THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 3, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like SBI PO Mains , SBI CLERK Mains Exam, 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) Managing perceptions: on amending the SC/ST Act

If we accept that politics is about pragmatism, about managing perceptions, about defusing difficult situations, and keeping a sharp eye out on the prevailing political winds, then the Union Cabinet’s decision to amend the provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act appears both reasonable and unavoidable. It is arguable that no dispensation at the Centre could have ignored the massive Scheduled Caste protests against the Supreme Court verdict that was perceived as diluting the provisions of the 1989 law. With the call for a nationwide shutdown on August 9, one that an NDA constituent, the Lok Janshakti Party led by Ram Vilas Paswan, had threatened to join, the Centre was goaded into acting quickly. The proposed amendments are aimed at undoing three new rules laid down by the court: that the bar on anticipatory bail under the Act need not prevent courts from granting advance bail if there is no merit in a complaint; that there can be an arrest only if the appointing authority (in the case of public servants) or the district superintendent of police (in the case of others) approves such arrest; and that there should be a preliminary inquiry into complaints. What they do is state that the bar on anticipatory bail will remain “notwithstanding any judgment or order of any court”, that there will be no need for a preliminary inquiry before an FIR is registered and that no approval is required before someone is arrested under the Act. From the very beginning it was clear that the entire issue had less to do with the correctness of the Supreme Court judgment and more to do with the way it was interpreted, and sometimes deliberately misinterpreted. The judgment had not altered or read down any of the key provisions of the Act. The Court was at pains to emphasise that it was only seeking to protect the innocent against arbitrary arrest and that there should be no denial of relief and compensation to SCs and STs, whose rights should be protected. While no one can object to procedural safeguards against false accusations, it is possible that the Court’s concerns about what it saw as misuse of the Act resulted in the perception that it was introducing norms to prevent quick action on complaints. It is arguably much more likely that such perceptions consolidate at a time when the conviction rate under the Act is dismally low and atrocities against Dalits are a disturbing reality. It is vital that any law that is founded on punishing social ostracisation maintains a fine balance between protecting the rights of the individual to a fair trial and enforcing not only the letter but also the spirit of a legislation that was introduced to protect the dignity of the disadvantaged, who have suffered unspeakably as a result of the abhorrent practice of social discrimination.

b) Discounting logic: on e-commerce policy

The process of putting together a regulatory framework for electronic commerce in the country is finally speeding up. A task force of the Union Commerce Ministry has submitted the draft National Policy on Electronic Commerce, which will now be studied by a 70-member think tank chaired by Suresh Prabhu, the Union Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Minister. India’s e-tail business, estimated to be worth around $25 billion, is still a fraction of the overall retail sector in the country, but it has been witness to some frenetic activity of late, including the merger between home-grown, but Singapore-based, Flipkart and global giant Walmart. Over the coming decade, the e-commerce pie is expected to swell to $200 billion, fuelled by smartphones, cheaper data access and growing spends. The draft policy proposes the creation of a single national regulator to oversee the entire industry, although operationalising its different features would require action from multiple Ministries and regulators. This would also need amendments to existing legislation and rulebooks. Consumer protection norms to guard online shoppers from possible frauds too are overdue. As per data available for the first eight months of 2017-18, over 50,000 e-commerce grievances were made to the Consumer Affairs Ministry helpline. Traditional retailers too have voiced concerns about large e-tail players with deep pockets pricing them out of the market, and have been seeking a level playing field. Much work, however, remains to be done to forge a cohesive framework from the draft. Among the ideas in the draft policy are a sunset clause on discounts that can be offered by e-commerce firms and restrictions on sellers backed by marketplace operators. The aim may be to prevent large players from pricing out the competition though unfair practices, but taken too far such licensing and price controls can depress the sector. To give the government a say on who can offer how much discount and for how long, instead of letting consumers exercise informed choices, would be a regressive step for the economy. Foreign direct investment restrictions on players who can hold their own inventory are sought to be lifted, but there must be a majority Indian partner and all products have to be made in India. This seems like a leaf out of India’s retail FDI policy that has similar procurement diktats that are not easy to meet or monitor. E-tailer costs are also likely to rise on account of proposed norms on storing and processing data locally, while consumers and firms could both question the plan to stipulate payments via Rupay cards. The proposed e-commerce policy could drive away those planning online retail forays — and the opportunity to create jobs and benefit consumers would be lost.


1) Pragmatism

Meaning: The quality of dealing with a problem in a sensible way that suits the conditions that really exist, rather than following fixed theories, ideas, or rules.

Example: The council has operated much more effectively since pragmatism replaced political dogma.

2) Perceptions

Meaning: The way in which something is regarded, understood, or interpreted.

Example: “Hollywood’s perception of the tastes of the American public”

3) Defusing

Meaning: Make (a situation) less tense or dangerous.

Example: “a scheme that teaches officers how to defuse potentially explosive situations”

Synonyms: Reduce, Diminish

Antonyms: Heighten, Intensify

4) Prevailing

Meaning: Existing at a particular time; current.

Example: “the unfavourable prevailing economic conditions”

5) Dispensation

Meaning: Exemption from a rule or usual requirement.

Example: “although she was too young, she was given special dispensation to play before her birthday”

Synonyms: Exemption, Exception

6) Perceived

Meaning: Interpret or regard (someone or something) in a particular way.

