GK Update 31st July 2021

1. PM Modi launches Academic Bank of Credit and Artificial Intelligence programme

  • PM Modi has launched multiple educational initiatives including the Academic Bank of Credit that will provide multiple entries and exit options for students in Higher education.
  • Academic Bank of Credit is envisaged as a digital bank that holds the credit earned by a student in any course.
  • Academic Bank of Credit is a major instrument for facilitating multidisciplinary and holistic education and multiple entry and exit in higher education.
  • Academic Bank of Credit and the Artificial Intelligence programme to make the youth future-oriented and open the way for an AI-driven economy.

2. Rajasthan Government launches ‘Mission Niryatak Bano’

  • The Rajasthan government’s industries department and the Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) have launched the ‘Mission Niryatak Bano’ campaign to promote aspiring exporters in the state.
  • The campaign is aimed at registering and handholding the local traders willing to expand their business to foreign countries, in six steps.
  • This shall cover assistance from training, securing necessary documentation, registration in Rajasthan Export Promotion Council and even support in exports and trade operations.
  • The state government in consideration of the challenges of small businesses had waived off the need for several state-level clearances for the initial three years of upcoming businesses.
  • The exporter assistance campaign shall be another step in helping the local business develop understanding towards the procedures and increase their business.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Rajasthan: Ashok Gehlot; Governor: Kalraj Mishra.

3. Bharat BillPay appoints PayU’s Noopur Chaturvedi as new CEO

  • Bharat Bill Payment System has appointed former PayU and Airtel Payments Bank executive Noopur Chaturvedi as its new chief executive officer. Chaturvedi, prior to this appointment, was the country head for small and medium businesses at PayU.
  • In a career spanning nearly two decades, she has worked with Airtel Payments Bank, Samsung, ING Vysya Bank and Citibank in various senior roles.
  • Bharat BillPay is an interoperable and integrated bill payment system for online as well as agent-based settlement of recurring bills.
  • On April 1 this year, NPCI transferred all its BBPS mandates to a newly set up subsidiary called the NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL), effectively hiving off its automated billing business. Founded in 2013.

4. HDFC Bank, ICICI and Axis pick up stake in blockchain start-up

  • Three of India’s biggest private lenders – ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank have taken stakes in the blockchain financial technology firm IBBIC Pvt Ltd. HDFC Bank and Axis Bank invested ₹5 lakh each for the shares.
  • ICICI Bank also said it has subscribed to 49,000 fully paid-up equity shares of face value ₹10 each of IBBIC constituting 5.44 per cent of the issued and paid-up share capital. It paid ₹4.9 lakh for the shares.
  • IBBIC was incorporated on May 25 this year as a financial technology company with the objective of providing a platform for exploring, building, and implementing distributed ledger technology (DLT) solutions for the Indian financial services sector.
  • About 15 banks have come together to set up IBBIC, with an aim to expand the use of blockchain applications in financial sector transactions.

5. Modi govt’s fiscal deficit touches 18.2% of annual target

  • The central government’s fiscal deficit stood at Rs 2.74 lakh crore or 18.2 per cent of the full year’s Budget estimate at the end of June, according to data released by the Controller General of Accounts (CGA).
  • The fiscal deficit at the end of June 2020 was 83.2 per cent of the Budget Estimates (BE) of 2020-21.
  • The fiscal deficit or the gap between expenditure and revenue for 2020-21 was 9.3 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), better than 9.5 per cent projected in the revised estimates in the Budget in February.

7. 36th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia begins

  • The 36th edition of CORPAT between India and Indonesia is being held on 30 and 31 July 2021, in the Indian Ocean region.
  • The Indian Naval Ship (INS) Saryu, an indigenously built Offshore Patrol Vessel and Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Bung Tomo is undertaking coordinated patrol (CORPAT).
  • Besides this, Maritime Patrol Aircraft from both nations are also participating. The exercise is being conducted as a ‘non-contact, at sea only’ exercise in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. India and Indonesia have been conducting the Coordinated Patrols along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) since 2002 twice a year.
  • The basic aim of CORPAT is to keep the Indian Ocean Region safe and secure for commercial shipping, international trade and conduct of legitimate maritime activities.
  • CORPATs help build understanding and interoperability between navies and facilitate the institution of measures to prevent and suppress Illegal Unreported Unregulated (IUU) fishing, drug trafficking, maritime terrorism, armed robbery and piracy.

8. Asha Bhosle to get prestigious Maharashtra Bhushan award 2021

  • The Maharashtra Bhushan Selection Committee chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has unanimously selected legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle for the prestigious award.
  • Asha Bhosle is best known for her playback singing in Hindi cinema, although she has a wider repertoire. Bhosle’s career started in 1943 and has spanned over seven decades. She has done playback singing for over a thousand movies.
  • Asha Bhosle was officially acknowledged by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most recorded artist in music history. The Government of India honoured her with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2000 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2008. Bhosle is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar and belongs to the prominent Mangeshkar family.

9. World Ranger Day: 31 July

  • World Ranger Day is observed every year on 31 July to commemorate the Rangers killed or injured while on duty and to celebrate the work that Rangers do to protect the world’s natural and cultural heritage.
  • World Ranger Day offers a chance to support their vital work, which ranges from environmental campaigning to education. The day is also an opportunity to pay tribute to rangers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. A Ranger is a person tasked with preserving and protecting parklands and natural protected areas.
  • A Ranger typically refers to a forest ranger or a park ranger. It was on this day in 1992 that International Ranger Federation (IRF) was founded. World Ranger Day was created by the International Ranger Federation and was first held in 2007.

10. 14 Tiger Reserves of India get (CA|TS) Recognition

  • From India, 14 tiger reserves have received the accreditation of the Global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CA|TS), on the occasion of International Tiger Day on July 29, 2021.
  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) recognized the ‘BaghRakshaks’ for their efforts in protecting Tigers and forests. The NTCA’s quarterly newsletter STRIPES was also released during the event.

The 14 tiger reserves of India that have received prestigious global accreditation from CA|TS are:

  • Mudumalai and Anamalai Tiger Reserves, Tamil Nadu
  • Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Karnataka
  • Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Kerala
  • Sunderbans Tiger Reserve, West Bengal
  • Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, Uttar Pradesh
  • Valmiki Tiger Reserve, Bihar
  • Pench Tiger Reserve, Maharashtra
  • Satpura, Kanha and Panna Tiger Reserves, Madhya Pradesh


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