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♦ BEL Signs Teaming Agreement With Hughes India for Helicopter SATCOM Solutions
- Navratna Defence PSU, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Hughes India have entered into a Teaming Agreement for design, development, supply, installation, integration and commissioning of Satellite Communication solutions for helicopters under the Ministry of Defence, Government of India at Aero India 2019, Bengaluru.
- Director (Marketing), BEL, Ms Anandi Ramalingam and President, Hughes India Shri Partho Banerjeesigned the MoU in the presence of Director (Other Units), BEL, Shri Nataraj Krishnappa, on February 20, 2019.
- The Teaming Agreement will enable MoD’s strategic users to get enabled with helicopter-based Satellite Communication links for real-time and assured communications using ISRO’s Ku band satellites. Through this agreement, BEL and Hughes India are collaborating using their respective state-of-the-art technologies and capabilities in developing these integrated and sophisticated helicopter solutions.
♦ 4th India-Asean Expo and Summit Inaugurated
- Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Suresh Prabhu, inaugurated the 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit 2019 in New Delhi today.Addressing the inaugural sessionSuresh Prabhureaffirmed India’s commitment to the path of mutual progress and prosperity and said that terrorism knows no boundaries, it needs to be addressed through collective reaffirmenttowards promoting regional peace, stability and development. In this fight against terrorism and mindless violence, events like India ASEAN Expo and Summit acquire a unique significance, as it epitomises our faith and commitment towards a path of shared prosperity, progress and peace.
- The Commerce Minister recalled the participation of ASEAN ministers during the ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet and Expo 2018, organised on the side-lines of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in January, 2018 and said that it provided us the much needed opportunity to engage on promotion of trade and investment collaborations. He also recalled the informal Mini Ministerial of WTO hosted by India in 2018 which was attended by 52 countries,including many ASEAN partners. Suresh Prabhu said that the core idea behind organising this 4th India -ASEAN Expo and Summit is to build upon the success of the previous events and carry forward the momentum of the relationship built up over the years. He said that this Summit is a testimony of India’s dedicated efforts towards Act East policy.
♦ EPF interest rates hiked to 8.65%
- The Employees Provident Fund (EPF) deposits will now earn more, with the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) deciding to hike interest rates to 8.65% for 2018-19.
- At a meeting on Thursday, EPFO’s Central Board of Trustees decided to hike the rate by ten basis points, sources told The Hindu. Their decision will now go to the Finance Ministry for final approval. The retirement fund body has six crore subscribers.
- This hike returns the rate of interest to the same level as it was in 2016-17, after a dip to a five year low of 8.55% in 2017-18.
♦ SC appoints former judge Justice D.K. Jain as BCCI ombudsman
- The Supreme Court on Thursday appointed retired judge of the court Justice D.K. Jain as the first ombudsman under the new BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) Constitution approved by the court in a judgment on August 9 last.
- Bringing a quietus to the quibbling between the Committee of Administrators (CoA) which runs the BCCI and the State bodies that form the Board, a Bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and A.M. Sapre decided to take things into their own hands on the advice of amicus curiae and senior advocate P.S. Narasimha.
- “Does anyone have a problem with us appointing an ombudsman? We have the names of six retired Supreme Court judges with us,” Justice Bobde asked the lawyers representing the parties in the courtroom.
- The court had to intervene after State associations, represented by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta and senior advocate Kapil Sibal, said they would not have a BCCI run by the CoA “foist an ombudsman on us”. They initially said the appointment of an ombudsman could wait till the BCCI election.
♦ NITI Aayog to Organize Conference on Future of Indian Banking and role of technology Today. The event will be held at CSOI
- Dr. Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, will inaugurate the event. Other eminent speakers include Shri Rajiv Kumar, Secretary, Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Finance, Dr. K.V. Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor, Government of India, Dr. Andreas Bauer, Senior Resident Representative, IMF, Dr. Marius Vismantas, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank, Shri Sunil Mehta, Managing Director, Punjab National Bank, Shri Nandkumar Saravade, CEO, Reserve Bank Information Technology Pvt Ltd (ReBIT), and Dr. Arvind Virmani, Chairman, EGROW Foundation.
- The conference aims to increase and elevate the discourse on the banking sector in India, and help develop insights to inform the continued evolution of the Indian banking sector for optimally supporting the growing credit needs of the Indian economy. There will be panel discussions in the morning session with policy and banking industry experts. Two academic sessions will be held in the afternoon with selected papers being presented. It will br followed by a valedictory session that includes a presentation on the role of technology in Indian banking.
♦ Union Home Minister inaugurates “Waste to Wonder” Park in South Delhi
- The Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh said that waste disposal should be done properly for which the Municipal corporations will have to play a lead role. He was speaking at the inauguration of the “Waste to Wonder” Park under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) here today.
- While giving suggestions to the Municipal corporations for waste disposal, the Home Minister said that this park has set an example for others, as for the first time scrap has been used to create ‘Wealth from waste’. The efforts should be made towards behavioural change of the people and proper arrangement should be made for waste disposal, he said. He added that a system should be developed for recycling of waste that can be reused. The products which cannot be recycled should be minimally used. Shri Rajnath Singh said that new ideas should be developed on how waste can be used in an innovative manner as was done by SDMC. He appreciated the dedication of the artists and officials involved in the endeavor who have completed the task of Wonder park in just 6 months.
