a) Youth power: on India’s U-19 World Cup win

India’s title triumph in the Under-19 cricket World Cup at the Bay Oval in New Zealand seemed inevitable. Prithvi Shaw’s boys, astutely coached by Rahul Dravid, maintained an unbeaten record through their three-week sojourn. The rousing campaign commenced with a 100-run win against Australia on January 14; in subsequent games, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan were all emphatically defeated. There were no big-game nerves and even in the much-hyped semifinal against Pakistan, India pocketed a facile 203-run victory. In the summit clash against Australia, Shaw’s boys followed their template of dominance. Australia was bowled out for 216 and India cruised home in 38.5 overs with eight wickets to spare, and enjoyed the added lustre of opener Manjot Kalra’s unbeaten 101. Through the tournament India found diverse heroes. Fittingly, its batting troika of Shaw, Kalra and Shubman Gill, along with seamer Kamlesh Nagarkoti and spinner Anukul Roy, found a berth in the International Cricket Council’s Under-19 World Cup team, essentially a tribute to the best players on view in the championship. Cricketing excellence allied with the resultant celebrity status, especially during the teenage years, can be a double-edged sword and it helped that in the dressing room there was the calming presence of Dravid. As the ecstatic players leapt and photo-bombed after clinching the trophy, Dravid cut through the hype and said that this win should not be the team’s defining memory as each individual cricketer has much more to achieve in his career. Dravid has a point. India has won the Under-19 World Cup on four occasions, including the previous golden runs in 2000, 2008 and 2012. From among these champion sides, only a few graduated to the big stage. Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli came through the under-19 ranks and managed to carve a niche for themselves, but Unmukt Chand, who led the team to the Cup in 2012, and then featured in a soft drink advertisement besides writing a book, has been unable to make it to the Indian senior team. He is still finding his feet with the Delhi squad in domestic cricket. Shaw and his mates will be aware that after the spectacular rise under the New Zealand skies, they still have to earn and preserve their respective spots in the State outfits before earning the right to rub shoulders with Kohli and his men. The road towards the high-stakes game of international cricket is long and arduous and history has taught us that not all teenage prodigies can be a Sachin Tendulkar or a Kohli. For Shaw and company, the journey has only begun but their moment in the sun does suggest that Indian cricket’s conveyor belt is moving smoothly along.

b) For more equity: on long-term capital gains tax

The Centre’s decision to bring back the long-term capital gains tax (LTCG) on equities, which was scrapped in 2004-05, seems to be a hasty move to plug the widening fiscal deficit ahead of an election year. With investors in equities enjoying terrific returns over the last few years, it is not a surprise that they have become targets for the government to secure additional revenue. The decision to announce the imposition of 10% tax on gains of over ₹1 lakh made on any form of investment in listed equities and mutual funds with a holding period of over one year will hit the average middle class investor. Not surprisingly, the sharp fall in both the Nifty and the Sensex after Budget day has been linked to the new tax, along with the government’s abandonment of fiscal goals. But given that the sell-off was part of a wider correction in global stock indices, it may be hard to draw a definite conclusion on the exact impact of the LTCG. The Centre has justified the new tax arguing that it helps avoid the erosion of its tax base and levels the playing field between financial assets and investment in manufacturing. One legitimate concern is whether raising the tax burden on equities, rather than lowering the tax and other barriers to investing in alternative assets, is the right way to address the distortionary effect of taxes. Further, the smaller differential between short and long-term capital gains tax itself will discourage the long-term holding of stocks in favour of short-term trading activity. While this might serve to improve liquidity in Indian markets and add to the government’s revenue, it is also likely to discourage to some extent the growing culture of investing in equities for the long run. Besides, the securities transaction tax (STT), which was introduced in lieu of the LTCG in 2004 and penalises the buying of stocks for purposes other than just intra-day trading, has been left untouched by the government. The double whammy of the STT and LTCG will further privilege short-term trading in stocks over long-term investment. Being the only country in the world to impose both the STT and LTCG, India is also likely to become a little less attractive to foreign investors when compared to its peers. A complete rollback of the new tax is too much to expect — Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia has justified the higher tax levy saying that the capital gains accrue from zero effort. Despite the constraints, the government would do well to at least soften the negative impact of the new tax by allowing indexation (allowing a set-off based on inflation rate) of capital gains and removing the STT on equity investments. Tough love for the well-off is not a bad strategy for a pre-election Budget, but it is important to be careful about maintaining India’s credibility in the global money markets in the process.


1) Inevitable

Meaning: Certain to happen; unavoidable.

Example: “war was inevitable”

Synonyms: Unavoidable, Inexorable

Antonyms: Avoidable, Uncertain

2) Astutely

Meaning: Accurately assessing situations or people; perceptively.

Example: “she astutely pointed out that usually you have to be dead to be a legend”

3) Sojourn

Meaning: A temporary stay.

Example: “her sojourn in Rome”

Synonyms: Stay, Stop

4) Emphatically

Meaning: Without doubt; clearly.

Example: “Jane, though born in California, feels emphatically English”

5) Hyped

Meaning: Promote or publicize (a product or idea) intensively, often exaggerating its benefits.

Example: “an industry quick to hype its products”

Synonyms: Publicize, Promote

6) Pocketed

Meaning: Drive (a ball) into a pocket.

Example: “he pocketed the 8-ball on the break for a victory in the title game”

7) Facile

Meaning: Ignoring the true complexities of an issue; superficial.

Example: “facile generalizations”

Synonyms: Simplistic, Superficial

Antonyms: Thorough, Profound

8) Bowled out

Meaning: In the game of cricket, to make someone have to leave the cricket field by hitting the wicket (= three vertical sticks) behind them with the ball.

