THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 11, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like IBPS RRB PO, IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2018, RBI Grade “B” 2018 & NIACL Assistant 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.

a) Stooping to conquer: BJP’s tact during RS Deputy Chairman election

It was never going to be easy for the Bharatiya Janata Party to get a candidate of its choice elected as the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. The ruling party and its allies fell short of a majority in the House. But what it lacked in numbers, the party made up intact and ploy. First, in choosing a member of the Janata Dal (United), a friend-turned-foe-turned-friend, as the candidate, the BJP sent out the signal that it was willing to be more accommodative to parties that support it. Second, in reaching out to the Biju Janata Dal in Odisha, a party seeking to maintain equidistance between the Congress and the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonstrated a readiness to make peace without standing on prestige. Indeed, by proposing a JD(U) MP, Harivansh, for the post, the BJP found it easier to seek the support of other parties. Once the deal with the BJD was sealed, Congress candidate B.K. Hariprasad stood no chance. Mr. Hariprasad failed to win the support of MPs from parties such as the Peoples Democratic Party, which, though estranged from the BJP, is not keen on supporting the Congress. Whether the deal with the BJD will have significance beyond the election of the Deputy Chairman is not clear yet. With the BJP making rapid strides in Odisha, a BJP-BJD alliance is unlikely. However, it remains to be seen whether this influences floor coordination among Opposition parties during voting or while debating on policy issues. Until recently, the Opposition enjoyed the majority in the House and was able to stall legislation. This may change if the BJD sees a longer-term interest in coordinating with the BJP on specific issues. In retrospect, the Congress might have missed a trick in not making the effort to win over the BJD and the Aam Aadmi Party. Read together with the numbers from the recent no-confidence vote in the Lok Sabha, the one thing that this election confirms is that Opposition unity is still very much a work in progress. The BJP and the Congress may be the principal players at the national level, but they are nowhere close to being the two poles of the next Lok Sabha election. A few regional players such as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, the Telugu Desam Party, and the BJD could well find themselves pitched against both the Congress and the BJP then. And if the Lok Sabha election results push the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance well ahead of a Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, there is no saying which formation these parties will support. Therefore, the Congress will need to beat back the BJP in States where the two parties are locked in a head-to-head contest; otherwise, it will be difficult for it to stitch together an effective and successful pre-poll or post-poll alliance.

b) Endless war: on Saudi Arabia’s strike in Yemen

The attack on a bus in a crowded market in southern Yemen that killed at least 45 people, most of them children, is the latest atrocity in the military intervention led by Saudi Arabia that began over three years ago. During this period, Riyadh has paid little attention to growing international criticism of its use of excessive force in Yemen, which plunged the country, among the poorest in West Asia, into what the United Nations calls the world’s most severe humanitarian crisis. The bus attack comes a week after Saudi war planes targeted the port city Hodeida, which is already under siege, killing at least 28 people and wounding dozens more. Since Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels, who captured huge swathes of territory, including the capital Sanaa, the civilian toll has been particularly high. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the U.S., targeted public infrastructure, killed thousands of civilians, displaced hundreds of thousands more and even laid siege to major cities, blocking food and aid supplies. With no functional government in place and the rebels fighting the Saudi invasion, Yemen’s 28 million people have been practically abandoned by the world. In recent years, the country has had an unprecedented cholera outbreak that killed over 2,000 people. The health-care system has collapsed, millions of people have been cut off from regular access to clean water, and more than eight million people threatened by acute hunger. Saudi Arabia has not been deterred by any of this. Nor has it come under any serious international pressure to halt its catastrophic campaign. Its response to the bus bombing has been callous: it said the attack was “a legitimate military action” and accused the rebels of using children as human shields. The Saudis say the Houthi rebels are backed by Iran, its regional rival; also, that its campaign has been on behalf of the internationally recognised government of Yemen. Curiously, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi is nowhere to be seen; he is reported to be under house arrest in Riyadh. The military campaign has been a failure from a strategic point of view as well. After more than three years of relentless bombing, the rebels are still entrenched in their areas of influence, including Sanaa. It is high time the international community paid serious attention to the voices of the battered Yemenis. The U.S. continues to support this disastrous aggression, with other leading global powers failing to do anything more than condemn rights violations. The plight of Yemenis will get progressively worse unless enough pressure is brought to bear upon Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia and the main architect of the Kingdom’s aggressive foreign policy. He should stop the war and push for a negotiated settlement between the Yemeni government and the rebels.


1) Fell short

Meaning: To fail to attain a specified amount, level, or degree.

Example: “An athlete whose skill fell far short of expectations”

2) Intact

Meaning: Not damaged or impaired in any way; complete.

Example: “The church was almost in ruins, but its tower remained intact”

Synonyms: Whole, Entire.

3) Ploy

Meaning: A cunning plan or action designed to turn a situation to one’s own advantage.

Example: “The president has dismissed the referendum as a ploy to buy time”

4) Indeed

Meaning: Used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Example: “It was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

Synonyms: As expected, to be sure.

5) Estranged

Meaning: (Of a person) no longer close or affectionate to someone; alienated.

Example: “Harriet felt more estranged from her daughter than ever”

6) Strides

Meaning: A step or stage in progress towards an aim.

