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♦ Mr. Shukla (58) is a former DGP of the Madhya Pradesh Police and an Intelligence Bureau veteran.
- Rishi Kumar Shukla took charge as CBI Director on Monday. Mr. Shukla, a 1983 batch IPS officer, is assuming office at a time the agency is busy in a turf war with the Kolkata Police that has spiralled into a political slugfest between the Centre and the West Bengal Government.
♦ Major European nations recognize Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s President
- France, Britain, Spain, Austria, Sweden and Denmark on Monday recognised Opposition leader Juan Guaido as interim President of Venezuela.
♦ CMFRI opens doors to marine wonders for public
- The Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) will throw open its doors to the public on Tuesday as part of its 72nd Foundation Day celebrations. The public can view splendours of the marine world like precious pearls in the deep sea and the process of extracting them from farmed pearl oysters.
- The exhibition will be a display of diverse marine aquatic species as well as a platform to understand the latest developments in marine research.
♦ Swiggy acqui-hires Bengaluru-based AI start-up Kint.io
- Online food ordering and delivery firm Swiggy on Monday said it has acqui-hired Bengaluru-based AI start-up Kint.io.
- As part of this acqui-hire, the founding members of Kint.io Pavithra Solai Jawahar and Jagannathan Veeraraghavan will join the company’s team, Swiggy said in a statement. Swiggy, however, did not disclose the financial details of the deal.
♦ ICC ODI rankings: India rise to 2nd; Kohli, Bumrah remain on top
- The Indian cricket team on Monday rose a rung to second in the ICC ODI rankings in which captain Virat Kohli and pacer Jasprit Bumrah continued to top the respective charts for batsmen and bowlers.
- India have accumulated 122 points on the back of series wins over Australia and New Zealand and are placed behind England (126) in the fresh list, the ICC said in a statement.
♦ U.K. Home Secretary orders Vijay Mallya’s extradition to India
- British Home Secretary Sajid Javid has signed the order for the extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India. The businessman — whose legal team had previously indicated their intention to appeal the extradition — will now have two weeks to lodge an appeal.
♦ ISRO set to launch communication satellite GSAT-31 on February 6
- It will be used for supporting television uplinks, DTH television services
- The Indian Space Research Organisation is all set to launch its 40th communication satellite GSAT-31 on February 6 from the spaceport in French Guiana.
- The satellite with a mission life of 15 years will provide continuity to operational services on some of the in-orbit satellites and augment the Ku-band transponder capacity in Geostationary Orbit, the space agency said.
- In a statement, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said the satellite, weighing about 2,535 kg, is scheduled for launch onboard the Ariane-5 (VA247) from Kourou in French Guiana.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
Cloze test Based on The Hindu Editorial Article
Standard deviations: On jobs data
Delay in releasing key employment data has undermined the credibility of data officialdom
The resignations of the National Statistical Commission’s acting Chairperson P.C. Mohanan and member J.V. Meenakshi appear linked to the Centre’s refusal to release new data on employment that were due to be made public in December 2018. They could also be related to unease about the recently unveiled back-series data on the economy, which recorded slower growth during the UPA-led government’s rule, and were released by the NITI Aayog bypassing convention and the commission’s views. Reports suggest that the findings of the new Periodic Labour Force Survey, for July 2017-December 2018, are not too flattering, with ____(1)____registering a five-decade high. The government has said no such reservations were expressed by Mr. Mohanan or Dr. Meenakshi during NSC meetings and that the report will be released after ‘quarterly’ data for the survey period is processed. A key role of the NSC, set up in 2006, is to verify whether data being put in the public domain are reliable and adequate. Information has been collected and disseminated by ____(2)____governments under laid-down schedules, earning Indian data greater global trust than most other emerging market peers, especially China.
On the question of job-creation for the youth, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have been building an argument that jobs abound, but credible data are missing. The National Sample Survey Organisation’s quinquennial _____(3)_____ surveys were to be conducted in 2016-17. The year was switched to 2017-18 as the new Labour Force Survey was being prepared to replace it. Separately, a quarterly survey of select employment-intensive sectors initiated by the Labour Bureau after the 2008 ___(4)___financial crisis, that provided some clarity on ground realities, was inexplicably junked. Instead, proxy data from enrolments into social security schemes for formal sector employees are being touted as a sign of job-creation: economists have rightly called them out as inaccurate. Even then, Arun Jaitley, in his last year’s Budget speech, cited ‘an independent study’ to claim seven million formal jobs will be created in 2018-19. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has ____(5)____job losses in 2018 at 11 million based on its regular employment surveys. The government’s coy approach to jobs-related data may be due to its disastrous demonetisation gambit which hurt supply chains and informal jobs in the economy and whose effects have lingered. Contrast this with the NSSO surveys of 2009-10 that revealed little good news on household incomes and job-creation, thanks to after-effects of the global financial crisis. The UPA didn’t dither from releasing the data, took criticism on its chin, explained it was an exceptional situation and commissioned another set of surveys in 2011-12 to correct for the timing. The Modi government should have treaded the same path without upending India’s statistical integrity.