a) For a clean judiciary: the importance of in-house mechanisms

With an in-house committee concluding that a judge of the Allahabad High Court had committed judicial impropriety serious enough to warrant his removal, the subject of corruption in the higher judiciary is in the news. Justice Shri Narayan Shukla had come under adverse notice before a Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra last year. The Bench had found he had violated a restraining order from the apex court by allowing the GCRG Memorial Trust, Lucknow, to admit students. The Supreme Court observed that the Bench headed by Justice Shukla had violated judicial propriety. The CJI formed a three-member committee, comprising Chief Justices Indira Banerjee of the Madras High Court and S.K. Agnihotri of the Sikkim High Court and Justice P.K. Jaiswal of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, to examine his conduct. The committee has now found substance in the allegations and that the judge had deviated from the “values of judicial life”. It is unfortunate that Justice Shukla has not tendered his resignation or sought retirement, the options available to him to avoid the ignominy of impeachment in Parliament. His position has paved the way for the CJI to recommend his removal. The allegations against him appear to correspond to the claims in a first information report registered by the CBI against another medical college trust and alleged middlemen, including a retired judge of the Orissa High Court, that there was a plot to influence public servants to obtain favourable orders. The allegation had set off a storm in the judiciary, as some orders related to medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh were also passed by Supreme Court Benches headed by Chief Justice Misra himself. The climactic event was the unprecedented press conference at which four senior-most judges alleged the CJI had departed from convention while using his power to draw up the roster. It is important for the institution that the charges against Justice Shukla are properly investigated. It may have a sobering effect on those who desire that the institution be cleansed as well as those who feel there is an unwarranted onslaught on it. The process of removing a judge is too elaborate and somewhat cumbersome. However, an in-house finding may help hasten it in flagrant cases. The possibility of getting a motion passed in Parliament is brighter, and the charge of the process being misused for partisan ends is reduced. The removal of a serving judge is undoubtedly a sad development, but one that the institution should not fight shy of in appropriate cases. That internal mechanisms work with due regard for institutional integrity is something that should be welcomed.

b) A year of Trump: how much has changed in the past year?

In delivering his first State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump spoke of many small victories that he chalked up to his administration’s record over the past year. Yet the biggest surprise to many may have been the fact that they saw before them a Commander-in-Chief who unwaveringly stuck to the script and eschewed his usual provocative style on social media. While “Twitter Trump” has lashed out at Democrats on immigration reform and the federal government shutdown earlier in January, “Teleprompter Trump” issued a generous call for bipartisanship in policymaking. Where Mr. Trump has actively promoted, on social media, Russian involvement in resolving problems with North Korea, Syria, Ukraine and terrorism, he said in his Congressional address that Russia and China were rivals that challenged U.S. economic interests. Most strikingly, Mr. Trump assured his audience that prospective immigrant families would benefit from his proposed reform, yet just three months ago he had vowed on Twitter that the Extreme Vetting Programme for migrants from certain countries was being stepped up to fourth gear. The divergence between Mr. Trump’s two assessments of the current scenario is troubling also because the softer version of Americana he outlined in the State of the Union speech is in stark contrast to his inaugural speech a year ago when he famously spoke of “American carnage”. The question is, how much has really changed in the intervening year? Considering his administration’s successes first, at the top of the list is the passage in Congress of his tax-cut proposal that he claimed put more money back into American workers’ pockets and built the foundations of a stronger economy. Leaving aside the fact that it was the 12th largest tax cut in post-World War I history, and not the largest as Mr. Trump claimed, it is quite likely that his voter base appreciates his adherence to the Republican fiscal mantra. On the linked subject of growth and jobs, the economy expanded by 2.3% in 2017, which is less than it did in 2014 or 2015. Mr. Trump’s first year saw more than two million jobs created, yet that falls short of any of the last six years of his predecessor’s tenure. Mr. Trump’s decision to revoke the previous administration’s decision to shut down the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay may have been a throwaway to policy hawks, but it could turn out to be self-defeating to the extent that it serves as a recruitment tool for terrorist groups. While Americans will continue to debate these complex questions of domestic policy, the attention of the world, including India, must have been on Mr. Trump’s call to end the sought-after visa lottery and “chain migration”. Given the context of a hardening immigration policy, which could potentially affect legal migration, these remarks will likely make the American Dream seem like a mirage to separated loved ones and hopeful professionals on distant shores.


1) Impropriety

Meaning: Failure to observe standards of honesty or modesty; improper behaviour or character.

Example: “she was scandalized at the impropriety of the question”

Synonyms: Wrongdoing, Dishonesty

Antonyms: Propriety

2) Adverse

Meaning: Preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable.

Example: “taxes are having an adverse effect on production”

Synonyms: Unfavourable, Untimely

Antonyms: Positive, Favourable

3) Restraining

Meaning: Prevent (someone or something) from doing something; keep under control or within limits.

Example: “the need to restrain public expenditure”

Synonyms: Prevent, Stop

Antonyms: Force, Compel

4) Violated

Meaning: Fail to respect (someone’s peace, privacy, or rights).

Example: “they denied that human rights were being violated”

Synonyms: Invade, Disturb

5) Comprising

Meaning: Consist of; be made up of; make up or constitute (a whole).

Example: “this single breed comprises 50 per cent of the Swiss cattle population”

Synonyms: Constitute, Compose

6) Deviated

Meaning: Depart from an established course.

Example: “you must not deviate from the agreed route”

Synonyms: Diverge, Digress

7) Tendered

Meaning: Offer or present (something) formally.

