Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 21, 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) Clear the air: on Rafale deal

The fog of doubt over the Rafale deal can be lifted only with greater transparency

That troubling questions about the purchase of 36 Rafale fighter jets will persist despite a clean chit of sorts from the Supreme Court, was demonstrated compellingly last week following The Hindu’s detailed investigation into the deal. It showed that in comparison to the bid under the UPA there was an overall escalation in the price of each jet in the 2016 deal struck by the Modi government, because the price of 13 India Specific Enhancements (ISEs), essentially upgrades that were sought on the bare-bones aircraft, was spread over 36 jets as opposed to the original 126. Significantly, as The Hindu’s investigation revealed, three Defence Ministry officials in the seven-member Indian Negotiating Team objected to the €1.3 billion assigned to ISEs; it was eventually approved by a narrow 4-3 majority on the ground that ISEs are a non-recurring cost. But this raises an obvious and perplexing question: since they are a non-recurring cost, why did the government drop, or fail to secure, the follow-on provision, which would have given India the option to purchase more Rafales, and reduce the per-aircraft price by spreading the design and development costs involved in the upgrades? After all, the follow-on clause was a part of the deal under negotiation under the UPA government. The import of the question assumes an altogether different dimension given that the Air Force, with an old and depleting fleet, has required — and for some two decades now — far greater numbers of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) like the Rafale. Last year, the government issued a Request for Information for 110 fighters, of which about 15% will be acquired in a flyaway condition and the remainder manufactured under the strategic partnership route. With the same manufacturers back in the bidding fray, we are in a way back to where we were — in other words, to a place that casts doubts on the vigour of India’s long-term planning when it comes to defence preparedness.

Owing to a mix of investigation, statements and government leaks, much of the information about the pricing, the acquisition process and the ISEs are already in the public domain. It is nobody’s case that information that could impact the aircraft’s operational capability or jeopardise national security should be shared, but the government has been less than willing to come forward to address the issue of pricing. Instead it has been taking cover, unconvincingly, under the secrecy clause in the general security agreement signed between India and France in 2008. Given the fog of doubt over a number of issues, it is unclear why it doesn’t adopt a more accommodating posture by arranging private briefings for Opposition leaders and permitting a JPC to examine the deal. Without this, the general presumption will be that it has something to hide.

B) Unity and strength: on the Opposition rally

Opposition parties need a cohesive framework to be a viable alternative to the BJP

It is always easier to agree on the ends than on the means. Opposition parties that came together at the Kolkata rally hosted by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee had a commonality of purpose — defeating the Bharatiya Janata Party. But little else. To share a dais and hold hands is one thing; to share seats and work in tandem is quite another. Even so, for over 20 parties, big and small, some with overlapping support bases, to come together on one platform is in itself remarkable. It is the dominance of the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi beginning with the 2014 Lok Sabha election that has forced these parties to yoke themselves together. Alliances that had seemed impossible just a year ago, such as those between the SP and the BSP in Uttar Pradesh, the TDP and the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, and the Congress and the JD(S) in Karnataka now have a settled look. The Trinamool and Ms. Banerjee have also shifted positions to move toward the formation of a national-level alternative to the BJP, giving up the idea of a federal front of regional parties opposed to both the Congress and the BJP. The federal front was essentially the brainchild of the TRS founder K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who could not countenance being part of a front that included his principal rival, the Congress. Ms. Banerjee, who seemed warm to the idea initially, was quick to realise such a formation would be unable to mount a serious challenge to the BJP. In terms of optics, the Kolkata rally was a show of strength for Ms. Banerjee. At the same time, it seems to have imparted a fresh impulse to the efforts to put together a viable, if not entirely cohesive, alternative to the BJP.

However, though all these parties are agreed on flushing out the BJP, there is still the issue of reaching agreements at the State level, and arriving at a consensus on a common manifesto of policies and programmes. The SP and the BSP have agreed on seat-sharing but have not accommodated the Congress; also, negotiations with another ally, the RLD, are yet to conclude. The Congress and the JD(S) are partners in government, but their vote banks overlap geographically. Seat-sharing is likely to be akin to navigating a minefield. There is also no telling how an alliance between the Congress and the TDP, bitter rivals hitherto, will work on the ground. Besides, the support bases of these parties are varied socio-economically, and without a shared agenda for governance the political unity at the leadership level might be difficult to sustain. Therefore, it was perhaps no surprise that the rally avoided the contentious issue of naming a prime ministerial candidate, leaving the issue to be decided after the election. The Opposition parties may have made a good start, but there is much they need to settle among themselves to mount a serious challenge in 2019.


1) persist

Meaning : continue in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms : continue

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the minority of drivers who persist in drinking”

2) despite

Meaning : without being affected by; in spite of.

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

Antonyms : exalt

Example : “he remains a great leader despite age and infirmity”

3) sorts

Meaning : a category of things or people with a common feature; a type(n).

Tamil Meaning : வகையான

Synonyms : character

Antonyms : individual

Example : “if only we knew the sort of people she was mixing with”

4) escalation

Meaning : a rapid increase; a rise(n).

Synonyms : growth

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “cost escalations”

5) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something)(v).

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

6) revealed

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

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தினார்

Synonyms : concede

Antonyms : contradict

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

7) assigned

Meaning : allocate (a job or duty).

Synonyms : allow

Antonyms : deny

Example : “Congress had assigned the task to the agency”

8) recurring

Meaning : occurring again periodically or repeatedly.

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ச்சியான

Synonyms : persist

Antonyms : halt

Example : “gratitude is a recurring theme in the book”

9) perplexing

Meaning : completely baffling; very puzzling.

