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♦ PM to launch Swachh Shakti 2019 from Kurukshetra today
- The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will visit Kurukshetra in Haryana on February 12, 2019. He will participate in Swachh Shakti 2019, a convention of Women Sarpanches and distribute the Swachh Shakti-2019 awards. PM will visit the Swachh Sundar Shauchalay exhibition at Kurukshetra and address a public gathering. PM will also inaugurate/ lay foundation stone for various development projects in Haryana.
- Swachh Shakti-2019 is a national event which aims to bring in to focus the leadership role played by rural women in Swachh Bharat Mission. Women Sarpanches and Panches from all over the country will be attending the event. Around 15,000 women are expected to participate in this year’s Swachh Shakti event aimed at empowering the women.
- The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation in association with the Govt. of Haryana is organizing the Swachh Shakti-2019. Best practices from grass root level in the rural areas for Swachh Bharat will be shared by them. The event will showcase the achievements of Swachh Bharat and the recently conducted Swachh Sunder Shauchalay, (neat and clean toilet) – a unique and first of its kind in the world campaign.
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Swachh Shakti program first in 2017 at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. 6000 women sarpanches from across the country had assembled in Gujarat on the occasion of International Women’s Day under the banner of Swachh Shakti 2017. PM addressed and honoured them.
- The second Swachh Shakti event, Swachh Shakti-2018 was held at Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. 8000 women sarpanches, 3000 women Swachhagrahis and women champions from other walks of life from across the country were recognized for their outstanding contribution towards making a Swachh Bharat during the event.
- Now the third edition is being inaugurated from Kurukshetra.
♦ PM inaugurates PETROTECH -2019; Says energy is a key driver of socio-economic growth
- The 13th edition of PETROTECH – 2019, India’s flagship hydrocarbon Conference was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra modi at India Expo Centre, Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh today.
- In his inaugural address PM underlined the importance of energy as a key driver of socio-economic growth. “Suitably priced, stable and sustainable energy supply, is essential for rapid growth of the economy. It also helps the poor and deprived sections of society, to partake of economic benefits,” he added.
- Stating that the there is a shift in energy consumption from West to East, PM said that United States has become the world’s largest oil and gas producer after the shale revolution. However there are signs of convergence, between cheaper renewable energy, technologies, and digital applications which may expedite the achievement of many sustainable development goals..
- PM told that it is the need of the hour “ …move to responsible pricing, which balances the interests of both the producer and consumer. We also need to move towards transparent and flexible markets for both oil and gas. Only then can we serve the energy needs of humanity in an optimal manner.”
- Reminding the global community to join hands in tackling the challenge of climate change, he said targets we set for ourselves at COP-21 in Paris can be achieved. In this context, he mentioned that India has made rapid strides in meeting its commitments..
♦ Vodafone Idea appoints Suresh Vaswani as independent director
- The Board of Vodafone Idea has appointed Suresh Vaswani as an independent director for a period of three years with effect from February 8, said the largest telco in a regulatory filing.
- “…based on the recommendation of the Nomination & Remuneration Committee, the Board of Directors of the Company have appointed Suresh Choithram Vaswani as an additional director, qualifying as an Independent Director on the Board of the Company … said the telco on Monday.
- The alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, is currently acting as an external global advisor to Bain Consulting. He is also a Board member of Servion Inc., a technology company in the customer experience space and serves as a senior director on Everstone Capital where he plays the role of an operating advisor in their IT/BPO portfolios.
♦ India, Iran plan to celebrate ‘Chabahar Day’ to showcase business potential
- India and Iran will celebrate ‘Chabahar Day’ on February 26 at a mega event in Iran’s strategically located port, which is operated by India. The jointly organised event will showcase business potential of the port and the proposed economic zone that present a stark contrast to Pakistan’s Gwadar Port, which China hopes to build as a military facility, said officials.
- A senior Indian official will lead a high-powered delegation comprising business delegates, among others, at the day-long event which will also see participation of Afghanistan, Central Asia and Russia. Iran will make a presentation on the prospects of the port to the visiting delegates.
- Iran is pitching the event as an opportunity for businessmen, traders, freight companies, and national and international liners from various countries, said an Iranian official. One of the main goals is enabling entry of large international shipping liners into the port, he said. The port, India’s key link to Afghanistan and Eurasia, became operational for transit to Kabul following a tripartite agreement between India, Afghanistan and Iran. India Ports Global Limited, which is operating the Shahid Beheshti terminal, opened an office in the port in December last year.
♦ Analjit Singh replaces Rahul Khosla as Chairman of Max Life and Max India
- Max Group Monday said its Founder and Chairman Emeritus Analjit Singh will take over as Chairman of Max India and Max Life.
- He would be taking over the chairmanship of the two companies from Group President Rahul Khosla, who would be moving to a non-executive role as group advisor from April 1, 2019, Max India said in a filing to BSE.
- Khosla will also demit his role as Max Healthcare Chairman once regulatory approvals for the transaction with KKR-Radiant are received. This position will then be filled by KKR Radiant, it added.
- “Khosla joined the Max Group in August 2011, which was at the cusp of my shift to a nonexecutive role and allowed me to pursue other initiatives,” Singh said.
♦ Government has reconstituted the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR)
- As per Rule 3 of Rules of ICHR, New Delhi, 1972, the Government has reconstituted the Council of Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), New Delhi for a period of three years w.e.f. the date of the first meeting of the re-constituted Council i.e. 07.01.2019 to 06.01.2022 and the composition of the Council is as follows:
- An eminent historian nominated by the Government of India who shall be Chairman of the Council;
i)Eighteen historians nominated by the Government of India;
- ii) A Representative of the U.G.C;
iii) Director-General of Archaeology;
- iv) Director, National Archives;
- Four persons to represent Government who shall be nominated by the Government of India and which shall include one representative each of the Ministry of Education, the Department of Culture and the Ministry of Finance; and Member Secretary.
