Daily Editorial : April 02 : A clean-up act

(Meaning for the words Given below)

The Supreme Court has signalled there can be no compromise over air quality

The Supreme Court’s direction to transport authorities to stop registering vehicles that do not meet Bharat Stage-IV emission standards from April 1 sends out the welcome message that short-term economic considerations cannot supersede public health concerns.Some automobile companies,notably those manufacturing two-wheelers and commercial vehicles, have suffered a blow as they must now deal with unsold inventories of the obsolete models. The 2017 deadline for a nationwide shift to BS-IV had been repeatedly emphasised in various forums, and reiterated by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Gas in its review of the Auto Fuel Policy nearly two years ago. But there was some confusion about whether April 1 was the deadline for the manufacture of BS-III models or their sale.Significantly, some automobile manufacturers themselves called for a decisive shift in favour of the higher emission standard, since they had invested in upgraded technologies over time. But it would appear that two-wheeler and commercial vehicle manufacturers made a costly miscalculation when they hoped for a repeat of the experience they had seven years ago,when the shift from BS-II to BS-III norms was carried out with a relaxation of deadlines often stretching across months. The Centre must share some of the blame, because it assured industry of a business-as-usual approach on a sensitive issue such as automotive emissions, even though producers were already equipped and meeting the higher norms in the bigger cities. The court’s order means that a little over eight lakh BS-III vehicles will have to be either upgraded or sold abroad. As a total sum, this is a small fraction of the 19 crore vehicles on Indian roads today. It is unlikely that the court’s uncompromising approach will have a significant impact on reducing air pollution. But the message it sends out on air pollution is unmistakable. Research reported three years ago estimated that 30% to 50% of total on-road emissions came from vehicles older than 10 years, or about 17% of the fleet. The requirement for manufacturers to adjust to the new reality should serve as a reminder that they, and the fuel companies, must prepare for the next big deadline: an upgrade to the BS-VI standard by April 1, 2020, leapfrogging BS-V. More immediately, the Centre has to ensure that the objective of the Supreme Court’s order is met, and the‘ one fuel, one country’ goal for BS-IV is fulfilled. This is crucial to ensure that the catalytic converters of newer vehicles are not affected by lower-grade fuels.Liquidating obsolete inventory does pose a challenge for manufacturers, but this can be met through exports, technology upgrades or reuse of dismantled parts. The imperative is to shift to a clean fuel pathway.

Next steps on GST

The spirit of give and take must continue to operationalise the new indirect tax regime

The Lok Sabha has duly given its assent to necessary Central legislation to operationalise the Goods and Services Tax, nearly 17 years after the government began discussions on the prospects for a unified indirect tax regime across the country. It is eyeing a July 1 rollout for the GST, which will replace the multiple Central and State-level taxes and levies that make doing business in India a compliance nightmare today. The long and winding road for this reform, punctuated by political about-turns, has had a fairly straight trajectory in recent months, following the constitutional amendments last August. The GST Council has managed to thrash out a consensus on several issues relating to the administration and the legislative provisions for the new tax system within six months.The fact that apparently intractable positions held by the States as well as the Centre on the sharing of administrative powers,for instance, have been reconciled without the Council resorting to a majority vote inspires confidence. So does the alacrity with which the Centre has moved to secure Parliament’s nod for four enabling pieces of legislation within a fortnight of the Council’s approval. State Assemblies should do the same to pass the State GST law by holding special sessions if need be. For Indian businesses that have been seeking the reform,it is now time to come to terms with the fine print and embrace the tax system.The GST Council,meeting again on Friday to clear four pending sets of regulations, must sign of on which of the ive GST rates will apply to different products and services. Clarity on the applicable rates will help industry alter their accounting systems, supply chains and pricing strategies. But some provisions in the GST laws have the industry in a tizzy. While the highest GST rate has been pegged at 28%, the integrated GST law has set a ceiling of 40%. Though an enabling provision, it gives the government too much leeway to alter the rate structure in coming years without seeking Parliament’s nod. Compare this to the cess ceiling of 15% on luxury cars, for instance, which are likely to see a 12% cess to start with. On several other fronts, the final laws haven’t changed much from their draft versions, despite industry red-lagging several provisions. These include the anti-profiteering clauses to curb ‘unjust enrichment’ of firms, the requirement for branch offices to register separately in each State, and treating all transactions between related parties (including head office and branch offices) as taxable.For the services sector,in particular,compliance requirements could go up multi-fold. It is still not too late for the GST Council to offer some exemptions or resist operationalising some of these provisions through the subordinate rules and regulations in order to address genuine industry grievances.


1) Posthumous

Meaning: Happening after a person’s death.

Example: A posthumous award.

Synonyms: Dilatory, Belated

Antonyms: Early, Ante mortem

2) Potable

Meaning: Clean and safe to drink.

Example: Potable water.

