Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 13, 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) Deadly brew: on illicit liquor deaths

A multi-pronged plan is needed to prevent the sale and consumption of toxic alcohol

The death of more than 100 people to toxic alcohol in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand has exposed the thriving sale of illicit liquor in the region. India remains among the countries with a high number of alcohol-related deaths, with poor governance, corruption and distorted policies contributing to such periodic tragedies. The governments in U.P. and Uttarakhand cannot evade responsibility for the death of so many people, the majority of them in Saharanpur district of U.P. Preliminary investigation has confirmed the well-entrenched system of illicit liquor vends that are known to exist in the region; several factories producing hooch in U.P. were unearthed within a couple of days of the episode. Moreover, although several liquor-related deaths have been taking place, it took this staggering number of casualties for the authorities to acknowledge the presence of free-flowing illicit liquor. The Yogi Adityanath government prides itself on its law and order measures but its failure to crack down on these dens exposes the hollow claims. It has tried to put the blame for previous incidents on political opponents hatching conspiracies.

Several instances of toxic alcohol poisoning in India, including the Malvani hooch tragedy in Mumbai in 2015 that killed 106 people, have been attributed to the lack of affordable liquor for the poor. High taxes and excise raise prices, and cheap brews are peddled by criminal organisations, often in collusion with law enforcement personnel. In U.P., many communities have protested the sale of cheap liquor in pouches that are freely distributed during social events. What seems to have happened in Saharanpur follows the trend, with toxic alcohol originating in Haridwar in Uttarakhand being supplied at a family ritual. While it is no one’s case that consumption of cheap liquor needs to be encouraged or promoted, severe bottlenecks are proving counterproductive. An enlightened policy is needed to strike a balance, curbing illicit flows with zero tolerance, discouraging consumption through social campaigns and reviewing levies on less harmful beverages. At the moment, it is essential to make an example of those who participated in the sale of the lethal brew, and investigate any nexus with the authorities. If it is true that the suspects had a history of dealing in hooch, the Special Investigation Team constituted by the U.P. government should find out how they continued to operate their trade. In parallel, it is vital that the capacities of the health system be upgraded to handle victims of toxic alcohol. Toxicity often comes from drinking methanol, which results in blindness, tissue damage or death. Timely treatment through haemodialysis, infusion of sodium bicarbonate and ethyl alcohol can save lives.

B) Ageing revolution: on discontent in Iran

The Iranian regime must rethink its approach to dissent and personal freedoms

Iran has concluded the formal celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution at a time when the regime is under serious global, regional and domestic pressure. The theocratic regime, established by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979, struck a defiant note by mobilising a huge rally in Tehran and repeating its familiar anti-West rhetoric. But Iran’s leaders are under pressure with a weak economy and social tensions rising at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump is becoming increasingly hostile towards Tehran. The fact that the Islamic Republic has survived four decades is telling. Over these years, Iran saw an eight-year-long war with Iraq, near-total isolation in West Asia, and economic hardships. The Iranian regime turned some of these challenges into opportunities — as in the case of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war — and made substantial changes in certain sectors. For example, the investments made in education and health care have seen positive results. As of 2015, the literacy rate among Iran’s adult population was 93%. More than 60% of university students in Iran are women. Access to health care has also improved for large sections of society.

But even as the Islamic Republic holds strong, discontent has risen. When Iran signed the multilateral nuclear deal in 2015, the Tehran elite hoped it would allow the country to join the global economic and diplomatic mainstream. President Hassan Rouhani banked on increased investments to bolster the economy. But the détente between the U.S. and Iran ended as soon as Mr. Trump became U.S. President. The Trump administration pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. The U.S. has also joined hands with Iran’s rivals, such as Saudi Arabia, to scuttle the country’s regional ambitions, while Israel is repeatedly bombing Iranian positions within Syria. Within Iran, the regime is facing repeated protests as economic hardships mount. After the 2009 Green Movement, which was suppressed brutally, there were widespread anti-government demonstrations in 2017-18. Women came out against the mandatory headscarf in recent months, challenging religious orthodoxy. The Iranian state responded typically — an Amnesty report says “a shameless campaign of repression” was unleashed in 2018, resulting in the arrest of more than 7,000 protesters. Tehran’s criticism of foreign intervention has some merit. American sanctions will only multiply Iran’s economic woes. Tehran will have to deal with the U.S.’s unilateral and hostile policies with help from other countries. But it should also fix its system, tackle corruption and hold government departments accountable for the decisions they take. It is also time for the government, which is celebrating the anniversary of the fall of a despotic monarch, to rethink its approach towards dissent and personal freedoms.


1) thriving

Meaning : prosperous and growing; flourishing(adj).

