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) From Ithaca: On Greece’s exit from bailout

On Tuesday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras chose Ithaca, home to Odysseus, the protagonist of Homer’s epic, and the place to which he returns after a decade of being lost at sea, to announce the end of Greece’s “modern-day Odyssey”. The country has exited its third and final bailout since 2010, having borrowed €289 billion ($330 billion) from a ‘troika’ of lenders, the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank, over a period of eight years in order to retrieve itself from the brink of financial collapse. In return, Greece undertook structural reforms, submitting itself to a controversial and painful austerity programme. The economy shrunk by a quarter, unemployment was at 28% (50% for those under 25 years of age), government spending was slashed as were salaries and pensions, hundreds of thousands of Greeks emigrated and a third of the country fell into poverty. Yet the path is far from clear and the road is long. Greece owes a staggering 180% of GDP in debt. Also, as part of the bailout conditions Greece will need to maintain a 3.5% primary surplus (a budget surplus prior to interest payments) until 2022 and then around 2% until 2060. The IMF has warned that such budget surpluses are rare. It is especially challenging for a country that has just emerged from a decade of economic strife and austerity and has an ageing population. There are concerns that they will constrain Greece’s ability to grow and pay off its debt. While several of the required reforms were initiated during the bailout period, a lot remains to be done. This includes greater flexibility in the labour market, simplified licensing processes for companies and banking reforms to help clean up the non-performing assets on banks’ balance sheets (individuals and companies that could not pay back loans); almost half of all outstanding loans of banks are now NPAs. The tax system will have to be reorganised so the tax base is widened and the bulk of the tax burden does not fall on the middle class. Greece’s Eurozone creditors agreed in June to a softening of debt repayment terms, including extended maturity periods, delayed interest payments and buffer funds to stabilise and ease the country’s re-entry into financial markets. Yet, the IMF, based on its assessment of risks and bleaker longer-term growth projections that differ significantly from the European Commission’s projections, has cautioned that Greece is at risk of getting stuck in a debt trap with onerous surplus conditions having to be maintained. These conditions imply restraints on government spending programmes that could, for instance, be used to stimulate growth. The country’s creditors need to consider reducing the mountain of debt, so Greece stands a solid chance of emerging from what has been a modern-day odyssey.


1) Protagonist

Meaning: The leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc.

Example: “the novel’s main protagonist is an American intelligence officer”

Synonyms: Role, Lead

2) Epic

Meaning: The genre of epics.

Example: “the romances display gentler emotions not found in Greek epic”

3) Decade

Meaning: A period of ten years.

Example: “he taught at the university for nearly a decade”

4) Bailout

Meaning: The act of helping a person or organization that is in difficulty, usually by giving or giving or lending money.

Example: Three years of huge losses forced the bank to seek a government bailout.

Synonyms: Supporting

5) Troika

Meaning: A group of three people, especially government officials:

Example: She is a member of the president’s troika of close advisers.

6) Retrieve

Meaning: Put right or improve (an unwelcome situation).

Example: “he made one last desperate attempt to retrieve the situation”

Synonyms: Resolve, Correct

7) Brink

Meaning: A point at which something, typically something unwelcome, is about to happen; the verge.

Example: “the country was on the brink of a constitutional crisis”

Synonyms: Verge, Threshold

8) Collapse

Meaning: Fail suddenly and completely.

Example: “the talks collapsed last week over territorial issues”

Synonyms: Fail, Miscarry

Antonyms: Succeed

9) Reforms

Meaning: The action or process of reforming an institution or practice.

Example: “the reform of the divorce laws”

Synonyms: Betterment, Refinement

10) Controversial

Meaning: Giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement.

Example: “years of wrangling over a controversial bypass”

Synonyms: Contentious, Disputable

Antonyms: Uncontroversial, Anodyne

11) Austerity

Meaning: Difficult economic conditions created by government measures to reduce public expenditure.

Example: “the country was subjected to acute economic austerity”

12) Shrunk

Meaning: Become or make smaller in size or amount.

Example: “the workforce shrank to a thousand”

Synonyms: Contract, Diminish

Antonyms: Expand, Increase

13) Slashed

Meaning: Reduce (a price, quantity, etc.) greatly.

Example: “the workforce has been slashed by 2,000”

Synonyms: Reduce, Drop

Antonyms: Raise, Create

14) Emigrated

Meaning: Leave one’s own country in order to settle permanently in another.

