Dear Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 15, 2018, is one of the must-read section for the competitive exams like IBPS PO, 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) Untenable: on M.J. Akbar

The Minister of State for External Affairs, M.J. Akbar, should have done the only right thing in the circumstances — resign. This was the only course to limit the already significant damage to the high office he holds. His legacy in Indian journalism would also have been better served had he quit first and attempted to defend himself legally or otherwise later. Unfortunately, he chose not to. Upon his return to Delhi from an overseas official trip on Sunday, he went on the offensive by dismissing the long string of charges of sexual harassment made against him by former women colleagues as a tissue of lies. He chose to spin an unconvincing web of conspiracy around the sudden spate of the #MeToo disclosures over the last week. Mr. Akbar’s basic theme: with elections round the corner, these charges are motivated. There is a second, more specific line in his attempted defence — one that suggests that the gravamen of the charges is vague and unsubstantiated. While it is true that not every one of the dozen or so women have claimed they were physically assaulted, the overall picture they have painted is that of a systematic pattern of sexual harassment. Their stories range from suggestiveness and innuendo to outright molestation. Together they make for sad and worrying reading, but at least a couple highlight how far he seemed willing to go. Ghazala Wahab, now executive editor at FORCE magazine, has written of repeated molestation at his hands in the mid-1990s when he was her editor at Asian Age. Majlie de Puy Kamp, now a New York-based reporter, has spoken of how a decade later he forcibly kissed her when she was 18 and interning with him.

Mr. Akbar’s conspiracy theory that the #MeToo charges have settled upon him because elections are now looming is weak and totally unconvincing. He has no political heft and a conspiracy to tarnish him and secure his speedy exit from the Narendra Modi government would have left it none the weaker. Now that he has decided to dig his heels in, the focus cannot but shift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why wasn’t his resignation demanded and secured on his return to the Capital? Surely, the Prime Minister had more than enough time to sift through the charges, take stock of Mr. Akbar’s alleged misdemeanours and conclude whether he should continue in the Cabinet. By failing to immediately force him to step down, Mr. Modi has sent an unfortunate message about his government’s attitude to harassment and the protection of women in workspaces. He has appeared as if he is standing behind Mr. Akbar and will be perceived by many as having failed India’s women.

b) Resisting resistance: on antibiotic misuse

Even as antibiotics lose their efficacy against deadly infectious diseases worldwide, it seems to be business as usual for governments, private corporations, and individuals who have the power to stall a post-antibiotic apocalypse. In a recent investigation, it was found that the world’s largest veterinary drug-maker, Zoetis, was selling antibiotics as growth promoters to poultry farmers in India, even though it had stopped the practice in the U.S. India is yet to regulate antibiotic-use in poultry, while the U.S. banned the use of antibiotics as growth-promoters in early 2017. So, technically, the drug-maker was doing nothing illegal and complying with local regulations in both countries. But such reasoning is self-defeating because antibiotic-resistance does not respect political boundaries. Of course, the country that stands to lose the most from antibiotic resistance is India, given that its burden of infectious disease is among the world’s highest. According to a 2016 PLOS Medicine paper, 416 of every 100,000 Indians die of infectious diseases each year. This is more than twice the U.S.’s crude infectious-disease mortality-rate in the 1940s when antibiotics were first used there. If these miracle drugs stop working, no one will be hit harder than India.

This is why the country’s progress towards a tighter regulatory regime must pick up pace. Consider the three major sources of resistance: overuse of antibiotics by human beings; overuse in the veterinary sector; and environmental antibiotic contamination due to pharmaceutical and hospital discharge. To tackle the first source, India classified important antibiotics under Schedule H1 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules 1945, so that they couldn’t be sold without prescriptions. Still, Schedule H1 drugs are freely available in pharmacies, with state drug-controllers unable to enforce the law widely. As far as veterinary use goes, India’s 2017 National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance did talk about restricting antibiotic use as growth promoters. Sadly, no progress has been made on this front yet, allowing companies to sell last-resort drugs to farmers over the counter. The 2017 document also spoke about regulating antibiotics levels in discharge from pharmaceutical firms. For instance, Hyderabad’s pharmaceutical industry has been pumping massive amounts of antibiotics into local lakes, rivers, and sewers. This has led to an explosion in resistance genes in these waterbodies. Still, India is yet to introduce standards for antibiotics in wastewater, which means antibiotic discharge in sewage is not even being monitored regularly. As the country takes its time to formulate regulations, the toll from antibiotic-misuse is growing at an alarming rate. According to a 2013 estimate, around 58,000 newborns die in India each year due to sepsis from resistant bacteria. When these numbers mount, India will have no one to blame but itself.


