Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 22, 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) Plunger in a churn: Nitish Kumar and Bihar politics

Nitish Kumar’s manoeuvres have been forcing other parties in Bihar into realignments

If politics in Bihar is in continual churn, then the plunger in the barrel is Nitish Kumar, the Chief Minister and leader of the Janata Dal (United). Each time Mr. Kumar ditches an old friend or chooses a new ally, the other parties are forced into a realignment. The latest to shift camps is Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samta Party. After the BJP and the JD(U) reached an agreement on sharing an equal number of seats for next year’s Lok Sabha election, the other allies of the BJP felt squeezed for space in the National Democratic Alliance. With the BJP, which won 22 of the 30 seats it contested in 2014, cutting down its own share of the seats in order to make room for the JD(U), both the RLSP, which won all its three seats in the last election, and the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Paswan, which won six of its seven seats, were expected to do the same. But more than the LJP, the RLSP found the situation uncomfortable as Mr. Kushwaha had built his party in opposition to Mr. Kumar over the last five years. The BJP made no serious attempt to retain the RLSP within its fold, in a way glad that the pressure on the process of allocation of the 40 seats in Bihar would ease a bit. If the NDA got crowded after the entry of Mr. Kumar and the JD(U), the alliance led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal remained a mahagathbandhan only in name. Both Mr. Kushwaha and Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Jitan Ram Manjhi, a former ally of the BJP, were easily accommodated by the RJD-Congress combine in the mahagathbandhan.

In a way, the exit of Mr. Kushwaha has strengthened the bargaining power of Mr. Paswan and the LJP. The LJP seems unwilling to surrender any of its sitting seats to accommodate the JD(U). Like many of the other parties in Bihar, the LJP has switched sides often, choosing between the Congress and the BJP on the basis of how it reads the political winds. With the RJD steadfastly wooing the LJP, the BJP has been trying hard to keep the party within the NDA. The bilateral agreement with the BJP was a victory of sorts for the JD(U). It was very much the senior partner in the NDA right until 2013, when it broke away from the BJP, protesting against the nomination of Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate. But since then the party appears to have conceded a lot of ground to the BJP. Another change of alliance partners for the JD(U) is unlikely. As things stand, the RJD may not entertain such an option. The JD(U) has been the most important player in Bihar’s politics in the last 13 years, but Mr. Kumar’s room for political manoeuvre is now severely limited. The plunger might have just done its last churn in the barrel.

B) Controversial exit: U.S troops withdrawal from Syria

Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria has rattled his team and his allies

President Donald Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria has predictably upset both the Washington establishment and America’s global allies. Within a day of the announcement, Secretary of Defense James Mattis quit, while allies say the move would affect the battle against the Islamic State in Syria. Mr. Trump, however, appears unfazed. Bringing soldiers back to the U.S. was a campaign promise. Earlier this year he had wanted to exit Syria, but delayed the decision amid resistance within his cabinet. Now he claims that the physical infrastructure of the IS caliphate is destroyed and the U.S. can leave the war against the remnants of the jihadist group to the Syrian government and its main backers, Russia and Iran. On the face of it, there is a strategic argument in Mr. Trump’s decision. The caliphate is actually destroyed — the IS has lost 95% of the territory it once controlled and is now confined to narrow pockets on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The U.S. would also not like to get stuck in Syria forever. It is basically Russia’s war. The U.S. is already stranded in Afghanistan (for 17 years) and Iraq (over 15 years) without a way out. After these interventions, Presidents have been wary of deploying “boots on the ground” in West Asia. Barack Obama had pulled back most U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Trump wants to get out of the Syrian theatre. But the ground reality is too complex and requires Mr. Trump to be more patient and strategic in his policymaking.

