantee scheme of Credit Guarantee Fund Trust for Micro and Small Enterprises (CGTMSE).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Chairperson: Dinesh Kumar Khara.
  • SBI Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • SBI Founded: 1 July 1955.

3. SBI Card partners with Fabindia to launch Fabindia SBI Card

  • SBI Card, the country’s second-largest credit card issuer and Fabindia, a retail platform for a wide range of handcrafted products by the artisans of the country, have joined hands to launch an exclusive co-branded contactless credit card named “Fabindia SBI Card”.
  • The card is designed with curated benefits and privileges to offer a rewarding shopping experience to its premium customers and comes in two variants — Fabindia SBI Card SELECT and Fabindia SBI Card.
  • The introduction of the new Fabindia SBI Card further bolsters our premium portfolio, reinforces our commitment to enable our customers to embrace digital payments and contribute to the country’s digital economy.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Card MD and CEO: Rama Mohan Rao Amara;
  • SBI Card Founded: October 1998;
  • SBI Card Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana.

4. S&P Projects India’s Growth Forecast for FY22 to 9.5%

  • S&P Global Ratings cut India’s FY22 growth forecast for the current fiscal to 9.5 per cent, from 11 per cent earlier, and warned of the risk to the outlook from further waves of COVID pandemic. It also projected India’s growth at 7.8 per cent in the next fiscal ending March 31, 2023. 
  • The agency lowered the growth outlook saying that a severe second COVID-19 outbreak in April and May led to lockdowns imposed by states and a sharp contraction in economic activity.

5. India- USA Navy Passage Exercise in Indian Ocean Region

  • The Indian Navy and the Air Force began a two-day passage exercise with U.S. Navy Carrier Strike Group (CSG) Ronald Reagan during its transit through the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). The exercise aims to strengthen the bilateral relationship and cooperation by demonstrating the ability to integrate and coordinate comprehensively in maritime operations.
  • The Navy’s INS Kochi and Teg, along with P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft and MiG 29K fighters, are participating in the exercise.
  • For the exercise, which is under the area of responsibility of the Southern Air Command, the IAF forces are operating from bases under four operational commands and include Jaguar and Su-30 MKI fighters, Phalcon and Netra early warning aircraft and IL-78 air to air refueller aircraft.
  • The U.S.’ CSG comprises Nimitz class aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey and Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh.
  • It has fielded F-18 fighters and E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft in the exercise being carried out south of Thiruvananthapuram on the western seaboard.

6. India successfully test fires subsonic cruise missile Nirbhay off Odisha coast

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) successfully test-fired the subsonic cruise missile ‘Nirbhay’ on June 24, 2021, from an Integrated Test Range (ITR) at Chandipur in Odisha’s Balasore. This was the eighth test flight of the missile. The first test flight of Nirbhay was held on 12 March 2013.
  • Nirbhay is a long-range, all-weather, subsonic cruise missile indigenously designed and developed by DRDO.
  • The missile can be launched from multiple platforms and is capable of carrying conventional and nuclear warheads.
  • Nirbhay is a two-stage missile and can engage several targets in a single flight.
  • The missile has a length of 6 metres, a width of 0.52 metres, a wingspan of 2.7 metres and weighs about 1500 kg.
  • It has a strike range of about 1500 km.

7. 9 Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable to be hosted by India

  • International Energy Forum (IEF) announced that India has agreed to host the 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable (AMER9).
  • The 9th Asian Ministerial Energy Roundtable will be held in 2022. Dates of this conference will be announced later and it will take forward the understandings reached in the previous meeting in Abu Dhabi during 2018.
  • The decision of India to be the host of this Energy Roundtable came after a virtual meeting between IEF Secretary-General Joseph McMonigle and Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
  • Chief executive officers of Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum, and Hindustan Petroleum Corp, in addition to senior officers from the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, were also present at the meeting.

International Energy Forum (IEF):

  • The International Energy Forum (IEF) is the world’s largest energy organization with 71 member countries, accounting for 90 per cent of the global energy market. It holds energy dialogue promoting energy security, market stability, and transparency in the transition to a sustainable and inclusive future.

