Dear Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 16, 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) The Bhutan vote

As the country prepares for the second round of elections, change is certain

The results of Bhutan’s general election will have significant repercussions for South Asia. The first round held in September has already delivered a surprise verdict, with the ousting of the incumbent People’s Democratic Party. The two parties left in the fray represent opposites in terms of their experience. The Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa, that won the maximum number of votes in the first round this year, is a political neophyte. The Druk Phuensum Tshogpa, on the other hand, won the first Bhutanese elections in 2008, and the first round of the election in 2013 before losing to the PDP. It maintains a strong traditional base. The first round of the results also threw up some glaring trends. While the ordinary voter who queued up to vote at the polling booths favoured the PDP, ultimately the postal ballots, used by government officials and their families as well as military personnel, swung the vote in the other direction. Another outcome, which may be disquieting for whichever party comes to power, is that votes in the first round of elections were polarised between more prosperous Western Bhutan and less developed Eastern Bhutan. The DPT, for example, won all but one constituency in the east, while winning only two in the west; the DNT and PDP won seats only in the western half. The vertical split doesn’t just denote a development divide, it points to a feeling of discontent in a country generally known as a whole for its Gross National Happiness quotient.

Regardless of which party wins on Thursday, India-Bhutan ties are expected to be accorded their customary priority by New Delhi and Thimphu, given that Bhutan’s monarch, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, retains a considerable influence over the nation’s foreign policy. Along with his father, and predecessor as king, he has consistently stressed his commitment to the bilateral relationship. However, India must note that while the DNT has made “narrowing the gap” its motto, the DPT, which lost elections in 2013 after India suddenly pulled fuel subsidies for Bhutan, has campaigned on the slogan of “sovereignty and self-sufficiency”. The ‘China factor’ will be closely watched for its impact, a year after the India-China standoff on the Bhutanese Doklam plateau. This year marks the 50th anniversary of formal relations between India and Bhutan, built on cultural ties, mutual strategic interests, and India’s role in building roads and assisting in hydropower projects that became the mainstay of the Bhutanese economy. It is expected that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lose no time in visiting Bhutan to consolidate the relationship once the new Prime Minister is in the saddle.

b) Not just liquidity: on NBFCs crisis

Policymakers must address the structural problems behind the NBFCs crisis

The default of Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) on several of its debt obligations over the last couple of months has raised serious questions about how regulators missed the growing debt pile of a systemically important financial institution. But apart from the obvious failure of regulators to do their jobs, the IL&FS saga has also exposed the underlying weaknesses in the non-banking financial company (NBFC) sector as a whole which has depended heavily on low-cost, short-term debt financing to sustain its shaky business model. As both international and domestic interest rates continue to rise, the stocks of NBFCs have been punished as investors expect the profit margins of these companies to come under pressure as their borrowing costs rise. Then there is the further, and more serious, risk of NBFCs being unable to roll over their short-term debt in case of a severe credit crunch in the aftermath of the IL&FS saga. Both these factors have combined to put an end to the dream run of NBFCs, which have enjoyed high valuations amidst rapidly growing profits over the last few years. The precipitous crash of shares of Dewan Housing Finance Ltd. has been the defining moment of the present crisis. It is worth noting that the rise of NBFCs was fuelled primarily by the demise of traditional banks which have been unable to lend as they were bogged down by non-performing loansMeanwhile, NBFCs with strong pricing power, which can somehow successfully achieve the transfer of higher borrowing rates to their own borrowers, may still survive rising interest rates.

The response of policymakers to the ongoing crisis, which seems warranted if its purpose is to prevent a wider systemic crisis, is fraught with other risks. The Reserve Bank of India, the National Housing Bank and the State Bank of India last week decided to increase the supply of liquidity in the market to keep interest rates under control. The RBI has also urged NBFCs to make use of equity rather than debt to finance their operations. This is apart from the government’s decision to replace IL&FS’s management and commitment to providing the company with sufficient liquidity. While offering easy money may be a welcome measure in the midst of the ongoing liquidity crisis, the prolonged supply of low-cost funds to the NBFC sector also creates the risk of building an unsustainable bubble in various sectors of the economy. Defaults associated with any such bubbles will eventually only affect the loan books of lenders. State bailouts could also fuel the problem of moral hazard as other financial institutions may expect a similar lifeline in the future. Policymakers should thus try to focus on taking steps to address structural problems that contributed to the crisis. This includes steps necessary to widen the borrower base of NBFCs which have been banned from accepting deposits. This would allow NBFCs to tap into more reliable sources of funding and avoid similar liquidity crises in the future.


1) Repercussions

Meaning: An unintended consequence of an event or action, especially an unwelcome one.

Tamil Meaning:விளைவு

Synonyms: Consequence, result, effect

Antonyms: Cause

Example:  “The move would have grave repercussions for the entire region”

2) Verdict

Meaning: An opinion or judgment.

Tamil Meaning: தீர்ப்பு/ ஆய்வு முடிவு

Synonyms: Judgement, adjudication, judgment

Antonyms: Accusation

Example: “This seems a fair verdict on the tabloids”

3) Ousting

Meaning: Drive out or expel (someone) from a position or place.

Tamil Meaning: நீக்கு

Synonyms: Drive out, expel, force out, throw out

Antonyms: Take in, Give, Keep

Example: “The reformists were ousted from power”

4) Incumbent (adj)

Meaning: (of an official or regime) Currently holding office.

