♠The Hindu Review♠
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♦ CBDT chief Sushil Chandra appointed as Election Commissioner
- Sushil Chandra, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) Chairman, was on Thursday appointed as an Election Commissioner by President Ram Nath Kovind.
- The post had fallen vacant after the appointment of then Election Commissioner Sunil Arora as Chief Election Commissioner on superannuation of his predecessor O.P. Rawat in December last. Former bureaucrat Ashok Lavasa is the first and most senior Election Commissioner.
- Mr. Chandra, an IIT graduate, is a 1980 batch Indian Revenue Service (IRS) official. Having held several posts in the Income-Tax Department, he was appointed CBDT Chairman on November 1, 2016. Subsequently, he got two extensions and his tenure was to end on May 31.
♦ Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-Dhan (PM- SYM) to be Implemented from February 15
- Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan (PM-SYM) will be rolled out by the Ministry of Labour and Employment tomorrow i.e. 15.02.2019. The scheme announced in the Interim Budget was notified by the Ministry recently. As many as 42 crore workers are estimated to be engaged in the unorganized sector of the country.
- The unorganised workers mostly engaged as home based workers, street vendors, mid-day meal workers, head loaders, brick kiln workers, cobblers, rag pickers, domestic workers, washer men, rickshaw pullers, landless labourers, own account workers, agricultural workers, construction workers, beedi workers, handloom workers, leather workers, audio- visual workers and similar other occupations whose monthly income is Rs 15,000/ per month or less and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years are eligible for the scheme. They should not be covered under New Pension Scheme (NPS), Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) scheme or Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Further, he/she should not be an income tax payer.
- Following are the salient Features of PM-SYM:
- Minimum Assured Pension: Each subscriber under the PM-SYM, shall receive minimum assured pension of Rs 3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
- Family Pension: During the receipt of pension, if the subscriber dies, the spouse of the beneficiary shall be entitled to receive 50% of the pension received by the beneficiary as family pension. Family pension is applicable only to spouse.
- (iii) If a beneficiary has given regular contribution and died due to any cause (before age of 60 years), his/her spouse will be entitled to join and continue the scheme subsequently by payment of regular contribution or exit the scheme as per provisions of exit and withdrawal.
♦ India – U.S. Commercial dialogue and CEO forum held in New Delhi
- India and the United States held India-U.S. Commercial Dialogue and India-U.S. CEO Forum in New Delhi today. Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, chaired the meeting. Secretary of Commerce, United States of America, Mr. Wilbur Ross, could not attend the India-US Commercial Dialogue and CEO Forum because of unforeseen flight cancellation due to inclement weather and technical problems. However, he participated in the most of the sessions remotely through teleconference.
- Suresh Prabhu and Mr. Wilbur Ross, had one to one bilateral telephone conversation and discussed various aspects of India-US trade and commerce relations. Mr. Wilbur Ross also participated in both India- US CEO Forum and Commercial Dialogue through teleconference with the CEOs from India and US and with Government officials from both sides. During the conversation, he thanked the Government of India and the private sector for the continued partnership and assured the commitment to further strengthen the ties between the two countries.
♦ 83rd Senior National Badminton Championship: Sindhu begins campaign with an easy win
- Olympic silver medallist P.V.Sindhu on February 14 opened her campaign in the 83rd Senior National Badminton Championship with a straight game win over Nagpur’s Malvika Bansod to enter the women’s singles quarterfinals in Guwahati.
- A former champion, Sindhu took time to get into the groove before claiming a 21-11 21-13 win over Malvika, who is a gold medallist at the South Asian U-21 Championship in Nepal and a runner-up at Khelo India Games.
- Like in 2018, the top eight players of the competition on the combined basis of world and domestic rankings were given direct entry into the singles pre-quarterfinals for which a Super Draw was held February 13 night.
♦ Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, AVSM, NM takes over as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command
- Vice Admiral SN Ghormade, AVSM, NM assumed the charge as Chief of Staff, Eastern Naval Command, Visakhapatnam today 14 Feb 19. The Flag Officer was commissioned into the Indian Navy on 01 Jan 1984.
- He is a graduate of National Defence Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune, United States Naval Staff College at Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island and the Naval War College, Mumbai. In addition to a specialisation in Navigation and Direction within the Navy, the Admiral holds a M Phil in Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Mumbai, MSc Defence and Strategic Studies from University of Madras and Master Degree in Personnel Management from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (University of Pune).
