The Hindu Editorial : February 26, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 26, 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) Before eviction: on SC verdict on forest-dwellers

States must quickly determine if procedural lapses deprived forest-dwellers of their rights

The Supreme Court’s order to evict, over the next five months, occupants of forest lands who failed to make a successful claim for tenure under the Forest Rights Act, 2006, has once again highlighted the dilemma of reconciling inalienable tribal rights with biodiversity conservation. When the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act was passed, it was with the wholly welfarist goal of making these communities partners in conservation. They would be stewards of forests that have shrunk and become fragmented over the decades. It was another landmark, therefore, when the Forest Rights Act protected possession and conferred heritability of land to over 23 lakh out of 44 lakh claimants who are either specified Scheduled Tribes, or people who have lived in forests traditionally, relying on forest produce for at least 75 years prior to the cut-off year of 2005. But over 20 lakh other applicants who could not establish their claim through gram sabhas and appellate authorities have now been ordered to be evicted by July 12. The 17 State governments which have been asked to carry out the evictions must respond by quickly determining whether there were procedural lapses that deprived applicants of due process, notably in making appeals. This process may take time, more so in an election year, and the sheer scale of action required would necessitate an extension of the eviction date.

In the ideal scheme, as the Forest Rights Act envisages, forested areas and their biodiversity will be protected by communities, with individuals taking forest produce only for sustenance and livelihood. Such an approach is at odds with the colonial paradigm of forests being treated as a resource run by an opaque bureaucracy that replaced precious old-growth trees with monocultures such as teak. Today, forests have shrunk to about 5% of the land in terms of protected areas, while human pressures are growing: landscapes are alienated for resource exploitation, road and dam building, and a lot of wildlife is lost to poaching. Man-animal conflict is growing. Claims for tenure under the Forest Rights Act must therefore satisfy the primary test of whether they are legally unimpeachable, and even if they are, whether they would impose additional pressures on forests and wildlife. The answer in many areas may lie in resettlement. In some well-documented cases, such as in the Western Ghats, alternative land and cash compensation convinced tribals to move out of core areas. One example is that of the Nagarahole National Park, where the outcome has been good for both people and wildlife, as evidenced by the recovery of tiger density over three decades. State governments need to pursue such programmes in a humane and vigorous fashion. They must also come forward to declare critical wildlife habitats under the Act. This will aid in formulating resettlement schemes for tribal residents.

B) Pre-poll gambit: on reduction of GST on under-construction properties

Reduction in rates brings cheer to real estate sector, but unsettles the GST regime

On Sunday, the Goods and Services Tax Council recommended a dramatic reduction in the headline indirect tax rates payable on under-construction properties. The GST rate payable on affordable homes, with effect from April 2019, will come down from 8% to 1%, and all other residential properties outside the affordable segment will attract 5% GST instead of the 12% levied at present. The new rate on affordable homes, defined as units that cost less than ₹45 lakh and have a carpet area of 60 square metres in metro cities and 90 square metres in non-metros, is far lower than the 3% rate mooted by a ministerial panel. The Council needs to meet again in March to clear the transition rules for the proposed rate cuts, and the conditions to be stipulated for housing projects to be eligible for the new rates. Days ahead of the expected announcement of the Lok Sabha poll dates by the Election Commission, the government is clearly keen on reaching out to different sections of voters. It has argued that the move will help meet the aspirations of millions of home-buyers, and revive the fortunes of real estate developers. Among the country’s largest employers in recent years, the realty sector has been marred by the debt overdose that has plagued much of corporate India; this has been compounded by high unsold inventory that hit cash flows. Properties that were already complete at the time of the GST’s adoption were spared the tax. But the introduction of 12% and 8% GST for under-construction premier housing units and affordable homes, respectively, had come as a dampener for fresh bookings.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley reckons that revenues will not be hit by the rate cut. The implicit assumption is that higher sales volumes will compensate the exchequer. Experts expect a 4-5% reduction in home prices, but the decision to deny input tax credits to builders could bring a twist in the tale. Developers may be forced to raise base prices as critical inputs, particularly cement (taxed at 28%), entail high levies that can no longer be offset. Buyers may still prefer to opt for unsold completed properties that don’t attract GST, instead of incomplete projects. Compliance as well as material costs could go up too, as the Council is likely to mandate that around 80% of a project’s inputs must come from formal sector vendors in the GST net. It is difficult to determine to what extent a proposed tax exemption on development rights will offset these costs for developers. Whatever the outcome of this pre-election ploy, the frequent structural tinkering ahead of electoral battles has emerged as the biggest challenge to the stabilisation of India’s fledgling GST regime.