Example: “he tendered his resignation as leader”

Synonyms: Offer, Present

8) Ignominy

Meaning: Public shame or disgrace.

Example: “the ignominy of being imprisoned”

Synonyms: Shame, Embarrassment

Antonyms: Honour

9) Impeachment

Meaning: A charge of treason or another crime against the state.

Example: “the king cynically abandoned him, encouraging his impeachment”

10) Paved

Meaning: Cover (a piece of ground) with flat stones or bricks; lay paving over.

Example: “the yard at the front was paved with flagstones”

Synonyms: Cover, Finish

11) Set off

Meaning: To start on a trip.

Example: What time do we set off tomorrow?

12) Storm

Meaning: A tumultuous reaction; an uproar or controversy.

Example: “the book caused a storm in America”

Synonyms: Uproar, Commotion

13) Climactic

Meaning: Acting as a culmination or resolution to a series of events; forming an exciting climax.

Example: “the film’s climactic scenes”

Synonyms: Final, Ending

Antonyms: Anticlimactic, Bathetic

14) Unprecedented

Meaning: Never done or known before.

Example: “the government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence”

Synonyms: Unmatched, Unrivalled

Antonyms: Normal, Common

15) Convention

Meaning: Behaviour that is considered acceptable or polite to most members of a society.

Example: “he was an upholder of convention and correct form”

Synonyms: Custom, Usage

16) Roster

Meaning: A list or plan showing turns of duty or leave for individuals or groups in an organization.

Example: “next week’s duty roster”

Synonyms: List, Register

17) Sobering

Meaning: Make or become more serious, sensible, and solemn.

Example: “his expression sobered her”

Synonyms: Relax, Soften

18) Cleansed

Meaning: Rid of something unpleasant or defiling.

Example: “the mission to cleanse America of subversives”

Synonyms: Rid, Clear

19) Onslaught

Meaning: A fierce or destructive attack.

Example: “a series of onslaughts on the citadel”

Synonyms: Assault, Attack

20) Cumbersome

Meaning: Large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry or use; unwieldy.

Example: “cumbersome diving suits”

Synonyms: Unwieldy, Clumsy

Antonyms: Manageable, Convenient

21) Hasten

Meaning: Move or travel hurriedly.

Example: “we hastened back to Paris”

Synonyms: Hurry, Hurtle

Antonyms: Dawdle

22) Flagrant

Meaning: (of an action considered wrong or immoral) conspicuously or obviously offensive.

Example: “a flagrant violation of the law”

Synonyms: Blatant, Glaring

Antonyms: Unobtrusive, Slight

23) Chalked up

Meaning: To have a success or failure.

Example: Last year its retail stores chalked up sales of more than $1 billion.

24) Unwaveringly

Meaning: Not wavering; steady or resolute.

Example: “she fixed him with an unwavering stare”

Synonyms: Steady, Resolute

Antonyms: Unsteady

25) Eschewed

Meaning: Deliberately avoid using; abstain from.

Example: “he appealed to the crowd to eschew violence”

Synonyms: Shun, Renounce

26) Provocative

Meaning: Causing anger or another strong reaction, especially deliberately.

Example: “a provocative article”

Synonyms: Annoying, Irritating

Antonyms: Soothing

27) Lashed out

Meaning: To suddenly attack someone or something physically or criticize him, her, or it in an angry way.

Example: I was only teasing him and suddenly he lashed out (at me) and hit me in the face.

Synonyms: Disapproving, Criticizing

28) Generous

Meaning: Showing kindness towards others.

Example: “a generous assessment of his work”

Synonyms: Kind, Noble

Antonyms: Mean

29) Prospective

Meaning: Likely to happen at a future date.

Example: “a meeting to discuss prospective changes in government legislation”

Synonyms: Potential, Possible

30) Reform

Meaning: The action or process of reforming an institution or practice.

Example: “the reform of the divorce laws”

Synonyms: Improvement, Betterment

31) Vowed

Meaning: Solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Example: “the rebels vowed to continue fighting”

Synonyms: Swear, Undertake

32) Stepped up

Meaning: To take action when there is a need or opportunity for it.

Example: Investors have to step up and assume more responsibility for their assets.

Synonyms: Acting

33) Scenario

Meaning: A postulated sequence or development of events.

Example: “a possible scenario is that he was attacked after opening the front door”

Synonyms: Situation

34) Stark

Meaning: Unpleasantly or sharply clear.

Example: “his position is in stark contrast to that of Curran”

Synonyms: Blunt, Simple

35) Intervening

Meaning: Take part in something so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.

Example: “he acted outside his authority when he intervened in the dispute”

Synonyms: Intercede, Mediate

36) Adherence

Meaning: Attachment or commitment to a person, cause, or belief.

Example: “a strict adherence to etiquette”

37) Revoke

Meaning: Officially cancel (a decree, decision, or promise).

Example: “the men appealed and the sentence was revoked”

Synonyms: Cancel, Repeal

Antonyms: Introduce, Enact

38) Hawks

Meaning: A person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.

Example: “severe limits were put on the peace plan by party hawks”

39) Hardening

Meaning: Make or become more severe and less sympathetic.

Example: “she hardened her heart”

Synonyms: Toughen, Harden

Antonyms: Soften

40) Shores

Meaning: The land along the edge of a sea, lake, or other large body of water.

Example: “I made for the shore”

Synonyms: Seaside, Coast

You can check the other important topics from THE HINDU EDITORIAL from the links given below. Also this will be very useful for your exam preparations and also to increase your vocabulary list. Learning English is fun, so learn from the previous editions now.


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