THE HINDU EDITORIAL like many other sections will be the imperative one to crack the forthcoming exams like SBI PO 2018, SBI Clerk 2018 and IBPS RRB 2018 & South Indian Bank PO 2018. Learn new vocabulary words routinely.

a) NEET nostrums

There was no uncertainty over the medical admission process this year in Tamil Nadu. There were no attempts to get an exemption from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). And, willy-nilly, as many as 1.14 lakh aspirants took the examination that has been made mandatory by the Supreme Court as the sole admission window for medical colleges. Yet, the poor performance of students from Tamil Nadu in the entrance test has demonstrated that the State is still far from being ‘NEET-ready’. It is true that a well-intentioned beginning has been made to upgrade the syllabus and to make students more competitive. However, only 45,336 candidates, or 39.6% of those who took the test, qualified for admission. Along with Maharashtra, this is the lowest ratio in the country. What is important is that these candidates are merely eligible for admission, and far fewer students are actually likely to get admission. Further, the chances of many of the candidates in the lower percentiles gaining entry into a government medical college are quite low, and many of them may not be able to afford to pay for seats in private colleges. Proponents of NEET may maintain that its objectives — ensuring uniformity in standards of medical education by admitting students on the basis of a common national test and eliminating capitation fee for medical courses in private institutions — are being successfully met. However, it is a moot question whether the commercialisation of education has been really eliminated, and whether the admission policy is sufficiently inclusive for this large and diverse country. Lavish advertisements, as well as interviews with toppers, make it quite obvious that those who can afford expensive coaching classes have a distinct advantage in this system. Like many other competitive examinations, NEET has spawned a coaching industry, with some parts of the country proving to be ideal locales for academic sweatshops. Many of those in the top percentiles have attended long-term coaching classes as well as crash courses, paying exorbitant fees. There is anger in Tamil Nadu against this perceived socio-economic asymmetry built into the medical admission process that keeps medical courses out of bounds for disadvantaged sections. Such feelings intensified as a result of at least two young women committing suicide after they failed to clear NEET. One of them had enough marks in her higher secondary examination to gain admission to a medical college, if the State government had its own admission system. But overall, there is no escaping the fact that the country is committed to having uniform standards in medical education, and that this can play a role in meeting the important objective of maintaining standards in health care. NEET is here to stay, and State governments are now best-advised to upgrade academic standards and prepare their students better. This will help in seeing that India’s healthcare infrastructure continues to get a steady inflow of medical manpower drawn from all sections of society.

b) A vicious cycle: on trade wars

Nobody wants to lose a trade war. The European Commission on Wednesday announced it would impose tariffs as high as 25% on imports worth $3.3 billion from the U.S. beginning July. A whole range of American goods, from motorbikes and jeans to peanut butter and orange juice, will now face higher taxes when sold in the European Union zone. The Commission is also mulling import duties on more American goods if the trade war with the U.S. intensifies. Europe is not alone in waging a battle against imports from the U.S.; China, Mexico and Canada have joined hands in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium imports. Last week, the U.S. imposed a 25% tax on steel and a 10% tax on aluminium imports from the EU, Mexico and Canada. The first salvo in this ongoing trade war, however, was fired by Mr. Trump in March this year, when he imposed tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium to protect American producers. Workers in America’s manufacturing sector have played a key role in Mr. Trump’s electoral success, so his zealousness to be seen to be protecting their interests is unsurprising. However, consumers in America and the rest of the world are likely to suffer as their respective governments make it costlier for them to access foreign goods and services. Judging by their actions, it is now clear that America’s major trading allies would not really want to lose this trade war against the U.S. The sad fact, however, is that at the end of the day nobody actually wins a destructive trade war. Tariffs that seek to disadvantage foreign producers in favour of domestic producers, whether they are imposed by the U.S. or any of its major trading partners such as Europe or China, only increase the burden of taxes. What this leads to eventually is slower global economic growth. The World Bank has warned that the effect of the increased use of tariffs to regulate international trade could be similar to the significant drop in global trade after the financial crisis a decade ago. Countries that are protesting America’s metal tariffs in the name of free trade are also only encouraging further protectionism when they impose retaliatory tariffs. As former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan aptly put it, the ongoing trade war is a “lose-lose situation” for the warring parties. The only winners will be special interest groups and consumers in countries that do not engage in the tit-for-tat tariff war, but their winnings will come at the cost of global growth. It is high time countries worldwide come together to promote the cause of free trade.


1) Uncertainty

Meaning: The state of being uncertain.

Example: “Times of uncertainty and danger”

Synonyms: Unpredictability, Unreliability.

2) Exemption

Meaning: The action of freeing or state of being free from an obligation or liability imposed on others.

Example: “Vehicles that may qualify for exemption from tax”

Synonyms: Immunity, Exception.

3)  Willy-Nilly

Meaning: Whether one likes it or not.

Example: “He would be forced to collaborate willy-nilly”

Synonyms: Whether one likes it or not, Of necessity.

4) Mandatory

Meaning: Required by law or mandate; compulsory.

Example: “Wearing helmets was made mandatory for pedal cyclists”

Synonyms: Obligatory, Compulsory.

5) Well-Intentioned

Meaning: Having or showing good intentions despite a lack of success or fortunate results.

Example: “Well-intentioned advice”

6) Upgrade

Meaning: Raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components.

Example: “Upgraded computers”

Synonyms: Improve, Better.

7) Afford

Meaning: Have enough money to pay for.

Example: “The best that I could afford was a first-floor room”

Synonyms: Pay for, Bear/meet the expense of.

8) Proponent

Meaning: A person who advocates a theory, proposal, or course of action.

Example: “A strong proponent of the free market and liberal trade policies”

Synonyms: Advocate, Supporter.

9) Ensure

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

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

Synonyms: Make sure, Make certain.

10) Moot

Meaning: Subject to debate, dispute, or uncertainty.

Example: “Whether the temperature rise was mainly due to the greenhouse effect was a moot point”

Synonyms: Debatable, Open to debate.

11) Commercialization

Meaning: The process of managing or running something principally for financial gain.

Example: “The escalating commercialization of athletics”

12) Sufficiently

Meaning: To an adequate degree; enough.

Example: “He recovered sufficiently to resume his duties”

13) Lavish

Meaning: Sumptuously rich, elaborate, or luxurious.

Example: “A lavish banquet”

Synonyms: Sumptuous, Luxurious.

14) Obvious

Meaning: Easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent.

Example: “Unemployment has been the most obvious cost of the recession”

Synonyms: Clear, Plain.

15) Distinct

Meaning: Recognizably different in nature from something else of a similar type.

Example: “The patterns of spoken language are distinct from those of writing”

Synonyms: Clear, Clear-cut.

16) Spawn

Meaning: Produce or generate a large number of.

Example: “The decade spawned a bewildering variety of books on the forces”

Synonyms: Give rise to, Bring about.

17) Sweatshop

Meaning: A factory or workshop, especially in the clothing industry, where manual workers are employed at very low wages for long hours and under poor conditions.

Example: “The situation is similar to migrant workers in sweatshops”

18) Perceived

Meaning: Interpret or regard (someone or something) in a particular way.

Example: “If Guy does not perceive himself as disabled, nobody else should”

Synonyms: Look on, View.

19) Asymmetry

Meaning: Lack of equality or equivalence between parts or aspects of something; lack of symmetry.

Example: “There was an asymmetry between the right and left ears”

20) Intensified

Meaning: Become or make more intense.

Example: “The dispute began to intensify”

Synonyms: Escalate, Step up.

21) Commit

Meaning: Perpetrate or carry out (a mistake, crime, or immoral act).

Example: “He committed an uncharacteristic error”

Synonyms: Carry out, Do.

22) Impose

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

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

Synonyms: Foist, Force.

23) Mulling

Meaning: The verb mull means to think deeply about something, the way you might mull over your choice of what college to attend. When you mull something over, you ponder or seriously consider it.

24) Wage

Meaning: Carry on (a war or campaign).

Example: “It is necessary to destroy their capacity to wage war”

Synonyms: Engage in, Carry on.

25) Salvo

Meaning: A simultaneous discharge of artillery or other guns in a battle.

Example: “A deafening salvo of shots rang out”

26) Fired

Meaning: Discharge a gun or other weapon in order to propel (a bullet or projectile).

Example: “He fired a shot at the retreating prisoners”

Synonyms: Launch, Shoot.

27) Zealous

Meaning: Enthusiastic and eager:

Example: “A zealous supporter of the government’s policies”

28) Unsurprising

Meaning: Not unexpected and so not causing surprise.

Example: “The outcome of this sombre film is unsurprising”

Synonyms: Predictable, Foreseeable.

29) Access

Meaning: The means or opportunity to approach or enter a place.

Example: “The staircase gives access to the top floor”

Synonyms: Entrance, Entry.

30) Judge

Meaning: Form an opinion or conclusion about.

Example: “A production can be judged according to the canons of aesthetic criticism”

Synonyms: Form the opinion, Come to the conclusion.

31) Allies

Meaning: A state formally cooperating with another for a military or other purpose.

Example: “Debate continued among NATO allies”

32) Destructive

Meaning: Causing great and irreparable damage.

Example: “The destructive power of weapons”

Synonyms: Devastating, Ruinous.

33) Eventually

Meaning: In the end, especially after a long delay, dispute, or series of problems.

Example: “Eventually, after midnight, I arrived at the hotel”

Synonyms: In the end, In due course.

34) Warned

Meaning: Inform someone in advance of a possible danger, problem, or other unpleasant situation.

Example: “His father had warned him of what might happen”

Synonyms: Notify, Alert.

35) Regulate

Meaning: Control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly.

Example: “A hormone which regulates metabolism”

Synonyms: Control, Adjust.

36) Crisis

Meaning: A time of intense difficulty or danger.

Example: “The current economic crisis”

Synonyms: Catastrophe, Calamity.

37) Protesting

Meaning: Express an objection to what someone has said or done.

Example: “Before Muriel could protest, he had filled both glasses”

Synonyms: Express opposition, Raise objections.

38) Protectionism

Meaning: The theory or practice of shielding a country’s domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports.

39) Retaliatory

Meaning: (Of an action) characterized by a desire for revenge.

Example: “Fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim’s friends”

40) Aptly

Meaning: In a manner that is appropriate or suitable in the circumstances.

Example: “America’s aptly named Sunshine State”

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