The Hindu Editorial : April 5 ,2019

Dear Aspirants,

Daily Current Affairs (April 5, 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) No surprises: on RBI repo rate cut

RBI’s reduction in benchmark rates is an acknowledgement of a slowdown in growth

There was no surprise in the 25 basis points cut in benchmark interest rates by the Reserve Bank of India in its first bi-monthly policy statement of the financial year announced on Thursday. The market had anticipated such a cut and the only question was whether the central bank would surprise with a deeper 50 basis points cut. In the event, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) seems to have decided to hold its horses and settle for a conservative approach given the divergent sets of data that it was confronted with. On the one hand, inflation, despite the mild spike in February, is well under control at 2.6% and is projected to average 3.2% to 3.4% in the first half of 2019-20. This is below the 4% target set for the MPC. But there are some factors that could spring a surprise on the upside, such as the behaviour of the monsoon and the trend in global oil prices, both of which feed directly into inflationary expectations. Early forecasts indicate a strong possibility of a below-normal monsoon due to El Niňo. Such an event would cast a shadow on agricultural output, and consequently the food prices. Similarly, global oil prices are now edging close to the $70 a barrel mark on the back of production cuts by the OPEC cartel. While the soft growth trends in the global economy could act as a check on any runaway increase in oil prices, the chances of a sharp fall in the next few months appear remote at this point in time. If these are points of upward pressure on inflation, on the other side growth has been faltering in the last few months, going by both data on industrial output and overall GDP. The Central Statistics Office has revised the GDP growth for 2018-19 downwards to 7% while the RBI has projected a lower growth of 7.2% in 2019-20 compared to the 7.4% estimated in the last policy.

The 25 basis points cut is, therefore, an acknowledgement by the MPC of the slowdown in growth. It also signals a shift in policy since Shaktikanta Das assumed office as Governor of the RBI, whereby the MPC is not solely focussed on inflation but also takes into account growth trends with equal seriousness. The MPC’s neutral policy stance is prudent given the uncertainties ahead as it gives the central bank the flexibility to tailor policy to emerging data sets. Meanwhile, Mr. Das has sent out a welcome, clear signal on the central bank’s commitment to the framework for resolution of stressed assets in the backdrop of the Supreme Court striking down its circular issued on February 12, 2018. While underlining that the RBI’s powers have not been compromised, he has indicated that the central bank will soon reissue the circular taking into account the apex court’s observations. This is as it should be.

B) Outer clarity: on ‘weaponisation’ of outer space

India must take up more forcefully the case against weaponisation of outer space

The Indian Space Research Organisation’s successful April 1 launch of the PSLV-C45 rocket that placed 29 satellites in three different orbits is remarkable both for the complex set of multi-tasking the mission accomplished and for the timing. Coming three days after ISRO and the Defence Research and Development Organisation knocked out a satellite in a Low Earth Orbit with a direct hit, it would appear that the Indian space programme stands galvanised and poised for a giant leap. The dexterity with which so many satellites, most of them American, were placed in three different orbits certainly showcases both the reliability and the expertise that ISRO offers. This is not a new development. In February 2017, the PSLV-C37 placed 104 satellites, 96 of them from the U.S., in one go, a testimony to ISRO’s ability to launch satellites at a fraction of the cost that other countries incur. Equally important, just as the February 2017 launch also placed the fifth of the Cartosat 2 series in orbit, an earth observation satellite with cameras that have a resolution of less than a metre, the PSLV-C45 placed EMISAT, which can, among other things, aid in electronic intelligence. In other words, India is assiduously putting in place a space military architecture. Over the next few months, as many as eight satellites are expected to be launched, strengthening the defence dimension.

