Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 18, 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) The shadow of 1984: Sajjan Kumar’s conviction

Sajjan Kumar’s conviction reignites hope of substantial justice for riot victims

Five years ago, there wasn’t even a sliver of hope that any influential Congress leader would be brought to justice for the anti-Sikh pogrom of 1984. A trial court had acquitted former MP Sajjan Kumar, rejecting the testimony of witnesses who said he was seen instigating riots in the Raj Nagar area of Delhi Cantonment on November 1, 1984, in the aftermath of Indira Gandhi’s assassination. In reversing the acquittal and sentencing Kumar to imprisonment for the remainder of his life, the Delhi High Court has reignited hope for substantial justice. The 207-page judgment by a Division Bench, comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vinod Goel, is proof, if any were needed, that the Delhi Police and its Riot Cell had failed to carry out a genuine investigation. From the deliberate failure to record any untoward incident in the station’s daily register to avoiding the examination of key witnesses, there is a long trail of evidence that points a damning finger at the police and the state machinery. This case is an example not only of the slowness of judicial processes but also of derailed investigations. It was only after the Central Bureau of Investigation entered the scene and revived this particular case related to the murder of five members of a Sikh family in 2005 — based on a recommendation by the Nanavati Commission — that the investigation made meaningful progress.

The entire CBI case turned on the testimony of Jagdish Kaur, who is described by the High Court as a “fearless and truthful witness”, and its corroboration by two others. Her deposition was sought to be impeached on the ground that she had not named Sajjan Kumar before the Ranganath Misra Commission. As it turned out, she may actually have done so, in Punjabi; the English version of her statement did not have it. In addition, the court found that Kumar had been named in nearly a dozen affidavits in 1985 itself, but none had been investigated. In one case, a prepared charge sheet had not been filed in court. Such was his influence that in 1990 when the CBI went to arrest him, the officers were held hostage until an anticipatory bail order was obtained, even as their vehicles were burnt by his supporters outside his house. The 73-year-old former strongman may now pin his hopes on an appeal to the Supreme Court, but there is little doubt that judicial decisions such as this reinforce the hope that political patronage, administrative complicity and plain muscle power cannot prevail over the truth all the time. The court has also flagged the need for a separate law for punishment for crimes against humanity and genocide, both seen so far as part of international law but rarely invoked in domestic crimes. Given the major communal flashpoints in recent history that have been cited by the court, the issue is worth positive consideration.

B) Right prescription: the ban on retail sale and private manufacture of oxytocin

The Delhi High Court restores the retail sale and private manufacture of a life-saving drug

In a crucial development that exposes the flaws in health policy-making in the country, the Delhi High Court quashed a government ban on the retail sale and private manufacture of oxytocin. Notified by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in April, the ban referred to a 2016 Himachal Pradesh High Court judgment, which discussed oxytocin’s misuse in dairy cattle, fruits and vegetables. However, soon after the order was issued, health experts pointed to the absurdity of it. Oxytocin is a life-saving drug used to stem post-partum bleeding among new mothers. Because of this it had been listed by both the World Health Organization and the Health Ministry as an essential medicine. Around 45,000 women die from post-partum complications in India each year, and in 38% of the cases the reason is haemorrhaging. Without the easy availability of inexpensive oxytocin, efforts to stem the maternal mortality epidemic could have suffered a costly setback. These worries led to the All India Drug Action Network (AIDAN), a patient-rights group, to challenge the order in the Delhi High Court.

