THE HINDU EDITORIAL : AUGUST 20, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : AUGUST 20, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 20, 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) Reality check: On simultaneous polls
Chief Election Commissioner O.P. Rawat’s view that it is not possible to hold simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the State Assemblies soon is a realistic assessment of the humongous task ahead of the Election Commission before it can embark on such an ambitious venture. Mr. Rawat has, in particular, ruled out the possibility of holding elections to the Lok Sabha this December along with polls to the Assemblies of four States. In addition to the basic requirement of a legal framework under which the extension or curtailment of the term of any Assembly is constitutionally permissible, simultaneous elections would demand a massive increase in the number of electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) units. Mr. Rawat has pointed out that altering the term of an Assembly needs an amendment to the Constitution. Moreover, ensuring the availability of VVPATs everywhere poses a logistical challenge. Mizoram is due for elections in December, as the term of the Assembly ends on December 15. This will be followed by Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, with the terms of their Assemblies ending on January 5, 7 and 20, respectively. A new batch of VVPAT units is expected only by the end of November, and it takes a month for first-level checking, rendering the possibility of using them in the next round of elections remote. The logistics are bracing, too. Simultaneous elections will require the use of 24 lakh EVMs, needing the procurement of 12 lakh EVMs and an equal number of VVPAT units, according to its estimate. These figures ought to give pause to the clamour to hold simultaneous Assembly elections with the next Lok Sabha polls. It goes without saying that a wide political consensus, as well as legislative cooperation from various parties at the Centre and in the States, is required for holding simultaneous elections. It is natural that parties that control legislatures constituted in recent months or years would resist any curtailment of their tenures, while those in the Opposition may prefer simultaneous polls if it means Assembly elections being advanced. Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah has written to the Law Commission favouring simultaneous polls, giving a fillip to the idea. The crux of the argument in favour of the concept is that the country is perpetually in election mode, resulting in a lack of adequate focus on governance. The second contention is that scattered polling results in extra expenditure. The question before India is, in order to address these two issues, can legislature terms be curtailed without undermining representative democracy and federalism? Given the procedural and logistical challenges that holding of simultaneous elections pose, it would be far more productive for political parties to focus on basic electoral reforms and find ways to curb excessive election expenditure.
b) A long campaign: On Indonesia Presidential elections
With Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his main challenger Prabowo Subianto announcing their running mates for the April 2019 election, the stage is set for an extended campaign. These will be the fourth direct presidential elections since the end in 1998 of the three-decade-long military-backed dictatorship of Suharto. Both candidates are expected to unveil their road maps to give a boost to job-creation and reduce inequality in the largest economy in Southeast Asia. Equally, in a country with the largest Muslim population and also one whose population is extremely diverse, the two campaigns are shining a light on the larger struggle for b. Mr. Widodo, from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle, is seeking a second term, and his choice of Ma’ruf Amin, a conservative Islamic cleric, as running mate appears to be aimed at averting the alienation of the more orthodox sections. A Muslim of Javanese descent, Mr. Widodo, referred to as Jokowi, was the target of a social media smear campaign in the 2014 elections, suggesting that he was an ethnic Chinese Christian and a member of the banned communist party. This attempt to tap into the resentment against the small but influential minority community is believed to have narrowed his victory margin. Four years ago, too, his rival was Mr. Prabowo, of Gerindra. An economic nationalist, he has denied the accusations against him of human rights violations while heading Indonesia’s special forces — charges that led to a ban on his entry into the U.S. The electoral face-off between Mr. Widodo and Mr. Prabowo comes also against the backdrop of a highly charged gubernatorial race in Jakarta in 2017. The incumbent at that time, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, had succeeded Mr. Widodo when he became President in 2014 and was considered his protégé. Mr. Purnama, a Christian, narrowly lost the election after a hard-fought campaign in which hardline groups accused him of blasphemy. He was subsequently imprisoned on the charge. Mr. Prabowo and his running mate, Sandiaga Uno, had campaigned for Mr. Purnama’s rival at the time — but Mr. Widodo’s running mate, Mr. Amin, was a witness in the blasphemy trial. Differences between the moderate and hardline sections could get exacerbated ahead of the 2019 elections, particularly given the polarisation in a two-way contest. The onus is clearly on President Widodo and Mr. Prabowo to ensure that the airing of contrary political opinion does not cross the limits of civility and decency in this fledgling democracy. But Jokowi, as the candidate whose victory in 2014 inspired optimism about a break from politics-as-usual, perhaps has the greater responsibility to resist a tilt to appease hardline and intolerant opinion.
Meaning: Having or showing a sensible and practical idea of what can be achieved or expected.
Example: “I thought we had a realistic chance of winning”
Synonyms: Practical, Pragmatic
Antonyms: Idealistic, Impracticable
Meaning: Huge; enormous.
Example: “a humongous steak”
3) Embark on
Meaning: To start something new or important.
Example: We’re embarking upon a new project later this year.
4) Ruled out
Meaning: To prevent something from happening.
Example: This recent wave of terrorism has ruled out any chance of peace talks.
