Daily GK Update: 12th September 2020

“Economic Freedom Index 2020: India slips 26 spots to 105th position”.

  • India has fallen 26 spots to rank at the 105th position on the Global Economic Freedom Index 2020, as per an annual report.
  • The country was ranked at the 79th spot in last year’s rankings.
  • The rankings were published in the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report by Canada’s Fraser Institute, which was released in India in conjunction with the Indian think tank Centre For Civil Society.
  • India was ranked at 105th position, 26 places below its last year’s rank. However, it was still ranked higher than China, which was ranked at the 124th position
  • The report analysed the policies and institutions of 162 countries and territories across the world and ranked them on the basis of the following parameters:
    • Levels of personal choice
    • Ability to enter markets
    • Security of privately owned property
    • Rule of law

Source: Jagran Josh

“India Post launches new scheme to ensure rural coverage of postal schemes; check details”.

  • In order to bridge the gaps in public awareness and reach of postal products and services in interior villages, the Department of Posts has launched a scheme called Five Star Villages to ensure universal coverage of flagship postal schemes in rural areas of the country.
  • All postal products and services will be made available and marketed and publicized at the village level, under the Five Star Villages scheme. Branch offices will function as a one-stop-shop to cater to all post-office-related needs of villagers.
  • The schemes covered under the Five Star scheme include:
    • Savings Bank accounts, Recurrent Deposit Accounts, NSC/ KVP certificates
    • Sukanya Samridhi Accounts/ PPF Accounts
    • Funded Post Office Savings Account linked India Post Payments Bank Accounts
    • Postal Life Insurance Policy/Rural Postal Life Insurance Policy
    • Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana Account/ Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana Account.
  • If a village attains universal coverage for four schemes from the above list, then that village gets four-star status; if a village completes three schemes, then that village gets three-star status and so on.
  • The scheme will be implemented by a team of five Gramin Dak Sevaks who will be assigned a village for the marketing of all products, savings, and insurance schemes of the Department of Posts.

Source: Zee News

“Hubballi Railway Station to be renamed after Shree Siddharoodha Swami”.

  • Union government has approved long-pending demand of Hubballians of renaming the Hubballi railway station after Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji.
  • Lalita T Hedaoo, under secretary to the government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, has asserted in a letter addressed to the principal secretary to the government, Revenue Department, Karnataka Government Secretariate, Bengaluru, that union government has no objection to rename ‘Hubballi Railway Station’ as ‘Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Railway Station Hubballi’.
  • Name of Hubballi railway station, which is head quarter of South Western Railway, is being changed for the second time  in last five years. It was changed in 2015 from ‘Hubli’ to ‘Hubballi’.
  • It was long pending demand of North Karnataka people to rename the Hubballi station after Shree Siddharoodha Swami, which is a pilgrimage centrefor people of all religions and castes from Karnataka, Maharashtra and other states.

Source: The Times of India

“‘Game of Thrones’ & Bond Star Diana Rigg passes away at 82”.

  • British actress Diana Rigg, who came to fame in the cult 1960s TV show “The Avengers” and recently appeared in “Game of Thrones”, died at age 82.
  • “She died of cancer diagnosed in March, and spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession”
  • Rigg, born in Doncaster in northern England, moved with her family to India before going to school in England. She studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making her debut at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1959.
  • It was her role as the karate-kicking leather-clad secret agent Emma Peel in the Avengers, alongside Patrick McNee’s bowler-hatted John Steed, that brought her to wide attention.

Source:The Economic Times

“Gujarat declares its first heritage tourism policy”.

  • Unveiling the first “heritage tourism policy” on Friday, Gujarat government allowed opening up of heritage hotels, museums, banquet halls and restaurants inside historic palaces, forts and buildings.
  • This policy is applicable to historic structures that existed before January 1, 1950 and will allow international and domestic tourists to see and experience historic structures from close quarters.
  • Under this policy, a new heritage hotel or an existing one will get financial assistance of Rs 5-10 crore for renovation or expansion. The basic heritage structure should not be altered during this process.
  • The government will give a 20 per cent subsidy (maximum of Rs 5 crore) if the investment is up to Rs 25 crore. If the investments are over Rs 25 crore, then the maximum subsidy would be Rs 10 crore.
  • Similarly, to begin a new heritage museum, banquet hall or resturant or to renovate or restore an existing one, financial assistance of Rs 45 lakh to Rs 1 crore will be provided. This financial aid will be given at 7 percent interest for five years and will not exceed Rs 30 lakh in a year.