In its judgment on December 14, in response to AIDAN’s and drug manufacturers’ petitions, the court struck down the ban, calling it “unreasonable and arbitrary”. The court found that the government had failed to weigh the danger the ban posed to thousands of young mothers. What is more, it had failed to show that the drug was widely misused for veterinary purposes, the purported reason behind the order. Several bits of evidence cited in the judgment support this analysis. Even though the Centre claims to have made 25 illegal drug seizures across India in a three-year period, 12 of them didn’t actually find oxytocin. Among those that did, none involved licensed drugmakers. Karnataka Antibiotics & Pharmaceuticals Limited, the only authorised oxytocin producer after the ban, did not have the capability to manufacture it until mid-2017. It is mystifying why the Centre clamped down on licensed manufacturers with a proven track record, while roping in a state firm with no real experience. The most damning observation in the judgment is that the Centre focussed on the health of milch animals, without considering the well-being of women. This was despite the fact that all statutory bodies, including the Drugs Technical Advisory Board, had advised against a ban. This episode ought to compel policy-makers to reflect on the process that led to the ill-conceived order. Several questions must be answered. On what basis did the Centre overrule the advice of multiple statutory bodies? What led to its acceptance of sporadic reports of the drug’s misuse, without clinching proof? It is time for a post-mortem of how health policy is made, because that is the only way to safeguard the right to health of Indian citizens.


1) sliver

Meaning : a small, thin, narrow piece of something cut or split off a larger piece.(n)

Synonyms : shred

Antonyms : whole

Example : “a sliver of cheese”

2) acquitted

Meaning : free (someone) from a criminal charge by a verdict of not guilty(v).

Tamil Meaning : விடுதலை

Synonyms : exonerated

Antonyms : convicted

Example : “she was acquitted on all counts”

3) instigating

Meaning : bring about or initiate (an action or event).(v)

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டிய

Synonyms : provoking

Antonyms : halting

Example : “they instigated a reign of terror”

4) reignites

Meaning : ignite or cause to ignite again(v).

Tamil Meaning : மறுபடியும்

Example : “oven burners automatically reignite if blown out”

5) aftermath

Meaning : the consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event.(n)

Tamil Meaning : பின்னர்

Synonyms : effect

Antonyms : prologue

Example : “food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought”

6) assassination

Meaning : the action of assassinating someone.

Synonyms : execution

Antonyms : birth

Example : “the assassination of President Kennedy”

7) influential

Meaning : having great influence on someone or something.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : செல்வாக்கு

Synonyms : powerful

Antonyms : ineffective

Example : “her work is influential in feminist psychology”

8) substantial

Meaning : of considerable importance, size, or worth(adj).

Tamil Meaning : கணிசமான

Synonyms : strong

Antonyms : flimsy

Example : “a substantial amount of cash”

9) deliberate

Meaning : done consciously and intentionally.

Synonyms : consider

Antonyms : random

Example : “a deliberate attempt to provoke conflict”

10) untoward

Meaning : unexpected and inappropriate or inconvenient.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : அசம்பாவிதம்

Synonyms : adverse

Antonyms : proper

Example : “both tried to behave as if nothing untoward had happened”

11) damning

Meaning : unexpected and inappropriate or inconvenient.

Synonyms : condemning

Antonyms : pardon

Example : “both tried to behave as if nothing untoward had happened”

12) derailed

Meaning : obstruct (a process) by diverting it from its intended course.

Synonyms : insane

Antonyms : assisted

Example : “the plot is seen by some as an attempt to derail the negotiations”

13) revived

Meaning : restore to life or consciousness.

Tamil Meaning : புத்துயிர்

Synonyms : restored

Antonyms : drained

Example : “both men collapsed, but were revived”

14) corroboration

Meaning : evidence which confirms or supports a statement, theory, or finding; confirmation(n).

Tamil Meaning : விளைவைப்பற்றிய

Synonyms : affirmation

Antonyms : contradiction

Example : “there is no independent corroboration for this”

15) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).(v)

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

Antonyms : unwanted

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

16) impeached

Meaning : charge (the holder of a public office) with misconduct.

Synonyms : accused

Antonyms : absolved

Example : “congressional moves to impeach the president”

17) affidavits

Meaning : a written statement confirmed by oath or affirmation, for use as evidence in court.(n)

Tamil Meaning : வாக்குமூலங்களை

Synonyms : actions

Example : “a former employee swore an affidavit relating to his claim for unfair dismissal”

18) hostage

Meaning : a person seized or held as security for the fulfilment of a condition.

