Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 14, 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) Collegium controversy

An unusual change of decision brings the judicial appointments system under scrutiny

The controversial collegium system of judicial appointments is under public scrutiny once again. This time, the potential for embarrassment to the superior judiciary is much higher. Former Chief Justices of India, a sitting Supreme Court judge, and the Bar Council of India have taken exception to the collegium’s unusual action of revisiting decisions made at an earlier meeting, and recommending the elevation to the apex court of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, instead of two judges whose names had been considered earlier. The allegation is not merely one concerning the seniority or the lack of it of the two appointees; rather, it is the much graver charge of arbitrarily revoking a decision made on December 12 last year. The official reasons are in the public domain in the form of a resolution on January 10. It claims that even though some decisions were made on December 12, “the required consultations could not be undertaken and completed” in view of the winter vacation. When the collegium met again on January 5/6, its composition had changed following the retirement of Justice Madan B. Lokur. It was then decided that it would be “appropriate” to have a fresh look at the matter, as well as the “additional material”. The only rationale for the names of Rajasthan High Court Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Delhi High Court Chief Justice Rajendra Menon being left out is the claim that new material had surfaced. However, it is not clear what the material is and how it affected their suitability.

Former Chief Justice of India R.M. Lodha is right in underscoring the institutional nature of decisions by the collegium. Can the retirement of one judge be a ground to withdraw a considered decision, even if some consultations were incomplete? There is little surprise in the disquiet in legal circles. Another curious element in the latest appointments is that Justice Maheshwari, who had been superseded as recently as last November, when a judge junior to him was appointed a Supreme Court judge, has been found to be “more suitable and deserving in all respects” than any of the other chief justices and judges. There is no objection to the elevation of Justice Khanna except his relative lack of seniority. There is little substance in this criticism, as it is now widely accepted that seniority cannot be the sole criterion for elevation to the Supreme Court. However, the fact that there are three other judges senior to him in the Delhi High Court itself — two of them serving elsewhere as chief justices — is bound to cause some misgivings. The credibility of the collegium system has once again been called into question. The recent practice of making public all resolutions of the collegium has brought in some transparency. Yet, the impression that it works in mysterious ways refuses to go away. This controversy ill-serves the judiciary as an institution.

B) Learning little

The reading and arithmetic abilities in rural schools are shockingly dismal

The latest assessment of how children are faring in schools in rural areas indicates there has been no dramatic improvement in learning outcomes. The picture that emerges from the Annual Status of Education Report, Rural (2018) is one of a moribund system of early schooling in many States, with no remarkable progress from the base year of 2008. Except for a small section at the top of the class, the majority of students have obviously been let down. The survey for 2018 had a reach of 5.4 lakh students in 596 rural districts. It should put administrators on alert that while 53.1% of students in Class 5 in rural government schools could in 2008 read a text meant for Class 2, the corresponding figure for 2018 stood at 44.2%; for comparison, private schools scored 67.9% and 65.1% for the same test in those years. Arithmetic ability showed a similar trend of under-performance, although there has been a slight uptick since 2016: an improvement of about 1.5 percentage points in government schools and 1.8 percentage points in private institutions, among Class 5 students. Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Kerala and Haryana did better on the arithmetic question with over 50% students clearing it, compared to Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and even Karnataka, which scored below 20%. A significant percentage of students were not even able to recognise letters appropriate for their class, highlighting a severe barrier to learning.

Now that the ASER measure is available for 10 years, the Centre should institute a review mechanism involving all States for both government and private institutions, covering elementary education and middle school. A public consultation on activity-based learning outcomes, deficits in early childhood education, and innovations in better performing States can help. At present, children start learning in a variety of environments: from poorly equipped anganwadi centres to private nurseries. The enactment of the Right to Education Act was followed by a welcome rise in enrolment, which now touches 96% as per ASER data. Empowering as it is, the law needs a supportive framework to cater to learners from different backgrounds who often cannot rely on parental support or coaching. There is concern that curricular expectations on literacy and numeracy have become too ambitious, requiring reform. It is worth looking at innovation in schools and incentivising good outcomes; one study in Andhra Pradesh indicated that bonus pay offered to teachers led to better student scores in an independently administered test in mathematics and language. The solutions may lie in multiple approaches. What is beyond doubt is that governments are not doing their duty by India’s children.


1) controversial

Meaning : giving rise or likely to give rise to controversy or public disagreement(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சைக்குரிய

Synonyms : disputed

Antonyms : certain

Example : “years of wrangling over a controversial bypass”

2) collegial

Meaning : relating to or involving shared responsibility, as among a group of colleagues.

Synonyms : coactive

Example : “judges cultivate a collegial atmosphere in instructing the jury”

3) scrutiny

Meaning : critical observation or examination(n).

Tamil Meaning : கண்காணிப்பின்

Synonyms : inquiry

Antonyms : glance

Example : “every aspect of local government was placed under scrutiny

4) embarrassment

Meaning : a feeling of self-consciousness, shame, or awkwardness(n).

Tamil Meaning : சங்கடம்

Synonyms : confusion

Antonyms : order

Example : “I turned red with embarrassment”

5) allegation

Meaning : a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof(n).

Tamil Meaning : குற்றச்சாட்டு

Synonyms : accusation

Antonyms : exculpation

Example : “he made allegations of corruption against the administration”

6) merely

Meaning : just; only(adv).

Synonyms : hardly

Antonyms : indefinitely

Example : “Gary, a silent boy, merely nodded”

7) concerning

Meaning : causing anxiety; worrying(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பற்றி

Synonyms : regarding

Antonyms : unrelatable

Example : “I find many of the comments very concerning”

8) arbitrarily

Meaning : on the basis of random choice or personal whim, rather than any reason or system(adv).

