Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – November 21, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like  IBPS Clerk 2018, Canara Bank PO – PGDBF 2018 and IBPS SO 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) Give and take: on the RBI board meeting

The Centre and the RBI did well at the board meeting to address each other’s concerns

After the heat and dust of the last one month, the board meeting of the Reserve Bank of India on Monday turned out to be muted and professional, as it should have been. Any summary and precipitate action by the Centre to have its way would have created more problems than it solved, apart from it not going down well with the markets. The decisions taken by the board address the concerns of both the Centre and the central bank, though on balance it appears that the RBI carried the day. Two of the biggest concerns of the Centre where it was expecting an immediate resolution — relaxation of the Prompt Corrective Action framework on 11 public sector banks and provision of liquidity for non-banking financial companies — will be addressed at a future date. The first one has been referred to a department of the RBI for examination, while no decision seems to have been taken on the second. In addition, the Centre’s attempt to tap the RBI’s rich reserves has also been staved off for now, with the matter left to be decided by a committee set up exclusively for the purpose. This is as it should be. Given that the membership and terms of reference of the committee will be jointly decided by the Centre and the RBI, there is little scope for either side to complain of bias. The RBI has been transferring all of its surpluses to the Centre in the last five years based on the recommendations of an earlier committee led by Y.H. Malegam. Given this, it is unclear what more the new committee can possibly recommend on future surpluses, unless of course it is allowed to go into sharing of the reserves that now exist on the RBI’s balance sheet.

The central bank partially yielded to the Centre on two other issues — the Basel capital framework for banks and easing credit flow to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). The RBI didn’t concede the demand for alignment of the capital norms to Basel (they are higher now), but by pushing back the deadline by a year for increasing the capital buffer, it has freed up funds for banks to lend. Again, by permitting debt recast for MSME borrowers of up to ₹25 crore, the RBI has attempted to address their credit concerns, which was one of the major demands of the Centre. Clearly, there was enough give-and-take in the meeting that left both sides with the feeling that they had gained something. At Monday’s meeting the board turned hands-on probably for the first time in recent memory, from being just an advisory body. That the meeting went on for over nine hours clearly indicates that there was an intense exchange of views, which is not a bad thing at all. Differences between the Centre and the central bank must be thrashed out in such a setting, rather than in the media or in public speeches.

b) When giants clash: on the US-China discord

The U.S.-China discord at APEC highlights the dangers of their tariff war

Breaking with more than a quarter-century of history, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) organisation wrapped up its summit with no joint communiqué issued. Its leaders, principally led by the U.S. and China, clashed over the proposed wording of the document. The economic rivalry between Washington and Beijing appeared to fracture the 21-nation summit into two segments. The source of the friction stemmed from the Trump administration’s “America First” policy, under which Washington led the charge on “unfair trade practices”. This was an implicit accusation that China wasn’t levelling the playing field in global trade. The U.S. has been urging China to increase market access and grant intellectual property protections for American corporations, cut back on industrial subsidies and, at a broader level, bring down the $375-billion trade gap. Vice President Mike Pence, who attended on the President’s behalf, also hinted at strategic pushback when he called upon nations to eschew loans that could leave them in a debt trap with Beijing. The Chinese message at the plenary was a strategic one too: President Xi Jinping did not mince words in touting Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. The BRI has worried smaller Asian nations and the U.S., particularly given that China views the Asia-Pacific landscape as a means to secure economic predominance worldwide.

To understand what this clash of the global economic titans portends for the world trading system, it is instructive to examine the path of their mutual conflict thus far. The troubles began over the summer when both countries started taxing $50 billion worth of the other’s imports, followed by the U.S. slapping $200 billion of Chinese exports with a 10% tariff, to be ratcheted up to 25% by the year-end. China, unsurprisingly, retaliated with a promise to impose reciprocal taxes to the tune of $60 billion. Already, the tariff war has resulted in the IMF downgrading its global growth outlook for this year and the next to 3.7%, down 0.2 percentage points from an earlier forecast. If this continues, eventually global supply chains may be hit, and shrinking trade volumes may cause companies to seek out new trading routes and partners. Institutionally, multilateral rule-making bodies such as the WTO may lose their authority, and an interlocking system of bilateral trade treaties and punitive sanctions networks may substitute the consensus-based approach that was forged so painstakingly after World War II. Asia will be at the heart of this war of attrition because strategic control of its high-value maritime trading routes is the key to China’s dreams of global trade dominance. After the APEC summit the world is still poised on the edge of the trade war vortex. The forthcoming G20 meeting in Argentina offers an opportunity to pull back from the brink.


1) Precipitate

Meaning: Cause (an event or situation, typically one that is undesirable) to happen suddenly, unexpectedly, or prematurely.

Tamil Meaning: துரிதப்படுத்து

Synonyms: Provoke, Cause, Accelerate, Hasten

Antonyms: Block, Check, Halt

Example: “The incident precipitated a political crisis”

2) Concerns

Meaning: Make (someone) anxious or worried.

