GK Update 4th & 5th April 2021

1. Russia registers world’s 1st Covid vaccine Carnivac-Cov for animals

  • The world’s first animal vaccine against the novel coronavirus has been registered in Russia, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor. The vaccine for animals, developed by a unit of Rosselkhoznadzor (Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance), was named Carnivac-Cov. 
  • The immunity lasts for six months after the vaccination, but the dose’s developers are continuing to analyse this. The use of this vaccine, as per Russian scientists, can prevent the development of virus mutations. The use of this vaccine, as per Russian scientists, can prevent the development of virus mutations. It is the world’s first and only product for preventing Covid-19 in animals.


2. Rajasthan becomes the 1st state to provide free health insurance to all

  • Rajasthan becomes the first state in the country where the state government is providing free health insurance facility to all the citizens of the state.
  • This plan was announced by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the state budget of 2021-22.  The State began the registration for its cashless ‘mediclaim’ scheme Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme.
  • Each family will get annual health insurance up to 5 lakhs.
  • Registrations have started for the Chiranjeevi Health Insurance Scheme from 1 April, while the scheme will start benefiting the residents after its implementation on May 1.
  • In this health insurance cover, 1576 packages and procedures for the treatment of various diseases have been included.
  • The cost of treatment related to OPD, examination, medicines and related package of 15 days after discharge will also be included in the free treatment before the patient is admitted to the hospital.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

3. India’s biggest floating solar power plant to be set up in Telangana

  • The biggest floating solar power plant in India is to be set up at Ramagundam in Telangana. It is expected to be opened in May 2021. The cost of the project has been estimated as Rs 423 crores. The power plant will have 4.5 lakh photovoltaic panels.
  • The solar power plant is being set up at the Ramagundam Thermal Power Plant reservoir.
  • The solar power plant is to be set up in 450 acres of the reservoir.
  • The project is commissioned by NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation).
  • NTPC aims to reduce its carbon footprints and increase its green energy production to 30% of its capacity through this solar power plant.
  • The capacity of the solar power plant is 100 MW. 

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Telangana Capital: Hyderabad.
  • Telangana Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.
  • Telangana Chief minister: K. Chandrashekar Rao.


4. PhonePe becomes 1st player to cross billion-transaction mark on UPI

  • Bengaluru-based digital payments and financial services company, PhonePe has become the first company to cross one billion transactions on Unified Payments Interface (UPI) infrastructure.
  • The company achieved the feat in March 2021, when the total transactions clocked around 1.3 billion on its platform, across the payment instruments offering of wallet, cards as well as UPI.
  • PhonePe, which first achieved market leadership on UPI in December, last year, has seen its transaction count grow steadily, on the back of rising merchant payments. Overall UPI transactions processed by PhonePe grew from 902.03 million in December 2020 to 975.53 million in February 2021.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CEO of Phonepe: Sameer Nigam
  • Headquarters location of Phonepe: Bengaluru, Karnataka.

5. NPCI transfers Bharat Bill Payments business to its new subsidiary NBBL

  • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) has transferred all its Bharat Bill Payment System (BBPS) transaction business to NPCI Bharat BillPay Limited (NBBL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of NPCI.
  • All licensed bill processors on the Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (BBPOU), i.e. the banks and payment aggregators, have been directed to start accounting their billing transactions under NBBL from April 1 2021.
  • The decision to set up a separate subsidiary for bill payment business aims to scale growth of the interoperable bill platform by giving it increased autonomy in operations and onboarding of new billers. BBPS is an interoperable bill payments platform set up in 2013, for use by banks, fintech companies and biller merchants to automate bill collection and request solutions.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • National Payments Corporation of India MD & CEO: Dilip Asbe.
  • National Payments Corporation of India Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • National Payments Corporation of India Founded: 2008.


6. Digit Insurance roped Virat Kohli as brand ambassador

  • Digit Insurance has roped in cricketer Virat Kohli as its brand ambassador. Kohli has also invested in Digit Insurance in the past. Digit Insurance, a general insurance company that became the first unicorn of 2021 with a valuation of $1.9B.
  • With this association, the company aims to carry the message of ‘making insurance simple’ through the cricketer. Digit was able to get the Indian Men’s Cricket Team Captain to invest in the company before he planned to become the face for the brand.


7. Dr. Harsh Vardhan approves National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021

  • Union Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan has approved National Policy for Rare Diseases, 2021. The policy aims to lower the high cost of treatment for rare diseases, with an increased focus on indigenous research & local production of medicines.
  • The Policy also focuses on early screening and prevention through primary and secondary health care infrastructure such as Health and Wellness Centres and District Early Intervention Centres.
  • A provision for financial support up to Rs.20 lakh under the Umbrella Scheme of Rashtriya Arogya Nidhi is proposed for treatment of those rare diseases that require a one-time treatment (diseases listed under Group 1 in the policy). Benefits to be extended to about 40% of the population eligible under PM Jan Arogya Yojana. 


8. Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan Receives Kalinga Ratna Samman

  • Odisha-born Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan received the Kalinga Ratna Samman for 2021.
  • Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu conferred Biswabhusan with the prestigious award in Cuttack on the occasion of the 40th annual day of the Sarala Sahitya Sansad at the Sarala Bhawan.
  • The Kalinga Ratna Samman carries a silver idol of Goddess Saraswati, a copper plaque and a shawl.


9. IIT Kanpur develops touch-sensitive watch for the visually impaired

  • A professor and a research associate at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, (IIT-K) have developed a novel touch-sensitive watch for the use of visually impaired people to sense time accurately.
  • The watch was developed by prof Siddhartha Panda and Vishwaraj Srivastava of IIT Kanpur.
  • The watch we have developed is a haptic watch with a tactile interface that makes it easy for visually impaired people to read the time easily.
  • The watch has tactile hour indicators of different shapes that make it easy for visually impaired people to recognise them.
  • The user has to touch and scan the touch-sensitive watch’s hour indicators and with the help of different vibration patterns, the watch communicates back the time information that is easily perceived by the user. This way, the person is able to read the time.


10. International Day of Conscience: 5 April

  • The United Nations declares April 5 as International Day of Conscience. This day serves to remind people to self-reflect, follow their conscience, and do the right things.
  • This Day is observed every year on 5th April and the first International Conscience Day was observed in 2020. So in the current year 2021, the second United Nations (UN) International Day of Conscience celebrations are being held across the world.
  • This day is celebrated to highlight the importance of conscience and the role of conscience in stopping people from harming others orally, physically, sexually, or mentally.
  • International Conscience Day is celebrated to highlight that everyone has self-respect and the right to live with peace and security. Anti-humanity acts are defined by scholars on this day and they are condemned so the general public would hate and avoid such acts.

11. International Mine Awareness Day: 4 April

  • The United Nations’ International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action is celebrated on April 4 each year. On 8 December 2005, the General Assembly declared that 4 April of each year shall be observed as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. It was first observed on 4 April 2006.
  • This year, the United Nations will promote mine action by highlighting how “Perseverance, Partnership, and Progress” have carried the sector through this challenging year.


12. A book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ by Nitin Gokhale

  • A new book titled ‘Manohar Parrikar: Brilliant Mind, Simple Life’ authored by Nitin Gokhale was released. The book is published by Bloomsbury. It is an attempt to capture Parrikar’s persona — the man, the politician and the patriot.
  • Gokhale is a renowned author, media trainer and founder of a specialised defence related website BharatShakti.in. and StratNewsGlobal.com.
  • Through this book, the author presents the journey of the contribution of Parrikar to nation-building and his service to the Goan society, from being an IIT student to a social worker and to India’s defence minister. The book is a tribute to Parrikar, India’s former defence minister and four-time chief minister of Goa, the first IIT-ian to become a chief minister.


13. Japanese Nobel laureate Isamu Akasaki passes away

  • Japanese Physicist Isamu Akasaki, a co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, has passed away. Akasaki, a professor at the university, had been recognized for the invention which has contributed to bright and energy-saving white light sources, widely known as LED lamps.
  • He was honoured in 1997 by the Japanese government with the Medal with Purple Ribbon, an honour bestowed on those who have made contributions to academic and artistic developments.
  • In 2014, Akasaki, a professor at Meijo University, shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with physicist Hiroshi Amano, a professor at the University of Nagoya, and Japan-born American Shuji Nakamura, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He worked with Amano to produce gallium nitride crystals and succeeded in 1989 in creating the world’s first blue LED.

14. Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala passes away

  • Veteran film and TV actress Shashikala Om Prakash Saigal passed away. She was more popularly known by her first name, Shashikala has famously appeared as various supporting characters in over 100 films.
  • Shashikala was honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri by the Indian government for her unparalleled contribution to the world of cinema and arts in 2007.
  • She was also conferred with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award at the V. Shantaram Awards in 2009. Apart from this, Shashikala bagged two Filmfare awards for her work in Aarti and Gumrah.

15. Samajwadi Party founder member Bhagwati Singh passes away

  • Founder member of the Samajwadi Party and former UP minister Bhagwati Singh passed away. He was 89-year-old.
  • The last rites of Singh will not be done as he had pledged to donate his body to the King George Medical University.


16. J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha inaugurates Tulip Festival

  • In the Kashmir Valley, Tulip Festival in Srinagar was inaugurated by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha. Over 15 lakh flowers of more than 64 varieties are in full bloom on the foothills of the Zabarwan Mountains.
  • The five-day-long Tulip Festival in Asia’s largest tulip garden at the foothills of Zabarwan hills on the banks of world-famous Dal Lake in Srinagar.
  • The Tulip Garden was opened for tourists and the general public on the 25th of March.
  • Last year the Tulip Festival could not be held because of the unprecedented situation of COVID-19.
  • However, this time, the Tulip Festival is being organized on a large scale to attract more and more tourists.
  • The Tulip Festival, to be held from 3rd to 7th of April, will showcase Kashmiri folk music apart from a painting competition.

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