Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – November 23, 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) Unlawful dissolution: On J&K Assembly

The J&K Governor’s action controverts what has been laid down by the Supreme Court

In dissolving the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly without giving any claimant an opportunity to form the government, Governor Satya Pal Malik has violated constitutional law and convention. Mr. Malik’s stated reasons for his action — “extensive horse trading” and the possibility that a government formed by parties with “opposing political ideologies” would not be stable — are extraneous. The Governor ought to have known that the Supreme Court has deprecated such a line of reasoning. In Rameshwar Prasad (2006), the then Bihar Governor Buta Singh’s recommendation for dissolving the Assembly the previous year was held to be illegal and mala fide. In both instances, the dissolution came just as parties opposed to the ruling dispensation at the Centre were close to staking a claim to form the government. In Bihar, the Assembly was then in suspended animation as no party or combination had the requisite majority; in J&K, the State has been under Governor’s rule since June, when the BJP withdrew from the coalition and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, of the Peoples Democratic Party, resigned. It is true that the PDP and the National Conference had not initiated any move to form a popular government for months and favoured fresh elections. But that cannot be the reason for the Governor to dissolve the 87-member House just when they were about to come together to form a likely 56-member bloc with the help of the Congress.

With the BJP backing Peoples Conference leader Sajjad Lone, the PDP may have sensed a danger to the unity of its 29-member legislature party and agreed to an unusual alliance with its political adversaries. Describing such an alliance as opportunistic is fine as far as it is political opinion; however, it cannot be the basis for constitutional action. As indicated in Rameshwar Prasad, a Governor cannot shut out post-poll alliances altogether as one of the ways in which a popular government may be formed. The court had also said unsubstantiated claims of horse-trading or corruption in efforts at government formation cannot be cited as reasons to dissolve the Assembly. Further, it said it was the Governor’s duty to explore the possibility of forming a popular government, and that he could not dissolve the House solely to prevent a combination from staking its claim. Mr. Malik’s remarks that the PDP and the NC did not show proof of majority or parade MLAs show shocking disregard for the primacy accorded to a floor test. J&K’s relationship with the Centre is rooted in constitutional safeguards as well as in the participation of its major parties in electoral politics and parliamentary democracy. Anyone interested in political stability in the sensitive State should ensure that democratic processes are strengthened. The potential for political instability in the future should not be cited as a reason to scuttle emerging alliances.

B) Aligning the triad: On India’s nuclear deterrence

INS Arihant’s inaugural sea patrol must spark a debate on the state of India’s nuclear deterrence

The INS Arihant, India’s first nuclear ballistic missile submarine that completed its sea patrol earlier this month, will contribute significantly to making India’s deterrence capability more robust. Submarine-based nuclear capability is the most survivable leg of a nuclear triad, and its benefit must be seen especially in the light of the growing naval capabilities of India’s potential adversaries. In this light, certain questions need to be addressed on the third leg of India’s nuclear triad, as well as major challenges for strategic stability in the southern Asian region.

Arihant’s missing links

While it is true that India’s deterrence capability is a work in progress, there is nevertheless a need to carry out an objective assessment of what INS Arihant can and cannot do, and the implications thereof. To begin with, there is no clarity on whether the first deterrence patrol of INS Arihant had nuclear-tipped missiles on board. If not, the deterrence patrol would have been intended for political purposes devoid of any real deterrent utility. Without nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles on board an SSBN (ship submersible ballistic nuclear) such as INS Arihant, it might not be any more useful than an ordinary nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN).

Second, even if INS Arihant had nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles on board, it is not clear what ranges they would cover. Reports suggest that it had the 750 km range K-15 missiles on board, which is insufficient to reach key targets in, say, China or Pakistan unless it gets close to their waters, which would then make the Indian SSBN a target. While the K-4 missile (3,500 km range) currently under development would give the country’s sea deterrent the necessary range vis-à-vis its adversaries, INS Arihant would not be able to carry them on board. The Navy would require bigger SSBNs (S-4 and S-5) to carry the K-4 ballistic missiles. In other words, deterring India’s adversaries using the naval leg of its nuclear forces is a work in progress at this point of time.

