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THE HINDU EDITORIAL – November 17, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018, Indian Bank PO & LIC HFL 2018. 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) A crippling shortage: on vacancies in courts

THE HINDU EDITORIAL : NOVEMBER 17, 2018 Lower courts, performing critical functions, must not be bogged down by vacancies

The burgeoning docket burden that weighs down the judiciary is not because of its lumbering judicial processes alone, as it is often made out. The chronic shortage of judges and severe understaffing of the courts they preside over are significant reasons. More than a decade after the Supreme Court laid down guidelines in 2007 for making appointments in the lower judiciary within a set time frame, a similar issue is back before the highest court. The immediate context is the existence of more than 5,000 vacancies in the subordinate courts. A Bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi has pulled up State governments and the administration of various High Courts for the delay in filling these vacancies. Answers provided in the Rajya Sabha reveal that as on March 31, 2018, nearly a quarter of the total number of posts in the subordinate courts remained vacant. The court has put the actual figure at 5,133 out 22,036 sanctioned posts. The State-wise figures are quite alarming, with Uttar Pradesh having a vacancy percentage of 42.18 and Bihar 37.23. Among the smaller States, Meghalaya has a vacancy level of 59.79%. The reasons are not difficult to guess: utter tardiness in the process of calling for applications, holding recruitment examinations and declaring the results, and, more significantly, finding the funds to pay and accommodate the newly appointed judges and magistrates. Besides, Public Service Commissions should recruit the staff to assist these judges, while State governments build courts or identify space for them.

According to the Constitution, district judges are appointed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court. Other subordinate judicial officers are appointed as per rules framed by the Governor in consultation with the High Court and the State Public Service Commission. In effect, the High Courts have a significant role to play. A smooth and time-bound process of making appointments would, therefore, require close coordination between the High Courts and the State Public Service Commissions. A study released last year by the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy revealed that the recruitment cycle in most States far exceeded the time limit prescribed by the Supreme Court. This time limit is 153 days for a two-tier recruitment process and 273 days for a three-tier process. Most States took longer to appoint junior civil judges as well as district judges by direct recruitment. This situation demands a massive infusion of both manpower and resources. Subordinate courts perform the most critical judicial functions that affect the life of the common man: conducting trials, settling civil disputes, and implementing the bare bones of the law. Any failure to allocate the required human and financial resources may lead to the crippling of judicial work in the subordinate courts. It will also amount to letting down poor litigants and undertrials, who stand to suffer the most due to judicial delay.

B) Getting the economy back on track

THE HINDU EDITORIAL : NOVEMBER 17, 2018It is important to understand the myth and reality of the current economic situation in order to map the road ahead

Economics is a technical subject of interdependent variables and parameters, that allows for objective mathematical and statistical analysis. It is no more a single commodity demand-supply subject. Those in responsible positions who are ignorant of this fact end up trying to put a spin and gloss on reality, and thus get exposed soon as ridiculous, as we can see today in media debates.

Is it true then that the Indian economy is headed for a serious crisis? Yes, that is a reality. It is, however, a myth that any or every crisis necessarily means an imminent collapse of the economy. The Indian economy is not near a collapse yet.

The situation today in the Indian economy is therefore still retrievable and a turnaround can be commenced within three months if the government initiates “real” economic policy changes, as was done in 1991-96 during the tenures of Chandra Shekhar and P.V. Narasimha Rao as Prime Ministers.

Hence, no amount of quoting foreign agencies such as the International Monetary Fund, or international events in explanations will help address the crisis that is looming unless we initiate major economic reforms that are credible and incentive-driven for the people. We therefore need a reality check today.

A few basic facts

The reality of today can be assessed from the following facts. One, the growth rate of the economy with proper index number-based GDP has declined over the last two financial years. The annual rate for 2018-19 is for obvious reason not available, but my guess is the trend has not changed.

Two, household savings, which are the bulk of India’s national investment, dropped from a high of 34% of GDP to about 24% of GDP in 2017. Non-household savings are about 5% of GDP. This decline happened even before demonetisation and the decline continues because of intrusive and sometime obnoxious tax measures. I consider the Goods and Services Tax (GST) a flop borrowed from the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. Despite my protest, it was introduced much as a carnival in Parliament, with gongs reverberating.

