Daily GK Update & Current Affairs: 20th September 2017
1. Akshay Kumar appointed Uttarakhand ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ brand ambassador:
- Chief Minister of Uttarakhand ‘Trivendra Singh Rawat’ has appointed Bollywood actor ‘Akshay Kumar’ as the brand ambassador of the Swachh Bharat Mission in the state.
- In August 2017, he was also appointed as the brand ambassador for the cleanliness campaign in Uttar Pradesh
- His film “Toilet: Ek Prem Katha” was made tax-free in the state, stresses the importance of building toilets and ending open defecation in the country.
2. India to Conduct the First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’:
- The First ‘BIMSTEC Disaster Management Exercise- 2017’ (BIMSTEC DMEx-2017) will be conducted by the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as the lead agency from October 10-13, 2017 in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR).
- This Exercise will be a platform for sharing Best Practices on all aspects of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), strengthening regional response and coordination for Disaster Management among the BIMSTEC member countries.
- Delegates from all seven nations of the ‘Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation’ (BIMSTEC) grouping will be present.
- BIMSTEC – namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
- 17th BIMSTEC Senior Officials Meeting was held in Kathmandu, Nepal in February 2017.
3. Vice President released Commemorative Coin on MS Subbulakshmi:
- The Vice President ‘M Venkaiah Naidu’ has released a Commemorative Coin on Dr. MS Subbulakshmi on the occasion of birth Centenary Commemoration of M.S. Subbulakshmi.
- Mr. Naidu also inaugurated an exhibition entitled “Kurai Onrum Illai-MS: Life in Music”.
Dr. Subbulakshmi was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna (1998) and Ramon Magsaysay award (1974).
- She was also the first Indian musician to have performed at the United Nations General Assembly on the 50th-anniversary celebration of the United Nations.
4. India appoints Ajay Bisaria New High Commissioner to Pakistan:
- The Indian govt. has appointed Ajay Bisaria (ambassador to Poland) as Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan. He will replace Gautam Bambaware.
- Bambawale will be given the role of ambassador to China.
- India’s ambassador to China ‘Vijay Gokhale’ has been appointed economic relations secretary at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
5. CCEA extends Special Industry Initiative for J & K- Udaan Scheme:
- The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) extended time period “Special Industry Initiative for J&K (Sll J&K)- Udaan Scheme till December, 2018 without any modification and cost escalation.
- Proposal in this regard was forwarded by Ministry of Home Affairs. Initially the time period of UDAAN Scheme was upto 2016-17.
- Udaan is national integration scheme with goal to mainstream J&K youth with rest of country. It not only provides skill enhancement and job opportunity but also connects bright youths from J&K with vibrant corporate sector of country.
6. Cabinet Approves Merger of 17 Govt Presses into 5 Units:
- The Union Cabinet has given its approval for rationalization/merger and modernization of 17 Government of India Presses (GIPs)/Units into 5 Government of India Presses (GIPs) at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Minto Road, and Mayapuri, New Delhi; Nashik, Maharashtra and Temple Street, Kolkata, West Bengal.
- These 5 Presses will be redeveloped and modernized by monetization of their surplus land. Modernisation of the Presses will enable them to undertake important confidential, urgent and multi-color printing work of the Central Government Offices all over the country.
7. World’s Biggest Wealth Fund Hits $1 Trillion Value For First Time:
- Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the largest in the world, reached the value of $1 trillion for the first time.
- This amount equals nearly $189,000 (157,000 euros) for each of the 5.3 million people living in Norway.
- The fund mainly invests not only in stocks but also in bonds and real estate. With stakes in nearly 9,000 companies, it owns 1.3 percent of the world’s market capitalization, and 2.3 percent in Europe.
8. Three Indians Among World’s ‘100 Greatest Living Business Minds’:
- Three Indian entrepreneurial legends, Ratan Tata, Lakshmi Mittal and Vinod Khosla have been included in Forbes’s special list of the world’s ‘100 Greatest Living Business Minds.
- Some of the notable honorees alongside Blank are- Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch, Donald Trump and more.
- Forbes magazine was founded 100 years ago on September 17, 1917, by B.C. Forbes.
9. Army takes Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at Siachen:
- Indian Army has taken Swachh Bharat Abhiyan at the highest battlefield in the world ‘Siachen’ to maintain the ecological balance of Siachen glacier.
- The cleanliness drive is aimed at cleaning the areas which remain snow clad throughout the year.
- Siachen troops have removed and sent back more than 63 tonnes of garbage (like packing material, barrels, and perishables) to the base, Since October 2014.
- A huge amount of garbage has been brought back through man-pack loads, porters, ponies and sometimes returning helicopters.
10. Rs 5 lakh scholarship for athletes under revamped Khelo India:
- The Union Cabinet has approved the revamped Khelo India programme at a cost of Rs 1,756 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
- Each athlete selected under the scheme will receive an annual scholarship worth Rs 5 lakh for eight consecutive years.
- The programme will cover around 200 million children in the age group of 10-18 under a national physical fitness drive.
11. BCCI Nominates MS Dhoni for Padma Bhushan Award:
- The Indian cricket board, BCCI has nominated Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the country’s third highest civilian award – the Padma Bhushan, for his contribution to the game.
- A senior BCCI official confirmed that the Board has only sent one name for the Padma awards this year and it was a unanimous decision to nominate India’s most successful captain.
- Dhoni is already a recipient of the prestigious Arjuna, Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna, and the Padma Shri award.