Third, if indeed the objective of India’s nuclear planners is to achieve seamless and continuous sea deterrence, one SSBN with limited range is far from sufficient. Given the adversaries’ capabilities in tracking, monitoring and surveilling India’s SSBNs, it would need to invest in at least four more. Maintaining a huge nuclear force and its ancillary systems, in particular the naval leg, would eventually prove to be extremely expensive. One way to address the costs would be to reduce the reliance on the air and land legs of the nuclear triad. Given that India does not have ‘first strike’ or ‘launch on warning’ policies, it can adopt a relatively relaxed nuclear readiness posture. New Delhi could, in the long run, invest in a survivable fleet of nuclear submarines armed with nuclear-tipped missies of various ranges, and decide to reduce its investment in the land and air legs of its nuclear deterrent, thereby reducing costs. While this might bring down costs without sacrificing the country’s deterrence requirements, inter-service claims might frustrate such plans.

Finally, the naval leg of the nuclear triad also poses significant command and control challenges. As a matter of fact, communicating with SSBNs without being intercepted by the adversaries’ tracking systems while the submarines navigate deep and far-flung waters is among the most difficult challenges in maintaining an SSBN fleet. Until such sophisticated communication systems are eventually put in place, India will have to do with shallower waters or focus on bastion control, which in some ways reduces the deterrence effect of SSBNs, as bastions would be closer to the ports..

Impact on strategic stability

INS Arihant’s induction will also have implications for regional stability. For one, it is bound to make the maritime competition in the Indian Ocean region sharper, even though the lead in this direction was taken by the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) a long time ago. Hence, the dominant driver of India’s SSBN plans appears to be China’s expanding inventory of nuclear submarines. The PLAN’s Jin class submarine with the JL-2 missiles with a range of 7,400 km began its deterrent patrol several years ago. Chinese nuclear-powered submarines (reportedly without nuclear weapons on board) have been frequenting the Indian Ocean on anti-piracy missions, creating unease in New Delhi. INS Arihant in that sense is a response to the Chinese naval build-up. Pakistan’s reaction to India’s response to China would be to speed up its submarine-building spree, with assistance from Beijing. Add to this mix China’s mega infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative, with its ambitious maritime objectives; and the revival of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, with India, U.S., Japan, and Australia.

This sharpening of the maritime competition further engenders several regional ‘security dilemmas’ wherein what a state does to secure itself could end up making it more insecure. The net result of this would be heightened instability for the foreseeable future. However, once the three key players in this trilemma — China, India and Pakistan — manage to put in place the essential conditions for credible minimum deterrence, the effect of the instability could potentially decrease. But it’s a long road to such an outcome.

What would further complicate the relations among the three key players in the region is the absence of nuclear confidence-building measures (CBMs) among them. While India and Pakistan have only rudimentary nuclear CBMs between them, India and China have none at all. In the maritime sphere, neither pairs have any CBMs. Given the feverish maritime developments that are underway, the absence of CBMs could lead to miscalculations and accidents. This becomes even more pertinent in the case of Pakistan, which uses dual-use platforms for maritime nuclear power projection. In case of a bilateral naval standoff, the absence of dedicated conventional or nuclear platforms could potentially lead to misunderstandings and accidents. It is therefore important for India and Pakistan (as also India and China) to have an ‘incidents at sea’ agreement like the one between the U.S. and USSR in 1972, so as to avoid incidents at sea and avoid their escalation if they took place.

Command and control

India’s sea deterrent also throws up several key questions about the country’s nuclear command and control systems. To begin with, unlike in the case of the air or land legs of the triad where civilian organisations have the custody of nuclear warheads, the naval leg will be essentially under military custody and control given that there would be no civilian presence on board an SSBN. Not only would the SSBN have no warhead control by civilians (i.e., BARC scientists), its captain would be under the Strategic Forces Command, an organisation manned by military officers. Also, given that the warhead would be pre-mated with the canisterised missiles in the SSBN, what would be the finer details of the launch authority invested in the SSBN captain? The SSBN captain would have the authority to launch nuclear missiles on orders from the political authority. However, is there a fool-proof Permissive Action Links system in place to ensure that an unauthorised use does not take place? There needs to be more clarity on such issues.

