Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 19, 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) Discord in Puducherry

The CM’s protest against the L-G raises key issues that must be resolved early

This round of conflict between Puducherry Chief Minister V. Narayanasamy and Lt. Governor Kiran Bedi has been more serious than those in the past. Mr. Narayanasamy sat in protest for six days, before the two could meet to hold talks to resolve a set of issues he raised in a letter earlier this month. He has been opposing what he calls Ms. Bedi’s “high-handedness” and tendency to interfere in the administration. The two have had differences on many issues over the last two years. Such problems are an obvious consequence of the political structure of Union Territories, in which the Administrator, as the nominee of the President, enjoys powers superior to the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers. The trigger for the latest stand-off seems to have been Ms. Bedi’s move to enforce the rule for two-wheeler riders to wear helmets. While the Chief Minister believes it can be enforced only after raising awareness, Ms. Bedi wants it implemented immediately. However, the Chief Minister insists that his protest has nothing to do with this. He lists the blocking of welfare schemes such as the free rice scheme and enhanced scholarship for Scheduled Caste students, among other actions of the L-G, as the real issues. Whatever be the origin of this conflict, the sight of a Chief Minister on an indefinite dharna is not seemly. It could not have gone on indefinitely, and the fact that a dialogue was formally initiated, albeit after much delay, is a welcome development.

Central to the conflict is the question whether Ms. Bedi is acting within her powers or exceeding her brief in seeking to play a proactive role in the affairs of the Union Territory. Under the Constitution, the territory belongs to the President, who runs it through the L-G as Administrator. However, under Section 44 of the Union Territories Act, 1963, the Administrator has to act on the ‘aid and advice’ of the Council of Ministers. At the same time, any difference of opinion between them can be referred to the President, and in the meantime the Administrator’s action prevails on any urgent matter. This scheme, which gives a clear edge to the Centre, can work only if there is harmony between the Council and the L-G. It would be unfortunate if individuals occupying Raj Nivas in any Union Territory with a Legislative Assembly get carried away and ignore or undermine the elected body. Last year, ruling on the limits of the L-G’s powers in Delhi, the Supreme Court stressed the need for the L-G as well as people’s representatives to “function in harmony within constitutional parameters”. The L-G was cautioned against having a hostile attitude towards the Ministers. There is no reason why that principle cannot be extended to Puducherry, which has a longer record of elected governments.

B) The bane in Spain: on the call for snap elections

Snap elections could deepen fissures in its fragmented polity

The snap poll called for April 28 by Spain’s minority Socialist Party government could deepen the fissures in the fragmented polity. The new anti-immigrant Vox party, which made inroads in December in Andalusia, Spain’s most populous region, is the latest addition to the smaller formations that can hold the balance in a future coalition. The stability of the short-lived government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, whose fall has triggered the third general election since late 2015, had been under threat from the start. It was propped up last June by Catalan separatist parties, which were bound to turn into a liability for Mr. Sánchez. For the governing Socialist Party has, no less than the conservative People’s Party, consistently regarded the Catalonian demand for separation as a violation of the integrity of the Spanish union. The previous centre-right government took a hard line on the separatist cause: it dissolved the regional parliament and imposed rule from Madrid following the October 2017 referendum and the unilateral declaration of independence. But Mr. Sanchez’s efforts to renew a political dialogue have proved futile in the face of the volatility. Last year’s commemorations marking Catalonia’s national day and the first anniversary of the controversial 2017 plebiscite saw large turnouts at separatist protests. Meanwhile, a recent government proposal to appoint a rapporteur to negotiate with the secessionists has been condemned as a betrayal by the conservatives. The anti-government protests drew large crowds championing a united Spain and demands to vote out the Socialists.

A trial that started last week against the masterminds of the 2017 referendum is the latest flashpoint. Many of the defendants appearing before the Supreme Court were part of the regional Catalan government and face long prison terms if convicted. The trial has sealed any hope of the Socialist government conceding its coalition Catalan allies’ demand for a referendum on statehood. Within days, the separatists hit back, voting down the national budget, alongside the Opposition conservatives whom Mr. Sánchez unseated in June. Whereas prolonged instability has marred Spanish politics in recent years, the country had so far seemed immune to the populist surge spreading across the rest of the European Union. The entry of the extreme right Vox party to the Andalusian legislature has unsettled that status quo. The Socialists are expected to emerge as the single largest party in April, but well short of a clear majority. The two centre-right parties are also unlikely to muster enough numbers to form a government on their own. Opinion polls indicate that Vox could have a significant presence in the next parliament and be in a position to play kingmaker. This is not an attractive prospect for either the majority of moderates or the Catalan separatists. Spain needs stability at any cost today.


1) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash(v).

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : battle

Antonyms : truce

Example : “parents’ and children’s interests sometimes conflict”

2) interfere

Meaning : intervene in a situation without invitation or necessity.

