Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 24, 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) The gap within: on inter-State disparities

We need to address the issue of slower growth in our poorer States

India, as the world’s fastest-growing major economy, may well be catching up with the richer economies in terms of absolute size. But economic convergence within the country remains a distant dream as poorer States continue to lag behind the richer ones in economic growth. A report from the rating agency Crisil found that the inter-State disparities have widened in recent years even as the larger economy grows in size and influence on the global stage. Many low-income States have experienced isolated years of strong economic growth above the national average. Bihar, in fact, was the fastest-growing State this year among the 17 non-special category States evaluated by the report. But they have still failed to bridge their widening gap with the richer States since they have simply not been able to maintain a healthy growth rate over a sustained period of time. Richer States like Gujarat, for instance, have been able to achieve sustained economic growth and increase their gap over other States. The report found that there was a slight, albeit weak, convergence in the per capita income levels of the poorer and richer States between fiscal years 2008 and 2013, but the trend was reversed in the subsequent years. Between fiscal years 2013 and 2018, there has been a significant divergence rather than convergence in the economic fortunes of the poorer and richer States. This was the result of richer States continuing to show strong growth while the poorer States fell behind. In fact, only two of the eight low-income States in 2013 had growth rates above the national average over the next five years. On the other hand, six out of the nine high-income States recorded rates higher than the national average during 2013-18.

What explains the divergence in the economic fortunes of States? The report suggests that, at least during fiscal year 2018, government spending may be what boosted gross domestic product growth in the top-performing States, particularly in Bihar and Andhra Pradesh whose double-digit growth rates have come along with a burgeoning fiscal deficit. The impact of greater spending was that 10 of the 17 States breached the 3% fiscal deficit limit set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act. Many other big-spending States, however, have not managed to achieve growth above the national average. Punjab and Kerala, which are at the bottom of the growth table, are ranked as profligates by the report. This suggests that the size of public spending is probably not what differentiates the richer States from the poorer ones. Other variables like the strength of State-level institutions, as gauged by their ability to uphold the rule of law and create a free, competitive marketplace for businesses to thrive, and the quality of public spending could be crucial determinants of the long-run growth prospects of States.

B) A reckless experiment: on gene-edited babies

Editing the ‘human germline’ is an exercise fraught with unknown risks

The saga of the Chinese scientist who created the world’s first gene-edited babies last November has forced researchers everywhere to take a hard look at the ethics of gene-editing. Chinese authorities have since condemned the researcher, He Jiankui, with a government report this week saying he violated both ethics and laws. But though Mr. He’s actions drew international outrage, they weren’t revolutionary in technological terms. Editing DNA to correct disease mutations has been possible for a while now, which means others can also do what Mr. He did. The promises of such gene-editing are boundless; over a dozen clinical trials are currently on to treat diseases like HIV, multiple myeloma and other forms of cancer, using the Crispr-Cas9 editing system. But none of them involve editing the so-called human germ-line; instead, they have restricted themselves to fixing genetic flaws in sick adults. In contrast, Mr. He deactivated a gene in two human embryos, which means that the changes he made could be inherited by the next generation. In doing so, he violated the widely held ethical consensus that it is too early for germline editing, for we simply don’t know enough yet about the risks of such fiddling.

One pitfall of embryo gene-editing is that it is not as precise as we need it to be today. Studies have shown that the technology can result in unintended mutations, which in turn can cause cancers. Then there is the danger of mosaicism, in which some cells inherit the target mutation, while others don’t. To be sure, the error-rates of Crispr are falling with each passing year. But we aren’t in the clear yet. What is more, even when gene-editing becomes fool-proof, the decision to edit embryos will still be a weighty one. This is because, today, scientists are far from understanding how exactly individual genes influence phenotypes, or the visible traits of people. Every gene likely influences multiple traits, depending on the environment it interacts with. This makes it hard to predict the ultimate outcome of an embryo-editing exercise without decades of follow-up. This uncertainty became evident in Mr. He’s experiment, in which he sought to immunise a pair of twins from HIV by tinkering with a gene called CCR5. The problem is that while protecting against HIV, a deactivated CCR5 gene can also make people more susceptible to West-Nile Fever. Every gene influences such trade-offs, which scientists barely understand today. This is why several scientific societies have advised abundant caution while fiddling with the human germline. In a 2017 report, the U.S.’s National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine said such an intervention would be defensible only in very rare situations, where no alternative exists. The He Jiankui incident shows it is time to translate these advisories into regulations. Unless this happens, the Crispr revolution could well go awry.


1) convergence

Meaning : the process or state of converging.

Synonyms : mingle

Antonyms : disperse

Example : “the convergence of lines in the distance”

2) disparities

Meaning : a great difference.

Tamil Meaning : வேற்றுமைகளுக்கு

Synonyms : distinction

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “economic disparities between different regions of the country”

3) evaluated

Meaning : form an idea of the amount, number, or value of; assess.

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடு

Synonyms : calculate

Antonyms : neglect

Example : “the study will assist in evaluating the impact of recent changes”

4) sustained

Meaning : continuing for an extended period or without interruption.

Tamil Meaning : நீடித்த

Synonyms : constant

Antonyms : ending

Example : “several years of sustained economic growth”

5) instance

Meaning : an example or single occurrence of something.

Tamil Meaning : உதாரணமாக

Synonyms : precedent

Antonyms : hide

Example : “a serious instance of corruption”

6) subsequent

Meaning : coming after something in time; following.

