THE HINDU EDITORIAL : DECEMBER 6, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : DECEMBER 6, 2018
Dear Banking Aspirants,
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – December 6, 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) A valid pause: on RBI holding rates
While holding rates, the RBI has wisely stuck to its policy stance of ‘calibrated tightening’
The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to leave interest rates unchanged, given easing inflation and the slowdown in economic momentum, was both expected and reasonable. In fact, the RBI was prompted to sharply lower its projection for price gains after an unexpected softening in food inflation and a collapse in oil prices in a surprisingly short span of time — the price of India’s crude basket tumbled almost 30% to below $60 by end-November from $85 in early October. The monetary policy committee (MPC) now estimates retail inflation in the second half of the fiscal year to slow to 2.7%-3.2%, at least 120 basis points lower than its October forecast of 3.9%-4.5%. And it foresees the softness in prices enduring through the April-September half of next year, when headline inflation is projected to hover around its medium-term target of 4% and register in a 3.8%-4.2% range. The MPC’s decision to stand pat on rates must also have been bolstered by the findings in the RBI’s November survey of households’ inflation expectations: the outlook for price gains, three months ahead, softened by 40 basis points from September. On growth, the monetary authority has largely stuck with its prognosis from October, while flagging both external and domestic risks to momentum as well as the likely sources of tailwinds. Among the positives cited, beyond a likely boost to consumption demand and corporate earnings from softer fuel costs, are two key data points from the RBI’s own surveys. Capacity utilisation rose to 76.1% in Q2, higher than the long-term average of 74.9%. Also, industrial firms reported an improvement in the demand outlook for Q4. Still, the forecast for full-year GDP growth has been retained at 7.4%, on the back of an expected 7.2%-7.3% second-half expansion, with the risks weighted to the downside.
Interestingly, and justifiably so, the RBI has opted to keep the powder dry by sticking to its policy stance of ‘calibrated tightening’. Given that its primary remit is to achieve and preserve price stability, the central bank is wary of the uncertainties that cloud the inflation horizon. For one, with the prices of several food items at “unusually low levels”, the RBI reckons there is the clear and present danger of a sudden reversal, especially in prices of volatile perishable items. Also, the medium-term outlook for crude oil is still quite hazy, with the possibility of a flare-up in geopolitical tensions and any decision by OPEC both likely to impact supplies. Buttressing this reasoning, households’ one-year-ahead inflation expectations remain elevated and unchanged from September. Most significantly, the central bank has once again raised a cautionary signal to governments, both at the Centre and in the States. Fiscal slippages risk impacting the inflation outlook, heightening market volatility and crowding out private investment. Instead, this may be an opportune time to bolster macroeconomic fundamentals through fiscal prudence.
B) The Taiwan card: on Taipei’s ties with mainland
Taipei’s fine balance in its relationship with mainland China is coming under stress
The huge gains for the opposition Kuomintang, or the Chinese Nationalist Party, in Taiwan’s local elections may help in gradually improving the island’s ties with mainland China. Equally, the adverse results in some of its strongholds could complicate matters for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party government ahead of the 2020 general elections. President Tsai Ing-wen has stepped down as the party chief, owning moral responsibility for the setback; her re-election bid is in doubt. The pro-independence stance of the DPP is at variance with Beijing’s repeated assertion of its sovereignty over Taiwan, which it insists it is prepared to defend through the use of force. All the same, the Taiwanese government has been equally concerned to not allow the long-standing dispute to escalate to a point of jeopardising the strong trade relations between the two territories. But this delicate balance has turned somewhat more precarious since Donald Trump became President of the United States. Ever since his election, he has sought to leverage Taiwan to pressure China in the U.S.’s ongoing trade war. A first indication was the congratulatory call he received from Ms. Tsai on his poll victory. The episode raised concerns over the status of U.S.-China diplomatic relations, established in 1979, and the consequent downgrading of the U.S.’s ties with Taipei to unofficial exchanges. The 2018 Taiwan Travel Act aims to promote greater engagement between Washington and Taipei. Similarly, the new headquarters of the American Institute in Taiwan in Taipei is symbolic of the shift. The Taiwanese President’s recent visits to the U.S. and interactions with several Congressmen have predictably angered Beijing.
