The Hindu Editorial : February 21, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 21, 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) The big fight: poll pacts in Tamil Nadu

For the AIADMK, the Assembly bypolls are more important than the Lok Sabha election

In Tamil Nadu, political alliances for the Lok Sabha election are falling into place as in a jigsaw. The real fight, as it has been over the last four decades, is between the two major regional parties, the AIADMK and the DMK; but the BJP and the Congress have ensured that they have skin in the game, giving the contest a national flavour. While the BJP virtually forced its way into the AIADMK camp, the Congress drove a hard bargain for seats in the DMK-led alliance. Through four elections from 1996 to 2004, the AIADMK had switched between the Congress and the BJP, before contesting 2009 and 2014 without either of them for company. In 2014, the go-it-alone strategy yielded rich dividends: the party won 37 of the 39 seats. For the party to now give away five seats to the BJP and another seven to the Pattali Makkal Katchi is therefore a climbdown. But the AIADMK is more interested in retaining power in the State. The party is running the government on a wafer-thin majority after a revolt by the faction led by T.T.V. Dhinakaran. Alongside the Lok Sabha election, by-elections to 21 Assembly constituencies are likely to be held. For Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, winning these seats is more important than a few more Lok Sabha constituencies in Tamil Nadu. With the BJP on board, the AIADMK can hope to have a stake in a government at the Centre, but even more important for the party is the tie-up with the PMK. With its concentrated support base in the northern districts of the State, the PMK could be of immense help in at least eight seats where by-elections are due.

The alliance with the BJP and the PMK also helped the AIADMK win the battle of perceptions with Mr. Dhinakaran’s Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam. In the public eye, the AIADMK, as a sought-after ally, is now the bigger of the two parties. For the DMK, the tie-up with the Congress is part of its visualisation of a larger national canvas. In India’s coalition era, the DMK has had an important role to play: the party was part of governments led by different combinations of parties. If indeed the AIADMK government lasts its full term until 2021, the DMK would very much like to have some levers of power at the Centre. The party was in power either at the Centre or in the State for most of the 15 years from 1996 till 2011, and it would like to avoid a second consecutive loss in the Lok Sabha election after two successive defeats in the Assembly elections. Moreover DMK president M.K. Stalin knows this is his first big test after the passing of his father and party patriarch M. Karunanidhi. For him, the stakes are just as high in the Lok Sabha election.

B) With reservations: quota for Gujjars?

It’s not clear if the 103rd Amendment will protect the new quota for Gujjars in Rajasthan

With leaders of the Gujjar agitation for reservations calling off their stir, the Rajasthan government has averted what could have been a prolonged crisis. There is a sense of déjà vu amid all this. Gujjar leaders have held various rounds of protests over the last decade and a half, demanding reservations in educational institutions and employment in a separate backward category that is apart from the existing 21% set aside for Other Backward Classes in the State. Despite government’s bringing in legislation towards this end, they have been struck down on the grounds that the additional quota would take the quantum of reservation above the 50% limit set by the Supreme Court in the Indra Sawhney judgment. On Wednesday, the Rajasthan State Assembly passed legislation providing 5% reservation to Gujjars and four other nomadic communities, classifying them as “extremely backward classes”. But this time, the circumstances have arguably changed with the passing of the 103rd Amendment to the Constitution that allows for a 10% quota for the economically backward among communities that do not enjoy any form of reservation. The State government has also added a line to the Bill explicitly referring to the amendment, which effectively breaches the 50% limit set for reservations by the Supreme Court. It remains to be seen how the judiciary will tackle this question in light of the 103rd amendment, the constitutionality of which is under challenge.

The demand by Gujjars has a specific context. In Rajasthan, the community is currently eligible for reservations as an OBC community. They had in the mid- and late-2000s agitated for inclusion in the Scheduled Tribe category, in keeping with the way they are classified in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. This demand was denied because tribal status, as defined in the Constitution’s Fifth Schedule, involves identifiable characteristics such as lifestyle, culture, inaccessibility and backwardness, and not just economic underdevelopment. Since then, the largely pastoral community has pressed for reservations under a separate backward class category, arguing that inclusion of Jats in the OBC list has crowded Gujjars out of the benefits of reservations. Clearly, the decision to accommodate a demand from one politically dominant community (Jats) has come to haunt administrators in the State as this has fanned Gujjar agitations on and off. Multiple commissions appointed by State governments have recommended the implementation of the 5% quota on the basis of the community’s “extreme” or “most” backward nature. But the lack of adequate data in the absence of a proper socio-economic caste census to prove this has led to the policy’s undoing in judicial orders. More important, the repeated agitations are an indication of the shortfall in adequate, gainful and secure job opportunities in States such as Rajasthan.


