The Hindu Editorial : April 8 ,2019

Dear Aspirants,

Daily Current Affairs (April 8, 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) Capital high: foreign investment in India

To retain the confidence of foreign investors, macroeconomic management is key

Foreign investors appear to have rediscovered India. The inflow of foreign capital into India’s stock market in the month of March hit a high of $4.89 billion, the biggest foreign inflow into Indian stocks since February 2012. As a result, the stock market rose a solid 8% in March. Foreign investment in Indian equities stood at $2.42 billiosn in February, as against a net outflow of $4.4 billion during the same month a year earlier, and is expected to be strong in April as well. Both cyclical and structural factors are behind this sudden uptick in foreign investment that has helped the rupee make an impressive comeback. The rupee has appreciated by about 7% since early October, when it was reeling at around 74 against the dollar. Last year, India received more foreign direct investment than China for the first time in two decades. While the Chinese economy has been slowing down considerably in the last one year, India has emerged as the fastest-growing major economy. Doubts over the robustness of the GDP calculation method notwithstanding, it is clear that investors expect India to be a major source of global growth in the coming years. Other short-term reasons may also be behind some of the recent inflow of capital into the country. For one, there is a sense among a section of investors that their fears of political instability are misplaced. More important, there are clear signs that western central banks have turned dovish. Both the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, for instance, have promised to keep interest rates low for longer. This has caused investors to turn towards relatively high-yielding emerging market debt. Indian mid-cap stocks, which suffered a deep rout last year, are now too attractive to ignore for many foreign investors.

The return of foreign capital is obviously a good sign for the Indian economy. But policymakers need to be careful not to take foreign investors for granted. Other emerging Asian economies will be competing hard to attract foreign capital, which is extremely nimble. Any mistake by policymakers will affect India’s image as an investment destination. To retain investor confidence, whichever government comes to power after the general election this summer will need to increase the pace of structural reforms and also ensure proper macroeconomic management with the help of the Reserve Bank of India. Long-pending reforms to the labour and land markets are the most pressing structural changes that will affect India’s long-term growth trajectory. The high fiscal deficit of both the Centre and the State governments and the disruptive outflow of foreign capital are the other macroeconomic challenges. These are some issues that need to be solved sooner rather than later.

B) The heat is on: protection during summer

Local administrations must draw up plans to address heat stress and possible water scarcity

A forecast of a below average monsoon in 2019, after last year’s erratic rainfall that flooded Kerala and crippled agriculture in eastern and western States, is a cause for worry. If the assessment from one agency, Skymet, is any indication, there is a prospect of an El Niño, often associated with drought conditions, taking hold. This must, of course, be considered along with other factors that seem to weaken the El Niño link, such as a dipole weather phenomenon in the Indian Ocean. Should the monsoon, which normally sets in between June 1 and July 15 across the country, turn out to be deficient, it will add to the pressures on rural employment and the economy as a whole. Things may become clearer when the India Meteorological Department also issues its forecast, although error margins and the erratic nature of rainfall in different regions render the exercise fraught with uncertainty. Last year, for instance, the realisation of rainfall was 91% of the long-term average, while the prediction was for 97%. More immediately, India will go to the polls in the peak of summer after an intensive campaign. It is the responsibility of State administrations to prepare for the likelihood of a heat spike, particularly during April and May, to prevent loss of life and extreme distress to communities. Official agencies and NGOs should start adopting the drill on this, using the template drawn up by the National Disaster Management Authority.

The key elements of protection in a heat wave are avoiding exposure during the hottest part of the day around noon, especially in the case of senior citizens, staying adequately hydrated, wearing suitable clothing including headgear, and creating shade in public places. These messages and weather alerts can be disseminated through television, mobile phone messaging and social media platforms. Urban local bodies in particular have a responsibility to care for the large number of vulnerable city dwellers. Yet, few cities have drawn up proper heat action plans to respond to extreme weather or made them public. During the current year, there is apprehension that the focus of administrators will mainly be on the conduct of the elections, relegating the public health risk of heat waves to the backburner. With the availability of advance weather alerts, there is no reason why local bodies cannot institute remedial measures. Mitigating the effect of heat waves is vital to ensuring a high turnout in the elections by making it safe for voters. India is looking at another uncertain monsoon, bringing into sharp relief the neglected potential of decentralised water-harvesting. It is more than a decade since the National Commission on Farmers suggested the wider adoption of both rainwater harvesting and aquifer recharge, in order to provide irrigation for small farmers. It is time to take measures that will help communities achieve resilience.


1) emerged

Meaning : move out of or away from something and become visible.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பட்டது

Synonyms : appear

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”

2) instability

Meaning : the state of being unstable; lack of stability.

Tamil Meaning : ஸ்திரமின்மை

Synonyms : insecurity

Antonyms : calm

Example : “political and economic instability”

3) Mitigating

Meaning : having the effect of making something bad less severe, serious, or painful(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தணிப்பதற்கான

Synonyms : alleviate

Antonyms : aggravate

Example : “it should have a mitigating effect on the frequency of minor flooding events”

4) competing

Meaning : striving against one another to gain or win something(adj)

Synonyms : contest

Antonyms : agree

Example : “competing political ideologies”

5) nimble

Meaning : quick and light in movement or action; agile(adj).

Tamil Meaning : வேகமான

Synonyms : adept

Antonyms : clumsy

Example : “with a deft motion of her nimble fingers”

6) retain

Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of(v).

Tamil Meaning : தக்கவைத்து

Synonyms : contain

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “Labour retained the seat”

7) pace

Meaning : a single step taken when walking or running(n).

Synonyms : gait

Example : “Kirov stepped back a pace”

8) ensure

Meaning : make certain that (something) will occur or be the case.

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : insure

Antonyms : endanger

Example : “the client must ensure that accurate records are kept”

9) reforms

Meaning : make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it(v).

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : improve

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “the Bill will reform the tax system”

10) deficit

Meaning : an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period(n).

Synonyms : shortfall

Antonyms : adequacy

Example : “an annual operating deficit”

11) disruptive

Meaning : causing or tending to cause disruption(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சீர்குலைக்கும்

Synonyms : troublesome

Antonyms : disciplined

Example : “disruptive pupils”

12) erratic

Meaning : not even or regular in pattern or movement; unpredictable(adj).

Tamil Meaning : ஒழுங்கற்ற

Synonyms : arbitrary

Antonyms : normal

Example : “her breathing was erratic”

13) crippled

Meaning : (of a machine) severely damaged.

Synonyms : deformed

Antonyms : fixed

Example : “the pilot displayed skill and nerve in landing the crippled plane”

14) render

Meaning : provide or give (a service, help, etc.)(v).

Tamil Meaning : வழங்க

Synonyms : provide

Antonyms : withhold

Example : “money serves as a reward for services rendered

15) fraught

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

Synonyms : charged

Antonyms : empty

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

16) intensive

Meaning : concentrated on a single subject or into a short time; very thorough or vigorous(adj).

Synonyms : accelerated

Antonyms : superficial

Example : “she undertook an intensive Arabic course”

17) resilience

Meaning : the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Synonyms : flexibility

Example : “the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”

18) headgear

Meaning : hats, helmets, and other items worn on the head.

Synonyms : capote

Example : “protective headgear”

19) vulnerable

Meaning : exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Synonyms : exposed

Antonyms : protected

Example : “we were in a vulnerable position”

20) relegating

Meaning : assign an inferior rank or position to(v).

Tamil Meaning : புறக்கணி

Synonyms : entrust

Antonyms : deny

Example : “they aim to prevent women from being relegated to a secondary role”

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