THE HINDU EDITORIAL – July 6, 2018 is one of the must read for the competitive exams like SBI PO Prelims , SBI CLERK Prelims Exam, BOB PO Manipal Online Exam and South Indian Bank PO Manipal 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) Passing the buck: on governments response to lynchings

The Central government has finally moved to react to the lynchings reported from across the length and breadth of the country, but its line of action is bafflingly weak. Over the past couple of months, mobs have materialised to beat to kill people they suspect — almost always without basis — of plotting to kidnap children to harvest their organs. Warnings to beware of child kidnappers, sometimes with the rider that they are likely to hail from other parts of India, are mostly circulated on WhatsApp, the Facebook-owned encrypted messaging platform. Since a cluster of such killings in Tamil Nadu in May, deaths have been reported from States as far apart as Assam, Karnataka and Maharashtra. In one recent attack, five people were clobbered to death in Maharashtra’s Dhule’s district on child-lifting rumours; the mob numbering hundreds overpowered the few policemen present. And ironically, among three people lynched in Tripura on a single day, June 28, was a man hired by the State government to spread awareness against precisely such rumours. Now, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has told WhatsApp to take “remedial measures… to prevent proliferation of these fake and at times motivated/sensational messages”. WhatsApp is the communication platform of choice in the age of cheap smartphones. One of the USPs of the platform is that the messages are encrypted in a manner that makes it impossible for them to be read. Given this, it is not clear how such a platform can take measures to limit the spread of motivated or sensational messages. Also, whether such checks would amount to legitimising surveillance and a loss of privacy — a rare commodity in this digital age. Even if it can do so without compromising privacy, the problem is not the medium. Rumour has historically found its way around communication walls, and it can only be effectively blocked through old-fashioned information campaigns and administrative alertness. Rumour’s potency predates mobile phones, even if there is no denying that smartphones, with their ability to instantly transmit text and images, have a tendency, in this era of fake news, to rapidly spread panic and anger. This happens in different ways across the world, but in India the problem has assumed truly distressing proportions. It is well-known that an unrelated video of an act of violence that went viral was responsible for fuelling communal hatred in Muzaffarnagar in 2013. It is puzzling that district administrations and gram panchayats have not been asked to reach out to locals to persuade them against falling for rumours, and to come to the authorities if they have any fears. The messaging needs to be amplified — merely appealing to WhatsApp is hardly the solution.

b) Allies, interrupted: on India-U.S.ties

        There are enough signs that relations between India and the United States have suffered, with officials in both capitals now freely conceding that their interests are diverging. From the U.S. side, policy decisions by President Donald Trump to walk out of the multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, and the U.S. Congress’s CAATSA law sanctioning Iran and Russia have set up an inevitable conflict. Mr. Trump’s insistence on tough sanctions against all those continuing to engage with Iran and Russia limits India’s options on energy security and defence procurement. During her visit last week, Nikki Haley, the U.S. envoy to the UN, told India to “revise” its relationship with Iran; this line is expected to be reiterated by U.S. interlocutors in the coming days. Added to this confrontation is the U.S.’s tough policy on trade tariffs, applied to ally and adversary alike, including India. For its part, the Narendra Modi government has taken a policy turn away from four years of a pro-U.S. tilt. Mr. Modi’s speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue last month, in which he invoked the long-lapsed phrase “strategic autonomy”, set at rest any doubt that there is a reset in his foreign policy. Since January, he has personally reached out to the Chinese and Russian Presidents in informal summits, and invited the Iranian President to Delhi. At variance with the U.S. position on limiting engagement with these countries, India promised to raise oil imports from Iran this year, committed to far greater engagement on the Chabahar port project and oilfields in Iran, while negotiating a $5.5 billion deal with Russia for the S-400 Triumf missile systems. These will trigger U.S. sanctions unless the two countries reach a compromise. What is more troubling for bilateral ties is that despite the obvious problems, the political will to address these issues is now considerably diminished. In contrast to his meetings with the Russian and Chinese leaderships, Mr. Modi has had little contact with Mr. Trump since their meeting in Manila last November, which by all accounts did not go well. Now, the postponement of the Indian Foreign and Defence Ministers’ “2+2” dialogue with their U.S. counterparts has denied the governments a chance to gather together the fraying bilateral threads. It is imperative that the dialogue be quickly rescheduled. While the U.S. has traditionally applied pressure on its allies to limit their engagement with countries it considers to be threats to the international order, the manner in which deadlines have been publicly issued by the State Department twice this week will only make its demands more difficult for India to even consider. India must now decide how best to deal with the ultimatums, with U.S. sanctions kicking in by November. The clock is ticking on the relationship.


1) Baffling(ly)

Meaning: To cause someone to be completely unable to understand or explain something.

Example: She was completely baffled by his strange behaviour.

2) Plotting

Meaning: Secretly make plans to carry out (an illegal or harmful action).

Example: “the two men are serving sentences for plotting a bomb campaign”

Synonyms: Plan, Scheme

3) Harvest

Meaning: To take cells or other body parts from someone for medical use.

Example: The donor organ is harvested at the accident scene and rushed to a hospital.

4) Hail

Meaning: To call someone in order to attract their attention.

Example: Shall we hail a taxi?

5) Cluster

Meaning: A group of similar things or people positioned or occurring closely together.

Example: “clusters of creamy-white flowers”

Synonyms: Collection, Group

6) Clobbered

Meaning: To hit someone or something hard and repeatedly.

Example: If you do that again, I’ll clobber you (one).

7) Lynched

Meaning: (of a group of people) kill (someone) for an alleged offence without a legal trial, especially by hanging.

Example: “her father had been lynched by whites”

Synonyms: Hang, Execute

8) Proliferation

Meaning: Rapid reproduction of a cell, part, or organism.

Example: “we attempted to measure cell proliferation”

Synonyms: Spread, Escalation

Antonyms: Decrease

9) Legitimising

Meaning: Make legitimate.

Example: “voters legitimize the government through the election of public officials”

Synonyms: Validate, Legitimate

Antonyms: Outlaw

10) Potency

Meaning: The power of something to influence or make an impression.

Example: “a myth of enormous potency”

Synonyms: Strength, Force

11) Tendency

Meaning: An inclination towards a particular characteristic or type of behaviour.

Example: “for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings”

Synonyms: Propensity, Proclivity

12) Distressing

Meaning: Causing anxiety, sorrow or pain; upsetting.

Example: “some very distressing news”

13) Fuelling

Meaning: Sustain or inflame (an intense feeling).

Example: “his resignation fuelled speculation of an imminent cabinet reshuffle”

Synonyms: Stimulate, Encourage

Antonyms: Dampen

14) Puzzling

Meaning: Difficult to explain or understand.

Example: It’s a rather puzzling film.

15) Persuade

Meaning: (of a situation or event) provide a sound reason for (someone) to do something.

Example: “the cost of the manor’s restoration persuaded them to take in guests”

Synonyms: Cause, Move

16) Amplified

Meaning: Enlarge upon or add detail to (a story or statement).

Example: “the notes amplify information contained in the statement”

Synonyms: Expand, Develop

Antonyms: Condense

17) Conceding

Meaning: Admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.

Example: “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

Synonyms: Accept, Acknowledge

Antonyms: Deny

18) Diverging

Meaning: (of an opinion, theory, or approach) differ.

Example: “the coverage by the columnists diverged from that in the main news stories”

Synonyms: Differ, Disagree

Antonyms: Agree

19) Walk out

Meaning: Depart or leave suddenly or angrily.

Example: “he had walked out in a temper”

Synonyms: Depart, Leave

20) Inevitable

Meaning: Certain to happen; unavoidable.

Example: “war was inevitable”

Synonyms: Unavoidable, Certain

Antonyms: Avoidable, Uncertain

21) Conflict

Meaning: A prolonged armed struggle.

Example: “regional conflicts”

Synonyms: War, Action

Antonyms: Peace

22) Insistence

Meaning: The fact or quality of insisting that something is the case or should be done.

Example: “Alison’s insistence on doing the washing-up straight after the meal”

Synonyms: Demand, Command

23) Procurement

Meaning: The action of obtaining or procuring something.

Example: “financial assistance for the procurement of legal advice”

24) Envoy

Meaning: A messenger or representative, especially one on a diplomatic mission.

Example: “the UN special envoy to Yugoslavia”

Synonyms: Representative, Delegate

25) Reiterated

Meaning: Say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

Example: “she reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”

Synonyms: Repeat, Restate

26) Interlocutors

Meaning: Someone who is involved in a conversation and who is representing someone else.

Example: Abraham was able to act as interpreter and interlocutor for our group.

27) Confrontation

Meaning: A hostile or argumentative situation or meeting between opposing parties.

Example: “a confrontation with the legislature”

Synonyms: Conflict, Battle

28) Turn away

Meaning: To move your face so you are not looking at something.

Example: When they show an operation on TV, I have to turn away.

29) Tilt

Meaning: An inclination or bias.

Example: “the paper’s tilt towards the United States”

30) Invoked

Meaning: Give rise to; evoke.

Example: “how could she explain how the accident happened without invoking his wrath?”

Synonyms: Elicit, Induce

31) Reached out

Meaning: To try to communicate with a person or a group of people, usually in order to help or involve them.

Example: The new mayor is reaching out to the local community to involve them in his plans for the city.

Synonyms: Communicate

32) Negotiating

Meaning: To have formal discussions with someone in order to reach an agreement with them.

Example: The government has refused to negotiate with the strikers.

33) Trigger

Meaning: Cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist.

Example: “an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork”

Synonyms: Precipitate, Prompt

34) Diminished

Meaning: Make or become less.

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

Synonyms: Decrease, Decline

Antonyms: Increase

35) Postponement

Meaning: The action of postponing something; deferral.

Example: “the postponement of the elections”

Synonyms: Deferral, Deferment

36) Counterparts

Meaning: A person or thing that corresponds to or has the same function as another person or thing in a different place or situation.

Example: “the minister held talks with his French counterpart”

Synonyms: Equivalent, Equal

37) Fraying

Meaning: A fray is also a situation in which people or organizations compete forcefully.

Example: A third buyer has entered the fray.

38) Imperative

Meaning: Of vital importance; crucial.

Example: “immediate action was imperative”

Synonyms: Important, Crucial

Antonyms: Unimportant, Optional

39) Ultimatums

Meaning: A final demand or statement of terms, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations.

Example: “their employers issued an ultimatum demanding an immediate return to work”

40) Kicking in

Meaning: To start to have an effect or to happen.

Example: It takes half an hour for the medication to kick in.

Synonyms: Start, Begin

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a) Passing the buck: on governments’ response to lynchings