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♦ Modi Launches Kisan Scheme over one crore farmer gets first Instalment
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 24 accused his opponents of trying to mislead farmers by spreading rumours and lies about the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) which he launched from Gorakhpur by electronically transferring the first instalment of ₹2,000 each to over one crore farmers.
- Referring to the Opposition parties as ‘mahamilavati log’ or adulterated, a dig at their coming together, Mr. Modi said his opponents were so rattled by his scheme for farmers that they were “spreading fear.”
- Mr. Modi said that the States rules by parties other than the BJP had not submitted the list of eligible farmers under the PM-KISAN scheme to the Union government. The BJP-ruled Gujarat, Bihar, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand had made it “a priority”, he added.
- Speaking in Gorakhpur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Modi said his opponents were spreading “rumours” that farmers would have to return to the government the amount (₹6,000) given to them in three instalments at the end of the year.
♦ First Saudi female ambassador replaces king’s son in U.S.
- Saudi Arabia appointed its first female ambassador early on Sunday to serve as its top diplomat in the United States, pulling a son of King Salman back to the kingdom to serve as deputy defense minister amid deteriorating ties with America after the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.
- Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, a daughter of the kingdom’s longtime ambassador to Washington Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud, faces a stark challenge in improving ties between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
- She replaces Prince Khalid bin Salman Al Saud, a son of King Salman and a former fighter pilot who insisted after Khashoggi’s disappearance Oct. 2 that the Washington Post columnist simply left the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.
- Instead, members of the entourage of his brother, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, allegedly assassinated and dismembered Khashoggi inside the diplomatic post.
♦ President of India inaugurates Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital in Lucknow
- The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, inaugurated the Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital in Lucknow today (February 24, 2019).
- Speaking on the occasion, the President emphasised the importance of quality and affordable healthcare in the country, and particularly in Uttar Pradesh. He pointed to the successes in meeting the challenges of traditional infectious and communicable diseases, and also to the changing disease patterns in the country that are giving rise to greater cases to non-communicable or lifestyle ailments. In this context, the President said, the Ayushman Bharat programme, launched in 2018, will go a long way in providing medical cover, especially to underprivileged citizens.
- The President said that quality health for everybody was a shared goal. As such, he was happy the government, civil society, private and charitable institutions and other stakeholders were working together. The President expressed confidence that the Apollomedics Super Speciality Hospital would provide state-of-the-art medical care to the people of the state and the region at a reasonable cost.
- Others who were present and spoke on the occasion included the Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Rajnath Singh, and Dr Prathap C. Reddy, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group.
♦ Saurabh Chaudhary wins gold with world record, secures Olympic quota
- Unfazed by a field comprising seasoned campaigners, teenager Saurabh Chaudhary smashed the world record to win gold in the ISSF World Cup in New Delhi on Sunday, securing India’s third Olympic quota.
- Appearing in his maiden senior World Cup, the 16-year-old claimed the top honours without much fuss in the men’s 10m air pistol event at the season-opening International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) event.
- The Asian Games and Youth Olympics gold medallist ended the event with a total score of 245.
- Dami Mikec of Serbia was second in the podium with a score of 239.3, while the bronze medal was bagged by 2008 Olympic champion Wei Pang of China, who managed 215.2.
♦ ISSF World Cup 2019: After 16 years, Apurvi Chandela wins India’s first World Cup gold in Women’s 10m Rifle
- Apurvi Chandela on Saturday broke World Record to register India’s first gold medal at the ISSF World Cup 2019. The 26-year-old shooter shot 252.9 in a thrilling 10m Women Air Rifle finale to bag the yellow metal on Day 1 of the tournament at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi.
- Chandela had a slow start in the final. Her first shot went 10.1. After the first two series of five shots, she was at the 7th position. But as the game progressed, she gained the momentum to stay on top. “I do not usually plan my scoring like that. I think, at the start, my positioning was a little off. So, I tweaked my settings a bit, which eventually bore the result,” the shooter said at the press conference after the match.
♦ MSME Ministry’s First Conclave on Empowering Marginalised Sections’ Women Entrepreneurs Today in Mumbai
- Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME, will organise a Conclave “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs 2019, Financing & Enabling Women from Marginalised Sections” , in Mumbai tomorrow. The first of its kind conclave endeavours to empower women entrepreneurs from marginalised sections and enable their growth and success in business by offering substantial knowledge on various business opportunities and national best practices in doing business. The conclave is being organized under National SC-ST Hub initiative of the MSME ministry which is targeted towards developing a supportive ecosystem towards SC/ST entrepreneurs. Issues of access to financing, assessing risks and growth mantras enabling SC-ST women entrepreneur to setup and run a sustainable business will be discussed during the day long programme.
