The Hindu Editorial : February 22, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 22, 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) Healing touch: providing safety to Kashmiri students

Kashmiri students elsewhere must be reassured of their personal safety

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking directions to educational institutions to protect Kashmiris in the face of harassment and intimidation in various parts of the country after the ghastly terror attack in Pulwama on February 14. Hundreds of Kashmiri students, primarily from Dehradun in Uttarakhand, have already returned home or moved to Delhi or Jammu seeking safety. Amid these reports, the Union Home Ministry had on Saturday issued an advisory to all States and Union Territories to ensure the safety of Kashmiris. The Jammu and Kashmir police too have set up helplines. It is to be hoped that these measures will be strengthened, especially with the Supreme Court now hearing the issue. It needs to be made clear by the State and Central governments that there will be no compromise on the State’s responsibility to ensure the well-being of citizens. Equally, there needs to be stern action against the mobs that harassed and tried to frighten Kashmiris. The Uttarakhand police arrested 22 students on Tuesday for trying to have Kashmiri students expelled from their college, but there have been other similar instances. It will be a cause for lasting shame if young people studying in different parts of the country were sought to be isolated, and their ethnic identity headlined to make them targets of majoritarian mobs looking to avenge a terrorist attack. Law and order must prevail, and the students must be given enough confidence that they can return to their educational institutions and studies without fear.

However, occurrences such as these, of communally charged attacks, cannot be forgotten with the mere return to a semblance of normalcy. No group of Indians should be allowed to be isolated by blame-calling mobs, and the situation demands a strong, politically-led initiative to end the intimidation and reassure the victims. Given this, it is regrettable that members of the Narendra Modi Cabinet have either been in denial or have infused ambiguity into their statements of reassurance. Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, for instance, on Wednesday said outright that there had been no such harassment. Equally disturbing, he prefaced his remarks with a reference to “a tremendous reaction of anger in the country about the Pulwama incident”. The fact is that many Kashmiris have already fled Dehradun, and some of them have shared their stories. Mr. Javadekar, as HRD Minister, should address their feeling of insecurity, instead of being dismissive about it, and in the process allowing the mobs a free pass. Moreover, the fact that anti-Pakistan sloganeering can so easily slip into anti-Kashmiri rhetoric must bother civil society and politicians of all hues. Even if the attacks are isolated, the counter-argument must come from across the political spectrum, and in one voice: that all Kashmiris enjoy all protections and rights available to them as Indian citizens.

B) Half-measures: new angel tax rules for start-ups

It is good the ‘angel tax’ has been moderated, but its arbitrary nature remains intact

After the uproar among start-up investors in the last few weeks, the Centre on Tuesday decided to ease the conditions under which investments in start-ups will be taxed by the government. According to the new rules, investments up to ₹25 crore in companies that are less than 10 years old and with a total turnover of less than ₹100 crore will be exempted from the new angel tax. Further, investments made by listed companies with a net worth of at least ₹100 crore or a total turnover of at least ₹250 crore will be fully exempt from the tax; so will investments made by non-resident Indians. When it was first proposed by the Centre in 2012, the angel tax was justified as an emergency measure to prevent the laundering of illegal wealth by means of investments in the shares of unlisted private companies at extraordinary valuations. But the adverse effect that it has had on investor confidence has forced the government to ease the stringent rules. The easing of the outdated angel tax rules will definitely make life easier for start-ups, which are in desperate need for capital to fund their growth and other business requirements. Further, since the new rules are set to be applied retrospectively, many young companies that have received notices from the Income Tax Department in the last few years will be relieved by the latest tweak in the rules.

There are, however, a few other issues with the new rules that could still cause unnecessary headaches to young start-ups. Companies wishing to make use of the latest exemption, for instance, will first need to be registered with the government as start-ups. To be classified as one, a company needs to attest to conditions such as that it has not invested in any land unrelated to the business, vehicles worth over ₹10 lakh, or jewellery. These requirements, while probably aimed to prevent money- laundering, can lead to considerable bureaucratic delays and rent-seeking. Also, the new rules for the angel tax, though less stringent than before, can cause the same old problem of arbitrary tax demands for companies that do not fall under the defined category of start-ups. The taxes to be paid are still supposed to be calculated by the authorities based on how much the sale price of a company’s unlisted share exceeds its fair market value. It is impossible to know the market value, let alone the fair market value, of shares that are not openly traded in the marketplace. So tax authorities with ulterior motives will still possess enough leeway to harass start-ups with unreasonable tax demands. Unless the government can address the arbitrary nature of the angel tax, the damage to investor confidence may remain.


1) intimidation

Meaning : the action of intimidating someone, or the state of being intimidated(n).

Synonyms : constrain

Antonyms : assure

Example : “the intimidation of witnesses and jurors”

2) ghastly

Meaning : causing great horror or fear(adj).

Tamil Meaning : கோரமான

Synonyms : appalling

Antonyms : comforting

Example : “one of the most ghastly crimes ever committed”

3) Amid

Meaning : surrounded by; in the middle of.

