♠The Hindu Review♠
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♦ Air India Chief Pradeep Singh Kharola Appointed Civil Aviation Secretary
- Air India chief Pradeep Singh Kharola has been appointed Civil Aviation secretary as part of a minor top-level bureaucratic reshuffle effected on Wednesday, according to an official order.
- Mr Kharola, a 1985-batch IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre, was in November 2017 named the chairman and managing director of Air India Ltd. He took over the reins of the debt-ridden national carrier on January 9, last year.
- He has been appointed in the Civil Aviation Ministry in place of Rajiv Nayan Choubey, who superannuated on January 31.
- Mr Choubey has taken over as member in the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), that conducts civil services examination to select officers of Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Foreign Service (IFS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) among others.
- Besides this, senior bureaucrat Radheyshyam Julaniya has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Sports, in place of Rahul Prasad Bhatnagar.
- Mr Julaniya, a 1985-batch IAS officer, is serving in his cadre state Madhya Pradesh.
- Mr Bhatnagar, a 1983-batch IAS officer, will be Secretary, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
- Senior IAS officer Sailesh will be Secretary, the Minority Affairs Ministry.
- Mr Sailesh, a 1985-batch IAS offcer of Assam-Meghalaya cadre, is at present Secretary, the Department of Official Language.
♦ Nobel Peace Prize for Kerala fisherfolk: Shashi Tharoor nominates flood heroes for 2019 award
- Congress leader and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday wrote to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee nominating the fishermen of Kerala for this year’s award in recognition of their “selfless, lifesaving service” during the devastating floods that had besieged the state last year.
- “I would like to nominate the fishermen of Kerala for the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. They represent an outstanding and wholly deserving candidacy, one that would be a worthy addition to the champions of humanity that the award has recognised over the years,” Tharoor wrote in his letter to Berit Reiss-Anderson, chairwoman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
♦ World heritage centre to be set up at Mayapur
- A World Heritage Centre housing ‘spiritual camps’ of 45 countries would be set up at Mayapur, the global headquarters of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), in Nadia district.
- The camp of each country would reflect its culture, dress, lifestyle, food and ambience, an ISKCON spokesman said from Mayapur on Sunday.
- The process for setting up the centre got momentum after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee inquired about the project at a recent administrative meeting in Nadia district. Expressing hope that the centre would help in attracting more tourists to the State, she had offered all help to the ISKCON from the State Government.
- The estimated project cost of the proposed centre has been fixed at Rs 3,000 crore, the spokesman said. “The Temple of Vedic Planetarium will come up at the first part of the World heritage centre. It will have one of the biggest domes in the world. The TOVP is expected to be inaugurated in 2022,” Head of ISKCON Mayapur Land Department, Alay Govind Das said.
♦ President confers Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards-2017
- President Ram Nath Kovind presented the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2017 at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on Wednesday.
- The General Council of the Sangeet Natak Akademi selected 42 artists from the field of Music, Dance, Theatre, Puppetry and Overall contribution/scholarship in the Performing Arts for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2017 at its meeting in Imphal, Manipur that was held on June 8, 2018.
- The Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards are conferred every year by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
♦ 52nd Boori Boot Yullo festival
- Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu addresses during 52nd Boori Boot Yullo festival in Dollungmukh village of Kamle district, on Feb 6, 2019.Arunachal Pradesh, the abode of over 150 tribes has no dearth of occasions to showcase the colourful cultures and traditions. All of the tribes have festivals to be proud of. The festivals are no less charming for the foreign and domestic tourists who keep visiting the frontier state.
- The hill Miris, in Arunachal Pradesh are known for their festivity which provides them a platform to upkeep their songs and dances, manners and customs. Their much vaunted festival is Boori Boot Yullo. The annual spring festival further marks the end of their bounteous harvest season. During this festival, the consecrated soul is summoned to sanctify the people. Apart from it, it is an occasion of mass prayer for prosperity eliminating the possibility of any fatal ailments. The striking feature here is the giant assemblage of people cutting across the barriers of cast, creed, age and sex. The young ones take the lead to be guided by the elders where Nibu (Priest) would perform the rituals.
♦ Linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing I-T return: SC
- The Supreme Court has said that linkage of Permanent Account Number (PAN) with Aadhaar is mandatory for filing of Income Tax returns
- A Bench comprising Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer said the top court has already decided the matter and upheld the Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act.
- The court’s direction came on an appeal filed by the Centre against a Delhi High Court order allowing two persons, Shreya Sen and Jayshree Satpute, to file Income Tax returns for 2018-19 without linking their Aadhaar and PAN numbers.
- “The aforesaid order was passed by the High Court having regard to the fact that the matter was pending consideration in this Court. Thereafter, this Court has decided the matter and upheld the vires of section 139AA of the Income Tax Act. In view thereof, linkage of PAN with Aadhaar is mandatory,” the Bench said.
- The top court noted that with regard to Assessment Year 2018-19, it has been informed that the two petitioners had filed the Income Tax returns in terms of the orders of the High Court and the assessment has also been completed.
