THE HINDU EDITORIAL : FEBRUARY 1, 2019
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : FEBRUARY 1, 2019
Dear Banking Aspirants,
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 1, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like NIACL AO Prelims Exam, IBPS SO Mains Exam. 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) Not kosher: on Chanda Kochhar case
The Chanda Kochhar case raises issues of corporate governance that go well beyond her
The inquiry by former Supreme Court judge Justice B.N. Srikrishna into the allegations against former ICICI Bank CEO Chanda Kochhar has taken eight long months to confirm what seems apparent – that she did not conduct herself as she should have in relation to conflict-of-interest issues. It was only last week that the Central Bureau of Investigation filed an FIR against Ms. Kochhar, her husband Deepak Kochhar, head of the Videocon group Venugopal Dhoot and ICICI Bank executives for sanction of credit facilities in violation of rules, that caused a loss of ₹1,730 crore to the bank. The investigating agency has a long way to go before it establishes whether the loans were given in return for financial favours, a charge that is at the heart of booking them for criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption. But clearly, Ms. Kochhar erred, and badly at that, in not disclosing to the bank’s board her husband’s business connections with the Videocon group, which was a client of the bank. Worse, she failed to display the correctness expected of her by sitting on committees that sanctioned credit facilities to Videocon when she ought to have recused herself. Just a day after a ₹300-crore loan was disbursed to Videocon International Electronics in 2009, Mr. Kochhar’s NuPower Renewables received ₹64 crore from the Videocon group. Whether this was a quid pro quo for the loan, as the CBI suggests, needs to be proved. But there is no denying that it made for poor, even suspicious, optics.
The inquiry report holds her guilty of violation of the bank’s “code of conduct, its framework for dealing with conflict of interest and fiduciary duties, and in terms of applicable Indian laws, rules and regulations.” The bank’s board has accepted the report and decided to treat her voluntary resignation from the bank in October as “termination for cause”, also deciding to claw back all bonuses paid to her since April 2009, hold back unpaid amounts and divest her of her stock option entitlements. These are strong penalties, but the question is: how did the board give her a clean chit as recently as March last year? It had then reposed its full confidence and faith in Ms. Kochhar and commended her and the management team for their “hard work and dedication”. It is impossible to believe the board was not aware of the allegations against the CEO given that a whistle-blower had made them public in October 2016. Was the board then influenced by Ms. Kochhar into giving her a good conduct certificate? These are uncomfortable questions that raise doubts over the standards of corporate governance at one of India’s largest banks. The ICICI Bank episode is only one among several instances of governance lapses in corporate India in recent times. Clearly, regulators need to up their game.
B) On a cliff edge: on Brexit
Britain veers to a hard Brexit as Prime Minister May continues to placate Tory hardliners
The prospects for Britain’s orderly withdrawal from the European Union on March 29 have receded further, even as MPs rallied to stop a no-deal scenario. An amendment to the draft bill on the termination of London’s membership of the bloc obliges Prime Minister Theresa May to renegotiate her withdrawal agreement with Brussels. A Tory back bencher’s proposal calls on the government to come up with alternatives to the Irish backstop, a central tenet of the deal Britain agreed with the rest of the EU. The arrangement is meant to guarantee continuation of the soft border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, even if London and Brussels fail to strike a concrete relationship after Brexit. The reservations that Conservative Eurosceptics have over the backstop was a crucial factor why Ms. May delayed a House of Commons vote on her withdrawal agreement. Her subsequent attempts to secure assurances from Brussels to set a time limit on the backstop, or for Britain to quit the mechanism unilaterally, yielded no tangible outcome. A strong Eurosceptic opposition on the issue was also the reason for Ms. May’s overwhelming defeat in the House of Commons a fortnight ago. Ironically, this is the same deal Ms. May has all along insisted as being the one that could deliver the Brexit that people voted for, and to avoid Britain’s crashing out of the EU. Soon after the passage of the amendment on Tuesday, the President of the European Council reiterated the bloc’s unanimous position, ruling out a reopening of the withdrawal agreement. The Irish government has been equally categorical that as the basic guarantor of the 1998 Good Friday accord, the soft border was non-negotiable.
With less than 60 days to the deadline, the scope to overcome such fundamental differences in approach is rather narrow. Moreover, the Commons voted down a move, by Conservative and Labour proponents, to initiate legislation to defer the leave date. The latter had hoped the postponement plan would be a way to gain time, if the government failed to reach any agreement with Brussels or could not secure ratification at Westminster by late-February. Opponents, including Ms. May, dubbed the idea a remainer’s ploy to delay Brexit, or worse still, to lay the groundwork for a second referendum. But Parliament has wrested control of the Brexit process, and the demand to defer the deadline could well resurface. In that event, the EU’s favourable disposition to extend the Article 50 process could serve to influence the parliamentary balance. But Ms. May has seemed reluctant to confront the extreme stance of her Tory backbenchers and might remain hostage to a hard Brexit reality, notwithstanding the resulting chaos and upheaval. That outcome is surely not one that most leave voters would have even remotely imagined.
Meaning : a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof(n).
Tamil Meaning : குற்றச்சாட்டுக்கள்
Synonyms : declare
Antonyms : deny
Example : “he made allegations of corruption against the administration”
Meaning : clearly visible or understood; obvious(adj).
Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படையான
Synonyms : supposed
Antonyms : unlikely
Example : “for no apparent reason she laughed”
Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash(v).
Tamil Meaning : மோதல்
Synonyms : combat
Antonyms : peace
Example : “parents’ and children’s interests sometimes conflict”
Meaning : a person with senior managerial responsibility in a business(n).
Tamil Meaning : நிர்வாகிகள்
Synonyms : supervisor
Antonyms : follower
Example : “account executives”
Meaning : set up on a firm or permanent basis(v).
Synonyms : base
Antonyms : end
Example : “the scheme was established in 1975”
Meaning :a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful(n).
Tamil Meaning : சதி
Synonyms : sedition
Antonyms : honesty
Example : “a conspiracy to destroy the government”
Meaning : make (secret or new information) known(v).
Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தும்படி
Synonyms : confess
Antonyms : conceal
Example : “they disclosed her name to the press”
Meaning : be mistaken or incorrect; make a mistake(v).
Synonyms : stumble
Antonyms : behave
Example : “the judge had erred in ruling that the evidence was inadmissible”
Meaning : used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions(v).
Tamil Meaning : வேண்டும்
Synonyms : prerequisite
Example : “they ought to respect the law”
Meaning : challenge (a judge, prosecutor, or juror) as unqualified to perform legal duties because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality(v).
Synonyms : disqualify
Example : “he was recused when he referred to the corporation as ‘a bunch of villains’”
Meaning : pay out (money from a fund)(v).
Tamil Meaning : செலவிட்டு
Synonyms : dispense
Antonyms : keep
Example : “$67 million of the pledged aid had already been disbursed”
Meaning : state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of(v).
Tamil Meaning : மறுத்து
Synonyms : oppose
Antonyms : accept
Example : “both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy”
Meaning : business relations or transactions(n).
Tamil Meaning : கையாளும்
Synonyms : commerce
Antonyms : refuse
Example : “they had dealings with an insurance company”
Meaning : involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary(adj).
Synonyms : curator
Antonyms : untrustworthy
Example : “the company has a fiduciary duty to shareholders”
Meaning : scratch or tear something with the claws or the fingernails(v).
Synonyms : tentacle
Example : “the kitten was clawing at Lowell’s trouser leg”
Meaning : deprive someone of (power, rights, or possessions)(v).
Synonyms : deprive
Antonyms : give
Example : “men are unlikely to be divested of power without a struggle”
Meaning : be situated or kept in a particular place(v).
Synonyms : deposit
Antonyms : straighten
Example : “the diamond now reposes in the Louvre”
Meaning : the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose(n).
