GK Update 6th March 2021

1. Digital platform ‘Jagrut Tripura’ launched by CM to boost e- governance

  • The Tripura government has come up with a digital platform ‘Jagrut Tripura’ to help people get benefits from various schemes of the Centre and the state government. At least 102 schemes of various departments of both governments are available on the platform.
  • The ‘Jagrut Tripura’ will empower citizens of the northeastern state. The digital platform is one of the many proactive initiatives undertaken by the state government to spur a technology-led innovation ecosystem to make ‘Atmanirbhar’ (self-reliant) Tripura.
  • The project was developed by EasyGov, a Jio Group company, and it will be available to all the residents of Tripura. “With ‘Jagrut’, we want to empower people to get the benefits they deserve, and the focus is on building a family-centric, progressive model having ‘one data one source’ and privacy at the core.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

2. HDFC ERGO launches Business Kisht Suraksha cover

  • HDFC ERGO General Insurance has launched the “Business Kisht Suraksha” cover. It is a unique cover that was launched with the aim of protecting the balance sheet of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), financial institutions and banks if any catastrophe or a natural disaster occurs.
  • This was launched with the aim of limiting the impacts on the balance sheet of financial institutions which occurs because of non-payment of EMIs by borrowers or because of several calamities like earthquakes, floods, cyclones.
  • The Business Kisht can be customised as per the needs of the individual MFI or financial institution (FI). It can also be tailor-made based on the geographical presence of the borrower, MFI or any FIs.
  • The MFIs or FIs would also be given the option to select the number of EMIs which might need insurance coverage.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • HDFC ERGO CEO: Ritesh Kumar.
  • HDFC ERGO Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • HDFC ERGO Founded: 2002.

3. NPCI Partners SBI Payments to launch “RuPay SoftPoS” for Merchants

  • National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and SBI Payments have partnered to launch “RuPay SoftPoS” for Indian merchants.
  • The RuPay SoftPoS solution will provide a cost-effective acceptance infrastructure to retailers at a nominal cost. This innovative solution has the capability to transform NFC enabled smartphones into merchant Point of Sale (PoS) terminals for the retailers.
  • RuPay SoftPoS is expected to provide seamless, cost-effective acceptance infrastructure to retailers at a nominal cost, and help deepen the digital payment acceptance among millions of underserved Indian MSMEs.
  • RuPay SoftPoS will enable merchants to use their near-field communication (NFC)-enabled smartphones as the point of sale (PoS) terminals and accept payment up to Rs 5,000 through a simple tap and pay mechanism.
  • Merchants can convert their existing android smartphone devices into a payment terminal by simply downloading a supported app.
  • This solution will revolutionise the way micro and small merchants receive payments and create a demarcated shift in their tendency to deal in cash to accepting secure, contactless digital payments instead.

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.

4. Axis Securities’ new platform to make an investment in bond

  • Axis Securities has announced the launch of ‘YIELD’ – an online platform to buy and sell bonds as well as debentures in the secondary market. By offering competitive rates and technical know-how, YIELD would empower the investors to make the right investment decision.
  • The trades and settlement of transactions executed will be reported on the BSE NDS (new debt segment) platform.
  • “YIELD is the first-of-its-kind initiative that allows retail investors direct access to the debt instruments,” the brokerage house said in a statement.
  • This new tool will remove the hassle of filling up physical forms or the need for separate KYC with the bond institutions, it added.
  • To facilitate transactions only insecure options, it aggregates only ‘AAA’ to ‘A’ rated quality debt instruments available for investment in the secondary market.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Axis Bank Commenced operations: 1994.
  • Axis Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Axis Bank Tagline: Dil Se Open.
  • Axis Bank MD and CEO: Amitabh Chaudhry.

5. Ligia Noronha appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General

  • UN chief Antonio Guterres has appointed leading Indian economist Ligia Noronha as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). 
  • Prior to joining the UNEP, Noronha worked at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi as Executive Director (Research Coordination) and as Director of the Division on Resources, Regulation and Global Security.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters: Nairobi, Kenya.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Head: Inger Andersen.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Founder: Maurice Strong.
  • United Nations Environment Programme Founded: 5 June 1972.