1) evict

Meaning : expel (someone) from a property, especially with the support of the law(v).

Tamil Meaning ; வெளியேற்றுவதற்கான

Synonyms : dislodge

Antonyms : hold

Example : “a single mother and her children have been evicted from their home”

2) claim

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof(v).

Synonyms : allegation

Antonyms : reply

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

3) tenure

Meaning : the holding of an office.

Synonyms : regime

Antonyms : misconception

Example : “his tenure of the premiership would be threatened”

4) reconciling

Meaning : restore friendly relations between(v).

Tamil Meaning ; சமரசம்

Synonyms : conform

Antonyms : agitate

Example : “the king and the archbishop were publicly reconciled”

5) conservation

Meaning : prevention of wasteful use of a resource(n).

Tamil Meaning ; பாதுகாப்பு

Synonyms : maintenance

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “the government must take action to promote energy conservation”

6) stewards

Meaning : (of an official) supervise arrangements or keep order at (a large public event)(v).

Synonyms : purser

Example : “the event was organized and stewarded properly”

7) possession

Meaning : the state of having, owning, or controlling something(n).

Synonyms : custody

Antonyms : lack

Example : “she had taken possession of the sofa”

8) relying

Meaning : depend on with full trust or confidence(v).

Synonyms : await

Antonyms : disbelieve

Example : “I know I can rely on your discretion”

9) appellate

Meaning : (especially of a court) concerned with or dealing with applications for decisions to be reversed(adj).

Tamil Meaning ; மேல்முறையீட்டு

Synonyms : appeal

Example : “courts of appellate jurisdiction”

10) deprived

Meaning : suffering a severe and damaging lack of basic material and cultural benefits(adj).

Tamil Meaning ; இழந்து

Synonyms : destitute

Antonyms : privileged

Example : “the charity cares for destitute and deprived children”

11) necessitate

Meaning : make (something) necessary as a result or consequence.

Synonyms : constrain

Antonyms : check

Example : “a cut which necessitated eighteen stitches”

12) envisages

Meaning : contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event(v).

Synonyms : behold

Example : “the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers”

13) sustenance

Meaning : food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment(n).

Synonyms : livelihood

Antonyms : deprivation

Example : “poor rural economies turned to potatoes for sustenance”

14) alienated

Meaning : experiencing or inducing feelings of isolation or estrangement.

Synonyms : disaffected

Antonyms : united

Example : “an alienated, angst-ridden twenty-two-year-old”

15) poaching

Meaning : cook (an egg) without its shell in or over boiling water(v).

Tamil Meaning ; வேட்டையாடிய

Synonyms : smuggle

Antonyms : give

Example : “a breakfast of poached egg and grilled bacon”

16) conflict

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

Tamil Meaning ; மோதல்

Synonyms : combat

Antonyms : truce

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

17) unimpeachable

Meaning : not able to be doubted, questioned, or criticized; entirely trustworthy(adj).

Tamil Meaning ; தூய்மையான

Synonyms : faultless

Antonyms : blamable

Example : “an unimpeachable witness”

18) impose

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

Synonyms : charge

Antonyms : disorder

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

19) pursue

Meaning : follow or chase (someone or something)(v).

