GK Update 2nd March 2021

1. India describes Sri Lanka ‘Priority One’ partner in defence

  • Indian High Commission in Colombo has described the island nation of Sri Lanka as its “Priority One” partner in the defence sphere and reiterated the assurance of fullest cooperation in the field of defence and security.
  • The assertion comes at a time when the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) is gearing up for the celebration of its 70th anniversary on 2 March.
  • The SLAF is celebrating its 70th Anniversary on March 2 and to commemorate the historical event, a Fly Past and an Aerobatic Display are being organised for the first time in the country at a grand scale.
  • A total of 23 Indian Air force (IAF) and Indian Navy aircraft will also partake in the event. Indian High Commission has called the participation indicative of the growing cooperation, camaraderie and friendship between the armed forces of the two nations.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Sri Lanka Capitals: Colombo, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.
  • Sri Lanka President: Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
  • Sri Lanka Currency: Sri Lankan rupee.

2. Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurates Global Bio India 2021

  • The Union Minister for Science & Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare Dr Harsh Vardhan inaugurated the second edition of Global Bio-India-2021 in New Delhi through virtual mode. The three-day event will be held from March 01 to 03, 2021, on a digital platform.
  • The purpose of the event is to showcase the strength and opportunities of the biotechnology sector of India at the national as well as international level. The Government of India has a target of building a USD 150 billion bio-economy by 2025.
  • The theme of Global Bio-India-2021: “Transforming lives” with the tag line “Biosciences to Bio-economy”.
  • The event is co-organised by the Department of Biotechnology under the Ministry of Science & Technology along with its Public Sector Undertaking, and Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) in partnership with industry association Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Association of Biotechnology Led Enterprises (ABLE) and Invest India.

3. Russia launches first Arctic-monitoring Satellite ‘Arktika-M’

  • The Russian space corporation Roscosmos successfully launched its first satellite to monitor the Arctic’s climate and environment. The satellite called “Arktika-M”, was launched on February 28, 2021, onboard Soyuz-2.1b carrier rocket, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
  • This satellite will help to collect information to solve operational meteorology and hydrology problems, and monitoring the climate and environment in the Arctic region.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Russia President: Vladimir Putin.
  • Russia Capital: Moscow.
  • Russia Currency: Russian Ruble.

4. Ghana becomes the world’s first nation to receive COVAX vaccines

  • Ghana has become the first country in the world to receive vaccines acquired through the United Nations-backed COVAX initiative with a delivery of 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine made by the Serum Institute of India. 
  • Ghana is among 92 low-and middle-income countries that are receiving vaccines for free through COVAX. Another 90 countries and eight territories have agreed to pay if they choose to receive vaccines through COVAX.
  • The vaccines, delivered by UNICEF, arrived at Accra’s international airport and are part of the first wave of Covid-19 vaccines being sent by COVAX, an international cooperative program formed to make sure low- and middle-income countries have fair access to COVID-19 vaccines.
  • COVAX is led by the United Nation’s World Health Organization; Gavi, a vaccine group; and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, or CEPI.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Ghana President: Nana Akufo-Addo.
  • Ghana Capital: Accra.
  • Ghana Currency: Ghanaian cedi.

5. UN body recommends Bangladesh graduation from LDC

  • The United Nations Committee for Development Policy (CDP) has recommended the graduation of Bangladesh from the category of Least Developed Country (LDC). Bangladesh has fulfilled the eligibility criteria in terms of per capita income, human assets and economic and environmental vulnerability.
  • This is the second consecutive time since 2018 that the CDP has made the recommendation for Bangladesh for graduation from the LDC category. Myanmar and Lao PDR also met the criteria for the 2nd time.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina; Capital: Dhaka; Currency: Taka.
  • President of Bangladesh: Abdul Hamid.

6. Tenure of PC Mody as CBDT Chairman extended for 3 months

  • The re-appointment of Pramod Chandra Mody as Chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has been extended for a further period of three months. He is a 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service officer, was appointed as the CBDT chief in February 2019.
  • The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved an extension for a period of three months with effect from March 1, 2021, to May 31, 2021. Earlier, Mr Mody’s tenure was last extended in August last year for six months.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Central Board of Direct Taxes Established: 1924.
  • Central Board of Direct Taxes Headquarters: New Delhi.

7. Jaideep Bhatnagar takes over as Principal Director General of PIB

  • The former head of the News Services Division of All India Radio, Jaideep Bhatnagar, took over as Principal Director General of the Press Information Bureau.
  • Prior to his current charge as head of the organisation, Bhatnagar has worked in PIB for six years in different capacities. He will take over from Kuldeep Singh Dhatwalia, who superannuated on February 28, 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • PIB has its Headquarters in New Delhi.
  • The Press Information Bureau was established in June 1919.

8. Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh takes over as ENC chief

  • Vice Admiral Ajendra Bahadur Singh took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief (FOC-in-C) of Eastern Naval Command (ENC).
  •  He replaces Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain. Atul Kumar Jain has been transferred to New Delhi to assume charge as the Vice Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC).
  • Vice Admiral A.B. Singh inspected the ceremonial guard and reviewed platoons of naval personnel drawn from various ships and establishments of the ENC. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 2011 and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal in 2016.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Eastern Naval Command Headquarter: Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.
  • Eastern Naval Command Founded: 1 March 1968.