Synonyms: Edible, Palatable

Antonyms: Dirty, Impure

3) Recourse

Meaning: Using something or someone as a way of getting help, especially in a difficult or dangerous situation.

Example: It is hoped that the dispute will be settled without recourse to litigation.

Synonyms: Resort, Refuge

Antonyms: Blockage, Hindrance

4) Tactic

Meaning: A planned way of doing something.

Example: These bomb attacks represent a change of tactics by the terrorists.

Synonyms: Ploy, Gambit

Antonyms: Candor, innocence

5) Hierarchy

Meaning: A system in which people or things are arranged according to their importance.

Example: Some monkeys have a very complex social hierarchy.

Synonyms: Scale, pyramid

Antonyms: Mayhem, Snarl

6) Petulant

Meaning: (of a person or their manner) childishly sulky or bad-tempered.

Example: He was moody and petulant.

Synonyms: Peevish, Cranky

Antonyms: Pleasant, Gracious

7) Kingpin

Meaning: A person or thing that is essential to the success of an organization or operation.

Example: ‘The new kid on the block – or off the block, as the case may be – is having a go at the main man, the kingpin.’

Synonyms: Expert, Judge

8) Quintessential

Meaning: Being the most typical example or most important part of something.

Example: Sheep’s milk cheese is the quintessential Corsican cheese.

Synonyms: Supreme, Paramount

Antonyms: Atypical, Additional

9) Rambunctious

Meaning: Full of energy and difficult to control.

Example: a lively and rambunctious puppy.

Synonyms: Boisterous, Turbulent

Antonyms: Meek, Quiet

10) Chicanery

Meaning: Clever, dishonest talk or behaviour that is used to deceive people.

Example: The investigation revealed political chicanery and corruption at the highest levels.

Synonyms: Trickery, Guile

Antonyms: Openness, Condor

11) Rejuvenate

Meaning: To make someone look or feel young and energetic again.

Example: She felt rejuvenated by her fortnight in the Bahamas.

Synonyms: Revitalize, Regenerate

Antonyms: Damage, Ruin

12) Remorse

Meaning: A feeling of sadness and being sorry for something you have done.

Example: He felt no remorse for the murders he had committed.

Synonyms: Repentance, Penitence, Guilty

Antonyms: Joy, Satisfaction

13) Preposterous

Meaning: Very silly or stupid.

Example: The very idea is preposterous!

Synonyms: Absurd, Ridiculous, Ludicrous

Antonyms: Good, Sensible

14) Jibe

Meaning: An insulting remark that is intended to make someone look stupid.

Example: Unlike many other politicians, he refuses to indulge in cheap jibes at other people’s expense.

Synonyms: Agree, Harmonize, Resemble

Antonyms: Clash, Fight

15) Supplant

Meaning: To replace and supersede.

Example: Printed books will soon be supplanted by e-books.

Synonyms: Displace, Override

Antonyms: Surrender, Permit

16) Testament

Meaning: A will that someone makes, saying what should be done with their money and property after they die.

Example: This article will give clear instructions for making a last will and testament.

Synonyms: Attestation, Proof

Antonyms: Contradiction

17) Disgruntled

Meaning: Unhappy, annoyed, and disappointed about something.

Example: A disgruntled former employee is being blamed for the explosion.

Synonyms: Critical, Bad Tempered

Antonyms: Contented, Pleased

18) Status quo

Meaning: The present situation.

Example: Certain people always want to maintain the status quo.

Synonyms: Situation, Circumstances

Antonyms: Lapse, Reverse

19) Ploy

Meaning: Something that is done or said in order to get an advantage, often dishonestly.

Example: There are various ploys we can use if necessary.

Synonyms: Scheme, Play

Antonyms: Vitiate, Debase

20) Sedate

Meaning: Avoiding excitement or great activity and usually calm and relaxed.

Example: The fight against a chemical storage site has transformed a normally sedate village into a battleground.

Synonyms: Decorous, Sober

Antonyms: Agitated, Frivolous

21) Allusion: Something that is said or written that is intended to make you think of a particular thing or person.

Illusion: An idea or belief that is not true.

22) Adapt: To change something to suit different conditions or uses.

Adept: Having a natural ability to do something that needs skill.

Adopt: To legally take another person’s child into your own family and take care of him or her as your own child.

23) Avenge:  to do harm to or punish the person responsible for something bad done to you or your family or friends in order to achieve a fair situation:.

Revenge: The action of hurting or harming someone in return for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands.

24) Apprise: Inform or tell.

Appraise: Assess the performance of (an employee) formally.

25) Adduce: Cite as evidence.

Deduce: To reach an answer or a decision by thinking carefully about the known facts.

26) Blast off: If a rocket blasts off, it leaves the ground to go into space.

27) Red-eye: A flight taken at night.

28) Moon buggy: A vehicle used for driving on the moon.

29) Nose cone: The front part of a spacecraft, aircraft, or missile (flying weapon).

30) Touchdown: The landing of an aircraft or of some types of spacecraft.