Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – February 4, 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) Hawkish move: On U.S. pullout from nuclear treaty

The U.S.’s unilateral withdrawal from a nuclear treaty threatens to kick-start a new arms race

The Donald Trump administration’s decision to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Russia is a retrograde step. Signed in 1987 by Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, it barred both countries from deploying land-launched cruise missiles in the 500- to 5,500-km range. However, Russia appears to have been covertly violating it in letter and spirit. The U.S. in 2008 expressed concern over the Russian Novator 9M729 missile tests and in 2014 alleged that Moscow was testing a ground-based cruise missile. Yet, the U.S. response cannot be regarded as purely retaliatory. Both Mr. Trump and his National Security Adviser John Bolton are on the record expressing what some consider to be a sense of disregard for arms control agreements. Before taking up the NSA role, Mr. Bolton said in his book that the U.S. “arms control theology” had been “kept on life support during the Clinton presidency by devotion and prayer rather than hard reality”. Mr. Trump, who scuppered the nuclear agreement with Iran, has hinted he would refuse to abide by a treaty that other parties were disregarding. There is now a sense of alarm that the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which limits both countries’ arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, and will lapse in 2021, might be scrapped next.

At the heart of this worrisome echo of the Cold War years is the changing balance of power in global nuclear politics heralded by China’s rise as a regional hegemon; its growing arsenal poses a threat in the eyes of strategists in Washington. In 2018, the U.S. Nuclear Posture Review noted that Beijing was steaming forward with the expansion of its cruise-missile arsenal, potentially neutralising the capability of American warships that could seek to approach the Chinese coastline during a standoff. Shifting geo-politics also requires that European concerns be factored into strategic discussions on the INF, particularly because it is Europe that is most immediately threatened by the Russian stockpile. However, going by the surprised reactions from European officials, it appears that Mr. Trump may not have consulted with European allies before announcing the suspension of the treaty. Mr. Trump’s thinking may rest on the fact that he could now develop ground-launched missiles, and perhaps keep Moscow’s aggression in check through a military-posture superiority, and also save the exchequer some cash, for this option is cheaper than cruise missiles that can be fired from aircraft, ships, or submarines. Nevertheless, in pulling out of the INF, Washington is effectively throwing away leverage it may have had with Russia on an issue of global concern.

B) Standard deviations: On jobs data

Delay in releasing key employment data has undermined the credibility of data officialdom

The resignations of the National Statistical Commission’s acting Chairperson P.C. Mohanan and member J.V. Meenakshi appear linked to the Centre’s refusal to release new data on employment that were due to be made public in December 2018. They could also be related to unease about the recently unveiled back-series data on the economy, which recorded slower growth during the UPA-led government’s rule, and were released by the NITI Aayog bypassing convention and the commission’s views. Reports suggest that the findings of the new Periodic Labour Force Survey, for July 2017-December 2018, are not too flattering, with unemployment registering a five-decade high. The government has said no such reservations were expressed by Mr. Mohanan or Dr. Meenakshi during NSC meetings and that the report will be released after ‘quarterly’ data for the survey period is processed. A key role of the NSC, set up in 2006, is to verify whether data being put in the public domain are reliable and adequate. Information has been collected and disseminated by successive governments under laid-down schedules, earning Indian data greater global trust than most other emerging market peers, especially China.

On the question of job-creation for the youth, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet have been building an argument that jobs abound, but credible data are missing. The National Sample Survey Organisation’s quinquennial employment surveys were to be conducted in 2016-17. The year was switched to 2017-18 as the new Labour Force Survey was being prepared to replace it. Separately, a quarterly survey of select employment-intensive sectors initiated by the Labour Bureau after the 2008 global financial crisis, that provided some clarity on ground realities, was inexplicably junked. Instead, proxy data from enrolments into social security schemes for formal sector employees are being touted as a sign of job-creation: economists have rightly called them out as inaccurate. Even then, Arun Jaitley, in his last year’s Budget speech, cited ‘an independent study’ to claim seven million formal jobs will be created in 2018-19. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy has pegged job losses in 2018 at 11 million based on its regular employment surveys. The government’s coy approach to jobs-related data may be due to its disastrous demonetisation gambit which hurt supply chains and informal jobs in the economy and whose effects have lingered. Contrast this with the NSSO surveys of 2009-10 that revealed little good news on household incomes and job-creation, thanks to after-effects of the global financial crisis. The UPA didn’t dither from releasing the data, took criticism on its chin, explained it was an exceptional situation and commissioned another set of surveys in 2011-12 to correct for the timing. The Modi government should have treaded the same path without upending India’s statistical integrity.


1) retrograde

Meaning : directed or moving backwards(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பிற்போக்கான

Synonyms : declining

Antonyms : positive

Example : “a retrograde flow”

2) barred

Meaning : closed or secured with a long rigid piece of wood, metal, or similar material.

Synonyms : barricade

Antonyms : release

Example : “he sits by a barred window”

3) deploying

Meaning : move (troops or equipment) into position for military action.

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்துவது

Synonyms : open

Antonyms : finish

Example : “forces were deployed at strategic locations”

4) cruise

Meaning : sail about in an area without a precise destination, especially for pleasure.

Synonyms : jaunt

Example : “they were cruising off the California coast”

5) covertly

Meaning : without being openly acknowledged or displayed; secretly(adv).

Synonyms : secretly

Antonyms : candidly

Example : “a transcript of a covertly taped meeting”

6) concern

Meaning : relate to; be about.

Synonyms : interest

Antonyms : pastime

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

7) retaliatory

Meaning : (of an action) characterized by a desire for revenge.

