Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 20, 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) Interim bailout: RBI surplus to govt

A system for sharing the RBI’s surpluses with the Centre must be quickly institutionalised

The decision of the central board of the Reserve Bank of India to transfer an interim surplus of ₹28,000 crore to the Centre should come as a big relief to the Modi government. Together with the ₹40,000-crore final surplus share for 2017-18, which the Centre received in the first half, the total receipts from the RBI this fiscal will be a tidy ₹68,000 crore. For a government strapped for finances and struggling to meet the revised fiscal deficit target of 3.4% of GDP, the RBI’s largesse will be handy. The total surplus received by the Centre for 2018-19 is substantially higher than the ₹50,000 crore it got from the RBI in 2017-18, and this is the second successive year the central bank is making an interim transfer: last year it transferred ₹10,000 crore. Though there is nothing wrong in a shareholder demanding an interim dividend payout, the fact is that the Centre is advancing a receipt from the next fiscal to bail itself out in the current one. Should the RBI decide not to repeat this practice, the government’s revenues will suffer because as much as ₹82,911 crore has been budgeted on this count for the next fiscal. Again, the central bank is not like a corporate enterprise, nor can the government compare itself with a company shareholder. The RBI’s income and surplus growth cannot be measured in commercial terms since a large part of it comes from statutory functions it has to perform as a regulator.

The large payout this fiscal is bound to raise eyebrows, especially because of the recent history of conflict between the RBI and the Centre over the sharing of the former’s accumulated reserves as dividend with the Centre. Pressure on this count was said to be a major reason for the resignation of Urjit Patel as RBI Governor. Though the practice of an interim payout started under Mr. Patel, there are inevitable questions over whether there was pressure from the Centre now for the transfer of a higher sum than last year. This is because the Centre had in the Interim Budget bumped up receipts under this head from the central bank, nationalised banks and other financial institutions to ₹74,140 crore from the original estimate of ₹54,817 crore made in the 2018-19 Budget. Clearly, the Finance Ministry knew what it wanted. There will, hopefully, be a system and a structure in place once the committee under former RBI Governor Bimal Jalan, that is now reviewing the economic capital framework for the RBI, submits its report. It was constituted to de-personalise and institutionalise a system for the sharing of the RBI’s surpluses with the government, and is expected to come out with its recommendations by the end of the next month.

B) Clean power

A viable financial mechanism must be evolved to remove pollutants in power plants

The effort to clean up India’s thermal power plants running on coal has never really taken off, despite the Ministry of Environment notifying emission limits for major pollutants such as suspended particulate matter, sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and mercury in December 2015. Considering that the cumulative impact of these pollutants on the health and well-being of people is severe, the Centre should have followed up the notification with a viable financial plan to help power plants acquire pollution control technologies. The economics favours such an approach for the larger plants, while for the smaller, older units, scaling down generation during the winter months when pollutants accumulate may prove beneficial. Originally, the compliance deadline was set for 2017, but that was missed and the plan now is to achieve the norms by 2022. Unofficial estimates prepared by one NGO, Greenpeace India, suggest the estimated cost of non-compliance by the original deadline has been about 76,000 premature deaths. Benefit-cost projections from another non-profit, the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy, put the positive outcomes from achieving pollution control at coal-fired plants by 2025 at potentially 3.2 lakh lives saved from premature death, and 5.2 crore respiratory hospital admissions avoided in the next decade. These are outcomes that need to be pursued seriously. It is in this context that the latest proposal from the Power Ministry to provide the equivalent of over $12 billion (about ₹88,000 crore), mainly to remove sulphur from coal plant emissions, becomes important.

A viable financial mechanism must be evolved to remove pollutants in existing and upcoming power plants, without losing sight of the need to stop further long-term investments in a dirty fuel such as coal that contributes to carbon emissions. Optimally, the burden of incorporating pollution control should fall on the beneficiary-user, which in simple terms would translate into a tariff hike. On the other hand, achieving speedy implementation of the new processes covering both public and private power producers may require some form of immediate governmental support, such as grants. This is particularly relevant, given that power producers that have borrowed from several institutions, including state-funded ones, are reported to be under severe financial stress. India’s coal use represents just over 54% of the present energy mix, and the fuel will continue to retain a high share of the overall generation. The challenge, therefore, is to identify the right instruments to fund the entire exercise, in the interests of pollution control and the wider social objective of extending electricity access to the unreached. There could be a positive spin-off from sulphur-removal, since it can yield commercially significant quantities of synthetic gypsum. But even if little else accrues from the effort, the benefits of clean air to public health would make the investment well worth the effort.


1) interim

Meaning : the intervening time(n).

