GK & Current Affairs Quiz: August 21, 2019
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1. To mark the 75th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the Punjab government has rolled out a mega health insurance scheme named ‘Mahatma Gandhi Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana’. It will cover 76% of the state’s population. The scheme has clubbed with the Centre's health insurance scheme titled ‘Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) for the poor. As per latest Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC), Ayushman Bharat would have covered only 14.86 lakh families while the Punjab scheme in its new form, will benefit a total of 46 lakh families. Like the original PMJAY, the Punjab government will provide cashless health insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh per year. The Centre and the state government will bear the cost of the annual premium for 14.86 lakh families in the ratio of 60:40. For the remaining beneficiaries, the Punjab government will bear the entire expense.The Punjab scheme with 1,396 treatment packages will be implemented through over 450 empanelled hospitals, including 200 government hospitals.
2. On 21st August 2019, the Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ launched the world’s biggest teacher training programme - , NISHTHA - in New Delhi under which more than 42 lakh teachers will be trained across the country. The acronym ‘NISHTHA’ stands for ‘National Initiative for School Head’s and Teachers’ Holistic Advancement’. The purpose of the integrated programme is to build the capacities of around 42 lakh participants covering all teachers and Heads of the school at the elementary level in all government schools, faculty members of states councils of Educational Research and Training and other educational departments. The integrated training will motivate and equip teachers to encourage and foster critical thinking in students, handle diverse situations and act as first-level counsellors.
3. In Madhya Pradesh, former Chief Minister of the state Babulal Gaur (89) has passed away in Bhopal on 21st August 2019. Born on 2nd June 1930 at Pratapgarh in Uttar Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader was credited with expanding party's foothold in Madhya Pradesh. He retired from electoral politics in 2018 citing old age. He served as the Chief Minister of MP from August 2004 to November 2005 and represented Govindpura Vidhan Sabha seat 10 times.
4. On 21st August 2019, Indian Para swimmer Satendra Singh Lohia from Madhya Pradesh has scripted history by becoming the first Asian swimmer to cross the Catalina Channel of America. He holds the Asian record of crossing both the English and Catalina channels. Gwalior-born Satendra led the Indian Para Relay team along with 5 team mates and crossed the Catalina Channel in 11 hours 34 minutes. At that time, the water temperature was around 13 degrees Celsius. In 2014, Satyendra has also honoured with the highest sports award of Madhya Pradesh - Vikram Award.
5. Navneeth Murali, an Indian-American teenager from New Jersey, has won the 2019 South Asian Spelling Bee (SASB) contest. The prize money for this contest is USD 3,000. The SASB is an annual spelling bee platform in the US for children of South Asian descent. The competition is open to any student at or below the age of 14, who has at least one parent or grandparent who is of South Asian descent, or whose lineage can be traced to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and/or Sri Lanka.
6. Nepal is planning to hold SAARC Foreign Ministers' informal meet on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in September 2019. The 18th SAARC summit was held in Kathmandu in 2014 and Pakistan was to host the next summit in 2016. But, the summit was cancelled after India boycotted the meeting, in the wake of the terror attack at a military base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), which killed 19 soldiers. Other countries viz. Bangladesh, Bhutan and Afghanistan, also walked out following India's decision to exit the summit to step up diplomatic pressure on Pakistan. India also declared that it will participate only if Pakistan took steps to tackle terrorism.
7. For the first time-ever India is hosting the prestigious World Youth chess championship, which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from October 1 to 13. The world’s best talent in under-14, u-16 and u-18 categories will be on view. The tournament is being held under the aegis of the All-India Chess Federation and organised by the All-Marathi Chess Association. Players from 62 countries have confirmed their participation, including Russia, USA, France, Italy and Azerbaijan.
8. By using sugar, sulphuric acid and salt, the researchers of IIT Hyderabad have developed a cheap and efficient nano-carbon catalyst to help in the production of biofuel precursors. The catalyst showed better efficiency and selectivity than the commercially available variants to produce the desired C15 oxygenated hydrocarbon — a precursor to diesel and jet fuel. This development is important as States like Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh /Telengana produce a large amount of corncob waste in the country. This can be converted into valuable fuel instead of being burnt. The nano-carbon catalyst developed by the institute can enable conversion into biofuel (fuel from biological sources rather than fossil fuels) and provide an additional earning opportunity for the corn farmer, besides being a sustainable energy source.
9. Top Indian sprinters Hima Das and Mohammad Anas have won a gold each in women’s and men’s 300m races respectively at the 2019 Athleticky Mitink Reiter event in Czech Republic. This was Hima's 6th gold in 2019 in European races since July 2. On the other hand, Mohammad Anas won the gold clocking 32.41 seconds. India’s Nirmal Tom clinched a bronze in the same event by clocking a timing of 33.03 seconds. National record holder Anas has already qualified for 400m event for the World Championships to be held in Doha in September-October while Hima is yet to achieve it.
10. In India, the Sadbhavana Diwas (or Communal Harmony Day) is celebrated every year on August 20 to commemorate birth anniversary of late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. On the occasion of 75th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi along with Rahul Gandhi inaugurated an exhibition titled 'Memories and Archives of Rajiv Gandhi' on 20th August 2019. Rajiv Gandhi served as the 6th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40. In 21st May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber during an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. His death anniversary is also observed as National Anti-Terrorism Day.
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