Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 17, 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) Widening Gulf

Qatar is now taking the fight to the Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and GCC

Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s decision to stay away from the December 9 Gulf Cooperation Council summit in Riyadh is the latest reminder of the growing disunity among the Gulf countries. Qatar, blockaded by three GCC countries, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, and their non-GCC allies, has said it will not discuss a compromise unless the blockade is lifted. The Saudi-led bloc imposed it in June 2017, accusing Qatar of funding terrorism. But as Riyadh came under increasing global pressure after the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul, it has shown signs of reconciliation. In October, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is believed to have ordered the Khashoggi hit, surprised observers by praising the Qatari economy. The personal invitation to the GCC meet from King Salman bin Abdulaziz to the Qatari Emir followed the Crown Prince’s remarks. But Qatar, a tiny kingdom but the largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, remains defiant. Doha has announced its decision to quit OPEC, the first Arab nation to do so since the cartel was formed in 1960. Though Qatar said the decision was not political, clearly its exit from OPEC was a snub to Saudi Arabia, its de facto leader.

The blockade has triggered tensions among other GCC countries as well. Saudi Arabia is upset that Oman and Kuwait did not join the embargo. Kuwait was trying to mediate between the rivals camps, which hasn’t gone down well with Riyadh. Last September, the Crown Prince started a two-day tour of Kuwait. But ties were reportedly so tense that he left the country within a few hours. Oman continues to be independent of Saudi influence by keeping ties open with both Qatar and Iran. The blockade has made Qatar only more independent in its foreign policy decisions. It has stepped up assistance for Hamas in Gaza, accelerated a plan to allow Turkey to set up a military camp in the country and resisted calls to cut ties with Iran. The decision to quit OPEC and the Emir’s absence at the GCC meet (a state minister was sent to represent the country) point to an increasingly confident Qatar. But the intra-Gulf quarrels have dampened hopes for the integration of the region. The bloc, which once talked about a common Gulf currency and robust connectivity projects, is now a ghost of its old self. After the summit, the GCC issued a customary statement, emphasising regional stability and economic challenges. Even as the summit was on, Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa criticised the Emir’s decision to skip the meet, while Doha slammed the communiqué for its failure to address the blockade. That is the state of affairs in the GCC.

B) Old vs new: how the Congress chooses CMs

The Congress must strengthen its democratic processes while choosing CMs

Whether the Congress erred in privileging members of the old guard to lead the governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh has become a subject of debate. Those who argue that it missed a trick in not picking Sachin Pilot and Jyotiraditya Scindia as Chief Ministers of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh may well be right. These choices may have signalled a readiness to be bold and break the old mould. But the real question to ask of the party is how it arrived at the choice of its Chief Ministers. Members of the Congress Legislature Party in the three States left the choice to Congress president Rahul Gandhi, making a mockery of democratic conventions and the electoral mandate. Although the Congress is not the only party that is guilty of such practices, it has become something of a custom, mirroring the leadership’s distrust of developing strong regional leaders. In this case, the final choice may well have reflected the wishes of a majority of the members of the CLPs of the three States, but the Congress still needed to signal the all-powerful nature of the office of the party president in the selection. Closed-door discussions and opaque deal-making preceded the final announcement of the nominees, to be elected “unanimously” in another meeting of the CLP. In Rajasthan, the party opted for two-time Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, who had lost two elections, over Mr. Pilot, the State Congress president. Mr. Pilot, despite his role in the campaign, did not have the support of the old guard. His detractors like to point out that he did not take the Congress to a comfortable majority, what Mr. Gehlot had done as the campaign spearhead in 1998 and 2008. But the Congress leadership has opted in the end for experience over youthful dynamism. The compromise was in the form of the deputy chief ministership for Mr. Pilot.

In Madhya Pradesh, the decision was relatively easy. It was the president of the Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee, Kamal Nath, who fronted the campaign. Former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia had his fair share of supporters, but it was Mr. Nath, who is far senior, who was perceived as having a bigger claim to the post. Those in the Congress calling for blooding youngsters may well have to accept the sober reality that this will only come about as part of a longer, deeper process. Of course, it takes more than a change at the helm to bring about a political reorientation. The process will have to start at the organisational level and extend to the distribution of the party ticket. To allow the space for the party to grow, Mr. Gandhi needs to accelerate the process of letting leaders from the grassroots to emerge. Youth leaders of any significance today are of the second or third generation in the party. A good way to start would be by decentralising power and not concentrating it in the so-called high command, a feeble euphemism for the Nehru-Gandhi family.


1) imposed

Meaning : force (an unwelcome decision or ruling) on someone.(v)

Synonyms : demand

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

2) emerge

Meaning : move out of or away from something and become visible.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பட

Synonyms : develop

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”

3) reconciliation

Meaning : the action of making one view or belief compatible with another.

Tamil Meaning : சமரசம்

Synonyms : agreement

Antonyms : disagreement

Example : “any possibility of reconciliation between such clearly opposed positions”

4) defiant

Meaning : showing defiance.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : இணக்கமற்ற

Synonyms : audacious

Antonyms : acquiescent

Example : “a defiant gesture”

5) snub

Meaning : an act of rebuffing or ignoring someone or something(n).

Synonyms : disregard

Antonyms : praise

Example : “the move was a snub to the government”

6) triggered

Meaning : (of a response) caused by particular action, process, or situation.

Synonyms : generate

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “a triggered memory of his childhood”

7) mediate

Meaning : intervene in a dispute in order to bring about an agreement or reconciliation.(v)

Synonyms : arbitrate

Antonyms : refuse

Example : “Wilson attempted to mediate between the powers to end the war”

8) accelerated

Meaning : increase in rate, amount, or extent.(v)

Tamil Meaning : துரிதப்படுத்தியது

Synonyms : increased

Example : “inflation started to accelerate”

9) dampened

Meaning : make less strong or intense.

