GK Update 4th & 5th July 2021

1. Satish Agnihotri take charges as MD of NHSRCL

  • Satish Agnihotri has taken over charge as Managing Director, National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd. He comes with more than 20 years of experience in the implementation of mega rail infrastructure projects.
  • He has worked as Chairman & Managing Director, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), a schedule ‘A’ CPSE under the Ministry of Railways for close to 9 years. During his tenure as CMD/RVNL, RVNL completed 7000 km of project length including 3000 km doubling/3rd line, 880 km conversion of metre gauge track to broad gauge, 3000 km railway electrification, 85 km new line, 6 factories and many important bridges.
  • A 7 km long tunnel was also completed in a record time of 25 months in a new line project in Andhra Pradesh.

2. KN Bhattacharjee appointed new Lokayukta in Tripura

  • Veteran advocate Kalyan Narayan Bhattacharjee has been appointed as the new Lokayukta in Tripura. He has been appointed to the post for three years w.e.f. July 1.
  • The Lokayukta Act has been in force in Tripura since 2008 and in 2012, the first Lokayukta was appointed in Tripura.
  • Bhattacharjee is the third Lokayukta in the state and the first to hold the post as a lawyer. Former Gujarat & Guwahati HC judge Pradeep Kumar Sarkar was 1st Lokayukta in Tripura.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Tripura: Biplab Kumar Deb; Governor: Ramesh Bais.

3. Indian Overseas Bank becomes the second most-valued public lender

  • Indian Overseas Bank (IOB) has become the second most-valued listed public sector bank (PSB) with a market capitalisation of over Rs 50,000 crore. As Street discounts privatisation of the state-owned lender, its shares have appreciated nearly 80 per cent on the BSE in the past one month.
  • IOB stood with an m-cap of Rs 51,887 crore, pushing PNB (Rs 46,411 crore) and BOB (Rs 44,112 crore) to third and fourth position, respectively, as per data available on BSE.
  • In the past month, the market price of IOB has zoomed 57 per cent, as compared to a 4 per cent decline in PNB and a 5 per cent gain in BOB share price. The bank plans to come out of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework by focusing on recovery, low-cost deposits, and less capital consuming advances.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Indian Overseas Bank Headquarters: Chennai;
  • Indian Overseas Bank CEO: Partha Pratim Sengupta;
  • Indian Overseas Bank Founder: M. Ct. M. Chidambaram Chettyar;
  • Indian Overseas Bank Founded: 10 February 1937, Chennai.

4. RBI imposes Rs 25 lakh penalty on Punjab & Sind Bank

  • The Reserve Bank of India imposed a penalty of Rs 25 lakh on Punjab and Sind Bank for non-compliance with certain provisions of directions on ‘Cyber Security Framework in Banks.
  • The state-owned bank had reported a few cyber incidents to the RBI on May 16 and 20, 2020, the central bank said while giving details. Accordingly, the central bank had issued a show-cause notice to the bank asking it why a penalty should not be imposed for non-compliance with the directions issued by RBI.
  • This penalty has been imposed in the exercise of powers vested in RBI under the provisions of section 47 A (1) (c) read with sections 46 (4) (i) and 51 (1) of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab and Sind Bank Founder: Vir Singh;
  • Punjab and Sind Bank Founded: 24 June 1908;
  • MD & CEO of  Punjab and Sind Bank: S Krishnan.

5. Axis Bank tie-up with AWS for powering digital banking services

  • Axis Bank has inked a multi-year deal with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to power the digital transformation programme of the country’s third-largest private sector bank.
  • As part of the agreement, Axis Bank with help of AWS will build a portfolio of new digital financial services to bring advanced banking experiences to customers, including online accounts that can be opened in 6 min & instant digital payment.
  • This will help the bank increase customer satisfaction by 35 per cent and lower costs by 24 per cent.
  • To date, Axis Bank has deployed over 25 mission-critical applications on AWS, including a Buy Now Pay Later product and a new loan management system to support it, Account Aggregator, Video-Know Your Customer (V-KYC), and WhatsApp Banking.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • Axis Bank Founded: 1993;
  • Axis Bank MD and CEO of Axis Bank: Amitabh Chaudhry.

6. Indian Army chief to inaugurate war memorial for Indian soldiers in Italy

  • Indian Army chief General MM Naravane will embark on an official visit to the United Kingdom (UK) and Italy, during which he will be meeting his counterparts and the senior military leadership of these countries.
  • The highlight of the visit will be Gen Naravane’s inauguration of the Indian Army Memorial in the famous town of Cassino, Italy. In the Battle of Monte Cassino during World War II, over 5,000 Indian soldiers laid down their lives while fighting to save Italy from fascist forces.
  • Nearly 50,000 Indians were enlisted for Italy’s liberation between September 1943 and April 1945. Both the UK and Italy are important partners for India in the fields of defence, healthcare, aerospace, education, clean technology, renewable energy and information and communication technology among others.

