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♦ Pramod Chandra Mody takes over as new CBDT chairman
- IRS officer Pramod Chandra Mody on Friday took over as the new chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), the policy making body of the Income Tax Department.
- Mody, a 1982-batch Indian Revenue Service (Income Tax cadre) officer, has been appointed in place of Sushil Chandra, who was on Thursday named as Election Commissioner ahead of the Lok Sabha polls due this summer.
♦ PM Modi inaugurates various projects in Jharkhand
- Foundation Stone for water supply schemes in areas inhabited by Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups was also laid by Prime Minister as well as Foundation Stone for the Centre for Tribal Studies, Acharya Vinoba Bhave University in Hazaribagh.
- Prime Minister inaugurated three medical college buildings at Hazaribagh, Dumka and Palamu. He also laid the Foundation Stone for four 500-bedded hospitals at Hazaribagh, Dumka, Palamu and Jamshedpur.
- Women Engineering College Building in Ramgarh was also inaugurated.
- Prime Minister inaugurated four Rural Water Supply Schemes in Ramgarh and Hazaribagh districts. He laid the Foundation Stone for an additional six Rural Water Supply Schemes in these two districts, and an Urban Water Supply Scheme in Hazaribagh.
♦ Japan’s PM nominated Trump for Nobel Peace Prize on U.S. request: report
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe nominated U.S. President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize last autumn after receiving a request from the U.S. government to do so, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.
- The report follows Mr. Trump’s claim on Friday that Mr. Abe had nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize for opening talks and easing tensions with North Korea.
- The Japanese leader had given him “the most beautiful copy” of a five-page nomination letter, Mr. Trump said at a White House news conference.
- The U.S. government had sounded Mr. Abe out over the Noble Peace Prize nomination after Trump’s summit in June last year with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the first meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president, the Asahi said, citing an unnamed Japanese government source.
♦ President of India to present Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony in national capital on 18th February 2019
- The President of India will present the Tagore Award for Cultural Harmony to Shri Rajkumar Singhajit Singh; Chhayanaut (a cultural organization of Bangladesh); and Shri Ram Sutar Vanji for the years 2014, 2015 & 2016 respectively on 18.02.2019 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi. The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi will also remain present on the occasion to felicitate the awardees.
- Tagore Award for Cultural Harmonywas instituted by the Government of India from 2012recognizing the contributions made by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore to humanity at large with his works and ideas, as part of the Commemoration of his 150th Birth Anniversary in 2012, for promoting values of Cultural Harmony.
- It is awarded annually and carries an amount of Rs. One Crore (convertible to foreign currency), a citation in a Scroll, a Plaque as well as an exquisite traditional handicraft / handloom item. The Award may be divided between two persons / institutions who are considered by the Jury to be equally deserving of recognition in a given year.
♦ PM launches projects worth Rs 33,000 cr in Bihar, lays stone of Patna Metro
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday inaugurated and laid foundation stone of projects worth over Rs 33,000 crore in Bihar, including the Patna Metro Rail Project.
- He inaugurated the Patna City Gas Distribution project. The prime minister laid the foundation stone of the Barauni Refinery Expansion Project and the ATF Hydrotreating Unit (INDJET) at Barauni Refinery.
- He also laid the foundation stone of the Patna Metro Rail Project through a remote at a function in Baruani.
- The first phase of River Front Development at Patna was inaugurated and the foundation stone for the Karmalichak Sewerage Network, spanning 96.54 km was also laid by Modi.
- The prime minister inaugurated the electrification of railway lines on many sectors and flagged off the Ranchi-Patna AC Weekly Express.
♦ Irani Cup: Vidarbha successfully defends its title
- Atharva Taide, a rookie left-hander playing only his fifth First Class match, and the seasoned Ganesh Satish, combined forces to enable Vidarbha retain the Irani Cup at the VCA stadium on Saturday. Vidarbha chasing 280, was 11 runs away from victory, when both the captains agreed to a draw.
- Replacing veteran Wasim Jaffer in the side for a crucial match can be a tough for any youngster, but the 19-year-old showed maturity to carve out a half-century (72) that set the foundation for the chase.
- Satish scored a fluent 87 but missed out on a deserving hundred when he pulled a long hop from Vihari to substitute fielder Sandeep Warrier at midwicket.
- Taide showed class and skill to play a crucial innings under pressure. He added 116 with opener R. Sanjay(42) for the second wicket.
♦ Senior National Badminton Championships: Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 to retain title
- Saina Nehwal beat P V Sindhu in straight games in the marquee clash of the tournament to retain her women’s singles crown at the 83rd Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals here Saturday.
- The three-time former champion Saina used her powerful smashes to telling effect, registering a 21-18 21-15 win against Sindhu, a two-time winner, in the summit clash.
