♠The Hindu Review♠
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♦ India ranks 80th on Global Talent Competitive Index 2019
- Switzerland followed by Singapore, the US, Norway and Denmark were the top five on the list
- At 80th rank, India moves up one position on the Global Talent Competitive Index (GTCI) 2019, according to a report released by INSEAD business school in partnership with Tata Communications and Adecco Group.
- According to the report, India’s biggest challenge is to improve its ability to attract and retain talent. It further added, there is a need to address its poor level of Internal Openness in particular with respect to weak gender equality and low tolerances towards minorities and immigrants—and its disappointing showing in lifestyle indicators.
- China emerged as the best performer among the BRICS countries, with an overall position of 45th. However, India performed better than its lower-income peers when it comes to growing talent and access to growth opportunities.
♦ PM launches Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the Pravasi Teerth Darshan Yojana under which a group of Indian diaspora will be taken on a government-sponsored tour of religious places in India twice a year.
- The first batch of 40 Indian-origin people are at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and from here they will begin their tour.
- They will be taken to religious places of all major religions in India and the government will bear all the expenses including the airfare from their country of residence.
- All people of Indian-origin aged 45 to 65 can apply and a group will be selected out of them with first preference given to people from ‘Girmitiya countries’ such as Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica.
- Prime Minister Modi, during his visit here, also inaugurated Centers of Excellence at Deen Dayal Hastkala Sanku.
♦ Gujarati poet Sitanshu Yashaschandra presented Saraswati Samman for 2017
- Describing Gujarati-language poet and author Sitanshu Yashaschandra as his “hero,” poet and filmmaker Gulzar on Tuesday hailed his contribution to literature and theatre and regaled the audience with a recitation of his poetry.
- Gulzar presented the 27th Saraswati Samman awarded by the KK Birla Foundation for 2017 to Yashaschandra for his poetic work Vakhar, published in 2009.
- The citation said: “…Vakhar is the pinnacle of his poetic journey where he crosses the boundaries of the real world and establishes high standards of Liberty in language and creativity by evolving a balance in the contradicting elements of human emotions and thoughts.”
- Yashaschandra, a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi award in 1987 and the Padma Shri in 2006, has authored 10 books of plays and three books of criticism. He was born in 1941 in Gujarat’s Bhuj and has Ph.Ds in Gujarati and Sanskrit.
- Yashaschandra said on the occasion that in India no poetry is written only in one language. “A mother tongue, a regional language, be it Gujarati or Marathi, Kannanda or Kashmiri, each India language receives so much from the other Indian languages and gives so much. And from Sanskrit each Indian language derives nourishment in its own way..,” he said.
- In his acceptance speech, he said Gujarati literature had learnt how to relate to the powers of the state, the marketplace and the temple.
- Shobhana Bhartia, president of the KK Birla Foundation and chairperson and editorial director of HT Media Ltd, described Yashaschandra as a formidable presence in the world of Indian language poetry.
- She said the Foundation’s main objective is to promote Indian culture, literature, arts and science and education.
♦ Indian Army to hold military exercises with African nations in Pune
- The Indian Army will conduct military exercises with African nations at the Aundh Military station and College of Military Engineering in Pune.
- Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Mozambique and Uganda will be participating in the joint military exercise.
- The joint exercise named ‘India-Africa Field Training’ is being conducted with an aim to synergise United Nations peacekeeping operations.
- “The exercise will forge better military ties and extend India’s outreach in Africa,’ said an Army source.
- The exercise is scheduled to be held between March 18 to 27, 2019.
- The delegates from the participating countries have attended two rounds of conferences for planning the exercise.
- Training in anti-terror operations, humanitarian mine action and joint peace operations keeping in mind UN mission will be the focus of the military exercise.
- ‘This is a positive step towards growing political and military ties with the African nations. It will boost strategic cooperation between the countries,” the source added.
♦ ICICI Bank premium savings account ‘The ONE’ launched; check benefits, features
- ICICI Bank, India’s second-largest private sector lender by assets, has launched a premium savings account ‘The ONE’, especially for salaried and self-employed men. Other than the conventional features, ICICI Bank’s premium savings bank account has been offering benefits for family’s long-term financial needs such as asset creation, wealth management, life-protection and investment. ICICI Bank premium savings account is available in two variants, Magnum and Titanium.
- According to ICICI Bank, through ICICI Bank premium savings account, customers will be able to opt for health and term life insurance covers, asset creation of a home with an attractive waiver on processing fees on home loans.
- Free unlimited transactions on ICICI Bank as well as Non–ICICI Bank ATMs in India.
- Free NEFT/ RTGS for online channels.
- Up to 40 per cent discount on annual locker rentals.
- Free brokerage up to Rs 22,500 on equity stock trading.
