THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 1, 2018 is one of the must read section for the competitive exams like IBPS RRB PO, IBPS RRB Office Assistant 2018, RBI Grade “B” 2018 & NIACL Assistant 2018. These topics are widely expected to be asked in the reading comprehension , Cloze Test or Error Detection topics in the forthcoming exams. So gear up your Exam preparation and learn new words daily.

A) Tricky call ahead: on RBI policy stance

The RBI faces a tough call on setting policy rates given the inflation and liquidity concerns

The Reserve Bank of India’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is set to meet for three days, October 3-5, to decide its policy stance. With the U.S. Federal Reserve now firmly set on its policy normalisation path and having, just last week, raised interest rates by 25 basis points, the RBI would normally be expected to increase benchmark borrowing costs in India in a bid to prevent heightened outflows of rate arbitrage seeking foreign portfolio capital. Additionally, the rupee’s depreciation of more than 12% against the dollar in 2018, combined with crude oil’s continuing upward march — Brent futures closed at $82.73 a barrel on Friday — raise the risk of India importing inflation from the higher price for its overseas energy purchases, making the argument for a rate hike even more compelling. After all, given its unequivocal inflation-targeting mandate, the MPC would be well justified in keeping its sights firmly trained on the retail inflation trend and household expectations for future price gains. Also, while headline CPI inflation eased appreciably in August to 3.69%, core retail price gains, which exclude the food and fuel and light groups, was still running 190 basis points higher at 5.59%. It was precisely this core element that Deputy Governor Viral Acharya cited in his statement at the MPC’s August meeting when he said: “Underlying inflation as reflected in ‘ex food fuel’ segment, especially in petrol and diesel, transportation (including fares), education fees, health services and clothing persists, and does not augur well for headline inflation going forward.” Food prices that, surprisingly, have remained benign, helping slow overall CPI inflation, could also start hardening once the impact of the higher payout on the minimum support price for kharif crops kicks in.

However, recent developments in the domestic financial system that have triggered concerns about the health of the credit market are likely to roil the MPC’s rate-setting calculus. First, on September 23, the RBI issued a one-sentence press release that along with the capital markets regulator it was “closely monitoring” developments in the financial markets and they were ready to take “appropriate action”. Four days later, on September 27, it announced a relaxation in the Liquidity Coverage Ratio for banks in a move to soothe concerns about adequacy of liquidity. Read together, the message from the banking regulator appears to be that it is keen to ward off any risks to the availability and cost of short-term credit from any unforeseen financial market volatility. The tweak to the LCR norms is expected to free up close to ₹2.5 lakh crore in additional liquidity, with half of it, or ₹1.25 lakh crore, becoming available to the banking system at the more affordable repo rate of 6.5%. It is this concern about the financial markets that will make the MPC’s task just a little trickier.

B) An ongoing quest for equality

The Supreme Court will soon have the opportunity to consider the differing opinions in the Sabarimala verdict

On September 28, the Supreme Court delivered a 4:1 verdict, in Indian Young Lawyers Association v. State of Kerala, throwing open the doors of the Sabarimala temple to women of all ages. At stake were several thorny questions. How deep must the judiciary’s inquiry go in deciding whether to intervene in matters of religion? Should the court disturb ethical choices made by a community of believers? How must the integrity behind these practices be judged? Are religious exercises susceptible to conventional constitutional standards of justice and equality?

As the four opinions delivered by the court show us, these questions are open to diverse interpretations. While the majority agreed that women of all ages should be allowed to freely access the Sabarimala temple, each of the court’s judgments, including Justice Indu Malhotra’s dissenting opinion, speaks to a different, and constitutionally plausible, vision.

How the court chooses to take forward the ideas professed here will prove hugely telling. Will judges continue to don ecclesiastical robes in testing what manners of religious practices deserve constitutional protection? Or will the court steer itself towards a more radical, yet constitutionally consistent, path, by predicating its analysis on equal concern, by breaking, as Justice D.Y. Chandrachud wrote in his concurring opinion, the “shackles of social hierarchies”?

