Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 2, 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) On Elizabeth Warren’s U.S. presidential bid: Democratic hope?

Elizabeth Warren makes the first move towards a U.S. presidential bid

Elizabeth Warren, Democratic Senator of Massachusetts, has announced her likely candidacy for the 2020 U.S. presidential race. In her statement she put racial and gender-based inequality front and centre in her campaign agenda, as much as income inequality faced by the middle class. For these ills of the American economy, she blamed the excesses of under-regulated Wall Street corporations and billionaires with the money muscle to bend political rules. Although Ms. Warren, who won a second six-year Senate term in November, had declined to enter the 2016 general election and challenge Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, she made a name for herself as a top-tier Democrat by taking on President Donald Trump, describing him as a “thin-skinned racist bully”. However, she attracted criticism for an unnecessary controversy over taking a DNA test to establish her Native American heritage, after Mr. Trump used racist epithets to provoke and smear her ethnic antecedents. Notwithstanding that blip, the former Harvard law professor, who hails from a blue-collar background in Oklahoma, has repeatedly underscored her credentials as a champion of multiracial populism. Over the past year she has sharpened her attack on Mr. Trump’s politics, arguing that he deflects attention from the impact of his divisive policies on ordinary American families and instead blames “other working people, people who are black, or brown, people born somewhere else.”

Despite the considerable achievements of Ms. Warren, who had not held public office before 2013, the obstacles ahead for her proposed presidential run are formidable. First, the general expectation is that the field for the Democratic nomination will widen considerably over through 2019, given that more than three dozen Democratic candidates-in-the-making are said to be considering joining the race, several of them for the first time. Some, such as Kamala Harris of California or Cory Booker of New Jersey, could hold stronger appeal with millennial voters and people of colour. Second, it is hard to predict how Ms. Warren will fare against self-professed Democratic socialist candidate Bernie Sanders, or Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, both economic populists who could hypothetically cut into her share of voters of a similar ideological persuasion. Finally, the risk of pursuing a populist theme from the centre-left of the political spectrum is that she would be an easy target for Mr. Trump and conservatives, who are likely to deride her as an out-of-touch liberal academic and a threat to free enterprise. Nevertheless, as a candidate for the nation’s highest office, Ms. Warren’s ideological moorings are set. It is not inconceivable that, given how bitterly polarised the electorate is today, Ms. Warren’s bold liberalism could offer hope to millions of voters dismayed at what Mr. Trump has done to their nation.

B) Signs of a turnaround: on RBI’s Financial Stability Report

Regulatory vigil should not ease after the half-yearly decline in banks’ gross NPA ratio

The fog of bad loans shrouding the banking sector appears to be lifting after a long period of sustained stress. The Reserve Bank of India’s Financial Stability Report reveals the first half-yearly decline in the ratio of gross non-performing assets (GNPA) to advances since September 2015. The ratio across all scheduled commercial banks has eased to 10.8% as of end-September 2018, from 11.5% in March, with both public sector and private sector lenders posting drops in the key indicator of bad loans. A stress test for credit risk at banks that models varying levels of macro-economic performance shows that for the baseline assumption, the GNPA ratio would narrow to 10.3% by March 2019. This prompted RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to prognosticate that the sector “appears to be on course to recovery”. Still, state-owned banks continue to have higher levels of bad loans than their private sector peers and are projected to show slower improvements over the second half of the fiscal. The GNPA ratio for public sector banks (PSBs) is posited to only inch lower to 14.6% by March, from 14.8% in September. One reason is that PSBs have a disproportionately higher share of bad loans from among large borrowers, who accounted for almost 55% of loans advanced by all banks as of September. The GNPA ratio for this category at PSBs was 21.6%, compared with just 7% at private banks.