9. Golden Globe Awards 2021 announced

  • The Golden Globe Awards 2021 was held to recognise excellence in film, both American and international, and American television.
  • This was the 78th edition of the annual event, which honoured the best in American television, as well as film in 2020 and early 2021, as chosen by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
  • American TV series “The Crown” won the most awards for the ceremony with four awards. Late American actor Chadwick Boseman won the Golden Globe award for Best Actor in Drama category, posthumously, for his portrayal of Levee Green in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Winners in the Film category: 

  • Best Film – Drama: Nomadland
  • Best Film – Musical/Comedy: Borat Subsequent Movie film
  • Best Director: Chloe Zhao for Nomadland
  • Best Actress – Drama: Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday
  • Best Actor – Drama: Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Rosamund Pike for I Care A Lot
  • Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Sacha Baron Cohen for Borat Subsequent Movie film
  • Best Supporting Actress: Jodie Foster for The Mauritanian
  • Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya for Judas And The Black Messiah
  • Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Minari
  • Best Animated Feature: Soul
  • Best Original Score: Soul
  • Best Original Song: ‘Io Si (Seen)’ from The Life Ahead

Winners in the Television category:

  • Best TV Series – Drama: The Crown
  • Best TV Series – Musical/Comedy: Schitt’s Creek
  • Best Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film: The Queen’s Gambit
  • Best Actress – Drama: Emma Corrin for The Crown
  • Best Actor – Drama: Josh O’Connor for The Crown
  • Best Actress – Musical/Comedy: Catherine O’Hara for Schitt’s Creek
  • Best Actor – Musical/Comedy: Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso
  • Best Supporting Actress: Gillian Anderson for The Crown
  • Best Supporting Actor: John Boyega for Small Axe
  • Best Actress (Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film): Anya Taylor-Joy for The Queen’s Gambit
  • Best Actor (Limited Series, Anthology or TV Film): Mark Ruffalo for I Know This Much Is True

10. Vinesh Phogat wins gold in Ukraine wrestling event

  • Star Indian wrestler, Vinesh Phogat has defeated 2017 world champion Vanesa Kaladzinskay of Belarus to win a gold medal at the XXIV Outstanding Ukrainian Wrestlers and Coaches Memorial tournament, held in Kiev, Ukraine.
  • Haryana’s Bhiwani-based Vinesh won in the 53kg bout with a 10-8 lead. She is the only Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics Games in the 53 kg category.

11. Zero Discrimination Day: 01 March

  • Zero Discrimination Day is an annual day celebrated on 1 March each year by the United Nations and other international organisations. Zero Discrimination Day is celebrated to promote and celebrate everyone’s right, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, nationality, ethnicity, skin colour, etc.
  • Zero Discrimination Day aims to raise the voice for the right to live life with dignity, despite one’s choices, beliefs, profession, education, disability or even illness.
  • The theme of Zero Discrimination Day 2021: “End Inequalities”.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.
  • UNAIDS Executive Director: Winnie Byanyima.
  • UNAIDS Founded: 26 July 1994.

12. 45th Civil Accounts Day celebrated on 01 March 2021

  • The Indian Civil Accounts Service (ICAS) observes the “Civil Accounts Day” every year on March 01, 2021, since its inception in 1976.
  • The year 2021 marks the 45th Civil Accounts Day celebrations. ICAS is one of the Civil Services of India, under the Department of Expenditure, Union Ministry of Finance.
  • Initially, the ICAS was carved out from the Indian Audit & Accounts Service (IA & AS), through the promulgation of an Ordinance amending the C & AG’s (Duties, Powers and Conditions of Service) Amendment Act, 1976.

13. International Yoga festival begins in Rishikesh

  • The International Yoga Festival was inaugurated by the Agriculture Minister of Uttarakhand Subodh Uniyal, head of Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP) Narendra Giri and Patanjali Yogpeeth chairman Acharya Balakrishna in Rishikesh.
  • The festival is being jointly organised by Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB) and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam (GMVN).
  • Yoga has played a very vital role in boosting immunity especially during the time of Covid. The regular practice of Yoga has helped in keeping the diseases away from the body. Yoga is also a cure for many diseases that are hard to treat using medical science.” The aim of Yoga is not only to keep us fit but also to end the negativity within human beings.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

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

14. Land Ports Authority of India Celebrates its 9th Foundation Day

  • The Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) has celebrated its 9th Foundation Day on 01 March 2021.
  • The Land Ports Authority of India or LPAI is a statutory body working under the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India is responsible for creating, upgrading, maintaining and managing border infrastructure in India. It manages several Integrated Check Posts all across Borders of India.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Land Ports Authority of India Chairman: Aditya Mishra.
  • Land Ports Authority of India Founded: 1 March 2012.
  • Land Ports Authority of India Parent organization: Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • Land Ports Authority of India Headquarters: New Delhi.

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