Three, non-performing assets of the public sector banks (PSBs) have also risen sharply, in fact at a rate of growth much higher than the rate of new advances of these banks, making many large PSBs financially unviable and likely to collapse. This could cause financial contagion in 2019 in all sectors.

Four, the Ministry of Finance has brutally cut allocations of the investments in infrastructure despite the urgent need for such infrastructure. The economy needs about $1 trillion investment in infrastructure to render “Make in India” a reality, but the actual investment in sanctioned projects is valued even less in real terms than the amount invested in the pre-2014 years.

Five, the manufacturing sector, especially MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) which provide the bulk of the employment for the skilled and semi-skilled in the labour force, has been growing at abysmally low rates of between 2% and 5%.

Six, India’s agricultural products are among the cheapest in the world, and despite a low yield per hectare, we are not able to increase the yield to its potential maximum and at least double the production and export the agricultural products abroad commensurately. Consequently, agriculture, as the sector that is the largest employer of India’s manpower, is grossly under-performing.

Seven, when crude oil prices had steeply fallen over the four years since 2014, and despite the dollar value of the rupee till mid-2018 having been steady at around Rs.65 per dollar, nevertheless both exports and imports simultaneously declined over 2014-17.

The current adversity

Now today in 2018, the Indian economy is facing a 180-degree adverse situation: a rise in the rupee-dollar rate to 75, and crude oil prices rising to $85 per barrel, although they are lower now. This is causing a massive crunch for our foreign exchange reserves.

Thus the present possibility of an economic crash should galvanise us to review honestly the way we have governed and done the business of governing, and then rise to new heights with an appropriate change in policy, and thereafter achieve higher growth rates of 10%-plus annual growth in GDP, with structural changes.

The Union government also needs to give an alternative ideological thrust to economic policy rather than try to improve on the failed economic policies of the UPA, as is currently being done. In particular, first, the individual has to be persuaded by the government by incentives — for example, by abolishing the income tax — and not by coercion, such as harsh levies and taxes. Of course, the state should make no promise to the people without specifying the sacrifice required to be made by them to make it happen.

Second, India can make rapid economic progress to become a developed country only through a globally competitive economy, which requires assured access to the markets and technological innovations of the U.S. and some of its allies such as Israel. This has concomitant political obligations which must be accepted as essential.

Since the growth rate in the GDP is calculated as equal to the rate of total investment (investment as a ratio of GDP) divided by the productivity coefficient of capital (called “capital-output” ratio which decreases with increasing productivity and vice versa), a fall in the rate of investment and/or a rise in capital output ratio means a decline in the growth rate in GDP.

Thus if the rate of investment is 39% and the productivity ratio is 3.9, then the GDP growth rate is 39 divided by 3.9, which equals 10%. Thus higher the productivity in the use of capital (same as lower capital output ratio), higher is the GDP growth for the same level of investment — and vice versa.

The decline in the level of household savings thus had caused a sharp decline in the GDP growth rate. It is imperative therefore that to accelerate the GDP growth rate, government policy should be to incentivise the saving habit to increase the savings rate to 35% of the GDP.

To seriously address these priority problems, it is essential to implement a new menu of measures: (a) dramatic incentives for the household expectation and sentiment to save; and (b) lowering the cost of capital via reducing the prime lending interest rates of banks to 9%, by shifting to a fixed exchange rate regime of Rs.50 per dollar for the financial year 2019 and then gradually lowering the exchange rate for subsequent years.

Cause for optimism

On a positive note, we should bear in mind that in the last 71 years, India has always come out successfully in all crises — once this is acknowledged as such by policy makers, it can then be dealt with squarely with reforms that incentivise the people. On each occasion, such as the food crisis of 1965, the foreign exchange crisis of 1990-91, thereafter growth renewed on to a higher accelerating path.

A recent biography of Narasimha Rao by Vinay Sitapati shows how as Prime Minister, Rao relied on my blueprints prepared for reform led to economic reforms moving away from Soviet socialism to the market system and led to doubling the GDP growth rate rising from the socialist 3.5% annual rate of four decades (1950 to 1990) to the market fuelled 8.5% annual rate.

