GK Update 2nd June 2021

1. RDSO Becomes First Standards Body to Join ‘One Nation, One Standard’ Scheme

  • Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), which sets standards for the Indian Railway Sector, has become the first standards body in the country to join the ‘One Nation, One Standard’ scheme of the central government.
  • The RDSO, the sole R&D wing of the Railways Ministry, has now been recognised as a ‘Standard Developing Organisation’ by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), for a three years period.BIS is the implementing agency for the ‘One Nation, One Standard’ scheme. RDSO and BIS will be now jointly defining the parameters to ensure quality goods and services for the Railways.
  • The ‘One Nation, One Standard’ scheme was launched in 2019 with the objective to develop one template of standard for one given product in the country, instead of having multiple agencies set it, thereby building a ‘Brand India’ identity in the long run.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • RDSO Headquarters location: Lucknow;
  • RDSO Founded: 1921.

2. Narendra Singh Tomar launches Horticulture Cluster Development Programme

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Narendra Singh Tomar virtually launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP) to ensure holistic growth of horticulture. In a pilot phase, the programme will be implemented in 12 horticulture clusters out of the total 53 clusters selected for the programme.
  • A central sector programme implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, CDP aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive. The programme is designed to leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare (MoA&FW) has identified 53 horticulture clusters, of which 12 have been selected for the pilot launch of the programme. Based on the learnings from the pilot project, the programme will be scaled up to cover all the identified clusters.


3. WHO names Covid-19 variants first found in India as ‘Kappa’ and ‘Delta’

  • The UN health agency, World Health Organisation (WHO), has given easy-to-say labels to two variants of the Covid-19, first found in India. The two variants are B.1.617.1 and B.1.617.2.
  • The B.1.617.1 variant of the Covid 19 has been named as ‘Kappa’ while the B1.617.2 variant is named as ‘Delta.’
  • 3The naming of these variants do not aim at replacing the existing scientific names of these #SARSCoV2 Variants of Concern (VOCs) & Interest (VOIs), but is aimed at helping the public discussion about VOI/VOC.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • WHO was established on 7 April 1948.
  • WHO is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for international public health.
  • WHO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • WHO current President is Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.


4. Justice A.K. Mishra to head NHRC

  • Former Supreme Court judge Arun Kumar Mishra will be the new chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after a high-powered recommendation committee proposed his name.
  • The selection panel consisted of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, Harivansh, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge.
  • Former Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court, Mahesh Mittal Kumar, and former Director of Intelligence Bureau, Rajiv Jain, had also been recommended by the high-powered panel as members of the NHRC but the official notification is yet to be out until the filing of this report.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • NHRC Formed: 12 October 1993;
  • NHRC Jurisdiction: Government of India;
  • NHRC Headquarters: New Delhi.

5. Magma Fincorp appoints Adar Poonawalla as chairman

  • Magma Fincorp has appointed Adar Poonawalla as its chairman as part of a management overhaul following the Poonawala-controlled Rising Sun Holdings acquiring a controlling stake in it. Rising Sun invested Rs 3,456 crore in the non-bank lender earlier this month.
  • Magma will soon be rebranded as Poonawalla Group company. The lender has also appointed Abhay Bhutada as MD & Vijay Deshwal as CEO.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Magma Fincorp Headquarters: West Bengal;
  • Magma Fincorp Founder: Mayank Poddar and Sanjay Chamria;
  • Magma Fincorp Founded: 1988.

6. Vice-Admiral Ravneet Singh assumes charge as Deputy Chief of Naval Staff

  • Vice-Admiral Ravneet Singh, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM), and Nausena Medal (NM) holder assumed charge as the Deputy Chief of Naval Staff.
  • He relieves Vice Admiral MS Pawar, a Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM), AVSM, Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) holder, who superannuated on May 31.

7. IBF appoints Justice (retd.) Vikramjit Sen as the chairman

  • The Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) announced the appointment of former Supreme Court judge Justice Vikramjit Sen as the Chairman of its newly formed self-regulatory body Digital Media Content Regulatory Council (DMCRC).
  • DMCRC is formed as per the mandate of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021. The move was done to bring together the broadcasters and OTT (over-the-top) platforms.


8. OECD estimate growth cut of India to 9.9% FY22

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has cut India’s growth projection to 9.9 % for Financial Year 2022. In March, it estimated growth to 12.6%.
  • The rate was cut witnessing covid cases lockdowns which have threatened to stall the nascent economic recovery of India.
  • As per OECD, “pandemic can be contained quickly but GDP (gross domestic product) growth will still be about 10% in 2021-22 and 8% in 2022-23. 

