December 25, 2019
Union Cabinet clears NPR update & Census
The National Population Register(NPR) and the Census are two different exercises. The Census is conducted every 10 years, and helps the government to get relevant statistics to fine-tune its social welfare schemes, draw up development plans, and allocate requisite administrative and financial resources to backward areas. This exercise will cost the exchequer Rs.8754.23 crores.
The NPR is also a similar exercise, but considerable confusion exists about its intent, especially when extensive data about citizens are available through Aadhar Cards. People are beginning to see it as a sinister plot to implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Despite categorical assurances by the government, misgivings about the CAA continue to linger in the minds of a large section of the population. The country has been rocked by widespread protests and sporadic violence as a result of the agitations. The NPR exercise will involve an expenditure of Rs.3941 crores.
Good words used … Sinister, Misgivings, Sporadic
Railway Board revamped
Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Railways, unveiled plans to revamp the Railway Board. The Board, first formed in 1905 under the colonial rule, will now be down-sized with fewer members. The management personnel numbering 8400 are presently assigned to different functional departments. They all will be merged to make a new cadre, and designated as Indian Railways Management Service (IRMS) personnel.
Indian armed forces will now have a Chief of Defence Staff (CoDS)
After vacillating over the matter for years, the government has finally decided to have a Chief of Defence Staff (CoDS), who, as the name suggests, will have over-arching influence on the three services –Army, Air Force, and Navy. The CoDS will be a four-star general.
Khalasa-Bhanduri Project work must wait till gazette notification
The center has asked the Karnataka government to wait till the Mahadayi Water Disputes Tribunal’s orders are posted in the gazette. This will dampen the spirit of those who has hoped to see early resumption of project work. The Tribunal’s order had irked the Goan government.
Good words used … Irk, Dampen
Padmanur’s Yakshagana performance keeps communalism at bay
Following the tradition of last 60 years, a multi-faith village committee has decided that the performance will continue with the participation of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians. Eschewing parochialism, the village committee decided to make it a grand event with the participation of one and all.
Good words and phrases used .. Keep something at bay, Eschew, Parochialism
Solar eclipse viewing — Doctors advise caution
The solar eclipse will be visible in parts of Tamil Nadu. Ebullient children often gape at the Sun, and cause irreversible damage to their eyes. The doctors have asked people not to look at the Sun even with dark glasses. They caution that ordinary black glasses don’t have adequate filtering capacity to keep the harmful rays of Sun out. So, only glasses approved by eye doctors must be used for this purpose.
Good words used .. Ebullient, Gape
Mizoram will have its first liquor-free Christmas
After the State assembly passed the Prohibition bill, strict orders have been issued to tell people, who are largely Christian, to abstain from alcoholic drinks during the Christmas celebrations. Drinking habits prevalent among the locals have marred social peace and harmony.
Good words and phrase used … Abstain from, Mar
Jadavpur University sees strident student protest during Convocation
The Convocation saw disruption and unrest as the Governor arrived in the premises to preside over the function. The Governor of West Bengal is the Chancellor of the University. Angry students were venting their opposition t the CAA that has caused country-wide resentment.
Republicans and Democrats quibble over Impeachment rules
With Trump’s impeachment looming over the Senate, the leading figures from both sides have been holding parleys to resolve their differences over the rules to be followed for the trial. The trial is sure to be a stormy affair with Democrats trying to ensure Trump is impeached, and the Republicans pulling no punches to rip through the allegations against the President, and eventually exonerate him.
Good words and phrases used .. Quibble, Parley, Pull no punches, Exonerate
On Christmas eve, Hong Kong police clash with students
Violent confrontation between the agitating students and the baton-wielding police force marred the joyous atmosphere in Hong Kong’s streets the night before Christmas. The police used rubber bullets to curb the protests.
Trump says he is ready to handle Kim’s ‘gift’.
North Korean President Kim had indicated earlier that he would hand over a gift to his adversaries on Christmas. Whether it was a benign offer or something malignant was not known. President Trump has asserted that he is ready to counter any thing hostile coming from Kim.
Good words used .. Adversary, Malignant
Iraqi street protests heading for bloodier days
Iraq’s street protesters have hardened their stance and dug themselves in as the New Year approaches. They are determined to make their voices louder and their actions more belligerent in the coming days.
Good words and phrases used .. Dig in, Belligerent
IMF deeply worried about India’s economy
The continuing economic slowdown in India has left the IMF deeply worried and anxious. India, being a major economy of the world, can drag down the global economy if the tardy growth rate persists in the months to come.
RBI Bringing stricter operational norms for banks
To preempt fraud, improve efficiency, and bring in better monitoring, RBI has framed a set of rules and guidelines that the banks have to adhere to in future.
Good words used .. Tardy, Preempt
Economic revival key to banks’ health
Banks can minimize NPAs and enhance their earnings/ profitability, if the economic activity of the country becomes brisk and spirited. Banks are bound to languish if economy falters and earnings decrease. In a recent report, the RBI has noted with dismay that banks are shying away from lending because of the fear of possible default. Such aversion to risk is impacting revival of economic activities.
Good words used .. Falter, Languish, Aversion, Shy away, Dismay