GK Update 5th August 2021

1. Indian Olympics contingent to be Guests at Independence Day

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will invite India’s Olympic contingent as special guests for Independence Day celebrations on August 15. Modi will also invite contingent to his residence for interaction.
  • This year, India has been represented by a 228-strong contingent that includes 120 athletes at the Tokyo Olympics. PM Narendra Modi supported and encouraged the Olympians throughout the events. He also congratulated the winners and appreciated the ones who made India proud.

2. Union Cabinet approves continuation of 1,023 fast track special courts

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the continuation of 1,023 fast track special courts, including 389 exclusive POCSO courts, as a centrally sponsored scheme for another two years.
  • Union minister Anurag Thakur said out of 31 states and union territories, 28 have started the scheme. West Bengal is one of the states which has not started the scheme.
  • The scheme would continue from April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2023, with an outlay of Rs 1572.86 crore — Rs 971.70 crore as central share and Rs 601.16 crore as state share. The central share is to be funded from the ‘Nirbhaya’ Fund. The scheme was launched on October 2, 2019.

3. Uttarakhand unveils India’s first earthquake mobile app

  • Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Pushkar Singh Dhami has launched the first-of-its-kind earthquake early warning mobile application, named ‘Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert’.
  • The app has been developed by IIT Roorkee, in association with Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority (USDMA).
  • Initially, this app was launched as a pilot project only by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India, for the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, the project proposal was further extended by the Uttarakhand Government.
  • The Uttarakhand Bhookamp Alert is India’s first earthquake early warning’ app for notifying people about earthquake alerts.
  • Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) mobile app can detect the onset of the earthquake and issue warnings regarding an earthquake occurrence in the neighbourhood and the expected time of arrival and intensity at the location to prevent any loss of life.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Governor of Uttarakhand: Baby Rani Maurya;
  • The chief minister of Uttarakhand: Pushkar Singh Dhami.

4. Kumar Mangalam Birla steps down as Non-Executive Chairman of Vi

  • Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla has stepped down as the Non-Executive Director and Non-Executive Chairman of the Vodafone Idea (now Vi) Board.
  • The Vi Board of Directors have unanimously elected Himanshu Kapania, currently a Non-Executive Director, as the Non-Executive Chairman with effect.
  • Kapania, a nominee of the Aditya Birla Group, is a telecom industry veteran with 25 years of experience. He has also served on the Global GSMA Board for two years and was also the Chairman of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for two years.
  • He is presently the Chairman of the FICCI Council on Telecom, Electronics and Digital Economy.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Aditya Birla Group Founder: Seth Shiv Narayan Birla;
  • Aditya Birla Group Founded: 1857;
  • Aditya Birla Group Headquarters: Mumbai.

5. Retired Justice V M Kanade appointed Lokayukta in Mumbai

  • Maharashtra Governor, Bhagat Singh Koshyari has approved the appointment of retired Bombay high court judge Justice V M Kanade as the new Lokayukta of Maharashtra, on the advice of the chief minister Uddhav Thackeray.
  • Maharashtra was without a full-time Lokayukta for almost a year. The previous Lokayukta, (retd) Justice M L Tahaliyani had completed his tenure in August 2020.
  • The Lokayukta is an anti-corruption ombudsman. Citizens can make complaints of corruption against any government official or elected representative directly to the Lokayukta, who is tasked with speedy redressal.
  • The Lokayukta acts like a watchdog and plays a key role in fighting against corruption and bringing transparency. It’s been almost a year since there is no Lokayukta and this shows that the government is not keen on encouraging transparency.
  • The Lokayukta post is important to keep a check on the government and has become a recourse for the man between 2015 and 2020.

6. RBI imposes Rs 6 lakh penalty on Hewlett-Packard Financial Services

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has imposed a monetary penalty of Rs 6 lakh on Bengaluru-based Hewlett-Packard Financial Services (India) Private Ltd.
  • RBI said the statutory inspection of the company, concerning its financial position as of March 31, 2019, revealed, inter alia, non-compliance with the statutory directions on (i) submission of credit information to Central Repository of Information on Large Credits and (ii) submission of credit data to Credit Information Companies.
  • The penalty has been imposed in exercise of powers vested in it under the provisions of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 and the Credit Information Companies (Regulation) Act, 2005, taking into account the failure of the company to adhere to the aforesaid directions issued by RBI.

6. India & World Bank sign $250 million project to safe dams and resilient

  • The World Bank has approved a USD 250 million projects in India for a long-term dam safety program and improving the safety and performance of existing dams across various states of India.
  • The Second Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP-2) agreement was inked on between the World Bank, the Government of India, the Central Water Commission, and government representatives from 10 participating states.
  • The project will be implemented at the national level through the Central Water Commission (CWC).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • World Bank Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States.
  • World Bank Formation: July 1944.
  • World Bank President: David Malpass.

