Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 27, 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) No lessons learnt: on Meghalaya mining disaster

The Meghalaya mining disaster exposes a series of administrative lapses

The disaster that struck a coal mine at Ksan in Meghalaya’s Jaintia Hills district on December 13, trapping at least 13 workers, is a shocking reminder that a fast-growing economy such as India continues to allow Dickensian mining practices. India being home to some of the worst mine disasters, such as Chasnala near Dhanbad in 1975 in which more than 370 people were killed, the full spectrum of mining activity should be tightly regulated. Yet, the Ksan mine, referred to as a rat hole, was allowed to function in violation of not just safety norms but a complete prohibition issued by the National Green Tribunal. Clearly, the administration did not act to stop unscrupulous operators of the illegal mine from exploiting desperate workers, some of them from Assam, who were willing to work the rat hole tunnels because that is the most remunerative employment available to them. Unscientific mining led to a collapse of the chamber and deadly flooding followed. After disaster struck, it was incumbent on the Meghalaya government to launch an immediate rescue effort. But it did not possess the equipment to dewater the stricken mine quickly, and did not show any urgency in requisitioning it from elsewhere, in spite of the involvement of the National Disaster Response Force. The families of the workers are now left hoping for a miracle. Meghalaya has no excuse for not closing down such dangerous mines. What it can and should do now, jointly with the Assam government where needed, is to offer adequate compensation and jobs for the next of kin of the workers without delay.

Official inquiries into flooding disasters at approved mines, including Chasnala, have shown serious shortcomings in safety management. Two years ago, a landslip at an open cast mine in Goda, Jharkhand, killed 23 people, raising questions about the rigour of the technical assessment done prior to expansion of extraction activity. A study on three big flooding accidents published in 2016 by the IIT-Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, concluded that the official approach of fixing responsibility on human error was flawed, since it did not try to identify the root cause. There is little evidence to show that pre-mining surveys and safety protocols are incorporating such advice. The case of illegal mines falls in a different category. Unapproved work, which appears to have led to the Meghalaya accident, cannot continue, and employment should be provided to those who are displaced. Illegal mining has been highlighted by activists, but they have become targets of violence by those operating the mines. In the glare of national attention, Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has acknowledged that illegal mining does take place. His government has been remiss as it failed to act on the NGT’s directions. It must bear responsibility for what has happened at Ksan, and work to prevent such tragedies.

B) Winter bear hug: on weakening stocks

Stocks everywhere show signs of weakness as central banks tighten monetary policy

U.S. President Donald Trump probably did not have his best Christmas this year. American stocks suffered their worst Christmas-eve loss in market history with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing a massive 650 points on Monday, a drop of almost 3% within a single trading session. Mr. Trump has been keen on projecting the stock market’s performance as a gauge of how well the U.S. economy is doing under his presidency. While U.S. and global stocks performed extremely well in the first year of Mr. Trump’s presidency, they haven’t lived up to his expectations this year. The Dow Jones, now down almost 19% from its peak in early October, is clearly teetering near bear market territory. The index is down about 12% since the beginning of the year. The S&P 500 is already more than 20% down from its intra-day peak during the year, thus meeting the common definition of a bear market. And the Japanese Nikkei index dropped 5% on Christmas day. The Christmas-eve slump in the U.S. came after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s statement on Sunday announcing the convening of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, colloquially known as the Plunge Protection Team, that last met in 2008 in the midst of the global financial crisis. Investors interpreted the statement as a sign of possible trouble brewing within the financial system, thus contributing to at least some of the panic in the markets on Monday.

It is no surprise that stocks in the U.S. and around the world have shown signs of weakness just around the time the Federal Reserve and other major Western central banks have been keen on ending the era of easy money by tightening monetary policy. Many major indices have either broken their short-term uptrend or struggled to go past their most recent highs. Mr. Trump has expectedly been public about his criticism of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who has surprised many by sticking to his plan of gradual rate hikes despite U.S. inflation being comfortably below the Fed’s target rate of 2%. He fears that rising interest rates could derail economic growth that has been quite robust in recent times and affect his popularity. Historically, politicians have generally favoured easy money policies represented by low interest rates while central bankers have insisted on sticking to their primary mandate of controlling price inflation. So the battle between the President and the Federal Reserve Chairman is not completely surprising, except for Mr. Trump’s criticism of the Fed. What is important to observe is how markets, which have now clearly begun to price in the effects of tighter monetary policy around the world, will fare in the era of more normalised interest rates.


1) trapping

Meaning : trick or deceive (someone) into doing something contrary to their interests or intentions.

Synonyms : ambush

Antonyms : blessing

Example : “I hoped to trap him into an admission”

2) unscrupulous

Meaning : having or showing no moral principles; not honest or fair.

Tamil Meaning : நேர்மையற்ற

Synonyms : dishonest

Antonyms : moral

Example : “unscrupulous landlords might be tempted to harass existing tenants”

3) exploiting

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).(v)

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்தி

Synonyms : using

Antonyms : wasting

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

4) desperate

Meaning : feeling or showing a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with.(adj)

Synonyms : daring

Antonyms : afraid

Example : “a desperate sadness enveloped Ruth”

5) remunerative

Meaning : pay (someone) for services rendered or work done.(v)

Synonyms : accord

Antonyms : deny

Example : “they should be remunerated fairly for their work”

6) tunnels

Meaning : dig or force a passage underground or through something.(v)

Synonyms : channel

Antonyms : bridges

Example : “he tunnelled under the fence”

7) incumbent

Meaning : necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : பதவியில்

Synonyms : necessary

Antonyms : unnecessary

Example : “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”

8) rescue

Meaning : save (someone) from a dangerous or difficult situation(v).

