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♦ Shaktikanta Das appointed as RBI Governor
- A day after the sudden resignation of Urjit Patel, the Modi Government on Tuesday appointed former bureaucrat Shakti Kanta Das as new Governor of Reserve Bank of India amidst tussle between the government and the central bank over several key issues.
- Mr. Das has been appointed for a term of three years. Mr. Das, a 1980 batch IAS Officer of Tamil Nadu cadre, is a former Secretary, Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance and is currently member of the 15th Finance Commission. Mr. Das was Economic Affairs Secretary during demineralisation in 2016.
♦ Jamal Khashoggi, other journalists named Time Person of the Year
- Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in October at his country’s Istanbul consulate, was on December 11 named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” alongside several other journalists.
- The magazine also honoured Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — currently imprisoned in Myanmar — and the staff of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Maryland, including five members killed in a June shooting.
♦ Kapil Dev part of three-member BCCI panel to pick coach for India women cricket team
- The BCCI has formed an ad-hoc panel comprising of former India cricketers Shantha Rangaswamy, Kapil Dev and Anshuman Gaekwad to pick up a new head coach for the Indian women cricket team, with the Cricket Advisory Committee deciding to stay away.
- According to reports, Shubhangi Kulkarni has been replaced by Rangaswamy on the panel on a common consensus. The three-member panel are set to conduct interviews for the post of the coach of the women’s cricket team of India on December 20 at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.
- “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday announced the ad-hoc committee to conduct the interviews of the eligiblecandidates for the selection of head coach for Team India (Senior Women),” the board announced in a statement.
- The application deadline ends on December 14 and Manoj Prabhakar, Herchelle Gibbs and Dimitri Mascarenhas are among the applicants. The BCCI is expected to name the new coach before the New Zealand tour begins on January 24. The tour comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals.
♦ IIT Kharagpur wins DSCI Excellence Award 2018
- IIT Kharagpur has won the DSCI Excellence Award 2018 for cyber security education by Data Security Council of India, an industry body on data protection set up up by NASSCOM. The institute was awarded for its focused curricula and research work in cryptography, hardware security, cyber security, network security, that has helped create awareness among students, an IIT KGP statement said here Saturday.
- “Our research and coursework in cyber security, network security and cryptography are targeted towards delivering the necessary technologies and also creating leaders in research, industry and governance who would bring forward such transformation in India which is undergoing the digital revolution right now as we talk,” Director, IIT KGP, Prof PP Chakrabarti said.
♦ Shi Yomi becomes 23rd district of Arunachal Pradesh
- Arunachal Pradesh got its 23rd district on Sunday with the formal inauguration of Shi Yomi, carved out of the West Siang district, officials said.
- Two more districts would be created, which would increase the total number of districts to 25, they said.
- Additional Deputy Commissioner of Mechuka read out the notification for creation of Shi Yomi district in presence of Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju, an official release said.
- “The district, consisting of four circles — Mechuka, Pidi, Tato and Monigong — was carved out of West Siang district,” Khandu said.
- Owing to its large geographical area, inaccessible terrains and the district headquarters Aalo being far from these four circles, the State Assembly gave its nod to the creation of the new district, he said.
- The Arunachal Pradesh Assembly had on August 29 passed a bill for the creation of three new districts — Pakke-Kesang, Lepa Rada and Shi Yomi.
- The Pakke-Kessang district has been carved out of East Kameng district, with five administrative units, and Lepa Rada by bifurcating the Lower Siang district, with four administrative units.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♣
1. SPASMODIC (ADJECTIVE): intermittent
Synonyms: fitful, irregular
Antonyms: resting, uninterrupted
Example: Days after the marathon, she had spasmodic muscle contractions that occurred without warning.
2. LITERAL (ADJECTIVE): actual
Synonyms: authentic, true
Antonyms: counterfeit, dishonest
Example: She was making the literal translation.
3. POACH (VERB): smuggle
Synonyms: pilfer, filch
Antonyms: give, receive
Example: They were poaching the animal’s skin.
4. MAMMOTH (ADJECTIVE): huge
Synonyms: enormous, gigantic
Antonyms: common, ordinary
Example Sentence: There were mammoth islands.
5. JOCUND (ADJECTIVE): cheerful
Synonyms: blithe, jocular
Antonyms: sad, depressed
Example: She was looking jocund.
6. KNOTTY (ADJECTIVE): troublesome
Synonyms: complicated, mystifying
Antonyms: easy, smooth
Example: They have done the knotty journey.
7. LANGUOR (NOUN): lethargy
Synonyms: inactivity, tiredness
Antonyms: energy, vigour
Example: They set about the new task with languor.
8. ARTIFICE (NOUN): clever act
Synonyms: gimmick, ruse
Antonyms: sincerity, simplicity
Example: Mine photographs were full of artifice.
Shock resignation: on Urjit Patel quitting as RBI chief
The Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has cited personal reasons for resigning with immediate effect, but anyone who has followed the events of the last couple of months will know it was anything but that. It was a period during which the Centre and the RBI were engaged in an unseemly tussle over a clutch of issues that had a bearing on the RBI’s autonomy, something that Mr. Patel had sought to preserve. As his predecessor Raghuram Rajan pointed out, when a public servant resigns, it is a sign of protest. Mr. Patel’s decision clearly caught everyone by surprise as it came following perceptions of a thaw in relations between the Centre and the RBI, after an agreement was hammered out at a board meeting last month on some of the contentious issues, including a controversial proposal to use the central bank’s reserves for fiscal purposes. But clearly, the larger issue that divided the Centre and the RBI — which related to autonomy and the independent functioning of the Governor — was never fully resolved. Mr. Patel’s resignation is a serious embarrassment to the NDA government, which has scrambled to make statements expressing surprise at his action and praising him for his work. As attempts to signal that it had nothing to do with Mr. Patel stepping down and to reinforce that he did indeed quit for personal reasons, these remarks were largely unconvincing.
Mr. Patel’s resignation is bound to raise questions about the Centre’s ability to work with independent-minded economists, coming as it does following the departures of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who was at odds with the Centre on many issues, and the sudden resignations of Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya and Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.It is true that Mr. Patel’s reclusive and non-communicative style may not have end eared him to some bankers, but his eminence as an economist and his understanding of macro-economic issues is undisputed. Governments have sparred with the RBI before on the issue of autonomy, but the NDA government went one step further by starting consultations under Section 7 of the RBI Act, which gives the Centre the power to direct the RBI to act in specific ways. The immediate priority now is for the Centre to fill the breach without wasting time. Global investors and the markets are already on edge, and they will be keenly watching, along with the ratings agencies, how the Centre handles this self-created crisis. The incoming Governor is bound to be judged, among other things, by perceptions about his independence. The RBI cannot be treated as if it is just another government department. And the Centre will now need to demonstrate that a post-Patel central bank will continue to enjoy operational autonomy. Anything less will not go down well with both investors and the markets.
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