The Hindu Review 16th January 2018 | (Current + English Article + Vocab)| Download PDF

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What is COMCASA?

  • India and the U.S. on September 6 signed the foundational or enabling agreement COMCASA on the side-lines of the inaugural 2+2 dialogue.
  • COMCASA stands for Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement and is one of the four foundational agreements that the U.S. signs with allies and close partners to facilitate interoperability between militaries and sale of high end technology.
  • COMCASA is an India-specific version of the Communication and Information on Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA). It comes into force immediately, and is valid for a period 10 years.
  • COMCASA allows India to procure transfer specialised equipment for encrypted communications for US origin military platforms like the C-17, C-130 and P-8Is. Currently, these platforms use commercially available communication systems.
  • The joint statement issued after the 2+2 dialogue said that it would facilitate access to advanced defence systems and enable India to optimally utilize its existing U.S.-origin platforms.
  • Specific additional provisions have been incorporated in the text to safeguard our security and national interests.
  • This will also enable greater communications interoperability between the militaries of India and the US. Data acquired through such systems cannot be disclosed or transferred to any person or entity without India’s consent.
  • Both countries will implement this agreement in a manner that is consistent with the national security interests of the other.
  • India had signed the General Security Of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in 2002 and the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) in 2016. The last one remaining is the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement for Geo-spatial Cooperation (BECA).


Gukesh breaks Praggnanandhaa’s record, becomes country’s youngest Grandmaster

  • After running out of time in his desperate bid to break the long-standing record of Sergey Karjakin of being the world’s youngest Grandmaster, D. Gukesh completed the formalities to be the sport’s youngest Grandmaster, at present.
  • On the auspicious day of Pongal, a harvest festival celebrated predominantly in his native state of Tamil Nadu, the 12-year-old defeated Dinesh Sharma in the ninth round of the Delhi International Open Grandmasters chess tournament for his third and final GM norm.
  • The country’s 59th GM is also the youngest after breaking the record of state-mate R. Praggnanandhaa set in June last year.
  • For the record, Gukesh reached the landmark at the age of 12 years, seven months and 17 days. Praggnanandhaa did it in 12 years, 10 months and 13 days. Karjakin’s record, set in 2002, stays intact at 12 years and seven months.
  • On the all-time list of youngest GMs, Gukesh now holds the second place. Parimarjan Negi, in 2006, and Praggnanandhaa last year, also held similar distinction.
  • Five years after taking the sport, the 2006-born Gukesh became an International Master in March last year. In April, he attained his first GM-norm by finishing third in the Bangkok Open and added a second in December, in the Orbis 2 round-robin tournament at Paracin, Serbia.


Assam Celebrate The Harvest Season

  • Magh Bihu is to Assam what Pongal is to Tamil Nadu and what Lohri is to Punjab. One of the most important festivals for Assamese people, Magh Bihu is celebrated to mark the end of harvest season and also the departure of the cold winter season, where people welcome new produce with a week-long celebration.
  • Also known as Bhogali Bihu, which is derived from the word ‘bhog’, the celebrations involve a lot of food along with singing and dancing.
  • The eve of the Bhogali Bihu is called the Uruka. On this day, a grand feast is prepared on the night of the first day of the festival. People build makeshift thatched-roof huts, known as ‘bhelaghar’, which serve as community kitchens, and a ‘meji’ (bonfire) is created with hay and bamboo. People spend the night near these mejis by singing songs and performing folk dances. The next morning, people take bath and then the Meji is burnt. It is believed that this burning of the bonfire helps to put an end to the cold season.
  • For the puja, people throw in pithas (delicacies made with rice) and betel nuts into the flames, thanking the Fire God to mark the end of the harvest season and take back his blessing in form of burnt woods and bamboo.


Centre to award UDAN-III routes soon

  • The Union Ministry of Civil Aviation will shortly award new regional connectivity routes under UDAN (Ude Desh ka Aam Nagarik) III, Union Minister for Commerce, Industry & Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said in Mumbai on Monday.
  • “Very soon, we will be declaring results for a very successful round in UDAN III. We will announce it formally in the next two days. The new routes will meet lot of unmet demand and futuristic requirement of people,” Mr. Prabhu said ahead of a two-day Global Aviation Summit.
  • “[In this round] We want to do something which is completely ready and fool-proof. In the past, some airlines that had bid and succeeded in bagging routes did not take off [from those routes]. We do not want to see a repeat of that kind. We want to make sure that UDAN is really flying,” the Minister added.


