GK Update 28th August 2021

1. India elected to CA And POC of Universal Postal Union

  • India has won the elections for membership of two key bodies of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), during the 27th UPU Congress in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
  • India got elected to the Council of Administration(CA) with 134 votes, out of 156 countries. The country received the highest votes in CA elections from South Asia and the Oceania region.
  • Apart from this, India has also been elected to the Postal Operations Council (POC) with 106 votes. India will now work with all to strengthen cooperation in the Universal Postal Union.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Universal Postal UnionHeadquarters: Bern, Switzerland;
  • Universal Postal UnionFounded: 9 October 1874;
  • Universal Postal Union Director-General; Masahiko Meteko.

2. Ministry of Labour & Employment launches e-Shram Portal

  • Ministry of Labour & Employment has launched e-Shram Portal to link Unorganised Workers with social security schemes being implemented by the Central and State Governments.
  • Minister for Labour and Employment, Bhupender Yadav has launched the portal where 38 crore Unorganised Workers can register themselves and in turn benefit from various social security schemes.
  • Every unorganised worker who registers on the eSHRAM Portal will get Rs 2.0 Lakh Accidental Insurance cover. (Rs 2.0 Lakh on death or permanent disability and Rs 1.0 lakh on partial disability).
  • Upon registration on the eSHRAM Portal, the worker will get an eSHRAM card with a unique 12 digit Universal Account Number (UAN) and will be able to access the benefits of the various social security schemes through this Card anywhere anytime.
  • eSHRAM Portal will help in the creation of a National Database of Unorganized Workers (NDUW).

3. China, Pakistan, Thailand, Mongolia to hold military exercise “Shared Destiny-2021”

  • The armed force of the country China, Pakistan, Mongolia and Thailand will take part in a multinational peacekeeping exercise named “Shared Destiny-2021”. The exercise will be held in China in the month of September 2021.
  • The four countries will take part in the first multinational peacekeeping live exercise “Shared Destiny-2021” at the combined-arms tactical training base of the PLA in Henan’s Queshan county.
  • All the four countries will dispatch more than 1,000 troops to participate in the drills, involving units of infantry, fast response, security, helicopter, engineering, transportation and medical services.
  • The scenario of the exercise is joint operations of multinational peacekeeping forces and the exercise will be held in a close-to-real battlefield environment set in accordance with the international, professional and realistic combat standards.

4. Mansukh Mandaviya appointed Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board

  • Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Mansukh Mandaviya has taken over charge as the Chairperson of Stop TB Partnership Board.
  • He has replaced Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan as the chairman. India aims to end TB by 2025 while the UN aims to end TB by 2030.
  • The Stop TB Partnership is a United Nations-hosted partnership program that aims to fight against tuberculosis collectively.
  • The Stop TB Partnership also welcomed the incoming Board Vice-Chair Austin Arinze Obiefuna. He will take over as the Board Vice-Chair from 1 January 2022 for a period of three years.

5. G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment held in Italy

  • The First-ever G20 Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment was held at Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy. It was held in mixed format i.e people participated in physical form and via video conference also.
  • The Union Minister of Women & Child Development, Smt. Smriti Irani addressed the meet on behalf of India. The Union Minister reaffirmed India’s commitment towards addressing gender and women-centric issues through mutual cooperation.
  • G20 Conference on Women Empowerment acknowledged the common objectives and shared responsibilities to advance the goals of equality and development of women and girls in all spheres including STEM, Financial and Digital Literacy, Environment and Sustainability.

6. NSG commandos undertake counter-terrorist drills ‘Gandiv’

  • The third edition of the week-long annual exercise called ‘Gandiv’ was launched at these locations by the NSG from August 22 and it will continue till August 28.
  • Multiple cities in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and the National Capital Region are hosting synchronised commando drills as part of a national mock exercise being carried out by the counter-terrorism force National Security Guard (NSG) to check its response time and reaction to hostage and hijack-like situations. Gandiv was the name of Arjuna’s bow in Mahabharata.
  • The drills are aimed to “validate the planning parameters” of the commando force in the event of a terrorist attack, hijack of an aircraft or hostage situation.
  • The NSG was raised as a federal counter-terrorism force in 1984 to undertake surgical commando operations in order to neutralise terrorist and hijack threats. It also has a special squad that provides armed security cover to at least 13 high-risk VVIPs at present.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • National Security Guard Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • The motto of the National Security Guard: Sarvatra Sarvottam Suraksha.

7. BPR&D collaborates with AICTE to launch India’s first hackathon “MANTHAN 2021”

  • The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D) in collaboration with the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) have launched a unique national Hackathon named ‘MANTHAN 2021’.
  • The basic objective of this hackathon is to identify innovative concepts and technology solutions for addressing the security challenges of the 21st century faced by the intelligence agencies of the country and empower these enforcement agencies.
  • The Hackathon is scheduled to be held from November 28 to December 01, 2021, in an online mode.
  • The winning team will receive a number worth Rs. 40 Lakh.
  • The Hackathon will be held under 6 themes for 20 different challenge statements using new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Deep Learning, Augmented reality, Machine Learning among others.

8. Election Commission organizes SVEEP Consultation Workshop

  • The Election Commission of India (ECI) organized the Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) Consultation Workshop. As a part of this workshop, the Chief Election Commissioner, Sushil Chandra along with Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar unveiled a new initiative.
  • The main objective of the two-day workshop was to review State SVEEP Plans, conduct extensive deliberations on the important aspects of SVEEP and formulate a comprehensive strategy for future elections.
  • The SVEEP program is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education & awareness.
  • The new voters would send a personalized letter from the Commission when sending out their Voter ID Cards.
  • The package would include a Voter Guide for new voters, a congratulatory letter and a pledge for ethical voting.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Election Commission Formed: 25 January 1950;
  • Election Commission Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • First executive of Election Commission: Sukumar Sen.

9. Niti Aayog releases NER District SDG Index report

  • NITI Aayog and Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region have launched the North Eastern Region District SDG Index Report and Dashboard 2021–22, with technical support from UNDP. The index is based on NITI Aayog’s SDG India Index.
  • According to the report, the East Sikkim district of Sikkim has topped the North Eastern Region (NER) District SDG Index 2021-22 while the Kiphire district of Nagaland was ranked last amongst 103 districts in the ranking. Gomati, North Tripura is second, West Tripura is third in the ranking.
  • The Index measures the performance of the districts of the eight states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura on the Sustainable Development Goals and ranks these districts on the basis of the same. NER District SDG Index is the first of its kind in the country as it focuses on the North Eastern Region.

10. Sonu Sood to be brand ambassador by Delhi govt for ‘Desh ke Mentors’ Programme

  • Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has announced that Bollywood actor Sonu Sood will be the brand ambassador of the Delhi government’s ‘Desh Ke Mentors’ programme. The programme will be soon launched by Delhi Government.
  • The programme entails “adopting” one to ten government school students who can be mentored by citizens who are successful in their respective fields. Mentors will take out 10 minutes every week to guide students over the phone.
  • Interested citizens can adopt between one to ten children studying in the city’s government schools as part of the initiative.

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