The Hindu Editorial : April 3 ,2019

Dear Aspirants,

Daily Current Affairs (April 3, 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) Turkish surprise: on ruling party’s losses in local polls

The ruling party’s losses in local polls are a personal setback for President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had led the campaign for Sunday’s municipal elections from the front, so the reverses to his Justice and Development Party (AKP) have come as a personal jolt. The biggest blow to the Islamist party is the end of its long dominance of the capital Ankara and possibly Istanbul too. These polls were the first since Mr. Erdoğan was re-elected in June 2018, after Turkey switched to a presidential form of government authorised in a 2017 referendum. The Republican People’s Party (CHP), the principal Opposition, and pro-Kurdish parties have made huge inroads. They had managed to contain the AKP’s margin of victory in the June presidential and parliamentary polls. Given how much he had raised the stakes, the question is whether he will reconsider recent policies that have done little to restore investor confidence in the economy following the lira’s spectacular depreciation last year. Prices of food commodities in particular have remained high. But even as farmers and traders reeled under high fuel and fertilizer costs and unfavourable weather conditions, a government hamstrung by the ballooning deficit could do no more than turn its ire on them. It accused traders of hoarding stocks and spiking costs. In addition, local governments forced retailers to hold down prices. The move put a further squeeze on the sector and hurt the government’s electoral fortunes. A beleaguered Mr. Erdoğan unleashed the rhetoric of food “terrorism”, but was unable to deflect attention from the need for a fiscal stimulus. Stiffer fiscal targets set by the Finance Minister, who is Mr. Erdoğan’s son-in-law, have foreclosed any conventional avenues to contain the price escalation.

The travails are symptomatic of the conditions afflicting Turkey. They go back to the run on the currencies of several emerging economies, leading to the depreciation of the lira by a third. Ankara’s woes turned acute following the flow of hot money and large borrowings by businesses in external currencies. Mr. Erdoğan is opposed to higher interest rates, and the government’s response to halt the lira’s slide and contain inflation was belated. Conversely, lending rates in Turkey now are among the world’s highest, which makes lowering them quickly a risky proposition. The challenges are compounded by strained relations with its traditional allies, particularly the U.S. Washington has announced a halt to supplies related to the F-35 jets, in retaliation for Ankara’s decision to buy a Russian missile defence system. The diplomatic standoff over the detention of a U.S. pastor too was a factor behind the weakening of the lira last year. As the next elections are a few years away, expectations are that Mr. Erdoğan will adopt a more pragmatic approach to address the economic challenges.

B) Poll-time censorship: on gag order obtained by BJP’s Tejasvi Surya

The gag order obtained by a Bengaluru Lok Sabha candidate defies freedom of speech

The Bengaluru civil court’s blanket order restraining 49 newspapers, television channels and other media outlets from publishing anything ‘defamatory’ about Tejasvi Surya, the BJP’s candidate for the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, is contrary to the law and the Constitution. The temporary injunction violates the basic principle in free speech law that bars ‘prior restraint’ or pre-censorship of any publication, including the media. As recently as in 2017, a Supreme Court Bench made it clear that pre-broadcast or pre-publication regulation of content was not in the court’s domain. In R. Rajagopal (1994), the court noted that there is no law that authorises prior restraint. The existence of a prima facie case is a precondition for an interim injunction, and a restraining order may be obtained only if some material deemed defamatory has been published, and when further publication ought to be prevented. Arraying print and electronic media outlets that had not previously disseminated anything defamatory about an individual fails this test, rendering any injunctions obtained against them illegal. Judge Dinesh Hegde’s order takes note of two factors in granting Mr. Surya’s request for an injunction: that some allegations against him surfaced after he filed his nomination papers, and “some defamatory messages” against him “are in transit” in the media. He cites a 1986 Karnataka High Court decision, but misses the point that the High Court’s justification for an injunction concerned an individual who had made public utterances about the plaintiff, and it was not an omnibus order against a class of persons. In any case, there is enough case law from the Supreme Court to bar prior restraint orders.