Airtel to deploy pre-5G mobile network tech for Kumbh this week

  • Bharti Airtel plans to deploy pre-5G network technology for its customers at the world’s largest congregation Kumbh Mela – to be held between January 15 and March 4 in Allahabad.
  • “Airtel is also boosting its mobile network at the venue to serve the connectivity needs of millions of visitors at the Kumbh Mela. It will be deploying state-of-the-art Massive MIMO technology at the venue to massively enhance its network capacity,” Airtel said in statement today.
  • Massive MIMO is a pre-5G technology that expands network capacity by five to seven times over the same spectrum and helps a large number of concurrent users to enjoy a seamless high speed data experience, the statement said.
  • A company official said that deployment of the new mobile sites will start this week. Airtel had also deployed this technology at all major IPL venues last year. “In addition, temporary sites and small cell sites will also be deployed at the venue,” the statement said. The telecom firm also announced initiatives to offer a digital Kumbh Mela 2019 experience to its customers.
  • Besides new mobile site, Airtel smartphone customers will be able to stream the Kumbh proceedings – including important Snans (religious bath) and Aartis – on the Airtel TV app.

♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠

  1. PHLEGMATIC (ADJECTIVE): Unemotional (सुस्त)

Synonyms: frigid, indifferent         

Antonyms: emotional, passionate

Example: They are phlegmatic and selfish people.

  1. CAPITULATE (VERB): Give in (हथियार डाल देना)

Synonyms: surrender, succumb           

Antonyms: conquer, win

Example: The thief capitulate before the police.

  1. SWERVE (VERB): Turn aside. (भटकना)

Synonyms:  deflect, lurch    

Antonyms: stay, straighten

Example: The greater you spin the ball, the more it will swerve .

  1. CORYBANTIC (ADJECTIVE): Excited; very happy

Synonyms: rapturous, frantic    

Antonyms:  sorrowful, troubled

Example: He is corybantic about his new project. 













  1. REPINE (VERB):  REGRET (शिकायत करना)




Close Test Based on The Hindu editorial

Disquieting decision: on CBI tussle

The removal of Alok Verma as Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation is a disconcerting denouement to an unseemly episode. The controversy that began with a public tussle between Mr. Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana has ended with the former’s removal, although it is couched as a transfer. It was obvious from the beginning that the government did not want him to continue, although it sought to give the impression that it was being even-handed in asking both Mr. Verma and Mr. Asthana to proceed on leave. Mr. Verma’s transfer has (1) an uncomfortable truth — that the legal protection for the CBI Director from external interference is not as strong as some had believed. The Supreme Court’s judgment (2) it clear that as long as such transfers follow a set procedure, the incumbent may be replaced. Though the court declared that no authority, other than the high-powered selection committee, could transfer him, its reinstatement of Mr. Verma was not unconditional. It (3) the committee — comprising the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice of India, and the leader of the largest Opposition party — to decide on whether he should be divested of his powers. The government quickly convened a meeting, which was attended by Justice A.K. Sikri, as the nominee of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. (4) a dissenting note by Mallikarjun Kharge, the majority, that is, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Justice Sikri, ordered Mr. Verma’s transfer. Questions have been raised about the committee refusing Mr. Verma a personal hearing. The panel apparently chose not to hear him on the ground that the Central Vigilance Commissioner, who held an inquiry on the Supreme Court’s earlier orders, had heard him in the presence of the retired judge, Justice A.K. Patnaik, a supervisor appointed by the court, and that the prima facie findings against Mr. Verma (5) enough to conclude that he should not remain in that office. As he was neither suspended nor transferred, but only given a post of equal rank, there was no need for a hearing. Even if this position is not strictly untenable from a legal standpoint, it has serious implications for the CBI’s independence. Future regimes may use this precedent to get such an adverse report against an inconvenient director and unseat him.

Mr. Kharge’s demand for getting Mr. Verma’s response should have been considered. Mr. Verma has claimed that the CVC report was based only on the complainant’s charges against him, and did not represent the CVC’s ‘findings’. An important learning from the (6) episode is that the bipartisan appointment process for the post with the presence of a high judicial functionary as envisaged by the 2003 amendments may not be enough to thwart political stratagems. Far from resolving the institutional crisis in the agency, the outcome may have deeply politicised it.

Question 1:


B) Close

C) Open

D) Quit

E) None

Question 2:


B) Makes

C) Decision

D) Refuse

E) None

Question 3:



C) Asked

D) Tell


Question 4:


B) After

C) Before

D) Then

E) None

Question 5:


B) Were

C) Is

D) Will

E) None

Question 6:


B) Few

C) Little

D) Total

E) None

Question 7: Select the word which is most nearly the SAME MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.



B) Give

C) Offer

D) Disrobe

E) None









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