Tamil Meaning : குழப்பமான

Synonyms : confusing

Antonyms : clear

Example : “a perplexing problem”

10) depleting

Meaning : use up the supply or resources of.

Tamil Meaning : நீர்த்துப்போகச்

Synonyms : bankrupt

Antonyms : develop

Example : “reservoirs have been depleted by years of drought”

11) bidding

Meaning : the offering of particular prices for something, especially at an auction.

Synonyms : behest

Antonyms : answer

Example : “other companies in the bidding include General Electric”

12) acquisition

Meaning : an asset or object bought or obtained, typically by a library or museum.

Tamil Meaning : கையகப்படுத்தல்

Synonyms : purchase

Antonyms : loss

Example : “the legacy will be used for new acquisitions”

13) impact

Meaning : the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கம்

Synonyms : shock

Antonyms : loss

Example : “there was the sound of a third impact”

14) Instead

Meaning : as an alternative or substitute.

Tamil Meaning : மாறாக

Synonyms : rather

Antonyms : unmitigated

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

15) accommodating

Meaning : willing to fit in with someone’s wishes or needs.

Synonyms : considerate

Antonyms : greedy

Example : “we always found the our local branch most accommodating”

16) posture

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

Tamil Meaning : காட்டி

Synonyms : aspect

Antonyms : absence

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

17) presumption

Meaning : an idea that is taken to be true on the basis of probability.

Tamil Meaning : புலப்படுகிறது

Synonyms : premise

Antonyms : knowledge

Example : “underlying presumptions about human nature”

18) hosted

Meaning : act as host at (an event) or for (a television or radio programme).

Tamil Meaning : வழங்கினார்

Synonyms : present

Example : “Canada was asked to host a Commonwealth conference in Ottawa”

19) dominance

Meaning : power and influence over others.

Tamil Meaning : ஆதிக்கத்தை

Synonyms : power

Antonyms : impotence

Example : “the worldwide dominance of Hollywood”

20) Alliances

Meaning : a union or association formed for mutual benefit, especially between countries or organizations.

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டணிகள்

Synonyms : betrothal

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a defensive alliance between Australia and New Zealand”

21) alternative

Meaning : (of one or more things) available as another possibility or choice.

Tamil Meaning : மாற்று

Synonyms : different

Antonyms : obligation

Example : “the various alternative methods for resolving disputes”

22) essentially

Meaning : used to emphasize the basic, fundamental, or intrinsic nature of a person or thing.

Tamil Meaning : அடிப்படையில்

Synonyms : originally

Antonyms : doubtfully

Example : “essentially, they are amateurs”

23) countenance

Meaning : a person’s face or facial expression.

Synonyms : mien

Antonyms : forbid

Example : “his impenetrable eyes and inscrutable countenance give little away”

24) rival

Meaning : a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

Tamil Meaning : போட்டி

Synonyms : competing

Antonyms : assisting

Example : “he has no serious rival for the job”

25) realise

Meaning : become fully aware of (something) as a fact; understand clearly.

Synonyms : grasp

Antonyms : disbelieve

Example : “he realized his mistake at once”

26) imparted

Meaning : make (information) known.

Tamil Meaning : அளித்தன

Synonyms : convey

Antonyms : withhold

Example : “the teachers imparted a great deal of knowledge to their pupils”

27) impulse

Meaning : a sudden strong and unreflective urge or desire to act.

Synonyms : desire

Antonyms : concrete

Example : “I had an almost irresistible impulse to giggle”

28) viable

Meaning : capable of working successfully; feasible.

Tamil Meaning : சாத்தியமான

Synonyms : applicable

Antonyms : unfeasible

Example : “the proposed investment was economically viable”

29) cohesive

Meaning : characterized by or causing cohesion.

Synonyms : united

Antonyms : detached

Example : “each parish was formerly a cohesive unit”

30) manifesto

Meaning : a public declaration of policy and aims, especially one issued before an election by a political party or candidate.

Tamil Meaning : அறிக்கை

Synonyms : notice

Example : “he may fudge key issues in the Labour manifesto”

31) accommodated

Meaning : (of a building or other area) provide lodging or sufficient space for.

Tamil Meaning : அனுசரித்து

Synonyms : contain

Antonyms : reject

Example : “the cottages accommodate up to six people”

32) conclude

Meaning : bring or come to an end.

Tamil Meaning : முடிவுக்கு

Synonyms : achieve

Antonyms : begin

Example :”they conclude their study with these words”

33) navigating

Meaning : plan and direct the course of a ship, aircraft, or other form of transport, especially by using instruments or maps.

Synonyms : cruise

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “they navigated by the stars”

34) overlap

Meaning : extend over so as to cover partly.

Synonyms : imbricate

Antonyms : divide

Example : “the canopy overlaps the house roof at one end”

35) akin

Meaning : of similar character.

Synonyms : analogous

Antonyms : unalike

Example : “something akin to gratitude overwhelmed her”

36) rivals

Meaning : a person or thing competing with another for the same objective or for superiority in the same field of activity.

Synonyms : competition

Antonyms : helper

Example : “he has no serious rival for the job”

37) Besides

Meaning : in addition to; apart from.

Synonyms : likewise

Example : “I have no other family besides my parents”

38) contentious

Meaning : causing or likely to cause an argument; controversial.

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சைக்குரிய

Synonyms : combative

Antonyms : agreeable

Example : “a contentious issue”

39) sustain

Meaning : strengthen or support physically or mentally.

Synonyms : assist

Antonyms : harm

Example : “this thought had sustained him throughout the years”

40) perhaps

Meaning : used to express uncertainty or possibility.

Synonyms : perchance

Antonyms : improbably

Example : “perhaps I should have been frank with him”