THE HINDU EDITORIAL : DECEMBER 12, 2018

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 12, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018, Canara Bank PO – PGDBF 2018 and IBPS SO 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension, Cloze Test or Error Detection in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.


A) Shock resignation: on Urjit Patel quitting as RBI chief

Urjit Patel stepping down as RBI Governor is a major embarrassment for the government

The Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel has cited personal reasons for resigning with immediate effect, but anyone who has followed the events of the last couple of months will know it was anything but that. It was a period during which the Centre and the RBI were engaged in an unseemly tussle over a clutch of issues that had a bearing on the RBI’s autonomy, something that Mr. Patel had sought to preserve. As his predecessor Raghuram Rajan pointed out, when a public servant resigns, it is a sign of protest. Mr. Patel’s decision clearly caught everyone by surprise as it came following perceptions of a thaw in relations between the Centre and the RBI, after an agreement was hammered out at a board meeting last month on some of the contentious issues, including a controversial proposal to use the central bank’s reserves for fiscal purposes. But clearly, the larger issue that divided the Centre and the RBI — which related to autonomy and the independent functioning of the Governor — was never fully resolved. Mr. Patel’s resignation is a serious embarrassment to the NDA government, which has scrambled to make statements expressing surprise at his action and praising him for his work. As attempts to signal that it had nothing to do with Mr. Patel stepping down and to reinforce that he did indeed quit for personal reasons, these remarks were largely unconvincing.

Mr. Patel’s resignation is bound to raise questions about the Centre’s ability to work with independent-minded economists, coming as it does following the departures of former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, who was at odds with the Centre on many issues, and the sudden resignations of Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya and Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian. It is true that Mr. Patel’s reclusive and non-communicative style may not have endeared him to some bankers, but his eminence as an economist and his understanding of macro-economic issues is undisputed. Governments have sparred with the RBI before on the issue of autonomy, but the NDA government went one step further by starting consultations under Section 7 of the RBI Act, which gives the Centre the power to direct the RBI to act in specific ways. The immediate priority now is for the Centre to fill the breach without wasting time. Global investors and the markets are already on edge, and they will be keenly watching, along with the ratings agencies, how the Centre handles this self-created crisis. The incoming Governor is bound to be judged, among other things, by perceptions about his independence. The RBI cannot be treated as if it is just another government department. And the Centre will now need to demonstrate that a post-Patel central bank will continue to enjoy operational autonomy. Anything less will not go down well with both investors and the markets.


B) Northern comfort: on Congress’s win in Hindi heartland

The Congress’s performance in the Hindi heartland will enthuse it in the run-up to 2019

For a party that had appeared to be lost in the political wilderness over the past few years, the Congress has plenty to cheer about following the results in the recent round of Assembly elections. In the three Hindi-speaking States, where it was locked in a direct contest with the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress has performed more than creditably, raising hopes of a revival of fortunes as the country gears up for the general election in 2019. In Chhattisgarh, the party probably well exceeded even its own expectations by building a massive 10-percentage point lead over the BJP, setting itself up to win more than a two-thirds majority. The battle in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh were on a more even keel, but at the time of writing it appears that the Congress may have done enough to form a government in both States. A measure of how much of a reversal this is for the BJP can be gauged by comparing this result with that of the 2014 Lok Sabha election, when the BJP won 62 of the 65 parliamentary seats in the three States. If the Congress struggled to breast the tape in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, it was because independents and smaller parties registered a few surprise victories; in Rajasthan, for instance, more than a dozen independents were among the winners. If the results are interpreted as pointers on how the 2019 election will play out, then the Congress may be still short of where it would like to be. But the results may well infuse the party leadership with the confidence that it is on the comeback trail.

The Congress’s performance in these States will take some of the sting out of its losses in Telangana and Mizoram, where it was bested by regional players. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi won big, making light of the broad alliance put together by the Congress. Indeed, the alliance between the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party may well have polarised the contest in favour of the TRS. The TDP, which rules neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, is not exactly a popular party in much of Telangana because of its vacillations on the question of the creation of the new State. It is possible that the Congress was looking at the larger picture while deciding to ally with the TDP, seeing the regional party’s leader N. Chandrababu Naidu as a rallying point for Opposition unity. United Andhra Pradesh was one State that contributed significantly to the Congress tally in both 2004 and 2009, and to be reduced to such pitiful numbers in Telangana, with little room for improvement in Andhra Pradesh, should certainly be a cause for concern for the national leadership of the party. Winning an ally in the TDP is small recompense for the massive erosion in the Congress’s support base in the region. In Mizoram, where people vote against the Congress whenever the party is out of power at the Centre, the Mizo National Front was, unsurprisingly, the winner this time. But this defeat held another pain point: it saw the Congress losing its last citadel in the Northeast.

