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♦ PM Modi inaugurates 9th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar
- The main theme of 9th edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit 2019 is “Shaping a new India.”
- Speaking at the inaugural function, PM Modi said that India is ready for business as never before.
- PM Modi said, in last 4 years, we have jumped 65 places in World Bank’s Doing Business Report and his team is worker harder to come in the top 50 next year.
- The Prime Minister said, as India is a most emerging economy, challenges is to grow both horizontally as well as vertically.
- Welcoming the galaxy of national and international dignitaries and delegates at the Summit, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said that the presence of global business leaders is a reflection of faith and trust in Gujarat’s investment friendly environment.
- Rupani expressed his gratitude towards the Prime Minister for the inspirational vision for Shaping a New India.
♦ ISRO to launch exclusive satellite to help MHA in securing Pak, B’desh borders
- The satellite will be used for the purpose of utilising space resources for security, operational planning and border infrastructure development.
- The project is slated to strengthen island and border security and facilitate the development of infrastructure in border and island areas.
- The move is part of recommendations made by a task force on the use of space technology in improving border management which have been accepted by Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
- To execute the project in a time bound manner, a short, medium and long-term plan has been proposed for implementation in five years in close coordination with the ISRO and the Defence Ministry.
- In short term, immediate needs of border guarding forces will be met by procurement of high resolution imagery and hiring of bandwidth for communications.
- In mid-term, one satellite is being launched by the ISRO for exclusive use of the MHA.
- Over the long term, the MHA will develop ground segment and network infrastructure to share satellite resources by user agencies, develop a central archival facility for storing various imagery resources and dissemination of the same to user agencies.
♦ DD Science channel launched
- Two new science communication platforms — DD Science and India Science — were launched by Minister for Science and Technology Dr. Harsh Vardhan here on January 15.
- DD Science is a joint initiative of Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous organisation under the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and public broadcaster, Doordarshan. It is a one-hour slot on Doordarshan National channel, which will be telecast from Monday to Saturday from 5 pm to 6 pm. India Science is an online channel available on all internet-enabled devices. It offers live, scheduled play and video-on-demand science programming.
- The two channels will have science-based documentaries, studio-based discussions, virtual walkthroughs of scientific institutions, interviews and short films and will be free to access. The new initiatives are expected to be the first step in creating a national science channel for India.
- Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Harsh Vardhan said, “developing scientific temperament is a critical necessity in a country of 1.3 billion and these two science channels will drive that national objective, both through DTH as well as the internet. It would help people understand the benefits of science and integrate it in their daily lives.”
♦ The Global Risks Report 2019
- The Global Risks Report 2019 is published against a backdrop of worrying geopolitical and geo-economic tensions. If unresolved, these tensions will hinder the world’s ability to deal with a growing range of collective challenges, from the mounting evidence of environmental degradation to the increasing disruptions of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
- The report presents the results of our latest Global Risks Perception Survey, in which nearly 1,000 decision-makers from the public sector, private sector, academia and civil society assess the risks facing the world. Nine out of 10 respondents expect worsening economic and political confrontations between major powers this year. Over a ten-year horizon, extreme weather and climate-change policy failures are seen as the gravest threats.
- This year’s report includes another series of “what-if” Future Shocks that examine quantum computing, weather manipulation, monetary populism, emotionally responsive artificial intelligence and other potential risks. The theme of emotions is also addressed in a chapter on the human causes and effects of global risks; the chapter calls for greater action around rising levels of psychological strain across the world.
♦ SoftBank to pick up 42% in FirstCry for $400 million
- SoftBank is set to invest $400 million for an over 40% stake in BrainBees Solutions, which owns and operates omni-channel baby and mother care product retailer FirstCry, according to three people aware of the development. The Tokyo-headquartered investment giant, which has been scouting for fresh investments in Asia’s third-largest economy following its $4-billion exit from Flipkart last year, has been in talks with the FirstCry leadership for a few months, sources said.
- “The deal was signed earlier this week and is likely to close by the month-end,” one of the people cited above told ET. The money is expected to come in tranches, linked to financial and business performance milestones, the person added.
