GK Update 2nd February 2021

1. Smriti Irani inaugurates 8th India International Silk Fair

  • The Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the 8th India International Silk Fair on Virtual Portal on 31st January 2021.
  • The five days event is being held on the Indian Silk Export Promotion Council’s virtual platform due to COVID-19 pandemic. The fair is considered to be India’s biggest silk fair.
  • More than 200 overseas buyers and an equal number of their representatives in India are participating to interact with more than 100 renowned and big Indian companies manufacturing and trading silk and silk blended products.
  • India is the only country in the world which produces all the four major varieties of silk, which are Mulberry, Eri, Tassar, and Muga.

2. Indian-American Bhavya Lal appointed Acting Chief of Staff of NASA

  • Indian-American Bhavya Lal was appointed by NASA as the Acting Chief of Staff of the US space agency.
  • She served as a member of the Biden Presidential Transition Agency Review Team for the agency and oversaw the agency’s transition under the administration of President Joe Biden.
  • Lal brings extensive experience in engineering and space technology, serving as a member of the research staff at the Institute for Defence Analyses Science and Technology Policy Institute (STPI) from 2005 to 2020.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.
  • NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.

3. Aung San Suu Kyi detained as army grabs power in Myanmar

  • In Myanmar, a military coup was put in place on 1st February 2021, after the country’s military detained State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi along with President Win Myint and other members of the ruling party.
  • Myanmar military (also known as the Tatmadaw), took this step because they declared the November 2020 Myanmar general election results fraudulent, in which Aung San Suu Kyi won a landslide victory in Parliamentary election 2020 to form next Government.
  • The military has handed over the power to military chief Min Aung Hlaing and declared a state of emergency for one year. Apart from this, former general Myint Swe would be acting president for the next year. The 2021 coup d’état is the third in Myanmar’s political history. The first two was held in 1962 and 1990.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Myanmar Capital: Naypyitaw.
  • Myanmar Currency: Kyat.

4. Nguyen Phu Trong re-elected as Chief of Vietnam for 3rd term

  • The ruling Community Party of Vietnam has re-elected its 76-year-old General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong for a third five-year term.
  • He is serving the post since 2011. Trong was granted an exemption to contest in the election, though he was above the age limit of 65.
  • The General Secretary is the highest office within the Communist Party of Vietnam. Trong also holds the position of the President of Vietnam since 2018.
  • Vietnam has a communist government, which means that the country does not have a single strongman at the apex.
  • There are four main leaders that collectively run the show which includes: The Communist Party general secretary, the prime minister, the president and the chair of the National Assembly.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Vietnam Capital: Hanoi.
  • Vietnam Currency: Vietnamese dong.
  • Vietnam Prime Minister: Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

5. Uttarakhand sets up Botanical Garden to conserve species of Shivalik range

  • In Nainital district of Uttarakhand, a first of its kind botanical garden named ‘Shivalik Arboretum’ has been inaugurated, for conserving over 210 species of trees found in the Shivalik range of Himalayas.
  • Shivalik Arboretum aims to spread nature education among people so that they are able to feel an emotional connect with the trees, and make them more active towards conservation.
  • The facility will showcase information like scientific information about particular species, cultural significance, medicinal use, country of origin, type of habitat in which it is found and all possible uses including as timber, dyes or any other peculiar use.
  • Some of the trees preserved include Kafal (Myrica esculenta), Buransh, (Rhododendron arboretum), Tejpat (Cinnamomum Tamala) and Sanjeevani (Sellaginella bryopteris).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister: Trivendra Singh Rawat.
  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya.

6. Facebook appoints Henry Moniz as its First Chief Compliance Officer

  • Facebook Inc. has appointed Henry Moniz as its first-ever Chief Compliance Officer. He will join Facebook on February 8 to lead the company’s global compliance team, to enhance its global compliance and risk management and promote the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct at the company.
  • Prior to this, Henry Moniz had been the chief compliance officer and chief audit executive at media company ViacomCBS Inc.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Executive Officer of Facebook: Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Facebook Headquarters: California, US.

7. Anish Shah appoint as new chairman of Mahindra Finance

  • Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services has announced the appointment of Anish Shah as the chairman of the board, effective April 2, 2021. Shah is already a director of the company.
  • He is the deputy managing director and group CFO of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Shah takes over from Dhananjay Mungale.
  • Mungale shall continue to be an Independent Director on the Board of MMFSL.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Founded: 1991.