Tamil Meaning : இடைக்கால

Synonyms : provisional

Antonyms : finished

Example : “in the interim I’ll just keep my fingers crossed”

2) tidy

Meaning : arranged neatly and in order(adj).

Synonyms : orderly

Antonyms : unkempt

Example : “his scrupulously tidy apartment”

3) strapped

Meaning : short of money.

Synonyms : impoverished

Antonyms : rich

Example : “I’m constantly strapped for cash

4) substantially

Meaning : to a great or significant extent.

Tamil Meaning : கணிசமாக

Synonyms : essentially

Antonyms : slightly

Example : “profits grew substantially”

5) enterprise

Meaning : a project or undertaking, especially a bold or complex one(n).

Synonyms : activity

Antonyms : idleness

Example : “a joint enterprise between French and Japanese companies”

6) surplus

Meaning : an amount of something left over when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply(n).

Synonyms : excess

Antonyms : essential

Example : “exports of food surpluses”

7) statutory

Meaning : required, permitted, or enacted by statute(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சட்டரீதியான

Synonyms : legal

Antonyms : illegal

Example : “statutory controls over prices”

8) conflict

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

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : battle

Antonyms : peace

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

9) accumulated

Meaning : gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of(v).

Synonyms : acquire

Antonyms : contract

Example : “investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence”

10) inevitable

Meaning : certain to happen; unavoidable(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தவிர்க்க முடியாத

Synonyms : imminent

Antonyms : avoidable

Example : “war was inevitable”

11) bumped

Meaning : move or travel with much jolting(v).

Synonyms : bounce

Antonyms : placate

Example : “the car bumped along the rutted track”

12) estimate

Meaning : roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of(v).

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடு

Synonyms : appraisal

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “the aim is to estimate the effects of macroeconomic policy on the economy”

13) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage(n).

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

14) emission

Meaning : the production and discharge of something, especially gas or radiation(n).

Synonyms : radiation

Antonyms : refrain

Example : “the effects of lead emission on health”

15) cumulative

Meaning : increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions(adj).

Synonyms : aggregate

Antonyms : decreasing

Example : “the cumulative effect of two years of drought”

16) impact

Meaning : the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another(n).

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கம்

Synonyms : brunt

Antonyms : loss

Example : “there was the sound of a third impact”

17) viable

Meaning : capable of working successfully; feasible(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சாத்தியமான

Synonyms : applicable

Antonyms : impossible

Example : “the proposed investment was economically viable”

18) acquire

Meaning : buy or obtain (an asset or object) for oneself(v).

Tamil Meaning : பெறுவதற்கு

Synonyms : achieve

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “I managed to acquire all the books I needed”

19) accumulate

Meaning : gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of(v).

Tamil Meaning : குவிக்க

Synonyms : accrue

Antonyms : contract

Example : “investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence”

20) prove

Meaning : demonstrate the truth or existence of (something) by evidence or argument(v).

Synonyms : confirm

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the concept is difficult to prove”

21) compliance

Meaning : the action or fact of complying with a wish or command(n).

Synonyms : conformity

Antonyms : difference

Example : “the ways in which the state maintains order and compliance”

22) pursued

Meaning : continue or proceed along (a path or route)(v).

Tamil Meaning : பின்பற்றியது

Synonyms : seek

Antonyms : aid

Example : “the road pursued a straight course over the scrubland”

23) equivalent

Meaning : equal in value, amount, function, meaning, etc(adj).

Tamil Meaning : இணையான

Synonyms : comparable

Antonyms : different

Example : “one unit is equivalent to one glass of wine”

24) evolved

Meaning : develop gradually(v).

Tamil Meaning : பரிணாமம்

Synonyms : derive

Antonyms : leave

Example : “the company has evolved into a major chemical manufacturer”

25) contributes

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

Tamil Meaning : பங்களிப்புகளின்

Synonyms : commit

Antonyms : hold

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

26) incorporating

Meaning : take in or contain (something) as part of a whole; include(v).

Synonyms : absorb

Antonyms : disconnect

Example : “he has incorporated in his proposals a number of measures”

27) relevant

Meaning : closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்புடைய

Synonyms : applicable

Antonyms : improper

Example : “what small companies need is relevant advice”

28) accrues

Meaning : (of a benefit or sum of money) be received by someone in regular or increasing amounts over time(v).

Synonyms : accumulate

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “financial benefits will accrue from restructuring”

29) retain

Meaning : continue to have (something); keep possession of(v).

Tamil Meaning : தக்கவைத்து

Synonyms : absorb

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “Labour retained the seat”

30) deficit

Meaning : an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period(n).

Synonyms : shortfall

Antonyms : abundance

Example : “an annual operating deficit”