The Hindu Editorial : March 14,2019
The Hindu Editorial : March 14,2019
Dear Banking Aspirants,
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 14, 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) Heavy-handed order: on contempt law
The contempt law must not be used, or seen to be used, to stifle dissenting views
The Meghalaya High Court’s order finding the Editor and Publisher of Shillong Times guilty of contempt, and asking them to “sit in a corner” till the rising of the court and imposing a fine of ₹2 lakh each, is a heavy-handed response to comments in the newspaper on the court’s earlier orders. What makes the order even more unfortunate is the explicit threat to ban the newspaper and jail them if they fail to pay the fine. While courts are indeed empowered to decide whether a publication scandalised or tended to scandalise the judiciary or interfered with the administration of justice, there is no legal provision for an outright ban on it. The origin of these contempt proceedings appears to be the State government’s unilateral decision to withdraw certain facilities to retired judges without consulting the court administration. After the matter was not resolved on the administrative side for two months, the court initiated suo motu proceedings and issued some directions. It was because of a news item, accompanied by a commentary on the court’s directions, that the contemnors had incurred the court’s displeasure.
The offending comments appeared to imply that the directions regarding extending facilities, including protocol services and domestic help, and reimbursing communication bills up to ₹10,000 a month and a mobile phone worth ₹80,000, to retired judges amounted to “judges judging for themselves”. It is a moot question whether the court ought to have taken umbrage at this remark or ignored it. It would serve the cause of preserving the dignity of the higher judiciary if overzealous comments made by activists or journalists were ignored. In 1999, the Supreme Court had brushed aside some adverse remarks by activists by saying, “the court’s shoulders are broad enough to shrug off their comments.” However, in the case of Patricia Mukhim, the Editor of Shillong Times, the court has made sweeping remarks that the newspaper had always attacked individuals and institutions, had published propaganda calling for bandhs and “was always working against judges and the judicial system”. The defence argued the court should frame specific charges before convicting them for contempt. However, the matter was tried summarily. While it is open to the court to try a case of contempt in a summary manner, the use of personalised views of the publication’s past record to hand down the verdict puts a question mark over the decision-making process. While there may be a need to curb tendentious criticism of the judiciary and self-serving comments on ongoing proceedings in mainstream and social media, there is a compelling case to use the contempt law sparingly, and avoid the impression that it is being used to stifle free speech or dissent. Lenience, not anger, ought to be the primary response of a detached judiciary.
B) In slow mode: on manufacturing and inflation data
Manufacturing, inflation data give monetary policy makers room for an interest rate cut
Manufacturing activity in the country continues to remain becalmed. The latest Index of Industrial Production data show that output across the broad sector expanded 1.3% in January, a clear loss of momentum from the 3% pace in December and a drastic slowdown from the 8.7% growth seen in January 2018. Overall, industrial output growth slumped to 1.7%, from 2.6% in December, and 7.5% a year earlier, as production in 12 of the 23 industry groups that comprise the manufacturing sector shrank from a year earlier. These are quick estimates that are likely to be revised. But the fact that key job-creating industries, including textiles, leather and related products, pharmaceuticals, rubber and plastic products, and motor vehicles, reported contractions hardly bodes well for the real economy. A look at the use-based classification of industries also gives little cause for cheer. Capital goods, a closely watched proxy for business spending plans, contracted 3.2%, a telling contrast with the 12.4% expansion posted 12 months earlier. A sustained revival on this vital front may still be some time away. A recent survey by IHS Markit of business activity expectations, conducted over two weeks in the latter half of February, shows that Indian businesses plan to curb outlays on hiring and capital spending, with sentiment on capex at a one-year low. And growth in consumer durables output was an anaemic 1.8% (7.6% in January 2018), another clear sign that spending on consumption of non-essentials remains in search of favourable winds.
If the IIP poses cause for concern, retail inflation data hardly provide much reassurance. While price gains measured by the Consumer Price Index accelerated to a four-month high of 2.57% in February, it is the persistent deflationary trend in the prices of some farm items that is deeply disquieting, reflecting as it does a collapse in pricing power in the agrarian heartland. Vegetables, fruits and pulses and products all posted negative rates of inflation from a year earlier, of –7.69%, – 4.62% and –3.82% respectively. While urban consumers may cheer the increased affordability of vegetables and fruits, rural demand for manufactured goods will remain depressed unless there is a meaningful turnaround in the farm sector’s economic fortunes. Looking ahead, with Saudi Arabia committed to deepening its production cuts in order to keep crude oil prices well-supported, it appears unlikely that India’s fuel and energy costs will stay soft for much longer. And with political parties sure to open the spending spigot in a bid to woo voters, inflationary impulses will quicken. For now, though, with growth slowing and inflation still comfortably within the Reserve Bank’s 2%-6% target range, monetary policy makers would feel justified in pressing ahead with one more interest rate cut at their meeting next month.
Meaning : grand and impressive in appearance(adj).
Tamil Meaning :
Synonyms : appoint
Antonyms : displace
Example : “an imposing 17th-century manor house”
Meaning : stated clearly and in detail, leaving no room for confusion or doubt(adj).
Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படையான
Synonyms : accurate
Antonyms : careless
Example : “the arrangement had not been made explicit”
Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.
Synonyms : certainly
Antonyms : doubtfully
Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”
Meaning : shock or horrify (someone) by a real or imagined violation of propriety or morality(v).
Synonyms : defame
Antonyms : compliment
Example : “their lack of manners scandalized their hosts”
Meaning : regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic(v).
Synonyms : contribute
Antonyms : dislike
Example : “written language tends to be formal”
Meaning : intervene in a situation without invitation or necessity(v).
Tamil Meaning : குறுக்கிட்டார்
Synonyms : hinder
Antonyms : advance
Example : “you promised not to interfere”
Meaning : wholly and completely(adv).
Tamil Meaning : அப்பட்டமான
Synonyms : absolute
Antonyms : imperfect
Example : “logging has been banned outright”
Meaning : the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration(n).
Tamil Meaning : அவமதிப்பு
Synonyms : antipathy
Antonyms : approval
Example : “Pam stared at the girl with total contempt”
Meaning : (of an action or decision) performed by or affecting only one person, group, or country involved in a situation, without the agreement of another or the others(adj).
Synonyms : independent
Antonyms : multilateral
Example : “unilateral nuclear disarmament”
Meaning : continuing firmly or obstinately in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition(adj).
Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து
Synonyms : constant
Antonyms : broken
Example : “one of the government’s most persistent critics”
Meaning : become subject to (something unwelcome or unpleasant) as a result of one’s own behaviour or actions.
Tamil Meaning : ஏற்படும்
Synonyms : acquire
Antonyms : forfeit
Example : “I will pay any expenses incurred”
Meaning : a feeling of annoyance or disapproval(n).
Synonyms : disapproval
Antonyms : approval
Example : “he started hanging around the local pubs, much to the displeasure of his mother”
Meaning : repay (a person who has spent or lost money)(v).
Synonyms : compensate
Antonyms : damage
Example : “the investors should be reimbursed for their losses”
Meaning : too zealous in one’s attitude or behaviour(adj).
Synonyms : fanatical
Antonyms : rational
Example : “he’s been overzealous in handing out parking tickets”
Meaning : declare (someone) to be guilty of a criminal offence by the verdict of a jury or the decision of a judge in a court of law.
Synonyms : condemn
Antonyms : release
Example : “the theives were convicted of the robbery”
Meaning : expressing or intending to promote a particular cause or point of view, especially a controversial one(adj).
Synonyms : prejudicial
Example : “a tendentious reading of history”
Meaning : an event or a series of activities involving a set procedure(n).
Tamil Meaning : நடவடிக்கை
Synonyms : archives
Example : “you complete a form to start proceedings”
Meaning : the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held(n).
Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்பை
Synonyms : discord
Antonyms : acceptance
Example : “there was no dissent from this view”
Meaning : aloof and objective.
Tamil Meaning : பிரிக்கப்பட்ட
Synonyms : isolated
Antonyms : attached
Example : “he is a detached observer of his own actions”
Meaning : sit, lean, or fall heavily and limply.
Synonyms : collapse
Antonyms : build
Example : “she slumped against the cushions”
Meaning : become or make smaller in size or amount.
Synonyms : diminish
Antonyms : develop
Example : “the workforce shrank to a thousand”
Meaning : roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of.
Tamil Meaning : மதிப்பீடு
Synonyms : appraisal
Antonyms : ignorance
Example : “the aim is to estimate the effects of macroeconomic policy on the economy”
Meaning : continuing for an extended period or without interruption.
Tamil Meaning : நீடித்த
Synonyms : constant
Antonyms : discontinuous
Example : “several years of sustained economic growth”
Meaning : an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something.
Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி
Synonyms : recovery
Antonyms : destruction
Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”
Meaning : a check or restraint on something.
Tamil Meaning : கட்டுப்படுத்து
Synonyms : ledge
Antonyms : inside
Example : “plans to introduce tougher curbs on insider dealing”
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