THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 22, 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) Beyond words: On Indo-Pak ties

In the midst of the inane controversy over Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu’s presence at Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony, there have been more substantive exchanges between New Delhi and Islamabad. In his first statement after the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party, Mr. Khan singled out India as a foreign policy relationship he hoped to work on, offering to walk “two steps for every one step” that India took. Narendra Modi responded with a phone call, and they spoke of a shared vision of “peace and development”. Next, the Indian High Commissioner called on Mr. Khan and presented him a cricket bat with the signatures of the Indian team members. Mr. Khan’s new appointee on the Pakistan Cricket Board has said that resuming bilateral cricket is high on the leader’s agenda for improving people-to-people ties. Last week, a delegation led by a Minister in Pakistan’s caretaker government came to Delhi to attend Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s funeral. On Sunday, Pakistan’s new Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, said Mr. Khan had received a congratulatory letter from Mr. Modi calling for the two countries to pursueconstructive engagement”. And on Tuesday Mr. Khan tweeted that trade and resolution of differences through dialogue are the “best way” to “uplift the people in the subcontinent”. All these gestures confirm that both the Prime Ministers are at least sticking by diplomatic courtesy against the backdrop of an otherwise acrimonious relationship. Well-chosen words, however, will not be enough. To begin with, there appears to be very little trust in any quarter of both capitals. Both leaders face political realities that could inhibit them from taking any major risks. Mr. Modi, who dealt with the Pathankot airbase attack just days after his visit to Lahore in December 2015, may well prefer to avoid such overtures, especially with Lok Sabha elections due in less than a year. Mr. Khan, who commands a thin majority in Parliament, and has frequently criticised his predecessors for close ties with India, may choose to remain conservative. Even so, the steps needed are clear. To begin with, the situation at the Line of Control urgently needs attention, and a restoration of the ceasefire would be a major move forward for both countries. Mr. Khan could earn Pakistan an economic breather if he adheres to the international Financial Action Task Force’s demands on ending terror financing; he would earn more goodwill by directly addressing India’s concerns on the support to terrorists in Pakistan, and those being pushed over the LoC. These actions could set up an even bolder move, no matter how unlikely it currently seems: for Mr. Modi to agree to restore the SAARC process by attending the long-delayed summit due in Islamabad this year. Much work, preferably behind the scenes, is needed if Mr. Modi and Mr. Khan hope to realise any of the objectives they have spoken of over the past month.

b) Clearing the path: On protecting elephant corridors

The Supreme Court’s order to seal and close 27 resorts operating in corridors used by elephants in the Nilgiris is a necessary step to restore the ecology of these spaces. Weak regulation of ecotourism is severely impacting important habitats, and affecting animals that have large home ranges, like elephants. Fragmentation of forests makes it all the more important to preserve migratory corridors. The movement of elephants is essential to ensure that their populations are genetically viable, and help regenerate forests on which other species, including tigers, depend. Ending human interference in the pathways of elephants is a conservation imperative, more so because the animals are then not forced to seek alternative routes that bring them into conflict with people. Forests that have turned into farms and unbridled tourism are blocking their paths, resulting in growing incidents of elephant-human conflict. These encounters claim the lives of about 450 people and lead to the death of nearly 100 elephants in retaliatory actions every year on average. A review of elephant corridors published by the Wildlife Trust of India jointly with the Environment Ministry’s Project Elephant last year indicates that there are 101 such identified pathways, of which almost 70% are used regularly. Nearly three-quarters of the corridors are evenly divided among southern, central and north-eastern forests, while the rest are found in northwest Bengal and the north-western region. Some of these passages are precariously narrow, at only a hundred metres wide. These landscape characteristics, and the evidence that there are an estimated 6,500 elephants in just the Brahmagiri-Nilgiris-Eastern Ghats ranges, call for complete protection of the routes they regularly use. Surprisingly, the District Collector’s report on 39 resorts in the Nilgiris points to their having come up right under the gaze of the Forest Department, the majority without the requisite permissions. This must be thoroughly investigated to check whether there was any wrongdoing. The grey area of mushrooming home- stay structures, which are just hotels on forest fringes, also deserves scrutiny. But more importantly, the effort should be to expand elephant corridors, using the successful models within the country, including acquisition of lands using private funds and their transfer to the government. Among the major factors affecting conservation, two need quick remedies: about 40% of elephant reserves are vulnerable, as they are not within protected parks and sanctuaries; and the corridors have no specific legal protection. Illegal structures in these pathways should be removed without delay.


1) Inane

Meaning: Lacking sense or meaning; silly.

Example: “don’t badger people with inane questions”

Synonyms: Silly, Stupid

Antonyms: Intelligent, Sensible

2) Swearing-in

Meaning: An official ceremony in which someone starting a new official job formally promises to be loyal and honest and to perform their duties well.

Example: She had a good seat at the president’s swearing-in ceremony.

3) Singled out

Meaning: To choose one person or thing from a group for special attention, especially criticism or praise.

Example: It’s not fair the way my sister is always singled out for special treatment.

4) Appointee

Meaning: A person to whom a job or role is assigned.

Example: “an appointee to the federal judiciary”

5) Delegation

Meaning: The action or process of delegating or being delegated.

Example: “the delegation of power to the district councils”

Synonyms: Assignment, Committal

6) Pursue

Meaning: Engage in (an activity or course of action).

Example: “Andrew was determined to pursue a computer career”

Synonyms: Follow, Conduct

Antonyms: Shun

7) Constructive

Meaning: Having or intended to have a useful or beneficial purpose.