Tamil Meaning : தலையிட

Synonyms : hamper

Antonyms : aid

Example : “you promised not to interfere”

3) enforce

Meaning : compel observance of or compliance with (a law, rule, or obligation).

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்த

Synonyms : accomplish

Antonyms : halt

Example : “the role of the police is to enforce the law”

4) conceding

Meaning : admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it(v).

Tamil Meaning : ஒப்புக்கொண்ட

Synonyms : accept

Antonyms : defend

Example : “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

5) proactive

Meaning : (of a person or action) creating or controlling a situation rather than just responding to it after it has happened(adj).

Tamil Meaning : உயிர்ப்பான

Synonyms : anxious

Example : “employers must take a proactive approach to equal pay”

6) prevails

Meaning : prove more powerful or superior(v).

Tamil Meaning : நிலவும்

Synonyms : overcome

Antonyms : forfeit

Example : “it is hard for logic to prevail over emotion”

7) undermine

Meaning : erode the base or foundation of (a rock formation)(v).

Synonyms : blunt

Antonyms : assist

Example : “the flow of water had undermined pillars supporting the roof”

8) harmony

Meaning : the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect(n).

Tamil Meaning : நல்லிணக்கம்

Synonyms : conformity

Antonyms : dislike

Example : “the piece owes its air of tranquillity largely to the harmony”

9) hostile

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

Tamil Meaning : விரோதமாக

Synonyms : belligerent

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “a hostile audience”

10) fragmented

Meaning : break or cause to break into fragments.

Tamil Meaning : துண்டுதுண்டாக

Synonyms : splinter

Antonyms : combine

Example : “Lough Erne fragmented into a series of lakes”

11) coalition

Meaning : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties

Synonyms : affiliation

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

12) propped

Meaning : support or keep in position(v).

Synonyms : bolster

Antonyms : discourage

Example : “she propped her chin in the palm of her right hand”

13) liability

Meaning : the state of being legally responsible for something(n).

Synonyms : culpability

Antonyms : asset

Example : “once you contact the card protection scheme your liability for any loss ends”

14) conservative

Meaning : averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.

Tamil Meaning :பழமைவாத

Synonyms : reactionary

Antonyms : inconstant

Example : “they were very conservative in their outlook”

15) consistently

Meaning : in every case or on every occasion; invariably(adv).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms : constantly

Antonyms : never

Example : “the vehicle consistently outperforms some of the best competitors”

16) regarded

Meaning : consider or think of in a specified way(v).

Tamil Meaning : கருதப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : observe

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “she regarded London as her base”

17) integrity

Meaning : the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles(n).

Synonyms : probity

Antonyms : deceit

Example : “a gentleman of complete integrity”

18) imposed

Meaning : force (an unwelcome decision or ruling) on someone(v).

Tamil Meaning : திணிக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : appoint

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

19) convicted

Meaning : having been declared guilty of a criminal offence by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தண்டனை

Synonyms : condemn

Antonyms : release

Example : “a convicted murderer”

20) declaration

Meaning : a formal or explicit statement or announcement(n).

Synonyms : affirmation

Antonyms : denial

Example : “a declaration of love”

21) futile

Meaning : incapable of producing any useful result; pointless(adj).

Synonyms : hollow

Antonyms : helpful

Example : “a futile attempt to keep fans from mounting the stage”

22) commemorations

Meaning : the action or fact of commemorating a dead person or past event.

Synonyms : tribute

Antonyms : forgetting

Example : “local martyrs received public commemoration”

23) plebiscite

Meaning : the direct vote of all the members of an electorate on an important public question such as a change in the constitution(n).

Tamil Meaning : பொது வாக்கெடுப்பு

Synonyms : tally

Example : “the administration will hold a plebiscite for the approval of constitutional reforms”

24) rapporteur

Meaning : a person who is appointed by an organization to report on the proceedings of its meetings.

Example : “the UN rapporteur”

25) negotiate

Meaning : obtain or bring about by discussion(v).

Synonyms : arrange

Antonyms : confuse

Example : “he negotiated a new contract with the sellers”

26) condemned

Meaning : sentenced to a particular punishment, especially death(adj).

Synonyms : convicted

Example : “condemned prisoners awaiting execution”

27) betrayal

Meaning : the action of betraying one’s country, a group, or a person; treachery(n).

Synonyms : deception

Antonyms : devotion

Example : “the betrayal by the king by his daughter”

28) conservatives

Meaning : a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values(n).

Synonyms : timid

Antonyms : changeable

Example : “he remains a conservative in constitutional matters”

29) protests

Meaning : a statement or action expressing disapproval of or objection to something(n).

Synonyms : riot

Antonyms : harmony

Example : “the British team lodged an official protest”

30) defendants

Meaning : an individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law(n).

Synonyms : litigant

Antonyms : accuser

Example : “the defendant tried to claim that it was self-defence”