The Hindu Review (Current + English Article + Vocab)| 8th JANUARY 2018 |Download PDF

♠The Hindu♠

Daily current affairs and English for all Bank, SSC, Railway, UPSC, UPSSSC, CDS, UPTET, KVS, DSSSB and other Government exams.. Check daily Current Affair Updates from The Hindu.

Parliament house in New Delhi on July 24th 2015. Express photo by Ravi Kanojia.

Cabinet approves 10% reservation for economically backward, beyond the 50% limit

  • The Union Cabinet has approved 10% reservation in jobs and educational institutions for the economically backward section in the general category, sources said on Monday.
  • The section did not enjoy reservation as of now, the sources said. This would be over and above the existing 50% reservation.
  • The government is likely to bring a constitutional amendment bill in Parliament on Tuesday.
  • “The reservation will be given to those economically backward poor people who are not availing the benefit of reservation as of now,” a source said.
  • The reservation benefit is likely to be availed by those whose annual income is below ₹8 lakh and have up to five acres, the source said.

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Agriculture, manufacturing to push GDP grow to 7.2% in 2018-19: CSO

  • Indian economy is expected to grow at 7.2% in 2018-19, a tad higher from 6.7% in the previous fiscal, mainly due to improvement in the performance of agriculture and manufacturing sectors, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said on Monday.
  • The CSO estimate is, however, a bit lower than 7.4% growth projected by the Reserve Bank for the current fiscal.
  • Releasing the first advance estimates of National Income for 2018-19, the CSO said, “The growth in GDP during 2018-19 is estimated at 7.2% as compared to the growth rate of 6.7% in 2017-18.”
  • The gross domestic product (GDP) had expanded by 7.1% in 2016-17 and 8.2% in 2015-16.
  • “Real GVA (Gross Value Added) is anticipated to grow at 7% in the current fiscal as against 6.5% in 2017-18,” it said.
  • According to the CSO data, the expansion in activities in ‘agriculture, forestry and fishing’ is likely to increase to 3.8% in the current fiscal from 3.4% in the preceding year.
  • The growth of the manufacturing sector is expected to accelerate to 8.3% this fiscal, up from 5.7% in 2017-18.

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RBI allows one-time restructuring of MSME loans of up to Rs 25 crore

  • Big boost for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises as Reserve Bank of India allows restructuring of loans up to 25 crore rupees; RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das says, top bank will infuse need-based liquidity in the banking system; Says, the status of NPA in PSU banks is improving.
  • RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said banks have been asked to look at the viability of MSMEs before loan restructuring.
  • RBI governor further said the central bank will take steps if there is a liquidity shortage in the economy, though currently liquidity needs are largely met. He said the RBI is constantly monitoring liquidity issue and infusion of liquidity in the market will be need-based.

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Bandhan Bank to buy Gruh Finance in share swap deal

  • Bandhan Bank will acquire NBFC Gruh Finance in a share swap deal, the private lender has said. The board of directors of both the companies approved the merger on Monday.
  • Shareholders of Gruh Finance will receive 568 shares of Bandhan Bank for every 1,000 shares they held. The Share Exchange Ratio implies a 2.05 per cent premium to the shareholders of Gruh based on the volume weighted average prices of Bandhan and Gruh over the 26-week period ended January 4.Given Gruh’s successful business model, investors have accorded a significant premium to its valuation compared to its peers, says Keki Mistry, CEO of HDFC.
  • “On a 5-year CAGR basis, Gruh’s loan book growth is 23 per cent and profit after tax growth is 20 per cent,” he added. The companies are contemplating a merger under the scheme of amalgamation under the Companies Act and hence there will be no open offer.
  • Meanwhile, the board of Bandhan Bank has appointed Anup Kumar Sinha as the part-time chairman for a period of three years. HDFC-led Gruh Finance has total assets worth Rs 15,970.97 crore with turnover of Rs 1,687.19 crore and net worth of Rs 1,380.92 crore as of March 31, 2018.
  • On the other hand, Bandhan Bank had total assets worth Rs 44,310.06 crore, turnover of Rs 5,508.48 crore and net worth of Rs 9,382 crore as of March 2018.

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Golden Globes 2019: Christian Bale to Lady Gaga, the complete winners’ list

  • BEST MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)- BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • BEST DIRECTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE– ALFONSO CUARON FOR ROMA
  • BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)- GLENN CLOSE FOR THE WIFE
  • BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (DRAMA)- RAMI MALEK FOR BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
  • BEST MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)- GREEN BOOK
  • BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)- CHRISTIAN BALE FOR VICE
  • BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE (MUSICAL OR COMEDY)– OLIVIA COLMAN FOR THE FAVOURITE
  • BEST ORIGINAL SCORE IN A MOTION PICTURE- JUSTIN HURWITZ FOR FIRST MAN
  • BEST ORIGINAL SONG IN A MOTION PICTURE– SHALLOW FROM A STAR IS BORN
  • BEST SCREENPLAY IN A MOTION PICTURE– PETER FARRELLY, NICK VALLELONGA, BRIAN CURRIE FOR GREEN BOOK

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim gestures as he makes remarks during a press briefing to open the IMF and World Bank's 2017 Annual Spring Meetings, as press spokesman David Theis listens, in Washington

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim to step down on February 1

  • In a surprise move, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim on Monday announced that he will step down from his position on February 1. Kim, 58, has been in this position for over six years now.
  • The president of the World Bank has always been an American citizen nominated by the United States, which is the largest shareholder of this multilateral financial institution.
  • “It has been a great honour to serve as President of this remarkable institution, full of passionate individuals dedicated to the mission of ending extreme poverty in our lifetime,” said Kim.
  • Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank CEO, will assume the role of interim President effective February 1.