Example: “constructive advice”

Synonyms: Positive, Useful

Antonyms: Destructive, Negative

8) Tweeted

Meaning: Post a message, image, etc. on Twitter.

Example: “she talks about her own life, but she’s just as likely to tweet about budget cuts and Keynesian economics”

9) Gestures

Meaning: An action performed to convey a feeling or intention.

Example: “Maggie was touched by the kind gesture”

Synonyms: Action, Deed

10) Sticking

Meaning: To bear or accept something or someone unpleasant.

Example: I don’t think I can stick this job a day longer.

11) Backdrop

Meaning: The setting or background for a scene, event, or situation.

Example: “the conference took place against a backdrop of increasing diplomatic activity”

12) Acrimonious

Meaning: (typically of speech or discussion) angry and bitter.

Example: “an acrimonious dispute about wages”

Synonyms: Bitter, Acerbic

13) Inhibit

Meaning: Hinder, restrain, or prevent (an action or process).

Example: “cold inhibits plant growth”

Synonyms: Impede, Hinder

Antonyms: Assist, Encourage

14) Overtures

Meaning: An approach or proposal made to someone with the aim of opening negotiations or establishing a relationship.

Example: “he began making overtures to British merchant banks”

Synonyms: Preposition, Pass

15) Predecessors

Meaning: A person who held a job or office before the current holder.

Example: “the new President’s foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor”

Synonyms: Forerunner, Antecedent

Antonyms: Successor

16) Ceasefire

Meaning: A temporary suspension of fighting; a truce.

Example: “the latest ceasefire seems to be holding”

17) Breather

Meaning: A person or animal that breathes in a particular way.

Example: “a heavy breather”

18) Goodwill

Meaning: Friendly, helpful, or cooperative feelings or attitude.

Example: “the scheme is dependent on goodwill between the two sides”

Synonyms: Benevolence, Compassion

Antonyms: Hostility

19) Set up

Meaning: A set of equipment needed for a particular activity or purpose; the way in which something, especially an organization or equipment, is organized, planned, or arranged.

Example: “I have a recording set-up in my house”

20) Corridors

Meaning: A belt of land linking two other areas or following a road or river.

Example: “the security forces established corridors for humanitarian supplies”

21) Ecology

Meaning: The relationships between the air, land, water, animals, plants, etc., usually of a particular area, or the scientific study of this.

Example: The oil spill caused terrible damage to the fragile ecology of the coast.

22) Ecotourism

Meaning: Tourism directed towards exotic natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.

23) Migratory

Meaning: Denoting an animal that migrates.

Example: “migratory birds”

Synonyms: Migrant, Moving

24) Ensure

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

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

Synonyms: Secure, Warrant

25) Viable

Meaning: (of a plant, animal, or cell) capable of surviving or living successfully, especially under particular environmental conditions.

Example: “the largest and most viable population of this endangered vetch”

26) Regenerate

Meaning: Bring new and more vigorous life to (an area, industry, institution, etc.); revive, especially in economic terms.

Example: “the money will be used to regenerate the heart of the town”

Synonyms: Revive, Revitalize

27) Imperative

Meaning: Of vital importance; crucial.

Example: “immediate action was imperative”

Synonyms: Pressing, Indispensable

Antonyms: Unimportant, Optional

28) Conflict

Meaning: A serious incompatibility between two or more opinions, principles, or interests.

Example: “there was a conflict between his business and domestic life”

Synonyms: Clash, Variance

Antonyms: Harmony

29) Unbridled

Meaning: Uncontrolled; unconstrained.

Example: “a moment of unbridled ambition”

Synonyms: Unrestrained, Rampant

Antonyms: Restrained

30) Retaliatory

Meaning: (of an action) characterized by a desire for revenge.

Example: “fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim’s friends”

31) Precariously

Meaning: In a way that is uncertain or dependent on chance.

Example: “a country poised precariously between economic boom and social catastrophe”

32) Landscape

Meaning: All the visible features of an area of land, often considered in terms of their aesthetic appeal.

Example: “the soft colours of the Northumbrian landscape”

Synonyms: Scenery, Countryside

33) Gaze

Meaning: A steady intent look.

Example: “he turned, following her gaze”

Synonyms: Stare, Watch

34) Requisite

Meaning: A thing that is necessary for the achievement of a specified end.

Example: “she believed privacy to be a requisite for a peaceful life”

Synonyms: Necessity, Essential

Antonyms: Non-essential

35) Wrongdoing

Meaning: Illegal or dishonest behaviour.

Example: “police have denied any wrongdoing”

Synonyms: Crime, Misconduct

36) Mushrooming

Meaning: Increase, spread, or develop rapidly.

Example: “environmental concern mushroomed in the 1960s”

Synonyms: Proliferate, Spread

Antonyms: Contract, Fail

37) Fringes

Meaning: The outer, marginal, or extreme part of an area, group, or sphere of activity.

Example: “his uncles were on the fringes of crooked activity”

Synonyms: Unconventional, Offbeat

Antonyms: Mainstream, Middle

38) Acquisition

Meaning: The process of getting something.

Example: The acquisition of huge amounts of data has helped our research enormously.

39) Conservation

Meaning: Preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment and of wildlife.

Example: “nature conservation”

Synonyms: Preservation, Protection

40) Vulnerable

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

Example: “we were in a vulnerable position”

Synonyms: Endanger, Unsafe

Antonyms: Invulnerable, Resilient


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