GK Update 7th & 8th March 2021

1. PM Modi addresses ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’ celebrations

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed ‘Janaushadhi Diwas’ celebrations through video conference. He dedicated to the nation the 7500th Janaushadhi Kendra at NEIGRIHMS, Shillong during the event.
  • He interacts with beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Bhartiya Janaushadhi Pariyojana and also gives awards to stakeholders by recognizing their excellent work. Union Minister for Chemicals & Fertilizers will also be present on the occasion.
  • 1st March to 7th March is celebrated as ‘Janaushadhi Week’ across the nation with the theme of “Jan Aushadhi – Seva Bhi, Rozgar Bhi” for creating awareness about the use of generic medicines.
  • Various functions across the country are organized like health checkup camps, Jan Aushadhi Paricharcha, Teach Them Young, panel discussions with doctors, etc. this week.

2. Ramesh Pokhriyal Inaugurates New Delhi World Book Fair 2021

  • The Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal has inaugurated the New Delhi World Book Fair 2021-Virtual Edition, through video-conferencing. The program has been organized by the National Book Trust (NBT).
  • The New Delhi World Book Fair 2021 is the 29th edition of the annual event and for the first time, the fair will be held virtually due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
  • The theme of the 2021 New Delhi World Book Fair is ‘National Education Policy-2020’. The NEP 2020 was passed by the Union Cabinet last year, which proposes several significant changes in the existing education policy.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • National Book Trust Founded: 1 August 1957.
  • National Book Trust President: Govind Prasad Sharma.
  • National Book Trust Headquarters: Vasant Kunj, Delhi.

3. India’s first ‘Transgender Community Desk’ opens in Telangana

  • The Cyberabad Police has launched India’s first-ever Transgender Community Desk’ at the Gachibowli Police Station in Hyderabad, Telangana. This desk is the first-of-its-kind gender-inclusive community policing initiatives in the country.
  • The desk was formally inaugurated on Saturday by Cyberabad Police chief VC Sajjanar in a ceremony that was attended by over 200 transgender people.
  • Earlier in 2014, the Supreme Court recognised the transgender community as a third gender along with male and female and ruled that they have equal privilege over the fundamental rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
  • It is the world’s first-ever help desk for the transgender community and it will be managed by a Police Liaison Officer and a member of the transgender community who is designated as a community coordinator.
  • It will also be the focal point for all grievance redressal among the transgender community in Cyberabad Commissionerate.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Telangana: K Chandrasekhar Rao; Governor: Tamilisai Soundararajan.

4. EPFO keeps interest rate unchanged at 8.5% for 2020-21

  • The board of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) has kept the interest rates on Provident Fund deposits for the financial year 2020-21 at 8.5 per cent. The rate has been kept unchanged, as in 2019-20.
  • The decision was taken by the Central Board of Trustees, at the 228th meeting, under the chairmanship of Labour Minister Santosh Kumar Gangwar.
  • Last year, in March, EPFO had reduced the interest rate on provident fund deposits to a seven-year low of 8.5 per cent for 2019-20. For the financial year 2018-19, the interest rate was fixed at 8.65 per cent. The EPFO had provided an 8.55 per cent interest rate to its subscribers for 2017-18 and an interest rate was 8.65 per cent for the financial year 2016-17.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CEO of EPFO: Sunil Barthwal.
  • EPFO Founded: 4 March 1952.
  • EPFO Headquarters: New Delhi.

Business News

5. Sebi cancels Sahara India Financial Corp’s registration as sub-broker

  • Markets regulator Sebi has cancelled the certificate of registration of Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd as a sub-broker citing its failure to fulfil the “fit and proper” criteria.
  • The regulator had appointed a designated authority in 2018 to enquire whether Sahara India Financial violated provisions of Intermediaries Regulations.
  • According to the designated authority’s report, considering the antecedents of Subrata Roy Sahara and the various judicial pronouncements against him and other group companies of Sahara, it is determined that Sahara India Financial (noticee) is not a “fit and proper person” to continue as a sub-broker in the securities market.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India Founded: 12 April 1992.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • Securities and Exchange Board of India Agency executive: Ajay Tyagi.

6. Naureen Hassan appointed as 1st VP & COO of Federal Reserve Bank

  • Indian-origin Naureen Hassan has been appointed as the first Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the New York-based Federal Reserve Bank, by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
  • Hassan, whose parents had immigrated from India, is a 25-year veteran of the financial services industry with expertise in strategy, digital transformation, cybersecurity and regulatory/risk management.
  • With this new role, Hassan will become the second-highest-ranking officer of the New York Fed as well as an alternate voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee.
  • Prior to this, she was the Chief Digital Officer for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (MSWM). She will take over the new role with effect from March 15, 2021. 