The scope of Article 26

The respondents in Indian Young Lawyers Association, including a clutch of intervenors, justified the ban on entry of women chiefly at two levels. First, the temple, they argued, enjoyed denominational status under Article 26 of the Constitution, which allowed it to determine for itself the manner in which it managed its religious affairs. Second, prohibiting women of menstruating age from entering Sabarimala, they contended, is supported by the temple’s long-honoured custom: since Lord Ayyappan is a “Naishtika Brahmachari”, allowing women aged between 10 and 50 years to enter the temple, it was claimed, would affect the deity’s “celibacy”. What’s more, this custom, the Travancore Devaswom Board, which administers the temple, further asserted, was supported by Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, which states, “Women who are not by custom and usage allowed to enter a place of public worship shall not be entitled to enter or offer worship in any place of public worship.”

The first of these arguments was rejected outright by the court’s majority. Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dipak Misra, in his opinion written for himself and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, found no doctrinal or factual support for the temple’s claim for denominational status. Justices R.F. Nariman and Chandrachud concurred. The devotees of the Sabarimala temple, they found, were in no way distinct from the larger community of Hindu believers. Consequently, the court also repudiated the validity of Rule 3(b), which, it said, was, at its core, discriminatory towards women.

Justice Malhotra dissented. Since no person actually offended by the rule had approached the court, the public interest petitions, she ruled, were not maintainable. Her concerns are undeniably valid and must animate future cases. Here, however, given that the challenges to the practice had been entertained as far back as in 2006, and given that specific questions of far-reaching importance were posed to the Constitution Bench by reference, the majority quite correctly chose to deliver a verdict on merits. In any event, Justice Malhotra also ruled that the Sabarimala temple constitutes a separate religious denomination, and, therefore, the temple’s administrators were at liberty to make customary exceptions in matters of religious practice. This freedom, in her opinion, extended power to the temple to proscribe women from entering its precincts.

Essential practices doctrine

Yet, much as the differing views between the majority and the dissenting opinions on the maintainability of the petitions and the denominational status of the temple are stark, the real nub of the controversy is elsewhere. It lies in Justice Malhotra’s withering and principled critique of the essential practices doctrine, through which the court has virtually assumed theological prerogative.

Ordinarily, in determining whether a purportedly religious command is constitutionally protected, the courts have sought to test whether such a belief is essential to that religion. Here, for instance, CJI Misra found that the practice of excluding women aged between 10 and 50 years from the Sabarimala temple is dispensable, in that the “nature” of the Hindu religion would not be “fundamentally altered” by allowing women to enter the temple. Although an examination of this kind is strongly backed by precedent, Justice Malhotra was especially critical of the approach. In her belief, the power of judicial review ought not to accord to courts the authority to judge the rationality of a matter of faith. “The issue of what constitutes an essential religious practice,” she wrote, “is for the religious community to decide.”

In this, the value in her opinion can scarcely be doubted. After all, the essential practices doctrine has allowed the Supreme Court to arrogate to itself the powers of a religious pontiff. But, equally, as Justice Malhotra notes, there may well be practices that are so pernicious and oppressive which might well demand the court’s interference. These, in her words, would include a “social evil, like Sati”. Ultimately, therefore, the dissenting opinion begs a question. It leaves us wondering how far the right to freedom of religion can really extend. And to what extent a group’s collective liberty can trump an individual’s equal right to freedom of religion. Would, for example, denial to women of the right to serve as priests, or to be ordained as bishops, be considered oppressive?

Here, Justice Chandrachud’s judgment offers an appealing way forward. The assumption by the court of a religious mantle, he admitted, has led to a muddling in the court’s jurisprudence, and, as a result, significant constitutional concerns have been skirted. What needs answering, in his belief, is whether the Constitution “ascribes to religion and to religious denominations the authority to enforce practices which exclude a group of citizens”. The court, therefore, he has suggested, must look beyond the essential practices doctrine and examine claims by applying a principle of “anti-exclusion”. Or, in other words, “where a religious practice causes the exclusion of individuals in a manner which impairs their dignity or hampers their access to basic goods, the freedom of religion must give way to the over-arching values of a liberal Constitution.”

A way forward

Ultimately, therefore, for Justice Chandrachud, the Constitution must be seen as a document that seeks to bring about a transformed society. When a religious practice goes so far as to deny women equal status in society, when notions of purity and pollution are employed to perpetuate discrimination, the Constitution ought to mandate a shattering of the conventional divides between the private and the public.

The real test, in Justice Chandrachud’s opinion, is to assess whether an exclusion founded on religious belief, essential or otherwise, encroaches on a person’s basic right to dignity. Or in other words, discrimination couched as plurality cannot be allowed to undermine the Constitution’s basic “quest for equality”.

