Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 4, 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) Breaking barriers: on two women’s Sabarimala temple entry

The key is to allow women to pray at Sabarimala in an orderly way

In facilitating the entry of two women, albeit in stealth and under the cover of darkness, the Kerala government has displayed some resolve in breaking the illegal blockade imposed by some devotees on permitting females in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala temple. This is the first time women of menstruating age have made their way into the shrine after a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in September 2018 threw the temple open to women of all ages. Under some pressure to demonstrate that it had not gone soft as a result of the upsurge of protests against the Supreme Court’s order and was keen on signalling that it was in favour of upholding the law, the government appears to have drawn up an elaborate and closely scripted plan, with assistance from the State police and civil administration, to help Bindu and Kanakadurga make their way unnoticed to the temple from the foothills at Pampa. Unfortunately, but not entirely unpredictably, news of their visit has resulted in a cycle of violent and politically orchestrated protests, clashes, and mass arrests. Tragically, one life was lost.

In the face of an illegal blockade to prevent menstruating-age women from visiting the temple, the Kerala government will regard this operation as a victory. But clearly, even it must be aware that covert ops such as this one are not a sustainable solution to the Sabarimala problem. The State government’s dilemma — and also its responsibility — is to find a way of ensuring safe passage for all women who want to visit the temple while keeping the peace at the same time. Given the passions at play, and the cynical attempts to politically exploit them, this is anything but an easy task. In the short term, though — and this may well have been its intent — the Left Front government has managed to alter the narrative in the Sabarimala controversy. The decision of the temple authorities to close the sanctum sanctorum and perform purification rituals has invoked old and regressive notions of purity and pollution, of defilement and desecration. They have focussed attention on the role of the chief priest (or Tantri) of Sabarimala, leaving him open to the charge levelled by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan that his actions violated both the Supreme Court order and the Devaswom Manual. At a larger level, the entry of the two women has, perhaps inevitably, recalled Justice D.Y. Chandrachud’s words in the majority judgment in the Sabarimala case. In his judgment, he had argued that the ban on women’s entry was a “form of untouchability”, and their exclusion was a “violation of the right to liberty, dignity and equality”. Meanwhile, as passions continue to escalate, it is important for the State government, the Travancore Devaswom Board and also those representing the devotees to initiate a conversation and prevent the State from being consumed in a further cycle of violence and conflict over this issue.

B) Dark side of the moon: on China’s moon mission

China’s successful mission will greatly advance knowledge of earth’s satellite

China joined a select group of countries with successful missions to the moon, when its spacecraft, Chang’e-4, successfully made a landing at ‘10.26 on January 3’, according to the China National Space Administration. It landed at a spot on the moon’s far side, the Von Kármán crater, which is untouched by earlier missions from earth. After landing, Chang’e-4, named after the Chinese moon goddess, relayed a close-up image of the ‘far’ side of the moon through the communication relay satellite Queqiao. The Queqiao satellite was launched last May by China for the very purpose of helping Chang’e-4 communicate with earth, as a direct communication with it is not possible from the moon’s far side, which never faces earth. The Chang’e-4 mission carries payloads, of which two are in collaboration with Germany and Sweden, respectively. The instruments include cameras, low-frequency radio spectrum analyser, lunar neutron and radiation dose detectors, and many more. Among other things, the mission could pave the way to setting up a radio telescope on the far side of the moon.