Synonyms : ensuing

Antonyms : anteceent

Example : “the theory was developed subsequent to the earthquake of 1906″

7) divergence

Meaning : the process or state of diverging.

Tamil Meaning : விலகுதல்

Synonyms : disparity

Antonyms : sameness

Example : “the divergence between primates and other groups”

8) rather

Meaning : used to indicate one’s preference in a particular matter.

Tamil Meaning : மாறாக

Synonyms : relatively

Antonyms : extremely

Example : “would you like some wine or would you rather stick to sherry?”

9) burgeoning

Meaning : begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish.

Tamil Meaning : அரும்பும்

Synonyms : sprout

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “manufacturers are keen to cash in on the burgeoning demand”

10) breached

Meaning : make a gap in and break through (a wall, barrier, or defence).

Tamil Meaning : மீறப்படுகின்றன

Synonyms : contravene

Antonyms : give

Example : “the river breached its bank”

11) deficit

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

Tamil Meaning : பற்றாக்குறை

Synonyms : shortfall

Antonyms : enough

Example : “an annual operating deficit”

12) impact

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

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கம்

Synonyms : brunt

Antonyms : avoidance

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

13) profligates

Meaning : a licentious, dissolute person.

Synonyms : operator

Antonyms : uprights

Example : “he is a drunkard and a profligate”

14) gauged

Meaning : estimate or determine the amount, level, or volume of.

Synonyms : degenerate

Antonyms : innocents

Example : “astronomers can gauge the star’s intrinsic brightness”

15) thrive

Meaning : (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.

Tamil Meaning : செழித்து

Synonyms : develop

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the new baby thrived”

16) crucial

Meaning : decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something.

Tamil Meaning : முக்கியமான

Synonyms : decisive

Antonyms : inessential

Example : “negotiations were at a crucial stage”

17) determinants

Meaning : a factor which decisively affects the nature or outcome of something.

Synonyms : impetus

Antonyms : hindrance

Example : “pure force of will was the main determinant of his success”

18) condemned

Meaning : sentenced to a particular punishment, especially death.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டனம்

Synonyms : convicted

Antonyms : morals

Example : “condemned prisoners awaiting execution”

19) outrage

Meaning : an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.

Tamil Meaning : கோபத்தை

Synonyms : shock

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “her voice trembled with outrage”

20) mutations

Meaning : the action or process of mutating.

Synonyms : alteration

Antonyms : stagnation

Example : “the mutation of punk’s angry energy into something more thuggish and mindless”

21) instead

Meaning : as an alternative or substitute.

Tamil Meaning : பதிலாக

Synonyms : rather

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

22) contrast

Meaning : the state of being strikingly different from something else in juxtaposition or close association.

Synonyms : comparison

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “the day began cold and blustery, in contrast to almost two weeks of uninterrupted sunshine”

23) fiddling

Meaning : annoyingly trivial or petty.

Synonyms : interfere

Antonyms : work

Example : “fiddling little details”

24) unintended

Meaning : not planned or meant.

Tamil Meaning : திட்டமிடப்படாத

Synonyms : unplanned

Antonyms : expected

Example : “the unintended consequences of people’s actions”

25) traits

Meaning : a distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.

Synonyms : attribute

Antonyms : normality

Example : “the traditionally British trait of self-denigration”

26) predict

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

Synonyms : envision

Antonyms : ignore

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

27) uncertainty

Meaning : the state of being uncertain.

Tamil Meaning : நிச்சயமற்ற

Synonyms : concern

Antonyms : assurance

Example : “times of uncertainty and danger”

28) evident

Meaning : clearly seen or understood; obvious.

Tamil Meaning : தெளிவாக

Synonyms : obvious

Antonyms : dubious

Example : “she ate the biscuits with evident enjoyment”

29) tinkering

Meaning : attempt to repair or improve something in a casual or desultory way.

Synonyms : mess

Antonyms : break

Example : “he spent hours tinkering with the car”

30) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

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

31) susceptible

Meaning : likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing.

Synonyms : affected

Antonyms : unlikely

Example : “patients with liver disease may be susceptible to infection”

32) barely

Meaning : only just; almost not.

Synonyms : hardly

Example : “she nodded, barely able to speak”

33) abundant

Meaning : existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.

Tamil Meaning : ஏராளமாக

Synonyms : generous

Antonyms : meager

Example : “there was abundant evidence to support the theory”

34) intervention

Meaning : the action or process of intervening.

Tamil Meaning : தலையீடு

Synonyms : arbitration

Example : “a high degree of state intervention in the economy”

35) defensible

Meaning : justifiable by argument.

Tamil Meaning : பாதுகாப்பு

Synonyms : permissible

Antonyms : irrational

Example : “a morally defensible penal system”

36) translate

Meaning : express the sense of (words or text) in another language.

Tamil Meaning : மொழிபெயர்

Synonyms : convert

Antonyms : remove

Example : “several of his books were translated into English”

37) influences

Meaning : the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behaviour of someone or something, or the effect itself.

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கங்கள்

Synonyms : force

Antonyms : beginning

Example : “the influence of television violence”

38) precise

Meaning : marked by exactness and accuracy of expression or detail.

Synonyms : correct

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “precise directions”

39) violated

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

Tamil Meaning : மீறி

Synonyms : disobey

Antonyms : assist

Example : “they violated the terms of a ceasefire”

40) flaws

Meaning : a mark, blemish, or other imperfection which mars a substance or object.

Tamil Meaning : குறைபாடுகள்

Synonyms : blemish

Antonyms : perfection

Example : “a flaw in the glass”