GK Update 31st January & 1st February 2021

1. Union Budget 2021-22 is being presented by FM Nirmala Sitharaman

Union Budget 2021: Five key data to watch out for - DIU News
  • Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman is presenting the Union Budget 2021 for the 3rd time in a row. The Union Budget is the yearly financial report estimating the income and expenditure presented to outline future policies to be adopted by the government for sustainable growth and development.
  • The Economic Survey 2020-21 was released on 29th January 2021 by the Chief Economic Advisor of India, Krishnamurthy Subramanian. According to the survey, India’s economy could contract 7.7 per cent in the financial year that ends on March 31.
  • Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman concluded her Budget speech at 12.50 pm. In February 2020, FM Nirmala Sitharaman spoke for a record 162 minutes — two hours and 42 minutes — in Lok Sabha. FM Sitharaman only had two pages of her Budget speech unread, when she appeared uneasy and her Budget speech was cut short.

2. Lucknow metro becomes first to sanitise coaches using UV rays

  • Lucknow Metro has become the 1st metro in the country to use ultraviolet rays to sanitise train coaches. For this, the LMRC has procured UV sanitization apparatus from M/s FB TECH, an Indian firm in Jaipur, Rajasthan.
  • The Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) has taken inspiration from the New York Metro’s experiment to sanitise trains with UV lamp rays.
  • The apparatus, which was certified by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in October 2020, sanitizes the entire coach in just seven minutes.  However, in order to keep the train bacteria-free, the LMRC is sanitising each coach for 15 minutes.
  • This is the same apparatus which was also used by the medical industry to sanitise cinema halls and medical equipment at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic in India.
  • This apparatus is operated through a remote and has a switch on/off button.
  • The radiation starts after a minute of pressing the on button. In addition, the initiative is economically cheaper than sanitization through manual mode.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Uttar Pradesh Capital: Lucknow.
  • Uttar Pradesh Governor: Anandiben Patel.
  • Uttar Pradesh Chief minister: Yogi Adityanath.

3. RBI cancels licence of Kolhapur-based Shivam Sahakari Bank

  • According to RBI, the licence of Maharashtra-based Shivam Sahakari Bank has been cancelled as it does not have adequate capital and earning prospects.  The Commissioner for Cooperation and Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Maharashtra has also been requested to issue an order for winding up the bank and appoint a liquidator for the bank.
  • With the cancellation of licence the process of paying the depositors as per the DICGC Act, 1961 will be set in motion.
  • As per the data submitted by the Kolhapur-based bank, more than 99 per cent of the depositors are fully insured by Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC).
  • The bank with its present financial position would be unable to pay its present depositors in full.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • DICGC Chairperson: Michael Patra.
  • DICGC Founded: 1961.
  • DICGC Headquarters: Mumbai.

4. R S Sharma appointed as new CEO of Ayushman Bharat Scheme

  • The National Health Authority (NHA) has appointed RS Sharma as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of country’s flagship public health insurance scheme Ayushman Bharat, also called Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana. He would replace Indu Bhushan, who is serving as the Chief Executive of the Ayushman scheme since its inception in 2018.
  • RS Sharma, a former chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), who would take charge of the NHA from February 1.
  • Ayushman Bharat, a flagship scheme of Government of India, was launched as recommended by the National Health Policy 2017, to achieve the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
  • This initiative has been designed to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its underlining commitment, which is to “leave no one behind.”

5. SBI Card appoints Rama Mohan Rao Amara as MD & CEO

  • SBI Cards and Payment Services Ltd (SBI Card) has appointed Rama Mohan Rao Amara as its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for a period of two years. Rao is a veteran banker, with a successful career spanning over 29 years at SBI, the credit card company. Prior to taking charge at SBI Card, he was the Chief General Manager, SBI Bhopal Circle.
  • Earlier this week, Ashwini Kumar Tewari had resigned from the post of MD and CEO of SBI Card owing to his appointment as the Managing Director of State Bank of India (SBI). 

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • SBI Card Founded: October 1998.
  • SBI Card Headquarters: Gurugram, Haryana.

6. Maharashtra tops justice delivery in India Justice Report 2020

  • The second edition of the India Justice Report, India’s only ranking of states on delivery of Justice to people, announced.
  • Maharashtra once again at the top of the 18 Large and Mid-sized states (with a population of over one crore each) in the 2nd Edition of the India Justice Report, an initiative of Tata Trusts, followed by Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Punjab, and Kerala.
  • Through a rigorous 14-month quantitative research, the India Justice Report 2020 once again tracks the progress states have made incapacitating their justice delivery structures to effectively deliver services to all. It takes account of latest statistics and situations as they existed prior to March 2020. It brings together otherwise siloed statistics from authoritative government sources, on the four pillars of Justice delivery–Police, Judiciary, Prisons and Legal Aid.

7. BCCI cancels Ranji Trophy 2020-21 for first time

  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided not to conduct the Ranji Trophy in 2020-21.
  • This will be the first time in 87 years since its inception in 1934-35, that India’s premier first-class cricket national championship will not be held in 2020-21 domestic season. Instead on Ranji Trophy, BCCI has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women’s One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.
  • Instead on Ranji Trophy, BCCI has decided to conduct the Vijay Hazare Trophy 50-over tournament and Senior Women’s One Day tournament after the completion of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament.

8. BCCI Secretary Jay Shah takes over as President of ACC

  • Jay Shah, the incumbent Secretary of Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been appointed as the new President of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). He is the youngest person ever to be appointed to the office.
  • He replaces Nazmul Hussain, Chief of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) who was the previous chief of the ACC.
  • The ACC is Asia’s regional administrative body and it currently consists of 24 member associations. ACC is responsible for organizing the Asia Cup tournaments.
  • The 2020 edition of the Asia Cup was postponed to June this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pakistan was to originally host the tournament but the tournament is now expected to be held in either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Asian Cricket Council Headquarters: Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • Asian Cricket Council Chairman: Amitabh Choudhary.
  • Asian Cricket Council Founded: 19 September 1983.

9. World Leprosy Day 2021: 31 January

  • World Leprosy Day is observed around the world on the last Sunday of January every year. This year World Leprosy Day held on 31 January. The day is celebrated to raise global awareness of this deadly ancient disease and call attention to the fact that it can be prevented, treated and cured.
  • This year theme of World Leprosy Day 2021 is “Beat Leprosy, End Stigma and advocate for Mental Wellbeing ”.
  • The day was initiated in 1954 by French philanthropist and writer, Raoul Follereau, as a tribute to the life of the Mahatma Gandhi who had compassion for people afflicted with leprosy.

10. Nobel Prize Winner Paul Crutzen passes away

  • The Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul J. Crutzen, has passed away. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, jointly with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland, for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.
  • He was known for his work on the ozone layer and climate change and for popularizing the term ‘Anthropocene’ to describe a proposed new era when human actions have a drastic effect on the Earth.

11. Sports Minister Rijiju launches anti-doping reference material

  • Union Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju has launched a breakthrough Reference Material for use in chemical testing in the field of anti-doping. A reference material jointly synthesised by the National Dope Testing Laboratory (NDTL) and National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Guwahati.
  • The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NDTL and NIPER Guwahati was signed in August 2020 which proposes to synthesize 20 rarely available Reference Materials (RMs) during a period of 3 years.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • President of WADA: Sir Craig Reedie; Headquarters: Montreal, Canada.
  • Founded: 10 November 1999.

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