Example: “Great strides have been made towards equality”

Synonyms: Make progress, Make headway.

7) Debating

Meaning: Argue about (a subject), especially in a formal manner.

Example: “MPs debated the issue in the Commons”

Synonyms: Discuss, Confer about.

8) Retrospect

Meaning: A survey or review of a past course of events or period of time.

Example: “A full retrospect of the battle”

9) Pitched against

Meaning: To make someone fight or compete against someone else.

Example: “He was pitched against Kennedy in the battle for the party leadership”

10) Beat back

Meaning: To force (someone) to go back or to retreat by fighting.

Example: “Our troops were beaten back by enemy forces”

11) Head to Head contest

Meaning: A head-to-head contest or competition is one in which two people or groups compete directly against each other.

Example: “He beat some of the world’s greatest poker players in head-to-head competition”

12) Atrocity

Meaning: An extremely wicked or cruel act, typically one involving physical violence or injury.

Example: “A textbook which detailed war atrocities”

Synonyms: Act of barbarity, Act of brutality.

13) Intervention

Meaning: Interference by a state in another’s affairs.

Example: “The government was reported to be considering military intervention”

Synonyms: Involvement, Intercession.

14) Criticism

Meaning: The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

Example: “He received a lot of criticism”

Synonyms: Censure, Reproval.

15) Plunged

Meaning: Jump or dive quickly and energetically.

Example: “Our little daughters whooped as they plunged into the sea”

Synonyms: Jump, Dive.

16) Crisis

Meaning: A time of intense difficulty or danger.

Example: “The current economic crisis”

Synonyms: Catastrophe, Calamity.

17) Siege

Meaning: A military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender.

Example: “Verdun had withstood a siege of ten weeks”

Synonyms: Blockade, Beleaguerment.

18) Swathes

Meaning: A broad strip or area of something.

Example: “Vast swathes of countryside”

19) Coalition

Meaning: A temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.

Example: “A coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

Synonyms: Alliance, Union.

20) Backed by

Meaning: Give financial, material, or moral support to.

Example: “He had a newspaper empire backing him”

Synonyms: Sponsor, Finance.

21) Rebels

Meaning: A person who rises in opposition or armed resistance against an established government or leader.

Example: “Tory rebels”

Synonyms: Revolutionary, Insurgent.

22) Abandoned

Meaning: Having been deserted or left.

Example: “An abandoned car”

Synonyms: Deserted, Forsaken.

23) Unprecedented

Meaning: Never done or known before.

Example: “The government took the unprecedented step of releasing confidential correspondence”

Synonyms: Unparalleled, Unequalled.

24) Outbreak

Meaning: A sudden occurrence of something unwelcome, such as war or disease.

Example: “The outbreak of World War II”

Synonyms: Eruption, Flare-up.

25) Collapsed

Meaning: (Of a structure) suddenly fall down or give way.

Example: “The roof collapsed on top of me”

Synonyms: Cave in, Fall in.

26) Cutoff

Meaning: A point or level which is a designated limit of something.

Example: “2,500 g is the standard cut-off below which infants are categorized as ‘low birthweight’”

27) Acute

Meaning: (Of an unpleasant or unwelcome situation or phenomenon) present or experienced to a severe or intense degree.

Example: “An acute housing shortage”

Synonyms: Severe, Critical.

28) Deterred

Meaning: Prevent the occurrence of.

Example: “Strategists think not only about how to deter war, but about how war might occur”

Synonyms: Prevent, Stop.

29) Halt

Meaning: Bring or come to an abrupt stop.

Example: “There is growing pressure to halt the bloodshed”

Synonyms: Stop, Come to a halt.

30) Callous

Meaning: Showing or having an insensitive and cruel disregard for others.

Example: “His callous comments about the murder made me shiver”

Synonyms: Heartless, Unfeeling.

31) Legitimate

Meaning: Able to be defended with logic or justification; valid.

Example: “A legitimate excuse for being late”

Synonyms: Valid, Sound.

32) Accused

Meaning: A person or group of people who are charged with or on trial for a crime.

Example: “The accused was ordered to stand trial on a number of charges”

33) Curiously

Meaning: In a way that shows eagerness to know or learn something.

Example: “Neighbours peered curiously through windows at me”

34) Relentless

Meaning: Unceasingly intense.

Example: “The relentless heat of the desert”

Synonyms: Persistent, Continuing.

35) Entrenched

Meaning: (Of an attitude, habit, or belief) firmly established and difficult or unlikely to change; ingrained.

Example: “An entrenched resistance to change”

36) Battered

Meaning: Injured by repeated blows or punishment.

Example: “He finished the day battered and bruised”

37) Disastrous

Meaning: Causing great damage.

Example: “A disastrous fire swept through the museum”

Synonyms: Catastrophic, Calamitous.

38) Condemn

Meaning: Express complete disapproval of; censure.

Example: “Most leaders roundly condemned the attack”

Synonyms: Censure, Criticize.

39) Plight

Meaning: A dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.

Example: “We must direct our efforts towards relieving the plight of children living in poverty”

40) Bear upon

Meaning: If something is borne in on/upon someone, they are made to understand it.

Example: “Suddenly it was borne in on him that he was becoming too old to start a new career”


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