Tamil Meaning : வெற்றிகரமான

Synonyms : develop

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the thriving business George has built up”

2) illicit

Meaning : forbidden by law, rules, or custom.

Synonyms : furtive

Antonyms : chaste

Example : “illicit drugs”

3) distorted

Meaning : giving a misleading or false account or impression; misrepresented(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சிதைந்து

Synonyms : perverted

Antonyms : straight

Example : “his report gives a distorted view of the meeting”

4) contributing

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

Synonyms : devote

Antonyms : keep

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

5) evade

Meaning : escape or avoid (someone or something), especially by guile or trickery(v).

Tamil Meaning : தவிர்க்க

Synonyms : hide

Antonyms : confront

Example : “friends helped him to evade capture for a time”

6) confirmed

Meaning : (of a person) firmly established in a particular habit, belief, or way of life and unlikely to change their ways(adj).

Synonyms : accepted

Antonyms : indefinite

Example : “a confirmed bachelor”

7) staggering

Meaning : deeply shocking; astonishing.

Tamil Meaning : தடுமாற்றத்தினை

Synonyms : stunning

Example : “the staggering bills for maintenance and repair”

8) hatching

Meaning : (in fine art and technical drawing) shading with closely drawn parallel lines(n).

Synonyms : conceive

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “the miniaturist’s use of hatching and stippling”

9) peddled

Meaning : try to sell (something, especially small goods) by going from place to place(v).

Synonyms : solicit

Antonyms : pull

Example : “he peddled printing materials around the country”

10) brews

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

Synonyms : blend

Antonyms : ingredient

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

11) consumption

Meaning : the action of using up a resource(n).

Synonyms : expenditure

Antonyms : construction

Example : “industrialized countries should reduce their energy consumption”

12) curbing

Meaning : restrain or keep in check(v).

Synonyms : hamper

Antonyms : allow

Example : “she promised she would curb her temper”

13) lethal

Meaning : sufficient to cause death(adj).

Synonyms : destructive

Antonyms : harmless

Example : “a lethal cocktail of drink and pills”

14) tackle

Meaning : make determined efforts to deal with (a problem or difficult task)(v).

Synonyms : hook

Example : “police have launched an initiative to tackle rising crime”

15) infusion

Meaning : a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking tea leaves or herbs in liquid(n).

Tamil Meaning : உட்செலுத்துதல்

Synonyms : mixture

Example : “a strong rosemary infusion”

16) regime

Meaning : a government, especially an authoritarian one(n).

Synonyms : rule

Example : “ideological opponents of the regime”

17) theocratic

Meaning : relating to or denoting a system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god(adj).

Synonyms : pastoral

Example : “a theocratic state”

18) defiant

Meaning : showing defiance(adj).

Tamil Meaning : இணக்கமற்ற

Synonyms : mutinous

Antonyms : respectful

Example : “a defiant gesture”

19) hostile

Meaning : showing or feeling opposition or dislike; unfriendly(adj).

Tamil Meaning : விரோதமாக

Synonyms : contentious

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “a hostile audience”

20) substantial

Meaning : of considerable importance, size, or worth(adj).

Synonyms : considerable

Antonyms : broken

Example : “a substantial amount of cash”

21) elite

Meaning : a select group that is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of a group or society.

Synonyms : exclusive

Antonyms : inferior

Example : “the elite of Britain’s armed forces”

22) détente

Meaning : the easing of hostility or strained relations, especially between countries(n).

Synonyms : harmony

Example : “his policy of arms control and detente with the Soviet Union”

23) reimposed

Meaning : impose (something, especially a law or regulation) again after a lapse(v).

Synonyms : rebuild

Antonyms : decline

Example : “price controls were reimposed on fifty-three basic foods”

24) scuttle

Meaning : the part of a car’s bodywork between the windscreen and the bonnet.

Synonyms : sink

Example : “a theocratic state”

25) suppressed

Meaning : forcibly put an end to.

Synonyms : abolish

Antonyms : allow

Example : “the rising was savagely suppressed”

26) brutally

Meaning : in a savagely violent way(adv).

Synonyms : fiercely

Antonyms : gently

Example : “he was imprisoned and brutally tortured”

27) repression

Meaning : the action of subduing someone or something by force(n).

Tamil Meaning : அடக்குமுறை

Synonyms : oppression

Antonyms : freedom

Example : “students sparked off events that ended in brutal repression”

28) dissent

Meaning : the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held(n).

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்பை

Synonyms : dissension

Antonyms : acceptance

Example : “there was no dissent from this view”

29) despotic

Meaning : of or typical of a despot; tyrannical(adj).

Synonyms : absolute

Example : “a despotic regime”

30) monarch

Meaning : a sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor(n).

Synonyms : emperor

Antonyms : plebeian

Example : “the reigning monarch”