The Supreme Court will soon have the opportunity to consider, once again, the differing visions offered in Indian Young Lawyers Association. For instance, when it hears arguments on the correctness of its 1962 judgment striking down the Bombay Prevention of Excommunication Act of 1949, which recognised the Dai-al-Mutlaq’s powers to excommunicate persons from membership of the Dawoodi Bohra community, the court might well want to refer the case to a bench of seven judges or more and re-examine altogether the continuing validity of the essential practices doctrine. When it does so, it might also want to heed Justice Chandrachud’s words that “the Constitution exists not only to disenable entrenched structures of discrimination and prejudice, but to empower those who traditionally have been deprived of an equal citizenship.”


1) outflows

Meaning : a large amount of money, liquid, or people that moves or is transferred out of a place.

Tamil Meaning : வெளியேற்றத்தின்

Synonyms : discharge

Antonyms : inflow

Example : “an outflow of foreign currency”

2) arbitrage

Meaning : buy and sell assets using arbitrage.

Tamil Meaning : முதலீடற்ற

Synonyms : speculation

Example : “much of the short selling was being done by people who were arbitraging between the bond and the equity market”

3) portfolio

Meaning : a large, thin, flat case for loose sheets of paper such as drawings or maps.

Synonyms : case , folder

Antonyms : disorder

Example : “under his arm he carried a large portfolio of drawings”

4) encroaches

Meaning : intrude on (a person’s territory, rights, personal life, etc.).

Tamil Meaning : பறிப்பதாகும்

Synonyms : impinge , infringe

Antonyms : give

Example : “rather than encroach on his privacy she might have kept to her room”

5) barrel

Meaning : a cylindrical container bulging out in the middle, traditionally made of wooden staves with metal hoops round them.

Synonyms : drum , firkin

Antonyms : scruple

Example : “the wine is then matured in old barrels”

6) unequivocal

Meaning : leaving no doubt; unambiguous.

Tamil Meaning : தெளிவான

Synonyms : absolute , decisive

Antonyms : conditional

Example : “an unequivocal answer”

7) mandate

Meaning : an official order or commission to do something.

Tamil Meaning : ஆணை

Synonyms : command , decree

Antonyms : breach

Example : “a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners”

8) firmly

Meaning : with little possibility of movement; securely.

Tamil Meaning : உறுதியாக

Synonyms : rigidly , solidly

Antonyms : flexibly

Example : “the door remained firmly shut”

9) precisely

Meaning : in exact terms; without vagueness.

Tamil Meaning : துல்லியமாக

Synonyms : absolutely , strictly

Antonyms : imprecisely

Example : “the guidelines are precisely defined”

10) cited

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

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கோள்

Synonyms : allege , mention

Antonyms : conceal

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

11) persists

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

Tamil Meaning :தொடர்ந்தால்

Synonyms : continue , recur

Antonyms : cease

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

12) augur

Meaning : (of an event or circumstance) portend a good or bad outcome.

Tamil Meaning : முன்கூட்டி அறிவி

Synonyms : oracle diviner

Example : “the end of the cold war seemed to augur well”

13) benign

Meaning : gentle and kind.

Tamil Meaning : தீங்கற்ற

Synonyms : benevolent , mild

Antonyms : rough

Example : “his benign but firm manner”

14) roil

Meaning : make (a liquid) turbid or muddy by disturbing the sediment.

Tamil Meaning : சகதியாக்கு

Synonyms : disturb , rile

Antonyms : calm

Example : “winds roil these waters”

15) calculus

Meaning : a particular method or system of calculation or reasoning.

Tamil Meaning : கணக்கீடு

Synonyms : algebra , calculation

Antonyms : decrease

Example : But no carefully devised calculus can take the place of insight, observation and experience.

16) soothe

Meaning : gently calm (a person or their feelings).

Tamil Meaning : ஆற்றவும்

Synonyms : allay , alleviate

Antonyms : agitate

Example : “a shot of brandy might soothe his nerves”

17) adequacy

Meaning : the state or quality of being adequate.

Tamil Meaning : போதுமான

Synonyms : competence , sufficiency

Antonyms : inadequacy

Example : “the adequacy of testing procedures”

18) ward

Meaning : a separate room in a hospital, typically one allocated to a particular type of patient.

Tamil Meaning : எல்லை

Synonyms : parish , precinct

Antonyms : threat

Example : “a children’s ward”

19) unforeseen

Meaning : not anticipated or predicted.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்பாராத

Synonyms : abrupt , startling

Antonyms : expected

Example : “our insurance package enables you to protect yourself and your dependants against unforeseen circumstances”

20) tweak

Meaning : twist or pull (something) sharply.

