The Hindu Editorial : March 5, 2019

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THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 5, 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) Party and symbol: on ‘Two Leaves’ verdict

Delhi HC order on ‘Two Leaves’ deepens T.T.V. Dhinakaran’s political dilemma

The Delhi High Court verdict upholding the allotment of the ‘Two Leaves’ symbol to the AIADMK jointly led by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam has come as no surprise. The Election Commission’s November 23, 2017 order had ruled in its favour based on the group’s majority in its organisational and legislative wings. The claim of the faction headed by V.K. Sasikala, a confidante of the late Jayalalithaa, and her nephew, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, to the party’s name and symbol weakened after Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam, who were in rival factions earlier, decided to come together in August 2017. Since then, they have consolidated their position by getting Mr. Dhinakaran’s loyalists among MLAs disqualified and outmanoeuvring him in both the party structure and in court cases. Their unity was forged with the common aim of keeping out Ms. Sasikala, who was briefly elected interim general secretary of the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s death in December 2016, and her nephew. The court has ruled that the EC was well within its powers to apply the majority test and allot the symbol to the faction that had more members in the general council and in its complement of MLAs and MPs. The court did not entertain arguments that the Commission should have ruled against the Panneerselvam-Palaniswami faction because it had changed the party’s basic structure by abolishing the post of general secretary; and the contention that the Commission’s order was vitiated by malice because it granted additional opportunities for filing affidavits, after which many reneged on their earlier statements on which group they belonged to.

The Dhinakaran faction has decided to appeal in the Supreme Court against the order that has set back his political fortunes. At the same time, it wants a common symbol to contest elections. Mr. Dhinakaran himself won a by-election to the Assembly from the RK Nagar constituency as an independent with the ‘pressure cooker’ symbol. He may have to register his party, the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK), with the EC to get a common symbol. Ever since he began running a faction in the absence of Sasikala, who is serving a four-year prison term, he has been trying to make the best of bad situations. He spent months in a Delhi prison himself on an allegation that he attempted to bribe an unknown EC official to get the party symbol. His political survival has so far hinged on tactically preserving a dual identity: running a party on the one hand, and keeping his group’s claim to the AIADMK’s identity alive through court cases. It is clear he is seeking to preserve his claim until the mainstream leadership is defeated in an election, in the hope that a majority of the party’s primary members will rally behind him. The coming general elections and as many as 21 Assembly by-elections will be an acid test of his political survival.

B) Alarming spread: on H1N1 cases

With H1N1 now a seasonal flu strain, care workers and others at risk must be vaccinated

In a short span of 55 days (till February 24) this year, the number of influenza A (H1N1) cases and deaths reported from India reached an alarming 14,803 and 448, respectively. The highest numbers were from Rajasthan (3,964), Delhi (2,738) and Gujarat (2,726). Uttar Pradesh was next, with 905. While Rajasthan and Gujarat had the highest number of deaths, at 137 and 88, respectively, Delhi recorded seven deaths despite recording around the same number of cases as Gujarat. There appears to be no let-up, with the number of cases and deaths steadily rising. What is more disturbing is that the number of cases reported till February 24 is nearly the same as that recorded in the whole of 2018 (14,992). At about 450, the number of deaths till February 24 is nearly half the total reported in 2018 (1,103). The actual number of cases and deaths this year is likely to be higher as West Bengal has not reported the data to the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme. Moreover, the IDSP data are based only on laboratory confirmed cases and deaths. The H1N1 virus, which caused a pandemic in 2009, has since become a seasonal flu strain globally, including in India, and causes fewer deaths. According to the WHO, in 2009 the number of laboratory confirmed deaths caused by the pandemic strain was at least 18,500. But a 2012 paper in Lancet Infectious Diseases mentioned 2,84,000 deaths, which was 15 times more than the number of laboratory confirmed deaths.

On February 6, the Union Health Ministry had reviewed the preparedness and action taken by States to deal with influenza cases when the number of H1N1 cases and deaths stood at 6,701 and 226, respectively. Despite the number of cases and deaths more than doubling in less than 20 days since the review, the Ministry has made no additional effort to contain the spread. It has issued a guidance “recommending” vaccines for health-care workers, and deeming them “desirable” for those above 65 years of age and children between six months and eight years. Surprisingly, people with pre-existing chronic diseases, who are most susceptible to H1N1 complications according to the WHO, have been ignored — though its own statement released on February 6 had said more deaths were seen in people with diabetes and hypertension. With H1N1 becoming a seasonal flu virus strain in India even during summer, it is advisable that health-care workers and others at risk get themselves vaccinated. Despite the sharp increase in cases and deaths, the vaccine uptake has been low. Besides vaccination, there needs to be greater awareness so that people adopt precautionary measures such as frequent handwashing, and cough etiquette.