The U.S. has only 2,000 troops in Syria. They were not directly involved in the ground battle, and were supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces, a rebel group led by Kurdish rebels who were in the forefront of the fight against the IS. The U.S. support for the Kurdish rebels has irked Turkey, which sees them as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party, the rebels on the Turkish side who have been fighting Turkish troops for decades. Turkey considers the military consolidation of Kurds as a strategic threat. In the past, Turkey had attacked Kurds in some pockets on the Syrian side, but was prevented from launching a full-throttle attack because of the U.S. presence. When Mr. Trump pulls out American troops, he would in effect be leaving the Syrian Kurds at the mercy of Turkish troops. A second risk factor will emerge if Turkey launches an attack on the Kurdish militants, which President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to do. The Kurds will then have to re-channel their resources to fight Turkish soldiers. This will weaken the ground resistance against the remaining IS militants on the southern side of the border. Mr. Trump would have done better to wait before deciding to pull out of Syria. He could have considered waiting for the conflict to de-escalate even further; also, he could have gained assurances from Turkey that it would refrain from attacking Kurdish troops. The cost of being so abrupt is that it leaves a dangerous vacuum in northeastern Syria.


1) churn

Meaning : shake (milk or cream) in a machine in order to produce butter.

Synonyms : shaking

Antonyms : Still

Example : “the cream is ripened before it is churned”

2) plunger

Meaning : a person who gambles or spends money recklessly.

Synonyms : gamester

Antonyms : hesitator

Example : “he is a plunger when it comes to spending money for news”

3) ditches

Meaning : get rid of or give up.

Synonyms : gutters

Antonyms : ridges

Example : “plans for the road were ditched following a public inquiry”

4) ally

Meaning : a state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose.

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டாளி

Synonyms : associate

Antonyms : rival

Example : “debate continued among NATO allies”

5) squeezed

Meaning : firmly press (something soft or yielding), typically with one’s fingers.

Tamil Meaning : அழுத்தும்

Synonyms : compressed

Antonyms : expanded

Example : “Kate squeezed his hand affectionately”

6) contested

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

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியிட்ட

Synonyms : compressed

Antonyms : expanded

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

7) retain

Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of.

Tamil Meaning : தக்கவைத்து

Synonyms : keep

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “Labour retained the seat”

8) accommodated

Meaning : (of a building or other area) provide lodging or sufficient space for.

Tamil Meaning : அனுசரித்து

Synonyms : adapted

Antonyms : blocked

Example : “the cottages accommodate up to six people”

9) bargaining

Meaning : negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction.

Tamil Meaning : பேரம்

Synonyms : deal

Antonyms : give

Example : “he bargained with the local council to rent the stadium”

10) steadfastly

Meaning : in a resolutely or dutifully firm and unwavering manner.

Tamil Meaning : உறுதியுடன்

Synonyms : firmly

Antonyms : drolly

Example : “the manager steadfastly refused the offer”

11) sorts

Meaning : a category of things or people with a common feature; a type.

Tamil Meaning : வகையான

Synonyms : types

Antonyms : disturbs

Example : “if only we knew the sort of people she was mixing with”

12) conceded

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

Tamil Meaning : ஒப்பு

Synonyms : approved

Antonyms : confronted

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

13) manoeuvre

Meaning :a movement or series of moves requiring skill and care.

Synonyms : trick

Antonyms : tautness

Example : “snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on precipitous slopes

14) predictably

Meaning : in a way that can be predicted; as expected.

Tamil Meaning : முன்னூகிக்கூடிய

Synonyms : obviously

Antonyms : erratically

Example : “so far the markets have behaved predictably”

15) unfazed

Meaning : not disconcerted or perturbed.

Tamil Meaning : கலக்கம்

Synonyms : confident

Antonyms : perplexed

Example : “the protestors were unfazed by the prospect of arrest”

16) campaign

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

Synonyms : crusade

Antonyms : inaction

Example : “people who campaigned against child labour”

17) delayed

Meaning : make (someone or something) late or slow.

Tamil Meaning : தாமதமாக

Synonyms : late

Antonyms : instant

Example : “the train was delayed”

18) amid

Meaning : surrounded by; in the middle of.