Considering that earth is right next door to the moon, we know precious little about it. Its formation and early evolution present mysteries which, if understood, could guide us in planetary studies, and help in understanding exoplanets. The near side, which faces earth, has dark patterns; the far side, turned away, is marked with circular spots that are craters formed by meteorite collisions. The moon’s near side is believed to have a thinner shell, so that when meteorites bombarded it they cracked its shell, releasing lava which gushed out and covered traces of the impact and left dark patches. Being thicker, the far side did not face such an erasure and bears the marks of the crater impacts. This mission could verify these theories and discover the reason behind these dichotomies. The moon’s far side also differs from the near side in that it is shielded from all the radio waves emanating from earth. Communication devices and satellites have made it too noisy for radio astronomers to easily and accurately interpret signals. The near side of the moon also suffers from this problem of noise. On the other hand, the far side is a quiet place and a haven for earthly aspirations to set up a radio telescope that could reveal astronomical mysteries, such as the structure of the universe shortly after the Big Bang. China has now joined the U.S. and the former USSR as the only countries to have made a “soft landing” on the moon. But beyond underlining China’s technological advances, Chang’e-4 could herald a new chapter in lunar exploration.


1) facilitating

Meaning : make (an action or process) easy or easier(v).

Tamil Meaning : வழிவகுத்து

Synonyms : expedite

Antonyms : block

Example : “schools were located in the same campus to facilitate the sharing of resources”

2) stealth

Meaning : cautious and surreptitious action or movement(n).

Synonyms : covertness

Antonyms : show

Example : “the silence and stealth of a hungry cat”

3) resolve

Meaning : settle or find a solution to (a problem or contentious matter)(v).

Synonyms : boldness

Antonyms : fear

Example : “the firm aims to resolve problems within 30 days”

4) imposed

Meaning : force (an unwelcome decision or ruling) on someone(v ).

Tamil Meaning : திணிக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : appoint

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “the decision was theirs and was not imposed on them by others”

5) shrine

Meaning : a place regarded as holy because of its associations with a divinity or a sacred person or relic, marked by a building or other construction.

Synonyms : altar

Antonyms : secular

Example : “the medieval pilgrim route to the shrine of St James”

6) threw

Meaning : propel (something) with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand(v).

Synonyms : deliver

Antonyms : discourage

Example : “I threw a brick through the window”

7) demonstrate

Meaning : clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.

Tamil Meaning : நிரூபிக்க

Synonyms : determine

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “their shameful silence demonstrates their ineptitude”

8) upsurge

Meaning : an upward surge in the strength or quantity of something; an increase(n).

Tamil Meaning : எழுச்சி

Synonyms : recovery

Antonyms : downturn

Example : “an upsurge in vandalism and violent crime”

9) keen

Meaning : having or showing eagerness or enthusiasm(adj).

Tamil Meaning : முனைப்புடன்

Synonyms : anxious

Antonyms : apathetic

Example : “a keen gardener”

10) elaborate

Meaning : involving many carefully arranged parts or details; detailed and complicated in design and planning(adj).

Tamil Meaning : விரிவாக

Synonyms : complicated

Antonyms : easy

Example : “elaborate security precautions”

11) assistance

Meaning : the action of helping someone by sharing work.

Tamil Meaning : உதவி

Synonyms : backing

Antonyms : damage

Example : “the work was completed with the assistance of carpenters”

12) unpredictably

Meaning : in a way that cannot be predicted(adv).

Tamil Meaning : யூகிக்க இயலாத

Synonyms : abrupt

Antonyms : calm

Example : “it is known that wildfires behave unpredictably”

13) Tragically

Meaning : in a way that involves or causes extreme distress or sorrow.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : துயரங்களுடன்

Synonyms : horribly

Antonyms : comically

Example : “Jim was tragically killed in a plane crash”

14) regard

Meaning : consider or think of in a specified way(adv).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்பாக

Synonyms : view

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “she regarded London as her base”

15) covert

Meaning : not openly acknowledged or displayed(adj).

Synonyms : hidden

Antonyms : open

Example : “covert operations against the dictatorship”

16) sustainable

Meaning : able to be maintained at a certain rate or level(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நிலையான

Synonyms : continual

Antonyms : untenable

Example : “sustainable economic growth”

17) ensuring

Meaning : make certain that (something) will occur or be the case.

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : endanger

Example : “the client must ensure that accurate records are kept”

18) exploit

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்தி

Synonyms : adventure

Antonyms : failure

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

19) though

Meaning : however (indicating that a factor qualifies or imposes restrictions on what was said previously)(adv).

