The Hindu Review (Current + English Article + Vocab)| 5th JANUARY 2018 |Download PDF

♠The Hindu♠

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PM Modi proposes slogan ‘Jai Anusandhan’ at 106th ISC

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes slogan ‘Jai Anusandhan or Jai Research’ at 106th Indian Science Congress; Urges scientists to develop low-cost technologies suitable for agriculture; Says let us work for an India ready to meet challenges & opportunities of present & future through science.
  • In keeping with the vision to boost the spirit of science, technology and innovation across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 106th edition of Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar.
  • Addressing the gathering, Prime Minister stressed on the need to link Science with the life of common citizens. PM reiterated efforts made by the government for making the lives of people simpler. Prime Minister added Jai Anusandhan to former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s famous slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Jai Vigyan slogan.
  • Prime Minister called for a strong research ecosystem in state universities, and colleges and stressed that the country needs strong path-ways that leverage our Research and Development achievements. He said India needs to increase its capacity to carry out new innovations.
  • PM emphasized that the future is about convergence and connected technologies. He said that the country has progressed a lot in agricultural science but to fulfill the needs of New India more innovations are required. To empower farmers in the country satellite data and imaging along with science is the need of the hour.
  • The five-day-long Indian Science Congress will involve over a hundred conferences and events of significance to both science and technology. The theme of the Congress this year is ‘Future India – Science and Technology’. Indian science congress is an annual congregation that witnesses deliberations by top scientific minds of the country with an aim to deliver the benefits of science and technology to the last man in the society.

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Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government to seek Rs 8,389 crore package from Centre for tribal development

  • In an apparent move to woo people the 19 tribal communities of the state, Tripura’s BJP-IPFT government has decided to seek a special package of Rs 8,389.71 crores from the Centre for socio-economic, cultural and linguistic development of the tribal people.
  • Speaking to the press Friday, State Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said that a cabinet meeting held Tuesday directed all departments to present an overall estimate of funds required for tribal development.
  • “We have integrated these estimates put forth by different departments and have decided to seek a comprehensive package of Rs 8389.71 crore for tribal welfare from the central government. The state cabinet has approved the proposal and it will now be placed before the Centre,” Nath said.
  • He added that the tribal communities remained backwards since no previous government took initiative for their development. He also said the package, which would be sought from the Centre, would address all aspects of their all-round development.

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Lok Sabha passes bill to amend Aadhaar act

  • Lok Sabha Friday passed a bill to amend the Aadhaar Act and two related laws which will allow individuals to offer voluntarily biometric ID as a means of identity verification for obtaining services such as opening bank account and procuring mobile phone connection.
  • The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill proposes changes in the Aadhaar Act, Indian Telegraph Act and the Prevention of Money Laundering Act to comply with a Supreme Court judgment pronounced on September 26 last year, in which it upheld the constitutional validity of unique identification project with certain restrictions and changes.
  • The compulsory use of Aadhaar-based KYC for mobile connections and bank accounts was prohibited by the apex court.
  • Speaking on the bill, Union Electronics and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Aadhaar being a digital identity has removed the role of a middleman in a substantial measure whose basic role was cutting, fitting and setting.”

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PayU India CEO gets a Naspers assignment

  • PayU India’s CEO Amrish Rau is transitioning into a broader role as the head of financial technology partnerships and investments for Naspers’ fintech business, the company’s South African parent, as per an internal communication sent out to employees recently. The digital payments firm is all set to appoint a new CEO soon, sources close to the development said.
  • Rau declined to comment on the development. “Naspers is extremely bullish about the scope of fintech disruptions in India and Rau’s role will be to drive acquisitions and partnerships here, so that they get to dominate the Indian fintech market,” said one of the sources quoted above.
  • In an internal note, the firm said Rau will scout the market for fresh acquisitions in the financial tech sector and “create synergies between the group’s portfolio companies”.

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PM Modi: North East will be the gateway to New India

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates and lays foundation stones for projects worth 1500 crore rupees in Manipur; Says NE will be the gateway to New India; PM also addressed a public rally in Silchar, Assam.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a day-long visit to North Eastern region arrived in Imphal, capital of Manipur. PM received warm and enthusiastic welcome from people of Imphal. Prime Minister also being presented a memento during his visit.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated eight projects and laid the foundation stone for four other schemes during his visit to Manipur on Friday.
  • Addressing the gathering on the occasion, PM said that his government has delivered because it has changed the style of functioning. He said that via ‘Pragati’ he is constantly monitoring status of various projects all over the country and interacting with officers to fast-track the same. he said a new work culture has started taking roots in Delhi and things are changing.
  • Prime Minister Modi said that it was former PM  Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s vision for the development of North-East that the government is opening doors to enhanced connectivity in the region. He also reiterated that giving a boost to Act-East policy is govt’s priority.
  • Prime Minister hit out at the previous government over pending projects. PM accused Congress for the delay in the Dolaithabi Barrage project since from 1987 and said that it is his government who pledged to complete the project stalled for decades.
  • PM also complimented the state government for working earnestly for each and every citizen of the state, adding that the efforts are visible on the ground. He reaffirmed vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ and appreciated people’s participation in bringing the region on the path of development from blockades.