Tamil Meaning: கவலை

Synonyms: Worry, Disturb, Trouble, Bother

Antonyms: Entertainment, Fun, Disinterest

Example: “The roof of the barn concerns me because eventually, it will fall in”

3) Resolution

Meaning: A firm decision to do or not to do something.

Tamil Meaning: உறுதியான தீர்மனம்

Synonyms: Intention, resolve, decision, intent

Antonyms: Apathy, Cowardice, Fear

Example: “She kept her resolution not to see Anne anymore”

4) Prompt

Meaning: Done without delay; immediate.

Tamil Meaning: உடனடியான

Synonyms: quick, swiftrapidspeedyfast

Antonyms: Delayed, Slow, Late

Example: “She would have died but for the prompt action of two ambulancemen”

5) Provision

Meaning: The action of providing or supplying something for use.

Tamil Meaning: வழங்குதல்

Synonyms: Supply, providing, purveying

Antonyms: Removal, Taking

Example: “New contracts for the provision of services”

6) Staved Off

Meaning: to ward off (something adverse)

Tamil Meaning: அணைக்க

Synonyms: Avert, Forestall, Head Off

Example: The quartermaster staved off a shortage by requisitioning more than enough supplies

7) Scope

Meaning: The extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant.

Tamil Meaning: நோக்கம்

Synonyms: extent, rangebreadth

Antonyms: Extreme, Imprisonment, Limitation

Example: “We widened the scope of our investigation”

8) Bias

Meaning: Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.

Tamil Meaning: சார்புடன்/ ஒருபக்கம் சாய்தல்

Synonyms: Prejudice, Partiality, Partisanship

Antonyms: Tolerance, Antipathy, Justice

Example: “There was evidence of bias against black applicants”

9) Surpluses

Meaning: An amount of something left over when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply.

Tamil Meaning: உபரி/ மிகை

Synonyms: Excess, surfeit, overabundance

Antonyms: Essential, Lacking, Necessary

Example: “Exports of food surpluses”

10) Unclear

Meaning: Having or feeling doubt or confusion.

Tamil Meaning: தெளிவற்ற

Synonyms: Uncertain, Unsure, Doubtful

Antonyms: Definite, Explicit, Clear

Example: “Users are still unclear about what middleware does”

11) Yielded

Meaning: Give way to arguments, demands, or pressure.

Tamil Meaning: விட்டுக்கொடு

Synonyms: Surrender, capitulate, submit

Antonyms: Deny, Hold, Lose

Example: “The Western powers now yielded when they should have resisted”

12) Easing

Meaning: Make (something unpleasant or intense) less serious or severe.

Tamil Meaning: தளர்த்துவது

Synonyms: Relieve, AlleviateMitigate

Antonyms: Agitate, Excite, Extend

Example: “A huge road-building programme to ease congestion”

13) Concede

Meaning: Admit or agree that something is true after first denying or resisting it.

Tamil Meaning: ஏற்றுக் கொண்டும்

Synonyms: Admit, acknowledge, accept

Antonyms: Defend, Dispute, Fight

Example: “I had to concede that I’d overreacted”

14) Freed

Meaning: Remove something undesirable or restrictive from.

Tamil Meaning: விடுதலை

Synonyms: Exempt, make exempt, except

Antonyms: Discharged, Released, Free

Example: “His Inheritance freed him from financial constraints”

15) Recast

Meaning: Reshaping it

Tamil Meaning: மறுவடிவமைப்பு

Synonyms: Copied, Duplicated, Imitated

Example: “In 1919, the bells were recast”

16) Advisory

Meaning: Having or consisting in the power to make recommendations but not to take action enforcing them.

Tamil Meaning: ஆலோசனை

Synonyms: Consultative, consulting, advising

Example: “The Commission acts in an advisory capacity”

17) Intense

Meaning: Of extreme force, degree, or strength.

Tamil Meaning: தீவிர

Synonyms: Great, acute, enormous, fierce

Antonyms: Gentle, Ignorant, Mild

Example: “The job demands intense concentration”

18) Thrashed

Meaning: Beat (a person or animal) repeatedly and violently with a stick or whip.

Synonyms:  Hit, Beat, Flog, Whip

Antonyms: Surrender, Bear, Lose

Example: “She thrashed him across the head and shoulders”

19) Address

Meaning: A formal speech delivered to an audience.

Tamil Meaning: சொற்பொழிவு

Synonyms: Speech, lecture, talk

Example: “Our officers called at the address”

20) Wrapped

Meaning: To wind or Close

Synonyms: Swathe, bundle up, swaddle

Antonyms: Uncovered, Unwrapped

Example: (APEC) organization wrapped up its summit.

21) Clashed

Meaning: Meet and come into violent conflict.