Tamil Meaning : பணயக்கைதிகள்

Synonyms : surety

Antonyms : warden

Example : “they were held hostage by armed rebels”

19) reinforce

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

Tamil Meaning : வலுப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : fortify

Antonyms : diminish

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

20) patronage

Meaning : the support given by a patron(n).

Tamil Meaning : ஆதரவு

Synonyms : support

Antonyms : opposition

Example : “the arts could no longer depend on private patronage”

21) complicity

Meaning : the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.

Tamil Meaning : உடந்தையாக

Synonyms : connivance

Antonyms : innocence

Example : “they were accused of complicity in the attempt to overthrow the government”

22) prevail

Meaning : the fact or condition of being involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong.(n)

Synonyms : triumph

Antonyms : lose

Example : “they were accused of complicity in the attempt to overthrow the government”

23) genocide

Meaning : the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular nation or ethnic group.

Tamil Meaning : இனப்படுகொலை

Synonyms : annihilation

Antonyms : peace

Example : “a campaign of genocide”

24) invoked

Meaning : cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.(v)

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்தப்படுகின்றது

Synonyms : enforced

Antonyms : ignored

Example : “the antiquated defence of insanity is rarely invoked in England”

25) cited

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

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கோள்

Synonyms : accused

Antonyms : concealed

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

26) flaws

Meaning :a mark, blemish, or other imperfection which mars a substance or object.

Tamil Meaning : குறைபாடுகள்

Synonyms : defects

Antonyms : flawless

Example : “a flaw in the glass”

27) quashed

Meaning : a mark, blemish, or other imperfection which mars a substance or object.

Tamil Meaning : குறைபாடுகள்

Synonyms : defects

Antonyms : strengths

Example : “a flaw in the glass”

28) absurdity

Meaning : the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable(n).

Synonyms : silliness

Antonyms : prudence

Example : “Duncan laughed at the absurdity of the situation”

29) purported

Meaning : the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable.

Synonyms : alleged

Example : “Duncan laughed at the absurdity of the situation”

30) haemorrhaging

Meaning : (of a person) suffer a haemorrhage.

Synonyms : bleeding

Example : “he had begun haemorrhaging in the night”

31) seizures

Meaning : lose or expend large amounts of (something valuable) in a seemingly uncontrollable way.

Synonyms : bleeding

Example : “the business was haemorrhaging cash”

32) mystifying

Meaning : utterly bewilder or perplex (someone).

Tamil Meaning : நம்ப இயலாத

Synonyms : baffling

Antonyms : explicable

Example : “I was completely mystified by his disappearance”

33) damning

Meaning : (of a circumstance or piece of evidence) strongly suggesting guilt or error.

Synonyms : damnatory

Antonyms : blessing

Example : “I was innocent but the evidence was damning”

34) statutory

Meaning : required, permitted, or enacted by statute.

Tamil Meaning : சட்டரீதியான

Synonyms : legal

Antonyms : illegal

Example : “statutory controls over prices”

35) ought

Meaning : used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.(v)

Synonyms : obligation

Antonyms : lacked

Example : “they ought to respect the law”

36) clinching

Meaning : confirm or settle (a contract or bargain).

Synonyms : conclusive

Antonyms : releasing

Example : “the Texan wanted to impress him to clinch a business deal”

37) conceived

Meaning : create (an embryo) by fertilizing an egg.

Tamil Meaning : சிந்தித்து

Synonyms : invented

Antonyms : demolished

Example : “she was conceived when her father was 49”

38) claims

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

Synonyms : asserts

Antonyms : disclaims

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

39) comprising

Meaning : consist of; be made up of.(v)

Tamil Meaning : உள்ளடக்கிய

Synonyms : including

Antonyms : lacking

Example : “the country comprises twenty states”

40) appeal

Meaning : make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request.

Tamil Meaning : முறையீடு

Synonyms : request

Antonyms : disgust

Example : “police are appealing for information about the incident”


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