GK Update 8 Sept 2020

1. GoI launches mental health rehabilitation helpline “KIRAN”

  • Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry have launched a toll-free mental health rehabilitation helpline “KIRAN”.
  • The helpline was launched in view of the growing incidence of Mental Illness, particularly in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The helpline – 1800-500-0019 will provide relief and support to persons with mental illness.
  • The helpline will resolve mental health issues that are related to the following namely, anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), depression, Panic Attack(s) Adjustment Disorders, suicidal thoughts, substance abuse, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and the psychological issues & mental health emergencies induced by the pandemic.
  • It will offer mental health rehabilitation services. It functions as a lifeline to provide 1st stage advice, counselling. It is available 24*7 with the Technical Coordination of BSNL.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment: Thaawarchand Gehlot.

2. Australia appoints cricket icon Matthew Hayden as trade envoy to India

  • Government of Australia has appointed former cricketer, Matthew Hayden and Indian-origin politician Lisa Singh as trade envoys for advancing business ties with India.
  • The council plays an important role in advancing Australia’s foreign and economic policy interests with India.
  • Three new appointments to the board of the Australia-India Council were announced recently, Ashok Jacob has been reappointed as chair, and will be joined by three new board members.”
  • Hayden is a former international cricketer, who played 103 Tests and 161 One Day Internationals for Australia. He has scored 40 international centuries. He was made Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for his sporting excellence.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Prime Minister of Australia: Scott Morrison.
  • The currency of Australia: Australian dollar.
  • Capital of Australia: Canberra.

3. Andhra Govt & LEAF signs agreement for food processing

  • Government of Andhra Pradesh and Lawrencedale Agro Processing India (LEAF) has signed an agreement to expand the scope of food processing in the State.
  • The State tops in the production of mango, lime, tomato, eggs, banana, chillies, and shrimp and second in production of groundnut, maize and paddy in the country.
  • LEAF has inked an agreement with the Andhra Pradesh Food Processing Society at Tadepalli, Guntur, under the purview of the Andhra Pradesh government’s Department of Industries and Commerce to boost the income of marginal farmers with special focus on food processing.
  • This initiative of Integrated Food Park Scheme is one more aspect towards ensuring higher income for farmers.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh: YS Jagan Mohan Reddy; Governor: Biswa Bhusan Harichandan.

4. WhatsApp, CPF partner to drive cyber safety awareness

  • Facebook-owned WhatsApp has partnered with Cyber Peace Foundation (CPF) to create awareness on cyber safety among students.
  • The partners aim to reach about 15,000 students in five Indian states, including Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra by the end of this year, under the first phase of a pan-India programme.
  • CPF will train teachers, parents, and students using a co-created curriculum to arm them with tips and tricks to increase online safety for children in consultation with UNICEF and state police authorities.
  • At the end of these training sessions, the participants will create a ‘Cyber Peace Club’ to ensure that this knowledge is further institutionalised, and manage a repository of guidance that other students can refer to for boosting online child safety

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Founder and President, Cyber Peace Foundation: Vineet Kumar.
  • Cyber Peace Foundation Established: 2003.
  • Cyber Peace Foundation Headquarters: New Delhi.

5. Venkaiah Naidu released ‘The State of Young Child in India’ report

  • Vice President of India, Venkaiah Naidu has released “The State of Young Child in India” report. The report was prepared by a policy advocacy organization, Mobile Creches.
  • The report measured Health and Nutrition in the country.
  • According to the report, there 159 million children aged below 6 years in India out of the 21 per cent are undernourished, 36 per cent are underweight and 38 per cent do not receive full immunization.
  • According to the analysis on expense towards child nutrition, healthcare, education and other protection services, India has spent Rs 1,723 per child in 2018-2019, which is insufficient to reach the entire eligible population.
  • The report has also released the list of Best-performing states & worst-performing states based on the Young Child Outcomes Index.

Best-performing states

  • Kerala
  • Goa
  • Tripura
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Mizoram

Worst-performing states

  • Bihar
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Jharkhand
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Chhattisgarh
  • The Young Child Outcomes Index (YCOI) measures health, nutrition and cognitive growth with help of indicators such as infant mortality rate, stunting and net attendance at the primary school level. Based on the index, eight states have scored below the country’s average.
  • They are Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The index was constructed for two time periods 2005-2006 & 2015-2016 to provide inter-state comparisons and also provides an idea of change over time.