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • OECD Headquarters: Paris, France;
  • OECD Founded: 30 September 1961.

9. SBI Economists Revises GDP Growth Estimate in FY22 to 7.9%

  • SBI economists, in its research report “Ecowrap”, has sharply cut the GDP growth estimates for the Indian economy to 7.9 per cent in FY22, compared to an earlier projection of 10.4 per cent. This is the lowest growth rate estimate for India among all analysts.
  • The key factor for revision in the growth estimate is the impact of the second wave of COVID-19 infections.
  • The SBI economists project a “W-shaped” recovery in FY22, with two troughs, instead of the earlier anticipated “V-shaped” recovery.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

10. Moody’s Projects Indian Economy to grow 9.3% in FY22

  • According to Moody’s Investors Service, India’s economy will rebound in the current financial year to mark a growth of 9.3 per cent but the second Covid-19 wave has increased risks to the country’s outlook with potential longer-term credit implications.
  • Moody’s Investors Service has projected the GDP growth rate of the Indian economy as follows: 2021-22 (FY22): 9.3%; 2022-23 (FY23): 7.9%.
  • In terms of Sovereign ratings, Moody’s has estimated a ‘Baa3’ rating on India with a negative outlook.
  • The economy rebounded quickly from a steep contraction in 2020, it said. But risks to India’s credit profile including a persistent slowdown in growth, weak government finances and rising financial sector risks have been exacerbated by the shock of coronavirus second wave.


11. Centre for World University Rankings 2021-22 announced

  • Centre for World University Rankings 2021-22 has announced, 19,788 institutions were ranked, and those that placed at the top made the global 2000 list.
  • Harvard University has topped the ranking globally followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford UniversityUniversity of Cambridge, and Oxford University respectively.
  • As many as 68 Indian institutes have made it to the list of the top 2000 higher education institutes across the world, as per the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) 2021-22.
  • The Indian pack is led by the IIM-Ahmedabad which has bagged 415th rank followed by the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) at 459th rank.

CWUR Ranking 2021: Top 10 Indian Institutes

  • Global Rank 415: IIM Ahmedabad
  • Global Rank 459: Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru
  • Rank 543: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
  • Rank 557: IIT Madras
  • Rank 567: IIT Bombay
  • Rank 571: University of Delhi
  • Rank 623: IIT Delhi
  • Rank 708: IIT Kharagpur
  • Rank 709: Panjab University
  • Rank 818: IIT Kanpur


12. IIT-Ropar Develops ‘AmbiTAG’ India’s First Indigenous Temperature Data Logger

  • Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar (IIT Ropar) in Punjab has developed a first-of-its-kind IoT device, “AmbiTag” that records real-time ambient temperature during the transportation of perishable products, vaccines and even body organs and blood.
  • That recorded temperature further helps to know whether that particular item transported from anywhere in the world is still usable or perished because of temperature variation. This information is particularly critical for vaccines including the Covid-19 vaccine, organs and blood transportation.
  • Shaped like a USB device, AmbiTag continuously records the temperature of its immediate surroundings “from -40 to +80 degrees in any time zone for a full 90 days on a single charge.
  • Most of the similar devices available in the international market record data only for a duration of 30- 60 days.
  • The recorded data can be retrieved by connecting the USB with any computer. The device has been developed under Technology Innovation Hub – AWaDH (Agriculture and Water Technology Development Hub) and its Startup ScratchNest. AWaDH is a Govt of India project.


13. Asian Boxing Championship: India’s Sanjeet Kumar wins gold medal

  • India’s pugilist Sanjeet Kumar won a gold medal in the 91 kg weight category at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships.
  • Sanjeet pulled off a massive upset as he defeated five-time Asian Championships medallist and Rio Olympic silver medalist Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan in a 3-2 split decision in the final of Asian Championships in Dubai to clinch the gold.


14. T.M. Kaliannan, the last surviving member of the Constituent Assembly, passes away

  • T.M. Kalliannan Gounder, the last surviving former member of the Indian Constituent Assembly, died at the age of 101.
  • He served as a Member of the Legislative Council in Tamil Nadu and also as an MLA thrice, between 1952 and 1967.
  • He was reportedly the youngest member in the Constituent Assembly then and also a member of India’s first provisional parliament.


15. World Health Assembly adopts decision to recognize 30 January as World NTD Day

  • 74th World Health Assembly endorsed a decision recognizing 30 January as World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day (‘World NTD Day’).
  • World NTD Day commemorates the simultaneous launch of the first NTD road map and the London Declaration on NTDs on 30 January 2012.
  • For countries where neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are prevalent and for the global community of partners, this is a new dawn.




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