- Minister of State for MSME (IC) Shri Giriraj Singh will inaugurate the Conclave. Path-breaking women entrepreneurs and inspirational women achievers will be awarded with Enterprising Women of the Year 2018 Awards. Loan disbursal cheques or sanction letters to women entrepreneurs under StandUp India initiative will also be distributed by Banks.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
- DAINTY (ADJECTIVE): (सूक्ष्म) delicately small and pretty
Synonyms: petite, cute
Antonyms: ugly, repulsive
Example: The puppy’s dainty nose looked very cute, convincing everybody’s to love it.
- ABLUTION (NOUN): (स्नान, मज्जन)the act of washing
Synonyms: cleansing, decontamination
Antonyms: contamination, pollution
Example: Anu performed the ablution of the wound and applied some disinfectant to avoid further infection.
- AMBLE (VERB): (टहलना)to walk casually
Synonyms: stroll, wander
Antonyms: rush, dash
Example: Tanisha rather ambled through the halls than attend the session.
- COVET (VERB): (ललचाना)to greatly desire something you lack
Synonyms: crave, fancy to
Antonyms: abjure, hate
Example: Dinesh tends to covet quality time with his family.
- NOXIOUS (ADJECTIVE): (हानिकारक)Deadly, injurious
Synonyms: destructive, harmful
Antonyms: helpful, kind
Example: This is a noxious chemical.
- PERSPICACIOUS (ADJECTIVE): (तीक्ष्ण-बुद्धि)Observant, perceptive
Synonyms: alert, aware
Antonyms: ignorant, unobservant
Example: The CBI officers are always perspicacious with their case.
- FERVENT (ADJECTIVE): (उत्साही)Enthusiastic
Synonyms: zealous, ardent
Antonyms: apathetic, dull
Example: He is a fervent child.
- FITFUL (ADJECTIVE): (चंचल)Spasmodic
Synonyms: intermittent, fluctuating
Antonyms: continuous, perpetual
Example: As long as his breathing is fitful, he will continue to need an oxygen machine.
Close Test Based On The Hindu Editorial
Mixed optics: Saudi Crown Prince’s India visit
As a standalone visit, the day-long trip of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud (MBS) to New Delhi will be ……..(1)……… as a diplomatic success, given the numerous outcomes. After talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the two sides announced measures to upgrade the defence partnership, create a “Strategic Partnership Council” to coordinate on security issues, and institute regular talks between the two national security advisers to discuss counter-terrorism, intelligence-sharing and maritime security. Saudi Arabia has also ……….(2)………. its interest in investing in infrastructure projects worth about $26 billion. This is beyond its already committed investments in India of $44 billion for the existing joint venture with the public sector oil undertakings and public fund investments of $10 billion. The language on terrorism in the joint statement was something of a dampener for those who would have hoped there would be stronger condemnation of the terror attack in Pulwama. But it was significant that the Saudi government agreed to insert an extra clause calling on states to ………..(3)……… the “use of terrorism as an instrument of state policy”. It also acknowledged that disputes between India and Pakistan must be resolved bilaterally. At the leadership level, Mr. Modi extended more than a personal touch to the visit by going to the airport and embracing the Crown Prince on landing. The prince repaid the compliment, agreeing to increase Haj quotas and release 850 Indians from Saudi jails after a plea from Mr. Modi.
These announcements and gestures would have been far more significant had it not been for the fact that MBS’s trip came on the heels of his visit to Pakistan just after the Pulwama attack. As a result, his India visit is being measured against the statements made during his Pakistan visit, where he praised Islamabad for its fight against terrorism. He also announced $20 billion worth of investments, in addition to previously announced aid of $6 billion in cash and reserves. While such comparisons may be unwarranted, the visit to Delhi would have benefited in terms of optics if it hadn’t been preceded so closely by the one to Islamabad. The Modi government also overplayed its expectations from the visit by billing it as part of a diplomatic ………(4)…….. aimed at ‘isolating’ Pakistan in order to hold it to account for Pulwama. India and Saudi Arabia have ………..(5)………. built bilateral relations and taken great care over the past two decades to ‘de-hyphenate’ them from ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. India-Saudi Arabia ties were strengthened into a strategic partnership announced in 2010 in the Riyadh Declaration when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paid a visit, and were bolstered by King Salman’s visit in February 2014 and Mr. Modi’s 2016 trip to Saudi Arabia. Point-scoring with Pakistan, or attempting to compare the outcomes of the two visits, now only undermines the carefully built compact between New Delhi and Riyadh.
B) Show off
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