1) verdict

Meaning : a decision on an issue of fact in a civil or criminal case or an inquest(n).

Synonyms : award

Antonyms : accusation

Example : “the jury returned a verdict of not guilty”

2) upholding

Meaning : confirm or support (something which has been questioned)(v).

Tamil Meaning : நிலைநிறுத்துவது

Synonyms : confirm

Antonyms : attack

Example : “the court upheld his claim for damages”

3) confidante

Meaning : a person with whom one shares a secret or private matter, trusting them not to repeat it to others(n).

Tamil Meaning : நம்பிக்கைக்கு

Synonyms : companion

Antonyms : foe

Example : “a close confidante of the princess”

4) consolidated

Meaning : make (something) physically stronger or more solid(v).

Tamil Meaning : தொகுக்கப்பட்டு

Synonyms : centralize

Antonyms : discourage

Example : “the first phase of the project is to consolidate the outside walls”

5) interim

Meaning : the intervening time(n).

Tamil Meaning : இடைக்கால

Synonyms : provisional

Antonyms : finished

Example : “in the interim I’ll just keep my fingers crossed”

6) complement

Meaning : a thing that contributes extra features to something else in such a way as to improve or emphasize its quality.(n)

Tamil Meaning : நிறைவுடன்

Synonyms : addition

Antonyms : base

Example : “local ales provide the perfect complement to fine food”

7) faction

Meaning : a small organized dissenting group within a larger one, especially in politics(n).

Synonyms : sect

Antonyms : whole

Example : “the left-wing faction of the party”

8) contention

Meaning : an assertion, especially one maintained in argument.

Tamil Meaning :கருத்து

Synonyms : conflict

Antonyms : agreement

Example : “Freud’s contention that all dreams were wish fulfilment”

9) vitiated

Meaning : spoil or impair the quality or efficiency of(v).

Tamil Meaning : பழுதாக்கு

Synonyms : annihilate

Antonyms : allow

Example : “development programmes have been vitiated by the rise in population”

10) reneged

Meaning : go back on a promise, undertaking, or contract(v).

Synonyms : default

Antonyms : promise

Example : “the government had reneged on its election promises”

11) fortunes

Meaning : chance or luck as an arbitrary force affecting human affairs(n).

Synonyms : affluence

Antonyms : debt

Example : “some malicious act of fortune keeps them separate”

12) contest

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

Synonyms : discussion

Antonyms : agreement

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

13) constituency

Meaning : a group of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body(n).

Synonyms : precinct

Antonyms : trader

Example : “most politicians are more interested in the voice of their constituency”

14) allegation

Meaning : a claim or assertion that someone has done something illegal or wrong, typically one made without proof(n).

Tamil Meaning : குற்றச்சாட்டு

Synonyms : charge

Antonyms : exculpation

Example : “he made allegations of corruption against the administration”

15) hinged

Meaning : attached or joined with a hinge.

Tamil Meaning : சார்ந்திருந்தது

Synonyms : depend

Example : “a pocket watch with a hinged lid”

16) tactically

Meaning : in a way that relates to actions carefully planned to gain a specific end(adv).

Synonyms : diplomatic

Antonyms : impoliticly

Example : “the community remained firm and the government tactically retreated”

17) seeking

Meaning : attempt to find (something)(v).

Synonyms : searching

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

18) despite

Meaning : contemptuous treatment or behaviour; outrage(n).

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : although

Antonyms : exalt

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

19) confirmed

Meaning : (of a person) firmly established in a particular habit, belief, or way of life and unlikely to change their ways(adj).

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : accepted

Antonyms : indefinite

Example : “a confirmed bachelor”

20) pandemic

Meaning : an outbreak of a pandemic disease(n).

Synonyms : generic

Antonyms : abnormal

Example : “the results may have been skewed by an influenza pandemic”

21) strain

Meaning : force (a part of one’s body or oneself) to make an unusually great effort.

Synonyms : anxiety

Antonyms : aid

Example : “I stopped and listened, straining my ears for any sound”

22) deeming

Meaning : regard or consider in a specified way(v).

Synonyms : assume

Antonyms : disbelieve

Example : “the event was deemed a great success”

23) susceptible

Meaning : likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing(Adj).

Synonyms : affected

Antonyms : insensitive

Example : “patients with liver disease may be susceptible to infection”

24) granted

Meaning : admittedly; it is true (used to introduce a factor which is opposed to the main line of argument but is not regarded as so strong as to invalidate it)(adv).

Tamil Meaning : வழங்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : assumed

Antonyms : unaccepted

Example : “granted, Marie was two years older than her, but it wasn’t a question of age”

25) etiquette

Meaning : the customary code of polite behaviour in society or among members of a particular profession or group(n).

Synonyms : decorum

Antonyms : immorality

Example : “the rules of etiquette are changing”


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