THE HINDU EDITORIAL : JANUARY 11, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 11, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018 Mains Exam, Canara Bank PO – PGDBF 2018 and IBPS SO 2018. 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) Pull-out puzzle: on withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria

As Turkey rebuffs its plea to protect Syrian Kurds, the U.S. must evaluate its next move

President Donald Trump’s planned withdrawal of American troops from Syria ran into trouble this week as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rebuffed National Security Adviser John Bolton’s suggestions for an orderly exit. After Mr. Trump announced the pull-out of about 2,000 troops from northeast Syria, Mr. Bolton had said the troops would leave the war-torn country after the Islamic State is beaten. He also said Kurds, U.S. allies in the fight against the IS, should be protected. This has ostensibly angered Turkey, which considers the Syrian Democratic Forces, the official military wing of Syrian Kurdistan, an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, deemed a terrorist group by Ankara and Washington. Mr. Erdogan, who initially welcomed Mr. Trump’s announcement of troops withdrawal, lashed out at Mr. Bolton for setting conditions for the pull-out. Tensions were so high that Mr. Erdogan refused to meet Mr. Bolton, who was in Turkey. The U.S. is now in a fix. Its President has announced the withdrawal. But it cannot just exit Syria without considering the existing geopolitical equations in the region. Kurds were pivotal in the war against the IS, and it is highly likely that Turkey could attack them as soon as the U.S. troops leave. Ankara sees an autonomous, militarily powerful Kurdistan on the Syrian side of the border as a threat to its territorial integrity.

Part of the problem is with the way Mr. Trump announced his decision to withdraw troops. He should have held talks with the stakeholders, including Turkey, Russia and Kurds, before taking a decision. Or he could have used his intent to pull out from Syria as a bargaining chip to extract concessions from other countries involved in the civil war. In the event, the abrupt announcement has become a concession to Turkey, which was hamstrung by U.S. presence in the Kurdish-populated region in pursuing its own military options. In practical terms, the U.S. has three options. One, it could go ahead with the unilateral pull-out irrespective of what Turkey does. This would leave the Kurds at the mercy of Mr. Erdogan and the Turkish troops. Two, Mr. Trump can walk back on his decision and continue to station troops in Syria, influencing, at least partially, the outcome of the civil war. This is unlikely given his aversion to keeping troops indefinitely in Syria (and other West Asian conflict zones). Three, the U.S. can stagger the withdrawal and pursue talks with Turkey, Russia and the Syrian government to reach an agreement to guarantee the protection of the Kurds and the defeat of the IS in Syria. Mr. Bolton’s Ankara trip may have failed to extract any assurances from Mr. Erdogan, but Washington should continue to keep diplomatic channels open to ensure that the pull-out is done in an orderly fashion.


B) Caution ahead: on economic growth and election spending

Election-season temptations for populist spending pose a challenge to the economy

The first advance estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2018-19 released by the Central Statistics Office on Monday paints a mixed picture of the economy. The GDP growth rate for the full year is projected to be at 7.2%, which is significantly higher than the growth rate of 6.7% achieved last year. Many sectors of the economy are projected to do better than they did last year in the aftermath of the twin shocks of demonetisation and the rollout of the Goods and Services Tax. Sectors such as manufacturing and construction, for instance, are projected to grow at a healthy pace of 8.3% and 8.9%, respectively, both of which are higher than the growth rate of below 6% that each sector witnessed last year. Interestingly, the CSO’s growth estimate for 2018-19 appears conservative and is lower than the estimates made by institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India and the World Bank. A worrying trend in the economic data is the recent sequential deceleration in growth over consecutive quarters. According to the CSO, growth is likely to slow down considerably from the average of 7.6% recorded during the first half of the current fiscal year to around 6.8% in the second half. This sequential slowdown is expected to get reflected in the sectoral level data as well with sectors like manufacturing expected to slow down sharply in the second half of the year compared to the first half. On the brighter side, investment spending, which has ailed the economy for long, is expected to pick up finally. Gross fixed capital formation as a percentage of GDP is expected to reach 33%, the highest in three years.

One of the significant near-term risks to the economy is the general election that is expected to be held in May. Regime uncertainty associated with the election may put a halt to the nascent pick-up witnessed in investments as corporations might decide to hold back on big ticket investments until things clear up. A major risk in the medium to long term is the absence of meaningful structural reforms that are necessary to increase economic productivity combined with populist policies that eventually damage the economy. Another perennial risk is the over-dependence on imported oil, which makes growth heavily dependent on external events often beyond the control of the government. The projected slowdown in the second half of the fiscal despite the fall in global oil prices is a worrying sign. Ahead of the general election, the government may wish to help growth by boosting spending, but any such move would be ill-advised. With the fiscal deficit exceeding the Budget estimate by 15% in just the first eight months of the fiscal year, the government cannot crank up spending without severely affecting its finances, along with investor confidence in the economy.


VOCABULARY

1) lashed

Meaning : having eyelashes of a specified kind(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தாக்குதலுக்கு ஆளானார்

Synonyms : chastise

Antonyms : compliment

Example : “long-lashed eyes”

2) refused

Meaning : indicate or show that one is not willing to do something(v).

Tamil Meaning : மறுத்து

Synonyms : banned

Antonyms : allowed

Example : “I refused to answer”

3) pivotal

Meaning : of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else(adj).

Tamil Meaning : முக்கிய

Synonyms : critical

Antonyms : trivial

Example : “Japan’s pivotal role in the world economy”

4) integrity

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

Tamil Meaning : நேர்மை

Synonyms : honesty

Antonyms : deceit

Example : “a gentleman of complete integrity”

5) held

Meaning : grasp, carry, or support with one’s arms or hands(v).

Synonyms : believed

Antonyms : freed

Example : “she was holding a brown leather suitcase”

6) bargaining

Meaning : negotiate the terms and conditions of a transaction(v).

Synonyms : dealings

Antonyms : counter

Example : “he bargained with the local council to rent the stadium”

7) extract

Meaning : remove or take out, especially by effort or force(v).

Synonyms : excerpt

Antonyms : refusal

Example : “the fossils are extracted from the chalk”

8) concessions

Meaning : a thing that is granted, especially in response to demands(n).

Tamil Meaning : சலுகை

Synonyms : compromise

Antonyms : denial

Example : “the government was unwilling to make any further concessions”

9) hamstrung

Meaning :

Tamil Meaning : முடக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms :

Antonyms :

Example :

10) abrupt

Meaning : sudden and unexpected.

Tamil Meaning : திடீர்

Synonyms : hasty

Antonyms : expected

Example : “I was surprised by the abrupt change of subject”

11) pursuing

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

Synonyms : ensuing

Antonyms : preceding

Example : “the officer pursued the van”

12) unilateral

Meaning : (of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a situation, without the agreement of another or the others(adj).

Synonyms : independent

Antonyms : bilateral

Example : “unilateral nuclear disarmament”

13) mercy

Meaning : compassion or forgiveness shown towards someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm(n).

Synonyms : clemency

Antonyms : disdain

Example : “the boy was screaming and begging for mercy”

14) influencing

Meaning : have an influence on.

Synonyms : determine

Antonyms : continue

Example : “government regulations can influence behaviour, but often without changing underlying values and motivations”

15) aversion

Meaning : a strong dislike or disinclination.

Tamil Meaning : வெறுப்பு

Synonyms : antipathy

Antonyms : delight

Example : “they made plain their aversion to the use of force”

16) stagger

Meaning : walk or move unsteadily, as if about to fall(v).

Tamil Meaning : தடுமாறு

Synonyms : lurch

Antonyms : continue

Example : “he staggered to his feet, swaying a little”

17) 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”

18) pace

Meaning : a single step taken when walking or running(n).

Synonyms : measure

Antonyms : stay

Example : “Kirov stepped back a pace”

19) conservative

Meaning : averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : பழமைவாத

Synonyms : traditional

Antonyms : inconstant

Example : “they were very conservative in their outlook”

20) estimates

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

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடுகள்

Synonyms : measure

Antonyms : ignorance

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

21) sequential

Meaning : forming or following in a logical order or sequence(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ச்சியான

Synonyms : consecutive

Example : “a series of sequential steps”

22) deceleration

Meaning : reduction in speed or rate(n).

Tamil Meaning : வேகத்தணிப்பை

Synonyms : decline

Antonyms : increase

Example : “speed brakes enable the aircraft to carry out rapid deceleration”

23) ailed

Meaning : trouble or afflict (someone) in mind or body(v).

Synonyms : afflict

Antonyms : aid

Example : “exercise is good for whatever ails one”

24) nascent

Meaning : (especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential(adj).

Synonyms : imperfect

Antonyms : developed

Example : “the nascent space industry”

25) uncertainty

Meaning : the state of being uncertain(n).

Tamil Meaning : நிச்சயமற்ற

Synonyms : ambiguity

Antonyms : assurance

Example : “times of uncertainty and danger”

26) associated

Meaning : (of a person or thing) connected with something else(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்புடைய

Synonyms : combine

Antonyms : divide

Example : “two associated events”

27) considerably

Meaning : by a notably large amount or to a notably large extent; greatly(adv).

Tamil Meaning : கணிசமாக

Synonyms : appreciably

Antonyms : slightly

Example : “things have improved considerably over the last few years”

28) instance

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

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : detail

Antonyms : repetition

Example : “a serious instance of corruption”

29) 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”

30) diplomatic

Meaning : of or concerning diplomacy.

Tamil Meaning : தூதரக

Synonyms : tactful

Antonyms : impolite

Example : “diplomatic relations with Britain were broken”

31) assurances

Meaning : a positive declaration intended to give confidence; a promise(n).

Tamil Meaning : உத்தரவாத

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : break

Example : “he gave an assurance that work would begin on Monday”

32) conflict

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

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : combat

Antonyms : truce

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

33) involved

Meaning : difficult to understand; complicated.

Tamil Meaning : சம்பந்தப்பட்ட

Synonyms : confusing

Antonyms : simple

Example : “a long, involved conversation”

34) territorial

Meaning : relating to the ownership of an area of land or sea(adj).

Synonyms : sectional

Antonyms : centralized

Example : “territorial disputes”

35) ostensibly

Meaning : as appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily so; apparently.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : மேம்போக்காக

Synonyms : evidently

Antonyms : improbably

Example : “the party secretary resigned, ostensibly from ill health”

36) considers

Meaning : think carefully about (something), typically before making a decision.

Tamil Meaning : கருதுகிறது

Synonyms : contemplate

Antonyms : disregard

Example : “each application is considered on its merits”

37) uncertainty

Meaning : the state of being uncertain(n).

Tamil Meaning : நிச்சயமற்ற

Synonyms : ambiguity

Antonyms : assurance

Example : “times of uncertainty and danger”

38) associated

Meaning : (of a person or thing) connected with something else(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்புடைய

Synonyms : combine

Antonyms : detach

Example : “two associated events”

39) expected

Meaning : regarded as likely; anticipated(adj).

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பார்க்கப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : normal

Example : “write down your expected monthly income, and regularly track your expenses”

40) nascent

Meaning : (especially of a process or organization) just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : ஆரம்பகட்டத்தில்

Synonyms : amorphous

Antonyms : developed

Example : “the nascent space industry”



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