The Hindu Editorial : March 6, 2019

Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – March 6, 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) Life without GSP

India must not underestimate the impact of the U.S. withdrawal of trade privileges

The U.S. has ultimately acted on its threat to withdraw concessions granted to Indian imports under the Generalised System of Preferences. With President Trump indicating as much in a letter to the House of Representatives and Senate, Washington became the first to pull the trigger in a long trade stand-off between the two countries. India-U.S. trade tensions escalated last year when the U.S. took two consecutive decisions to increase import tariffs on steel and aluminium, and place India’s eligibility for GSP benefits under review. Shortly after, India said it would impose retaliatory tariffs on imports from the U.S. and even notified the list of items on which these would apply. Meanwhile, the U.S. stood fast on not exempting India from its tariff hikes, with Mr. Trump complaining about India’s high import tariffs several times. The GSP review, however, stretched on, with the two countries holding frequent talks to address the concerns. India, for its part, postponed the deadline for the imposition of the retaliatory tariffs six times; the latest deadline is on April 1. Washington’s decision to review India’s GSP status stemmed from complaints from American medical and dairy industries, both of which said India was not providing “equitable and reasonable access to its market”. India has said it had tried hard to cater to most of the U.S. demands and reach an understanding, but key points of difference, especially regarding India’s cultural concerns to do with dairy products, could not be accommodated. Given this, and the fact that the U.S. has been expressing discontent over India’s policies to do with data localisation and FDI rules in e-commerce, the decision to withdraw the GSP status should not come as a surprise. The question is, how will New Delhi react?

Following the U.S. announcement, the Commerce Ministry was quick to downplay the impact, saying the GSP benefits amounted to only $190 million while India’s total exports under GSP to the U.S. stood at $5.6 billion. Indian officials have stressed that talks on the issue would still continue during the 60-day period after which the GSP decision would come into effect. The other option the government can exercise is to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. The government’s efforts to downplay the impact of the withdrawal of GSP status and express readiness for more talks, however, suggest it is not keen to take a decisively strong stance. It bears emphasis that while the actual amounts at stake are relatively small, with even India’s proposed tariffs on the U.S. amounting to just $900 million, the impact on small industries in the country could nevertheless be significant. Export bodies have already said that such industries would lose their market share in the U.S. without fiscal support to help them maintain their edge. In its absence, orders meant for India could go to other GSP countries, signs of which are already evident.

B) Algeria for change

President Bouteflika should withdraw his re-election bid

Algerians have been protesting against their ailing 82-year-old President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who is seeking a fifth term in elections next month. On the last day to file nominations, it was announced that the veteran would cut short his rule if he is re-elected and initiate constitutional reforms. But such vague assurances have had little impact on the protesters in the hydrocarbon-rich nation who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of education and employment opportunities. Mr. Bouteflika, credited with restoring stability in Algeria after a bloody civil war in the 1990s between Islamist insurgents and the military, has remained a figurehead in recent years. Though he has held the post of President since 1999, ever since he suffered a stroke in 2013 he has hardly been seen in public. That, however, did not stop him from contesting the 2014 elections, which he won with a thumping majority, despite being out of action on the campaign trail. But the removal of top-ranking military and intelligence officials in subsequent years sparked speculation about who was really in charge. The government’s modus vivendi in the years following the civil war was to clamp down on dissent, and hand out generous welfare benefits. Given the turbulence of the civil war years, the initial stability worked well in a country that had grown wary of change. Persisting in that approach enabled the ruling inner coterie to wield real power on behalf of the President. The status quo was allowed to persist as the opposition parties failed to rise above their divisions. Algiers even evaded the anti-establishment fervour that had swept several northern African countries during the Arab Spring. Now, Algerians are demonstrating a resolve to move on from being seen as dependents on the state, to assert their rights as citizens.

Mr. Bouteflika’s latest re-election bid is being seen as a cynical manoeuvre by his inner circle. The voices of opposition have grown louder, as depleting oil revenues render the government’s welfare programmes less sustainable. Moreover, the ruling National Liberation Front’s contemptuous remarks against the clamour for change have incensed the public. Unlike in the past, the security forces have been more muted in their response so far. Thus, the government could well be misreading the situation if it believes the crisis will blow over. The military could be making a mockery of the electoral process by insisting on Mr. Bouteflika’s candidacy, in effect undermining the highest elected office. It cannot reduce a vibrant society to one that is democratic only in name. Mr. Bouteflika, who is reported to be operating from a hospital in Switzerland, should withdraw from the fray. Algeria needs a new beginning.


1) escalated

Meaning : increase rapidly(v).

