GK Update 5th January 2021

1. U.S. Congress passes ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’

  • The U.S. Congress has passed the ‘Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act’ to increase the number of scholarships for Pakistani women in higher education under merit and needs-based programme.
  • The bill was passed by the United States Senate by a voice vote on January 1. The bill now heads to the White House for U.S. President Donald Trump to sign into law.
  • The bill requires the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to award at least 50% of scholarships under a Pakistan-based higher education scholarship programme to Pakistani women, from 2020 to 2022, across a range of academic disciplines and in accordance with existing eligibility criteria.
  • The bill also requires USAID to consult with and leverage investments by the Pakistani private sector and Pakistani diaspora in the United States to improve and expand access to education programmes in Pakistan.

2. ADB approves $100 million loan to upgrade power distribution system in Bengaluru

  • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide a USD 100 million (around Rs 730 crore) loan to modernise and upgrade the power distribution system in Bengaluru city.
  • Besides the USD 100 million sovereign loans, ADB will provide a USD 90 million loan without sovereign guarantee for the project to Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Ltd (BESCOM), one of the five state-owned distribution utilities in Karnataka.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Karnataka: B.S. Yediyurappa; Governor: Vajubhai Vala.
  • President of ADB: Masatsugu Asakawa; Headquarters: Manila, Philippines.
  • ADB Established: 9 December 1966.

3. IDBI Bank launches video KYC facility for opening savings bank accounts

  • IDBI Bank announced the launch of video KYC account opening (VAO) facility for savings bank accounts. Through the facility, a customer can open a savings account with the lender from the convenience of his/her home or office as there are no physical forms to be filled or visits to be made to the branch.
  • Video KYC is a quick and easy way to open a savings account from the comforts of your home. It ensures that the online journey for opening savings account remains safe, simple, and fast eliminating the need to visit the branch for KYC.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IDBI Bank CEO: Rakesh Sharma.
  • IDBI Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.

4. Bajaj Auto becomes world’s most valuable two-wheeler company

  • Indian multinational two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturing company, Bajaj Auto has become the most valuable two-wheeler company in the world, after it crossed a market capitalization of more than Rs. 1 lakh crore, on January 01, 2021.
  • Bajaj’s share price on NSE closed at Rs. 3,479 per share on the first day of 2021, leading to a market capitalization of more than Rs 1,00,670.76 crore.
  • Thus, Bajaj Auto is not only the most valued company in the two-wheeler segment but also the first-ever two-wheeler company in the world to have reached this market cap milestone.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Headquarter of Bajaj Auto: Pune, Maharashtra.
  • Managing Director of Bajaj Auto: Rajiv Bajaj.

5. Pankaj Mithal sworn in as CJ of J&K, Ladakh Court

  • Justice Pankaj Mithal has been appointed as the new Chief Justice (CJ) of the Common High Court for the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh in Jammu on January 04, 2021.
  • Chief justice Mithal has been appointed in view of the retirement of chief justice Gita Mittal recently. Chief Justice Mithal was administered the oath of office by Lieutenant Governor of J&k, Manoj Sinha.

6. GJC elects Ashish Pethe as New Chairman

  • The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), the national apex body of the gems and jewellery industry, has announced the appointment of Ashish Pethe as chairman and Saiyam Mehra as vice chairman for a period of two years.
  • Pethe has been closely associated with GJC and was the Zonal Chairman West, which he will continue even after this new position.
  • The entire e-Voting election process was conducted by an authorised independent person (Chief Election Authority), and the voting platform was created by a digital agency, both appointed by GJC.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council HQ: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council Founded: 2005.

7. Sanjay Kapoor elected All India Chess Federation president

  • Sanjay Kapoor was elected president of the All India Chess Federation (AICF) while Bharat Singh Chauhan retained the secretary’s post.
  • Kapoor, representing Uttar Pradesh Chess Association, defeated incumbent PR Venketrama Raja in a close contest.
  • Kapoor received 33 votes as against 31 of Raja. Chauhan beat Ravindra Dongre 35-29. Apart from the president, secretary and treasurer, six vice-presidents and six joint secretaries were also elected.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • All India Chess Federation Headquarters:  Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium; Chennai.
  • All India Chess Federation Founded: 1951.

8. Indian Army inks pact with Goa Shipyard to get 12 fast patrol boats

  • Indian Army has inked a contract with Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) to procure 12 Fast Patrol Boats for surveillance and patrolling of large water bodies, including those in high altitude areas like Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh.
  • Pangong Tso’s 134-km length is divided into eight ‘fingers’, military parlance for mountain spurs jutting into the water body that is contested by both sides. The lake is frozen with the onset of winters, and the Army plans to deploy around two dozen such boats by next summer.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief of Army Staff: General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

9. PM Modi inaugurates National Metrology Conclave 2021

  • Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed the National Metrology Conclave, via video conferencing on January 04, 2021.
  • National Metrology Conclave 2021 was organised by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, to mark its 75th year of inception. This year theme: ‘Metrology for the Inclusive Growth of the Nation’.
  • As a part of this conclave, PM Modi also dedicated ‘National Atomic Timescale’, and ‘Bhartiya Nirdeshak Dravya’ to the nation, and laid the foundation stone of the ‘National Environmental Standards Laboratory’.

10. Former Maharashtra Minister Vilas Patil Undalkar passes away

  • Former Maharashtra cabinet minister and seven-time Congress MLA Vilas Patil Undalkar has passed away.
  • The veteran Congressman, Undalkar, who was popularly known as ‘kaka’, was elected seven times from Karad-South Assembly constituency for a record 35 consecutive years, from 1980 to 2014.
  • Undalkar held the Cooperation and Law and Justice portfolios in the State Cabinets during the previous Congress-led state governments.

11. Argentine filmmaker Pablo Cesar to head 51st IFFI”s International Jury

  • The International Jury for 51st edition of International Film Festival of India has been announced with eminent filmmakers from across the world.
  • According to the Information and Broadcasting Ministry, the Jury will comprise Pablo Cesar of Argentina as Chairman, Prasanna Vithanage of Sri Lanka, Abu Bakr Shawky of Austria, Priyadarshan of India and Rubaiyat Hossain of Bangladesh.
  • Pablo Cesar is an Argentine filmmaker. He has contributed to the African cinema by making the critically acclaimed films, Equinox, the Garden of the Roses, Los dioses de agua and Aphrodite, the Garden of the Perfumes.

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