1) ensured

Meaning : make certain that (something) will occur or be the case(v).

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : endanger

Example : “the client must ensure that accurate records are kept”

2) contest

Meaning : an event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport or other activity, or in a quality(n).

Synonyms : match

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “a tennis contest”

3) alliance

Meaning : a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations(n).

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டணி

Synonyms : betrothal

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a defensive alliance between Australia and New Zealand”

4) strategy

Meaning : a plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim(n).

Synonyms : approach

Antonyms : openness

Example : “time to develop a coherent economic strategy”

5) retaining

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

Tamil Meaning : தக்கவைத்து

Synonyms : cherishing

Example : “Labour retained the seat”

6) revolt

Meaning : take violent action against an established government or ruler; rebel(v).

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சி

Synonyms : defection

Antonyms : obedience

Example : “the Iceni revolted and had to be suppressed”

7) faction

Meaning : a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics(n).

Synonyms : clan

Antonyms : individual

Example : “the left-wing faction of the party”

8) immense

Meaning : extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree(adj).

Tamil Meaning : மகத்தான

Synonyms : endless

Antonyms : ending

Example : “the cost of restoration has been immense”

9) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something)(v).

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

10) coalition

Meaning : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government(n).

Synonyms : alliance

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

11) indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Synonyms : certainly

Antonyms : doubtfully

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

12) consecutive

Meaning : following each other continuously(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ச்சியான

Synonyms : ensuing

Antonyms : broken

Example : “five consecutive months of serious decline”

13) agitation

Meaning : a state of anxiety or nervous excitement(n).

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சி

Synonyms : turbulence

Antonyms : harmony

Example : “she was wringing her hands in agitation”

14) averted

Meaning : turn away (one’s eyes or thoughts)(v).

Synonyms : avoid

Antonyms : aid

Example : “she averted her eyes while we made stilted conversation”

15) prolonged

Meaning : continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy(adj).

Synonyms : protracted

Antonyms : shortened

Example : “the region suffered a prolonged drought”

16) amid

Meaning : surrounded by; in the middle of.

Tamil Meaning : மத்தியில்

Synonyms : amidst

Antonyms : beyond

Example : “our dream home, set amid magnificent rolling countryside”

17) Despite

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

Synonyms : against

Antonyms : exalt

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

18) nomadic

Meaning : living the life of a nomad; wandering(adj).

Synonyms : pastoral

Antonyms : native

Example : “nomadic herdsmen”

19) explicitly

Meaning : in a clear and detailed manner, leaving no room for confusion or doubt(adv).

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படையாக

Synonyms : exceptionally

Antonyms : normally

Example : “the essay should state explicitly how the facts support the thesis”

20) breaches

Meaning : an act of breaking or failing to observe a law, agreement, or code of conduct(n).

Synonyms : especially

Antonyms : normally

Example : “a breach of confidence”

21) demand

Meaning : an insistent and peremptory request, made as of right(n).

Synonyms : appeal

Antonyms : answer

Example : “a series of demands for far-reaching reforms”

22) agitated

Meaning : feeling or appearing troubled or nervous.

Synonyms : aroused

Antonyms : serene

Example : “there’s no point getting agitated”

23) inclusion

Meaning : the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure(n).

Synonyms : formation

Antonyms : exclusion

Example : “they have been selected for inclusion in the scheme”

24) denied

Meaning : state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of(v).

Tamil Meaning : மறுத்தார்

Synonyms : rebuff

Antonyms : accept

Example : “both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy”

25) pastoral

Meaning : (of land) used for the keeping or grazing of sheep or cattle.

Synonyms : rural

Antonyms : agitated

Example : “scattered pastoral farms”

26) successive

Meaning : following one another or following others(adj).

Synonyms : ensuing

Example : “they were looking for their fifth successive win”

27) haunt

Meaning : (of a ghost) manifest itself at (a place) regularly(v).

Tamil Meaning : முற்றுகையிடும்

Synonyms : hangout

Example : “a grey lady who haunts the chapel”

28) agitations

Meaning : a state of anxiety or nervous excitement(n).

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சிகள்

Synonyms : upheaval

Antonyms : harmony

Example : “she was wringing her hands in agitation”

29) implementation

Meaning : the process of putting a decision or plan into effect; execution(n).

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்த

Synonyms : discharge

Antonyms : failure

Example : “she was responsible for the implementation of the plan”

30) indication

Meaning : a sign or piece of information that indicates something(n).

Synonyms : expression

Antonyms : misinformation

Example : “the visit was an indication of the improvement in relations between the countries”