THE HINDU EDITORIAL – August 6, 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) Change gears: amendments to the Motor Vehicles Act

India’s law governing motor vehicles and transport is archaic, lacking the provisions necessary to manage fast motorisation. The lacunae in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, require to be addressed to improve road safety, ensure orderly use of vehicles and expand public transport. The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, passed by the Lok Sabha last year, seeks to do this, but it has now run into opposition in the Rajya Sabha because of its perceived shift of power from the States to the Centre. The issue is not one of legislative competence; as the subject is in the Concurrent List, Parliament can make a law defining powers available to the States. Some State governments are concerned about the new provisions, Sections 66A and 88A, which will empower the Centre to form a National Transportation Policy through a process of consultation, and not concurrence. The changes will also enable Centrally-drafted schemes to be issued for national, multi-modal and inter-State movement of goods and passengers, for rural mobility and even last-mile connectivity. Since all this represents a new paradigm that would shake up the sector, several States have opposed the provisions as being anti-federal. Doing nothing, however, is no longer an option. The passenger transport sector operating within cities and providing inter-city services has grown amorphously, with vested interests exploiting the lack of transparency and regulatory bottlenecks. With a transparent system, professional new entrants can enter the sector. As things stand, State-run services have not kept pace with the times. Major investments made in the urban metro rail systems are yielding poor results in the absence of last-mile connectivity services. Creating an equitable regulatory framework for the orderly growth of services is critical. This could be achieved through changes to the MV Act that set benchmarks for States. Enabling well-run bus services to operate across States with suitable permit charges is an imperative to meet the needs of a growing economy. Regulatory changes introduced in Europe over the past few years for bus services have fostered competition, reduced fares and increased services operating across European Union member-states. Other aspects of the proposed amendments deal with road safety. These, however, are likely to achieve little without strong enforcement by the States. The effort to curb institutionalised corruption at Regional Transport Offices by making it possible for dealers to directly register new vehicles, and enabling online applications for driving licences is welcome. Care is needed to see that other measures, such as sharply enhancing fines for rule violations, do not only result in greater harassment. It is the certainty of enforcement, zero tolerance and escalating penalties that will really work. There are some new provisions to harness technology, including CCTV monitoring, to improve road safety, but these cannot produce results when there is no professional accident investigation agency to determine best practices.

b) Brexit troubles

Desperate times call for desperate measures. British Prime Minister Theresa May last week flew to France to meet French President Emmanuel Macron at his holiday home, to lobby for her Cabinet’s version of Brexit that emerged from a retreat at Chequers, her own country retreat, a few weeks ago. The proposal scraped through in the House of Commons. And having just about won the support of her own Tory party MPs, Ms. May and her Cabinet colleagues are now taking the show on the road, hoping to sell the plan to individual European leaders. It won’t be easy. Last week, Michel Barnier, the European Union’s chief negotiator, suggested in a newspaper article a softening of the EU’s position on the Irish “backstop” — a temporary customs arrangement to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, until a permanent solution is found. Both the EU and the U.K. are against a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, key to the Good Friday Agreement that has ensured peace on the island since 1998. However, beyond offering vague language on “regulatory alignment”, it is unclear how Britain proposes to achieve this while exiting the EU Customs Union and Single Market. The EU had proposed that Northern Ireland remain in a common regulatory area with the Republic of Ireland and the EU. This was rejected by London. Mr. Barnier wrote that the EU would be willing to “improve the text” of its proposal on the Irish border question. However, his article poured cold water on another core element of the Chequers plan: a post-Brexit free trade area between Britain and the EU for goods alone, leaving trade in services for a separate agreement. The U.K. and the EU would collect tariffs on goods on each other’s behalf where needed. Mr. Barnier pointed out that goods and services are often inextricably linked, and that the U.K. cannot expect to have free movement of goods without free movement of services, people and capital — the ‘four freedoms’ of being part of the European Single Market — nor, as an external party, expect to be allowed to collect customs duties on the EU’s behalf. The timing of Mr. Barnier’s comments, just as Ms. May was trying to win support on the continent, will throw a spanner in the works for her. Mr. Macron is one of Ms. May’s toughest Brexit customers, and is unlikely to present a divergent view from Brussels. France has a lot to gain from parts of the financial sector leaving the U.K. after Brexit. A Brexit deal must ideally be in place before a European summit in October; otherwise Britain is at risk of crashing out of the EU in March 2019.


1) Archaic

Meaning: Very old or old-fashioned.

Example: “prisons are run on archaic methods”

Synonyms: Antiquated, Antique

Antonyms: New, Modern

2) Lacunae

Meaning: An unfilled space; a gap.

Example: “the journal has filled a lacuna in Middle Eastern studies”

3) 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

4) Competence

Meaning: The legal authority of a court or other body to deal with a particular matter.

Example: “the court’s competence has been accepted to cover these matters”

Synonyms: Authority, Power

5) Concurrent

Meaning: Existing, happening, or done at the same time.

Example: “there are three concurrent art fairs around the city”

Synonyms: Simultaneous, Coincident

6) Concerned

Meaning: Make (someone) anxious or worried; regard it as important to do something.

Example: “the roof of the barn concerns me because eventually it will fall in”

7) Empower

Meaning: Give (someone) the authority or power to do something.

Example: “members are empowered to audit the accounts of limited companies”

Synonyms: Authorize, License

Antonyms: Forbid

8) Mobility

Meaning: The ability to move or be moved freely and easily.