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- EXPLOITATION (NOUN): misuse: (दुरुपयोग करना)
Synonyms: ill-treatment, wringing
Antonyms: hospitable, generous
Example: It was an exploitation of the patented invention.
- THRIVE (VERB): prosper: (फूलना फलना)
Synonyms: flourish, bloom
Antonyms: cease, decrease
Example: It appears to believe that English can’t thrive as long as French survives.
- MAGNANIMOUS (ADJECTIVE): generous: (उदार)
Synonyms: altruistic, charitable
Antonyms: mean, selfish
Example: The panel is more magnanimous than Article 120(2).
- CONCEDE (VERB): acknowledge: (स्वीकार करना)
Synonyms: accept, cave in
Antonyms: deny, refuse
Example: I had to concede that I’d overreacted.
- BARB (NOUN):(काँटा)point
Synonyms: prickle, prong
Antonyms: kindness, praise
Example: Watch out for barbs as they can hurt you badly.
- UNPRECEDENTED (ADJECTIVE):(अभूतपूर्व)exceptional
Synonyms: bizarre, anomalous
Antonyms: familiar, regular
Example: We have come across unprecedented reactions that weren’t expected.
- PIQUANT (ADJECTIVE): (चटपटा)tangy
Synonyms: peppery, spicy
Antonyms: flavorless, tasteless
Example: We need to eat piquant dishes in order to get the real taste of Royal Rajasthan.
- RUSTICATE (VERB):(निष्कासित करना)expel
Synonyms: dispel, ostracize
Antonyms: incorporate, inculcate
Example: The principal will rusticate all the students who don’t deserve to be taught in a healthy environment.
Filler Based on The Hindu editorial
Wall of shame: on Mexico border wall
It began as a populist campaign promise that brought President Donald Trump’s supporters cheering to their feet and paved the way for his election. Now, the border wall with Mexico has become a morass of partisan bickering that has stalemated the U.S. federal government into a three-week-long shutdown, leaving nearly 800,000 public sector workers furloughed without pay. At the heart of this political crisis is the increasingly bitter polarisation of public opinion over immigration. On the one hand, Mr. Trump has steadily contributed to the strident and crude anti-migrant rhetoric, characterising prospective migrants from Latin America as drug-dealers, rapists and violent criminals and shutting down the U.S. border to travellers from certain Muslim-majority countries. On the other, his insistence that he will not sign any appropriations bill to break the funding logjam in Congress and end what could soon become the longest shutdown in U.S. history, unless that bill includes $5.7 billion in financing for a border wall, has gone down badly with Democrats, who control the House. Matters took a darker turn as Mr. Trump doubled down on his refusal to negotiate over funding for the wall and said he may declare a state of national emergency over this uncomfortable status quo.
There are disquieting questions about the veracity of some of Mr. Trump’s claims: migrant border crossings have been in decline for the best part of two decades; it is through legal ports of entry and not unauthorised crossing points that hard drugs such as heroin enter the U.S.; and even the State Department has admitted that no terror operatives have entered the U.S. through Mexico. Then there is the more blatantly flawed reasoning touted by the President that “Mexico will pay” for the wall. Now it appears that even Mr. Trump is backing down on his claim, arguing that Mexico would only “indirectly” fund it through trade deals. It is well-known that only corporations pay tariffs under these deals, not governments, and hence no such payment will come from Mexico. Even as the acerbic back-and-forth between Mr. Trump and Congressional Democrats continues, the deeper malaise is a profound disagreement among Americans on what their nation’s very soul stands for. Is the U.S. truly a melting pot, a country built on the prowess of entrepreneurship and technology, in large part driven by immigrants seeking the “American dream”? Or is it a declining world power that has squandered too much to other nations and peoples and is readying itself for an uncompromising battle to claw back what it reckons it has lost? If it is the latter, then we could expect Mr. Trump’s vision to succeed, but if not, a course correction is in order.
Question 1: federal government ………. a three-week-long shutdown.
Question 2: On the one hand, Mr. Trump has ……… contributed to the strident and crude anti-migrant rhetoric.
Question 3: Then there is the more blatantly flawed reasoning ………… by the President that “Mexico will pay” for the wall.
Question 4: Even as the acerbic back-and-forth …………. Mr. Trump and Congressional Democrats continues.
Question 5: Select the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Question 6: Select the word which is most nearly the SAME MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
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