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank: John C. Williams.
  • Federal Reserve BankChairperson: Jerome Powell.
  • Federal Reserve BankFounded: 23 December 1913.
  • Federal Reserve Bank HQ: New York, United States.

7. Rajnath Singh Attends 3-day Combined Commanders’ Conference

  • Defence minister Rajnath Singh has attended the three-day Combined Commanders’ Conference (CCC) along with top defence officials at Kevadia, Gujarat.
  • Theaterisation of armed forces, self-reliance in the defence sector and evolving threats in the region will be the focus. It is a premier brainstorming event of the Military Commanders from the three Services.
  • Defense Minister, Rajnath Singh held deliberations on Day 2. In a first, valedictory session on the third and final day chaired by PM Narendra Modi. The last CCC was held in 2018 at the Air Force Station, Jodhpur.

8. GoI Sets up 259-Member panel to Commemorate 75 Years of India’s Independence

  • The Government of India has set up a 259-member high-level national committee, to be headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to commemorate 75 years of India’s independence.
  • The committee will provide policy direction and guidelines for the formulation of programmes for the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, at the national and international levels.
  • The celebrations are proposed to be launched 75 weeks prior to August 15, 2022, on March 12, 2021, which is the 91st anniversary of the historic Salt Satyagraha led by Mahatma Gandhi. The celebrations will be held at the national and international level in the form of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. The high-level committee will hold its first meeting on March 8, 2021.

9. Dr Harsh Vardhan addresses the inaugural session of Techbharat 2021

  • Union Minister for Health & Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan has addressed the inaugural session of TechBharat 2021. Laghu Udyog Bharati and IMS Foundation have organized the 2nd edition of the conclave bringing together stakeholders from the HealthTech & Edutech sector on a virtual platform.
  • Techbharat is facilitating interactions & deliberations between thousands of domestic & global participants, including policymakers, government representatives, industry members, investors & start-ups to nurture resourceful partnerships and boost growth in the sectors.
  • The Pradhan Mantri Aatmanirbhar Swasth Bharat Yojana, with a massive outlay of over 64 thousand crore rupees over the next six years, will develop capacities of primary, secondary and tertiary care, health care systems.

10. International Women’s Day: 8 March

  • International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. This day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
  • The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities.
  • This year’s theme for International Women Day, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Secretary-General of United Nations: Antonio Guterres.
  • United Nations founded: 24 October 1945.
  • Headquarters of United Nations: New York, United States.

11. Renowned Kannada poet Lakshminarayana Bhatta passes away

  • Noted Kannada poet, critic and translator NS Lakshminarayana Bhatta has passed away. Popularly known as ‘NSL’ in the Kannada literary world, he was born in 1936 in the Shivamogga district.
  • A was recipient of the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi award and Kannada Rajyotsava Award among others, his popular works include Thaye Ninna madilali.
  • Bhatta had translated about 50 famous sonnets of William Shakespeare (Suneeta), the poetry of TS Elliot and works of the noted poet William Butler Yeats (Chinnada Hakki) into Kannada.
  • He had also translated several other prominent English literary works into Kannada. He served as a Professor at Bengaluru University, working in the Kannada Literature department, and is revered for popularizing the works of saint-poet Shishunala Sharif.

12. Muthoot Group Chairman M G George Muthoot passes away

  • M G George Muthoot, the Chairman and Whole Time Director of The Muthoot Group, has passed away. He was the mentor and visionary leader who played a pivotal leadership role through his long career in building one of the most trusted financial powerhouses in the country.
  • Mr George became the managing director of Muthoot Group in 1979 and its chairman in 1993. Muthoot Finance Ltd is one the largest gold loan NBFCs in India, headquartered in Kochi, Kerala.

13. Delhi govt approves formation of separate board in city

  • Delhi government has approved the formation of a separate school board for nearly 2,700 schools in the city.
  • There are around 1,000 Delhi government schools and about 1,700 private schools, most of them affiliated to the CBSE, in the city. The new Board will have a governing body headed by the Education Minister of the Delhi government and an executive body headed by a chief executive officer.
  • The DBSE will be aimed at imparting such education that prepares “fiercely patriotic” and self-dependent students who serve the society and the country in a selfless manner. The Board will bring in best international practices and high-end techniques in school education. It will impart education as per the aptitude of the students.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Chief Minister of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal; Governor of Delhi: Anil Baijal.

14. Indian Railways install Mobile Train Radio Communication system

  • Indian Railways’ Western Railway zone has introduced a mobile train radio communication (MTRC) system to facilitate direct and continuous communication between the train crew and the control centre and station master.
  • Through effective communication, this technologically advanced system will help in averting train accidents. This new communication system has already been deployed in 105 rakes, operating between Churchgate to Virar over Mumbai’s suburban segment.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams: 

  • Union Minister of Railways: Piyush Goyal.

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