The Indian economy, however, needs to grow at 10%-plus per year for the next 10 years to achieve full employment and for India’s GDP to overtake China’s GDP and pave the way to form a global economic triumvirate with the U.S. and China.

We can no more be satisfied with 7-9% growth rate if we want to become an economically developed country by 2040.


1) burgeoning

Meaning : begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish(v).

Tamil Meaning : அரும்பும்

Synonyms : expansion

Antonyms : dropping

Example : “manufacturers are keen to cash in on the burgeoning demand”

2) lumbering

Meaning : moving in a slow, heavy, awkward way(adj).

Synonyms : heavy

Antonyms : nimble

Example : “Bob was a big, lumbering, gentle sort”

3) preside

Meaning : be in the position of authority in a meeting or other gathering.

Tamil Meaning : தலைமை

Synonyms : direct

Antonyms : follow

Example : “the prime minister will preside at an emergency cabinet meeting”

4) reveal

Meaning : make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others(v).

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்த

Synonyms : disclose

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “Brenda was forced to reveal Robbie’s whereabouts”

5) utter

Meaning : complete; absolute(adj).

Tamil Meaning : முற்றிலும்

Synonyms : absolute

Antonyms : uncertain

Example : “Charlotte stared at her in utter amazement”

6) tardiness

Meaning : the quality or fact of being late; lateness(n).

Tamil Meaning : தாமதம்

Synonyms : slowness

Antonyms : preparedness

Example : “forgive my tardiness, I had some very important business to attend to”

7) massive

Meaning : large and heavy or solid(adj).

Synonyms : huge

Antonyms : tiny

Example : “a massive rampart of stone”

8) infusion

Meaning : a drink, remedy, or extract prepared by soaking tea leaves or herbs in liquid.

Tamil Meaning : உட்செலுத்துதல்

Synonyms : extract

Antonyms : decompose

Example : “a strong rosemary infusion”

9) bare

Meaning : (of a person or part of the body) not clothed or covered(adj).

Synonyms :plain

Antonyms : covered

Example : “he was bare from the waist up”

10) disputes

Meaning : a disagreement or argument.

Tamil Meaning : மோதல்

Synonyms : conflicts

Antonyms : agreements

Example : “a territorial dispute between the two countries”

11) crippling

Meaning : cause (someone) to become unable to walk or move properly(v).

Tamil Meaning : தடைபடுதல்

Synonyms : disabling

Antonyms : healthful

Example : “a young student was crippled for life”

12) litigants

Meaning : a person involved in a lawsuit(n) .

Tamil Meaning : வழக்கு தொடுக்கும்

Synonyms : defendant

Antonyms : complainant

Example : “a litigant in civil proceedings”

13) myth

Meaning : a traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining a natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டுக்கதை

Synonyms : fable

Antonyms : fact

Example : “ancient Celtic myths”

14) imminent

Meaning : about to happen(adj).

Tamil Meaning : உடனடி

Synonyms : approaching

Antonyms : distant

Example : “they were in imminent danger of being swept away”

15) retrieve

Meaning : get or bring (something) back from somewhere(v).

Tamil Meaning : மீட்டெடுக்க

Synonyms : recover

Antonyms : lose

Example : “I was sent to retrieve the balls from his garden”

16) commenced

Meaning : begin(v).

Tamil Meaning : தொடங்குகிறது

Synonyms : start

Antonyms : finish

Example : “his design team commenced work”

17) tenure

Meaning : the holding of an office.

Tamil Meaning : பதவி

Synonyms : occupation

Antonyms : dignity

Example : “his tenure of the premiership would be threatened”

18) looming

Meaning : appear as a vague form, especially one that is large or threatening.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : imminent

Antonyms : far

Example : “vehicles loomed out of the darkness”

19) intrusive

Meaning : causing disruption or annoyance through being unwelcome or uninvited.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : ஊடுருவும்

Synonyms : curious

Antonyms : protrusive

Example : “that was an intrusive question”

20) obnoxious

Meaning : extremely unpleasant.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : அருவருப்பான

Synonyms : repulsive

Antonyms : appealing

Example : “obnoxious odours”

21) carnival

Meaning : an annual festival, typically during the week before Lent in Roman Catholic countries, involving processions, music, dancing, and the use of masquerade(n).