Synonyms: Preventing, Impeding
Meaning: The action or fact of reducing or restricting something.
Example: “the curtailment of human rights”
Synonyms: Reduction, Decrease
Antonyms: Increase, Expansion
Meaning: Submit or present for inspection or consideration.
Example: “he would render income tax returns at the end of the year”
Rendering Present, Submit
Meaning: Something that is used to support or connect things, or to make something stronger.
Example: He was recently fitted with a brace for his bad back.
Meaning: The process by which an organization buys the products or services it needs from other organizations.
Example: He vows to cut procurement costs 10% by halving the number of global suppliers.
Meaning: A strongly expressed protest or demand from a large number of people.
Example: “the growing public clamour for more policemen on the beat”
Synonyms: Urging, Insistence
Meaning: A general agreement.
Example: “there is a growing consensus that the current regime has failed”
Synonyms: Agreement, Concord
Meaning: Something which acts as a stimulus or boost to an activity.
Example: “the halving of car tax would provide a fillip to sales”
Synonyms: Stimulus, Stimulation
Meaning: The decisive or most important point at issue.
Example: “the crux of the matter is that attitudes have changed”
Synonyms: Essence, Kernel
Meaning: In a way that never ends or changes; constantly.
Example: “perpetually hungry teenage boys”
Meaning: Heated disagreement.
Example: “the captured territory was the main area of contention between the two countries”
Synonyms: Disagreement, Dispute
Meaning: Lessen the effectiveness, power, or ability of, especially gradually or insidiously.
Example: “this could undermine years of hard work”
Synonyms: Subvert, Threaten
Antonyms: Enhance, Improve
Meaning: Government by a dictator.
Example: “the effects of forty years of dictatorship”
Synonyms: Autocracy, Tyranny
Meaning: [(suh-hahr-toh)] A soldier and statesman in Indonesia in the twentieth century. An abortive coup by communists in 1965 led to the gradual devolution of power from Sukarno to the army, with Suharto assuming power in 1967.
Meaning: Showing a great deal of variety; very different.
Example: “a culturally diverse population”
Synonyms: Various, Sundry
Antonyms: Similar, Uniform
Meaning: A religious leader:
Example: A Buddhist/Catholic/Muslim cleric.
Meaning: Prevent or ward off (an undesirable occurrence).
Example: “talks failed to avert a rail strike”
Synonyms: Prevent, Avoid
Meaning: The state or experience of being alienated.
Example: “a sense of alienation from our environment”
Synonyms: Isolation, Detachment
Meaning: Following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.
Example: “Burke’s views were orthodox in his time”
Synonyms: Conservative, Traditional
Meaning: A false accusation intended to damage someone’s reputation.
Example: “the popular press were indulging in unwarranted smears”
Synonyms: Defamation, Vilification
Meaning: Relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition.
Example: “ethnic and cultural rights and traditions”
Synonyms: Racial, Genetic
Meaning: Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
Example: “his resentment at being demoted”
Synonyms: Bitterness, Irritation
Antonyms: Contentment, Happiness
Meaning: Become or make less wide.
Example: “the road narrowed and crossed an old bridge”
Synonyms: Reduce, Constrict
Meaning: A person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.
Example: “he has no serious rival for the job”
Synonyms: Competitor, Opponent
Antonyms: Partner, Ally
Meaning: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.
Example: “accusations of bribery”
Synonyms: Allegation, Assertion
Meaning: A direct confrontation between two people or groups.
Example: “last night’s vice-presidential face-off”
Meaning: The setting or background for a scene, event, or situation.
Example: “the conference took place against a backdrop of increasing diplomatic activity”
Meaning: Relating to a governor, particularly that of a state in the US.
Example: “a gubernatorial election”
Meaning: Necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.
Example: “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”
Synonyms: Obligatory, Mandatory
Meaning: A person who is guided and supported by an older and more experienced or influential person.
Example: “Ruskin submitted his protégé’s name for election”
Synonyms: Pupil, Trainee
Meaning: Won, achieved, or contested with vigorous effort.
Example: “after a hard-fought match, the game ended in a scoreless draw”
Meaning: The action or offence of speaking sacrilegiously about God or sacred things; profane talk.
Example: “he was detained on charges of blasphemy”
Synonyms: Sacrilege, Curse
36) Running mate
Meaning: In the US, a political partner chosen for a politician who is trying to get elected:
Example: If a candidate for president wins the election, his/her running mate becomes the vice president.
Meaning: Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
Example: “the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem”
Synonyms: Aggravate, Worsen
Antonyms: Calm, Reduce
Meaning: Something that is one’s duty or responsibility.
Example: “the onus is on you to show that you have suffered loss”
Synonyms: Burden, Liability
Meaning: An attempt at winning (something) or defeating (someone).
Example: “a tilt at the European Cup”
Synonyms: Go, Crack
Meaning: Pacify or placate (someone) by acceding to their demands.
Example: “amendments have been added to appease local pressure groups”
Synonyms: Conciliate, Placate
Antonyms: Provoke, Inflame
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