- Free opening of trading account.
♦ PM Inaugurates Subhas Chandra Bose Museum At Red Fort
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Subhas Chandra Bose museum at Red Fort today to mark the leader’s 122nd birth anniversary. PM Modi also visited the Yaad-e-Jalian Museum, which is the museum on the Jallianwala Bagh and World War I, reported news agency Press Trust of India. He will also visit the Museum on 1857- India’s first war of Independence as well as Drishyakala- Museum on Indian Art at the same venue.
- The museum on Subhas Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army showcases different artefacts, including a wooden chair and sword used by the leader, medals, badges and uniforms. The Yaad-e-Jalian showcases an authentic account of the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy, which occurred on April 13, 1919. It also showcases the bravery and valour of the Indian soldiers during World War I.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- DISTEND (VERB): (फूलना या फूलाना):Bulge
Synonyms: bloat, expand
Antonyms: shrink, compress
Example: Excess weight caused his belly to distend.
- ANNULMENT (NOUN): (विलोपन):Abolition
Synonyms: abrogation, cancellation
Antonyms: approval, confirmation
Example: The annulment of his contract taught him a lesson of not counting the chickens before they are hatched.
- EFFRONTERY (NOUN): (धृष्टता):Arrogance
Synonyms: assurance, brashness
Antonyms: politeness, humility
Example: I keep effrontery at the bay with my dear ones.
- FACETIOUS (ADJECTIVE): (हंसमुख):Amusing
Synonyms: blithe, capering
Antonyms: serious, unfunny
Example: Because she was overbearing and often facetious, Jane had few friends.
- PRUDENT (ADJECTIVE): (विवेकी) careful
Synonyms: cautious, reasonable
Antonyms: careless, nonsensical
Example: Due to his prudent decision everybody escaped unhurt.
- STOPGAP (ADJECTIVE): (प्रतिस्थानिक)temporarily helping
Synonyms: substitute, provisional
Antonyms: permanent, completed
Example: This is just a stopgap vehicle you know.
- MUSHROOM (VERB): (संख्या में बढ़ना)sprout
Synonyms: boom, burgeon
Antonyms: decrease, shrink
Example: Medical colleges are mushrooming day by day.
- FRAGMENT (NOUN): (टुकड़ा)portion
Synonyms: part, chunk
Antonyms: lot, whole
Example: This is a fragment of his sense of humour.
Close test based on The Hindu editorial
Escape options: on the Brexit vote
After the British Parliament’s overwhelming rejection of Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, chances are the government will postpone the March 29 deadline to leave the European Union. An extension of the exit date – hinted at by Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer and France’s President following the vote – seems the least controversial in the spectrum of complex alternatives. For a start, Ms. May is expected to sail through the motion of no-confidence (1) her government moved by the Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party. Both the Conservative Eurosceptic backbenchers, and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which supports the minority government in London, have promised to oppose the motion. Consequently, the onus of taking the country out of the EU will remain with Ms. May, (2) struck a conciliatory note after the defeat in the House of Commons with a 230-vote margin (432 to 202) on Tuesday. Ms. May argues that there is no better deal than the one she has painstakingly negotiated with the other 27 members of the EU. Yet, the build-up to the vote, delayed by over a month, laid (3) the difficult task of persuading MPs on the merits of the agreement. Ms. May will hope to win the Commons’ approval on Monday for a Plan B. At the minimum, it must do better on the contentious Irish backstop that could come (4) force after the transition period expires, and something that Brexit supporters oppose. It is highly improbable that the EU can offer any big improvements so soon to ensure that the backstop, which allows the flow of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, will not indefinitely lock Britain into a customs union with the EU. Such an arrangement, which would necessarily limit London’s freedom to make trade deals with third states, is regarded as anathema for a country that championed Brexit as a route to regain its sovereignty.
Deep differences persist within the Conservative and Labour parties on the terms of exit they must obtain from Brussels. There is also increasing clamour for a second referendum from remainers in the two parties, who view the (5) as symptomatic of a flawed Brexit project. Their case is rooted in concerns that citizens be enabled to make a more informed decision, given the mounting evidence on the economic impact of Brexit. But such enthusiasm would have to be balanced with the consideration that the majority of MPs, despite strong opposition among members, have resolved to respect the June 2016 popular mandate. In any case, a reversal of the 2016 Brexit result is not a guaranteed outcome. There is, meanwhile, support growing within and outside Parliament to avert, at all costs, a crashing out of the EU in late March, with imponderable consequences for the economy and society. Ms. May will gain in stature if she takes Parliament into greater confidence, not just her own party backbenchers.
Question 6: Select the word which is most nearly the SAME MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
6-E Enthusiasm means (passion, उत्साह)
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