Daily GK Updates - 29th April 2015 Current Affairs

1.  Raja Rajeswari, first Indian-American woman judge of New York
i) Chennai-born Raja Rajeswari has been sworn-in as a criminal court judge in New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio, becoming the first India-born woman to be appointed a judge in New York City.
ii) Ms. Rajeswari, 43, who had migrated to the U.S. from Chennai as a teenager, previously worked with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for her entire career in several bureaus including Criminal Court, Narcotics, Supreme Court, and the Sex Crimes Special Victims Bureau, where she last served as Deputy Chief.
iii) Ms. Rajeswari took the oath of office at a ceremony in New York City on Monday along with 27 other judges appointed earlier this month to the Family Court, Criminal Court, and Civil Court, which are part of the New York State Unified Court System.

2.  Sri Lankan Parliament amends constitution to reduce President’s power
i) Sri Lanka—Constitutional amendments to trim the government’s executive powers were passed in Sri Lanka’s parliament Tuesday after a flurry of deal-making.
ii) The changes, which will limit presidential terms and increase the independence of key government departments, passed with a two-thirds majority through the deeply divided Parliament.

3.  Railways win 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey championship
i) Railway Sports Promotion Board has won the 5th Senior Men’s National Hockey Championship 2015.
ii) In the final match, they defeated Uttar Pradesh Hockey by 5-3 goals which was played at Pune. While in this championship, the 3rd Position was secured by Air India Sports Promotion Board who had outplayed Hockey Gangpur-Odisha by 5-3 goals.

4.  Parliament passes Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014 
i) A bill to amend the Regional Rural Banks Act was passed by Parliament with government saying it was necessary to empower such financial institutions which are the "jewel in the crown" of the country's financial system.
ii) The Regional Rural Banks (Amendment) Bill, 2014, which got the assent of the Rajya Sabha by voice vote today, seeks to help Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) raise their authorised capital and will enable them to mop up funds from capital market to help strengthen them.

5.  Novelist Siddhartha Gigoo wins Commonwealth Short Story Prize
i) Srinagar-born novelist Siddhartha Gigoo has won the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Asia region for "Umbrella Man", a tale of surreal meditation on mental health and the environment.
ii) Gigoo won 2500 pounds and will now compete with the other four regional winners for the 5000 pounds grand prize, to be announced in London on September 8.
iii) Gigoo's prize winning story has been published in the book "A Fistful of Earth and Other Stories"

6.  Isro successfully tests indigenous cryogenic engine with four-tonne capacity
i) The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) successfully tested an indigenous cryogenic engine which will allow launch vehicles to carry satellites of up to four tonnes.
ii) Congratulating the scientists on the successful testing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter, “The engine tested today will enable us to put satellites of up to 4 tons in geostationary orbit. A proud accomplishment.”
iii) Although the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mark III) successfully launched an unmanned capsule that could be used for manned missions in December, it had a passive cryogenic stage. While GSLV Mark III is India’s largest launch vehicle, carrying up to four-tonne vehicles will only be possible with a cryogenic engine with the capacity.

7.  Margarita, with a Straw won Best Feature Film Award at Washington Film festival
i) Margarita, with a Straw directed by Shonali Bose of India in the fourth week of April 2015 won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the Washington DC International Film festival.
ii) Kalki Koechlin-starrer film is a disability drama. In the film, Kalki has played the role of a cerebral palsy patient named Laila. The film also stars Revathi and Sayani Gupta in prominent roles.
iii) The film, through layers of discovery and revelation has explored and challenged Indian culture and society in so many ways. The director Bose through the film has tried to weave a story in form of a specific culture along with simply human story.

8.  NTPC to invest Rs. 1,779 cr in AP solar project
i) NTPC Ltd’s board of directors on Tuesday approved an investment of Rs. 1,779.25 crore for the Anantpur Solar PV Project, Stage-I (5x50MW) in Andhra Pradesh.
ii) This is the first phase of the 1,000 MW ultra mega solar power project.
iii) Last week, the company had entered into a power purchase agreement with state electricity distribution utilities Andhra Pradesh Eastern Power Distribution Company Ltd and Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Ltd.

9. Harika bags silver, Humpy wins bronze in World Chess Team Championship
i) D Harika and Koneru Humpy came up with fine individual performances to win a silver and a bronze, respectively, even as the Indian eves finished fourth in the women’s world team chess championship.
ii) Harika’s silver and Humpy’s bronze though were a big consolation for the team, overall it was a disappointing show by the Indian girls given the missed opportunities. The medal for the team was always within reach, but it failed to finish off well.
iii) Results final round: Indian (10) beat Armenia (8) 3—1 (Lilit Mkrtchina beat Koneru Humpy; D Harika beat Lilit Galojan; Maria Kursova lost to Padmini Rout; Soumya Swaminathan beat Susanna Gaboyan); China (11) lost to Georgia (17) 1.5—2.5; Kazakhstan (9) drew with Poland (6) 2—2; Russian (15) beat USA (5) 3.5—0.5; Ukraine (10) beat Egypt (0) 3.5—0.5.


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