Daily GK Updates: 25th September 2020

“Varanasi’s Shivangi Singh to be first woman to fly Rafale”.


  • Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh is set to become India’s first woman fighter pilot to fly the Rafale aircraft that was formally inducted into the Indian Air Force on September 10, officials familiar with the matter.
  • Singh, who hails from Varanasi, is currently being trained to fly IAF’s newest fighter based in Ambala.
  • She is undergoing conversion training to fly the Rafale jet and will soon join the Ambala-based No. 17 squadron, also known as “Golden Arrows.”
  • The officer, who is one of IAF’s 10 women fighter pilots, joined the air force in 2017. After joining IAF, she has been flying the MiG-21 Bison aircraft and was till recently serving at a fighter base in Rajasthan, the officials added on condition of anonymity.

Source: Hindustan Times

 Assam Govt launched “Mukhyamantrir Grammya Paribahan Achoni Yojana”.

  • The Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal has launched the “Mukhyamantrir Grammya Paribahan Achoni Yojana” of the state transport department.
  • Under the scheme, Light Motor Vehicle Service would be launched in all the villages of the state to improve rural connectivity and generate employment in the villages. One vehicle would be provided to one beneficiary per village.
  • In the first phase of the scheme, 10,000 villages would be covered with a financial outlay of Rs 100 crore. The state government shall financially assist the eligible entrepreneurs with25 per cent of the cost of the vehicle or Rs 1 lakh, whichever is less.

Source: Dailyhunt

“President Ram Nath Kovind confers NSS Awards for 2018-19”.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the National Service Scheme (NSS) Awards for the year 2018-19 from Rashtrapati Bhawan through virtual mode on Thursday.
  • The NSS Award for the year 2018-19 was given to 42 awardees in three different categories like University, NSS Units and their Programme Officers and NSS Volunteers. Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju attended the ceremony from Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.
  • Department of Youth Affairs confers the National Service Scheme Award every year to recognize and reward outstanding contributions towards voluntary community service. At present, NSS has about 40 lakh volunteers on its rolls spread over the country.
  • NSS is a Central Sector Scheme which was launched in the year 1969 with the primary objective of developing the personality and character of the student youth through voluntary community service. The ideological orientation of the NSS is inspired by the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi.
  • The NSS volunteers work on issues of social relevance, which keep evolving in response to the needs of the community, through regular and special camping activities. Such issues include literacy and education, health, family welfare and nutrition, environment conservation, social service programmes, rescue and relief during calamities.

Source: DD news

“IDFC First Bank to launch ‘on phone’contact less debit card transaction facility”.


  • IDFC First Bank is set to launch Safe Pay, a digital facility that allows Contact less swbir card payments by simply waving one’s smartphone against a Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled POS terminal.
  • Safe Pay embeds Near Field Communication (NFC) technology in the IDFC First Mobile App to enable secure payments using a debit card issued by the Bank. A social distancing-friendly way to pay, SafePay completely does away with the need to hand over the card to a merchant or even carry it in the wallet.
  • The first such facility to be made available in an integrated mobile banking app, the SafePay feature has been tested successfully and certified by Visa. It will be available to users on the Bank’s mobile app in the next one week.
  • “SafePay makes the payment experience fast and frictionless. For a cardholder, it does away with the need for a physical debit card, and thereby, eliminates concerns about loss of cards.

Source: Livemint

“Belarus president Lukashenko takes oath of office in surprise ceremony”.

  • Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko was sworn in Wednesday to his sixth term in office at an inaugural ceremony that was not announced in advance amid weeks of huge protests of the authoritarian leader’s reelection, which the opposition says was rigged.
  • Several European nations used the occasion to reiterate that they don’t recognize the results of the election and refused to regard Lukashenko as the legitimate president.
  • The ceremony was held in front of several hundred dignitaries at the ornate Palace of Independence in the capital of Minsk.

Source: Business-standard

“Ashok Gehlot Approves ‘Moksha Kalash Yojana-2020’”.

  • Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday approved a Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation’s scheme to allow free bus travel to two members of a family to immerse ashes of their loved ones in the Ganga in Haridwar.
  • The state road transport corporation would be the nodal agency to run the scheme, named ”Moksha Kalash Yojana-2020” and the expenses on it would be borne by Devasthan Department, an official statement said.
  • Chief Minister Gehlot had earlier started the facility of free bus travel to Haridwar for two members of a family during the COVID lockdown for immersion of ashes in Ganga there.
  • The work-related to online registration of passengers, arrangements for transport to the destination, facilities provided during the journey will be done by the Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation, the statement said.
  • According to the guidelines of the scheme, everyone will be able to take advantage of it except the income taxpayers and government employees.
  • A maximum of two members of the family of the deceased would be allowed to travel free with the ashes.
  • At the time of registration, complete details will have to be given about the dead person and the copies of related documents, like death certificate, will have to be kept with those carrying the ashes, the statement said.

Source: RepublicWorld

“Historian-author Rana Safvi gets Yamin Hazarika award”.

  • Historian-author Rana Safvi has been conferred an award instituted in memory of Yamin Hazarika, the first woman from the Northeast to join the central police service. Safvi, who has published several books on culture, history, and monuments of India, was chosen for her “contribution to the syncretic culture of India”.
  • Hailing from Assam, Hazarika was selected for the NCT of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli Police service (DANIPS) in 1977. She held the post of assistant commissioner of Police in Chanakyapuri (Delhi) and went on to become deputy commissioner of police (Crime against Women Cell) in the national capital.
  • The ceremony was held online though Hazarika’s daughter Huma presented the silver salver to Safvi in Delhi. Assam DGP Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta was the guest of honour. He recalled the contribution of Hazarika and also spoke about her grit and determination.
  • The award is given every year by a collective of women professionals since 2015. Previous winners are author Indrani Raimedhi, athlete Tayabun Nisha, actor Moloya Goswami, environmental activist Purnima Devi Barman and social activist Hasina Kharbhih.

Source: Times of India

 “Padma Shri nuclear scientist Sekhar Basu dies of coronavirus”.

  • Former chairman of Atomic Energy Commission and veteran atomic scientist Dr Sekhar Basu, who had earlier tested positive for novel coronavirus, died at a private hospital in Kolkata on Thursday. He was 68.
  • Dr Basu, who was awarded Padma Shri in 2014, was suffering from Covid-19 and other kidney ailments, an official was quoted as saying by news agency PTI. He passed away at 4.50 am on Thursday.
  • Dr Basu, a mechanical engineer, is revered for his contributions to the country’s atomic energy programme. He had also pioneered the highly complex reactor for India’s first nuclear-powered submarine INS Arihant.

Source: India Today

“PM Narendra Modi launches ‘Fit India’ protocols on first anniversary of ‘Fit India Movement’, interacts with fitness enthusiasts”.

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (September 24, 2020) interacted with fitness experts and influencers from across the country to mark the one-year anniversary of the ‘Fit India Movement.’
  • The PM also launched the ‘Fit India Age Appropriate Fitness Protocols’ during the online Fit India Dialogue 2020. During the event, the Prime Minister also shared his thoughts on the virtues of a healthy life at the event.

Source: Zee News

“India, UK sign MoU on Water Partnership via video conferencing”.


  • A virtual water partnership meeting was organised between India and the United Kingdom on Tuesday to discuss ways to work together on issues pertaining to building better water infrastructure and conservation.
  • The programme was inaugurated by the Indian High Commissioner to UK, Gaitri Issar Kumar with the Ministry of Jal Shakti Secretary UP Singh, in the presence of other senior officials.
  • During the meeting, delegations from India and the UK signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) while having discussions over India’s water conservation schemes including the Namami Gange programme, Jal Jeewan Mission, and Swachh Bharat Mission.
  • The session highlighted the strategic partnership between the two countries and their approach to developing better water infrastructure in India.
  • India’s pious river Ganga which is the lifeline for millions of people and a rich and diverse aquatic habitat had lost its character and size owing to an overwhelming discharge of raw pollutants into it. A mission like Namami Gange ensures that not only the rivers are made pollution-free but the entire ecology dependent on it remains protected.

Source: Ani news