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Government to replace all long distance trains with modern coaches

  • The government will replace conventional coaches with modern LHB (Linke Hofmann Busch) design coaches in all long distance trains, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.
  • He also assured the House that the government will implement “whatever announcements have been made with regard to introduction of more trains.”
  • “A week ago, a review meeting was held in Guwahati, where it was decided that all long distance trains shall be replaced with LHB modern coaches,” Goyal said replying to a supplementary query during the Question Hour.
  • To another query on complaints that modern coaches already operational are being replaced in trains running from the Northeast, the minister said: “I can assure you that can never be the case.”
  • To another query on complaints that modern coaches already operational are being replaced in trains running from the Northeast, the minister said: “I can assure you that can never be the case.”
  • On unmanned railway crossings, the Minister said that the government has almost eliminated all such crossings. As a result, the number of accidents has come down to three in the last nine months from 50 a year ago.

♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)

  1. BULWARK (NOUN): barricade (बांध)

Synonyms: barrier, bastion

Antonyms: open, ditch

Example: There was a castle with bulwark and a moat.

  1.  HUBBUB (NOUN): a confusion of voices and other sounds (शोरगुल)

Synonyms: bedlam, clang 

Antonyms: calm, peace

Example: The children filled the room with hubbub. 

  1. ATTICISM (NOUN): grandeur

Synonyms: classicalism, elegance

Antonyms: imbalance, crudeness

Example: I see the majestic Atticism in her personality.

  1. CALISTHENICS (NOUN): exercise

Synonyms: activity, drill

Antonyms: cessation, idleness 

Example: Calisthenics is recommended to stay active and fit.

  1. TRAITOROUS (ADJECTIVE): reactionary (नमकहराम)

Synonyms: apostate, outlaw 

Antonyms: obedient, submissive

Example: He was an agent who later turned out to be a traitorous.

  1. POIGNANT (ADJECTIVE): affecting (मर्मभेदी)

Synonyms: bitter, pathetic

Antonyms: cheerful, happy

Example: It was too poignant, too deep-seated in the springs of her physical being.

  1. OBSEQUIOUS (ADJECTIVE): submissive (चापलूस)

Synonyms: abject, beggarly

Antonyms: arrogant, brazen

Example: With a flattering and obsequious bow our guide leads the way.

  1. ADULATION (NOUN): praise (खुशामद)

Synonyms: applause, flattery

Antonyms: abuse, criticism

Example: Through all this adulation Franklin passed serenely, if not unconsciously.

♠Article♠

 Breaking barriers: on two women’s Sabarimala temple entry

In facilitating the entry of two women, albeit in stealth and under the cover of darkness, the Kerala government has displayed some resolve in breaking the illegal blockade imposed by some devotees on permitting females in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala temple. This is the first time women of menstruating age have made their way into the shrine after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in September 2018 threw the temple open to women of all ages. Under some pressure to demonstrate that it had not gone soft as a result of the upsurge of protests against the Supreme Court’s order and was keen on signalling that it was in favour of upholding the law, the government appears to have drawn up an elaborate and closely scripted plan, with assistance from the State police and civil administration, to help Bindu and Kanakadurga make their way unnoticed to the temple from the foothills at Pampa. Unfortunately, but not entirely unpredictably, news of their visit has resulted in a cycle of violent and politically orchestrated protests, clashes, and mass arrests. Tragically, one life was lost.

In the face of an illegal blockade to prevent menstruating-age women from visiting the temple, the Kerala government will regard this operation as a victory. But clearly, even it must be aware that covert ops such as this one are not a sustainable solution to the Sabarimala problem. The State government’s dilemma — and also its responsibility — is to find a way of ensuring safe passage for all women who want to visit the temple while keeping the peace at the same time. Given the passions at play, and the cynical attempts to politically exploit them, this is anything but an easy task. In the short term, though — and this may well have been its intent — the Left Front government has managed to alter the narrative in the Sabarimala controversy. The decision of the temple authorities to close the sanctum sanctorum and perform purification rituals has invoked old and regressive notions of purity and pollution, of defilement and desecration. They have focussed attention on the role of the chief priest (or Tantri) of Sabarimala, leaving him open to the charge levelled by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that his actions violated both the Supreme Court order and the Devaswom Manual. At a larger level, the entry of the two women has, perhaps inevitably, recalled Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s words in the majority judgment in the Sabarimala case. In his judgment, he had argued that the ban on women’s entry was a “form of untouchability”, and their exclusion was a “violation of the right to liberty, dignity and equality”. Meanwhile, as passions continue to escalate, it is important for the State government, the Travancore Devaswom Board and also those representing the devotees to initiate a conversation and prevent the State from being consumed in a further cycle of violence and conflict over this issue.

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