- On the occasion, the Union Home Minister paid tributes to the martyrs of Pulwama where CRPF jawans made supreme sacrifice.
♦ Pakistan bans Hafiz Saeed-led JuD, its charity wing FIF
- Pakistan on Thursday banned the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed-led Jamat-ud-Dawa and its charity wing Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation, amid intense global pressure to rein in the militant groups following the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF soldiers.
- A spokesman of the Interior Ministry said that the decision to ban these groups was taken during a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan at his office on Thursday.
- “It was decided during the meeting to accelerate action against proscribed organisations,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- RIBALD (ADJECTIVE): bawdy:(अशिष्ट)
Synonyms: coarse, lewd
Antonyms: moral, sophisticated
Example: His class teacher sent Jim to the principal’s office after he told a ribald joke in class.
- INVIDIOUS (ADJECTIVE): hateful:(अपमानजनक)
Synonyms: calumnious, defamatory
Antonyms: likeable, lovable
Example: His invidious acts caused the people to rise up against him.
- GLIB (ADJECTIVE): artful:(चिकना)
Synonyms: facile, eloquent
Antonyms: quiet, silent
Example: The glib comments he made about the conflict reveals that he is not very well-informed about the subject.
- GRAVE (ADJECTIVE): serious: (गंभीर)
Synonyms: heavy, sedate
Antonyms: funny, silly
Example: Though the situation was grave, Navya tried to keep hope.
- TIFF (NOUN): dispute:(मनमुटाव)
Synonyms: squabble, fight
Antonyms: accord, harmony
Example: I want to be out of this tiff.
- SUPERVENE (VERB): follow:(पीछे आना)
Synonyms: pursue, supersede
Antonyms: founder, precede
Example: The federal court decision will supersede the decision of the lower court.
- BESTOW (VERB): present:(प्रदान करना)
Synonyms: confer, entrust
Antonyms: withhold, deprive
Example: The principal will bestow the awards to the meritorious students.
- GRIM (ADJECTIVE): depressing:(विकट)
Synonyms: gloomy, dark
Antonyms: cheerful, happy
Example: It was a grim night yesterday.
Filler Based On The Hindi Editorial
Interim bailout: RBI surplus to govt
The decision of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India to transfer an interim surplus of ₹28,000 crore to the Centre should come as a big relief to the Modi government. Together with the ₹40,000-crore final surplus share for 2017-18, which the Centre received in the first half, the total receipts from the RBI this fiscal will be a tidy ₹68,000 crore. For a government strapped for finances and struggling to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of GDP, the RBI’s largesse will be handy. The total surplus received by the Centre for 2018-19 is substantially higher than the ₹50,000 crore it got from the RBI in 2017-18, and this is the second successive year the central bank is making an interim transfer: last year it transferred ₹10,000 crore. Though there is nothing wrong in a shareholder demanding an interim dividend payout, the fact is that the Centre is advancing a receipt from the next fiscal to bail itself out in the current one. Should the RBI decide not to repeat this practice, the government’s revenues will suffer because as much as ₹82,911 crore has been budgeted on this count for the next fiscal. Again, the central bank is not like a corporate enterprise, nor can the government compare itself with a company shareholder. The RBI’s income and surplus growth cannot be measured in commercial terms since a large part of it comes from statutory functions it has to perform as a regulator.
The large payout this fiscal is bound to raise eyebrows, especially because of the recent history of conflict between the RBI and the Centre over the sharing of the former’s accumulated reserves as dividend with the Centre. Pressure on this count was said to be a major reason for the resignation of Urjit Patel as RBI Governor. Though the practice of an interim payout started under Mr. Patel, there are inevitable questions over whether there was pressure from the Centre now for the transfer of a higher sum than last year. This is because the Centre had in the Interim Budget bumped up receipts under this head from the central bank, nationalised banks and other financial institutions to ₹74,140 crore from the original estimate of ₹54,817 crore made in the 2018-19 Budget. Clearly, the Finance Ministry knew what it wanted. There will, hopefully, be a system and a structure in place once the committee under former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, that is now reviewing the economic capital framework for the RBI, submits its report. It was constituted to de-personalise and institutionalise a system for the sharing of the RBI’s surpluses with the government, and is expected to come out with its recommendations by the end of the next month.
Question 1: The RBI’s income and surplus growth cannot be ………….. in commercial terms since a large part of it comes from statutory functions it has to perform as a regulator.
Question 2: Together with the ₹40,000-crore final surplus share for 2017-18, which the Centre received in the first half, the total receipts from the RBI this fiscal will be a ……….. ₹68,000 crore.
Question 3: Though the practice of an interim payout started under Mr. Patel, there are …………….. questions over whether there was pressure from the Centre now for the transfer of a higher sum than last year.
Question 4: There will, hopefully, be a system and a structure in place once the committee under former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, that is now reviewing the economic capital …………. for the RBI, submits its report.
Question 5: Select the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
D) Apple-pie order
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