1) Legacy

Meaning: Anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor

Tamil Meaning: மரபு/ பரம்பரைச்சொத்து

Synonyms: Inheritance, Heritage

Example: France’s current crop wants to build its own legacy, having grown up in the shadow of its nation’s 1998 triumph, the only one in French history.

2) Go(went) on the offensive

Meaning: begin to take strong action against people who have been attacking you.

Example: After her court appearance her lawyers went on the offensive.

3) String

Meaning: any series of things arranged or connected in a line or following closely one after another

Tamil Meaning: கோவை

Synonyms: Strand, Long

Antonyms: Individual

Example : a string of islands; a string of questions

4) Spate

Meaning : a sudden, almost overwhelming, outpouring

Synonyms : Deluge, Flurry

Example : a spate of angry words

5) Disclosures

Meaning: the act or an instance of disclosing; exposure; revelation

Tamil Meaning: வெளிப்படுத்தல்

Synonyms: acknowledgment, revelation, admission

Antonyms : concealment, denial, cover-up

Example : He offered full disclosure of the government files on the assassination

6) round the corner

Meaning : Around (round) the corner

Tamil Meaning : மிகவும் அருகில்

Synonyms : adjacent, nearby,adjoining

Antonyms : distant, beyond

Example : There’s a chemist round the corner

7) vague

Meaning : of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning.

Tamil Meaning : தெளிவற்ற

Synonyms : indistinct, indefinite, indeterminate

Antonyms : clear, precise, firm, sharpness

Example : “Many patients suffer vague symptoms”

8) unsubstantiated

Meaning: not supported or proven by evidence.

Tamil Meaning: ஆதாரமற்ற

Synonyms: unconfirmed, unsupported, uncorroborated

Antonyms: well founded, undeniable

Example : Unsubstantiated claims

9) Harassment

Meaning: aggressive pressure or intimidation.

Tamil Meaning: தொல்லை கொடுத்தல / அலைக்கழித்தல்

Synonyms: persecution, harrying, pestering, badgering

Antonyms: cooperation, assistance

Example : She sued her boss for sexual harassment.

10) innuendo

Meaning : an allusive or oblique remark or hint, typically a suggestive or disparaging one.

Tamil Meaning : அவமதிப்பாக

Synonyms : insinuation, implication

Antonyms : Evidence, Proof

Example : she’s always making sly innuendoes

11) at his hands (at the hand(s) of)

Meaning : Due to the actions of.

Example : At least her first loss came at the hands of a very formidable opponent.

12) Conspiracy

Meaning : a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.

Tamil Meaning : சதி

Synonyms : plot, scheme, stratagem

Antonyms : Honesty, Ignorance

Example : “a conspiracy to destroy the government”.

13) Looming

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

Synonyms : emerge, appear, become visible

Antonyms : Decline, Leave, Fall

Example : vehicles loomed out of the darkness

14) Heft

Meaning : ability or influence

Tamil Meaning : தன்மைகளை

Synonyms : Weight, Charge

Antonyms : Benefit, Blessing

Example : They lacked the political heft to get the formulation banned

15) tarnish

Meaning: damage or harm done to something.

Tamil Meaning: களங்கம்

Synonyms: smear, black mark, slur

Antonyms: Aid, Fix, Heal

Example: The tarnish on Alan’s personal reputation

16) take stock

Meaning: make an overall assessment of a particular situation, typically before making a decision.

Tamil Meaning: கணக்கு எடு

Synonyms: review, assess, reassess, Inspect

Antonyms: Disprove, Invalidate, Forget, Neglect

Example: “He needed a period of peace and quiet in order to take stock of his life”

17) Misdemeanours

Meaning: a minor wrongdoing.

