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♦ Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2019 to begin today in Varanasi
- The valedictory address and Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awards will be conferred by the President Ram Nath Kovind on the 23rd Januray 2019.
- Over the next three days, Varanasi will be a witness to scores of sessions, seminal talks by experts and luminaries in their fields, cultural programmes and visit of the NRIs to renowned places of Kashi, Sarnath and Ganga Ghats among others.
- The theme for PBD 2019 is “Role of Indian Diaspora in building New India”.
- Several world leaders of Indian origin will share their insights into the role of Indian diaspora for a New India. This time, the participants will also have the opportunity to participate in Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj and Republic Day celebrations at New Delhi.
♦ Ex-CBI Special Director Rakesh Asthana Appointed as BCAS Chief
- A day after the government curtailed his tenure at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as Special Director, Rakesh Asthana, who had a bitter fight with ousted agency chief Alok Verma, was on Friday appointed as the new Director General of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS).
- An official notification said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet had approved the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as Director General, BCAS by temporarily upgrading the post of Director General, BCAS to that of DG level, on a personal basis, for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
- As per a separate government order, CBI Joint Director Arun Kumar Sharma was also posted as Additional Director General in Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) against the existing vacancy of Special Director General from the date of joining the post and up to 28 April 2020 or until further orders, whichever is earlier.
♦ IDFC First Bank gets RBI approval for appointment of MD & CEO
- IDFC First Bank announced that the Reserve Bank of India vide its letter dated 17 January 2019, has given its approval for the appointment of V. Vaidyanathan as the Managing Director & CEO of the Bank for a period of 3 (three) years effective from the date of his taking charge i.e. 19 December 2018.
♦ HDFC Standard Life Insurance is now HDFC Life Insurance
- HDFC Standard Life Insurance on Friday changed its name to HDFC Life Insurance following the receipt of relevant approvals from regulatory authorities.
- The change in name is effective right off the bat and the company will henceforth operate under the name HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd, it said. “Over the years, specifically after listing of the company on stock exchanges, HDFC Life, as a brand has established itself as one of the most valuable brands in the Indian life insurance sector.
- “Hence, with a view to align the corporate name of the company with its brand name, the corporate name has been changed to HDFC Life Insurance,” the statement said. Other than the name, all other details and structures of the company remain unchanged, it said.
♦ Tata Mumbai Marathon event ambassador Mary Kom was a runner first
- Boxing’s gain has been track world’s loss. Six-time world champion boxier and the Tata Open Mumbai Marathon Event Ambassador Mary Kom was a runner first, before stepping into the ring.
- The passionate athlete, excited to be an integral part of the prestigious marathon, still considers running important for a healthy lifestyle.
- The Event Ambassador for the 16th edition of the iconic Tata Mumbai Marathon, ‘Magnificent Mary’ revealed to media persons in an interaction that she has been participating in running events since her school days. “When I was in school I used to compete in the 100m, 200m, and 400m races. After becoming a boxer, I participated in a midnight marathon in Bengaluru where I ran a 5k. And now, I want to be a part of a run again. I am very excited and look forward to running with all the Mumbai marathon participants on Sunday,” said Magnificent Mary.
- Mary articulated her views on the benefits of running for a healthy life. “Running is the base for a healthy lifestyle. Physical fitness should play an important role in everyone’s life. Even if a person cannot run for an hour or two, they should try to run for 15 minutes daily, which is enough to keep them fit.”
♦ PM Modi inaugurates National Museum of Indian Cinema in Mumbai
- The National Museum of Indian Cinema has been set up to showcase the rich cinematic history of India as well as to encapsulate socio-cultural history of India as revealed through evolution of Cinema.
- It will take the visitors through an absorbing journey of more than a century of Indian Cinema in a story telling mode with the help of visuals and graphics, film clippings, artifacts, publicity materials, interactive exhibits and many more.
- Located at Films Division Complex in South Mumbai, it is spread over two buildings, in the historic Gulshan Mahal and New Museum Building.
- Addressing the function, Prime MInister said film is a mirror of social reality. Prime minister also said that our films represent our country at global level.
- Prime Minister also said that films can a major role in boosting tourism in the country.
♠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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