Daily GK Update 20th-21st September 2015 Important Current Affairs

1. Election Commission releases NOTA symbol for all polls
i. The Election Commission (EC) has introduced a symbol for "None of the Above (NOTA)" option to facilitate voters in exercising their NOTA option in elections, it was announced on Friday.
ii. The NOTA option was made available to the voters with effect from 11 October, 2013, pursuant to the Supreme Court order of 27 September, 2013.

iii. The symbol for NOTA option was designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.
iv. The main objective of the NOTA option is to enable electors, who do not wish to vote for any of the candidates, to exercise their right without violation of the secrecy of their decision

2. International Day of Peace observed globally
i. The International Day of Peace was observed on 21 September 2015 across the world to recognise the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire.
ii. The theme of International Day of Peace for the year 2015 is Partnerships for Peace- Dignity for All.
iii. The International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September every year. The United Nations General Assembly has devoted this day to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
iv. On this day, the United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities and commemorates the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.

3. Nepal adopts new Constitution
i. Nepal has adopted new Constitution marking the country’s transition to a secular and democratic republic. The new Constitution was unveiled by Nepalese President Ram Baran Yadav at a special ceremony held in Parliament at Kathmandu.
ii. Earlier the Parliament had unanimously adopted the new Constitution by a 507-25 votes in the 601 seat Constituent Assembly (CA) after seven years of painstaking deliberations.
iii. The lawmakers of CA from Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and UCPN- Maoist supported the new constitution. The new constitution defines the Nepal, a majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces.
iv. The new Constitution has been drafted by second Constituent Assembly (CA) which was elected in 2013. Chairman of CA was Subash Nemwang.

4. Egypt's president swears in new government
i. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has sworn in a new government
ii. The new government, headed by former Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail, came after state-friendly media slammed the performance of his predecessor Ibrahim Mehleb and prosecutors began investigating several officials for allegedly receiving over $1 million in bribes.
iii. The accusations stood in contrast to coverage of El-Sissi, the former general and defence minister who led the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013. He has cultivated an image as a leader who is above the political fray and is routinely praised by Egyptian media.
iv. Prime Minister Ismail was among the most celebrated ministers in the former Cabinet, especially after Italy's Eni SpA revealed late last month their discovery of the "largest-ever" oil field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.

5. China launches newly-developed smaller version Long March-6 carrier rocket
i. China has successfully launched a newly-developed smaller version of carrier rocket Long March-6 as part of the country’s space program. It was launched from the base in the Northern Province of Shanxi and was carrying 20 micro satellites into the space.
ii. It uses liquid propellant fuel composed of liquid oxygen and kerosene, which is purportedly pollution and toxicity free.
iii. These smaller rocket carries will help to make China more competitive in the lucrative market for commercial satellite launches. Presently, China launches its own satellites along with satellites of other countries and commercial companies.
iv. China’s Long March rocket family has been named after an epic journey by Communist forces led by Mao Zedong escaping the then ruling Kuomintang in the 1930s.

6. Malayalam playback singer Radhika Thilak died
i. Renowned Malayalam playback singer Radhika Thilak passed away in Kochi on 20 September 2015 due to cancer. She was 45 years old. She sung around 70 songs for Malayalam movies including Guru, Ottayal Pattalam and Deepasthambham Mahashcharyam.
ii. Thilak was a known face on Doordarshan in the 1990s. She was one of the top-rated singers on All India Radio and was also one of the most popular stage singers of the time.
iii. Her noted songs in Malayalam film industry are Arunakirana deepam, Deva sangeetham, Maya manchalil, Kaithapoo manam, Thiruvathira thira nokkiya, Ente ulludukkum kotti and Ninte kannil.

7. Novelist Jackie Collins passes away
i. British-American romance novelist Jackie Collins passed away on 19 September 2015 in California, United States. She was 77 and died due to stage 4 breast cancer.
ii. Jacqueline Jill “Jackie” Collins was born on October 4, 1937 in London, England. She was the younger sister of actress Joan Collins.
iii. In her four decades of writing career, she had written more than 32 novels, all of them had appeared on The New York Times bestsellers list.
iv. Her books have sold over 500 million copies in 40 countries and have been translated into 40 languages. Her debut novel, The World Is Full of Married Men was published in 1968.

8. BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya passes away
i. Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Jagmohan Dalmiya passed away in in Kolkata, West Bengal. He was 75.
ii. As a cricket administrator, he is hailed as the architect for the rise of Cricket in India and its financial superpower.
iii. Dalmiya was involved with the BCCI for more than three decades and had started his journey as its treasurer in 1983 before becoming its secretary. For the first time, he became BCCI president in 2001 and continued till 2004. For second time, he became President of BCCI in March 2015.
iv. Dalmiya also had served as President of the International Cricket Council (ICC) from 1997 to 2000. He was first Indian and first Asian to head the ICC. He was also instrumental in organising cricket World Cups to the Indian sub-continent in 1987 and 1996.

9. Mariko Kipchumba of Kenya won 2015 Beijing International Marathon
i. Mariko Kipchumba of Kenya on 20 September 2015 won the annual Beijing International Marathon. He finished the 42.195-km course in 2 hours 14 minutes and 25 seconds.
ii. In women’s competition, Ethiopian runner Betelhem Cherenet won the title in 2 hours 27 minutes and 31 seconds.
iii. With the present win, forty-one-year-old Kipchumba became the first non-Ethiopian athlete to win the event since 2011. Francis Kiprop won the 2011 event.
iv. The annual marathon race is being held in the Chinese capital Beijing since 1981. It begins at Tiananmen Square and finishes at the National Olympic Sports Centre stadium.

10. Ajay Jayaram wins silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament
i. India’s Ajay Jayaram has won silver medal in 2015 Korea Open Badminton tournament in the Men’s singles category. In the final match played at Seoul, he lost to World no. one Cheng Long of China by 14-21, 12-21 score settling to silver medal.
ii. With this Ajay Jayaram became first Indian badminton player to win a medal in Korea Open Badminton tournament.
iii. It was Cheng Long’s sixth trophy of the season and second Korea Open Badminton tournament after he had won in 2014.
iv. Ajay Jayaram is currently ranked 32nd in the world. Earlier in the Korea Open tournament, he had defeated Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei on his way to the Final.

11. Sebastian Vettel wins 2015 Singapore Grand Prix of Formula One
i. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel from Germany has won 2015 Singapore Grand Prix of Formula One.
ii. The race was held on the Marina Bay Street Circuit, which is the first street circuit in Asia.
iii. It was overall fourth victory for Vettel in Singapore Grand Prix as he had earlier won in 2011, 2012 and 2013. This was his third victory of the season 2015.
iv. Earlier he had won Malaysian Grand Prix and Hungarian Grand Prix.


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