Tamil Meaning : மாற்றங்களை

Synonyms : tease , pinch

Antonyms : go awry

Example : “he tweaked the boy’s ear”

21) thorny

Meaning : having many thorns or thorn bushes.

Tamil Meaning : இடைவிடாத

Synonyms : prickly , spiky

Antonyms : dull

Example : “tangled thorny branches”

22) intervene

Meaning : take part in something so as to prevent or alter a result or course of events.

Tamil Meaning : தலையீடு

Synonyms : intercede , interfere

Antonyms : combine

Example : “he acted outside his authority when he intervened in the dispute”

23) integrity

Meaning : the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

Tamil Meaning : நேர்மை

Synonyms : honesty , rectitude

Antonyms : deceit

Example : “a gentleman of complete integrity”

24) susceptible

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

Tamil Meaning : பாதிக்கப்படுகின்றன

Synonyms : affected , liable

Antonyms : unlikely

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

25) interpretations

Meaning : the action of explaining the meaning of something.

Tamil Meaning : விளக்கங்கள்

Synonyms : analysis , judgment

Antonyms : complication

Example : “the interpretation of data”

26) dissenting

Meaning : hold or express opinions that are at variance with those commonly or officially held.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்போடு

Synonyms : demur , differ

Antonyms : accept

Example : “two members dissented from the majority”

27) plausible

Meaning : (of an argument or statement) seeming reasonable or probable.

Tamil Meaning : நம்பத்தகுந்த

Synonyms : credible , possible

Antonyms : improbable

Example : “a plausible explanation”

28) professed

Meaning : (of a quality, feeling, or belief) claimed openly but often falsely.

Tamil Meaning : ரீதியான

Synonyms : stated , announced

Antonyms : undeclared

Example : “for all her professed populism, she was seen as remote from ordinary people”

29) don

Meaning : a university teacher, especially a senior member of a college at Oxford or Cambridge.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : wear

Antonyms : disrobe

Example :

30) ecclesiastical

Meaning : relating to the Christian Church or its clergy.

Tamil Meaning : திருச்சபை

Synonyms : clerical , sectarian

Antonyms : temporal

Example : “the ecclesiastical hierarchy”

31) nub

Meaning : the crux or central point of a matter.

Tamil Meaning : கரு

Synonyms : crux , upshot

Antonyms : exterior

Example : “the nub of the problem lies elsewhere”

32) pernicious

Meaning : having a harmful effect, especially in a gradual or subtle way.

Tamil Meaning : தீய

Synonyms : damaging , nefarious

Antonyms : assisting

Example : “the pernicious influences of the mass media”

33) contended

Meaning : struggle to surmount (a difficulty).

Tamil Meaning : வாதிட்டார்

Synonyms : confront , resist

Antonyms : comply

Example : “she had to contend with his uncertain temper”

34) celibacy

Meaning : the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations.

Tamil Meaning : பிரம்மச்சரியத்தை

Synonyms : chastity , continence

Antonyms : promiscuousness

Example : “a priest who had taken a vow of celibacy”

35) deprived

Meaning : suffering a severe and damaging lack of basic material and cultural benefits.

Tamil Meaning : இழந்து

Synonyms : destitute , needy

Antonyms : privileged

Example : “the charity cares for destitute and deprived children”

36) asserted

Meaning : state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தினார்

Synonyms : affirm , press

Antonyms : conceal

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

37) prerogative

Meaning : a right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class.

Tamil Meaning : தனிச்சிறப்பாகும்

Synonyms : immunity , perquisite

Antonyms : duty

Example : “in some countries, higher education is predominantly the prerogative of the rich”

38) repudiated

Meaning : refuse to accept; reject.

Tamil Meaning : மறுத்திட்டோரின்

Synonyms : discredited

Antonyms : desired

Example : “she has repudiated policies associated with previous party leaders”

39) discriminatory

Meaning : making or showing an unfair or prejudicial distinction between different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Tamil Meaning : பாகுபாடுகள்

Synonyms : biased , inequitable

Antonyms : fair

Example : “discriminatory employment practices”

40) precincts

Meaning : the area within the walls or perceived boundaries of a particular building or place.

Tamil Meaning : சுற்றாடலில்

Synonyms : district , ward

Antonyms : whole

Example : “a former MP who still works in the precincts of the House”


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