That is precisely why the government should articulate much more clearly the doctrinal aspects of the space programme, as well as the deterrence sought to be achieved by it. India must communicate its peaceful intentions just as it showcases its capabilities, so as to contribute to a better understanding among countries it hopes to deter and thereby reduce the chances of wrong inferences being drawn in crisis situations. After all, missiles are but one aspect of space warfare. There are other, less visible but equally effective methods to incapacitate satellites that are being developed and are of equally serious concern. The problem is that there is no global regulatory regime to address the growing militarisation in space. Last year, at the UN Disarmament Commission, India expressed concern about the “weaponisation” of outer space, and sought collective action to secure space-based assets. In this regulatory vacuum, India has legitimate reasons to develop deterrence for the security of its space-based assets. Equally, New Delhi must take a bigger lead in forging a global and legally binding instrument to prevent militarisation of space. It is encouraging that after the ASAT test, India said it “expects to play a role in the future in the drafting of international law on prevention of an arms race in space”. This is morally and pragmatically in keeping with India’s power projection. Given the prohibitively expensive nature of space projects, India and other countries must utilise the increased presence in space to legitimately advance the well-being of their people.


1) anticipated

Meaning : regard as probable; expect or predict(v).

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பார்க்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : assume

Antonyms : doubt

Example : “she anticipated scorn on her return to the theatre”

2) conservative

Meaning : averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values(adj).

Synonyms : timid

Antonyms : inconstant

Example : “they were very conservative in their outlook”

3) divergent

Meaning : tending to be different or develop in different directions(adj).

Tamil Meaning : மாறுபட்ட

Synonyms : disparate

Antonyms : conforming

Example : “divergent interpretations”

4) confronted

Meaning : face up to and deal with (a problem or difficulty)(v).

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்கொண்டனர்

Synonyms : accost

Antonyms : dodge

Example : “usually the best thing you can do in an embarrassing situation isto confront it head on”

5) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage(n).

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : although

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

6) consequently

Meaning : as a result(adv).

Synonyms : ergo

Example : “flexible workers find themselves in great demand, and consequently gain high salaries”

7) faltering

Meaning : losing strength or momentum(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தடுமாறும்

Synonyms : hesitate

Antonyms : hold

Example : “his faltering career”

8) revised

Meaning : having been reconsidered and amended.

Synonyms : improved

Antonyms : kept

Example : “the revised approach will tackle many of the issues highlighted”

9) stance

Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture.

Tamil Meaning : நிலைப்பாடு

Synonyms : posture

Example : “she altered her stance, resting all her weight on one leg”

10) prudent

Meaning : acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

Synonyms : discreet

Antonyms : careless

Example : “no prudent money manager would authorize a loan without first knowing its purpose”

11) accomplished

Meaning : highly trained or skilled in a particular activity.

Synonyms : adept

Antonyms : clumsy

Example : “an accomplished pianist”

12) galvanised

Meaning : shock or excite (someone) into taking action.

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டியது

Synonyms : astonish

Antonyms : compose

Example : “the urgency of his voice galvanized them into action”

13) dexterity

Meaning : skill in performing tasks, especially with the hands(n).

Tamil Meaning : திறமை

Synonyms : ingenuity

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “her dexterity with chopsticks”

14) incur

Meaning : become subject to (something unwelcome or unpleasant) as a result of one’s own behaviour or actions(v).

Synonyms : deftness

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “I will pay any expenses incurred”

15) expensive

Meaning : costing a lot of money(adj).

Synonyms : costly

Antonyms : worthless

Example : “keeping a horse is expensive”

16) precisely

Meaning : in exact terms; without vagueness(adv).

Synonyms : absolutely

Antonyms : imprecisely

Example : “the guidelines are precisely defined”

17) legitimate

Meaning : conforming to the law or to rules(adj).

Tamil Meaning : முறையான

Synonyms : certain

Antonyms : abnormal

Example : “his claims to legitimate authority”

18) contribute

Meaning : give (something, especially money) in order to help achieve or provide something(v).

Tamil Meaning : பங்களிக்க

Synonyms : give

Antonyms : hold

Example : “taxpayers had contributed £141.8 million towards the cost of local services”

19) deter

Meaning : discourage (someone) from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences(v).

Synonyms : daunt

Antonyms : advance

Example : “only a health problem would deter him from seeking re-election”

20) inferences

Meaning : a conclusion reached on the basis of evidence and reasoning.

Tamil Meaning : அனுமானம்

Synonyms : conjecture

Antonyms : reality

Example : “researchers are entrusted with drawing inferences from the data”

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