GK Update 8th January 2021

1. PM Modi dedicates new Section of Western Dedicated Freight Corridor

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi has dedicated the 306-km New Rewari-New Madar section of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (WDFC) to the nation.
  • Through video-conferencing, Modi also flagged off the world’s first double-stack long-haul 1.5-km-long container train hauled by electric traction from New Ateli-New Kishangarh. 
  • The New Rewari-New Madar section of the WDFC is situated in Haryana, approximately 79 km in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts and Rajasthan approximately 227 km in Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Nagaur, and Alwar districts.

2. Indian-American Raj Iyer becomes U.S. Army’s first CIO

  • Indian-American Dr Raj Iyer has taken over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army, after the Pentagon created the position in July 2020.
  • Dr Raj Iyer is one of the highest-ranking Indian-American civilians in the US Department of Defence.
  • Dr Iyer holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering had been serving as the Principal Advisor to the Secretary of the Army and directs representation of the secretary in matters relating to information management/information technology (IT). The position of CIO is equivalent to a three-star General.

3. Karnataka Government launches Krishi Sanjeevani Vans to test soil, water

  • The Chief Minister of Karnataka, B.S. Yediyurappa flagged off 40 Krishi Sanjeevani vans in Bengaluru.
  • These vans have been launched by the state Agriculture Department with Central assistance under National Krishi Vikas Yojana to take up this novel programme.
  • To take labs to the agriculture fields, study the conditions and address the needs of the farmers about pest control, the fertility of the soil, weeds and suitable crops in the existing conditions so that farmers get support for their farming techniques.
  • Depending on the soil, water and pests inflicting the crops, the Agriculture Department personnel can suggest remedies.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Karnataka: B.S. Yediyurappa; Governor: Vajubhai Vala.

4. Hima Kohli appointed as 1st Woman Chief Justice of Telangana High Court

  • The senior-most judge of Delhi High Court, Justice Hima Kohli has been appointed as the new Chief Justice of Telangana High Court. She is the first woman to be sworn in as CJ of Telangana HC.
  • Justice Kohli was administered the oath of office by Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan. She replaces CJ Raghvendra Singh Chauhan, who has been appointed as the CJ of Uttarakhand HC.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

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

5. JK Maheshwari sworn in as Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court

  • Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.
  • Governor Ganga Prasad administered the oath of office to Justice Maheshwari during a function held in Raj Bhavan.
  • Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami of the Sikkim High Court has now been transferred for appointment as the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s Chief Justice.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Sikkim: PS Golay.
  • Governor of Sikkim: Ganga Prasad.

6. Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court

  • Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia appointed as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court informed the Ministry of Law and Justice.
  • The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind in the exercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, Judge of the Uttarakhand High Court, as Chief Justice of the Gauhati High Court.
  • Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia, was enrolled as an Advocate on July 7, 1986, and practised in the Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts in Civil, Constitutional, Service, and Labour matters and has specialized in Service and Constitutional matters.
  • He was appointed as a permanent judge of the Uttarakhand High Court on November 1, 2008.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Chief Minister of Assam: Sarbananda Sonowal; Governor: Prof. Jagdish Mukhi.

7. RBI sets up College of Supervisors chaired by N S Viswanathan

  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has set up an academic advisory council called ‘College of Supervisors (CoS)’ to further strengthen supervision over regulated entities.
  • The Cos will be headed by former deputy governor N S Viswanathan and will have five other members.
  • The objective of the council will be to identify areas where skill building/up-skilling are requir­ed, plan and develop curricula of all programmes, benchmark the programmes with international standards/­best practices, and develop appropriate teaching methods, etc.

Other members include:

  • Arijit Basu, State Bank of India Managing Director
  • Paresh Sukhankar, former HDFC Bank Deputy Managing Director
  • S Raghunath of Banglore IIM
  • Tadhagatha Bandyophyay of Ahemadabad IIM and
  • Subrata Sarkar of IGIDR, Mumbai.

