The Hindu Editorial : April 1 ,2019

Dear Aspirants,

Daily Current Affairs (April 1, 2019) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.

A) Kartarpur focus

Security concerns are high-priority, but blocking work on the corridor is not right

When India and Pakistan announced in November they would operationalise a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab, it was hailed as a step forward in an otherwise fraught relationship. Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to share the optimism when he likened the initiative’s potential to the fall of the Berlin Wall. What has followed, however, is round upon round of wrangling between the two governments over every detail: from the number of pilgrims to be accommodated, to the security restrictions, to the documentation and mode of transport to be used by pilgrims. At the base of the differences is the deep distrust between the two governments, a chasm that has deepened in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and the Balakot strike. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration feels it should be given more credit for having cleared the Kartarpur proposal, something Indian Sikh pilgrims have demanded for decades, ever since the Radcliffe Line left their sacred shrine on the other side of the border in 1947. For its part, New Delhi refuses to acknowledge Pakistan’s overture, and has made it clear the corridor will have no connection with furthering bilateral talks on other issues. Meanwhile, security agencies have voiced concerns about a possible attempt by Pakistan’s military establishment to use the corridor to fuel separatist Khalistani sentiment. The Modi government’s decision now to postpone the next round of technical talks, which were scheduled for April 2, is driven mainly by those concerns, in particular the inclusion of some known Khalistan activists in a gurdwara committee that would interact with pilgrims from India. Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High Commissioner and sought clarifications on the “controversial elements” on the committee, and said the next meeting would only be held after it receives Pakistan’s response.

While none of the government’s concerns is unwarranted, it could not have been unprepared when it embarked on the corridor proposal. Pakistan’s support to separatist Sikh groups goes back several decades, and India must work to secure its border from the threat even as it opens the gates for thousands of pilgrims to travel to Pakistan. National security must get priority. But for this, there must be an effort by all stakeholders in India — the Centre, the State government and the leadership of the BJP, the Akalis and the Congress — to resist scoring political points against one another. Modalities and technical issues, such as on the numbers, eligibility and identity proof required for the trip to Kartarpur Sahib, should be ironed out by both governments. Putting off meetings is hardly a constructive solution, given the proposed opening by November to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

B) Murky swamp: on Goa politics

The midnight manoeuvres in post-Parrikar Goa raise disturbing questions

The drama of government-formation and Cabinet shuffle amid shifts in political allegiance in Goa serves as a reminder of the dark shadows of manoeuvre and intrigue that lurk within Indian democracy. Goa politics has for long been an arena of overnight desertion and defection. But the death of Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar earlier last month, and the midnight swearing-in of Pramod Sawant, came against the backdrop of the ruling BJP’s aggressively expansionary phase. In this post-2014 phase, the BJP has been unabashed about targeting its allies, as its partner in Goa, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, found out last week. Two of the MGP’s three MLAs in the Assembly joined the BJP. One of them, Manohar Ajgaonkar, was appointed Deputy Chief Minister hours later, replacing Sudin Dhavalikar, the third MGP lawmaker. The breakaway faction constituted a two-thirds majority in the MGP legislature party, which just might safeguard the manoeuvre from the anti-defection provisions of the law. The split of the MGP and the merger of the splinter group with the BJP were all carried out in the dead of night, with Speaker Michael Lobo working his office through odd hours as if it were a national emergency.

In the 2017 Assembly election, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party with 17 seats in the 40-member House, and the BJP had 13 seats. Through a series of manipulative acts that raised questions of political propriety, the BJP managed to form the government. To lead the rickety coalition with the MGP and the Goa Forward Party, the BJP brought Parrikar to the State. His death triggered the current round of jostling for power. The BJP sought to lure MLAs from supporting parties to reduce their collective bargaining power even as the new government was being formed. The MGP was trying to pre-empt the BJP bid by suspending one lawmaker to foreclose the option of a split in the legislature party, when the BJP struck first. The episode has underscored Goa’s disrepute as a theatre of absurdities of Indian democracy. There is speculation that the BJP is now targeting MLAs of the GFP and even the Congress. The BJP and the Congress have 14 MLAs each. The GFP lawmakers boycotted the swearing-in of Mr. Ajgaonkar, who has hopped from the Congress to the BJP to the MGP and back to the BJP. Some BJP leaders have rightly warned that such machinations will undermine the party’s credibility. GFP leader Vijai Sardesai has sought clarity from the Chief Minister on his political plans. It is clear that the current government or any other combination will not inspire trust and confidence in the people. If Goa is not to witness a sequence of party-hopping in search of ministerial berths and loaves of office, a fresh election might be the only answer.