Tamil Meaning : பழிவாங்கும்

Synonyms : penal

Antonyms : beneficial

Example : “fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim’s friends”

8) devotion

Meaning : religious worship or observance.

Synonyms : affection

Antonyms : coolness

Example : “the order’s aim was to live a life of devotion”

9) scuppered

Meaning : sink (a ship or its crew) deliberately.

Synonyms : consume

Antonyms : fast

Example : “the ship was scuppered and seriously damaged”

10) abide

Meaning : accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation).

Tamil Meaning : என்றென்றும்

Synonyms : accept

Antonyms : disallow

Example : “I said I would abide by their decision”

11) arsenal

Meaning : a collection of weapons and military equipment.

Synonyms : depot

Antonyms : debt

Example : “Britain’s nuclear arsenal”

12) lapse

Meaning : a brief or temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgement.

Synonyms : fault

Antonyms : accuracy

Example : “a lapse of concentration in the second set cost her the match”

13) heralded

Meaning : be a sign that (something) is about to happen.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டிய

Synonyms : announce

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the speech heralded a change in policy”

14) poses

Meaning : present or constitute (a problem or danger).

Tamil Meaning : விடுப்பதாக

Synonyms : posture

Antonyms : reality

Example : “the sheer number of visitors is posing a threat to the area”

15) Posture

Meaning : the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

Tamil Meaning : தோரணை

Synonyms : attitude

Example : “I got out of the car in an alert posture”

16) strategic

Meaning : the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

Synonyms : aspect

Antonyms : absence

Example : “I got out of the car in an alert posture”

17) aggression

Meaning : feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behaviour; readiness to attack or confront.

Tamil Meaning : ஆக்கிரமிப்பு

Synonyms : assault

Example : “his chin was jutting with aggression”

18) Nevertheless

Meaning : in spite of that; notwithstanding; all the same.

Synonyms : though

Antonyms : furthermore

Example : “statements which, although literally true, are nevertheless misleading”

19) leverage

Meaning : the exertion of force by means of a lever.

Synonyms : weight

Antonyms : weakness

Example : “my spade hit something solid that wouldn’t respond to leverage”

20) unveiled

Meaning : remove a veil or covering from, in particular uncover (a new monument or work of art) as part of a public ceremony.

Tamil Meaning : வெளியிட்டது

Synonyms : disclose

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the Princess unveiled a plaque”

21) convention

Meaning : a way in which something is usually done.

Synonyms : show

Antonyms : discord

Example : “to attract the best patrons the movie houses had to ape the conventions and the standards of theatres”

22) reliable

Meaning : consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Tamil Meaning : நம்பகமான

Synonyms : decent

Antonyms : broken

Example : “a reliable source of information”

23) adequate

Meaning : satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.

Tamil Meaning : போதுமான

Synonyms : acceptable

Antonyms : inadequate

Example : “this office is perfectly adequate for my needs”

24) disseminated

Meaning : having spread throughout an organ or the body.

Synonyms : advertise

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “symptoms vary from mild localized disease to severe disseminated infection”

25) quinquennial

Meaning : recurring every five years.

Tamil Meaning : பரவலாக்கப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : quintan

Example : “they conducted quinquennial reviews”

26) intensive

Meaning : recurring every five years.

Synonyms : thorough

Antonyms : superficial

Example : “they conducted quinquennial reviews”

27) inexplicably

Meaning : in a way that cannot be explained or accounted for.

Tamil Meaning : முன்நோக்கி

Synonyms : peculiarly

Antonyms : actually

Example : “many crucial documents had inexplicably disappeared”

28) junked

Meaning : discard or abandon unceremoniously.

Synonyms : damaged

Antonyms : cherished

Example : “sort out what could be sold off and junk the rest”

29) touted

Meaning : attempt to sell (something), typically by a direct or persistent approach.

Synonyms : proclaim

Antonyms : blame

Example : “Sanjay was touting his wares”

30) claim

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

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றை

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : answer

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

31) pegged

Meaning : (of a garment) wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.

Synonyms : fasten

Antonyms : detach

Example : “pegtop trousers”

32) gambit

Meaning : an act or remark that is calculated to gain an advantage, especially at the outset of a situation.

Tamil Meaning : உபாயங்கள்

Synonyms : artifice

Antonyms : frankness

Example : “his resignation was a tactical gambit”

33) lingered

Meaning : stay in a place longer than necessary because of a reluctance to leave.

Synonyms : dawdle

Antonyms : forward

Example : “she lingered in the yard, enjoying the warm sunshine”

34) revealed

Meaning : make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தினார்

Synonyms : concede

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “Brenda was forced to reveal Robbie’s whereabouts”

35) dither

Meaning : be indecisive.

Tamil Meaning : குழப்பமடை

Synonyms : agitation

Antonyms : calm

Example : “I can’t bear people who dither”

36) integrity

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

Tamil Meaning : நேர்மை

Synonyms : honesty

Antonyms : deceit

Example : “a gentleman of complete integrity”

37) exceptional

Meaning : unusual; not typical.

Tamil Meaning : விதிவிலக்கான

Synonyms : notable

Antonyms : common

Example : “late claims will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances”

38) criticism

Meaning : the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.

Tamil Meaning : திறனாய்வு

Synonyms : review

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “he received a lot of criticism”

39) disregard

Meaning : pay no attention to; ignore.

Tamil Meaning : அவமதிப்பு

Synonyms : contempt

Antonyms : admiration

Example : “the body of evidence is too substantial to disregard”

40) violating

Meaning : break or fail to comply with (a rule or formal agreement).

Tamil Meaning : மீறியதற்காக

Synonyms : breach

Antonyms : assist

Example : “they violated the terms of a ceasefire”