6. Saudi Arabia chairs G20 Education Ministers Meeting

  • The Education Ministers Meeting will take place as part of the Sherpa Track for the G20 Leaders Summit 2020, which is to be hosted by Saudi Arabia at the end of 2020.
  • The Saudi Arabian Presidency has selected the following theme for the G20’s 2020 activities: Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All.
  • The meet was chaired by Saudi Arabia’s Education Minister Dr Hamad Al-Asheikh where India was represented by Union Minister of Education,  Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, in the virtual mode.
  • This meeting held to discuss and share experiences of member countries in the three identified areas viz. Education Continuity in Times of Crises, Early Childhood Education and Internationalization in Education.
  • The G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union. The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  •  Capital of Saudi Arabia: Riyadh; Currency: Saudi riyal.

7. DRDO successfully test scramjet technology for hypersonic missiles

  • Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has successfully flight-tested a Hypersonic Technology Demonstrator Vehicle (HSTDV), which is an unmanned scramjet vehicle with the ability to travel at six times the speed of sound.
  • The test was conducted from Dr A P J Abdul Kalam Launch Complex at Wheeler Island, off the coast of Odisha.  Now, India has joined the elite club of the United States, Russia and China to develop and successfully test Hypersonic Technology.
  • The HSTDV tests the indigenously developed hypersonic air-breathing scramjet technology. The scramjets are a variant of air-breathing jet engines and have the ability to handle airflows of speeds much higher than the speed of sound.
  • The hypersonic cruise vehicle was launched using a proven solid rocket motor, which took it to an altitude of 30 kilometres, where the aerodynamic heat shields were separated. The cruise vehicle separated from the launch vehicle and the air intake opened as planned.
  • The hypersonic combustion sustained and the cruise vehicle continued on its desired flight path at a velocity of six times the speed of sound, which is nearly two kilometres per second, for more than 20 seconds.
  • The critical events, like fuel injection and auto-ignition of the scramjet, demonstrated technological maturity.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • DRDO Chairman: Dr G. Satheesh Reddy.
  • DRDO Headquarters: New Delhi.

8. International Literacy Day: 8 September

  • International Literacy Day is observed globally on 8th September every year.
  • The day spread awareness about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.
  • International Literacy Day 2020 focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond,” especially on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • UNESCO headquarters: Paris, France.
  • UNESCO Head: Audrey Azoulay.
  • UNESCO Founded: 16 November 1945.

9. Oscar winning Czech Director Jiri Menzel passes away

  • Oscar-winning Czech film director, Jiri Menzel passed away. He was born in Prague, Czechoslovakia on 23 February 1938.
  • His 1st feature film, ‘Closely Watched Trains’ won an Academy Award (Oscars) for Best Foreign Language film in 1968.
  • Menzel won the Czech Lion for lifetime artistic contribution and was honoured by the Karlovy Vary festival.
  • He is a recipient of the Medal of Merit, the French Order of Arts and Literature and a score of other international awards.
  • He was awarded an IIFA Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2013.

10. Veteran filmmaker Johnny Bakshi passes away

  • Veteran producer-director, Johnny Bakshi passed away. He mostly worked as a producer, backing films such as Manzilein Aur Bhi Hain, (1974), Raavan, (1984) and Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee (1993).
  • He has also directed two films Daku Aur Police (1992) and Khudai (1994).

11. Swamiji of Edneer Mutt Kesavananda Bharati passes away

  • The head seer of Edneer Mutt, Kesavananda Bharti passed away. He was famous for initiating the historic judgement of the Supreme Court that “Basic Structure of Constitution” cannot be amended by the Parliament.
  • In 1973, Kesavananda had filed a case challenging the Kerala government’s attempts to impose restrictions over the mutt property.
  • In a wafer-thin majority ruling of 7-6, the 13-judge bench pronounced that while Parliament had “wide” powers, it cannot alter the basic structure of the Constitution.

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