The Hindu Review 1 February 2019
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♦ RBI lifts lending curbs on Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra and Oriental Bank of Commerce
- The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday removed three State-owned banks from its weak-bank watch list, a move that will lift lending restrictions on them.
- “It has been decided that Bank of India [BoI] and Bank of Maharashtra [BoM] which meet the regulatory norms including Capital Conservation Buffer [CCB] and have Net NPAs [non-performing assets] of less than 6% as per third quarter results, are taken out of the PCA [prompt corrective action] framework subject to certain conditions and continuous monitoring,” the RBI said in a statement.
- In case of Oriental Bank of Commerce, the net NPA has come down to less than 6% as the government has infused sufficient capital, it said.
- Hence, it has been decided to remove the restrictions placed on Oriental Bank of Commerce (OBC) under PCA framework, subject to certain conditions and close monitoring, the apex bank added.
- Commenting on the RBI’s decision, Financial Services Secretary Rajiv Kumar said, “Government’s sustained 4R’s strategy for banking transformation delivers again. 3 better-performing PSBs [BoM, BoI & OBC] exit PCA. Banks need to be more responsible, adopt high underwriting & risk management standards to avoid recurrence.”
♦ GDP growth rate for 2017-18 revised upwards to 7.2% from 6.7%
- The government on Thursday revised the economic growth rate upwards to 7.2% for 2017-18 from the 6.7% estimated earlier.
- “Real GDP or GDP at constant (2011-12) prices for 2017-18 and 2016-17 stand at ₹131.80 lakh crore and ₹122.98 lakh crore, respectively, showing growth of 7.2% during 2017-18 and 8.2% during 2016-17,” the CSO said.
- Earlier, the CSO in its advance estimate had pegged the GDP growth rate for 2018-19 at 7.2%.
- “The First Revised Estimates for 2017-18 have been compiled using industry-wise/institution-wise detailed information instead of using the benchmark-indicator method employed at the time of release of Provisional Estimates on 31st May, 2018,” said the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
- The CSO has also released the Second Revised Estimates of National Income, Consumption Expenditure, Saving and Capital Formation for 2016-17.
- During 2017-18, the growth rates of primary (comprising agriculture, forestry, fishing and mining and quarrying), secondary (comprising manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, and construction) and tertiary (services) sectors have been estimated as 5%, 6% and 8.1 per cent as against a growth of 6.8%, 7.5% and 8.4%, respectively, in the previous year.
♦ Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra takes over as NCC Director General
- Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra assumed charge as the Director General of NCC (DGNCC) in New Delhi on Thursday. Commissioned into the Madras Regiment in December 1980, Lt Gen Chopra is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla, and the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
- Lt Gen Rajeev Chopra has commanded an infantry battalion in Operation Rhino (Assam), and a Brigade in Eastern Command. He was Inspector General of HQ IGAR (South) in the insurgency-torn state of Manipur. The General Officer commanded a Corps in Eastern Theatre and has also been the Commandant of the prestigious Infantry School. He has also been the Colonel of the Madras Regiment since June 2016.
- Lt Gen Chopra is a graduate of the Technical Staff Officers Course, has attended the Higher Command Course at National Defence University, China and National Defence College, New Delhi. He holds a Diploma in Defence & Strategic Studies from National Defence University. He was awarded Ati Vishisht Seva Medal for his distinguished service in January 2018.
♦ Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd appoints Axis Bank ex-MD Shikha Sharma as independent director
- Pharma major Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Thursday said it has appointed Axis Bank former MD and CEO Shikha Sharma as company’s independent additional director for five years.
- “Shikha Sanjaya Sharma has been appointed as an additional director, categorised as independent, on the Board of Dr Reddy’s Laboratories Ltd for a period of five years, effective January 31, 2019,” the company said in a filing to the BSE.
- Sharma was the Managing Director and CEO of Axis Bank from June 2009 up to December 2018, it added.
- She has more than three decades of experience in the financial sector, having begun her career with ICICI Bank Ltd in 1980. During her tenure with the ICICI group, she was instrumental in setting up ICICI Securities, Dr Reddy’s said.
♦ Piyush Goyal launches the IEA’s ‘The Future of Rail’ report
- Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal on January 30, 2019 launched the “The Future of Rail” report of the International Energy Agency (IEA).