Synonyms : allegiance
Antonyms : apathy
Example : “his dedication to his duties”
Meaning : have an influence on.
Tamil Meaning : அர்ப்பணிப்பு
Synonyms : altered
Antonyms : kept
Example : “government regulations can influence behaviour, but often without changing underlying values and motivations”
Meaning : go or move back or further away from a previous position.
Tamil Meaning : விலகும்போது
Synonyms : decrease
Antonyms : enhance
Example : “the flood waters had receded”
Meaning : make (someone) legally or morally bound to do something(v).
Synonyms : compel
Antonyms : delay
Example : “doctors are obliged by law to keep patients alive while there is a chance of recovery”
Meaning : negotiate (something) again in order to change the original agreed terms.
Synonyms : agree
Antonyms : confuse
Example : “the parties will renegotiate the price”
Meaning : a principle or belief, especially one of the main principles of a religion or philosophy.
Tamil Meaning : கோட்பாடு
Synonyms : creed
Antonyms : disbelief
Example : “the tenets of classical liberalism”
Meaning : existing in a material or physical form; not abstract(adj).
Synonyms : detailed
Antonyms : indefinite
Example : “concrete objects like stones”
Meaning : averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values(adj).
Synonyms : traditional
Antonyms : inconstant
Example : “they were very conservative in their outlook”
Meaning : decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something(n).
Tamil Meaning : முக்கியமான
Synonyms : decisive
Antonyms : optional
Example : “negotiations were at a crucial stage”
Meaning : make (someone or something) late or slow(v).
Tamil Meaning : தாமதமாக
Synonyms : deferred
Antonyms : instant
Example : “the train was delayed”
Meaning : coming after something in time; following(adj).
Synonyms : ensuing
Antonyms : preceding
Example : “the theory was developed subsequent to the earthquake of 1906″
Meaning : a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise(n).
Synonyms : assertion
Antonyms : denial
Example : “he gave an assurance that work would begin on Monday”
Meaning : perceptible by touch(adj).
Tamil Meaning : உறுதியான
Synonyms : touchable
Antonyms : abstract
Example : “the atmosphere of neglect and abandonment was almost tangible“
Meaning : very great in amount(adj).
Tamil Meaning : மூழ்கடித்துவிடும்
Synonyms : crushing
Example : “his party won overwhelming support”
Meaning : a person seized or held as security for the fulfilment of a condition(n).
Synonyms : captive
Antonyms : captor
Example : “they were held hostage by armed rebels”
Meaning : say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity(v).
Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி
Synonyms : repeat
Antonyms : take back
Example : “she reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”
Meaning : (of two or more people) fully in agreement(adj).
Synonyms : consistent
Antonyms : divided
Example : “the doctors were unanimous in their diagnoses”
Meaning : a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or course of action(n).
Tamil Meaning : ஆதரவாளர்கள்
Synonyms : defender
Antonyms : detractor
Example : “a strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies”
Meaning : put off (an action or event) to a later time; postpone(v).
Tamil Meaning : ஒத்திவைக்க
Synonyms : delay
Antonyms : advance
Example : “they deferred the decision until February”
Meaning : the action of signing or giving formal consent to a treaty, contract, or agreement, making it officially valid(n).
Tamil Meaning : ஒப்புதலை
Synonyms : approval
Antonyms : disapproval
Example : “ratification of the treaty raised problems in several member states”
Meaning : unwilling and hesitant; disinclined(adj).
Tamil Meaning : தயக்கம்
Synonyms : afraid
Antonyms : careless
Example : “today, many ordinary people are still reluctant to talk about politics”
Meaning : a violent or sudden change or disruption to something(n).
Tamil Meaning : கொந்தளிப்பை
Synonyms : disaster
Antonyms : blessing
Example : “major upheavals in the financial markets”
Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture(n).
Tamil Meaning : நிலைப்பாடு
Synonyms : posture
Example : “she altered her stance, resting all her weight on one leg”