GK Update 26th March 2021

1. Nirmala Sitharaman launches Central Scrutiny Centre and IEPFA mobile App

  • Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman virtually inaugurated Central Scrutiny Centre (CSC) and Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority’s (IEPFA) Mobile App.
  • The two tech-enabled initiatives have been launched by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs to leverage digital solutions to achieve the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Digitally empowered India. 
  • The Mobile App will focus on financial literacy by spreading investors’ awareness, education, and protection among investors.
  • The Mobile App has been developed for citizen engagement and information dissemination to promote awareness among investors.
  • The Central Scrutiny Centre will scrutinize certain Straight Through Process (STP) Forms filed by the corporates on the MCA21 registry and flag the companies for more in-depth scrutiny.


2. Hardeep Singh Puri inaugurates Kurnool Airport in Andhra Pradesh

  • Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri has inaugurated the Kurnool Airport, in Andhra Pradesh virtually. The flight operations at Kurnool airport will begin on 28 March 2021.
  • This airport has been developed under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik (RCS-UDAN).
  • Kurnool airport will bring the region closer to major hubs in South India by providing direct flight operations to Bangalore, Vishakhapatnam and Chennai.
  • Kurnool is the 6th airport in Andhra Pradesh to become functional after Kadapa, Visakhapatnam, Tirupati, Rajahmundry & Vijayawada.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy; Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

3. Vizag gets mobile water from air kiosk and Water Knowledge Centre

  • The Hyderabad-based startup, Maithri Aquatech has set up the world’s first mobile water-from-air kiosk and ‘Water Knowledge Centre’ in the smart city of Visakhapatnam.
  • This initiative is supported by Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) and project SEWAH (Sustainable Enterprises for Water and Health) – an alliance between USAID and SWN (Safe Water Network).
  • The kiosk will provide clean potable water from the air by making use of Maithri Aquatech’s Meghdoot solution as a source to generate water with no dependency on groundwater as well as surface water resources.
  • The kiosk will also function as a Water Knowledge Resource Centre (WRKC) by creating awareness and imparting necessary information to members of the local underserved communities as well as nearby schools on the benefits of good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) practices.


4. Principal Scientific Advisor K. VijayRaghavan gets an extension

  • The government has extended the term of Principal Scientific Advisor (PSA) K. VijayRaghavan by a year. He was appointed PSA in 2018 after retiring as Secretary of, Department of Biotechnology. His contract ends on April 2 but has now been extended until April 2022.
  • Since the pandemic began, the Office of the PSA has been among the key coordinating agencies with industry, research bodies, health and science ministries to accelerate the development of diagnostics, drugs and vaccines.
  • The PSA office has also been instrumental in formulating the National Science Innovation and Technology Policy as well as the forthcoming National Research Foundation.

5. Sanjeev Kumar appointed as Chairman of Airports Authority of India

  • IAS Sanjeev Kumar has appointed as Chairman of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
  • Kumar is a 1993-batch IAS officer of Maharashtra cadre. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved his appointment.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Airports Authority of India Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Airports Authority of India Founded: 1 April 1995.

6. Atish Chandra appointed as CMD of Food Corporation of India

  • Atish Chandra has been appointed as Chairman and Managing Director, Food Corporation of India in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary.
  • Mr Chandra, a 1994 batch IAS officer of Bihar cadre, is currently Joint Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Food Corporation of India Founded: 14 January 1965.
  • Food Corporation of India Headquarters: New Delhi.

7. Saurabh Garg appointed as new CEO of UIDAI

  • Senior bureaucrat, Saurabh Garg has been appointed as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as part of a bureaucratic reshuffle effected by the Centre.
  • Mr Garg is at present serving in his cadre state Odisha. He is a 1991 batch IAS officer.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr Garg as the CEO, UIDAI in the rank and pay of Additional Secretary, an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • UIDAI Founded: 28 January 2009;
  • UIDAI Headquarters: New Delhi.


8. Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Vajra’ commissioned to the Indian Coast Guard

  • L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) ICGS Vajra was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, at Chennai.
  • ICGS Vajra is the sixth vessel in the series of seven OPVs being built by L&T under a Ministry of Defence contract signed in the year 2015. Like the five OPVs in the series, ICGS Vajra was also delivered ahead of the contractual schedule.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Director-General of Indian Coast Guard: Krishnaswamy Natarajan.
  • Indian Coast Guard Headquarters: New Delhi.


9. Asha Bhosle to be honoured with ‘Maharashtra Bhushan’

  • Legendary singer Asha Bhosle will be honoured with the prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan Award for the year 2020. A committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray decided to select Ms Bhosle for the award for the year 2020.
  • Ms Bhosle, whose sister Lata Mangeshkar won the award for 1997, said she got to know from Mr Thackeray that she has been selected for the award for 2020. Ms Bhosle received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2000.
  • The award, instituted in 1996 by the State government to recognise distinguished work and achievements of eminent persons from the State, representing different walks of life, carries a cash prize of ₹10 lakh and a citation. 
  • The first Maharashtra Bhushan awardee was Marathi writer P.L. Deshpande and the last winner of this award was historian Babasaheb Purandare who got it for the year 2015.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Maharashtra Governor: Bhagat Singh Koshyari.
  • Maharashtra Capital: Mumbai.
  • Maharashtra CM: Uddhav Thackeray.


10. Yogasana Included in Khelo India Youth Games 2021

  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has included Yogasana in Khelo India Youth Games 2021 in a bid to develop it as a competitive sport. Yogasana sport for both male and female categories have been included in Khelo India Youth Games, 2021.
  • Rijiju has written a reply in the Lok Sabha that the government has also given recognition to the National Yogasana Sports Federation (NYSF) for the promotion and development of Yogasana in the country.
  • An International Yogasana Sports Federation was formed under the presidentship of yoga guru Baba Ramdev with HR Nagendra as secretary-general in November 2019.

11. Khelo India Scheme extended till 2025-26

  • Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has decided to extend the Khelo India scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26. The Ministry has furnished an Expenditure Finance Committee (EFC) memorandum to the Ministry of Finance for extension/continuation of the Khelo India Scheme from 2021-22 to 2025-26.
  • An amount of Rs 8750 crore has been estimated as the financial implication of the new Khelo India Scheme (2021-22 to 2025-26) in the EFC memorandum furnished to the Ministry of Finance. An amount of Rs 657.71 crore has been al


12. J&K LG Manoj Sinha e-inaugurates 73 AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres

  • Jammu and Kashmir, LG Manoj Sinha has e-inaugurated 73 AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres under Ayushman Bharat across the UT. These centres aim to promote good health and expanding the outreach of comprehensive primary healthcare services to the people of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • The Lt Governor observed that AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres would be a game-changer in the UT of J&K, especially in promoting the AYUSH sector, so that comprehensive primary health care through AYUSH principles and practices is provided to the community for achieving the basic objective of holistic wellness model by advocating self-care and home remedies amongst the community.
  • Some of the features of AYUSH Health & Wellness Centres include medicinal plants garden, yoga space, providing training and suggestions for home treatment, promoting Dincharya (Art of healthy Living), Ritucharya (Wellness calendar) and a personalized healthcare approach.

13. IIT Kharagpur wins CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0

  • A team of four undergraduate students from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur emerged as winners at the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 6.0, sponsored by Cushman and Wakefield, KI and IA: Interior Architects.
  • The team comprised Siddhant Samarth, Pratim Majumdar, Rishita Raj and Utkarsh Agrawal and were guided by Prof. Jenia Mukherjee (Department of Humanities and Social Sciences).
  • CoreNet Global is a non-profit association, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia (US), representing more than 11,000 executives in 50 countries with strategic responsibility for the real estate assets of large corporations.
  • The organization’s mission is to advance the practice of corporate real estate through professional development opportunities, publications, research, conferences, designations and networking in 46 local chapters and networking groups globally.

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