Example: “Rose’s parents emigrated to Australia”

Synonyms: Migrate

Antonyms: Immigrate

15) Staggering

Meaning: Continue in existence or operation uncertainly or precariously.

Example: “the treasury staggered from one crisis to the next”

16) Debt

Meaning: A sum of money that is owed or due.

Example: “I paid off my debts”

Synonyms: Bill, Tally

17) Surplus

Meaning: An excess of income or assets over expenditure or liabilities in a given period, typically a financial year.

Example: “a trade surplus of $1,395 million”

Synonyms: Excess, Excessive

Antonyms: Necessary, Insufficient

18) Ageing

Meaning: (of a person) growing old; elderly.

Example: “an ageing population”

19) Concerns

Meaning: Anxiety; worry.

Example: “Carole gazed at her with concern”

Synonyms: Anxiety, Worry

Antonyms: Serenity, Indifference

20) Constrain

Meaning: Compel or force (someone) to follow a particular course of action.

Example: “children are constrained to work in the way the book dictates”

Synonyms: Compel, Force

21) Pay off

Meaning: Money paid to someone, especially so that they do not cause trouble or so that they will do what you want.

Example: It has been alleged that the congressman received a secret payoff from an arms dealer.

22) Flexibility

Meaning: The quality of bending easily without breaking.

Example: “players gained improved flexibility in their ankles”

Synonyms: Pliability, Plasticity

Antonyms: Rigidity, Inflexibility

23) Licensing

Meaning: Grant a licence to.

Example: “a pub has to be licensed by the local justices”

Synonyms: Permit, Allow

Antonyms: Ban, Forbid

24) Clean up

Meaning: An act of improving a company or system by removing people and stopping activities that are dishonest or causing problems.

Example: The cleanup involved foreclosing on thousands of problem loans and selling the properties that secured them.

25) Reorganised

Meaning: Change the way in which (something) is organized.

Example: “we have to reorganize the entire workload”

Synonyms: Restructure, Change

26) Widened

Meaning: Make or become wider.

Example: “we should widen the scope of our investigation”

Synonyms: Broaden, Stretch

Antonyms: Narrow, Restrict

27) Stabilise

Meaning: Make or become unlikely to change, fail, or decline.

Example: “an emergency program designed to stabilize the economy”

28) Assessment

Meaning: The action of assessing someone or something.

Example: “the assessment of educational needs”

Synonyms: Evaluation, Judgement

29) Bleaker

Meaning: (of a situation) not hopeful or encouraging; unlikely to have a favourable outcome.

Example: “he paints a bleak picture of a company that has lost its way”

Synonyms: Unpromising, Unfavourable

Antonyms: Promising, Hopeful

30) Cautioned

Meaning: Issue an official or legal warning to.

Example: “he was cautioned for possessing drugs”

Synonyms: Warn, Admonish

31) Stuck

Meaning: Remain in a static condition; fail to progress.

Example: “he lost a lot of weight but had stuck at 15 stone”

32) Onerous

Meaning: (of a task or responsibility) involving a great deal of effort, trouble, or difficulty.

Example: “he found his duties increasingly onerous”

Synonyms: Heavy, Burdensome

Antonyms: Easy, Effortless

33) Restraints

Meaning: A measure or condition that keeps someone or something under control.

Example: “decisions are made within the financial restraints of the budget”

34) For instance

Meaning: As an example.

Example: “take Canada, for instance”

35) Stimulate

Meaning: Encourage development of or increased activity in (a state or process).

Example: “the courses stimulate a passion for learning”

Synonyms: Encourage

Antonyms: Discourage

36) Mountain

Meaning: A large surplus stock of a commodity.

Example: “a butter mountain”

Synonyms: Surplus, Surfeit

37) Solid

Meaning: Dependable; reliable.

Example: “the defence is solid”

Synonyms: Valid, Cogent

Antonyms: Untenable, Unreliable

38) Emerging

Meaning: Become apparent or prominent.

Example: “United have emerged as the bookies’ clear favourite”

Synonyms: Appear

Antonyms: Disappear

39) Modern-day

Meaning: Relating to people or things from modern times and not from a time in the past.

Example: Modern-day engines are so much more efficient.

Synonyms: Now

40) Odyssey

Meaning: A long, exciting journey.

Example: The film follows one man’s odyssey to find the mother from whom he was separated at birth.


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