- “We therefore make it clear that for the assessment year 2019-20, the income tax return shall be filed in terms of the judgment passed by this court. The special leave petition is disposed of in the above terms,” the Bench said in an order on Monday.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♠
1.BYSTANDAR (NOUN): observer: (दर्शक)
Synonyms: onlooker, witness
Antonyms: participant, associate
Example: As the drivers’ argument became physical, a bystander had to intervene.
- CHICANERY (NOUN):deception🙁छल-कपट)
Synonyms: trickery, duplicity
Antonyms: honesty, truthfulness
Example: He is up to his old chicanery, blaming all democrats for the recession.
3.AGITATE (ADJECTIVE): disturb: (खलबली डालना)
Synonyms: churn, concuss
Antonyms: calm, soothe
Example: As his younger brother is a troublemaker, he likes to agitate his sister by hiding her dolls.
- CEREMONIAL (ADJECTIVE): ritual: (रीति संबंधी)
Synonyms: solemn, august
Antonyms: unimpressive, unceremonial
Example: The tribe has different ceremonial dance for each ceremony.
5. EVINCE (VERB):to show, reveal: (दिखाना)
Synonyms: manifest, demonstrate
Antonyms: conceal, hide
Example: His nail biting evinced that he was nervous for the interview.
6. EXPIATE (VERB):to rectify: (क्षतिपूर्ति करना)
Synonyms: amend, correct
Antonyms: worsen, destroy
Example: It is better to expiate your mistakes than to find excuses.
7. METTLESOME (ADJECTIVE):brave: (साहसी)
Synonyms: courageous, high-spirited
Antonyms: meek, fearful
Example: Ankit is a mettlesome boy.
8. SANGUINE (ADJECTIVE): optimistic and confident: (आशावादी)
Synonyms: happy, cheerful
Antonyms: morose, sad
Example: The sanguine lady started her new business.
Fillers Based on The Hindu Editorial
Back to crisis: on the fresh unrest in Zimbabwe
The bloody unrest in Zimbabwe suggests that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s political honeymoon is over. The veteran of the struggle for freedom was the beneficiary of the overthrow of strongman Robert Mugabe in November 2017. Mr. Mnangagwa raised hopes in the run-up to the July general election, promising free and fair polls and inspections by international observers. But his victory proved controversial as allegations of vote-rigging by the ruling ZANU-PF machinery in the rural areas began to bear echoes of the Mugabe era. In six months since his election, the ex-security chief’s pledge to distance himself from his military legacy and open the economy for foreign investment has been put to severe test. A case in point is Mr. Mnangagwa’s handling of the fallout of the recent steep fuel price hike in which over 10 protesters are said to have been killed. Zimbabwe’s defence forces have come under severe condemnation for the general crackdown, involving arbitrary detentions, torture and a country-wide Internet blackout. Harare’s main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, has faced attacks on its main office, while trade unions behind the nation-wide strike appear resolute in their bid for redress. The crisis forced President Mnangagwa to call off his trip to the World Economic Forum in Davos. But his attempt to put the blame both on the security forces and the protesters may merely point to his own political vulnerability. The official response to the mass opposition against fuel price hikes were directed by his deputy, Constantino Chiwenga, when the President was away. Mr. Chiwenga was the mastermind behind the 2017 coup, and the man he installed must assert his authority to ensure accountability and respect for the rule of law.
The sudden doubling of fuel prices has amplified Zimbabwe’s chronic shortage of U.S. dollars to sustain the import of basic goods. Following the hyper-inflation of the previous decade, the country abandoned its own currency. The electronic alternative, “bond notes” that were introduced without physical backing, unleashed a vicious cycle of hoarding and price inflation. The decline in the value of the surrogate currency against hard money has caused distress among public servants. Many businesses have folded up for want of adequate foreign currency. Mr. Mnangagwa’s government has moved to reduce the issue of electronic debt, and to curtail the ballooning fiscal deficit. While these may be steps in the right direction, they are too small as incentives to entice a deeply sceptical investor community that was once turned away. Mr. Mnangagwa has his task cut out: to shore up his own base in the ZANU-PF establishment and to restore calm across the country. Equally, he cannot abandon the difficult path of reform, which is the only guarantee of stability in the long term.
Question 1: The veteran of the struggle for freedom was the beneficiary of the …………….. of strongman Robert Mugabe in November 2017.
Question 2: In six months since his election, the ex-security chief’s …………. to distance himself from his military legacy and open the economy for foreign investment has been put to severe test.
Question 3: Zimbabwe’s defence forces have come under severe …………… for the general crackdown, involving arbitrary detentions, torture and a country-wide Internet blackout.
Question 4: Mr. Chiwenga was the mastermind …………. the 2017 coup, and the man he installed must assert his authority to ensure accountability and respect for the rule of law.
Question 5: The ……….. in the value of the surrogate currency against hard money has caused distress among public servants.
Question 6: Select the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Question 7: Select the word which is most nearly the SAME MEANING as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
6-E Vulnerability (बेध्यता)
7-D Unleash (खोलना)