The Hindu Editorial : March 13,2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 13, 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) The power of two: on simultaneous elections to the Assemblies and Lok Sabha

Assembly election campaigns could have a bearing on the parliamentary polls

Parliamentary elections in India have increasingly been influenced by State-level political variables beyond the performance of the ruling parties and the Opposition at the Centre. And this factor is likely to be even more salient in the four States facing simultaneous elections to the Assemblies and the Lok Sabha: Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. In Andhra Pradesh, the two main rivals are regional forces, the Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party and the Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party. In 2014, the TDP had successfully fought elections in alliance with the BJP, and the Congress faced a backlash because of the bifurcation of the State during its tenure. This time, however, with the TDP having broken its alliance with the BJP, the regional parties are in a direct contest, and the national parties relegated to being minor players. Andhra Pradesh has faced acute fiscal concerns after bifurcation, and the TDP government would be keen to reassure voters over concerns about the State’s economy. It fared the best in the country on economic growth parameters, with a significant increase in per capita income during the last five years and successful delivery of irrigation schemes. On the flip side, delays in the construction of the new capital city and the ballooning public debt suggest that Andhra still has structural issues to overcome. The TDP and the YSRCP have tried a game of one-upmanship on relations with the Centre and the denial of “special category status” for the State, which it is argued is crucial to overcome fiscal issues. Both parties have significant support bases among OBCs and other landowning communities, and the lack of any substantive differentiation between them could make this a closely contested election. The two parties are also likely to be important players in a post-election scenario at the national level.

In Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal led by Naveen Patnaik has been in power for 19 years, having bucked anti-incumbency largely due to welfare-driven governance. Unlike in Andhra Pradesh, the Congress and particularly the BJP have a stronger presence. The BJP, buoyed by its performance in the 2017 local body elections, is expected to put up a stronger fight in the State’s Assembly and Lok Sabha polls. In fact, the BJP is keen to make up for expected losses in its strongholds in the north with gains in the east. India’s longest-serving Chief Minister, Pawan Kumar Chamling (in power since 1994), and his Sikkim Democratic Front are expected to face a more pronounced challenge from the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha and the new party launched by former footballer Bhaichung Bhutia, the Hamro Sikkim Party. In Arunachal Pradesh, the Permanent Resident Certificate issue will figure as a dominant narrative during the elections even as the ruling BJP seeks to link its campaign to the performance of the Central government.

B) Final showdown: on IS

The IS is facing defeat, but the search for a political solution in Syria should continue

The Islamic State, which at its peak controlled territories straddling the Iraq-Syria border of the size of Great Britain, is now fighting for half a square kilometre in eastern Syria. The Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish-led rebel group assisted by the U.S., has effectively laid siege to Baghouz, the eastern Syrian village where about 500 IS jihadists along with 4,000 women and children are caught. When the IS lost bigger cities such as Raqqa and Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, militants moved to Baghouz and the deserts in the south. After the SDF moved to Baghouz, several civilians fled the village. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that nearly 59,000 people have left IS-held territory since December, and at least 4,000 jihadists have surrendered since February. Both President Donald Trump and the SDF commanders say victory against the IS is imminent. Victory in Baghouz will also mean the IS’s territorial caliphate is shattered. Since the battle for Kobane in 2015, which marked the beginning of the end of the IS, Syrian Kurdish rebels have been in the forefront of the war. Naturally, the SDF would claim the final victory against the IS.

However, the liberation of Baghouz or the destruction of the territorial caliphate does not necessarily mean that the IS has been defeated. It is basically an insurgent-jihadist group. It has established cells, especially in Syria and Iraq, which have continued to carry out terror attacks even as IS territories kept shrinking. The group has a presence in Syria’s vast deserts, a tactic its predecessor, al-Qaeda in Iraq, successfully used when it was in decline during 2006-2011 after its leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was killed by the U.S. When the Syrian civil war broke, the remnants of AQI found an opportunity for revival and rebranded themselves as the Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria. The IS was born when al-Nusra split. The U.S., the Kurdish rebels, the Syrian government and other stakeholders in the region should be mindful of the geopolitical and sectarian minefields that groups such as the IS could exploit for their re-emergence. Mr. Trump has already announced the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. The Turkish government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is wary of the rapid rise of the Syrian Kurds, who are organisationally and ideologically aligned with Kurdish rebels on the Turkish side. The Syrian regime, on its part, has vowed to re-establish its authority over the Kurdish autonomous region in the northeast. If Turkey and Syria attack Kurdish rebels, who were vital in the battle against the IS, that would throw northeastern Syria into chaos again, which would suit the jihadists. To avoid this, there must be an orderly U.S. withdrawal and a political solution to the Syrian civil war.


1) bifurcation

Meaning : the division of something into two branches or parts(n).

Synonyms : bisect

Antonyms : agree

Example : “the bifurcation of the profession”

2) tenure

Meaning : the holding of an office(n).

Tamil Meaning : பதவி

Synonyms : regime

Antonyms : misconception

Example : “his tenure of the premiership would be threatened”

3) contest

Meaning : engage in competition to attain (a position of power).

Tamil Meaning : போட்டி

Synonyms : challenge

Antonyms : quiet

Example : “she declared her intention to contest the presidency”

4) relegated

Meaning : assign an inferior rank or position to(v).

Synonyms : consign

Antonyms : deny

Example : “they aim to prevent women from being relegated to a secondary role”

5) concerns

Meaning : relate to; be about(v).

Synonyms : affair

Antonyms : unconcern

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

6) reassure

Meaning : say or do something to remove the doubts or fears of (someone)(v).

Tamil Meaning : உத்தரவாதம்

Synonyms : assure

Antonyms : dispirit

Example : “he understood her feelings and tried to reassure her”

7) denial

Meaning : the action of denying something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுப்பு

Synonyms : rebuttal

Antonyms : allowance

Example : “she shook her head in denial

8) crucial

Meaning : decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something(adj).

Tamil Meaning : முக்கியமான

Synonyms : necessary

Antonyms : minor

Example : “negotiations were at a crucial stage”

9) substantive

Meaning : having a firm basis in reality and so important, meaningful, or considerable(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நிலையான

Synonyms : essentially

Antonyms : adjectively

Example : “there is no substantive evidence for the efficacy of these drugs”

10) contested

Meaning : engage in competition to attain (a position of power)(v).

Tamil Meaning : போட்டியிட்ட

Synonyms : debated

Antonyms : opted

Example : “she declared her intention to contest the presidency”

11) scenario

Meaning : a written outline of a film, novel, or stage work giving details of the plot and individual scenes(n).

Tamil Meaning : சூழ்நிலை

Synonyms : outline

Antonyms : result

Example : “the scenarios for four short stories”

12) bucked

Meaning : (of a horse) to perform a buck(v).

Synonyms : oppose

Antonyms : agree

Example : “he’s got to get his head down to buck”

13) campaign

Meaning : a series of military operations intended to achieve a goal, confined to a particular area, or involving a specified type of fighting(n).

Synonyms : crusade

Antonyms : inaction

Example : “a desert campaign”

14) dominant

Meaning : having power and influence over others.

Tamil Meaning : மேலாதிக்க

Synonyms : assertive

Antonyms : auxiliary

Example : “they are now in an even more dominant position in the market”

15) straddling

Meaning : sit or stand with one leg on either side of(v).

Synonyms : hedge

Antonyms : siding

Example : “he turned the chair round and straddled it”

16) siege

Meaning : a military operation in which enemy forces surround a town or building, cutting off essential supplies, with the aim of compelling those inside to surrender(n).

Tamil Meaning : முற்றுகை

Synonyms : barricade

Antonyms : beginning

Example : “Verdun had withstood a siege of ten weeks”

17) fled

Meaning : run away from a place or situation of danger(v).

Synonyms : depart

Antonyms : arrive

Example : “to escape the fighting, his family fled from their village”

18) estimates

Meaning : roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.

Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடுகள்

Synonyms : appraisal

Antonyms : ignorance

Example : “the aim is to estimate the effects of macroeconomic policy on the economy”

19) imminent

Meaning : about to happen.

Tamil Meaning : உடனடி

Synonyms : immediate

Antonyms : avoidable

Example : “they were in imminent danger of being swept away”

20) caliphate

Meaning : the rule or reign of a caliph or chief Muslim ruler(n).

Synonyms : successor

Example : “the Umayyad caliphate in Damascus was overthrown by the Abbasids”

21) remnants

Meaning : a part or quantity that is left after the greater part has been used, removed, or destroyed(n).

Synonyms : fragment

Antonyms : whole

Example : “the bogs are an endangered remnant of a primeval landscape”

22) revival

Meaning :an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி

Synonyms : recovery

Antonyms : destruction

Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”

23) exploit

Meaning : make full use of and derive benefit from (a resource).

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்தி

Synonyms : adventure

Antonyms : idleness

Example : “500 companies sprang up to exploit this new technology”

24) wary

Meaning : feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.

Synonyms : attentive

Antonyms : certain

Example : “dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers”

25) autonomous

Meaning : (of a country or region) having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs(adj).

Synonyms : sovereign

Antonyms : subservient

Example : “the federation included sixteen autonomous republics”


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