Tamil Meaning : என்றாலும்

Synonyms : nevertheless

Antonyms : furthermore

Example : “I was hunting for work. Jobs were scarce though”

20) intent

Meaning : intention or purpose.(n)

Tamil Meaning : நோக்கம்

Synonyms : decided

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “with alarm she realized his intent”

21) controversy

Meaning : prolonged public disagreement or heated discussion(n).

Tamil Meaning : சர்ச்சை

Synonyms : bickering

Antonyms : agreement

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

22) regressive

Meaning : returning to a former or less developed state; characterized by regression(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பின்னடை

Synonyms : rigid

Antonyms : liberal

Example : “regressive aspects of recent local government reform”

23) notions

Meaning : a conception of or belief about something(n).

Tamil Meaning : கருத்துக்களை

Synonyms : approach

Antonyms : being

Example : “children have different notions about the roles of their parents”

24) desecration

Meaning : the action of desecrating something.(n)

Synonyms : blasphemy

Antonyms : respect

Example : “the desecration of a grave”

25) inevitably

Meaning : as is certain to happen; unavoidably(adv).

Tamil Meaning : தவிர்க்க முடியாமல்

Synonyms : necessarily

Antonyms : avoidably

Example : “inevitably some details are already out of date”

26) conflict

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

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : battle

Antonyms : truce

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

27) crater

Meaning : a large bowl-shaped cavity in the ground or on a celestial object, typically one caused by an explosion or the impact of a meteorite(n).

Synonyms : pit

Antonyms : solid

Example : “the blast left a crater in the car park”

28) relayed

Meaning : receive and pass on (information or a message)(v).

Synonyms : deliver

Antonyms : hold

Example : “she intended to relay everything she had learned”

29) dose

Meaning : a quantity of a medicine or drug taken or recommended to be taken at a particular time(n).

Synonyms : application

Antonyms : estimate

Example : “he took a dose of cough mixture”

30) pave

Meaning : cover (a piece of ground) with flat stones or bricks; lay paving over(v).

Tamil Meaning : வகுக்கும்

Synonyms : brick

Antonyms : strip

Example : “the yard at the front was paved with flagstones”

31) evolution

Meaning : the gradual development of something(n).

Synonyms : enlargement

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the forms of written languages undergo constant evolution”

32) gushed

Meaning : (of a liquid) flow out of something in a rapid and plentiful stream(v).

Tamil Meaning : புகழ்ந்தது

Synonyms : cascade

Antonyms : trickle

Example : “water gushed out of the washing machine”

33) erasure

Meaning : the removal of all traces of something; obliteration.

Synonyms : deletion

Antonyms : creation

Example : “the erasure of prior history”

34) bears

Meaning : (of a person) carry(v).

Synonyms : deliver

Antonyms : hold

Example : “he was bearing a tray of brimming glasses”

35) impacts

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

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கங்கள்

Synonyms : brunt

Antonyms : avoidance

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

36) emanating

Meaning : (of a feeling, quality, or sensation) issue or spread out from (a source)(v).

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படும்

Synonyms : derive

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “warmth emanated from the fireplace”

37) accurately

Meaning : in a way that is correct in all details; exactly.(adv)

Tamil Meaning : துல்லியமாக

Synonyms : exactly

Antonyms : grimly

Example : “we are simply unable to predict long-term trends accurately”

38) interpret

Meaning : explain the meaning of (information or actions)(v).

Tamil Meaning : விளக்குவது

Synonyms : construe

Antonyms : confuse

Example : “the evidence is difficult to interpret”

39) haven

Meaning : a place of safety or refuge(n)

Tamil Meaning : புகலிடமாக

Synonyms : retreat

Antonyms : risk

Example : “a haven for wildlife”

40) reveal

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

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்த

Synonyms : admit

Antonyms : conceal

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




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