THE HINDU EDITORIAL – July 16, 2018 is one of the must read for the competitive exams like SBI PO Mains , SBI CLERK Mains Exam, BOB PO Manipal Online Exam. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or in Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up for your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.


a) A welcome move: On India’s net neutrality regulations

In a vital decision that will help secure the rights of Internet users in the country, the Telecom Commission has approved the recommendations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on net neutrality. By endorsing steps that call for amendments to access services licences for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Telecom Operators, the Commission has made it clear that any violation of net neutrality will be treated as a violation of the licence conditions. It has said that some specialised and emerging services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) may be exempt from the non-discriminatory principles, but these cannot be at the cost of the overall quality of Internet access. Combining this approval with the fact that TRAI had barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services (zero rating, for example), India will now have among the strongest net neutrality regulations. This is as it should be. Net neutrality is the basic principle of an open Internet that does not allow for content discrimination by ISPs. The user is free to access any web location at the same paid-for speed without any discrimination by the ISP. This proviso has helped democratise the Internet and undergird its growth from a networked system of computers that enabled e-commerce, social interaction, knowledge flow and entertainment, among other functions. Internet pioneers — including World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and Transmission Control Protocol/IP Protocol co-inventor Vint Cerf — have consistently maintained that the principle of net neutrality is built into the structure of the Internet itself. The layers and protocols for connectivity via the network have been erected in such a way that access is seamless irrespective of the nature of the physical infrastructure of the network. It is to the credit of the Telecom Commission and TRAI that this principle has been upheld in India — in contrast, in the U.S., on President Donald Trump’s watch, the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality regulations that had been put in place by the Barack Obama administration. The repeal was ostensibly to allow ISPs and broadband providers to invest in new technology although evidence shows that such investment was not affected by the regulations. The other argument for the repeal has been a functional one, suggesting that the Internet is very different today, controlled by a handful of big companies, unlike the much more egalitarian environment earlier; and that therefore, the principle is redundant now. This is misleading. In India, for instance, the steep growth in Internet access and use has allowed for newer services to thrive. The government should now ensure that net neutrality is followed in practice.

b) Transatlantic rift: on Trump and NATO

The summit of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation leaders in Brussels was expected to be tense, given the widening rift in the Western alliance over the U.S.’s imposition of trade tariffs. But President Donald Trump’s call to member-countries to double their annual defence expenditure to 4% of GDP has the potential for greater harm than his repeated denigration of NATO or his disregard for diplomatic niceties. European countries have for some time been smarting under Washington’s persistent attack on their failure to honour the current commitment to raise their defence budgets to 2% of annual output by 2024. NATO members were reminded of the unequal burden-sharing within the organisation via letters despatched from the White House ahead of the summit. Mr. Trump can launch his latest offensive largely due to the latitude he enjoys on account of the U.S. spending well in excess of 3% of GDP on defence in 2017-18. He took aim especially at Germany, highlighting in particular the incongruity between its military spending and huge trade surplus with the U.S. A relatively recent dimension to the diatribe is the attack on Germany’s large imports of gas from Russia, a divisive issue within Europe, particularly after the threats posed by Moscow’s regional ambitions. Besides putting Chancellor Angela Merkel in a spot, it served to deflect attention from criticism across the Atlantic of Mr. Trump’s proximity to Russian President Vladimir Putin and their bilateral meeting in Helsinki. Notwithstanding Mr. Trump’s claims, Europe’s expenditure on defence has been on the rise since 2014, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). One explanation for this shift is the security situation following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. IISS data also show that Washington’s commitment to Europe’s security is just over 5% of the total U.S. defence budget. Within that, its contribution to NATO’s common funding is an estimated 22.1%, besides investments in other initiatives. Some of Mr. Trump’s predecessors in the White House had sought to address this imbalance, but without ever questioning the commitment of Washington’s allies to the bloc’s collective defence, or using it as a bargaining chip. Conversely, exploiting Europe’s greater dependence on the U.S. security umbrella serves to bolster Mr. Trump’s domestic nationalist constituency ahead of the November mid-term Congressional elections. While not all Republicans may approve of the President’s offensive against American allies, many prefer to emphasise substance over style. The communiqué issued after the summit reiterates the group’s resolve to meet the 2024 deadline on defence spending. But Mr. Trump seems impatient on achieving the target sooner, without spelling out his reasons. The world will learn more about Mr. Trump’s America First agenda in the coming months.


1) Vital

Meaning: Absolutely necessary; essential.

Example: “secrecy is of vital importance”

Synonyms: Essential, Crucial

Antonyms: Unimportant, Peripheral

2) Net neutrality

Meaning: The principle that the companies that provide services on the internet should make all information equally available to users, and not make any particular service, website, etc. cheaper or faster to use than any other.

Example: Net neutrality is the idea that Internet providers must treat all content equally. It’s opposed by cable and telecom companies that want to offer different tiers of service.

3) Endorsing

Meaning: To make a public statement of your approval or support for something or someone.

Example: The Council is expected to endorse the committee’s recommendations.

4) Exempt

Meaning: Free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

Example: “these patients are exempt from all charges”

Synonyms: Immune, Expected

5) Barred

Meaning: Prevent or prohibit (someone) from doing something or from going somewhere.

Example: “journalists had been barred from covering the elections”

Synonyms: Prohibit, Debar

Antonyms: Admit, Accept

6) Discrimination

Meaning: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of race, age.

Example: “victims of racial discrimination”

Synonyms: Prejudice, Bias

Antonyms: Impartiality

7) Proviso

Meaning: A condition or qualification attached to an agreement or statement.

Example: “he let his house with the proviso that his own staff should remain to run it”

Synonyms: Condition, Stipulation

8) Democratise

Meaning: Make (something) accessible to everyone.

Example: “mass production has not democratized fashion”

9) Undergird

Meaning: Provide support or a firm basis for.

Example: “that’s a philosophy that needs to undergird retailers’ business plans this year”

10) Pioneers

Meaning: A person who is among the first to explore or settle a new country or area.

Example: “the pioneers of the Wild West”

Synonyms: Colonist, Settler

11) Erected

Meaning: Create or establish (a theory or system).

Example: “the party that erected the welfare state”

Synonyms: Establish, Institute

12) Upheld

Meaning: Maintain (a custom or practice).

Example: “they uphold a tradition of not causing distress to living creatures”

Synonyms: Maintain, Sustain

Antonyms: Abandon

13) Repealed

Meaning: Revoke or annul (a law or act of parliament).

Example: “the legislation was repealed five months later”

Synonyms: Revoke, Cancel

Antonyms: Introduce, Enact

14) Ostensibly

Meaning: As appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily so; apparently.

Example: “the party secretary resigned, ostensibly from ill health”

Synonyms: Apparently, Seemingly

Antonyms: Genuinely, Really

15) Handful

Meaning: A small number of people or things.

Example: She invited all her friends to her party, but only a handful of them turned up.

Synonyms: Some, A few

16) Egalitarian

Meaning: Believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

Example: “a fairer, more egalitarian society”

17) Redundant

Meaning: Not or no longer needed or useful; superfluous.

Example: “an appropriate use for a redundant church”

Synonyms: Unnecessary, Inessential

Antonyms: Essential, Necessary

18) Steep

Meaning: (of a rise or fall in an amount) very large or rapid.

Example: “the steep rise in unemployment”

Synonyms: Sharp, Sudden

Antonyms: Gradual

19) Thrive

Meaning: Prosper; flourish.

Example: “education groups thrive on organization”

Synonyms: Flourish, Prosper

Antonyms: Decline, Stagnate

20) Tense

Meaning: Become tense, typically through anxiety or nervousness.

Example: “her body tensed up”

21) Rift

Meaning: A serious break in friendly relations.

Example: “the rift between the two branches of the legal profession”

Synonyms: Breach, Division

22) Imposition

Meaning: A tax or duty.

Example: “the government began levying special impositions”

Synonyms: Tax, Levy

23) Harm

Meaning: Actual or potential ill effects or danger.

Example: “there’s no harm in asking her”

Synonyms: Evil, Badness

Antonyms: Good

24) Denigration

Meaning: The action of unfairly criticizing someone or something.

Example: “I witnessed the denigration of anyone who failed to toe the line”

25) Niceties

Meaning: A detail or aspect of polite social behaviour.

Example: “we were brought up to observe the niceties”

26) Persistent

Meaning: Continuing firmly or obstinately in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

Example: “one of the government’s most persistent critics”

Synonyms: Tenacious, Resolute

Antonyms: Irresolute

27) Despatched

Meaning: Send off to a destination or for a purpose.

Example: “he dispatched messages back to base”

Synonyms: Send, Post

28) Offensive

Meaning: An organized and forceful campaign to achieve something, typically a political or social end.

Example: “the need to launch an offensive against crime”

29) Latitude

Meaning: Scope for freedom of action or thought.

Example: “journalists have considerable latitude in criticizing public figures”

Synonyms: Freedom, Scope

Antonyms: Constraint, Restriction

30) Incongruity

Meaning: The state of being incongruous; incompatibility.

Example: “the incongruity of his fleshy face and skinny body disturbed her”

Synonyms: Dissonance, Difference

Antonyms: Appropriateness

31) Diatribe

Meaning: a forceful and bitter verbal attack against someone or something.

Example: “a diatribe against consumerism”

Synonyms: Tirade, Fulmination

32) Annexation

Meaning: The action of annexing something, especially territory.

Example: “the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938”

Synonyms: Seizure, Occupation

33) Predecessors

Meaning: A person who held a job or office before the current holder.

Example: “the new President’s foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor”

Synonyms: Precursor, Antecedent

Antonyms: Successor

34) Sought

Meaning: Attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something).

Example: “the new regime sought his extradition”

Synonyms: Pursue, Attempt

35) Bargaining chip

Meaning: Something that someone else wants that you are willing to lose in order to reach an agreement.

Example: Missiles were used as a bargaining chip in negotiations for economic aid.

36) Umbrella

Meaning: A protecting force or influence.

Example: “Europe sought a measure of independence from the US defence umbrella”

Synonyms: Protection, Patronage

37) Bolster

Meaning: Support or strengthen.

Example: “the fall in interest rates is starting to bolster confidence”

Synonyms: Strengthen, Support

Antonyms: Undermine

38) Emphasise

Meaning: To show that something is very important or worth giving attention to.

Example: You can use italics or capitals to emphasize a word in a piece of writing.

Synonyms: Highlight, Spotlight

39) Communiqué

Meaning: An official announcement or statement, especially one made to the media.

Example: “the country’s foreign ministry issued a communique”

Synonyms: Message, Report

40) Spelling out

Meaning: To explain something in a very clear way with details.

Example: The government has so far refused to spell out its plans/policies.

Synonyms: Defining, Explaining

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