Tamil Meaning : மத்தியில்

Synonyms : among

Antonyms : beyond

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

4) ensure

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”

5) expelled

Meaning : officially make (someone) leave a school or other organization(v).

Tamil Meaning : வெளியேற்றப்பட்டார்

Synonyms : dislodge

Antonyms : absorb

Example : “she was expelled from school”

6) sought

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

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

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

7) avenge

Meaning : inflict harm in return for (an injury or wrong done to oneself or another)(v).

Synonyms : vindicate

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “he vowed in silent fervour to avenge their murders”

8) prevail

Meaning : prove more powerful or superior(v).

Tamil Meaning : மேம்படு

Synonyms : prove

Antonyms : forfeit

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

9) mere

Meaning : used to emphasize how small or insignificant someone or something is.

Synonyms : bare

Antonyms : decorated

Example : “questions that cannot be answered by mere mortals”

10) semblance

Meaning : the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different.

Synonyms : veneer

Antonyms : reality

Example : “she tried to force her thoughts back into some semblance of order”

11) reassure

Meaning : say or do something to remove the doubts or fears of (someone)(v).

Tamil Meaning : உத்தரவாதம்

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : annoy

Example : “he understood her feelings and tried to reassure her”

12) regrettable

Meaning : (of conduct or an event) giving rise to regret; undesirable; unwelcome.

Tamil Meaning : வருந்ததக்க

Synonyms : deplorable

Antonyms : comforting

Example : “the loss of this number of jobs is regrettable”

13) denial

Meaning : the action of denying something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுப்பு

Synonyms : disapproval

Antonyms : ratification

Example : “she shook her head in denial

14) infused

Meaning : soak (tea, herbs, etc.) in liquid to extract the flavour or healing properties.

Tamil Meaning : வியாபிக்க

Synonyms : impart

Antonyms : dehydrate

Example : “infuse the dried flowers in boiling water”

15) ambiguity

Meaning : the quality of being open to more than one interpretation; inexactness(n).

Tamil Meaning : தெளிவின்மை

Synonyms : uncertainty

Antonyms : certainty

Example : “we can detect no ambiguity in this section of the Act”

16) tremendous

Meaning : very great in amount, scale, or intensity(adj).

Tamil Meaning : மிகப்பெரிய

Synonyms : dreadful

Antonyms : believable

Example : “Penny put in a tremendous amount of time”

17) outright

Meaning : wholly and completely(adv).

Tamil Meaning : அப்பட்டமான

Synonyms : absolute

Antonyms : imperfect

Example : “logging has been banned outright”

18) dismissive

Meaning : feeling or showing that something is unworthy of consideration(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நிராகரித்து

Synonyms : cavalier

Antonyms : humble

Example : “monetarist theory is dismissive of the need to control local spending”

19) rhetoric

Meaning : the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing, especially the exploitation of figures of speech and other compositional techniques(n).

Synonyms : oratory

Antonyms : quiet

Example : “he is using a common figure of rhetoric, hyperbole”

20) hues

Meaning : a colour or shade(n).

Tamil Meaning : சாயல்களை

Synonyms : tinge

Antonyms : white

Example : “the water is the deepest hue of aquamarine”

21) exempted

Meaning : free (a person or organization) from an obligation or liability imposed on others(v).

Tamil Meaning : விலக்கு

Synonyms : immune

Antonyms : hindered

Example : “they were exempted from paying the tax”

22) proposed

Meaning : put forward (a plan or suggestion) for consideration by others(v).

Tamil Meaning : முன்மொழியப்பட்ட

Synonyms : expected

Example : “he proposed a new nine-point peace plan”

23) laundering

Meaning : wash and iron (clothes or linen)(v).

Tamil Meaning : மோசடியில்

Synonyms : cleanse

Antonyms : dirty

Example : “he wasn’t used to laundering his own bed linen”

24) desperate

Meaning : feeling or showing a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad as to be impossible to deal with(adj).

Synonyms : bold

Antonyms : afraid

Example :”a desperate sadness enveloped Ruth”

25) retrospectively

Meaning : with consideration of past events or situations.

Tamil Meaning : நடமுறையில்

Example : “medical records were retrospectively reviewed on 120 patients”

26) instance

Meaning : an example or single occurrence of something(n).

Tamil Meaning : உதாரணமாக

Synonyms : occasion

Example : “a serious instance of corruption”

27) attest

Meaning : provide or serve as clear evidence of(v).

Synonyms : demonstrate

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “his status is attested by his becoming an alderman”

28) bureaucratic

Meaning : relating to a system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives(adj).

Synonyms : economical

Example : “well-established bureaucratic procedures”

29) stringent

Meaning : (of regulations, requirements, or conditions) strict, precise, and exacting.

Tamil Meaning : கடுமையான

Synonyms : binding

Antonyms : amenable

Example : “stringent guidelines on air pollution”

30) ulterior

Meaning : existing beyond what is obvious or admitted; intentionally hidden(adj).

Synonyms : buried

Antonyms : expressed

Example : “could there be an ulterior motive behind his request?”