The Hindu Editorial : March 1, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 1, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  NIACL AO Prelims Exam, IBPS SO Mains Exam. 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.

A) Coming home: on release of Indian pilot Wg. Cdr. Abhinandan

The release of the IAF pilot gives India and Pakistan the chance to de-escalate tensions

With Pakistan’s decision to release Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, tensions between India and Pakistan may finally wind down. The gesture, which Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called an offer of peace and goodwill, must be appreciated, although there is evidence to suggest that there was pressure from other countries on Islamabad to make such an announcement to prevent further escalation from India. If Wing Commander Abhinandan’s return provides the space for diplomacy to take over, it is because it gives both countries the opportunity to signal a victory of sorts. Islamabad will project itself as having done the decent thing, and New Delhi is likely to claim that its tough stance compelled his return. There have been a number of incidents that took the subcontinent to the brink of a conflict that could have quite easily spiralled out of control — from the Pulwama attack to the Indian air strikes on Balakot, to attempted attacks by Pakistani military aircraft in Jammu and Kashmir, and the IAF pilot’s capture. The sense of uncertainty was only made worse by the utterances of public figures and the media on both sides, who tried to score points domestically. In India, within a few weeks the image of a nation in grief determined to fight terrorism appeared to have given way to triumphalism over the Balakot strikes. Pakistan went the same way after it foiled an attack across the Line of Control that saw both sides take down each other’s aircraft. Videos of Wing Commander Abhinandan being manhandled by a mob before Pakistani soldiers moved in to protect him did not help. As a result, the focus changed within a few days from India’s outrage over the terror strike to two nuclear neighbours poised for conflict.

It is time for New Delhi and Islamabad to use the pause afforded by the relief over the release to decide on the rules of engagement. Pakistan must realise that the time for denial and obfuscation is over. Unless it begins to act on India’s and the world community’s concerns about Pakistan-based terror safe havens in a time-bound manner, the two nations could be back on the brink of war if there is another trigger. If it does act, it could herald a paradigm shift in India-Pakistan engagement and help fix its own fragile economy. This has a precedent: the period that followed then-Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s 2003 announcement on shutting down terror groups, when Pakistan’s military actually showed some results in the matter, was the most productive phase of engagement between the two countries in recent decades. Significantly, it was a time of economic growth and stability too for Pakistan. New Delhi must be ready to show both flexibility and a determined focus on Pakistan’s action against terror groups, including the Jaish-e-Mohammad. This is the best way to build constructively on the international consensus built post-Pulwama in India’s favour.

B) The deal-maker: on resignation and reinstatement of Mohammad Javad Zarif

The drama over Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif’s moves reflects an ideological tussle

A day after posting his resignation on Instagram, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was compelled to resume duties when President Hassan Rouhani rejected it. This sudden move by Mr. Zarif, who is widely credited with playing a key role in forging the nuclear deal in 2015, reflects the tensions within the Iranian political establishment. The U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal after Donald Trump became President, and the reintroduction of American sanctions on Iran, have sharpened contradictions between the hardliners and the moderates within the Islamic Republic, an ideological tussle that has endured for a long time. Hardliners opposed to any thaw in relations with the West, and who were always sceptical of the nuclear deal, have found in the current circumstances an opportunity to question and critique the architects of the deal. Mr. Zarif’s public resignation was also a kind of a power play. He was missing in the parleys between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his hosts in Tehran recently. Mr Assad, who is a key West Asian ally for Iran and has received military help from Tehran during the civil war, had also met Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Through his resignation and the public outcry that followed, Mr. Zarif sent a signal to his government that he was no lightweight diplomat and had a significant public standing among Iranians favourably disposed towards the regime.

The re-imposition of sanctions has been a major economic setback for Iran. The country did get some respite after the U.S. granted a temporary waiver for eight countries, including India, which are key trading partners. But with the sanctions, it is reeling under a weakening currency and galloping inflation. The major countries in the European Union — Germany, France and the U.K. — have reiterated that Iran has complied with the regulations of the nuclear deal and have created a new financial “special purpose vehicle” to facilitate trade with Iran despite the U.S. sanctions. The operationalisation of this entity is dependent on Iran abiding by rules framed by the international Financial Action Task Force. Bills that will bring Iranian laws in line with FATF rules are pending in Iran’s Expediency Council and Parliament due to a protracted debate between the moderates and the hardliners. Had Mr. Zarif, the main architect and advocate of the deal, exited the government, it would have complicated Iran’s continued adherence to the agreement. The conservatives’ critique of Mr. Zarif must be seen in this light. President Rouhani’s rejection of his resignation also indicates that he can ill-afford to lose an ally at this crucial juncture for Iran and its engagement with the West.


1) escalation

Meaning : a rapid increase; a rise(n).

Synonyms : intensify

Antonyms : diminish

Example : “cost escalations”

2) claim

Meaning : state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : answer

Example : “the Prime Minister claimed that he was concerned about Third World debt”

3) stance

Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture.

Tamil Meaning : நிலைப்பாடு

Synonyms : posture

Example : “she altered her stance, resting all her weight on one leg”

4) brink

Meaning : the extreme edge of land before a steep slope or a body or water.

Tamil Meaning : விளிம்பில்

Synonyms : fringe

Antonyms : center

Example : “the brink of the cliffs”

5) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash.

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : combat

Antonyms : truce

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

6) utterances

Meaning : a spoken word, statement, or vocal sound(n).

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றுக்களால்

Synonyms : assertion

Antonyms : listening

Example : “he whispered, as if to lend his utterances an added confidentiality”

7) determined

Meaning : having made a firm decision and being resolved not to change it(adj).

Synonyms : resolute

Antonyms : yielding

Example : “Alina was determined to be heard”

8) outrage

Meaning : an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation(n).

Synonyms : violence

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “her voice trembled with outrage”

9) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash.

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : clash

Antonyms : peace

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

10) denial

Meaning : the action of denying something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுப்பு

Synonyms : rebuttal

Antonyms : allowance

Example : “she shook her head in denial

11) herald

Meaning : a person or thing viewed as a sign that something is about to happen.

Synonyms : harbinger

Example : “they considered the first primroses as the herald of spring”

12) fragile

Meaning : (of an object) easily broken or damaged.

Tamil Meaning : உடையக்கூடிய

Synonyms : delicate

Antonyms : able

Example : “fragile items such as glass and china”

13) forging

Meaning : make or shape (a metal object) by heating it in a fire or furnace and hammering it.

Synonyms : falsify

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “he forged a great suit of black armour”

14) contradictions

Meaning : a combination of statements, ideas, or features which are opposed to one another.

Tamil Meaning : முரண்பாடுகள்

Synonyms : conflict

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “the proposed new system suffers from a set of internal contradictions”

15) tussle

Meaning : a vigorous struggle or scuffle, typically in order to obtain or achieve something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : scuffle

Antonyms : harmony

Example : “there was a tussle for the ball”

16) endured

Meaning : suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently(v).

Synonyms : feel

Antonyms : disallow

Example : “it seemed impossible that anyone could endure such pain”

17) thaw

Meaning : (of ice, snow, or another frozen substance, such as food) become liquid or soft as a result of warming up.

Synonyms : defrost

Antonyms : solidify

Example : “the river thawed and barges of food began to reach the capital”

18) sceptical

Meaning : not easily convinced; having doubts or reservations.

Synonyms : doubtful

Antonyms : desirous

Example : “the public were deeply sceptical about some of the proposals”

19) diplomat

Meaning : an official representing a country abroad.

Synonyms : envoy

Example : a British diplomat working in our consulate in Germany

20) disposed

Meaning : having a specified attitude to or towards.

Tamil Meaning : அகற்றப்பட்ட

Synonyms : biased

Antonyms : disinclined

Example : “he is favourably disposed towards the proposals”

21) respite

Meaning : a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant.

Synonyms : interruption

Antonyms : continuation

Example : “the refugee encampments will provide some respite from the suffering”

22) waiver

Meaning : an act or instance of waiving a right or claim.

Synonyms : remission

Antonyms : approval

Example : “their acquiescence could amount to a waiver”

23) galloping

Meaning : (of a process or event) progressing in a rapid and seemingly uncontrollable manner.

Synonyms : zoom

Antonyms : slow

Example : “galloping inflation”

24) reiterated

Meaning : say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity(v).

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி

Synonyms : renew

Antonyms : take back

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

25) complied

Meaning : act in accordance with a wish or command.

Tamil Meaning : உடன்பாடுகள்

Synonyms : observe

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “we are unable to comply with your request”

26) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

Example : “the despite done by him to the holy relics”

27) abiding

Meaning : (of a feeling or memory) lasting a long time; enduring.

Synonyms : enduring

Antonyms : ceasing

Example : “he had an abiding respect for her”

28) protracted

Meaning : lasting for a long time or longer than expected or usual.

Synonyms : continued

Antonyms : abrupt

Example : “a protracted and bitter dispute”

29) adherence

Meaning : attachment or commitment to a person, cause, or belief.

Tamil Meaning : பின்பற்றுவது

Synonyms : faithfulness

Antonyms : disloyalty

Example : “a strict adherence to etiquette”

30) juncture

Meaning : a particular point in events or time.

Tamil Meaning : சூழ்நிலை

Synonyms : choice

Antonyms : blessing

Example : “it is difficult to say at this juncture whether this upturn can be sustained”


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