- The Future of Rail is the first-of-a-kind report that analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
- The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail and explores the policies that could help to realise an enhanced future of the railways.
♦ Zee Entertainment’s Punit Goenka named as new chairman of BARC India
- The MD and CEO of Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited (ZEEL), Punit Goenka has been elected as the new chairman of Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC).
- Goenka was elected by the board at its meeting held on Tuesday. He will be taking over from Nakul Chopra, a senior advisor at Publicis.
- Goenka was the founder Chairman of BARC India and played an instrumental role in setting up of the TV Viewership measurement company.
- He called it an “honour and a privilege” to be re-elected as BARC India Chairman.
- “The company has grown and evolved over the years under the able chairmanship of Sudhanshu (Vats) and Nakul (Chopra). Partho and his highly talented team has been able to achieve what we had all set out to. I am honoured to be back as this responsibility has come to me at a time when our industry is undergoing enormous changes and BARC India’s robust and accurate measurement system will only accelerate this transition. I am hoping that in my tenure, we will be able to take BARC into the next generation of viewership measurement and stay true to its mission of ‘What India Watches’,” he said.
- Outgoing chairman Chopra said that BARC India had made “enormous strides in the insights and analytics piece” during his tenure.
♦ Magnus Carlsen wins Tata Steel chess, Viswanathan Anand ends third
- Magnus Carlsen won his 7th Tata Steel chess title after settling for a draw in the 13th and final round encounter against Anish Giri at Wijk Aan Zee on Sunday evening.
- Magnus, playing with the black, split points with Anish in a contest that lasted 30 moves. While Magnus ended with 9 points from 13 outings, Anish inished second with 8.5 points.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- PERVASIVE (ADJECTIVE):which is all over the place.🙁व्यापक)
Synonyms: omnipresent, prevalent
Antonyms: deficient, scanty
Example: Unemployment is a pervasive issue in India touching all the classes.
- HERMETIC (ADJECTIVE): airtight🙁हवाबंद)
Synonyms: impervious, sealed
Antonyms: susceptible, penetrable
Example: The cells were hermetic causing the prisoners to die of suffocation.
- UTTERANCE (NOUN): revelation🙁अभिव्यक्ति)
Synonyms: pronouncement, declaration
Antonyms: concealment, secret
Example: The news would bubble inside his gut till it finds utterance.
- CRAVING(NOUN): strong desire 🙁तृष्णा)
Synonyms: appetite, hankering
Antonyms: disgust, dislike
Example: His mind is full of unpleasant, unsatisfied craving.
- CREAK(VERB): squeak 🙁चरमराना)
Synonyms: groan, screech
Antonyms: mumble, whisper
Example: There was a loud creak in the corridor.
- PLACID (NOUN):calm:(नम्र)
Synonyms: serene, tranquil
Antonyms: agitated, disturbed
Example: Placid surroundings of Kashmir enthralled me deep within.
- DELETERIOUS (ADJECTIVE): detrimental:(क्षतिकर)
Synonyms: harmful, destroying
Antonyms: helpful, aiding
Example: Smoking is deleterious to health.
- MOROSE (ADJECTIVE): glum:(उदास)
Synonyms: grouchy, cranky
Antonyms: cheerful, happy
Example: Her father’s funeral was a morose event which left her and her family in tears.
Close Test based on The Hindu Editorial
A global slowdown?
Stock markets across the world had very little reason to celebrate in 2018. They witnessed the return of extreme volatility after many years, and most of them recorded their (1) performance in a decade. (2) of this gloom has to do with the rise in fears that global economic growth could come to a grinding halt in the near future. The economic (3) in the United States, which began after the 2008 recession, is now the second-longest in history. Many believe that a (4) is overdue now. China is another major concern as the People’s Bank of China’s earlier moves to rein in a massive credit-fuelled bubble have been dampening momentum with a lagged effect. The country’s private manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in 19 months and the official manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) number dropped below 50 for the first time since mid-2016. Other major economies such as Europe and Japan have also shown signs of a (5) slowdown in growth. Global stocks have been pricing in these very real risks, particularly with major central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank remaining on the path to (6) interest rates from near-historic lows. The steep fall in the price of oil is another indicator of faltering demand for commodities as the global economy cools down. The tightening of monetary policy has often been followed (7) a slowdown in economic growth, and this time may be no different.