Dancers are seen on stage during a performance of masked theatre known as Khon at the Thailand Cultural Centre in Bangkok

Thailand’s masked dance drama ‘Khol’ now on UNESCO cultural heritage list

  • Lakhon Khol was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, as an intangible cultural heritage, along with neighbouring Thailand’s version of the dance, known as Khon.
  • Cambodia’s centuries-old tradition of masked dance Lakhon Khol was nearly wiped out by the Khmer Rouge’s “Killing Fields” regime but a handful of artists managed to keep it alive and are now working to pass it along to a new generation.
  • Lakhon Khol was recently listed by UNESCO, the United Nations’ cultural agency, as an intangible cultural heritage, along with neighbouring Thailand’s version of the dance, known as Khon.

♠Vocabulary (The Hindu)

  1. EXCURSION(VERB): cruise (भ्रमण)

Synonyms: expedition, jaunt  

Antonyms: halt, stop

Example: Our island excursion of Honduras was filled with touring the landmarks.

  1. CREDENCE(NOUN): admission (विश्वास)

Synonyms: assurance, certainty      

Antonyms: denial, disbelief

Example: If a person wants to give credence to his business, he should develop a company website.

  1. CONTINUAL(ADJECTIVE): ceaseless (निरंतर)

Synonyms: continuous, enduring     

Antonyms: finished, end

Example: Your words are the source of  continual inspiration.

  1. FOLKSY(ADJECTIVE): casual (मिलनसार)

Synonyms: homey, simple   

Antonyms: formal, cold

Example: Anuradha is a folksy  fellow.

  1. CRAVING(NOUN): strong desire (लालसा)

Synonyms: appetite, hankering   

Antonyms: disgust, dislike

Example: His mind is full of unpleasant, unsatisfied craving.

  1. POIGNANT(ADJECTIVE): bitter (तीखा)

Synonyms: disturbing, painful              

Antonyms: cheerful, happy

Example: Her poignant remarks hurt me a lot.  

  1. UNEQUIVOCABLE(ADJECTIVE): beyond dispute

Synonyms: accurate, authentic              

Antonyms: uncertain, controvertible

Example: The teacher was impressed by the student’s Unequivocable explanation of the complex topic.

  1. BATHETIC(ADJECTIVE): sentimental

Synonyms: drippy, gushy              

Antonyms: unemotional, unsentimental

Example: The movie manages to be poignant without becoming bathetic .

♠Article♠

Removing fear: on literary freedom

Literary freedom is taken for granted in democracies, but forces that threaten or undermine it are always at work. Each age has to fight the battle afresh. In recent times, several attempts to get books withdrawn, pulped or sanitised of offending content have achieved full or partial success in India. Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History was withdrawn from circulation, and A.K. Ramanujan’s essay ‘Three Hundred Ramayanas’ was dropped from a Delhi University syllabus. Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s Madhorubagan (One Part Woman) was withdrawn by the author under mob pressure but resurrected by a Madras High Court verdict. Public order, national unity and social or religious harmony are the principles commonly invoked against the practice of literary freedom. Threats to free expression, especially artistic freedom, in our times mainly come from those claiming to espouse the interests of a particular religion or social group. It is in this context that Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP and writer, has introduced a private member’s Bill in the Lok Sabha seeking to protect freedom of literature. Its objective — that “authors must be guaranteed the freedom to express their work without fear of punitive action by the State or by sections of society” — commends itself to any society that upholds liberal values. It seeks the omission of three IPC sections, including 295A, in effect a non-denominational blasphemy law, as it targets deliberate or malicious acts to outrage religious feelings.

Section 295A is a grossly misused section, often invoked in trivial ways to hound individuals, harass writers and curtail free expression. It deserves to be scrapped. Sections that relate to the sale of obscene books and uttering words that hurt religious feelings are also sought to be omitted. However, it is unclear why Section 153A, which punishes those who promote enmity between groups on grounds of religion, race or language, and Section 153B, which criminalises words and imputations prejudicial to national integration, do not draw Mr. Tharoor’s attention. In the process of proscribing a book, he proposes a tweak in the form of a 15-day prohibition. Thereafter, the onus should be on the State government to approach the High Court to seek a permanent ban. It favours the scrapping of the provision in the Customs Act to ban the import of books, but makes a public order exception. It wants to limit the bar on obscenity in the Information Technology Act to child pornography. Private Bills rarely become law, but they are useful in highlighting gaps in the body of law. Seen in this light, Mr. Tharoor’s initiative is most welcome as a step towards removing or diluting penal provisions that inhibit literary freedom.

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