THE HINDU EDITORIAL – July 23, 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) Winning trust: on pre-2019 politics

Sometimes the effort is its own reward, no matter what the result. Neither the TDP, which moved the no-confidence motion, nor the Congress, the principal Opposition party, entertained the faintest hope of bringing down the Narendra Modi government a year before its term ends. But they reckoned the debating and voting exercise was still worth their while. For the Congress, and its still new president Rahul Gandhi, this was an opportunity to demonstrate that there is indeed a developing political chemistry behind the ragtag coalition of Opposition parties. But many of them had different reasons for voting against the government, and not all of them are keen on a Congress-led coalition. The TDP, for instance, wanted to use the vote to signal its clear break with the BJP as it prepares to fight the next election on the issue of the Centre’s refusal to give special category status to Andhra Pradesh. Far from drawing the battle lines for 2019 clearly, the motion brought to light differences within both camps. While the Shiv Sena, a partner in government, abstained from voting, the BJD and the TRS did not join ranks with the other Opposition parties. How the BJP will deal with the Sena’s defiance remains to be seen, but they need each other in Maharashtra: the BJP will probably need to renegotiate its terms of engagement with the Sena. Mr. Modi might have sailed through the vote comfortably, but this is no indication of how 2019 will play out. If the BJP’s alliance concerns are focussed on Maharashtra, the Congress’s alliance-building will be hard work in most States. Even the TDP does not appear to be on the side of the Congress, its traditional rival that remains a contender for power in Andhra Pradesh despite being considerably weakened after the bifurcation. Although the Trinamool Congress voted with the Opposition, Mamata Banerjee still talks of a Federal Front of regional parties as the alternative to the BJP. What this means is that the Congress is not in a position to dictate the terms of alliance in many States. In Uttar Pradesh, the SP and the BSP are the key players; in Bihar, the RJD will take the lead position in any talks with other Opposition parties. In Karnataka, the JD(S) is in a position to drive a hard bargain; and in Tamil Nadu, the DMK is the leading partner. TRS chief and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao speaks of a non-Congress, non-BJP coalition of regional parties, but the fact is that he will be more comfortable with the BJP than with the Congress, which is his main rival. The BJD counts both the Congress and the BJP as opponents, and Odisha is not likely to see any mega-alliance. Rather than setting the scene for 2019, the no-confidence motion may have merely marked the beginning of a political churn.

b) Sunlight and shadow: on amendments to the RTI Act

As a law that empowers the citizen, the Right to Information Act, 2005 quickly struck root in a country saddled with the colonial legacy of secretive government. The move by the NDA government to amend the far-sighted law aims at eroding the independence of the Information Commissions at the national level and in the States. The proposed amendments show that the Central government seeks control over the tenure, salary and allowances of the Chief Information Commissioner and Information Commissioners at the Centre, and the State Chief Information Commissioners. Such a change would eliminate the parity they currently have with the Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners and, therefore, equivalence with a judge of the Supreme Court in matters of pay, allowances and conditions of service. The Centre will also fix the terms for State Information Commissioners. This is an ill-advised move and should be junked without standing on prestige. If at all, the law needs to be amended only to bring about full compliance by government departments and agencies that receive substantial funding from the exchequer, and to extend its scope to more institutions that have an influence on official policy. The Supreme Court has held the right to information as being integral to the right to free expression under Article 19(1)(a); weakening the transparency law would negate that guarantee. In its rationale for the amendments, the Centre has maintained that unlike the EC, Information Commissions are not constitutional bodies but mere statutory creations under the law. This is a narrow view, betraying an anxiety to tighten the hold of the administration on the Commissions, which even now get little official support to fill vacancies and improve efficiency. A recent public interest petition filed in the Supreme Court by the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information pointed out that the Central Information Commission has over 23,500 pending appeals and complaints, and sought the filling up of vacancies in the body. In many States, the Commissions are either moribund or working at low capacity owing to vacancies, resulting in a pile-up of appeals. The challenges to the working of the law are also increasing, with many State departments ignoring the requirement under Section 4 of the Act to publish information suo motu. The law envisaged that voluntary disclosure would reduce the need to file an application. Since fines are rarely imposed, officers give incomplete, vague or unconnected information to applicants with impunity. Proposals to make it easier to pay the application fee, and develop a reliable online system to apply for information, are missing. These are the serious lacunae. Attempts were made by the UPA government also to weaken the law, including to remove political parties from its purview. Any move to enfeeble the RTI Act will deal a blow to transparency.


1) Faintest

Meaning: (of a hope or chance) possible but unlikely; slight.

Example: “there is a faint chance that the enemy may flee”

Synonyms: Slight, Small

Antonyms: Great

2) Bringing down

Meaning: To reduce the level of something.

Example: They’ve really brought down the price of DVD players.

Synonyms: Less, Smaller

3) Reckoned

Meaning: Establish by calculation.

Example: “his debts were reckoned at £300,000”

Synonyms: Calculate, Count

4) Demonstrate

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

Example: “their shameful silence demonstrates their ineptitude”

Synonyms: Reveal, Indicate

Antonyms: Hide

5) Ragtag

Meaning: Untidy, disorganized, or incongruously varied in character.

Example: “a ragtag group of idealists”

6) Abstained

Meaning: Formally decline to vote either for or against a proposal or motion.

Example: “forty-one voted with the Opposition, and some sixty more abstained”

Synonyms: Refuse, Decline

Antonyms: Vote

7) Defiance

Meaning: Open resistance; bold disobedience.

Example: “an act of defiance”

Synonyms: Resistance, Opposition

Antonyms: Submission, Obedience

8) Renegotiate

Meaning: Negotiate (something) again in order to change the original agreed terms.

Example: “the parties will renegotiate the price”

9) Sailed through

Meaning: To succeed very easily in something, especially a test.

Example: Rachel sailed through her finals and got A’s in everything.

Synonyms: Easiness, Simplicity

10) Rival

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

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

Synonyms: Opponent, Challenger

Antonyms: Partner, Ally

11) Bifurcation

Meaning: The division of something into two branches or parts.

Example: “the bifurcation of the profession”

12) Dictate

Meaning: State or order authoritatively.

Example: “the tsar’s attempts to dictate policy”

Synonyms: Dominate, Oppress

13) Merely

Meaning: Just; only.

Example: “Gary, a silent boy, merely nodded”

Synonyms: Only, Purely

14) Struck

Meaning: Officially remove someone from membership of a professional group.

Example: “he was struck off by the Law Society and will never practise as a solicitor again”

15) Saddled with

Meaning: To put someone in a situation in which they have to deal with something difficult or unpleasant.

Example: Many people do not want traditional mortgages that saddle borrowers with debt for a fixed period.

16) Colonial

Meaning: Relating to or characteristic of a colony or colonies.

Example: “British colonial rule”

17) Far-sighted

Meaning: Showing a prudent awareness of future possibilities.

Example: “far-sighted ideas on education”

Synonyms: Prudent, Canny

Antonyms: Short-sighted

18) Eroding

Meaning: Gradually destroy or be gradually destroyed.

Example: “this humiliation has eroded what confidence Jean has”

Synonyms: Abrade, Crumble

19) Parity

Meaning: The state or condition of being equal, especially as regards status or pay.

Example: “parity of incomes between rural workers and those in industrial occupations”

Synonyms: Equality, Sameness

20) Equivalence

Meaning: The condition of being equal or equivalent in value, worth, function, etc.

Example: “knowledge of equivalence of units is required”

Synonyms: Equality, Agreement

21) Junked

Meaning: Discard or abandon unceremoniously.

Example: “sort out what could be sold off and junk the rest”

Synonyms: Discard, Scrap


22) Prestige

Meaning: Widespread respect and admiration felt for someone or something on the basis of a perception of their achievements or quality.

Example: “the firm has recently gained considerable prestige”

Synonyms: Status, Reputation

23) Exchequer

Meaning: A royal or national treasury; The account at the Bank of England in which is held the Consolidated Fund, into which tax receipts and other public monies are paid.

Example: “an important source of revenue to the sultan’s exchequer”

24) Integral

Meaning: Necessary to make a whole complete; essential or fundamental.

Example: “games are an integral part of the school’s curriculum”

Synonyms: Essential, Basic

Antonyms: Incidental, Peripheral

25) Weakening

Meaning: Make or become weaker in power, resolve, or physical strength.

Example: “fault lines had weakened and shattered the rocks”

Synonyms: Enfeeble, Debilitate

Antonyms: Strengthen, Increase

26) Negate

Meaning: Deny the existence of.

Example: “negating the political nature of education”

Synonyms: Deny, Dispute

Antonyms: Confirm, Ratify

27) Rationale

Meaning: A set of reasons or a logical basis for a course of action or belief.

Example: “he explained the rationale behind the change”

Synonyms: Reasoning, Thinking

28) Betraying

Meaning: Expose (one’s country, a group, or a person) to danger by treacherously giving information to an enemy.

Example: “a double agent who betrayed some 400 British and French agents to the Germans”

Synonyms: Deceive

29) Anxiety

Meaning: A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome.

Example: “he felt a surge of anxiety”

Synonyms: Worry, Concern

Antonyms: Calmness, Serenity

30) Pointed out

Meaning: To tell someone about some information, often because you believe they do not know it or have forgotten it.

Example: He was planning to book a rock-climbing holiday, till I pointed out that Denis is afraid of heights.

31) Sought

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

Example: “the new regime sought his extradition”

Synonyms: Pursue, Strive

32) Filling up

Meaning: To make something full, or to become full.

Example: The sales pipeline for his facility is starting to fill up with clients.

33) Moribund

Meaning: (of a thing) in terminal decline; lacking vitality or vigour.

Example: “the moribund commercial property market”

Synonyms: Stagnant, Dying

Antonyms: Flourishing

34) Pile-up

Meaning: An accumulation of a specified thing.

Example: “a massive pile-up of data”

35) Envisaged

Meaning: Contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event.

Example: “the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers”

Synonyms: Foresee, Predict

36) Vague

Meaning: Of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning.

Example: “many patients suffer vague symptoms”

Synonyms: Indistinct, Indefinite

Antonyms: Clear, Precise

37) Impunity

Meaning: Exemption from punishment or freedom from the injurious consequences of an action.

Example: “the impunity enjoyed by military officers implicated in civilian killings”

Synonyms: Immunity, Amnesty

Antonyms: Liability, Responsibility

38) Reliable

Meaning: Consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Example: “a reliable source of information”

Synonyms: Dependable, Good

Antonyms: Unrealizable, Dodgy

39) Purview

Meaning: The scope of the influence or concerns of something.

Example: “such a case might be within the purview of the legislation”

40) Enfeeble

Meaning: Make weak or feeble.

Example: “trade unions are in an enfeebled state”

Synonyms: Weaken, Disable

Antonyms: Strengthen


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