Interestingly, the RBI’s Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) framework, which attracted criticism including from a government appointee on the central bank’s board, has significantly helped lower contagion risk to the banking system. A contagion analysis that assumes there would be no sovereign guarantee provided for the 11 PSBs placed under the PCA curbs, in the event of a simultaneous failure, projects that solvency losses due to such failure have more than halved over the four quarters ended September: to ₹34,200 crore (3.1% of total Tier-1 capital) from ₹73,500 crore (6.8% of total Tier-1 capital). Data on banking frauds are also a cause for concern. Close to 95% of the frauds reported in the six months ended September were credit-related, with PSBs again bearing the brunt of mala fide intent on the part of borrowers. The RBI’s report has justifiably spotlighted the urgent need to tighten the oversight framework for financial conglomerates in the wake of the IL&FS meltdown, which continues to ripple across the financial system, including at mutual funds and non-banking financial companies. As Mr. Das said in his foreword, “…the recent developments in NBFCs have underscored the need for greater prudence in risk-taking.” Regulators and policymakers need to work together to insulate the economy from the risks of similar fiascos.


1) halved

Meaning : divide into two parts of equal or roughly equal size(v).

Tamil Meaning : பாதியாக

Synonyms : bisect

Antonyms : combine

Example : “halve the aubergine lengthways”

2) candidacy

Meaning : the fact or condition of standing for a position or status, especially in an election(n).

Synonyms : nomination

Antonyms : voter

Example : “he’s going to announce his candidacy for the US Senate”

3) racial

Meaning : on the grounds of or connected with difference in race.(adj)

Synonyms : national

Antonyms : international

Example : “racial abuse”

4) blamed

Meaning : feel or declare that (someone or something) is responsible for a fault or wrong(v).

Tamil Meaning : குற்றம் சாட்டினார்

Synonyms : accursed

Antonyms : acquitted

Example : “the inquiry blamed the train driver for the accident”

5) bend

Meaning : a curve in a road, river, path, or racing circuit.(n)

Synonyms : bow

Antonyms : stagnation

Example : “the van screeched round a bend”

6) controversy

Meaning : prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion.

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சை

Synonyms : bickering

Antonyms : concurrence

Example : “the design of the building has caused controversy”

7) racist

Meaning : a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another.

Synonyms : biased

Antonyms : fair

Example : “I had a fear of being called a racist”

8) epithets

Meaning : an adjective or phrase expressing a quality or attribute regarded as characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.(n)

Tamil Meaning : அடைமொழி

Synonyms : description

Example : “old men are often unfairly awarded the epithet ‘dirty’”

9) provoke

Meaning : stimulate or give rise to (a reaction or emotion, typically a strong or unwelcome one) in someone(v).

Tamil Meaning : தூண்ட

Synonyms : enrage

Antonyms : appease

Example : “the decision provoked a storm of protest from civil rights organizations”

10) smear

Meaning : coat or mark (something) messily or carelessly with a greasy or sticky substance.(v)

Synonyms : besmirch

Antonyms : collect

Example : “his face was smeared with dirt”

11) ethnic

Meaning : relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition(adj).

Synonyms : indigenous

Antonyms : avoidant

Example : “ethnic and cultural rights and traditions”

12) hope

Meaning : a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.(n)

Tamil Meaning : நம்புகிறேன்

Synonyms : ambition

Antonyms : dislike

Example : “he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information”

13) hails

Meaning : (of a large number of objects) fall or be hurled forcefully.(v)

Synonyms : barrage

Antonyms : avoidant

Example : “missiles and bombs hail down from the sky”

14) divisive

Meaning : tending to cause disagreement or hostility between people(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பிரிவினை

Synonyms : disruptive

Example : “the highly divisive issue of abortion”

15) instead

Meaning : as an alternative or substitute.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : பதிலாக

Synonyms : rather

Antonyms : unmitigated

Example : “do not use lotions, but put on a clean dressing instead”

16) Despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.(n)

Tamil Meaning : இருந்தபோதிலும்

Synonyms : against

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

17) proposed

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

Tamil Meaning : முன்மொழியப்பட்ட

Synonyms : expected

Antonyms : rejected

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

18) formidable

Meaning : inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable(adj).

Tamil Meaning : வல்லமைமிக்க

Synonyms : daunting

Antonyms : trivial

Example : “a formidable opponent”

19) widen

Meaning : make or become wider.(v)

Tamil Meaning : விரிவுபடுத்தும்

Synonyms : broaden

Antonyms : compress

Example : “we should widen the scope of our investigation”

20) appeal

Meaning : make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request(v).

