Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 18th September 2017
1. Y.C Modi Named NIA Chief, Rajni Kant Misra D-G of SSB:
- Senior IPS officer Y.C Modi has been named the chief of the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
- The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) approved Mr. Modi’s appointment as Director General of the NIA. He will take over from Sharad Kumar after he completes his tenure on October 30.
- Another senior IPS officer, Rajni Kant Misra, has been appointed Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Mr. Misra is at present the Additional Director General in the Border Security Force (BSF).
2. Sushma Swaraj arrives in New York to attend UNGA session:
- The union External Affairs Minister ‘Sushma Swaraj’ arrived in New York to represent India at the annual UN General Assembly (UNGA) session.
- She will also attend a high-level meeting on UN Reforms to be hosted by the US and chaired by president Donald Trump.
- India is among the 120 countries who have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary-General.
- Ms. Swaraj will also participate in a special panel of selected countries by the UN Secretary-General on climate action.
3. Iron Union 5: US and UAE Joint Military Exercise:
- The US and UAE’s ground forces had begun a joint military exercise in Abu Dhabi, as part of efforts to consolidate their bilateral relations and exchange training and military expertise. Code-named Iron Union 5, the drill is an extension of a series of Iron Claw exercises.
- The exercise aims to upgrade and boost the readiness of the UAE’s armed forces and to allow both armies to promote their international co-operation in joint military operations.
4. Peruvian President appoints former Economy Minister as new PM:
- Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has appointed a former Economy Minister Mercedes Araoz (56-year) as his new Prime Minister. Araoz replaced Fernando Zavala.
- She served as Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism from 2006 to July 2009, after which she was appointed Peru’s finance minister.
5. Railways Cuts Down Sleeping Hours for Passengers:
- According to a circular issued by the railway board, the passengers in the reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm and 6 am to allow others to sit in the seats for the rest of the time.
- Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am. The new provision replaces paragraph 652 in the Indian Railways Commercial Manual, Volume I. This provision is applicable to all reserved coaches with sleeping accommodation.
6. President’s Medal for Former DIG D Roopa:
- Former DIG D Roopa, who highlighted in a report alleged irregularities at the central jail in Karnataka, including preferential treatment to AIADMK leader V K Sasikala, was conferred the President’s Medal.
- The award was presented to Roopa for her meritorious service by Governor Vajubhai Vala at a ceremony at Raj Bhavan in the presence of Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.
7. S S Rajamouli receives ANR award:
- Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has given the film-maker S S Rajamouli with the prestigious A Nageswara Rao (ANR) National Award for his contribution to the Telugu film industry.
- The award was given annually to recognize people for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the Indian film industry.
- Earlier, in 2016, Rajamouli was honored India’s fourth highest civilian honor Padma Shri, for his contributions towards the field of Art
- The ANR National Award was instituted by the Akkineni International foundation in the honor of Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
8. Indigenous Artillery Gun Sets New World Record in Range:
- An indigenous artillery gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has set a new world record in range by hitting targets at a distance of 48 km.
- During trial firings at Pokhran ranges, ATAGS registered the longest ever distance of 48.074 km, surpassing the maximum range of 35-40 km fired by any artillery gun system in this category.
9. NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft Ends 20-year Journey:
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) $3.9-billion Cassini spacecraft ended its 20-year-long ground-breaking journey with a fiery plunge into the Saturn’s crushing atmosphere. It had beamed back never-before-seen images of the ringed planet and its mysterious moons until the last moment.
- Operators deliberately made Cassini dive into the gas giant to ensure that the planet’s moons remain pristine for future exploration. No spacecraft has ever ventured so close to the planet before.
10. Infosys’ design head Rajagopalan resigns:
- Sanjay Rajagopalan, senior vice-president of Infosys who headed design and research, has quit the company, according to a posting on his personal page on the networking site LinkedIn.
- The decision has come a month after Vishal Sikka stepped down as the company’s MD and CEO.
11. Airtel Payments Bank integrates UPI based digital payments in India:
- Sunil Mittal-driven Airtel Payments Bank integrated the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) on its digital platform, allowing customer choice and convenience to facilitate secure digital payments.
- Airtel Payments Bank has become the first payments bank in India to integrate the UPI on its digital platform.
- In January 2017, Bharti Airtel launched Payments Bank in India to enable transactions on digital platforms. The initiative will allow bank customers to link their bank accounts to Bhim app and make UPI payments.
12. Google Tez UPI-Based Digital Payments App Launched in India:
- Google has jumped into the crowded and fiercely competitive digital payments space in India, and launched a new digital payments app – Tez.. The new Google Tez app can be used to pay for movie tickets, utility bills, and make other transactions online.
- Tez means fast in Hindi, which the company stated was one of the selling points of its new app. Google Tez is a standalone payments app, available on Android and iOS, and is powered by UPI, a payments protocol built by government-backed organization NPCI.
- The company has partnered with HDFC Bank, ICICI, and State Bank of India for backend processing.
13. 69th Emmy Awards: Complete List of Winners
The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced at the Microsoft Theater, Los Angeles, California, U.S. The Handmaid’s Tale became the first web television series to win the award for Outstanding Drama Series. Westworld and Saturday Night Live were the most nominated programs, each with 22 nominations. Stephen Colbert was the Host of 69th Emmy Awards.
1. Outstanding Comedy Series: Veep
2. Outstanding Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale
3. Outstanding Variety Talk Series: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
4. Outstanding Variety Sketch Series: Saturday Night Live
5. Outstanding Limited Series: Big Little Lies
6. Outstanding Television Movie: Black Mirror: “San Junipero”
7. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series: Donald Glover as Earnest “Earn” Marks on Atlanta
8. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Selina Meyer on Veep
9. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series: Sterling K. Brown as Randall Pearson on This Is Us
10. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series: Elisabeth Moss as June Osborne / Offred on The Handmaid’s Tale
11. Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series: Atlanta (Episode: “B.A.N.”), Directed by Donald Glover
12. Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series: The Handmaid’s Tale (Episode: “Offred”), Directed by Reed Morano
13. Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Master of None (Episode: “Thanksgiving”), Written by Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe