Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – January 5, 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.

B) A global slowdown?

Policymakers will have to bust recessionary fears with more than just monetary policy

Stock markets across the world had very little reason to celebrate in 2018. They witnessed the return of extreme volatility after many years, and most of them recorded their worst performance in a decade. Much of this gloom has to do with the rise in fears that global economic growth could come to a grinding halt in the near future. The economic expansion in the United States, which began after the 2008 recession, is now the second-longest in history. Many believe that a recession is overdue now. China is another major concern as the People’s Bank of China’s earlier moves to rein in a massive credit-fuelled bubble have been dampening momentum with a lagged effect. The country’s private manufacturing sector contracted in December for the first time in 19 months and the official manufacturing PMI (purchasing managers’ index) number dropped below 50 for the first time since mid-2016. Other major economies such as Europe and Japan have also shown signs of a potential slowdown in growth. Global stocks have been pricing in these very real risks, particularly with major central banks such as the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank remaining on the path to normalise interest rates from near-historic lows. The steep fall in the price of oil is another indicator of faltering demand for commodities as the global economy cools down. The tightening of monetary policy has often been followed by a slowdown in economic growth, and this time may be no different.

Going forward, a major worry for policymakers globally will be the lack of sufficient central bank firepower should the global economy move into a full-fledged recession in 2019. After years of adopting a monetary policy regime marked by near-zero interest rates, central banks like the Fed now have very little room to lower rates if they want to fight a recession. This is despite the gradual tightening of rates and unwinding of asset purchases in the last few years. The next recession may thus witness central banks adopting even more unconventional methods to stimulate their economies. Some hope that governments will ramp up spending to compensate for the lack of monetary policy leeway. But it is unlikely that any fiscal stimulus will fully compensate for the absence of an accommodative monetary policy, particularly when most governments are already deeply mired in debt. Further, the overuse of monetary policy will eventually lead to diminishing returns. A further escalation in the trade war between the U.S. and China is another imminent risk to global growth as additional tariffs could increase the overall tax burden on the economy. In order to tackle the next recession, policymakers will have to come up with reforms to boost economic productivity, instead of just relying on an ultra-easy monetary policy to boost their economies.

B) Left out, abused: on the state of child care institutions

The shocking neglect of child care institutions must be urgently reversed

Child care institutions in India have been trapped in an administrative blind spot, as revelations of the sexual abuse of inmates in a balika grih at Muzaffarpur in Bihar showed last year. A home meant to protect girls rescued from exploitation itself turned into a den of predation. The shocking rot in the management of such shelters has now been reported by a Central government committee. It studied 9,589 Child Care Institutions and Homes, mostly run by NGOs, that come under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act. Only an emergency measure to address the serious lacunae can bring some semblance of order to these faceless shelters. Most of the inmates are orphaned, abandoned, sexually abused, trafficked or victims of disasters and conflict. Among them are 7,422 children in conflict with the law, and 3,70,227 in need of care and protection, including 1,70,375 girls. That they often have to live in facilities without proper toilets, secure compounds or the opportunity to vent their grievances as provided for under law underscores the painful reality that they remain virtually invisible. Reform of this depressing system, as the Ministry of Women and Child Development seeks, can be achieved only through systematic scrutiny by State governments. This could be done by appointing special officers whose task it would be to ensure that all institutions register under the JJ Act, account for funds received by each, and enforce mandatory child protection policies during adoption.

As per the recently disclosed study, only 32% of Child Care Institutions or Homes were registered under the JJ Act as of 2016, while an equal number were unregistered, and the rest were either empanelled under other schemes or awaiting registration. The priority should be to bring about uniformity of standards and procedures, evolving common norms for infrastructure, human resources, financial practices and external audits. The panel found child care standards were poor in many institutions, sans proper bedding, food and nutrition and sanitation. Some States obviously have too few homes, giving authorities little incentive to take up cases of children in distress. Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Kerala together account for 43.5% of all shelters. A few States do not have even one home of every category, such as child care, observation and adoption. The Ministry’s study lays bare the disconnect between civil society and the welfare system for children, and the poor engagement elected representatives have with such a vital function. The imperative now is to turn the findings of the Ministry’s committee into a blueprint for action. Credentialed NGOs should take a greater interest in this effort, holding the authorities to account.


1) gloom

Meaning : partial or total darkness(n).

Synonyms : dismal

Antonyms : bright

Example : “he strained his eyes peering into the gloom”

2) recession

Meaning : a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.(n)

Synonyms : bankruptcy

Antonyms : increase

Example : “the country is in the depths of a recession”

3) concern

Meaning : relate to; be about(v).

Tamil Meaning : அக்கறை

Synonyms : burden

Antonyms : pastime

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

4) rein

Meaning : check or guide (a horse) by pulling on its reins(v).

Synonyms : curb

Antonyms : release

Example : “he reined in his horse and waited”

5) dampening

Meaning : make less strong or intense(v).

Tamil Meaning : குறைக்கும்

Synonyms : humidify

Antonyms : collect

Example : “nothing could dampen her enthusiasm”

6) contracted

Meaning : decrease in size, number, or range(v).

Synonyms : consume

Antonyms : develop

Example : “glass contracts as it cools”

7) indicator

Meaning : thing that indicates the state or level of something(n).

Synonyms : index

Antonyms : mark

Example : “car ownership is frequently used as an indicator of affluence”

8) faltering

Meaning : lose strength or momentum.

Tamil Meaning : தடுமாறும்

Synonyms : hesitate

Antonyms : hold

Example : “the music faltered, stopped, and started up again”

9) steep

Meaning : (of a slope, flight of stairs, or angle) rising or falling sharply; almost perpendicular(adj).

Tamil Meaning : செங்குத்தான

Synonyms : abrupt

Antonyms : calm

Example : “she pushed the bike up the steep hill”

10) 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”

11) stimulate

Meaning : raise levels of physiological or nervous activity in (the body or any biological system).

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டுகிறது

Synonyms : arouse

Antonyms : block

Example : “the women are given fertility drugs to stimulate their ovaries”

12) ramp

Meaning : a sloping surface joining two different levels, as at the entrance or between floors of a building(n) .

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டுகிறது

Synonyms : slope

Antonyms : level

Example : “a wheelchair ramp”

13) compensate

Meaning : give (someone) something, typically money, in recognition of loss, suffering, or injury incurred; recompense.

Tamil Meaning : ஈடு

Synonyms : atone

Antonyms : lose

Example : “payments were made to farmers to compensate them for cuts in subsidies”

14) mired

Meaning : cause to become stuck in mud.

Tamil Meaning : ஆழ்ந்துள்ளது

Synonyms : enmesh

Antonyms : exclude

Example : “sometimes a heavy truck gets mired down

15) diminishing

Meaning : make or become less(v).

Tamil Meaning : குறைவதையும்

Synonyms : curtail

Antonyms : develop

Example : “the new law is expected to diminish the government’s chances”

16) imminent

Meaning : about to happen(adj).

Tamil Meaning : உடனடி

Synonyms : immediate

Antonyms : avoidable

Example : “they were in imminent danger of being swept away”

17) tackle

Meaning : the equipment required for a task or sport.

Synonyms : apparatus

Antonyms : avoid

Example : “fishing tackle”

18) relying

Meaning : depend on with full trust or confidence(v).

Synonyms : await

Antonyms : disregard

Example : “I know I can rely on your discretion”

19) reforms

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

Synonyms : improve

Antonyms : damage

Example : “the Bill will reform the tax system”

20) trapped

Meaning : trick or deceive (someone) into doing something contrary to their interests or intentions.

Tamil Meaning : சிக்கி

Synonyms : cornered

Antonyms : free

Example : “I hoped to trap him into an admission”

21) inmates

Meaning : a person living in an institution such as a prison or hospital(n).

Synonyms : convict

Antonyms : vagabond

Example : “inmates of the Louisiana State Penitentiary”

22) revelations

Meaning : a surprising and previously unknown fact that has been disclosed to others.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்பாடுகள்

Synonyms : discovery

Antonyms : concealment

Example : “revelations about his personal life”

23) rescued

Meaning : save (someone) from a dangerous or difficult situation.

Tamil Meaning : மீட்கப்பட்டு

Synonyms : extricate

Antonyms : harm

Example : “firemen rescued a man trapped in the river”

24) exploitation

Meaning : the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.(n)

Synonyms : using

Antonyms : conserve

Example : “the exploitation of migrant workers”

25) den

Meaning : a wild mammal’s hidden home; a lair.(n)

Synonyms : nest

Antonyms : free

Example : “a female mink had set up her den there”

26) predation

Meaning : the action of attacking or plundering.

Synonyms : rapacity

Example : “the old story of male predation and female vulnerability”

27) lacunae

Meaning : an unfilled space; a gap(n).

Synonyms : depression

Antonyms : continuation

Example : “the journal has filled a lacuna in Middle Eastern studies”

28) semblance

Meaning : the outward appearance or apparent form of something, especially when the reality is different(n).

Synonyms : pretense

Antonyms : reality

Example : “she tried to force her thoughts back into some semblance of order”

29) abandoned

Meaning : having been deserted or left.

Tamil Meaning : கைவிடப்பட்ட

Synonyms : deserted

Antonyms : chaste

Example : “an abandoned car”

30) trafficked

Meaning : deal or trade in something illegal.

Tamil Meaning : போக்கிலே

Synonyms : bargain

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “the government will vigorously pursue individuals who traffic in drugs”

31) conflict

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

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : clash

Antonyms : truce

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

32) grievances

Meaning : a real or imagined cause for complaint, especially unfair treatment.(n)

Synonyms : injustice

Antonyms : delight

Example : “a website which enabled staff to air their grievances”

33) depressing

Meaning : causing or resulting in a feeling of miserable dejection.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : வருத்தத்தை

Synonyms : bleak

Antonyms : cheerful

Example : “that thought is too depressing for words”

34) scrutiny

Meaning : critical observation or examination.

Tamil Meaning : கண்காணிப்பின்

Synonyms : analysis

Antonyms : glance

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

35) ensure

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

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : endanger

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

36) empanelled

Meaning : enrol (someone) on to a jury(v).

Tamil Meaning : அங்கீகாரம்

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : endanger

Example : “several of her friends have been empanelled”

37) evolving

Meaning : develop gradually.

Tamil Meaning : சிறிது சிறிதாக மாறிவரும்

Synonyms : derive

Antonyms : stop

Example : “the company has evolved into a major chemical manufacturer”

38) sanitation

Meaning : conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal.

Tamil Meaning : துப்புரவு

Synonyms : hygiene

Antonyms : dirtiness

Example : “they could afford to erect new dwellings with a reasonable standard of construction and sanitation”

39) incentive

Meaning : a thing that motivates or encourages someone to do something.

Tamil Meaning : ஊக்க

Synonyms : enticement

Antonyms : hindrance

Example : “give farmers an incentive to improve their land”

40) distress

Meaning : extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.

Tamil Meaning : துயரத்தில்

Synonyms : affliction

Antonyms : advantage

Example : “to his distress he saw that she was trembling”