Meanwhile, frictions between the two neighbours have also increased. Taipei has alleged that the recent mayoral elections were marred by Beijing’s meddling, with money funnelled illegally to fund opposition campaigns. Business corporations have come under pressure to take down references to Taiwan as a separate entity. Beijing is believed to be applying overt and covert pressure to stop countries from according diplomatic recognition to Taipei. In an echo of China’s increasing economic clout among developing countries, a number of African and Central American states have withdrawn formal ties with Taipei and established links with Beijing since Ms. Tsai became President. In a referendum coinciding with the polls, the people rejected a proposal to rename the country’s Olympic team as Taiwan, instead of the current Chinese Taipei. The verdict is an indication of the limited support for independence and a greater preference to maintain the status quo. Taiwan stands to gain by staying clear of big power rivalries.
Meaning : (of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action or feeling)(v).
Tamil Meaning : தூண்டியது
Synonyms : efficient
Antonyms : delayed
Example : “the violence prompted a wave of refugees to flee the country”
Meaning : fall suddenly, clumsily, or headlong(v).
Tamil Meaning : விழுந்துவிட்டது
Synonyms : slip
Antonyms : ascend
Example : “she pitched forward, tumbling down the remaining stairs”
Meaning : the sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale(n)
Synonyms : peddle
Antonyms : acquire
Example : “the retail trade”
Meaning : be aware of beforehand; predict.
Tamil Meaning : நிகழ
Synonyms : discern
Antonyms : neglect
Example : “we did not foresee any difficulties”
Meaning : lasting over a period of time; durable(adj).
Tamil Meaning : நீடித்த
Synonyms : abiding
Antonyms : temporary
Example : “he formed a number of enduring relationships with women”
Meaning : remain in one place in the air.(v)
Tamil Meaning : மிதவை
Synonyms : drift
Antonyms : lie
Example : “Army helicopters hovered overhead”
Meaning : support or strengthen(v).
Tamil Meaning : உயர்த்திப்பிடிக்கின்றன
Synonyms : buoy
Antonyms : decrease
Example : “the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence”
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 : indicate
Antonyms : conceal
Example : “authors who are highly regarded by their peers tend to be cited”
Meaning : the likely course of a medical condition(n).
Tamil Meaning : முன்கணிப்பு
Synonyms : diagnosis
Antonyms : measurement
Example : “the disease has a poor prognosis”
Meaning : the action of using up a resource.
Tamil Meaning : நுகர்வு
Synonyms : expenditure
Antonyms : construction
Example : “industrialized countries should reduce their energy consumption”
Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of.
Tamil Meaning : தக்க
Synonyms : received
Antonyms : extroverted
Example : “Labour retained the seat”
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”
Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture.
Tamil Meaning : நிலைப்பாடு
Synonyms : attitude
Antonyms : unsteadiness
Example : “she altered her stance, resting all her weight on one leg”
Meaning : cancel or refrain from exacting or inflicting (a debt or punishment)(v).
Tamil Meaning : துற
Synonyms : consign
Antonyms : keep
Example : “the excess of the sentence over 12 months was remitted”
Meaning : feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.
Tamil Meaning : எச்சரிக்கை
Synonyms : attentive
Antonyms : careless
Example : “dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers”
Meaning : be of the opinion(v).
Synonyms : surmise
Antonyms : abandon
Example : “he reckons that the army should pull out entirely”
Meaning : (especially of food) likely to decay or go bad quickly(adj).
Tamil Meaning : அழிந்துபடக்கூடிய
Synonyms : decaying
Antonyms : endurance
Example : “the storage of perishable foods”
Meaning : increase rapidly(v).