Synonyms : seek

Antonyms : assist

Example : “the officer pursued the van”

20) levied

Meaning : impose (a tax, fee, or fine)(v).

Tamil Meaning ; விதிக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது

Synonyms : collect

Antonyms : give

Example : “a tax of two per cent was levied on all cargoes”

21) mooted

Meaning : raise (a question or topic) for discussion; suggest (an idea or possibility)(v).

Tamil Meaning ; நிறைவேற்றியது

Synonyms : propose

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the scheme was first mooted last October”

22) transition

Meaning : the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.

Tamil Meaning ; மாற்றம்

Synonyms : conversion

Antonyms : decline

Example : “students in transition from one programme to another”

23) stipulated

Meaning : demand or specify (a requirement), typically as part of an agreement(v).

Synonyms : designate

Antonyms : break

Example : “he stipulated certain conditions before their marriage”

24) revive

Meaning : restore to life or consciousness(v).

Tamil Meaning ; புதுப்பிக்க

Synonyms : encourage

Antonyms : depress

Example : “both men collapsed, but were revived”

25) marred

Meaning : impair the quality or appearance of; spoil(v).

Tamil Meaning ; அழிவு

Synonyms : bruise

Antonyms : assist

Example : “violence marred a number of New Year celebrations”

26) inventory

Meaning : make a complete list of(v).

Synonyms : index

Antonyms : debt

Example : “I inventoried his collection of drawings”

27) dampener

Meaning : a thing that has a restraining or subduing effect(n).

Tamil Meaning ; முடிவதில்லை

Synonyms : moaner

Example : “television and booze, those twin dampeners of the revolutionary spirit”

28) reckons

Meaning : establish by calculation(v).

Synonyms : calculate

Antonyms : displace

Example : “his debts were reckoned at £300,000″

29) implicit

Meaning : suggested though not directly expressed(adj).

Tamil Meaning ; உள்ளார்ந்த

Synonyms : contained

Antonyms : disloyal

Example : “comments seen as implicit criticism of the policies”

30) compensate

Meaning : give (someone) something, typically money, in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury incurred; recompense(v).

Synonyms : atone

Antonyms : lose

Example : “payments were made to farmers to compensate them for cuts in subsidies”

31) exchequer

Meaning : a royal or national treasury(n).

Synonyms : reward

Antonyms : penalty

Example : “an important source of revenue to the sultan’s exchequer”

32) deny

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

Tamil Meaning ; மறுக்க

Synonyms : ban

Antonyms : accept

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

33) mandate

Meaning : an official order or commission to do something(n).

Synonyms : directive

Antonyms : breach

Example : “a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners”

34) determine

Meaning : cause (something) to occur in a particular way or to have a particular nature(v).

Synonyms : complete

Antonyms : begin

Example : “it will be her mental attitude that determines her future”

35) exemption

Meaning : the action of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others(n).

Tamil Meaning ; தீர்மானிக்க

Synonyms : discharge

Antonyms : accountability

Example : “vehicles that may qualify for exemption from tax”

36) fledgling

Meaning : a person or organization that is immature, inexperienced, or underdeveloped(n).

Tamil Meaning ; உணர்ச்சிமயமான

Synonyms : apprentice

Antonyms : expert

Example : “the country’s fledgling democracy”

37) emerged

Meaning : move out of or away from something and become visible(v).

Tamil Meaning ; வெளிப்பட்டது

Synonyms : arrive

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”

38) regime

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

Synonyms : establishment

Example : “ideological opponents of the regime”

39) stabilisation

Meaning : the process of making something physically more secure or stable(n).

Example : “the derelict buildings will require some structural stabilization”

40) vigorous

Meaning : strong, healthy, and full of energy(adj).

Synonyms : effective

Antonyms : apathetic

Example : “a tall, vigorous, and muscular man”


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