THE HINDU EDITORIAL : DECEMBER 29, 2018
Dear Banking Aspirants,
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 29, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like IBPS Clerk 2018 Mains Exam, 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) Strange deal: on new e-commerce police
The new e-commerce policy betrays a muddled view of online and offline retail
The Centre’s curiously timed attempt to ‘clarify’ foreign direct investment norms for e-commerce players could end up scuttling investor interest in the sector that has attracted large foreign players and generated thousands of jobs. The fresh restrictions and the clarifications on certain operational aspects could reinforce investor complaints about India being unpredictable in terms of policies. In March 2016, foreign investment up to 100% was allowed under the automatic route for e-com firms engaged in business-to-business transactions using the marketplace model — one where a firm sets up an enabling IT platform to facilitate trade between sellers and buyers. However, FDI was not allowed where the e-com player owned the inventory of goods to be sold, or for business-to-consumer purposes, barring a few exceptions. Now, the rules have been altered for players like Amazon or Flipkart (majority-owned by Walmart) that have made significant investments in India. The policy, to kick in from February 1, 2019, could require a major overhaul in the business model and shareholding structures of such players. For instance, earlier a single vendor or its group firms couldn’t account for over 25% of sales in a marketplace; now the rules bar sales by any entities where the e-com firm has an equity stake. A vendor’s inventory will be deemed to be controlled by the e-com player if more than 25% of its purchases are from the latter or related firms. It’s not clear how this change will help meet the principle enunciated in the policy note — fairness and the creation of a non-discriminatory, level playing field.
Separately, any specialised back-end support for some sellers must now be extended to all vendors, while discounts, cash-backs and preferential subscription services have been made far trickier to implement. An e-commerce marketplace entity will not mandate any seller to offer a product exclusively on its platform under the new rules. But this doesn’t explain what to do when a seller voluntarily opts to sell exclusively on one e-commerce portal over another. The government is clearly keen to quell the long-brewing disquiet among offline retailers over big discount sales and the surge in e-commerce. Yet, it could have waited for the recommendations of a national e-commerce policy task force set up this April. That task force could trigger more policy shifts. India’s retail FDI policy remains muddled — with the debate now focussing on online vs offline trade as opposed to big vs small, or a single brand vs multi-brand retail FDI regime. Globally, India has been taking on protectionism, and this month the Finance Minister said free trade is essential, so consumers get the best deal everywhere. The same consumer focus and non-protectionist tenets must be applied for internal trade.
b) Netanyahu’s gamble: on Israel holding early election
As Israel heads for a snap poll, corruption allegations will cast a shadow on his campaign
Israel’s ruling coalition’s decision to dissolve Parliament and hold an early election was no surprise. The government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose term was scheduled to end next November, has been battling intra-coalition troubles for weeks now. Last month, Avigdor Lieberman, the hawkish Defence Minister, quit and pulled his Yisrael Beiteinu party from the coalition in protest against Mr. Netanyahu’s truce with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs the Gaza Strip. That left Mr. Netanyahu with a majority of one seat in the 120-member Knesset. Since then, another crisis convulsed the coalition as a proposed law to regulate the enlistment of ultra-Orthodox men in the military drew flak from religious parties. So far, while all Jewish Israelis are required to serve in the military at age 18, religious students have traditionally got an exemption. The new conscription Bill seeks increased participation of Orthodox Jews. It is required to be passed by January 15, a court-imposed deadline. But the government’s ability to muster the numbers for its passage came under serious doubt as both the Opposition parties and the Orthodox Jewish parties within the ruling coalition have taken a stand against it. It is against this background that Mr. Netanyahu opted to force an election, which will be held on April 9.
In the dissolved Knesset, Mr. Netanyahu’s right-conservative Likud party had 30 members. The electoral system is based on proportional representation, and the Likud is expected to do well again as there appears to be no opposition figure with a profile to take on Mr. Netanyahu. But the four-time Prime Minister has a mixed track record. While he listed the “great achievements” of his government in areas such as security, economy, transportation, tourism and infrastructure at a Likud meeting, he faces criticism for his handling of the Palestinian issue and the security challenges from war-torn Syria. The Netanyahu government completely spurned peace initiatives, promoted settlements in the West Bank and used heavy force against protesters in both the West Bank and Gaza. The two-state solution, which Mr. Netanyahu derided during the election campaign in 2015, is in peril. In Syria, Israel has carried out a series of attacks against what it calls the Iranian presence, deepening the country’s involvement there. Besides, Mr. Netanyahu faces allegations of corruption — he is accused of accepting gifts from billionaire benefactors and reaching illicit deals with media moguls. The Israeli police has recommended indicting the Prime Minister in three cases. If the Attorney-General decides to file a case against him, it could change his electoral chances. Whether Mr. Netanyahu returns to power or not, a fresh mandate should nudge the incumbent towards bold steps to initiate peace with the Palestinians and other powers in Israel’s neighbourhood.
Meaning: Make (a statement or situation) less confused and more comprehensible.
Synonyms: make clear, shed light on
Antonyms: confuse, obscure
Example: “The report managed to clarify the government’s position”
Meaning: deliberately cause (a scheme) to fail.