The best news for the Congress was of course Chhattisgarh. The presence of a third front in the form of the Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, led by former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, and the Bahujan Samaj Party, which took away a chunk of the anti-incumbency votes, did nothing to deny the Congress a big win. Chhattisgarh had voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in 2014, giving it 10 of the 11 seats, and the dramatic reversal in fortunes must have shocked the BJP. But the Congress can also take heart from the performance in Madhya Pradesh, a much larger State that sends 29 members to the Lok Sabha. Although there was not much that separated the two parties in terms of vote share, the Congress can reasonably believe that the momentum is with it. In Rajasthan, where it performed stunningly in by-elections, and where anti-incumbency sentiment was believed to be riding high, the Congress, despite its victory, may regard its own performance as sub-par. For the BJP, the setback in Rajasthan, which has not been kind to the incumbent from 1998 onward, was no surprise. Despite conceding a substantial number of Assembly seats, the party can take solace from the fact that the difference in vote share between it and the Congress was minuscule. However, looking forward, the BJP will be worried that the results will encourage the Congress and the BSP to come together in an electoral embrace. In Madhya Pradesh, the BSP has demonstrated its strength, or at the very least its capacity to be a spoiler. An alliance of the Samajwadi Party, the BSP and the Congress that extends beyond Uttar Pradesh to Madhya Pradesh can seriously alter the political landscape of the region.

As for the BJP, the results are an opportunity to introspect. Not just on the performance of its governments in the State, but also the performance of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. To reduce the results of the Hindi-speaking States to the intangible anti-incumbency sentiment would be a mistake. After all, both Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan survived two elections as incumbents. A potent mix of rural distress and urban angst seem to have contributed to the erosion in the BJP’s support base. Farmers suffered disproportionately and for longer following demonetisation, and small traders in urban areas have felt handicapped by the straitjacket of the Goods and Services Tax. It may be tempting to think that aggressive cow vigilantism and the Ram temple will influence voter behaviour, but these elections underline it is livelihood concerns that really influence voter behaviour. The BJP will need to tackle issues of employment and development with better intent if it is to arrest the slide. The first term of a Prime Minister is won on promise, but the second term will have to be won on performance. Not even Narendra Modi is an exception to this.


Vocabulary

1) cited

Meaning : refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work.

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கோள்

Synonyms : allege

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “authors who are highly regarded by their peers tend to be cited”

2) tussle

Meaning : a vigorous struggle or scuffle, typically in order to obtain or achieve something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms :struggle

Antonyms : consensus

Example : “there was a tussle for the ball”

3) clutch

Meaning : a tight grasp.(n)

Synonyms : grasp

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “she made a clutch at his body”

4) bearing

Meaning : a person’s way of standing or moving(n).

Tamil Meaning : தாங்கி

Synonyms : carriage

Antonyms : irrelevance

Example : “a man of precise military bearing”

5) perceptions

Meaning : the ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through the senses.

Tamil Meaning : கருத்து

Synonyms : notions

Antonyms : ignorances

Example : “the normal limits to human perception”

6) thaw

Meaning : become liquid or soft as a result of warming up.

Synonyms : melt

Antonyms : freeze

Example : “the river thawed and barges of food began to reach the capital”

7) hammered

Meaning : hit or beat (something) repeatedly with a hammer or similar object.(v)

Tamil Meaning : பலத்த

Synonyms : forged

Antonyms : sober

Example : “he hammered the tack in”

8) contentious

Meaning : causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சைக்குரிய

Synonyms : combative

Antonyms : pacifist

Example : “a contentious issue”

9) controversial

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

Synonyms : disputable

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “years of wrangling over a controversial bypass”

10) resolved

Meaning : firmly determined to do something.

Tamil Meaning : தீர்க்கப்பட

Synonyms : determined

Antonyms : undecided

Example : “Constance was resolved not to cry”

11) scrambled

Meaning : make one’s way quickly or awkwardly up a steep gradient or over rough ground by using one’s hands as well as one’s feet.”we scrambled over the damp boulders”(v)

Tamil Meaning : துருவல்

Synonyms : jumbled

Antonyms : goodish

Example : “we scrambled over the damp boulders”

12) reinforce

Meaning : strengthen or support (an object or substance), especially with additional material.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வலுப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : strengthen

Antonyms : weaken

Example : “the helmet has been reinforced with a double layer of cork”

13) indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Synonyms : truly

Antonyms : conversely

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

14) reclusive

Meaning : avoiding the company of other people; solitary.

Tamil Meaning : தனிமையை

Synonyms : secluded

Antonyms : outgoing

Example : “he led a reclusive life”

15) endeared

Meaning : cause to be loved or liked.

