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♦ Surjit Bhalla resigns from EAC-PM
- Eminent economist and columnist Surjit Bhalla on Tuesday said he had resigned as part-time member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) on December 1. “I resigned as part-time member of PMEAC on December 1,” Mr. Bhalla said in a tweet.
- A Prime Minister’s Office spokesman said that Mr. Bhalla’s resignation has been accepted by the Prime Minister.
- “In his request, he had stated that he would be joining some other organisation,” the spokesman said.
- The six-member council consists of eminent economists including Bibek Debroy (Chairman), Ratan P. Watal (member secretary), Rathin Roy (part-time member), Ashima Goyal (part-time member) as also Shamika Ravi (part-time member).
♦ anipur government confers boxer MC Mary Kom with ‘Meethoileima’ title
- Manipur government Tuesday conferred MC Mary Kom, six times World Women Boxing Champion and Olympic bronze medalist, with the title “Meethoileima” for her outstanding achievement in the field of boxing.
- The title “Meethoileima” (loosely translated as great or exceptional lady) was conferred by Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh in a felicitation ceremony held at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal. The function was attended by cabinet Ministers, MLAs and sportspersons.
- The crowd gave the ace pugilist a standing ovation as N. Biren announced the title. She was adorned with colourful attire particularly worn by Maharani which included a head gear (kajengjei), sarong (phanek mapan naibi), belt (khwangchet) and chadar (apaba inna-phi) to symbolise the highest status given to a woman.
♦ Israel joins ‘FATF’ anti-terror financing organization
- Israel became the 38th member of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an global inter-governmental body set up to combat money laundering, terrorist financing and other threats to the international financial system, on Monday.
- Israel is a member in FATF alongside 37 other members, including most of the G20, the world’s 20 leading industrialized and emerging economies, just 16 years after being blacklisted by the organization.
- The Israeli Justice Ministry said that based on a FATF compliance report on Israel, it ranked as one of three leading states, alongside the United States and the United Kingdom, for the
- effectiveness of its anti-money laundering apparatus, its battle against terror financing, the work of its Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority, and its policy of seizing the financial proceeds of crime.
- The Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked spoke during a press conference, “Joining the organization is a national achievement on a political level, contributing to Israel’s ability to fight terrorist financing internationally, and strengthening the Israeli economy.”
- Shaked added, “The FATF membership labels Israel as an attractive country for international investment and improve the status of the Israeli financial sector and its ability to operate in the global economy.”
- FATF President Marshall Billingslea said, “Membership in FATF opens a new chapter for Israel and will enrich FATF as an organization.”
♦ Tamil Nadu government launches new women helpline 181
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday launched a new helpline -181- for women in distress. He launched it while inaugurating integrated help centres for women, that was set up at a budget of Rs 51.51 lakhs
- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday launched a new helpline -181- for women in distress. He launched it while inaugurating integrated help centres for women, that was set up at a budget of Rs 51.51 lakhs.
- Women who face troubles in public places, homes or workplaces can call the number to get legal or police aid and medical services, said a statement issued by the Department of Information and Public Relations on Monday.
- The 24-hour helpline aims to provide assistance to women who face physical, mental, sexual, emotional or financial abuse. A similar helpline already exists in few other States including Gujarat.
- The Chief Minister also inaugurated two integrated help centres for women; One at Tambaram and another at Chengalpattu Government Hospital. He also distributed 8 grams of gold and Rs 50,000 to seven women each under the Thalikku Thangam scheme and gave Rs 50,000 to five transwomen encouraging them to start their own business.
♦ Indian Railways launched Rail Madad
- Indian Railways (IR) launched ‘Rail Madad’, a mobile app which will help the passengers to register complaints through mobile phone/web. It will also enable them to communicate real-time feedback on the status of redressal of their complaints.
- The digital initiative integrates all the passenger complaints received from multiple modes on a single platform. The app has two modes of registration of complaints, web-based and mobile app-based. Web-based complaints can be registered through railmadad.in. For mobile-app based app, the app can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple IOS (iPhone) Store.