8. PNB Restricts Withdraw of Money from non-EMV ATMs

  • Punjab National Bank (PNB) has decided to restrict its customers from withdrawing money from non-EMV automated teller machines (ATMs) with effect from 01 February 2021, in an attempt to check frauds, related to money transactions.
  • This restriction will apply to both, financial and non-financial transactions. To overcome this, PNB will introduce OTP based systems for withdrawing cash.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Punjab National Bank CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao (1 Oct 2019–).
  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Punjab National Bank Founders: Lala Lajpat Rai, Dyal Singh Majithia.

9. India top medals tally at first Asian Online Shooting Championship

  • The Indian shooting contingent has topped the medals tally in the first-ever Asian Online Shooting Championship, organised by Kuwait Shooting Federation.
  • The 24-member Indian shooting contingent won total 11 medals, which included four gold medals, two silver and five bronze medals. 274 shooters from 22 Asian countries took part in the competition.

List of Medal Winners from India:


  • Saurabh Chaudhary – men’s 10m air pistol
  • Divyansh Singh Panwar- men’s 10m air rifle
  • Kynan Chenai – men’s trap
  • Rajeshwari Kumari – women’s trap


  • Arjun Babuta – men’s 10m air rifle
  • Shreyasi Singh – women’s trap


  • Manu Bhaker – women’s 10m air pistol
  • Sarabjot Singh – men’s 10m air pistol
  • Deepak Kumar – men’s 10m air rifle
  • Prithviraj Tondaiman – men’s trap
  • Manish Keer – women’s trap

10. Tamil Nadu Beat Baroda to claim Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy

  • Tamil Nadu beat Baroda in the final to win the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2020-21. The tournament was the twelfth edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and was played at Sardar Patel Stadium (Motera Stadium), Ahmedabad.
  • The Player of the match title was won by Manimaran Siddharth (Tamil Nadu) who picked 4 wickets, conceding 20 runs. They needed 121 runs to win, which they achieved in 18 overs with 7 wickets.
  • Tamil Nadu team was lead by Dinesh Karthik (captain). This is the second Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) title for Tamil Nadu and their first title in 13 years. The team claimed their first SMAT title in 2006-07, that too under Karthik’s captaincy.

11. World Wetlands Day: 02 February

  • World Wetlands Day is observed every year on February 2 globally. The day aims to raise awareness about the crucial role played by wetlands for people and our planet.
  • The international theme for World Wetlands Day 2021 is ‘Wetlands and Water’. 2021 marks 50 years of the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The day is celebrated to mark the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on February 2, 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. World Wetlands Day was first celebrated in 1997.

12. Indian Coast Guard celebrates its 45th Raising Day

  • The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) is celebrating its 45th Raising Day on 01 February 2021. The ICG was formally established on February 1, 1977, by the Coast Guard Act, 1978 of the Parliament of India. It operates under the Ministry of Defence.
  • Beginning with just 7 surface platforms in 1978, ICG currently comprises of 156 ships and 62 aircraft in its inventory and is likely to achieve targeted force levels of 200 surface platforms and 80 aircraft by 2025.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

13. Pioneering US actress Cicely Tyson passes away

  • Pioneering US actress Cicely Tyson has passed away. Cicely Tyson, the pioneering Black actor who gained an Oscar nomination for her role as the sharecropper’s wife in ‘Sounder’ & won a Tony Award in 2013 at age 88.
  • She touched TV viewers’ hearts in ” The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” & won 2 Emmys for playing the 110-year-old former slave.

14. UN World Tourism Organization confirms 2020 as ‘worst year on record’

  • In accordance with the latest United Nations World Tourism Organization (UN-WTO) “World Tourism Barometer”, the year 2020 was the “worst year on record” as global tourism suffered adversely due to international travel bans implemented to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • International arrivals dropped by 74% & worldwide destinations welcomed 1 billion fewer international arrivals than in 2019.
  • This collapse in travel represents an estimated loss of $1.3 trillion in export revenues, more than 11 times less during the 2009 crisis.
  • On the regional front, Asia and the Pacific aced sharpest year-on-year contraction of 84% (-84%). It was followed by the Middle East (-75%) and Europe (-70%).

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