6. Tarun Bajaj to take additional charge of Revenue Secretary

  • Department of economic affairs secretary, Tarun Bajaj has been given the additional charge of revenue secretary. Present revenue secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey retires on February 28.
  • The Centre has decided to not grant an extension to finance secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey who was also holding additional charge of the revenue department in the finance ministry.
  • Tarun Bajaj, an old hand at the Finance Ministry, assumed charge as Economic Affairs secretary last May, at a time when India saw the worst growth contraction in history on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

7. Kotak Mahindra Bank tie-up with Indian army to handle salary accounts

  • Private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank will handle the salary account of the Indian army personnel. The bank has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Army here for a salary account.
  • The MoU enables Kotak to offer its salary account proposition, combined with exclusive benefits for the Indian Army, to all army personnel – both active and retired.
  • The salary account will cover other benefits such as a bespoke salary account for the army personnel, enhanced complimentary personal accident insurance cover – for both on-duty and off-duty incidents.
  • It covers accidental death for total or partial permanent disability. It will also offer special education benefit for children and additional girl child benefit by covering dependent children of up to 22 years in the event of an accident claim by the salary account holder.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Kotak Mahindra Bank CEO: Uday Kotak.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Establishment: 2003.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Headquarters: Mumbai, Maharashtra.
  • Kotak Mahindra Bank Tagline: Lets make money simple.

8. DRDO successfully flight test SFDR technology

  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted a successful flight test of Solid Fuel Ducted Ramjet (SFDR) technology from the integrated test range (ITR), Chandipur, off Odisha coast.
  • The SFDR technology will help DRDO with the technological advantage to develop long-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs). DRDO began developing SFDR first in 2017 and had conducted successful tests in 2018 and 2019 as well. 
  • The SFDR is a missile propulsion system being developed primarily by the Defence Research and Development Laboratory (DRDL) and Research Centre Imarat (RCI) in Hyderabad.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary Department of Defence Research and Development  & Chairman DRDO: Dr G Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • DRDO Established: 1958.

9. India downgraded from ‘free’ to ‘partly free’ in democracy report

  • India’s status as a democracy and free society has been downgraded to “partly free” in the latest annual report on global political rights and liberties by Freedom House, a US government-funded NGO that studies political freedom around the world.
  • The report titled “Freedom in the World 2021 – Democracy under Siege”. India’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.
  • India had been rated as “free” in Freedom House’s reports for 2018, 2019 and 2020, though its scores on a scale of 100 had declined during this period from 77 to 71. In the latest report, India had a score of 67 out of 100.

10. India-Sweden Virtual Summit 2021

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has participated in the virtual India-Sweden summit, with the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven.
  • The virtual summit was organised to exchange views on regional and global issues and to discuss the bilateral relations between the two countries. This was the fifth interaction between the two leaders since 2015.
  • Both the leaders underlined that the longstanding close relations between India and Sweden were based on shared values of democracy, rule of law, pluralism, equality, freedom of speech, and respect for human rights.
  • Prime Minister Modi welcomed Sweden’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA).

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Stockholm is the capital of Sweden.
  • The krona is the official currency of Sweden.
  • The current PM of Sweden is Stefan Lofven.

11. Bihari Puraskar 2020 to be awarded to Mohankrishna Bohara

  • The 30th Bihari Puraskar for 2020 will be given to Mohankrishna Bohara for his Hindi book of Criticism, titled Taslima: Sangharsh Aur Sahitya. The K.K. Birla Foundation announced this in New Delhi. The book was published in 2016.
  • Bihari Puraskar carries award money of two lakh 50 thousand rupees, a Citation and a Plaque. The award is one of the three literary awards instituted by the K.K. Birla Foundation in 1991.
  • Named after famous Hindi poet Bihari, the award is given every year for an outstanding work in Hindi or Rajasthani published in the last 10 years by a Rajasthani writer.

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