Example: “this exercise helps retain mobility in the damaged joints”

Synonyms: Vigour, Strength

9) Paradigm

Meaning: A typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

Example: “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”

10) Shake up

Meaning: A large change in the way something is organized.

Example: The company is undergoing a radical shake-up.

Synonyms: Change

11) Amorphously

Meaning: Without a clearly defined shape or form.

Example: “an amorphous, characterless conurbation”

Synonyms: Formless, Unformed

Antonyms: Shaped, Definite

12) Vested

Meaning: Vested shares, pension plans, etc. can be kept by an employee who has worked the necessary number of years for a particular company

Example: He chose to receive his vested benefits in a single lump-sum payment.

13) Exploiting

Meaning: To use something in a way that helps you.

Example: We need to make sure that we exploit our resources as fully as possible.

14) Bottlenecks

Meaning: A problem that delays progress.

Example: Is there any way of getting around this bureaucratic bottleneck?

15) Entrants

Meaning: A person or group that enters or takes part in something.

Example: “the prize will be awarded to the entrant who wins the tiebreak”

Synonyms: Beginner, Fresher

Antonyms: Veteran

16) Yielding

Meaning: Produce or generate (a result, gain, or financial return).

Example: “this method yields the same results”

Synonyms: Produce, Supply

17) Benchmarks

Meaning: A standard or point of reference against which things may be compared.

Example: “the pay settlement will set a benchmark for other employers and workers”

Synonyms: Standard, Guide

18) Imperative

Meaning: Of vital importance; crucial.

Example: “immediate action was imperative”

Synonyms: Exigent, Pressing

Antonyms: Unimportant, Optional

19) Fostered

Meaning: Encourage the development of (something, especially something desirable).

Example: “the teacher’s task is to foster learning”

Synonyms: Encourage, Promote

Antonyms: Neglect, Suppress

20) Enforcement

Meaning: The act of compelling observance of or compliance with a law, rule, or obligation.

Example: “the strict enforcement of environmental regulations”

Synonyms: Imposition, Discharge

21) Institutionalised

Meaning: If someone becomes institutionalized, they gradually become less able to think and act independently, because of having lived for a long time under the rules of an institution.

Example: We need to avoid long-stay patients in the hospital becoming institutionalized.

22) Enhancing

Meaning: Intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of.

Example: “his refusal does nothing to enhance his reputation”

Synonyms: Increase, Intensify

Antonyms: Diminish, Mar

23) Harassment

Meaning: Aggressive pressure or intimidation.

Example: “The state also grants us the right to pursue this belief without any form of persecution or harassment”

Synonyms: Persecution, Pressure

Antonyms: Cooperation, Assistance

24) Zero tolerance

Meaning: The act of punishing all criminal or unacceptable behaviour severely, even if it is not very serious.

Example: The police are exercising a new policy of zero tolerance against motoring offenders.

25) Escalating

Meaning: Increase rapidly.

Example: “the price of tickets escalated”

Synonyms: Soar, Climb

Antonyms: Plunge

26) Desperate

Meaning: (of a situation) extremely serious or dangerous.

Example: “there is a desperate shortage of teachers”

Synonyms: Grave, Serious

27) Lobby

Meaning: Seek to influence (a legislator) on an issue.

Example: “they insist on their right to lobby Congress”

Synonyms: Influence, Sway

28) Retreat

Meaning: Move back or withdraw.

Example: “it becomes so hot that the lizards retreat into the shade”

Synonyms: Ebb, Recede

29) Scraped

Meaning: To succeed in getting or achieving something, but with difficulty or by a very small amount.

Example: Her grades weren’t great, but she scraped into university.

30) Hard border

Meaning: A border between countries that is strongly controlled and protected by officials, police, or soldiers, rather than one where people are allowed to pass through easily with few controls.

Example: Introducing a hard border between the two countries could affect tourism.

31) Ensured

Meaning: Make certain of obtaining or providing (something).

Example: “legislation to ensure equal opportunities for all”

Synonyms: Shield, Fortify

32) Vague

Meaning: Thinking or communicating in an unfocused or imprecise way.

Example: “he had been very vague about his activities”

Synonyms: Imprecise, Inexact

Antonyms: Clear, Certain

33) Alignment

Meaning: A position of agreement or alliance.

Example: “the uncertain nature of political alignments”

34) Poured cold water on

Meaning: Be discouraging or negative about.

Example: “she had poured cold water on the idea”

35) Tariffs

Meaning: A tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports.

Example: “the reduction of trade barriers and import tariffs”

Synonyms: Tax, Excise

36) Pointed out

Meaning: To tell someone about some information, often because you believe they do not know it or have forgotten it.

Example: He was planning to book a rock-climbing holiday, till I pointed out that Denis is afraid of heights.

37) Inextricably

Meaning: In a way that is impossible to disentangle or separate.

Example: “for many top executives, golf and business are inextricably linked”

38) Throw a spanner in the works

Meaning: To do something that prevents a plan or activity from succeeding.

Example: The funding for the project was withdrawn so that really threw a spanner in the works.

39) Divergent

Meaning: Tending to be different or develop in different directions.

Example: “divergent interpretations”

Synonyms: Different, Dissimilar

Antonyms: Similar

40) Ideally

Meaning: In the best possible way; perfectly.

Example: “her experience makes her ideally suited to the job”


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