Tamil Meaning : பெரிதும் நேசித்தனர்

Synonyms : dear

Antonyms : outcast

Example : “Flora’s spirit and character endeared her to everyone who met her”

16) eminence

Meaning : fame or acknowledged superiority within a particular sphere.

Tamil Meaning : மாண்புமிக்க

Synonyms : prominence

Antonyms : inferiority

Example : “her eminence in cinematography”

17) disputed

Meaning : argue about (something).

Tamil Meaning : பிரச்சினைக்குரிய

Synonyms : argued

Antonyms : accepted

Example : “the point has been much disputed”

18) breach

Meaning : an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மீறினால்

Synonyms : break

Antonyms : bridge

Example : “a breach of confidence”

19) wilderness

Meaning : a neglected or abandoned area.(n)

Synonyms : desert

Antonyms : region

Example : “the garden had become a wilderness of weeds and bushes”

20) contest

Meaning : engage in competition to attain (a position of power).

Tamil Meaning : போட்டி

Synonyms : struggle

Antonyms : collaborate

Example : “she declared her intention to contest the presidency”

21) creditable

Meaning : (of a performance, effort, or action) deserving public acknowledgement and praise but not necessarily outstanding or successful.

Synonyms : estimable

Antonyms : outrageous

Example : “a very creditable 2–4 defeat”

22) revival

Meaning : an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி

Synonyms : renewal

Antonyms : suppression

Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”

23) gauged

Meaning : estimate or determine the amount, level, or volume of.

Tamil Meaning : அளக்கப்படும்

Synonyms : assessed

Antonyms : estimated

Example : “astronomers can gauge the star’s intrinsic brightness”

24) interpreted

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

Tamil Meaning : விளக்கம்

Synonyms : rendered

Antonyms : distorted

Example : “the evidence is difficult to interpret”

25) infuse

Meaning : fill; pervade.

Tamil Meaning : உட்செலுத்த

Synonyms : permeate

Antonyms : boldness

Example : “her work is infused with an anger born of pain and oppression”

26) recompense

Meaning : make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate.

Tamil Meaning : கூலியாக

Synonyms : reward

Antonyms : take

Example : “offenders should recompense their victims”

27) citadel

Meaning : a fortress, typically one on high ground above a city.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : fortress

Antonyms : shack

Example : “the garrison withdrew into the citadel”

28) chunk

Meaning : a thick, solid piece of something.

Synonyms : lump

Antonyms : morsel

Example : “huge chunks of masonry littered the street”

29) conceding

Meaning : admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.

Tamil Meaning : ஏற்றுக் கொண்டும்

Synonyms : allow

Antonyms : deny

Example : “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

30) minuscule

Meaning : extremely small; tiny.

Tamil Meaning : குறைவான

Synonyms : diminutive

Antonyms : huge

Example : “a minuscule fragment of DNA”

31) embrace

Meaning : hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection.(v)

Tamil Meaning : தழுவி

Synonyms : squeeze

Antonyms : exclude

Example : “Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly”

32) intangible

Meaning : unable to be touched; not having physical presence.

Tamil Meaning : தொட்டறியமுடியாத

Synonyms : unsubstantial

Antonyms : tangible

Example : “the moonlight made things seem intangible”

33) distress

Meaning : extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.(n)

Tamil Meaning : துயரத்தில்

Synonyms : anguish

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “to his distress he saw that she was trembling”

34) solace

Meaning : comfort or consolation in a time of great distress or sadness(n).

Tamil Meaning : ஆறுதலும்

Synonyms : comfort

Antonyms : anguish

Example : “she sought solace in her religion”

35) led

Meaning : cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward.

Tamil Meaning : தலைமை

Synonyms : directed

Antonyms : prevent

Example : “she emerged leading a bay horse”

36) fortunes

Meaning : chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs.

Tamil Meaning : வருங்காலத்தை

Synonyms : fates

Antonyms : losses

Example : “some malicious act of fortune keeps them separate”

37) vacillations

Meaning : the inability to decide between different opinions or actions; indecision.(n)

Tamil Meaning : தடுமாற்றத்தை

Synonyms : hesitations

Antonyms : insistences

Example : “the First Minister’s vacillation over the affair”

38) introspect

Meaning : examine one’s own thoughts or feelings.

Tamil Meaning : ஆய்வு

Synonyms : ponder

Example : “what they don’t do is introspect much about the reasons for their plight”

39) contributed

Meaning : give (something, especially money) in order to help achieve or provide something.

Tamil Meaning : பங்களிக்க

Synonyms : give

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “taxpayers had contributed £141.8 million towards the cost of local services”

40) despite

Meaning : without being affected by; in spite of.

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : in spite of

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “he remains a great leader despite age and infirmity”


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THE HINDU EDITORIAL : DECEMBER 10, 2018




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