Tamil Meaning : மத்தியில்

Synonyms : among

Antonyms : outside

Example : “our dream home, set amid magnificent rolling countryside”

19) resistance

Meaning : the refusal to accept or comply with something.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்பு

Synonyms : endurance

Antonyms : acceptance

Example : “they displayed a narrow-minded resistance to change”

20) claims

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

Tamil Meaning : கூற்று

Synonyms : asserts

Antonyms : disclaims

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

21) remnants

Meaning : a part or quantity that is left after the greater part has been used, removed, or destroyed.

Tamil Meaning : மிச்சத்தை

Synonyms : leftovers

Antonyms : whole

Example : “the bogs are an endangered remnant of a primeval landscape”

22) confined

Meaning : (of a space) restricted in area or volume; cramped.

Synonyms : limited

Antonyms : free

Example : “her fear of confined spaces”

23) deploying

Meaning : move (troops or equipment) into position for military action.

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்துவது

Synonyms : deploy

Example : “forces were deployed at strategic locations”

24) interventions

Meaning : the action or process of intervening.

Tamil Meaning : தலையீடு

Synonyms : interference

Antonyms : affront

Example : “a high degree of state intervention in the economy”

25) rebels

Meaning : rise in opposition or armed resistance to an established government or leader.

Synonyms : revolts

Antonyms : conformists

Example : “the Earl of Pembroke subsequently rebelled against Henry III”

26) forefront

Meaning : the leading or most important position or place.

Tamil Meaning : முன்னணியில்

Synonyms : front

Antonyms : backside

Example : “the issue has moved to the forefront of the political agenda”

27) irked

Meaning : irritate; annoy.

Synonyms : annoyed

Antonyms : amusing

Example : “it irks her to think of the runaround she received”

28) consolidation

Meaning : the action or process of making something stronger or more solid.

Tamil Meaning : ஒருங்கிணைப்பு

Synonyms : integration

Antonyms : dispersal

Example : “the permanent consolidation of peace”

29) prevented

Meaning : keep (something) from happening.

Tamil Meaning : தடுத்தது

Synonyms : restrained

Antonyms : caused

Example : “action must be taken to prevent further accidents”

30) emerge

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

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பட

Synonyms : arise

Antonyms : fade

Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”

31) vowed

Meaning : solemnly promise to do a specified thing.

Tamil Meaning : சபதம்

Synonyms : pledged

Antonyms : disavowed

Example : “the rebels vowed to continue fighting”

32) strategic

Meaning : relating to the identification of long-term or overall aims and interests and the means of achieving them.

Tamil Meaning : மூலோபாய

Synonyms : critical

Antonyms : unplanned

Example : “strategic planning for the organization is the responsibility of top management”

33) mercy

Meaning : compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.

Tamil Meaning : கருணை

Synonyms : pardon

Antonyms : cruelty

Example : “the boy was screaming and begging for mercy”

34) extension

Meaning : a part that is added to something to enlarge or prolong it.

Tamil Meaning : நீட்டிப்பு

Synonyms : expansion

Antonyms : reduction

Example : “the railway’s southern extension”

35) resources

Meaning : a stock or supply of money, materials, staff, and other assets that can be drawn on by a person or organization in order to function effectively.

Tamil Meaning : வளங்கள்

Synonyms : assets

Antonyms : lack

Example : “local authorities complained that they lacked resources”

36) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash.

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : dispute

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “parents’ and children’s interests sometimes conflict”

37) assurances

Meaning : a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise.

Tamil Meaning : உத்தரவாதங்களை

Synonyms : pledges

Antonyms : doubts

Example : “he gave an assurance that work would begin on Monday”

38) refrain

Meaning : stop oneself from doing something.

Tamil Meaning : விலகி

Synonyms : desist

Antonyms : interact

Example : “she refrained from comment”

39) abrupt

Meaning : sudden and unexpected.

Tamil Meaning : திடீர்

Synonyms : sudden

Antonyms : calm

Example : “I was surprised by the abrupt change of subject”

40) vacuum

Meaning : clean with a vacuum cleaner.

Tamil Meaning : வெற்றிடம்

Synonyms : void

Antonyms : fullness

Example : “the room needs to be vacuumed”


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