8. IDFC Mutual Fund unveils new investor awareness campaign #PaisonKoRokoMat

  • IDFC Mutual Funds has launched its latest pan-India investor awareness campaign titled #PaisonKoRokoMat. With this new campaign, IDFC Mutual Fund aims to shift the conversation regarding wealth creation from the traditional to the contemporary.
  • This new campaign of IDFC Mutual Fund urges savers to become investors and explore the smart and modern mutual fund vehicle for their investments.
  • The 360-degree campaign focuses on looking beyond the traditional ways of growing your money and using your goals to allocate your money across asset classes and investment solutions.
  • The campaign has been conceptualised and created by TBWAIndia.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • IDFC First Bank CEO: V. Vaidyanathan.
  • IDFC First Bank Headquarters: Mumbai.
  • IDFC First Bank Founded: October 2015.

9. World Bank Projects Indian Economy to Contract By 9.6% in 2020-21

  • World Bank has projected the Indian economy to contract by 9.6 per cent in the fiscal year 2020-21, in its Global Economic Prospects report. World Bank estimates Growth to recover to 5.4 per cent in 2021.
  • Apart from this, the global economy is estimated to expand by 4 per cent in 2021 by the World Bank. According to the report, global growth is projected to moderate to 3.8 per cent in 2022.

9. NSO Projects India’s GDP to contract 7.7% in FY21

  • The GDP of India is expected to contract by 7.7 per cent in the current fiscal year 2020-21, as per the first advanced estimates released by the National Statistical Office (NSO), under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on January 07, 2021.
  • The first advance estimates of GDP of a financial year are released before the Union Budget. This data helps in the budget-making process.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Minister of State IC of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation: Rao Inderjit Singh.

10. PNB Collaborates with IIT Kanpur to set up Fintech Innovation Centre

  • Punjab National Bank has partnered with IIT Kanpur and the Foundation for Innovation & Research in Science & Technology (FIRST) to set up a ‘Fintech Innovation Centre (FIC)’ at the institute’s campus.
  • PNB and IIT Kanpur will jointly work to set up this innovation centre as a vehicle for research and development of technological solutions, with the help of FIRST, to address challenges and explore opportunities in the Banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) space.
  • PNB intends to create new products or solutions with technological innovations by creating an FIC involving IITK’s experienced faculty members with the help of FIRST.
  • The collaboration of technical prowess from IIT Kanpur and financial expertise of PNB makes it an apt “Fin-Tech” partnership that will help build innovations and entrepreneurial excellence.
  • The FIC will be supported by a holistic ecosystem of financial institutions, academia, VC funds, technology companies and key government organisations.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • Punjab National Bank Headquarters: New Delhi.
  • Punjab National Bank CEO: S. S. Mallikarjuna Rao (1 Oct 2019–).
  • Punjab National Bank Founded: 19 May 1894, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Punjab National Bank Founders: Lala Lajpat Rai, Dyal Singh Majithia.

11. MoS Reddy to head committee for ‘protecting language, culture and land of Ladakh’

  • A 10-member delegation from Ladakh met Union home minister Amit Shah has urged the government to protect Ladakh’s language, culture and land.
  • The Central Government has decided to form a committee to protect the unique language, cultural identity and land of Ladakh. The Committee will be headed by the Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.
  • This committee will also ensure citizen’s participation in the development of the Union Territory. The other members of the committee will include elected representatives from Ladakh, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, central government, and the Ladakh administration.

12. RBI officer Giridharan pens novel ‘Right Under our Nose’

  • A general manager at RBI, R Giridharan has authored his debut book ”Right Under our Nose”.
  • In ”Right Under Your Nose”, a murderer eliminates scientists right under the nose of the police and leaves forensics baffled.
  • In response, the chief minister calls upon Vijay, who is given an impossible deadline to solve the case before Parliament resumes in a week.

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