The Hindu Editorial : March 20,2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 20, 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) Goan roulette

The State needs political stability to be able to crack down on rent-seeking

When Pramod Sawant took office dramatically in the early hours of Tuesday as Chief Minister, it was the 23rd time that the regime in Goa changed since 1963, excluding five spells of President’s Rule. Mr. Sawant’s legislative majority is far from clear and the longevity of his government remains a subject of speculation. The State voted a hung Assembly in 2017, with the BJP winning fewer seats than the Congress. The machinations that led to the installation of a BJP-led government headed by Manohar Parrikar did not match up to any high standards of democracy. Parrikar’s image acted as a veneer for his party’s less than honourable pursuit of power. He was a moderate in the Hindutva party and reached out to Christians, who constitute 25% of the population. His return to the State after leaving the Union Cabinet was a condition set by parties and independents for supporting the BJP. He was able to considerably insulate himself from the afflictions of Goa’s politics. With his passing, politics in Goa could be less restrained. Its politicians should strive hard to prove the sceptics wrong. History, of course, does not counsel optimism.

Multiple social and economic factors contribute to the volatility. Goa’s population, as per Census 2011, is just 14.59 lakh, and it is one of the smallest States also in terms of area. There are 40 Assembly constituencies, relatively small in size; most have less than 30,000 voters. Besides the Congress and the BJP, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party, the Goa Forward Party and the Nationalist Congress Party are represented in the current Assembly. The main political contest is between the BJP and the Congress, but given the small sizes of constituencies and the close contests, the scope for manipulation of the electoral process is very high. Seasoned political players have perfected the art of setting up multi-cornered contests by fielding independents and fringe political outfits that fragment the votes and turn the tide to their benefit. Goa is the place where the many ills of Indian democracy play out in a stark manner. Land is scarce, with tourism being the mainstay of the economy. Mining, which used to be the other major driver of the economy, has been stalled by the Supreme Court since February last year. There are numerous avenues for political patronage, rent-seeking and generation of dirty money. The political system, rather than acting as a counterweight to the hazardous forces that its economy and geography generate, often ends up accelerating them. A government with a wafer-thin majority is unlikely to address these systemic ills.

B) A fight for Kiev

The presidential campaign has been animated by the debate on Ukraine’s place in the world

The pro-West Ukrainian oligarch, President Petro Poroshenko, has a battle at hand in his re-election bid on March 31. Given the crowded arena, including former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a run-off cannot be ruled out. The President’s modest record in office, however, may not entirely be held against him, given the difficult geopolitical backdrop. The continuing conflict in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine exerts a heavy toll. Over 10,000 lives have been lost since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea. Millions have been displaced, with the resolution envisaged in the Minsk Accord proving elusive. The government has signed a free-trade pact and a separate association agreement with the European Union, and got strong economic and military backing from Washington and Brussels. Memberships of the EU and NATO are among the government’s long-term objectives. Ukraine has also been rewarded with an IMF aid package worth billions of dollars for improved governance and enacting anti-corruption legislation. But the increase in the price of household gas and other conditionalities stemming from IMF assistance have fuelled popular discontent.

Mr. Poroshenko has been especially concerned about not loosening his grip on power or political legitimacy since Moscow’s recognition of polls last year to the breakaway provinces of Ukraine. When tensions flared up in November after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval vessels on the disputed Azov Sea, Mr. Poroshenko imposed a national emergency. The move was criticised by the opposition as an attempt to capitalise on the conflict with an eye on elections. Opponents are anxious to tap into the popular frustration with the prevailing situation. For his part, the President has adopted an overtly nationalist posture in recent months. Billboards in support of Mr. Poroshenko extol the army’s role during the conflict, besides carrying invocations to the country’s faith and language. The reference to religion is evidently meant to celebrate the recognition the Ukrainian Orthodox Church won late last year as an autonomous establishment. Independence from the Russian Orthodox Church is a watershed after centuries within the larger fold. Similarly, importance is sought to be attached to asserting the separate identity of the Ukrainian language, predominantly spoken in the western part of the country, over Russian. An exaggerated sense of the distinctness of cultural symbols may at best prove politically expedient in a society with a long pluralist legacy. Mr. Poroshenko should exercise caution not to overplay these issues. His opponent Ms. Tymoshenko is expected to be the frontrunner in the first round of voting on March 31. While she favours engagement with the West, her populist stance, both on the domestic and foreign policy fronts, has not impressed observers in Brussels or in Washington. A close contest is in the offing. But whatever the choice the Ukrainian voters make, their problems are unlikely to disappear in a hurry.


1) regime

Meaning : a government, especially an authoritarian one.

Synonyms : reign

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “ideological opponents of the regime”

2) excluding

Meaning : not taking someone or something into account; except.

Synonyms : refuse

Antonyms : accept

Example : “the holiday cost £180, excluding accommodation”

3) fewer

Meaning : used to emphasize how small a number of people or things is.

Synonyms : scattering

Antonyms : useful

Example : “he had few friends”

4) pursuit

Meaning : the action of pursuing someone or something.

Synonyms : hunt

Antonyms : retreat

Example : “the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird”

5) afflictions

Meaning : a cause of pain or harm.

Synonyms : disorder

Antonyms : benefit

Example : “a crippling affliction of the nervous system”

6) insulate

Meaning : protect (something) by interposing material that prevents the loss of heat or the intrusion of sound.

Synonyms : seclude

Antonyms : mingle

Example : “insulate and draught-proof your home”

7) restrained

Meaning : characterized by reserve or moderation; unemotional or dispassionate.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டுப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : discreet

Antonyms : extroverted

Example : “his restrained, gentlemanly voice”

8) sceptics

Meaning : a person inclined to question or doubt accepted opinions.

Synonyms : dissenter

Antonyms : believer

9) contribute

Meaning : give (something, especially money) in order to help achieve or provide something.

Synonyms : devote

Antonyms : hold

Example : “taxpayers had contributed £141.8 million towards the cost of local services”

10) contest

Meaning : an event in which people compete for supremacy in a sport or other activity, or in a quality.

Tamil Meaning : போட்டி

Synonyms : match

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “a tennis contest”

11) outfits

Meaning : provide with a set of clothes.

Synonyms : apparatus

Antonyms : individuals

Example : “warders outfitted in special suits”

12) stark

Meaning : severe or bare in appearance or outline.

Tamil Meaning : முற்றிலும்

Synonyms : blunt

Antonyms : covered

Example : “the ridge formed a stark silhouette against the sky”

13) scarce

Meaning : (especially of food, money, or some other resource) insufficient for the demand.

Tamil Meaning : பற்றாக்குறை

Synonyms : deficient

Antonyms : adequate

Example : “as raw materials became scarce, synthetics were developed”

14) stalled

Meaning : stop or cause to stop making progress.

Synonyms : interrupt

Antonyms : aid

Example : “his career had stalled, hers taken off”

15) patronage

Meaning : the support given by a patron

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : auspices

Antonyms : blockage

Example : “the arts could no longer depend on private patronage”

16) accelerating

Meaning : increase in rate, amount, or extent.

Tamil Meaning : முடுக்கி

Synonyms : advance

Antonyms : block

Example : “inflation started to accelerate”

17) backdrop

Meaning : lie behind or beyond; serve as a background to.

Tamil Meaning : பின்னணியில்

Synonyms : scenery

Example : “the rolling hills that backdropped our camp”

18) conflict

Meaning : be incompatible or at variance; clash.

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : clash

Antonyms : truce

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

19) envisaged

Meaning : contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable future event.

Synonyms : conceive

Example : “the Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers”

20) elusive

Meaning : difficult to find, catch, or achieve.

Synonyms : subtle

Antonyms : definite

Example : “success will become ever more elusive”

21) enacting

Meaning : make (a bill or other proposal) law.

Tamil Meaning : மேம்படுத்தியது

Synonyms : execute

Antonyms : hinder

Example : “legislation was enacted to attract international companies”

22) concerned

Meaning : worried, troubled, or anxious.

Synonyms : distressed

Antonyms : composed

Example : “the villagers are concerned about burglaries”

23) disputed

Meaning : argue about (something).

Tamil Meaning : பிரச்சினைக்குரிய

Synonyms : contend

Antonyms : agree

Example : “the point has been much disputed”

24) imposed

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

Tamil Meaning : திணிக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : establish

Antonyms : disorder

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

25) 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

Antonyms : truancy

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

26) prevailing

Meaning : existing at a particular time; current.

Tamil Meaning : நிலவும்

Synonyms : prevalent

Antonyms : limited

Example : “the unfavourable prevailing economic conditions”

27) posture

Meaning : the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

Synonyms : aspect

Example : “I got out of the car in an alert posture”

28) invocations

Meaning : the action of invoking someone or something.

Synonyms : appeal

Antonyms : revocation

Example : “his invocation of the ancient powers of Callanish”

29) sought

Meaning : attempt to find (something).

Tamil Meaning : முயன்று

Synonyms : desired

Example : “they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds”

30) distinct

Meaning : readily distinguishable by the senses.

Synonyms : definite

Antonyms : indistinct

Example : “a distinct smell of nicotine”


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