The allegations that have aggrieved Mr. Surya seem to originate in an individual’s opinion on him on Twitter. It is possible that this piece of information was or is likely to be used against him by his electoral rivals. However, this cannot be a reason for a public figure — and a candidate of a major political party, even a debutant, is definitely one — to claim a right to gag the entire media from writing about him. Even if the argument is that the order only prevents ‘defamatory’ content and not responsible reporting or criticism, that doesn’t justify a judicial gag order, as it may be used to prevent the media from writing anything adverse to his campaign. It may also prevent defendants in a future proceeding from using ‘publication of the truth in the public interest’ as a defence. Requests for omnibus restraining orders against media outlets seem to find favour with some civil judges in Karnataka. This newspaper itself faces in Karnataka around a hundred petitions for injunction filed by individuals and entities, most of them unlikely to be mentioned in its columns ever. The Karnataka High Court or the Supreme Court must examine this trend and strike down such blanket gag orders.


1) depreciation

Meaning : a reduction in the value of an asset over time, due in particular to wear and tear(n).

Synonyms : depress

Antonyms : develop

Example : “provision should be made for depreciation of fixed assets”

2) hoarding

Meaning : accumulate (money or valued objects) and hide or store away(v).

Synonyms : stash

Antonyms : distribute

Example : “thousands of antiques hoarded by a compulsive collector”

3) spiking

Meaning : impale on or pierce with a sharp point(v).

Synonyms : impale

Antonyms : detach

Example : “she spiked another oyster”

4) beleaguered

Meaning : put in a very difficult situation(v).

Synonyms : annoy

Antonyms : assist

Example : “the board is supporting the beleaguered director”

5) unleashed

Meaning : cause (a strong or violent force) to be released or become unrestrained(v).

Synonyms : discharge

Antonyms : hold

Example : “the failure of the talks could unleash more fighting”

6) diplomatic

Meaning : of or concerning diplomacy.

Synonyms : gracious

Antonyms : rude

Example : “diplomatic relations with Britain were broken”

7) detention

Meaning :the action of detaining someone or the state of being detained in official custody.

Synonyms : delay

Antonyms : assistance

Example : “the fifteen people arrested were still in police detention”

8) pragmatic

Meaning : dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations(adj).

Synonyms : efficient

Antonyms : excited

Example : “a pragmatic approach to politics”

9) contrary

Meaning : opposite in nature, direction, or meaning(adj).

Tamil Meaning : மாறாக

Synonyms : antithetical

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “he ignored contrary advice and agreed on the deal”

10) interim

Meaning : in or for the intervening period; provisional.

Tamil Meaning : இடைக்கால

Synonyms : caretaker

Antonyms : finished

Example : “an interim arrangement”

11) restraining

Meaning : intended to keep someone under control or prevent someone from doing something.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டுப்படுத்துகிற

Synonyms : forbidding

Example : “Cara put a restraining hand on his arm”

12) ought

Meaning : used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions(v).

Tamil Meaning : வேண்டும்

Synonyms : requisite

Antonyms : unwanted

Example : “they ought to respect the law”

13) disseminated

Meaning : having spread throughout an organ or the body(adj).

Synonyms : disperse

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “symptoms vary from mild localized disease to severe disseminated infection”

14) injunction

Meaning : an authoritative warning or order.

Synonyms : mandate

Antonyms : allowance

15) concerned

Meaning : worried, troubled, or anxious(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சம்பந்தப்பட்ட

Synonyms : anxious

Antonyms : collected

Example : “the villagers are concerned about burglaries”

16) utterances

Meaning : a spoken word, statement, or vocal sound.

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : listening

Example : “he whispered, as if to lend his utterances an added confidentiality”

17) aggrieved

Meaning : feeling resentment at having been unfairly treated.

Synonyms : persecuted

Antonyms : comforted

Example : “they were aggrieved at the outcome”

18) rivals

Meaning : be or seem to be equal or comparable to.

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியாளர்கள்

Synonyms : competition

Antonyms : helper

Example : “he was a photographer whose fame rivalled that of his subjects”

19) debutant

Meaning : a man making his first public appearance, especially in sport.

Synonyms : newcomer

Example : “rarely in the history of the festival has a debutant director won the Palme d’Or”

20) defendants

Meaning : an individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law.

Synonyms : litigant

Example : “the defendant tried to claim that it was self-defence”

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