Tamil Meaning : முறையீடு

Synonyms : claim

Antonyms : answer

Example : “police are appealing for information about the incident”

21) predict

Meaning : say or estimate that (a specified thing) will happen in the future or will be a consequence of something(v).

Tamil Meaning : கணிக்க

Synonyms : anticipate

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “it is too early to predict a result”

22) professed

Meaning : (of a quality, feeling, or belief) claimed openly but often falsely.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : ரீதியான

Synonyms : stated

Example : “for all her professed populism, she was seen as remote from ordinary people”

23) persuasion

Meaning : the action or process of persuading someone or of being persuaded to do or believe something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டல்

Synonyms : seduction

Antonyms : disability

Example : “Monica needed plenty of persuasion before she actually left”

24) pursuing

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

Tamil Meaning : துரத்துகின்ற

Synonyms : ensuing

Antonyms : preceding

Example : “the officer pursued the van”

25) conservatives

Meaning : a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values(v).

Tamil Meaning : பழமைவாத

Synonyms : timid

Antonyms : inconstant

Example : “he remains a conservative in constitutional matters”

26) deride

Meaning : express contempt for; ridicule(v).

Tamil Meaning : ஏளனம்

Synonyms : disdain

Antonyms : admire

Example : “the decision was derided by environmentalists”

27) inconceivable

Meaning : not capable of being imagined or grasped mentally; unbelievable.(adj)

Synonyms : improbable

Antonyms : believable

Example : “it seemed inconceivable that the president had been unaware of what was going on”

28) dismayed

Meaning : cause (someone) to feel concern and distress(v).

Tamil Meaning : கலங்கி

Synonyms : agitate

Antonyms : appease

Example : “they were dismayed by the U-turn in policy”

29) shrouding

Meaning : cover or envelop so as to conceal from view(v).

Tamil Meaning : மூடப்படுதல்

Synonyms : belie

Antonyms : clarify

Example : “mountains shrouded by cloud”

30) sustained

Meaning : continuing for an extended period or without interruption(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நீடித்த

Synonyms : constant

Antonyms : ending

Example : “several years of sustained economic growth”

31) reveals

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

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்த

Synonyms : affirm

Antonyms : conceal

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

32) prompted

Meaning : (of an event or fact) cause or bring about (an action or feeling)(v).

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டியது

Synonyms : arouse

Antonyms : calm

Example : “the violence prompted a wave of refugees to flee the country”

33) prognosticate

Meaning : foretell or prophesy (a future event)(v).

Tamil Meaning : வருவது

Synonyms : augur

Example : “the economists were prognosticating financial Armageddon”

34) peers

Meaning : look with difficulty or concentration at someone or something(v).

Tamil Meaning : கூர்ந்து

Synonyms : associate

Antonyms : inferior

Example : “Faye peered at her with suspicion”

35) contagion

Meaning : the communication of disease from one person or organism to another by close contact(n).

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்தலின்

Synonyms : contamination

Antonyms : purification

Example : “the rooms held no risk of contagion”

36) curbs

Meaning : a check or restraint on something(n).

Tamil Meaning : தடை

Synonyms : barrier

Antonyms : freedom

Example : “plans to introduce tougher curbs on insider dealing”

37) solvency

Meaning : the possession of assets in excess of liabilities; ability to pay one’s debts.

Tamil Meaning : கடன்தீர்வு

Synonyms : wealth

Example : “the company was confident that solvency could be maintained”

38) bearing

Meaning : a person’s way of standing or moving(n).

Synonyms : demeanor

Antonyms : irrelevance

Example : “a man of precise military bearing”

39) prudence

Meaning : the quality of being prudent; cautiousness(n).

Tamil Meaning : மதிநுட்பம்

Synonyms : austerity

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “we need to exercise prudence in such important matters”

40) insulate

Meaning : protect (something) by interposing material that prevents the loss of heat or the intrusion of sound.

Tamil Meaning : காப்பிடு

Synonyms : seclude

Antonyms : mingle

Example : “insulate and draught-proof your home”




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