Tamil Meaning : திருவிழா

Synonyms : fair

Antonyms : lamentation

Example : “the culmination of the week-long carnival”

22) reverberating

Meaning : (of a loud noise) be repeated several times as an echo(v).

Tamil Meaning : எதிரொலிக்கும்

Synonyms : resound

Antonyms : yield

Example : “her deep booming laugh reverberated around the room”

23) unviable

Meaning : not capable of working successfully; not feasible(adj).

Tamil Meaning : சாத்தியமற்ற

Synonyms : unsustainable

Antonyms : achievable

Example : “the commission found the plan to be financially unviable”

24) contagion

Meaning : the communication of disease from one person or organism to another by close contact.(V)

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்தலின்

Synonyms : contamination

Antonyms : antidote

Example : “the rooms held no risk of contagion”

25) despite

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

Tamil Meaning : போதிலும்

Synonyms : regardless

Antonyms : exalt

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

26) render

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

Tamil Meaning : வழங்க

Synonyms : translate

Antonyms : take

Example : “money serves as a reward for services rendered

27) abysmally

Meaning : in an extremely bad way; appallingly.

Tamil Meaning : படுபாதாளத்தில்

Synonyms : terribly

Antonyms : superbly

Example : “she treats me abysmally at times”

28) commensurate

Meaning : corresponding in size or degree; in proportion(adj).

Tamil Meaning : ஈடான

Synonyms : equivalent

Antonyms : inadequate

Example : “salary will be commensurate with age and experience”

29) steeply

Meaning : at a steep angle; sharply(adv).

Tamil Meaning : செங்குத்தாக

Synonyms : abruptly

Antonyms : gradually

Example : “the walls of the gorge rise steeply on both sides”

30) adverse

Meaning : preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable(adj).

Tamil Meaning : பாதகமான

Synonyms : contrary

Antonyms : favorable

Example : “taxes are having an adverse effect on production”

31) Pave

Meaning : cover (a piece of ground) with flat stones or bricks; lay paving over.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வகுக்கும்

Synonyms : cover

Antonyms : strip

Example : “the yard at the front was paved with flagstones”

32) crunch

Meaning : crush (a hard or brittle foodstuff) with the teeth, making a loud but muffled grinding sound(v).

Tamil Meaning : நெருக்கடி

Synonyms : crush

Antonyms : opulence

Example : “she paused to crunch a ginger biscuit”

33) galvanise

Meaning : shock or excite (someone) into taking action.

Synonyms : excite

Antonyms : temper

Example : “the urgency of his voice galvanized them into action”

34) persuade

Meaning : induce (someone) to do something through reasoning or argument.

Tamil Meaning : இணங்க

Synonyms : convince

Antonyms : dissuade

Example : “it wasn’t easy, but I persuaded him to do the right thing”

35) levies

Meaning : an act of levying a tax, fee, or fine(n).

Tamil Meaning : விதிப்புகளை

Synonyms : Charge

Antonyms : removes

Example : “police forces receive 49 per cent of their funding via a levy on the rates”

36) coercion

Meaning : the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டாயப்படுத்தல்

Synonyms : force

Antonyms : liberty

Example : “they didn’t have to use coercion

37) concomitant

Meaning : naturally accompanying or associated(adj).

Tamil Meaning : உடனியங்குகிற

Synonyms : attendant

Antonyms : vintage

Example : “she loved travel, with all its concomitant worries”

38) regime

Meaning : a government, especially an authoritarian one.

Tamil Meaning : ஆட்சி

Synonyms : reign

Antonyms : chaos

Example : “ideological opponents of the regime”

39) dealt

Meaning : distribute (cards) in an orderly rotation to players for a game or round.

Tamil Meaning : கையாளப்பட

Synonyms : rationed

Antonyms : agreed

Example : “the cards were dealt for the last hand”

40) renewed

Meaning : resume (an activity) after an interruption(v).

Tamil Meaning : புதுப்பிக்கப்பட்ட

Synonyms : fresh

Antonyms : drained

Example : “the parents renewed their campaign to save the school”


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