Tamil Meaning : அதிகரித்தது

Synonyms : expand

Antonyms : decrease

Example : “the price of tickets escalated”

2) impose

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

Synonyms : establish

Antonyms : displace

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

3) retaliatory

Meaning : (of an action) characterized by a desire for revenge(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பழிவாங்கும்

Synonyms : vindictive

Antonyms : beneficial

Example : “fears of a retaliatory attack by the victim’s friends”

4) exempting

Meaning : free (a person or organization) from an obligation or liability imposed on others(v).

Tamil Meaning : தளர்த்தியது

Synonyms : absolved

Antonyms : hindered

Example : “they were exempted from paying the tax”

5) concerns

Meaning : relate to; be about.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : involvement

Antonyms : disinterest

Example : “the story concerns a friend of mine”

6) discontent

Meaning : dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances; lack of contentment.

Synonyms : regret

Antonyms : contentedness

Example : “voters voiced discontent with both parties”

7) impact

Meaning : the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another(n).

Synonyms : brunt

Antonyms : avoidance

Example : “there was the sound of a third impact”

8) stance

Meaning : the way in which someone stands, especially when deliberately adopted (as in cricket, golf, and other sports); a person’s posture(n).

Synonyms : posture

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

9) contesting

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

Synonyms : posture

Antonyms : collaborate

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

10) thumping

Meaning : pounding or throbbing in a heavy, continuous way(adj).

Tamil Meaning : அதிர

Synonyms : bang

Antonyms : small

Example : “the thumping beat of her heart”

11) despite

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

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : against

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

12) trail

Meaning : draw or be drawn along behind someone or something(v).

Synonyms : stream

Antonyms : excel

Example : “Alex trailed a hand through the clear water”

13) speculation

Meaning : the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence(n).

Synonyms : belief

Antonyms : reality

Example : “there has been widespread speculation that he plans to quit”

14) dissent

Meaning : the holding or expression of opinions at variance with those commonly or officially held(n).

Synonyms : discord

Antonyms : acceptance

Example : “there was no dissent from this view”

15) wary

Meaning : feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems(adj).

Synonyms : considerate

Antonyms : certain

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

16) Persisting

Meaning : continue in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition(v).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms : endure

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the minority of drivers who persist in drinking”

17) wield

Meaning : hold and use (a weapon or tool)(v).

Synonyms : employ

Antonyms : ignore

Example : “a masked raider wielding a handgun”

18) persist

Meaning : continue in an opinion or course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition(v).

Tamil Meaning : தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms : endure

Antonyms : cease

Example : “the minority of drivers who persist in drinking”

19) evaded

Meaning : escape or avoid (someone or something), especially by guile or trickery(v).

Tamil Meaning : தப்பித்துக்கொண்டிருந்தார்

Synonyms : avoid

Antonyms : confront

Example : “friends helped him to evade capture for a time”

20) fervour

Meaning : intense and passionate feeling(n).

Synonyms : passion

Antonyms : detest

Example : “he talked with all the fervour of a new convert”

21) swept

Meaning : brush (hair) back from one’s face or upwards(v).

Synonyms : clear

Antonyms : dirty

Example : “long hair swept up into a high chignon

22) assert

Meaning : state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully(v).

Synonyms : allege

Antonyms : abandon

Example : “the company asserts that the cuts will not affect development”

23) bid

Meaning : offer (a certain price) for something, especially at an auction(v).

Tamil Meaning : முயற்சியில்

Synonyms : offer

Antonyms : withdrawal

Example : “a consortium of dealers bid a world record price for a snuff box”

24) depleting

Meaning : use up the supply or resources of(v).

Tamil Meaning : நீர்த்துப்போக

Synonyms : decrease

Antonyms : develop

Example : “reservoirs have been depleted by years of drought”

25) render

Meaning : provide or give (a service, help, etc.)(v).

Synonyms : distribute

Antonyms : hold

Example : “money serves as a reward for services rendered

26) sustainable

Meaning : able to be maintained at a certain rate or level(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நிலையான

Synonyms : continuous

Antonyms : untenable

Example : “sustainable economic growth”

27) contemptuous

Meaning : showing contempt; scornful(adj).

Synonyms : derisive

Antonyms : humble

Example : “she was intolerant and contemptuous of the majority of the human race”

28) incensed

Meaning : Leonora glared back at him, incensed”

Synonyms : enraged

Antonyms : happy

Example : “Leonora glared back at him, incensed”

29) undermining

Meaning : lessening the effectiveness, power, or ability of someone or something, especially gradually or insidiously.

Tamil Meaning : வலுவிழக்க

Synonyms : subversion

Antonyms : backing

Example : “the last straw was an undermining comment questioning my skills”

30) fray

Meaning : (of a fabric, rope, or cord) unravel or become worn at the edge, typically through constant rubbing(v).

Tamil Meaning : போட்டிக்கு

Synonyms : brawl

Antonyms : peace

Example : “cheap fabric soon frays”


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