GK Update 5th & 6th September 2021

1. India becomes first Asian nation to launch ‘Plastics Pact’

  • India has become the first country in Asia to launch a Plastics Pact, a new platform to promote a circular system for plastics.
  • The India Plastic Pact platform was launched on September 03, 2021, by the British High Commissioner to India, Alexander Ellis, at the 16th Sustainability Summit hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The new platform ‘India Plastic Pact’ is a joint effort of the World-Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and envisions to create a world where plastic is valued and does not pollute the environment.
  • The Pact targets the businesses to transition towards a circular economy for plastics by 2030.
  • The initiative is supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and WRAP, a global NGO based in the UK, and endorsed by the British High Commission in India.

2. GoI launches AYUSH AAPKE DWAR campaign to distribute medicinal saplings

  • As a part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration, the Ministry of AYUSH has launched a campaign titled ‘AYUSH AAPKE DWAR’, which aims to distribute medicinal plant saplings to 75 lakh households in one year.
  • The campaign was inaugurated by the Union Minister of AYUSH Sarbananda Sonowal from Mumbai, during which he distributed medicinal plant saplings to citizens. Subsequently, the campaign was launched from more than 45 locations across the country.
  • The medicinal plants being distributed include Tejpatta, Stevia, Ashoka, Giloy, Ashwagandha, Lemongrass, Tulsi, Sarpagandha and Amla. Under this campaign, it is proposed to undertake the cultivation of medicinal plants across 75,000 hectares in one year.

3. Cyrus Poncha becomes new Vice-President of Asian Squash Federation

  • Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) Secretary-General, Cyrus Poncha has been unanimously elected as Vice-President of the Asian Squash Federation (ASF), during the 41st annual general meeting of ASF. The Dronacharya Awardee has been elected for a period of the four-year term.
  • David Mui of Hong Kong was elected unopposed as the President of ASF for a second term. Apart from Cyrus Poncha, Mr Fayez Abdullah S.Al-Mutairi of Kuwait and Tae-sook Hee of Korea have been also elected as the Vice-Presidents of ASF.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Asian Squash Federation Headquarters: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;
  • Asian Squash Federation General Secretary: Duncan Chiu;
  • Asian Squash Federation Founded: 1980.

4. India and US inks Project Agreement for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

  • The Ministry of Defence, the Government of India and US Department of Defence have signed a Project Agreement (PA) for Air-Launched Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (ALUAV). This agreement is signed under the Joint Working Group Air Systems in the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative (DTTI). 
  • Under the collaboration, the two countries will work towards the design, development, demonstration, testing and evaluation of systems to co-develop an ALUAV Prototype.
  • The DTTI aims to bring sustained leadership focus to promote collaborative technology exchange and create opportunities for co-production and co-development of future technologies for Indian and US military forces.

5. 28th Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise ‘SIMBEX-2021’

  • The 28th edition of the Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) took place from September 02 to 04, 2021. The SIMBEX-2021 annual bilateral maritime exercise was hosted by the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) in the southern fringes of the South China Sea.
  • The Indian Navy was represented by Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay with a shipborne helicopter, ASW Corvette INS Kiltan and Guided Missile Corvette INS Kora and one P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft.
  • The exercise aimed to strengthen the bilateral defence ties between both countries. This year’s edition of SIMBEX is also a special occasion as it takes place during the ongoing celebrations of the 75th year of India’s independence.
  • The success of SIMBEX-2021 is yet another demonstration of the mutual resolve on both sides to strengthen the bilateral partnership further in the years ahead.

6. LIC buys 3.9% stake in Bank of India via open market acquisition

  • Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) has bought 3.9 per cent (15,90,07,791 shares) of the Bank of India through open market acquisition. Before this acquisition, LIC held about 3.17 per cent stake in the Bank of India.
  • After this acquisition, LIC now has 7.05 per cent, equivalent to 28,92,87,324 shares of Bank of India. This information was shared by the Bank of India to SEBI. As per SEBI guidelines, companies have to inform the stock exchanges when an entity holds more than 5 per cent shares in a listed company.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • LIC Headquarters: Mumbai;
  • LIC Founded: 1 September 1956;
  • LIC Chairman: M R Kumar.

7. PhonePe launches digital payment interactive geospatial platform “Pulse platform”

  • PhonePe has launched a platform named PhonePe Pulse. Pulse is India’s first interactive platform with data insights and trends on digital payments.
  • The platform shows more than 2000 crore digital transactions by customers on an interactive map of India. PhonePe also launched the Pulse Report, an in-depth study on the evolution of digital payments over the past 5 years.
  • The report also has insights about how digital payment adoption across India has evolved since 2016 and includes detailed geographical and category-specific trends.
  • The insights on the website and in the report have been drawn from two key sources – the entirety of PhonePe’s transaction data combined with merchant and customer interviews.
  • The report is available as a free download on the PhonePe Pulse website. This new product is relevant to multiple ecosystem stakeholders including the government, policymakers, regulatory bodies, media, industry analysts, merchant partners, startups, academic institutions and students.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

8. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs 24th meeting of FSDC

  • Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has chaired the 24th meeting of the Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC). Finance Minister is the chairperson of FSDC. It must be noted that FSDC Sub-Committee is chaired by the Governor, RBI.
  • Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) is the apex level forum set up by the Government of India for strengthening and institutionalizing the mechanism for maintaining financial stability, enhancing inter-regulatory coordination and promoting financial sector development.