8. INS Khanjar becomes the first INS to call at heritage coastal port

  • Indian Naval Ship Khanjar becomes the first Indian Navy ship to call at the heritage coastal port of Gopalpur in Odisha. The two-day visit was organised as part of Aazadi ka Amrit Mahotsav as well as Swarnim Vijay Varsh celebrations to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Independence and the 50th anniversary of the 1971 War.
  • The visit of the ship was aimed at enhancing ties and spreading awareness with the local populace on aspects of coastal security and maritime operations. During the visit, ship’s officers interacted with Port Officials and discussed aspects related to berthing facilities for OTR of Naval ships and security overview of port infrastructure.
  • The ship’s team also undertook a cleanup drive at Gopalpur beach and tree plantation in the port premises. In addition, books and dry provisions were distributed to Samarth Orthopedically Handicapped Welfare Association, at Chatrapur in Ganjam district.

9. C.R. Rao Gold Medal award winners announced

  • The Indian Econometric Society (TIES) Trust has selected two renowned economic scholars for the Prof. C.R. Rao Centenary Gold Medal award. Renowned economists Jagdish Bhagwati and C Rangarajan have been conferred with the inaugural Prof CR Rao Centenary Gold Medal (CGM).
  • Bhagwati is a professor of economics, law and international relations at Columbia University while C Rangarajan is the former chairman of the Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister and former governor of the Reserve Bank of India.
  • TIES Trust had constituted a jury to shortlist the awardees. Based on the jury’s recommendations, it announced that inaugural award to two distinguished scholars. The medal is presented once in two years to an Indian or Indian-origin scholar for lifetime contributions to the fields of theoretical and applied aspects of quantitative economics and official statistics.

10. India wins bronze in men’s hockey, beat Germany 5-4

  • Indian men’s hockey team defeated Germany to win their first-ever Olympic medal in 41 years. India wins the bronze medal in men’s hockey after beating Germany 5-4 at Tokyo Olympics.
  • Before this podium finish for bronze, India last climbed up the Olympic podium in 1980, when it won its 8th gold at the Games.
  • Simranjeet Singh scored two goals for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium, along with Hardik Singh, Harmanpreet Singh and Rupinder Pal Singh also adding their names on the scoresheet.

11. Ravi Kumar Dahiya wins silver medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020

  • Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya bagged the silver medal after losing in the final of men’s 57kg freestyle category to Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Zavur Uguev.
  • This is India’s fifth medal at the Tokyo Olympics and the second silver of the campaign.
  • Ravi Kumar is the fifth Indian wrestler after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Sakshi Malik to finish on the Olympic podium.

12. A new book on Balakot air strikes 2019 authored by Manan Bhatt

  • A new book titled “Balakot Air Strike: How India Avenged Pulwama”, published by Garuda Prakashan, is written by Navy veteran Manan Bhatt.
  •  According to the publisher, the book, “a racy thriller” with “adrenalin-pushing action”, would make readers’ patriotism brim over, while filling them with a sense of gratitude and pride towards the armed forces.
  • The book, in its detailed account of the “two epochal events”, claims to capture everything “from moments before the ill-fated CRPF bus was hit, to the cockpits from where precision bombs were triggered and what transpired in those 12 momentous, expectation-filled days.

13. Padma Shri awardee Padma Sachdev passes away

  • Padma Shri awardee and noted author Padma Sachdev, the first modern woman poet of Dogri language, passed away. She received the Padma Shri, the country’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2001 and was awarded the Kabir Samman for poetry for 2007-08 by the Madhya Pradesh government.
  • She authored many books in Dogri and Hindi, and her poetry collections, including ‘Meri Kavita Mere Geet’, won her the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1971. 

14. BRO builds the world’s highest road in Ladakh at 19,300 feet

  • Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has constructed and black-topped the highest road in the world at Umlingla Pass in Eastern Ladakh. The highest motorable road in the world is situated at an altitude of 19,300 feet.
  • This is higher than the base camps of Mount Everest. The road itself is a 52-km long tarmac stretch through Umlingla Pass, connecting important towns in the Chumar sector of Eastern Ladakh.
  • The north base in Tibet is at 16,900 feet, whereas the south base camp in Nepal is 17,598 feet. The summit of Mount Everest is a little over 29,000 feet. The road is constructed much above the altitude of Siachen Glacier which is at 17,700 feet.
  • The Khardung La Pass in Leh is at an altitude of 17,582 feet. With this, India has bettered Bolivia’s record of a road at 18,953 feet.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Director-General of BRO: Lt. Gen. Rajeev Chaudhary;
  • BRO Headquarters: New Delhi;
  • BRO Founded: 7 May 1960.

15. Governors can pardon prisoners: Supreme Court of India

  • Supreme Court of India on August 3, 2021, held that the Governor of state can pardon prisoners, including in the death sentence cases. Governor can pardon the prisoners even before they have completed a minimum of 14 years of prison sentence.
  • Court also said that the Governor’s power to pardon overrides a provision given under Section 433A of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
  • Section 433A mandates that the sentence of the prisoner can be remitted only after 14 years of jail. The court observed that Section 433-A of the Code cannot and does not affect the constitutional power of the President or Governor to grant pardon under Articles 72 or 161 of the Constitution.
  • Such power is in the exercise of the power of the sovereign. However, Governor will have to act on the aid and advice of the State Government.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Supreme Court of India Established: 26 January 1950;
  • Chief Justice of India Justice: NV Ramana.

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