♦ India and Norway launch initiative to combat Marine Pollution
- The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change today signed a letter of Intent establishing the India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative together with the Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- In January, 2019, the Indian and Norwegian governments agreed to work more closely on oceans by signing a MoU and establishing the India-Norway Ocean Dialogue during the Norwegian Prime Minister’s visit to India in January.
- A joint Task Force on Blue Economy with government officials, researchers and experts as well as private sector was established to develop sustainable solutions within strategic areas of the blue economy, such as maritime and marine sector in addition to energy sector.
- In partnership, Norway and India will share experiences and competence, and collaborate on efforts to develop clean and healthy oceans, sustainable use of ocean resources and growth in the blue economy.
- Both the governments launched the first Joint initiative under this new partnership. The India-Norway Marine Pollution Initiative will combat marine pollution, which is one of the fastest growing environmental concerns.
- The Joint Initiative was signed formally by Mr. Nils RagnarKamsvag, Ambassador to India, Embassy of Norway and Mr. Anil Kumar Jain, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Govt. of India.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- INORDINATE (ADJECTIVE): Undue : (असामान्य)
Synonyms: pricey, steep
Antonyms: cheap, moderate
Example: The case had taken up an inordinate amount of time.
- EGRESS (NOUN): Departure : (निकास)
Synonyms: emanation, exiting
Antonyms: entrance, arrival
Example: They hinted at the direct means of access and egress for passengers.
- ENGROSS (VERB): Bewitch : (मोहित करना)
Synonyms: captivate, enrapture
Antonyms: disenchant, disgust
Example: Yesterday Prakash engrossed everybody at the party.
- NERVE (NOUN): daring (साहस)
Synonyms: courage, grit
Antonyms: cowardice, timidity
Example: Shruti has a nerve to do it.
- EMBARK (VERB): commence (आरंभ करना)
Synonyms: enter, launch
Antonyms: cease, end
Example: Vikash embarked his journey.
- IMP (NOUN): brat (शैतान)
Synonyms: gnome, minx
Antonyms: angel, elf
Example: Ankit is a big imp.
- YEOMAN (NOUN): (स्वेच्छा सेवी):worker
Synonyms: assistant, attendant
Antonyms: boss, manager
Example: The yeoman was plowing the field on his master’s land.
- YORE (NOUN): (बीता हुआ समय):time gone by
Synonyms: history, antiquity
Antonyms: future, present
Example: In the days of yore, the Internet did not exist.
Filler Based on The Hindu Editorial
Nigerian renewal: On presidential polls
As Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari seeks re-election, his mixed record on the economy and security fronts has made for a close contest. Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil-producer, has barely recovered from a recession following the 2014 global slump in crude prices. The government claims to have curbed inflation, though it is in the double digits. Unemployment, which has climbed to over 20% since Mr. Buhari took office in 2015, could hurt his prospects among a predominantly young population. The adverse sentiment from the current grim global climate for foreign investment may have been compounded by the negative signals emanating from the billion-dollar fines slapped on the region’s telecom giant. Last year Lagos declined to join the African Continental Free Trade Area after steering negotiations among the 55 African Union states. The decision dealt a blow to the prospects of transforming Africa into an open and diverse economy, and strengthened the perception that Nigeria was not doing enough to move away from its dependence on oil wealth. In the prevailing atmosphere of rampant institutional corruption dating back decades, Mr. Buhari’s image as a morally incorruptible leader held sway with a disillusioned electorate during the 2015 polls. That reputation is still intact. But the former army general now seems politically vulnerable following electoral reverses in the provinces last year. More worrisome for him would be the defection of several members of the ruling All Progressives Congress party to the Opposition People’s Democratic Party. The most prominent of them is Mr. Bukhari’s main challenger in the presidential race, Atiku Abubakar, a two-term former vice president. The suspension of Nigeria’s chief justice on corruption charges last month has raised apprehensions over respect for the popular will in Nigeria. Besides many Western governments, Mr. Abubakar has cautioned the President against electoral interference.
On the security front, Mr. Buhari has had moderate success in pushing back Boko Haram, the Islamist terror organisation that gained notoriety some years ago for the shocking disappearance of 200 children. But the group continues to resort to acts of kidnapping and massacre in its stronghold in the northeast. Meanwhile, even as the violent conflict between farmers and herdsmen festers, concerns have been raised about the lack of equipment for the security forces. A new law passed last year lowering the age to run for public office, could make for a more inclusive democracy. But until the financial entry threshold to the political arena is lowered significantly, such laws will have little impact on the ground. Nevertheless, for a country blighted by bloody dictatorships for many years since the end of colonial rule, the coming polls should inspire confidence in the gradual strengthening of its nascent institutions.
Question 1: Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil-producer, has barely …………… from a recession following the 2014 global slump in crude prices.
Question 2: Last year Lagos declined to join the African Continental Free Trade Area after steering ………………. among the 55 African Union states.
Question 3: That reputation is still intact. But the former army general now seems politically ………….. following electoral reverses in the provinces last year.
Question 4: Meanwhile, even as the violent conflict …………. farmers and herdsmen festers, concerns have been raised about the lack of equipment for the security forces.
B) With in
Question 5: A new law ………… last year lowering the age to run for public office, could make for a more inclusive democracy.
Question 6: Select the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
6-E Massacre (नरसंहार)
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