9. Tokyo Paralympics 2020: India finishes 24th with record 19 medals

India finished their campaign at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 with an all-time high of 19 medals which includes five gold, eight silver, and six bronze. This is the best medal tally for India a single edition of the Paralympic Games. India is placed at 24th position in the overall medal tally out of a total of 162 nations.

Indian Flag Bearers:

  • Javelin thrower Tek Chand was the flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics.
  • Shooter Avani Lekhara was India’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremony.

India at Paralympics 2020:

  • India sent its biggest ever contingent of 54 para-athletes at Tokyo Paralympics to compete across as many as 9 sporting disciplines at the Games.
  • Prior to this, India had won a total of 12 Paralympics medals, since making its first appearance at the Paralympics in 1968, till the 2016 Rio.
  • The Indian theme song of Paralympics 2020 “Kar de kamaal tu”. The composer and singer of the song is Sanjeev Singh, a Divyang cricket player from Lucknow.

List of Indian medallists winners of Tokyo Paralympics 2020:


  • Athletics: Sumit Antil (Men’s Javelin Throw)
  • Badminton: Pramod Bhagat (Men’s Singles)
  • Badminton: Krishna Nagar (Men’s Singles)
  • Shooting: Manish Narwal (Mixed 50m Pistol)
  • Shooting: Avani Lekhara (Women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing)


  • Athletics: Yogesh Kathuniya (Men’s Discus Throw)
  • Athletics: Nishad Kumar (Men’s High Jump)
  • Athletics: Mariyappan Thangavelu (Men’s High Jump)
  • Athletics: Praveen Kumar (Men’s High Jump)
  • Athletics: Devendra Jhajharia (Men’s Javelin Throw)
  • Badminton: Suhas Yathiraj (Men’s Singles)
  • Shooting: Singhraj Adhana (Mixed 50m Pistol)
  • Table Tennis: Bhavina Patel (Women’s Singles)


  • Archery: Harvinder Singh (Men’s Individual Recurve)
  • Athletics: Sharad Kumar (Men’s High Jump)
  • Athletics: Sundar Singh Gurjar (Men’s Javelin Throw) 
  • Badminton: Manoj Sarkar (Men’s Singles)
  • Shooting: Singhraj Adhana (Men’s 10m Air Pistol)
  • Shooting: Avani Lekhara (Women’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions)

Important takeaways from Tokyo Paralympics:

  • Tokyo Paralympics was the 16th Summer Paralympic Games, held in Tokyo, Japan from August 24, to September 05, 2021.
  • Badminton and Taekwondo were inducted for the first time in Tokyo Paralympics.
  • Team China topped the final medal tally at Tokyo Paralympic Games. The country won a total of 207 medals (96 golds, 60 silvers and 51 bronzes). United Kingdom (124) gets the second position followed by the USA(104).
  • This is the fifth consecutive time China dominated Paralympic Games in both gold medal tally and overall medal tally.
  • The closing ceremony was entitled ‘Harmonious Cacophony’ and involved both able-bodied actors and others with disabilities. The theme was described by organizers as a ‘world inspired by the Paralympics, one where differences shine’

10. Max Verstappen wins Dutch Grand Prix 2021

  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull – Netherlands) has won the formula one Dutch Grand Prix 2021Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Great Britain) came second while Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Finland) came third.
  • The Red Bull driver’s leading seventh win of the season and 17th of his career moved him three points ahead of the defending champion, who finished second but softened the blow with a bonus point for fastest lap.

11. Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth by Angelina Jolie

  • Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie has recently announced her upcoming book, titled “Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth”. The book has been written jointly by Angelina Jolie, Amnesty International and human rights lawyer Geraldine Van Bueren QC.
  • This book will be helpful to young people and children from around the world in making them aware of their rights and how to claim these rights decided years ago based on what would make them healthy, balanced, safe and stable adults.

12. A book title “A Rude Life: The Memoir” by Vir Sanghvi

  • Vir Sanghvi, one of India’s most recognised journalists, has come out with a memoir titled A Rude Life. ‘A Rude Life: The Memoir’ has been published by Penguin Random House.
  • Through this book, the author has shared his views and experience of the most eventful careers in Indian journalism, including his personal life, stories of and about celebrities and politicians, middlemen and behind-the-scene actors.

13. National Teachers’ Day: 05 September

  • The 5th of September is celebrated as teacher’s day all over India. This day is celebrated as the teacher’s day to mark the birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan who was the former president of our country.
  • He was a philosopher, a scholar, and the Bharat Ratna Awardee.  He was the second President of India (1962 to 1967) and the first Vice President of India (1952–1962).
  • The Ministry of Education presents the National Teachers Awards on this occasion every year. In 2021, the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind will confer National Awards on 44 teachers from across the country.

14. International Day of Charity: 05 September

  • The International Day of Charity is observed annually on September 05. It was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2012. September 5 was chosen in order to commemorate the death anniversary of Mother Teresa, who had always been engaged in charitable work.
  • Mother Teresa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for “work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”
  • The prime purpose of the International Day of Charity is to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity related activities all over the world for individuals, charitable, philanthropic and volunteer organizations for their own purposes on the local, national, regional and international level.

15. Former IOC President Jacques Rogge passes away

  • Former President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Jacques Rogge has passed away.
  • He had spent 12 years as president of IOC, from 2001 to 2013, overseeing three summer Games and three winter Games, as well as creating the Youth Olympics. He was then succeeded by Thomas Bach. He was the 8th President of IOC.

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