Source: The Indian Express

“India’s Largest Piggery Mission launched in Meghalaya”.

  • India’s largest piggery mission worth Rs 209 crores, was launched in Meghalaya by the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary.
  • Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said: “A moment of pride as India’s Largest Piggery Mission was launched in Meghalaya by Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Kailash Choudhary.”
  • He posted on Twitter “Funded by NCDC (National Cooperative Development Corporation), the Rs 209 Crore project is a step towards Aatma Nirbhar, making Meghalaya self-sufficient in pork production.”
  • According to NCDC’s official website, the project is estimated to benefit 35,000 pig farmers in Meghalaya.
    “5,000 unemployed youth will get a livelihood. This would provide a regular source of income to members of 300 PACCS (Primary Agriculture Cooperative Credit Societies),” NCDM said. (ANI)

Source: Business World

“Playerzpot ropes in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Smriti Mandhana as brand ambassadors”.

  • Playerzpot,  the fantasy sports gaming platforms, announced the signing of cricketers Bhuvneshwar Kumarand Smriti Mandhana as its brand ambassadors.
  • The partnership will see the cricketers in the brand’s upcoming campaigns and promote Playerzpot through engagement activities.
  • The duo will anchor the brand with their sports charisma and help in creating a higher brand recall amongst the key target audience.

Source: The Economic Times

“Renowned social activist Swami Agnivesh passes away”.

  • Social activist and Arya Samaj leader Swami Agniveshpassed away Friday at the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi. He was 80.
  • Agnivesh had been suffering from liver cirrhosis and was put on ventilatory support on Tuesday due to multiple organ failure.
  • Born into a Brahmin family in Andhra Pradesh,Swami Agnivesh came to be known for his campaign against bonded labour through his foundation Bandhua Mukti Morcha (Bonded Labor Liberation Front). His public work spurred him to enter active politics.
  • He was elected to the Haryana Assembly in 1977 and was made education minister after two years. He, however, resigned from the post in protest against the Haryana government’s inaction against police who had opened fire at workers protesting bonded labour.
  • In 2010, he was tasked by the Congress government to open a dialogue with the Maoist leadership. A year later he was part of the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare.
  • Swami Agnivesh, who was president of World Council of Arya Samaj till 2014, had also angered Hindu groups for his comments on Amarnath shrine in Jammu & Kashmir.

Source: The Indian Express

“Iran’s military begins expansive annual exercise amid tensions with US”.

  • Iran’s military Thursday began an expansive annual three-day exercise near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, state TV reported, with the maneuvers taking place amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the US.
  • Units from the navy and air force and ground forces are participating in a nearly 2 million-square-kilometer (772,200-square-mile) area of the Gulf of Oman. State TV said Iranian submarines and drones were being deployed.
  • Habibollah Sayyari, commander of the annual exercise dubbed Zolfaghar-99, said Wednesday the operation is aimed at “improving readiness in confronting foreign threats and any possible invasion.”

Source: The Hindustan Times

“International Day for South South Cooperation, 12 September”.

  • South-South cooperation is a manifestation of solidarity among peoples and countries of the South that contributes to their national well-being, their national and collective self-reliance and the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Several countries of the global South have already demonstrated effective responses to contain the outbreak and mitigate its impact.
  • It is clear that South-South cooperation is and will be more important than ever before. For that reason, the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperationis spreading awareness of the economic, social and political developments made recently by regions and countries in the South and highlights United Nations efforts to work on technical cooperation among developing countries.
  • The objectives of South-South Cooperation are to:
    • foster and strengthen the self-reliance of developing countries by enhancing their creative capacity to find solutions and technological capacities to their development problems and formulate the requisite strategies to address them;
    • promote and strengthen collective self-reliance among developing countries through the exchange of experiences leading to a greater awareness of common problems and wider access to available knowledge;
    • recognize and respond to the problems and requirements of the least developed countries, landlocked developing countries, small island developing States and the countries most seriously affected by, for example, natural disasters and other crises, and enable them to achieve a greater degree of participation in international economic activities.

Source: UN News