Tamil Meaning: மோதிக்கொண்டன

Synonyms: Fight, skirmish, contend

Antonyms: Agreement, Concord, Calm

Example: “Protestors demanding self-rule clashed with police”

22) Proposed

Meaning: Put forward (a plan or suggestion) for consideration by others.

Tamil Meaning: முன்மொழியப்பட்ட

Synonyms:  SuggestAdvanceOfferPresent

Example: “He proposed a new nine-point peace plan”

23) Rivalry

Meaning: Competition for the same objective or for superiority in the same field.

Tamil Meaning: போட்டி

Synonyms: Competitiveness, Competition, Contention

Antonyms: Accord, Calm, Harmony

Example: “There always has been intense rivalry between the clubs”

24) Stemmed

Meaning: Originate in or be caused by.

Synonyms: Arise from, Originate from, Spring from

Antonyms: Cease, Halt, Decrease

Example: “Many of the universities’ problems stem from rapid expansion”

 25) Implicit

Meaning: Suggested though not directly expressed.

Tamil Meaning: உள்ளார்ந்த

Synonyms:  Implied, Indirect, Inferred

Antonyms: Disloyal, Stated

Example: “Comments seen as implicit criticism of the policies”

26) Intellectual

Meaning: A person possessing a highly developed intellect.

Tamil Meaning: அறிவுசார்

Synonyms:  HighbrowAcademic

Antonyms: Foolish, Simple, Stupid

Example: “A prominent political thinker and intellectual”

27) Subsidies

Meaning: A sum of money granted by the state or a public body to help an industry or business keep the price of a commodity or service low.

Tamil Meaning: மானியங்களை

Example: “A farm subsidy”

28) Eschew

Meaning: Deliberately avoid using; abstain from.

Synonyms: Forgo, ForswearShunRenounce

Antonyms: Face, Meet, Keep

Example: “He appealed to the crowd to eschew violence”

29) Trap

Meaning: Trick or deceive (someone) into doing something contrary to their interests or intentions.

Tamil Meaning: பொறி

Synonyms:  Trick, Dupe, Deceive, Cheat

Antonyms: Honour, Frankness

Example: “I hoped to trap him into an admission”

30) Plenary

Meaning: A meeting or session attended by all participants at a conference or assembly.

Example: “Working parties would report back to the plenary with recommendations”

31) Mince

Meaning: Cut up (food, especially meat) into very small pieces, typically in a machine.

Tamil Meaning: துண்டு துண்டாக வெட்டு

Synonyms: Chop up, cut up, chop/cut into small pieces

Antonyms: Reveal, Tell

Example: “Stir in the mince and fry until browned”

32) Predominance

Meaning: The possession or exertion of control or power.

Tamil Meaning: மேன்மை

Synonyms: Prevalence, Dominance

Antonyms: Weakness, Surrender, Yiedling

Example: “Hollywood’s continued predominance in the international film market”

33) Portends

Meaning: Bbe a sign or warning that (something, especially something momentous or calamitous) is likely to happen.

Tamil Meaning: எச்சரிக்கை செய்

Synonyms: Presage, augur, foreshadow

Example: “The eclipses portend some major events”

34) Conflict

Meaning: A serious disagreement or argument, typically a protracted one.

Tamil Meaning: மோதல்

Synonyms: Dispute, quarrel, squabble, disagreement

Antonyms: Peace, Truce, Calm

Example: “The eternal conflict between the sexes”

35) Ratcheted

Meaning: Cause something to rise (or fall) as a step in what is perceived as an irreversible process.

Example: “The Bank of Japan ratcheted up interest rates again”

36) Retaliated

Meaning: Make an attack in return for a similar attack.

Tamil Meaning: பதிலடி / பழிக்குப் பழி செய்

Synonyms: Respond, Reciprocate, Put a Fight

Antonyms: Depart, Lose, Forgive

Example: “The blow stung, and she retaliated immediately”

37) Shrinking

Meaning: Become or make smaller in size or amount.

Tamil Meaning: சுருங்கி

Synonyms: Contract, Diminish, Lessen, Reduce

Antonyms: Develop, Lengthen, Rise

Example: “The workforce in Race Institute shrank to a thousand”

38) Punitive

Meaning: Inflicting or intended as punishment.

Tamil Meaning: தண்டனை

Synonyms: Penal, Disciplinary, Corrective

Antonyms: Beneficial, Rewarding

Example: “He called for punitive measures against the Eastern bloc”

39) Attrition

Meaning: The process of reducing something’s strength or effectiveness through sustained attack or pressure.

Tamil Meaning: தேய்வு

Synonyms: Wearing down, Wearing away, Abrasion, Scraping

Antonyms: Building, Happiness, Strengthening

Example: “The council is trying to wear down the opposition by attrition”

40) Dominance

Meaning: Power and influence over others.

Tamil Meaning: ஆதிக்கம்

Synonyms: Supremacy, Superiority, Power, Authority

Antonyms: Subservience, Subjugation

Example: “The worldwide dominance of Hollywood”


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