Tamil Meaning : குறைக்கும்

Synonyms : sprinkle

Antonyms : collect

Example : “nothing could dampen her enthusiasm”

10) integration

Meaning : the action or process of integrating.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஒருங்கிணைப்பு

Synonyms : assimilation

Antonyms : disunion

Example : “economic and political integration”

11) customary

Meaning : according to the customs or usual practices associated with a particular society, place, or set of circumstances.

Tamil Meaning : வழக்கமாக

Synonyms : accepted

Antonyms : abnormal

Example : “it is customary to mark an occasion like this with a toast”

12) emphasising

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

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி

Synonyms : attention

Antonyms : ignorance

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

13) slammed

Meaning : shut (a door, window, or lid) forcefully and loudly.

Synonyms : batter

Antonyms : assist

Example : “he slams the door behind him as he leaves”

14) erred

Meaning : be mistaken or incorrect; make a mistake(v).

Synonyms : misbehave

Antonyms : behave

Example : “the judge had erred in ruling that the evidence was inadmissible”

15) privileging

Meaning : grant a privilege or privileges to(v).

Synonyms : accredit

Antonyms : disallow

Example : “English inheritance law privileged the eldest son”

16) mould

Meaning : a distinctive and typical style, form, or character.

Synonyms : blight

Example : “he’s a superb striker in the same mould as Gary Lineker”

17) mockery

Meaning : teasing and contemptuous language or behaviour directed at a particular person or thing.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : farce

Antonyms : flattery

Example : “stung by her mockery, Frankie hung his head”

18) conventions

Meaning : a way in which something is usually done.(n)

Tamil Meaning : மரபுகளை

Synonyms : show

Antonyms : discord

Example : “to attract the best patrons the movie houses had to ape the conventions and the standards of theatres”

19) preceded

Meaning : come before in order or position(v).

Synonyms : anticipate

Antonyms : end

Example : “take time to read the chapters that precede the recipes”

20) opted

Meaning : make a choice from a range of possibilities.(v)

Tamil Meaning : தேர்வு

Synonyms : decide

Antonyms : dislike

Example : “consumers will opt for low-priced goods”

21) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

22) detractors

Meaning : a person who disparages someone or something(n).

Synonyms : critic

Example : “the island, say its detractors, has been devoured by development”

23) spearhead

Meaning : an individual or group chosen to lead an attack or movement.

Synonyms : initiate

Antonyms : end

Example : “she became the spearhead of a health education programme”

24) perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : recognized

Example : “his mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”

25) claim

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof(v).

Synonyms : allegation

Antonyms : denial

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

26) sober

Meaning : make or become sober after drinking alcohol.

Synonyms : restrained

Antonyms : agitated

Example : “that coffee sobered him up

27) helm

Meaning : a tiller or wheel for steering a ship or boat.

Synonyms : control

Example : “she stayed at the helm, alert for tankers”

28) accelerate

Meaning : increase in rate, amount, or extent(v).

Tamil Meaning : முடுக்கி

Synonyms : expedite

Antonyms : cease

Example : “inflation started to accelerate”

29) significance

Meaning : the quality of being worthy of attention; importance(n).

Tamil Meaning : முக்கியத்துவம்

Synonyms : implication

Antonyms : exterior

Example : “adolescent education was felt to be a social issue of some significance”

30) concentrating

Meaning : the quality of being worthy of attention; importance(n).

Tamil Meaning : செறிவூட்டப்பட்ட

Synonyms : establish

Antonyms : confuse

Example : “adolescent education was felt to be a social issue of some significance”

31) feeble

Meaning : lacking physical strength, especially as a result of age or illness(adj).

Synonyms : decrepit

Antonyms : capable

Example : “by now, he was too feeble to leave his room”

32) euphemism

Meaning : a mild or indirect word or expression substituted for one considered to be too harsh or blunt when referring to something unpleasant or embarrassing.

Tamil Meaning : நாசுக்காக

Synonyms : delicacy

Example : “the jargon has given us ‘downsizing’ as a euphemism for cuts”

33) reorientation

Meaning : the action of changing the focus or direction of something(n).

Synonyms : overhaul

Antonyms : corrupt

Example : “the only solution is the reorientation of our defence policy”

34) campaign

Meaning : work in an organized and active way towards a goal(v).

Synonyms : crusade

Antonyms : inaction

Example : “people who campaigned against child labour”

35) compromise

Meaning : an agreement or settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions(n).

Tamil Meaning : சமரசம்

Synonyms : accord

Antonyms : denial

Example : “eventually they reached a compromise”

36) dynamism

Meaning : the quality of being characterized by vigorous activity and progress.

Synonyms : activity

Antonyms : idleness

Example : “the dynamism and strength of the economy”

37) robust

Meaning : strong and healthy; vigorous(adj).

Tamil Meaning : வலுவான

Synonyms : potent

Antonyms : fragile

Example : “the Caplan family are a robust lot”

38) quarrels

Meaning : an angry argument or disagreement.

Tamil Meaning : சண்டை

Synonyms : altercation

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “he made the mistake of picking a quarrel with John”

39) stability

Meaning : the state of being stable.

Synonyms : balance

Antonyms : instability

Example : “there are fears for the political stability of the area”

40) criticised

Meaning : indicate the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way(v).

Tamil Meaning : விமர்சிக்க

Synonyms : blame

Antonyms : approve

Example : “the opposition criticized the government’s failure to consult adequately”


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