In sum, while INS Arihant makes India’s nuclear deterrence more robust, it also changes deterrence stability in the southern Asian region as we know it. More so, it is important to remember that the country’s sea deterrent is still in its infancy, and its path hereon is riddled with challenges.


1) claimant

Meaning : a person making a claim, especially in a lawsuit or for a state benefit(n).

Tamil Meaning : உரிமைகோரியவரிடம்

Synonyms : applicant

Antonyms : consultant

Example : “one in four eligible claimants failed to register for a rebate”

2) extraneous

Meaning : irrelevant or unrelated to the subject being dealt with(adj)

Tamil Meaning : புறம்பான

Synonyms : irrelevant

Antonyms : appropriate

Example : “one is obliged to wade through many pages of extraneous material”

3) ought

Meaning : used to indicate duty or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions.

Tamil Meaning : வேண்டும்

Synonyms : must

Antonyms : lacked

Example : “they ought to respect the law”

4) deprecated

Meaning : express disapproval of(v).

Tamil Meaning : நீக்கப்பட்டது

Synonyms : condemned

Antonyms : admired

Example : “what I deprecate is persistent indulgence”

5) dispensation

Meaning : exemption from a rule or usual requirement(n).

Tamil Meaning : பகிர்ந்தளிப்பதற்கு

Synonyms : distribution

Antonyms : denial

Example : “although she was too young, she was given special dispensation to play before her birthday”

6) staking

Meaning : mark an area with stakes so as to claim ownership of it(v).

Synonyms : gambling

Example : “the boundary between the two manors was properly staked out”

7) requisite

Meaning : made necessary by particular circumstances or regulations(adj).

Tamil Meaning : தேவையான

Synonyms : essential

Antonyms : weed

Example : “the application will not be processed until the requisite fee is paid”

8) coalition

Meaning : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டணி

Synonyms : league

Antonyms : discord

Example : “a coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

9) explore

Meaning : travel through (an unfamiliar area) in order to learn about it.

Tamil Meaning : ஆராய

Synonyms : investigate

Antonyms : overlook

Example : “he explored the Fontainebleau forest”

10) parade

Meaning : a public procession, especially one celebrating a special day or event.

Tamil Meaning : அணிவகுப்பு

Synonyms : display

Antonyms : smother

Example : “a St George’s Day parade”

11) scuttle

Meaning : a metal container with a handle, used to fetch and store coal for a domestic fire.

Tamil Meaning : கவிழ்ப்பதுமேயாகும்

Synonyms : dash

Antonyms : dawdle

Example : Scuttle is a free open source software also modeled after

12) cited

Meaning : refer to (a passage, book, or author) as evidence for or justification of an argument or statement, especially in a scholarly work(v).

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கோள்

Synonyms : quoted

Antonyms : concealed

Example : “authors who are highly regarded by their peers tend to be cited”

13) deterrence

Meaning : the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences(n).

Tamil Meaning : தடுத்து நிறுத்துவது

Synonyms : prevention

Antonyms : motivator

Example : “nuclear missiles remain the main deterrence against possible aggression”

14) triad

Meaning : a group or set of three related people or things.

Tamil Meaning : மூன்றையும்

Synonyms : trio

Example : “the triad of medication, diet, and exercise are necessary in diabetes care”

15) adversaries

Meaning : one’s opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute(n).

Tamil Meaning : எதிரிகளை

Synonyms : opponents

Antonyms : allies

Example : “Davis beat his old adversary in the quarter-finals”

16) nevertheless

Meaning : in spite of that; notwithstanding; all the same.

Tamil Meaning : இருப்பினும்

Synonyms : nonetheless

Example : “statements which, although literally true, are nevertheless misleading”

17) implications

Meaning : the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated(n)

Tamil Meaning : தாக்கங்கள்

Synonyms : hints

Example : “the implication is that no one person at the bank is responsible”

18) intended

Meaning : planned or meant(adj).

Tamil Meaning : நோக்கம்

Synonyms : deliberate

Antonyms : accidental

Example : “the intended victim escaped”

19) devoid

Meaning : entirely lacking or free from(adj).

Tamil Meaning : ஏதுமில்லாத

Synonyms : vacant

Antonyms : complete

Example : “Lisa kept her voice devoid of emotion”

20) indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested(adv).