- An aggrieved passenger will get an instant ID through SMS on registration of complaint followed by a customized SMS communicating the action taken thereon by the railways.
♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)♣
- CURB (NOUN): control
Synonyms: restriction, rein
Antonyms: freedom, encouragement
Taking a few deep breaths may curb your temper.
- SURREPTITIOUSLY (ADVERB): secretly
Synonyms: covertly, clandestinely
Antonyms: openly, publicly
It was a surreptitiously printed material.
- CONSTITUTE (VERB): create
Synonyms: establish, compose
Antonyms: destroy, disperse
The law constituted new mandate.
- BAN (NOUN): prohibition
Synonyms: censorship, embargo
Antonyms: approval, sanction
He put a ban on eating meat in his house.
- INTENDED (ADJECTIVE): deliberate
Synonyms: intentional, wilful
Antonyms: unfixed, unplanned
It was an intended joke.
- FURNISH (VERB): provide
Synonyms: dispense, issue
Antonyms: receive, deny
The ATM furnished the money.
- SLEW (NOUN): abundance
Synonyms: aggregation, bunch
Antonyms: little, need
There was a slew of currency notes in the bank.
- INOFFENSIVE (ADJECTIVE): harmless
Synonyms: innocuous, pleasant
Antonyms: damaging, malicious
Your new job is surely inoffensive than the previous one.
- CONCEAL (VERB): hide
Synonyms: cover, lurk
Antonyms: reveal, expose
Why are you concealing your identity?
- TREATMENT (NOUN): analysis
Synonyms: cure, regimen
Antonyms: disease, harm
The best treatment is given in this hospital.
Rolling back: On Poland judiciary crisis
The Polish government’s decision to rescind the forced retirement of several Supreme Court judges is a welcome sign of its willingness to improve compliance with the rule of law. This could begin a process to resolve the stand-off between Poland’s Law and Justice party (PiS) government and the European Union. The decision to reverse the contested provision in the law, introduced in July, follows the European Court of Justice (ECJ) order last month to suspend the measure. The European Commission had earlier asked the Luxembourg-based institution to freeze the retirement move, pending a final ruling on whether Poland’s judicial overhaul was at odds with the bloc’s common policies. Brussels has in parallel launched a formal probe into Warsaw’s adherence to “fundamental European values”. Poland’s Supreme Court too had referred the contested provision to the ECJ to ascertain that there was no discrepancy between the national and European statutes. But the referral drew flak from PiS apparatchiks, who regard criticism of domestic policies by the EU as encroachment on Poland’s sovereignty. Since winning a commanding majority in 2015, the ultra-conservative government has undermined media freedoms and democratic institutions. The lower age of retirement, which in effect removed a third of the judges, was seen as part of a design to politicise the judiciary. This followed the subversion of the constitutional tribunal, which adjudicates the validity of laws. A 2018 statute that criminalises references to Nazi atrocities too drew condemnation as an assault on freedom of expression.
Poland’s principal pro-European opposition party, the Civic Platform, characterises the regressive laws as part of the government’s design to pull the country out of the EU. Its improved performance in the October regional elections may well have forced the government to reconsider some of its policies. The PiS will also be keen to project a moderate face ahead of the 2019 polls to the European and Polish parliaments. Developments in Warsaw will be watched closely in the other three Visegrád countries, notably Hungary, where the government’s stridently populist stance has brought it into open confrontation with Brussels. In fact, Poland and Hungary face a legal challenge at the Luxembourg court over non-compliance with the policy to share responsibility for the treatment of Syrian migrants. A refrain from these governments has been that the institutional reforms were meant to complete the post-socialist transition. But such an explanation does not wash with civil society, judging from the opposition to the authoritarian lurch. As the biggest beneficiary of EU funds in the current budget cycle, Poland has an interest in improving its standing with an eye on future allocations. As it commemorates a century since gaining independence, it is time the country looked ahead.
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