Tamil Meaning : அதிகரிக்கும்
Synonyms : expand
Antonyms : decline
Example : “the price of tickets escalated”
Meaning : impair the quality or appearance of; spoil.(V)
Tamil Meaning : அழிவு
Synonyms : harm
Antonyms : assist
Example : “violence marred a number of New Year celebrations”
Meaning : situated or placed higher than the surrounding area(adj).
Tamil Meaning : உயர்ந்த
Synonyms : exalted
Antonyms : depressed
Example : “this hotel has an elevated position above the village”
Meaning : a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest.(n)
Tamil Meaning : தீர்ப்பு
Synonyms : decision
Antonyms : accusation
Example : “the jury returned a verdict of not guilty”
Meaning : (of a time) especially convenient or appropriate for a particular action or event(adj).
Tamil Meaning : உகந்த
Synonyms : auspicious
Antonyms : inappropriate
Example : “he couldn’t have arrived at a less opportune moment”
Meaning : the quality of being prudent; cautiousness(n).
Tamil Meaning : மதிநுட்பம்
Synonyms : austerity
Antonyms : ignorance
Example : “we need to exercise prudence in such important matters”
Meaning : happening or developing gradually or in stages(adj).
Tamil Meaning : முற்போக்கு
Synonyms : continuous
Antonyms : intermittent
Example : “a progressive decline in popularity”
Meaning : interfere in something that is not one’s concern(v).
Tamil Meaning : குறுக்கீடு
Synonyms : interrupting
Antonyms : careless
Example : “I don’t want him meddling in our affairs”
Meaning : have (something) as one’s own; possess.(v)
Tamil Meaning : வைத்திருக்கும்
Synonyms : boast
Antonyms : abandon
Example : “his father owns a restaurant”
Meaning : offer (a certain price) for something, especially at an auction(v).
Tamil Meaning : முயற்சியில்
Synonyms : offer
Antonyms : denial
Example : “a consortium of dealers bid a world record price for a snuff box”
Meaning : a confident and forceful statement of fact or belief(n).
Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தல்
Synonyms : affirmation
Antonyms : desertion
Example : “his assertion that his father had deserted the family”
Meaning : the authority of a state to govern itself or another state.
Synonyms : dominance
Antonyms : submission
Example : “national sovereignty”
Meaning : in a way that can be predicted; as expected.
Tamil Meaning : முன்னூகிக்கூடிய
Synonyms : probably
Antonyms : erratically
Example : “so far the markets have behaved predictably”
Meaning : a disagreement or argument(n).
Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சை
Synonyms : conflict
Antonyms : accord
Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”
Meaning : very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality(adj).
Tamil Meaning : மென்மையானது
Synonyms : delicious
Antonyms : callous
Example : “a delicate lace shawl”
Meaning : dependent on chance; uncertain(adj).
Tamil Meaning : நிலையற்ற
Synonyms : hazardous
Antonyms : strong
Example : “he made a precarious living as a painter”
Meaning : attempt to find (something).
Tamil Meaning : முயன்று
Synonyms : desired
Antonyms : unwanted
Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”
Meaning : the exertion of force by means of a lever.
Tamil Meaning : அந்நிய
Synonyms : clout
Antonyms : weakness
Example : “my spade hit something solid that wouldn’t respond to leverage”
Meaning : said, without proof, to have taken place or to have a specified illegal or undesirable quality.
Tamil Meaning : கூறப்படும்
Synonyms : supposed
Antonyms : confirmed
Example : “the alleged conspirators”
Meaning : of or concerning diplomacy.
Tamil Meaning : தூதரக
Synonyms : considerate
Antonyms : impolite
Example : “diplomatic relations with Britain were broken”
Meaning : done or shown openly; plainly apparent.
Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படையான
Synonyms : manifest
Antonyms : covert
Example : “an overt act of aggression”
Meaning : a heavy blow with the hand or a hard object.(n)
Tamil Meaning : செல்வாக்கை
Synonyms : influence
Antonyms : failure
Example : “a clout round the ear”
Meaning : competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field(n).
Tamil Meaning : போட்டிகளும்
Synonyms : contests
Antonyms : cooperations
Example : “there always has been intense rivalry between the clubs”
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