Example: “if Guy does not perceive himself as disabled, nobody else should”

Synonyms: View, Regard

7) Diluting

Meaning: Make (something) weaker in force, content, or value by modification or the addition of other elements.

Example: “the reforms have been diluted”

Synonyms: Diminish, Reduce

Antonyms: Intensify

8) Threatened

Meaning: Cause (someone or something) to be vulnerable or at risk; endanger.

Example: “a broken finger threatened his career”

Synonyms: Endanger, Menace

9) Goaded

Meaning: Provoke or annoy (someone) so as to stimulate an action or reaction.

Example: “he was trying to goad her into a fight”

Synonyms: Provoke, Sting

10) Laid down

Meaning: To officially establish a rule, or to officially say how something should be done.

Example: This is in line with the policy laid down by the management.

11) Anticipatory

Meaning: Happening, performed, or felt in anticipation of something.

Example: “an anticipatory flash of excitement”

12) Notwithstanding

Meaning: In spite of.

Example: “notwithstanding the evidence, the consensus is that the jury will not reach a verdict”

Synonyms: Despite

13) Interpreted

Meaning: Explain the meaning of (information or actions).

Example: “the evidence is difficult to interpret”

Synonyms: Explain, Elucidate

14) Deliberately

Meaning: Consciously and intentionally; on purpose.

Example: “the fire was started deliberately”

Synonyms: Intentionally, Purposely

Antonyms: Hastily, Accidentally

15) Emphasise

Meaning: Give special importance or value to (something) in speaking or writing.

Example: “they emphasize the need for daily, one-to-one contact between parent and child”

Synonyms: Highlight, Spotlight

Antonyms: Understate

16) Arbitrary

Meaning: (of power or a ruling body) unrestrained and autocratic in the use of authority.

Example: “a country under arbitrary government”

Synonyms: Summary, Despotic

Antonyms: Democratic, Accountable

17) Accusations

Meaning: A charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.

Example: “accusations of bribery”

Synonyms: Allegation, Claim

18) Consolidate

Meaning: Combine (separate pieces of legislation) into a single legislative act.

Example: “the Companies Act 1948 and subsequent enactments were consolidated by the Companies Act 1985”

19) Conviction

Meaning: A formal declaration by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law that someone is guilty of a criminal offence.

Example: “she had a previous conviction for a similar offence”

Synonyms: Sentence, Judgement

Antonyms: Acquittal

20) Dismally

Meaning: In a disgracefully bad way.

Example: “the second half was a disappointment with both teams performing dismally”

21) Atrocities

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

Example: “a textbook which detailed war atrocities”

Synonyms: Outrage, Horror

22) Vital

Meaning: Absolutely necessary; essential.

Example: “secrecy is of vital importance”

Synonyms: Essential, Crucial

Antonyms: Unimportant

23) Legislation

Meaning: Laws, considered collectively.

Example: “housing legislation”

24) Dignity

Meaning: The state or quality of being worthy of honour or respect.

Example: “the dignity of labour”

Synonyms: Importance, Elevation

Antonyms: Dishonour

25) Abhorrent

Meaning: Inspiring disgust and loathing; repugnant.

Example: “racism was abhorrent to us all”

Synonyms: Detestable, Hateful

Antonyms: Admirable

26) Speeding up

Meaning: To happen or move faster, or to make something happen or move faster.

Example: This drug may have the effect of speeding up your heart rate.

27) Think tank

Meaning: A body of experts providing advice and ideas on specific political or economic problems.

Example: “a think tank devoted to the study of political and economic integration”

28) Frenetic

Meaning: Fast and energetic in a rather wild and uncontrolled way.

Example: “a frenetic pace of activity”

Synonyms: Frantic, Hectic

Antonyms: Calm

29) Swell

Meaning: Become or make greater in intensity, number, amount, or volume.

Example: “the low murmur swelled to a roar”

Synonyms: Grow, Increase

Antonyms: Decrease, Wane

30) Oversee

Meaning: Supervise (a person or their work), especially in an official capacity.

Example: “the Home Secretary oversees the police service”

Synonyms: Supervise, Organize

31) Overdue

Meaning: Not done or happening when expected or when needed; late.

Example: My library books are a week overdue.

Synonyms: Late

32) Forge

Meaning: Create (something) strong, enduring, or successful.

Example: “the two women forged a close bond”

Synonyms: Build, Create

33) Cohesive

Meaning: Characterized by or causing cohesion.

Example: “each parish was formerly a cohesive unit”

34) Sunset clause

Meaning: Part of a law or contract that states when it will end, or the conditions under which it will end.

Example: A sunset clause in the bill called for the tax cuts to expire in 2010.

35) Regressive

Meaning: (of a tax) taking a proportionally greater amount from those on lower incomes.

Example: “indirect taxes are, as a group, regressive”

36) Sought

Meaning: Attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something).

Example: “the new regime sought his extradition”

Synonyms: Pursue, Attempt

37) Procurement

Meaning: The action of obtaining or procuring something.

Example: “financial assistance for the procurement of legal advice”

38) Diktats

Meaning: An order or decree imposed by someone in power without popular consent.

Example: “a diktat from the Bundestag”

39) Stipulate

Meaning: Demand or specify (a requirement), typically as part of an agreement.

Example: “he stipulated certain conditions before their marriage”

Synonyms: Specify, Demand

40) Forays

Meaning: A short period of time being involved in an activity that is different from and outside the range of a usual set of activities.

Example: She made a brief foray into acting before becoming a teacher.


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