7. Invest India won the most innovative Investment Promotion Agency 2021 award

  • Invest India has been awarded the world’s most innovative Investment Promotion Agency 2021 by OCO Global. OCO Global is a leading authority on foreign investment and offers a range of economic development services, products, and unique company assessment tools.
  • Invest India, set up in 2009, is a non-profit venture under the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

8. ISRO gives nod to parliamentary panel to implement satellite TV classrooms

  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has given its nod to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Education to provide technical assistance for satellite TV classrooms in the country to bridge the learning gap due to COVID-induced lockdown.
  • ISRO scientists have appeared before the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Education and made a detailed presentation about the proposed satellite TV classroom for students.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Chairman: K.Sivan.
  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka.
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

9. Indian-American Sirisha Bandla set to fly into space

  • India-origin woman Sirisha Bandla will travel to the edge of the space aboard ‘VSS Unity’ of Virgin Galactic, which is scheduled to fly off on July 11 from New Mexico. This is significant as she will be the third woman of Indian origin to go to space after Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams.
  • Bandla, the vice-president of government affairs at Virgin Galactic in Washington DC, will travel alongside his boss and the group’s founder, billionaire Richard Branson and four others in the company’s spaceflight.

10. Norway’s Karsten Warholm breaks men’s 400 metres hurdles world record

  • Karsten Warholm, a 25-year-old athlete from Norway, broke the long-standing world record in the 400m hurdles during the Bislett Games. Earlier the record was held by American hurdler Kevin Young for 29 years.
  • His mark of 46.78 seconds was set at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which was finally broken with an official time of 46.70 seconds by Warholm.

11. Mithali Raj surpasses Edwards to become highest run-getter

  • India captain Mithali Raj became the highest run-getter in women’s cricket across formats, overtaking former England skipper Charlotte Edwards. Mithali became the world’s most prolific batter in women’s internationals, overtaking Edwards’ 10,273 runs.
  • Suzie Bates of New Zealand is third with 7849 runs. Stafanie Taylor (7832) and Meg Lanning (7024) round up the top five.
  • Mithali achieved the feat during the third and final inconsequential ODI against hosts England while chasing 220 for a consolation win.
  • In 2020, Raj was named to the ICC’s ODI team of the decade, a fitting honour for her consistency in the sport. She is also the most capped player in the history of the women’s game, having featured in 11 Tests, 216 ODIs and 89 Twenty20 Internationals so far.

12. Max Verstappen wins Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix 2021

  • Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring, the ninth race of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.
  • Verstappen won the race ahead of Mercedes-AMG’s Valtteri Bottas and McLaren’s Lando Norris.
  • Lewis Hamilton – Bottas’ teammate and Verstappen’s challenger for the 2021 Drivers’ championship – came home in fourth place.

13. “Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine” by Kavitha Rao

  • A book titled “Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine” has authored by Kavitha Rao. This book recovers the stories of India’s first women doctors, often ignored by history.
  • In this excerpt from Kavitha Rao’s ‘Lady Doctors: The Untold Stories of India’s First Women in Medicine, the story of Rukhmabai Raut.
  • Rukhmabai was an Indian physician and feminist. She is best known for being one of the first practising women doctors in colonial India as well as being involved in a landmark legal case involving her marriage as a child bride between 1884 and 1888.

14. J&K ends 149-year-old darbar move tradition

  • The LG Manoj Sinha formally put an end to a 149-year-old biannual tradition of shifting offices between summer capital Srinagar and winter capital Jammu. The administration served notice to employees to vacate the ‘Darbar Move’ related accommodations in three weeks in Jammu and Srinagar.
  • Administration cancelled the residential accommodation of “darbar move” employees in Jammu and Srinagar, implying the employees will remain stationed in either Jammu or Kashmir.
  • Dogra monarch Maharaja Gulab Singh is believed to have started the tradition of shifting the capital in 1872. The tradition was continued after 1947 by J&K’s political class, as it acted as a major bridge and a space for interaction between two diverse linguistic and cultural groups of Kashmir and Jammu regions.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir: Manoj Sinha.

15. GoI extends superannuation age of LIC chairman to up to 62 years

  • The government has extended the superannuation age of IPO-bound LIC Chairman, M R Kumar, to up to 62 years by making amendments to the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Regulations, 1960.
  • The changes made in the rules will be called the Life Insurance Corporation of India (Staff) Amendment Rules, 2021, according to a government notification dated June 30, 2021. It is to be noted that the retirement age for the top executives of the majority of PSUs is 60 years, barring a few exceptions, including the State Bank of India (SBI).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • LIC Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • LIC Founded: 1 September 1956.


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