Synonyms : forthwith

Antonyms : slowly

Example : “recurrent infection is arbitrarily defined as three or more infections a year”

9) revoking

Meaning : officially cancel (a decree, decision, or promise).

Synonyms : dismantle

Antonyms : allow

Example : “the men appealed and the sentence was revoked”

10) claims

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

Synonyms : demand

Antonyms : reply

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

11) composition

Meaning : the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up(n).

Synonyms : content

Antonyms : imbalance

Example : “the social composition of villages”

12) surfaced

Meaning : having an outside part or upper layer, especially of a specified kind(adj).

Synonyms : appear

Antonyms : disappear

Example : “the upgrading of gravel roads to surfaced roads”

13) curious

Meaning : eager to know or learn something.

Tamil Meaning : ஆர்வமாக

Synonyms : inquisitive

Antonyms : incurious

Example : “I began to be curious about the whereabouts of the bride and groom”

14) superseded

Meaning : take the place of (a person or thing previously in authority or use); supplant.

Synonyms : outmoded

Antonyms : modern

Example : “the older models of car have now been superseded”

15) deserving

Meaning : worthy of being treated in a particular way, typically of being given assistance(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தகுதியுடைய

Synonyms : due

Antonyms : undeserving

Example : “the deserving poor”

16) elevation

Meaning : the action or fact of raising or being raised to a higher or more important level, state, or position(n).

Tamil Meaning : உயரத்தில்

Synonyms : altitude

Antonyms : flat

Example : “her sudden elevation to the cabinet”

17) impression

Meaning : an idea, feeling, or opinion about something or someone, especially one formed without conscious thought or on the basis of little evidence(n).

Synonyms : impact

Antonyms : cause

Example : “his first impressions of Manchester were very positive”

18) mysterious

Meaning : difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.

Synonyms : baffling

Antonyms : apparent

Example : “his colleague had vanished in mysterious circumstances”

19) assessment

Meaning : the action of assessing someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடு

Synonyms : estimate

Antonyms : criticism

Example : “the assessment of educational needs”

20) faring

Meaning : perform in a specified way in a particular situation or over a particular period.

Synonyms : happen

Antonyms : fail

Example : “the party fared badly in the elections”

21) emerges

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

Synonyms : arrive

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “black ravens emerged from the fog”

22) moribund

Meaning : (of a person) at the point of death(adj).

Tamil Meaning : இறுதிக்கட்டதை

Synonyms : doomed

Antonyms : active

Example : “on examination she was moribund and dehydrated”

23) uptick

Meaning : a small increase or slight upward trend.

Synonyms : uptake

Example : “an uptick in foreign tourism”

24) recognise

Meaning : identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.(v)

Tamil Meaning : அடையாளம் கண்டு

Synonyms : observe

Antonyms : deny

Example : “I recognized her when her wig fell off”

25) appropriate

Meaning : suitable or proper in the circumstances.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : அதற்கான

Synonyms : convenient

Antonyms : improper

Example : “this isn’t the appropriate time or place”

26) barrier

Meaning : a fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access(n).

Tamil Meaning : தடை

Synonyms : blockade

Antonyms : assistance

Example : “the mountain barrier between Norway and Sweden”

27) involving

Meaning : have or include (something) as a necessary or integral part or result(v).

Tamil Meaning : சம்பந்தப்பட்ட

Synonyms : associate

Antonyms : cancel

Example : “my job involves a lot of travelling”

28) consultation

Meaning : the action or process of formally consulting or discussing(n).

Tamil Meaning : ஆலோசனை

Synonyms : conference

Example : “they improved standards in consultation with consumer representatives”

29) outcomes

Meaning : the way a thing turns out; a consequence(n).

Tamil Meaning : விளைவு

Synonyms : conclusion

Antonyms : cause

Example : “it is the outcome of the vote that counts”

30) deficits

Meaning : an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period.

Tamil Meaning : பற்றாக்குறைகள்

Synonyms : shortfall

Antonyms : abundance

Example : “an annual operating deficit”

31) enactment

Meaning : the process of passing legislation(n).

Synonyms : acting

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “the enactment of equal pay legislation”

32) concern

Meaning : relate to; be about(v).

Tamil Meaning : அக்கறை

Synonyms : burden

Antonyms : fun

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

33) ambitious

Meaning : having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed(adj).

Synonyms : energetic

Antonyms : lethargic

Example : “a ruthlessly ambitious workaholic”

34) literacy

Meaning : the ability to read and write.

Tamil Meaning : கல்வியறிவு

Synonyms : learning

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “tests of literacy and numeracy”

35) reform

Meaning : make changes in (something, especially an institution or practice) in order to improve it.

Tamil Meaning : சீர்திருத்தம்

Synonyms : improve

Antonyms : damage

Example : “the Bill will reform the tax system”

36) worth

Meaning : equivalent in value to the sum or item specified(adj).

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பு

Synonyms : benefit

Antonyms : hindrance

Example : “jewellery worth £450 was taken”

37) innovation

Meaning : the action or process of innovating(n).

Tamil Meaning : கண்டுபிடிப்பு

Synonyms : addition

Antonyms : custom

Example : “innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization”

38) incentivising

Meaning : motivate or encourage (someone) to do something; provide with an incentive.

Synonyms : charge

Example : “this is likely to incentivize management to find savings”

39) indicated

Meaning : point out; show(v).

Tamil Meaning : சுட்டிக்காட்டப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : determined

Antonyms : rejected

Example : “dotted lines indicate the text’s margins”

40) approaches

Meaning : come near or nearer to (someone or something) in distance or time(v).

Tamil Meaning : அணுகுமுறை

Synonyms : access

Antonyms : departure

Example : “the train approached the main line”