- Morgan Stanley has acted as the financial adviser to the deal. SoftBank is likely to pick up an estimated 42% stake in the eight-year-old Punebased venture, valuing it at $600-700 million. FirstCry’s founders — Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha — will retain 12-14% equity, according to the people aware of the negotiations.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- INSTIL (VERB): (डालना)inject
Synonyms: infuse, implant
Antonyms: eradicate, extract
Example : The instructor tried to instil fear in the students.
- ENCROACH (VERB): (अधिक्रमण करना)violate
Synonyms: trespass, infringe
Antonyms: shun, abide
Example: As the forests continue to be destroyed for development, bears have no choice but to encroach into residential areas.
- EVASION (NOUN): (टालना)avoidance
Synonyms: evasiveness, obliqueness
Antonyms: directness, frankness
Example: She is in the habit of making evasion from every situation.
- PERSECUTE (VERB): (सताना)harass
Synonyms: torment, domineer
Antonyms: comfort, console
Example: The major kept on persecuting the soldiers.
- GIGANTIC (ADJECTIVE): (विशाल)huge
Synonyms: enormous, immense
Antonyms: small, slight
Example: A gigantic lily grows at a height of 20 feet’s.
- RAVAGE (VERB): (नष्ट कर देना)destroy
Synonyms: ruin, devastate
Antonyms: restore, reconstruct
Example : Anita ravaged all our weekend plans.
- TRECHAREOUS (ADJECTIVE): (विश्वासघाती)disloyal
Synonyms: faithless, unreliable
Antonyms: faithful, reliable
Example: He is a treacherous junk-dealer.
- SANGUINE (ADJECTIVE): (आशावादी)confident
Synonyms: hopeful, optimistic
Antonyms: pessimistic, depressed
Example: He is a sanguine person in every adverse situation.
- ORDAIN (VERB): (हुक्म देना)impose
Synonyms: order, proclaim
Antonyms: violate, revoke
Example: Antariksh knows the ministry will never ordain him as a priest.
- INSIPID (ADJECTIVE): (स्वादहीन)tasteless
Synonyms: vapid, unflavoured
Antonyms: delicious, pungent
Example: Tomato soup tastes insipid.
Close test based on The Hindu editorial
Half done: on the ban on plastic
India won global acclaim for its “Beat Plastic Pollution” resolve (1) on World Environment Day last year, under which it pledged to eliminate single-use plastic by 2022. So far, 22 States and Union Territories have joined the fight, (2) a ban on single-use plastics such as carry bags, cups, plates, cutlery, straws and thermocol products. Puducherry will implement a ban from March 1. Where firm action (3) taken, positive results have followed. A Bengaluru waste collective estimates that the volume of plastic waste that they collect dropped from about two tonnes a day to less than 100 kg. Voluntary initiatives are having an (4) in many States, as citizens reduce, reuse and sort their waste. Yet, this is only a small start. Waste plastic from packaging of everything from food, cosmetics and groceries to goods delivered by online platforms remains unaddressed. It will take a paradigm shift in the manner in which waste is collected and handled by municipal authorities to change this. Governments must start charging the producers for their waste, and collect it diligently, which will lead to recovery and recycling. But the depressing reality is that State and local governments are unwilling to upgrade their waste management systems, which is necessary to even measure the true scale of packaging waste.
The Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2016 are clear that producers, importers and brand owners must adopt a collect-back system for the plastic they introduce into the environment. (5) the rules were notified in the same year, amended later and given high visibility by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, not much has been done to take the process forward. At the very least, local bodies should consult manufacturers or importers to assess the problem. Delaying such a measure has created the anomalous situation of small producers of plastics facing the ban, while more organised entities covered by the Extended Producer Responsibility clause continue with business as usual. Such enforcement failure is not an argument in favour of relaxing the prohibition on flimsy plastics that are typically used for under 15 minutes, but to recover thousands of tonnes of waste that end up in dumping sites. Cities and towns (6) competent municipal systems to achieve this. Again, there is little doubt that plastics play a major role in several industries, notably in the automotive, pharmaceutical, health care and construction sectors. But it is the fast moving consumer goods sector that uses large volumes of packaging, posing a higher order challenge. This calls for urgent action. Governments should show the same resolve here, as they have done in imposing the ban.
B) Had been
Question 7: Select the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
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