Tamil Meaning : மீட்பு

Synonyms : delivery

Antonyms : failure

Example : “firemen rescued a man trapped in the river”

9) adequate

Meaning : satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : போதுமான

Synonyms : capable

Antonyms : inappropriate

Example : “this office is perfectly adequate for my needs”

10) kin

Meaning : one’s family and relations.

Tamil Meaning : உறவினர்களின்

Synonyms : affinity

Antonyms : unrelated

Example : “many elderly people have no kin to turn to for assistance”

11) rigour

Meaning : the quality of being extremely thorough and careful.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கடுமை

Synonyms : harshness

Antonyms : agility

Example : “his analysis is lacking in rigour”

12) extraction

Meaning : the action of extracting something, especially using effort or force(n).

Tamil Meaning : பிரித்தெடுத்தல்

Synonyms : eradication

Antonyms : addition

Example : “mineral extraction”

13) flawed

Meaning : having or characterized by a fundamental weakness or imperfection.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : குற்றமுள்ள

Synonyms : erroneous

Antonyms : accurate

Example : “a fatally flawed strategy”

14) incorporating

Meaning : take in or contain (something) as part of a whole; include(v).

Tamil Meaning : சேர்த்துக்கொள்வதன்

Synonyms : absorb

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “he has incorporated in his proposals a number of measures”

15) displaced

Meaning : take over the place, position, or role of.(v)

Tamil Meaning : இடம்பெயர்ந்த

Synonyms : deranged

Antonyms : reinstated

Example : “he believes that books may be displaced by the electronic word”

16) remiss

Meaning : lacking care or attention to duty; negligent.

Synonyms : derelict

Antonyms : careful

Example : “it would be very remiss of me not to pass on that information”

17) massive

Meaning : large and heavy or solid.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : பாரிய

Synonyms : colossal

Antonyms : common

Example : “a massive rampart of stone”

18) keen

Meaning : having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : முனைப்புடன்

Synonyms : anxious

Antonyms : apathetic

Example : “a keen gardener”

19) teetering

Meaning : move or balance unsteadily; sway back and forth.

Tamil Meaning : தள்ளாடி

Synonyms : falter

Antonyms : stabilize

Example : “she teetered after him in her high-heeled sandals”

20) slump

Meaning : sit, lean, or fall heavily and limply.(v)

Tamil Meaning : சரிவு

Synonyms : collapse

Antonyms : increase

Example : “she slumped against the cushions”

21) convening

Meaning : come or bring together for a meeting or activity; assemble.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டு

Synonyms : gather

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “he had convened a secret meeting of military personnel”

22) interpreted

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

Tamil Meaning : விளக்கம்

Synonyms : explained

Example : “the evidence is difficult to interpret”

23) brewing

Meaning : make (beer) by soaking, boiling, and fermentation.

Tamil Meaning : காய்ச்சு

Synonyms : boil

Antonyms : dehydrate

Example : “within five years the company will brew as much beer in China as in Australia”

24) contributing

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

Tamil Meaning : பங்களிப்பு

Synonyms : commit

Antonyms : hold

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

25) panic

Meaning : sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behaviour.(n)

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : confusion

Antonyms : bravery

Example : “she hit him in panic”

26) indices

Meaning : in a book or set of books) an alphabetical list of names, subjects, etc. with reference to the pages on which they are mentioned.

Synonyms : ratio

Example : “clear cross references supplemented by a thorough index

27) uptrend

Meaning : an upward tendency, especially a rise in economic value.

Tamil Meaning : உயர்வில்

Synonyms : rise

Antonyms : decline

Example : “the uptrend in sales and profits is expected to be sustained in the October-March period”

28) despite

Meaning : without being affected by; in spite of.

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

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

29) comfortably

Meaning : in a physically relaxed way that is free from constraint.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : வசதியாக

Synonyms : easily

Antonyms : insufficiently

Example : “he lounges comfortably in an armchair”

30) midst

Meaning : the middle part or point.(n)

Tamil Meaning : நடுவில்

Synonyms : bosom

Antonyms : exterior

Example : “he left his flat in the midst of a rainstorm”

31) gauge

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

Synonyms : indicator

Antonyms : extreme

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

32) colloquially

Meaning : (of language) used in ordinary or familiar conversation; not formal or literary.

Tamil Meaning : பேச்சுவழக்கு

Synonyms : vernacular

Antonyms : formal

Example : “colloquial and everyday language”

33) gradual

Meaning : taking place or progressing slowly or by degrees.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : படிப்படியாக

Synonyms : creeping

Antonyms : intermittent

Example : “the gradual introduction of new methods”

34) struggled

Meaning : make forceful or violent efforts to get free of restraint or constriction.(v)

Tamil Meaning : போராடி

Synonyms : cope

Antonyms : forget

Example : “before she could struggle, he lifted her up”

35) derail

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

Synonyms : crash

Antonyms : aid

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

36) robust

Meaning : strong and healthy; vigorous.

Tamil Meaning : வலுவான

Synonyms : booming

Antonyms : fragile

Example : “the Caplan family are a robust lot”

37) insisted

Meaning : demand something forcefully, not accepting refusal.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தினார்

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “she insisted on carrying her own bag”

38) mandate

Meaning : an official order or commission to do something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : ஆணை

Synonyms : decree

Antonyms : breach

Example : “a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners”

39) era

Meaning : a long and distinct period of history(n)

Tamil Meaning : சகாப்தம்

Synonyms : generation

Example : “his death marked the end of an era”

40) normalised

Meaning : bring or return to a normal or standard condition or state.(v)

Synonyms : assign

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “the two countries normalized diplomatic relations in 1995”



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