Tamil Meaning: தவறான நடவடிக்கை

Synonyms : wrongdoing, evil deed, crime, felony

Antonyms: Obedience

Example: The player can expect a suspension for his latest misdemeanor

18) Perceived

Meaning : become aware or conscious of (something); come to realize or understand.

Tamil Meaning : உணரப்பட்ட

Synonyms : discern, recognize, become cognizant of

Antonyms : Misunderstand, Neglect

Example: “His mouth fell open as he perceived the truth”

19) dig his heels in

Meaning: To cling stubbornly to one’s beliefs, position, or wishes / to refuse to do something even though other people are trying to persuade you

Example: The more we argued, the more she dug her heels in.

20) Untenable

Meaning : not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection

Tamil Meaning : ஏற்றுக்கொள்ளத்தக்கதல்ல என்ற நிலை

Synonyms: indefensible, undefendable, unarguable

Example : “This argument is clearly untenable”

21) efficacy

Meaning: the ability to produce a desired or intended result.

Tamil Meaning : பலாபலன்

Synonyms: adequacy, ability

Example : “He questioned the efficacy of the alarms in actually preventing auto theft”.

22) pick up

Meaning : an improvement, especially in an economy

Synonyms: improvement, recovery, revival

Antonyms: slump, downturn

Example : “a pickup in the housing market”.

23) Contamination

Meaning : the action or state of making or being made impure by polluting or poisoning.

Tamil Meaning : கலப்படம்

Example: the risk of contamination by dangerous bacteria.

24) enforce

Meaning: Compel observance of or compliance with (a law, rule, or obligation).

Tamil Meaning : செயல்படுத்த

Synonyms: impose, apply, carry out

Antonyms: voluntary

Example: “the role of the police is to enforce the law

25) Restrict

Meaning : limit someone to only doing or having (a particular thing) or staying in (a particular place).

Tamil Meaning : கட்டுப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms: confine, limit; make do with only

Antonyms : Allow, Assist, Expand

Example: “I shall restrict myself to a single example”

26) regulating

Meaning : control or maintain the rate or speed of (a machine or process) so that it operates properly

Tamil Meaning : சீர்படுத்து

Synonyms: supervise, oversee

Antonyms : Damage , Worsen

Example: “the Code regulates the takeovers of all public companies”

27) Discharge

Meaning : allow (a liquid, gas, or other substance) to flow out from where it has been confined.

Tamil Meaning : வெளியேற்ற

Synonyms : leak, leaking, emission

Antonyms: Hold, Assign

Example: “industrial discharge has turned the river into an open sewer

28) Massive

Meaning : exceptionally large.

Tamil Meaning : பெரிய

Synonyms : huge, enormous, gigantic

Antonyms : Dwarfed, Little

Example : “massive crowds are expected”

29) explosion

Meaning : a violent shattering or blowing apart of something, as is caused by a bomb.

Synonyms: detonation, discharge, eruption

Antonyms: Implosion

Example: Edward was in the car when he heard the explosion”

30) resistance

Meaning : the refusal to accept or comply with something.

Tamil Meaning : எதிர்ப்பு

Synonyms : opposition to, hostility to, aversion to,

Antonyms : Aid, Help, Peace

Example : “They displayed a narrow-minded resistance to change”

31) formulate

Meaning : create or prepare methodically.

Tamil Meaning : முறைப்படுத்துதல்

Synonyms: draw up, put together, work out

Antonyms : Halt, Ruin, Destroy

Example : “The government has formulated a policy on waste management”

32) misuse

Meaning : use (something) in the wrong way or for the wrong purpose.

Synonyms : misapply, misemploy, embezzle

Antonyms: Praise

Example : “he was found guilty of misusing public funds”

33) stall

Meaning : stop or cause to stop making progress.

Tamil Meaning : தாமதப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : obstruct, impede, interfere with

Antonyms : Advance, Aid , Allow

Example : “his career had stalled, hers taken off”

34) Regulate

Meaning : control (something, especially a business activity) by means of rules and regulations.

Tamil Meaning : கட்டுப்படுத்தும

Synonyms : supervise, oversee

Antonyms: Damage, Neglect

Example: “the Code regulates the takeovers of all public companies”

35) Comply

Meaning : act in accordance with a wish or command.

Synonyms : observe, obey

Antonyms: Disobey, Deny

Example : “we are unable to comply with your request”


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