8. ISRO, NOAA-led multinational project endorsed by UN body

  • UN body has endorsed a multinational project called “Committee on Earth Observation Satellites Coastal Observations, Applications, Services, and Tools (CEOS COAST)”. CEOS COAST programme is co-led by ISRO and NOAA from the US.
  • This programme aims to improve the accuracy of coastal data on the basis of satellite and land-based observations. Its pilot projects are uniquely capable of using Earth Observation technologies to meet several of the 17 UN-designated sustainable development goals for the Ocean Decade initiative.
  • NOAA stands for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The themes of these projects include disaster risk reduction and coastal resilience among continental shorelines and small island nations.
  • The CEOS COAST has been working collaboratively with stakeholders in industries such as agriculture, construction, and commercial/recreational fishing to support all forms of decision-makers from parents deciding which beach to take their kids to, to sailors navigating the coast, to policymakers taking action on climate change and more.

9. Cochin International Airport won honour in airport service quality

  • Cochin International Airport (CIAL) won Airport Council International (ACI) Director General’s Roll of Excellence honour in Airport Service Quality. This recognition is awarded to those airports which, in the opinion of passengers, consistently delivered excellent services.
  • Cochin International Airport has consistently delivered excellence in customer service by winning multiple awards for five years in past 10 years. It is one among six airports across the world that will receive recognition in 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Airport Council International Headquarters location: Montreal, Canada;
  • Airport Council International Founded: 1991.

10. Ruskin Bond’s book titled ‘It’s a wonderful Life’ launched

  • Indian British author Ruskin Bond has authored a new book titled ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is published by Aleph Book Company.
  • The book is written in a perceptive, uplifting, deeply moving, and non-fictional way.  He is a recipient of Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan. His First Novel was the Room on the Roof’.

11. Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks 100-meter backstroke world record

  • Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown breaks the 100-meter backstroke world record at the South Australian Aquatic Centre with a time of 57.45 seconds from the previous mark of 57.57 seconds set by American Regan Smith in 2019.
  • Emily Seebohm finished second in 58.59 to qualify for her fourth Olympics.

12. Day of the Seafarer: 25 June

  • The International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates the annual Day of the Seafarer (DoS) on June 25 each year to pay respect to Seafarers and sailors who help the entire world function by conducting sea transport.
  • 2021 marks the 11th anniversary of DoS. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers found themselves both on the front line of the global response and subject to difficult working conditions surrounding uncertainties and difficulties around port access, re-supply, crew changeovers, repatriation, etc.
  • The theme of the 2021 campaign is “Seafarers: at the core of shipping’s future”.
  • The day was proposed by International Maritime Organization (IMO) in 2010 to celebrate the contribution of the seafarer to the world economy and civil society. This special day has been celebrated since 2011.

13. World Vitiligo Day: 25 June

  • World Vitiligo Day is observed on June 25 to build global awareness about vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin disorder leading to loss of colour in the skin creating a variety of patterns on the skin from loss of pigment.
  • Vitiligo is often called a disease instead of a disorder and that can have a significant negative social or psychological impact on patients. The first World Vitiligo Day was observed on June 25, 2011.

14. John McAfee, founder of McAfee antivirus software, passes away

  • British-American Software pioneer, John David McAfee, the creator of the McAfee antivirus software, has passed away.
  • John was found dead in his cell in a jail near Barcelona, where he had been since October 2020, for evading taxes.
  • The incident happened shortly after his extradition to the United States was authorized by Spain’s National Court, on criminal charges filed in Tennessee by the Justice Department’s tax division.
  • He was accused to have deliberately failed to file tax returns between 2014 and 2018, despite earning millions from consulting work, cryptocurrencies, among other things.

15. Karnam Malleswari appointed 1st vice-chancellor of Delhi Sports University

  • The Delhi government appointed former Olympic medalist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari as the first Vice-Chancellor of Delhi Sports University. She is the first Indian woman weightlifter to bring home an Olympic medal.
  • She created history at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 by lifting 110 kilograms and 130 kilograms in the ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’ categories. She has also been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.

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