Tamil Meaning : உண்மையில்

Synonyms : truly

Antonyms : conversely

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

21) seamless

Meaning : (of a fabric or surface) smooth and without seams or obvious joins.

Tamil Meaning : இசைவான

Synonyms : persistent

Antonyms : flawed

Example : “seamless stockings”

22) ancillary

Meaning : providing necessary support to the primary activities or operation of an organization, system, etc.

Tamil Meaning : துணை

Synonyms : auxiliary

Antonyms : necessary

Example : “ancillary staff”

23) reliance

Meaning : dependence on or trust in someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : நம்பிக்கை

Synonyms : conviction

Antonyms : disbelief

Example : “the farmer’s reliance on pesticides”

24) riddled

Meaning : solve or explain (a riddle) to (someone).

Tamil Meaning : புதிர்

Synonyms : sieved

Antonyms : empty

Example : “riddle me this then”

25) posture

Meaning : the position in which someone holds their body when standing or sitting.

Tamil Meaning : காட்டி

Synonyms : position

Antonyms : withhold

Example : “I got out of the car in an alert posture”

26) fleet

Meaning : a group of ships sailing together, engaged in the same activity, or under the same ownership.

Tamil Meaning : கப்பற்படை

Synonyms : swift

Antonyms : tardy

Example : “the small port supports a fishing fleet”

27) intercepted

Meaning : obstruct (someone or something) so as to prevent them from continuing to a destination(v).

Tamil Meaning : இடைமறிக்கும்

Synonyms : hindered

Example : “intelligence agencies intercepted a series of telephone calls”

28) sophisticated

Meaning : having, revealing, or involving a great deal of worldly experience and knowledge of fashion and culture(adj).

Tamil Meaning : அதிநவீன

Synonyms : complex

Antonyms : ingenuous

Example : “a chic, sophisticated woman”

29) bastions

Meaning : an institution, place, or person strongly maintaining particular principles, attitudes, or activities(n).

Synonyms : ramparts

Antonyms : weaknesses

Example : “cricket’s last bastion of discrimination”

30) induction

Meaning : the action or process of inducting someone to a post or organization(n).

Tamil Meaning : தூண்டல்

Synonyms : initiation

Antonyms : rejection

Example : “induction into membership of a Masonic brotherhood”

31) inventory

Meaning : make a complete list of(v)

Synonyms : list

Antonyms : lack-of

Example : “I inventoried his collection of drawings”

32) ambitious

Meaning : having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed.

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கமான

Synonyms : eager

Antonyms : lazy

Example : “a ruthlessly ambitious woman”

33) revival

Meaning : an improvement in the condition, strength, or fortunes of someone or something(n).

Tamil Meaning : மறுமலர்ச்சி

Synonyms : resurrection

Antonyms : suppression

Example : “a revival in the fortunes of the party”

34) engenders

Meaning : cause or give rise to (a feeling, situation, or condition).

Synonyms : generates

Antonyms : destroys

Example : “the issue engendered continuing controversy”

35) foreseeable

Meaning : able to be foreseen or predicted.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்வரும்

Synonyms : predictable

Antonyms : uncertain

Example : “the situation is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future

36) rudimentary

Meaning : involving or limited to basic principles(adj).

Tamil Meaning : அடிப்படை

Synonyms : elementary

Antonyms : advanced

Example : “he received a rudimentary education”

37) pertinent

Meaning : relevant or applicable to a particular matter; apposite.

Tamil Meaning : ஏற்புடைய

Synonyms : relevant

Antonyms : extraneous

Example : “she asked me a lot of very pertinent questions”

38) escalation

Meaning : a rapid increase; a rise.(n)

Tamil Meaning : விரிவாக்கத்திற்கு

Synonyms : increase

Antonyms : reduction

Example :”cost escalations”

39) canister

Meaning : a cylinder of pressurized gas, typically one that explodes when thrown or fired from a gun.

Synonyms : case

Example : “riot police fired tear-gas canisters into the crowd”

40) infancy

Meaning : the state or period of babyhood or early childhood.

Synonyms : minority

Antonyms : senility

Example : “a son who died in infancy”


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