9) Cruised

Meaning: Achieve an objective with ease, especially in sport.

Example: “Millwall cruised to a 2–0 win over Leicester”

10) Lustre

Meaning: Glory or distinction.

Example: “a celebrity player to add lustre to the line-up”

Synonyms: Honour, Glory

Antonyms: Dishonour

11) Troika

Meaning: A group of three people.

Example: She is a member of the president’s troika of close advisers.

Synonyms: People in charge

12) Double-edged

Meaning: Having two contradictory aspects or possible outcomes.

Example: “the consequences can be double-edged”

13) Ecstatic

Meaning: Feeling or expressing overwhelming happiness or joyful excitement.

Example: “ecstatic fans filled the stadium”

Synonyms: Joyous, Overjoyed

Antonyms: Miserable

14) Leapt

Meaning: Jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force.

Example: “he leapt on to the parapet”

Synonyms: Jump, Vault

15) Photo-bombed

Meaning: Spoil (a photograph) by unexpectedly appearing in the camera’s field of view as the picture is taken.

Example: “she actually photo-bombed a picture of me with Jonah”

16) Clinching

Meaning: Confirm the winning or achievement of (a match, competition, or victory).

Example: “Johnson scored the goals which clinched victory”

Synonyms: Win, Victory

Antonyms: Lose

17) Cut through Something(the hype)

Meaning: If you cut through something difficult that usually causes problems, you quickly understand it or deal with it so that it does not cause problems for you.

Example: She always manages to cut through the complex theory and get at the facts.

Synonyms: Dealing

18) Niche

Meaning: A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment; a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament.

Example: “he is now head chef at a leading law firm and feels he has found his niche”

Synonyms: Position, Place

19) Spectacular

Meaning: Strikingly large or obvious.

Example: “the party suffered a spectacular loss in the election”

Synonyms: Impressive, Splendid

Antonyms: Unimpressive

20) Arduous

Meaning: Involving or requiring strenuous effort; difficult and tiring.

Example: “an arduous journey”

Synonyms: Onerous, Taxing

Antonyms: Easy, Effortless

21) Prodigies

Meaning: A young person with exceptional qualities or abilities.

Example: “a Russian pianist who was a child prodigy in his day”

Synonyms: Genius, Mastermind

22) Conveyor belt

Meaning: A continuous moving band of fabric, rubber, or metal used for transporting objects from one place to another.

Example: “a baggage conveyor belt”

23) Scrapped

Meaning: Abolish or cancel (a plan, policy, or law).

Example: “he supports the idea that road tax should be scrapped”

Synonyms: Abandon, Drop

Antonyms: Keep, Restore

24) Hasty

Meaning: Done with excessive speed or urgency; hurried.

Example: “a hasty attempt to defuse the situation”

Synonyms: Quick, Hurried

Antonyms: Slow

25) Imposition

Meaning: A tax or duty.

Example: “the government began levying special impositions”

Synonyms: Tax, Duty

26) Abandonment

Meaning: The action or fact of abandoning or being abandoned.

Example: “she had a feeling of utter abandonment and loneliness”

Synonyms: Desertion, Neglect

Antonyms: Adoption

27) Sell-off

Meaning: A sale of shares, bonds, or commodities, especially one that causes a fall in price.

Example: “the stock market was shaken earlier this week by sell-offs in defence issues”

28) Indices

Meaning: A figure in a system or scale representing the average value of specified prices, shares, or other items as compared with some reference figure.

Example: “the hundred-shares index closed down 9.3”

29) Erosion

Meaning: The gradual destruction or diminution of something.

Example: “the erosion of support for the party”

Synonyms: Abrasion, Dissolution

30) Legitimate

Meaning: Conforming to the law or to rules.

Example: “his claims to legitimate authority”

Synonyms: Legal, Authorized

Antonyms: Illegal, Illegitimate

31) Distortion(ary)

Meaning: The action of giving a misleading account or impression.

Example: “we’re fed up with the media’s continuing distortion of our issues”

Synonyms: Misrepresentation, Perversion

32) Whammy

Meaning: An event with a powerful and unpleasant effect; a blow.

Example: “the third whammy was the degradation of the financial system”

33) Privilege

Meaning: A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.

Example: “education is a right, not a privilege”

Synonyms: Advantage, Right

34) Peers

Meaning: Look with difficulty or concentration at someone or something.

Example: “Faye peered at her with suspicion”

Synonyms: Squint, Examine

35) Rollback

Meaning: A reduction or decrease.

Example: “a 5 per cent rollback of personal income taxes”

Synonyms: Reduction

Antonyms: Increment

36) Accrue

Meaning: (of a benefit or sum of money) be received by someone in regular or increasing amounts over time.

Example: “financial benefits will accrue from restructuring”

Synonyms: Result, Arise

37) Constraints

Meaning: A limitation or restriction.

Example: “time constraints make it impossible to do everything”

Synonyms: Restriction, Limitation

38) Indexation

Meaning: A system in which the value of something changes in relation to another value or fixed standard.

Example: Indexation of pay rises to productivity will give people an incentive to work harder.

Synonyms: Estimate value

39) Well-off

Meaning: Wealthy; in a favourable situation or circumstances.

Example: “her family are quite well off”

Synonyms: Fortune, Thriving

Antonyms: Unfortunate

40) Credibility

Meaning: The quality of being trusted and believed in.

Example: “the government’s loss of credibility”

Synonyms: Reliability, Integrity


The List of Other THE HINDU EDITORIAL posts available in BANKERSDAILY: