The Hindu Editorial : March 28,2019

Dear Aspirants,

Daily Current Affairs (March 28, 2019) like many other sections is inevitable and this also helps to score in the Banking awareness, Static GK and Financial Awareness sections. Remember, Banking Awareness and Static Awareness Questions are asked from the General Awareness section. This will also help you to ride your preparations for the forthcoming exams.

A) Saving Jet: on Jet Airways crisis

With the airline landing in the laps of banks, the challenge now is to quickly find a buyer

The decision of Naresh Goyal and Anita Goyal, his wife, to step down from the board of Jet Airways and cede control to its lenders has come not a moment too soon. By hanging on to the troubled airline and refusing to let go, Mr. Goyal brought Jet to the brink, imperilling 16,000 direct jobs and ₹6,000 crore of outstanding debt to banks. Even as banks, obviously prodded by the government, stepped in with a rescue plan in February that would give them a controlling stake in the airline through conversion of a part of their dues, Mr. Goyal refused to keep his side of the bargain. In the meanwhile, the airline continued to nosedive with aircraft being repossessed by lessors, pilots threatening to strike work and schedules going for a toss. It is just as well that Mr. Goyal finally saw reason and resigned from the Jet Airways board. This signals the start of a rescue act to save the airline, but whether it succeeds will depend on a host of factors, including the ability of banks to quickly find a buyer to pilot it.

Meanwhile, the active role played by banks in devising the rescue plan and also committing fresh funds of ₹1,500 crore has already come under question. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code was enacted precisely to handle situations such as what Jet found itself in. In the normal course, the airline would have been dragged to bankruptcy court for a resolution as many other truant borrowers have been in the last two years. But, just ahead of elections, the government obviously did not want a high-profile bankruptcy with thousands of jobs lost and inconvenience to the public through disrupted flight schedules and higher airfares. While this explains why banks were prodded into rescuing Jet, the fact remains that they are ill-suited to run an airline. Besides, there is the risk of setting a precedent for other defaulters to try to stay out of the tentacles of the IBC. Already, fugitive economic offender Vijay Mallya, whose Kingfisher Airlines collapsed, is asking why he was not offered a bailout as Jet has been. That said, the priority of banks now is to exit from Jet as soon as they can with their money intact. That means finding an investor or a strategic buyer to offload their stake quickly. That is not going to be an easy task, but the alternative for the banks — of running the airline themselves — is not a practical option. The banks also have to guard against Mr. Goyal trying to stage a comeback in some manner in the event that the lenders fail to find a buyer. Such an eventuality would be a violation of the spirit of the IBC and also encourage recalcitrant borrowers.

B) Slow on sanitation

Policymakers have failed to use technological advances made in treating faecal sludge

The tragic death of six people who entered a septic tank in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur town is a grim reminder that sanitation remains a low-priority area despite the high political profile of Swachh Bharat. Public understanding of the science of managing septic tanks continues to be poor, and the availability of cheap labour to clean these structures has slowed efforts to develop technologies that can safely remove and transport the waste. Sanitation thus remains a challenge in thousands of unsewered towns. What sets the incident apart from the several instances of people dying of asphyxiation in the tanks is that some of the victims were the owners of the property and not workers. Three people collapsed while inspecting their residential septic tank, and others who tried to save them also perished. Although workers were not affected in this case, it confirms Tamil Nadu’s abysmal overall record at raising sanitation standards. Since 1993, when the first law was passed against manual cleaning, there were at least 144 worker deaths in Tamil Nadu as of November 2018, according to official data reported to the Centre for grant of compensation. Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab also fared badly with a cumulative toll of 146 lives lost during that period. But this is obviously a gross underestimate, since the Safai Karmachari Andolan, which has litigated in the Supreme Court seeking to aggressively prosecute offenders, contends that septic tank cleaning claimed nearly 1,500 lives between 2014 and 2016. More reports of deaths continue to come in.

Every death of a manual worker represents a crime, since the Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and their Rehabilitation Act, 2013 makes the use of such labour to clean septic tanks an offence punishable with imprisonment of two years or with a fine of ₹2 lakh or both even in the first instance. If State governments are reluctant to prosecute offenders, they are also slow to adopt newer technologies such as Faecal Sludge Treatment Plants (FSTP), which can be combined with omniprocessors for safe treatment of waste. For the task of cleaning the tanks, indigenous innovation in robotics looks promising. A prototype is planned to be tested by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and such devices can potentially transform sanitation in India and other developing countries. But the pace of adoption will depend on the priority that governments accord to the long-neglected problem. Last year, Tamil Nadu, and some other States, notably Andhra Pradesh and Odisha, announced plans to scale up FSTP infrastructure. This is a task that deserves the highest importance, and needs to be completed on deadline. What happened in Sriperumbudur highlights the heavy price that communities pay for the lack of scientific sanitation. If governments remain apathetic, citizens would expect the courts to step in to uphold the law against manual scavenging and make individual departments accountable. The science on sanitation has advanced, and policy must urgently catch up.


1) brink

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

Tamil Meaning : விளிம்பில்

Synonyms : fringe

Antonyms : middle

Example : “the brink of the cliffs”

2) imperilling

Meaning : put at risk of being harmed, injured, or destroyed(v).

Synonyms : compromise

Antonyms : assist

Example : “they advised against tax increases for fear of imperilling the recovery”

3) prodded

Meaning : poke with a finger, foot, or pointed object(v).

Synonyms : nudge

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “he prodded her in the ribs”

4) rescue

Meaning : save (someone) from a dangerous or difficult situation(v).

Synonyms : recovery

Antonyms : failure

Example : “firemen rescued a man trapped in the river”

5) Scavengers

Meaning : an animal that feeds on carrion, dead plant material, or refuse.

Tamil Meaning : துப்புறவு

Synonyms : scrounge

Example : “carcasses are usually quickly disposed of by scavengers”

6) repossessed

Meaning : retake possession of (something) when a buyer defaults on payments.

Synonyms : retake

Example : “565 homes were repossessed for non-payment of mortgages”

7) enacted

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

Tamil Meaning : இயற்றப்பட்டது

Synonyms : execute

Antonyms : hinder

Example : “legislation was enacted to attract international companies”

8) truant

Meaning : another way of saying play truant below.

Tamil Meaning : சோம்பேறி

Synonyms : hooky

Example : “if my daughter had been truanting from school I would have been informed”

9) tentacles

Meaning : something resembling a tentacle in shape or flexibility.

Tamil Meaning : விழுது

Synonyms : limb

Example : “trailing tentacles of vapour”

10) fugitive

Meaning : a person who has escaped from captivity or is in hiding(n).

Tamil Meaning : தப்பியோடிய

Synonyms : elusive

Antonyms : lasting

Example : “fugitives from justice”

11) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage.

Synonyms : against

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

12) recalcitrant

Meaning : having an obstinately uncooperative attitude towards authority or discipline.

Synonyms : obstinate

Antonyms : compliant

Example : “a class of recalcitrant fifteen-year-olds”

13) perished

Meaning : (of rubber, food, etc.) lose its normal qualities; rot or decay.

Synonyms : crumble

Antonyms : appear

Example : “an abandoned tyre whose rubber had perished”

14) cumulative

Meaning : increasing or increased in quantity, degree, or force by successive additions.

Tamil Meaning : ஒட்டுமொத்த

Synonyms : aggregate

Antonyms : decreasing

Example : “the cumulative effect of two years of drought”

15) litigated

Meaning : resort to legal action to settle a matter; be involved in a lawsuit.

Synonyms : prosecute

Antonyms : agree

Example : “the plaintiff is prepared to litigate”

16) prosecute

Meaning : institute or conduct legal proceedings against (a person or organization).

Tamil Meaning : சட்டரீதியாக

Synonyms : reclaimed

Antonyms : arraign

Example : “they were prosecuted for obstructing the highway”

17) reluctant

Meaning : unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

Tamil Meaning : தயக்கம்

Synonyms : averse

Antonyms : careless

Example : “today, many ordinary people are still reluctant to talk about politics”

18) innovation

Meaning : the action or process of innovating.

Tamil Meaning : கண்டுபிடிப்பு

Synonyms : contraption

Antonyms : stagnation

Example : “innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization”

19) indigenous

Meaning : originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

Tamil Meaning : உள்நாட்டு

Synonyms : endemic

Antonyms : alien

Example : “the indigenous peoples of Siberia”

20) sanitation

Meaning : conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal.

Tamil Meaning : துப்புரவு

Synonyms : hygiene

Antonyms : dirtiness

Example : “they could afford to erect new dwellings with a reasonable standard of construction and sanitation”


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