1) hailed

Meaning : (of a large number of objects) fall or be hurled forcefully.

Synonyms : accost

Antonyms : dishonor

Example : “missiles and bombs hail down from the sky”

2) fraught

Meaning : (of a situation or course of action) filled with or likely to result in (something undesirable).

Tamil Meaning : நிறைந்ததாகவும்

Synonyms : replete

Antonyms : empty

Example : “marketing any new product is fraught with danger”

3) wrangling

Meaning : engagement in a long, complicated dispute or argument.

Synonyms : quibble

Antonyms : concur

Example : “weeks of political wrangling”

4) chasm

Meaning : a deep fissure in the earth’s surface.

Synonyms : crevasse

Antonyms : closing

Example : “a chasm a mile long”

5) aftermath

Meaning : the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event.

Tamil Meaning : பின்னர்

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms : origin

Example : “food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought”

6) sacred

Meaning : connected with God or a god or dedicated to a religious purpose and so deserving veneration.

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms : cause

Example : “sacred rites”

7) overture

Meaning : an orchestral piece at the beginning of an opera, play, etc.

Synonyms : proposition

Antonyms : epilogue

Example : “the overture to Mozart’s ‘Don Giovanni’”

8) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

9) embarked

Meaning : begin (a course of action).

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கொண்டார்

Synonyms : commence

Antonyms : finish

Example : “she embarked on a new career”

10) intrigue

Meaning : arouse the curiosity or interest of; fascinate.

Tamil Meaning : சூழ்ச்சி

Synonyms : conspiracy

Antonyms : honesty

Example : “I was intrigued by your question”

11) lurk

Meaning : be or remain hidden so as to wait in ambush for someone or something.

Tamil Meaning : பதுங்கு

Synonyms : crouch

Antonyms : come out

Example : “a ruthless killer still lurked in the darkness”

12) desertion

Meaning : the action of deserting a person, cause, or organization(n).

Synonyms : betrayal

Antonyms : allowance

Example : “I resented what I saw as my parents’ desertion”

13) aggressive

Meaning : in a manner resulting from or betraying aggression.

Tamil Meaning : ஆக்கிரமிப்பு

Synonyms : combative

Antonyms : complaisant

Example : “he resisted violently and continued to behave aggressively in the police car”

14) unabashed

Meaning : not embarrassed, disconcerted, or ashamed.

Synonyms : blatant

Antonyms : timid

Example : “he was unabashed by the furore his words provoked”

15) splinter

Meaning : a small, thin, sharp piece of wood, glass, or similar material broken off from a larger piece.

Synonyms : flake

Antonyms : whole

Example : “a splinter of ice”

16) manipulative

Meaning : exercising unscrupulous control or influence over a person or situation.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : devious

Antonyms : honest

Example : “she was sly, selfish, and manipulative”

17) rickety

Meaning : (of a structure or piece of equipment) poorly made and likely to collapse.

Synonyms : decrepit

Antonyms : stable

Example : “we went carefully up the rickety stairs”

18) pre-empt

Meaning : take action in order to prevent (an anticipated event) happening; forestall.

Example : “the government pre-empted a coup attempt”

19) disrepute

Meaning : the state of being held in low esteem by the public.

Tamil Meaning : மிகத்தாழ்வான

Synonyms : brand

Antonyms : approval

Example : “one of the top clubs in the country is bringing the game into disrepute

20) absurdities

Meaning : the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable.

Synonyms : farce

Antonyms : judgment

Example : “Duncan laughed at the absurdity of the situation”


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