- In a repeat of last edition’s final in Nagpur, 2012 Olympics bronze medaliist Saina once again had the upper hand over Sindhu during the exciting clash which was witnessed by a capacity crowed at the TRP Indoor stadium here.
- Saina had also defeated 2016 Rio Games silver medallist Sindhu at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games summit clash last year.
♦ 83rd Senior National badminton: Sourabh Verma claims third title
- Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men’s singles crown after defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games, in the 83rd edition of the tournament in Guwahati on Saturday.
- The 26-year-old, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outdo the 17-year-old Lakshya, an Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- GIGANTIC (ADJECTIVE): (बहुत बड़ा):very large
Synonyms: enormous, mammoth
Antonyms: dwarf, miniature
Example: A series of disasters frustrated the gigantic scheme.
- ESTEEM (NOUN): (मान):respect
Synonyms: regard, honor
Antonyms: disregard, dishonor
Example: While I cannot force you to stay, I hope you will stay back if you hold my parents in high esteem.
- ALACRITOUS (ADJECTIVE): (तेज):quick
Synonyms: brisk, speedy
Antonyms: slow, lag
Example: The alacritous athlete won the race in no time.
- JIBE (VERB): (सहमत होना):To agree
Synonyms: harmonize, conform
Antonyms: disagree, differ
Example: I do not jibe with his idea.
- TRANQUIL (ADJECTIVE): (शांतचित्त):peaceful
Synonyms: calm, pastoral
Antonyms: agitated, aroused
Example: She wants to lead a tranquil life.
- BEFUDDLE (VERB): (व्याकुल होना):baffle
Synonyms: puzzle, bewilder
Antonyms: orient, balance
Example: Prashant is befuddled about Riya’s question.
- STICKLER (NOUN): (पूर्णतावादी):perfectionist
Synonyms: disciplinarian, pedant
Antonyms: beginner, trainee
Example: Amir Khan is an stickler.
- STUN (VERB): (चकित करना):astonish
Synonyms: astound, surprise
Antonyms: calm, compose
Example: Michelle was stunned over his performance.
Filler Based on The Hindu editorial
Shape of the slowdown: on China’s economy
The Chinese growth juggernaut is slowing down. The world’s second-largest economy has reported that its exports for December fell by 4.4%, the sharpest fall in two years amidst rising trade tensions with the United States and fears of a global economic slowdown. China’s trade surplus with the U.S. has increased to $323 billion, its highest level since 2016 and up 17% from a year ago. This is likely to put added pressure on Chinese exports to the U.S. Besides, China’s factory activity contracted to a two-year low by the end of December while car sales in 2018 dropped for the first time since 1990, pointing to faltering demand from Chinese consumers. There are increasing fears that the Chinese government may further drop its growth target to 6% this year, from 6.5% last year. Given its implications for global growth, markets across the world have naturally been worried about the fate of the Chinese economy. Its stock market, in particular, was the worst-performing among major economies last year. Apple, Jaguar Land Rover and other companies have warned of weak earnings due to a slowdown in their sales in China. Responding to fears of a serious slowdown in the economy, the People’s Bank of China on Wednesday injected cash worth $83 billion into the economy through open market operations in order to boost bank lending and overall economic growth. It is believed that the Chinese government may be prepping for a stimulus worth trillions of yuans to step up spending in the economy.
China has been struggling to transition from its earlier growth model led by cheap exports and huge capital investments into a more domestic consumption-led economy. In particular, the government and the central bank have in recent years tried to wean the economy off cheap debt that fuelled its impressive growth run. The Chinese central bank fully opened the credit taps of the economy in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis that threatened to derail growth. But even as it tries to steer the economy towards more consumption-led growth, the state has been wary of allowing economic sectors like real estate that were earlier boosted by the availability of cheap credit to go bust. A true restructuring of its export- and state-led economic model will not be possible until China allows the liquidation of uneconomical projects that were begun only because of the availability of ample amounts of cheap credit. This will be the first step towards building a more market-driven economy. But it is not clear whether China is willing to bite the bullet and stop feeding its economy with cheap credit. It may be tempted to go further and look at socialising the losses coming from defaults on business loans. None of this will be good for the long-term health of the Chinese or the global economy.
Question 1: The Chinese growth ………. is slowing down.
Question 2: China’s trade surplus with the U.S. has increased to $323 billion, its highest level ………… 2016 and up 17% from a year ago.
E) With in
Question 3: There are increasing fears that the Chinese government may further drop its growth target to 6% this year, from 6.5% …….. year.
Question 4: The Chinese central bank fully opened the credit taps of the economy in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis that threatened to ……… growth.
Question 5: None of this ……….. good for the long-term health of the Chinese or the global economy.
D) Will be
Question 6: Select the word which is most nearly the SAME MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
6-D (Ample Means – पर्याप्त, sufficient)
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