Synonyms: scamper, scurry, scramble
Example: “the ship was scuttled by its German prize crew, who took to the boats”
Meaning: the limitation or control of someone or something, or the state of being restricted.
Synonyms: limitation, limit, constraint
Antonyms: Liberation, Freedom
Example: “there will be no restriction on the number of places available”
Meaning: not able to be predicted; changeable.
Synonyms: Unforeseeable, Undivinable
Antonyms: Predictable, Reliable
Example: “the unpredictable weather of the Scottish islands”
Meaning: make (an action or process) easy or easier.
Synonyms: make easy/easier, ease, make possible
Example: “schools were located in the same campus to facilitate the sharing of resources”
Meaning: a complete list of items such as property, goods in stock, or the contents of a building.
Synonyms: list, listing, catalogue.
Example: “a complete inventory of all their belongings”
Meaning: except for; if not for.
Synonyms: except for, with the exception of, excepting
Example: “barring accidents, we should win”
Meaning: change in character or composition, typically in a comparatively small but significant way.
Synonyms: change, make changes to, make different
Antonyms: Stay, Ruin
Example: “Eliot was persuaded to alter the passage”
9. Kick In
Meaning: come into effect or operation.
Synonyms: Chip In, Commit
Example: “the hospital’s emergency generators kicked in”
Meaning: a thorough examination of machinery or a system, with repairs or changes made if necessary.
Synonyms: service, maintain, repair
Antonyms: Break, Destroy
Example: “a major overhaul of environmental policies”
Meaning: regard or consider in a specified way.
Synonyms: regard as, consider, judge, adjudge
Antonyms: Disbelieve, Forget, Ignore
Example: “the event was deemed a great success”
Meaning: occurring or situated nearer to the end of something than to the beginning.
Synonyms: later, hindmost, closing
Antonyms: Beginning, Initial
Example: “the latter half of 1989”
Meaning: express (a proposition, theory, etc.) in clear or definite terms.
Synonyms: express, utter, state
Antonyms: confine, Deny
Example: “a written document enunciating this policy”
Meaning: put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc.) into effect.
Synonyms: execute, apply, put into effect
Example: “the scheme to implement student loans”
Meaning: (of an unwelcome event or situation) begin to develop.
Synonyms: develop, gather force, loom
Example: “there was more trouble brewing as the miners went on strike”
Meaning: confuse (a person or their thoughts).
Synonyms: bewilder, confuse, bemuse
Antonyms: enlighten, clear, lucid
Example: “Paul was hopelessly muddled by the rates of exchange”
Meaning: a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.
Synonyms: principle, belief, doctrine
Antonyms: Disbelief, Doubt, Reality
Example: “the tenets of classical liberalism”
Meaning: a risky action undertaken with the hope of success.
Synonyms: risk, chance, hazard, speculation
Antonyms: Guard, Plan, Protect
Example: “we decided to take a gamble and offer him a place on our staff”
Meaning: a combination or alliance, especially a temporary one between persons, factions, states, etc
Synonyms: Partnership, Alliance, Combine
Antonyms: Disunion, Division
Example: A coalition Government
Meaning: close down or dismiss (an assembly or official body).
Synonyms: disband, disestablish, dismiss
Antonyms: Appear, Concentrate, Assemble
Example: “the National Assembly was dissolved after a coup”
Meaning: arrange or plan (an event) to take place at a particular time.
Synonyms: arrange, organize, plan, programme
Example: “the release of the single is scheduled for April”
Meaning: advocating an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs.
Synonyms: Aggresive, Attacking, Bellicose
Antonyms: Harmonize, Peaceful
Example: “the administration’s hawkish stance”
Meaning: an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing for a certain time.
Synonyms: ceasefire, armistice
Antonyms: Persistence, War, Disagreement
Example: “the guerrillas called a three-day truce”
Meaning: The Knesset is the unicameral national legislature of Israel.
Meaning: suffer violent involuntary contraction of the muscles, producing contortion of the body or limbs.
Synonyms: shake uncontrollably/violently, go into spasms, shudder
Antonyms: Calm, order, Quite
Example: “she convulsed, collapsing to the floor with the pain”
Meaning: control (something, especially a business activity) by means of rules and regulations.
Synonyms: supervise, oversee, police
Antonyms: Damage, Mismanage, Neglect
Example: “the Code regulates the takeovers of all public companies”
Meaning: strong criticism.
Synonyms: criticism, censure, disapproval
Antonyms: Approval, Compliment
Example: “you must be strong enough to take the flak if things go wrong”
Meaning: the action of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.
Synonyms:immunity, exception, dispensation
Example: “vehicles that may qualify for exemption from tax”
Meaning: compulsory enlistment for state service, typically into the armed forces.
Synonyms: Enrollment, Induction
Example: “conscription was extended to married men”
Meaning: following or conforming to the traditional or generally accepted rules or beliefs of a religion, philosophy, or practice.
Synonyms: conservative, traditional, observant
Example: “Burke’s views were orthodox in his time”
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