Tamil Meaning: பதவியில் இருப்பவர்/ நடப்புப் பதவியாளர்

Synonyms: Current, existing, present

Antonyms: Previous

Example: “The incumbent President was defeated”

5) Fray

Meaning: A situation of intense competitive activity.

Tamil Meaning:அடிபிடி

Synonyms: Battle, engagement, conflict

Antonyms: Peace, Calm, Accord

Example: “Ten companies intend to bid for the contract, with three more expected to enter the fray”

6) Neophyte

Meaning: A person who is new to a subject or activity.

Tamil Meaning: அனுபவமற்றவர்/ புதிதாக சமயம் மாறியவர்

Synonyms: Beginner, learner, novice

Antonyms: Expert & Professional

Example: “Four-day cooking classes are offered to neophytes and experts”

7) Threw Up

Meaning: To give up; abandon, relinquish

Tamil Meaning: விட்டெறி

Synonyms: Bring Up, Disgorge

Antonyms: Destroy, Raze

8) Swung

Meaning: Have a decisive influence on (something, especially a vote or election).

Synonyms: Change, fluctuate, oscillate

Antonyms: Stay, Be Still, Straighten

Example: “An attempt to swing the vote in their favor”


9) Polarize

Meaning: Divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs.

Tamil Meaning: துருவப்படுத்த

Synonyms: Separate, Demarcate

Antonyms: Combine, Join & Merge

Example: “The cultural sphere has polarized into two competing ideological positions”

10) Denote

Meaning: Be a sign of; indicate.

Tamil Meaning: குறித்தல்

Synonyms: Designate, indicate

Antonyms: Conceal, Disprove, Ignore

Example: “This mark denotes purity and quality”

11) Discontent

Meaning: Dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances; lack of contentment.

Tamil Meaning: மனக்குறை

Synonyms: Dissatisfaction, disaffection

Antonyms: Calm, Happiness, Satisfaction

Example: “Voters voiced discontent with both parties”

12) Accord

Meaning: Give or grant someone (power, status, or recognition).

Tamil Meaning: இசைவு

Synonyms: Give, grant, tender, present

Antonyms: Discord, Disagreement

Example: “The powers accorded to the head of state”

13) Priority

Meaning: The fact or condition of being regarded or treated as more important than others.

Tamil Meaning:முதன்மை/ முன்னுரிமை

Synonyms: Prime concern, first concern, the most important consideration

Antonyms: Last, Inferiority

Example: “The safety of the country takes priority over any other matter”

14) Monarch

Meaning: A sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor.

Tamil Meaning: பேரரசன்/

Synonyms: Sovereign, ruler, Crown

Example: “The reigning monarch”

15) Predecessor

Meaning: A person who holds a job or office before the current holder.

Tamil Meaning: முற்பதவியாளர்

Synonyms: Former/previous holder of the post, forerunner

Antonyms: Derivative, Successor

Example: “The new President’s foreign policy is very similar to that of his predecessor”

16) Consistently

Meaning: In every case or on every occasion; invariably.

Tamil Meaning: தொடர்ந்து

Synonyms: Always, Constantly, Normally

Antonyms: Never

Example: “The vehicle consistently outperforms some of the best competitors”

17) Subsidy

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: மானியம் / உதவித்தொகை

Synonyms: Grant, allowance, endowment

Antonyms: Forfeit, Hindrance, injury

Example: “a farm subsidy”

18) Impact

Meaning: The action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.

Tamil Meaning: தாக்கம் / தாக்கவிளைவு

Synonyms: Collision, crash, smash

Antonyms: Avoidance, Failure, Loss

Example: “There was the sound of a third impact”

19) Stand-Off

Meaning: A deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict.

Synonyms: Deadlock, stalemate, impasse

Antonyms: Agreement, Breakthrough

Example: “The 16-day-old stand-off was no closer to being resolved”

20) Consolidate

Meaning: Make (something) physically stronger or more solid.

Tamil Meaning: ஒருங்கிணை

Synonyms: Strengthen, make stronger, make secure

Antonyms: Decrease, Discourage

Example: “The company consolidated its position in the international market”

21) Saddle

Meaning: A shaped support on which a cable, wire, or pipe rests.

Tamil Meaning: சேணம்

Example: “Follow the road which goes across the saddle between two tors”

22) obligation

Meaning: an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.

Tamil Meaning: நியதி

Synonyms: Duty, commitment, responsibility

Antonyms: Asset, Disbelief, Disagreement

Example: “I have an obligation to look after her”

23) Pile

Meaning: A heap of things laid or lying one on top of another.

Tamil Meaning: குவியல்

Synonyms: Heap, stack, mound

Antonyms: Debt, lack, Ditch

Example: “He placed the books in a neat pile”

24) Obvious

Meaning: Easily perceived or understood; clear, self-evident, or apparent.

Tamil Meaning: தெளிவான

Synonyms: Clear, plain, plain to see

Antonyms: Dull, Dark

Example: “Unemployment has been the most obvious cost of the recession”

25) Expose

Meaning: Make (something) visible by uncovering it.

Tamil Meaning: வெளி / அம்பலப்படுத்து

Synonyms: Reveal, uncover, lay bare

Antonyms: Conceal. Cover, Hide

Example: “At low tide, the sands are exposed”

26) Sustain

Meaning: Cause to continue for an extended period or without interruption.

Tamil Meaning: தாங்கிப்பிடி

Synonyms: Continue, carry on, keep up

Antonyms: Harm, Hinder

Example: “He cannot sustain a normal conversation”

27) Shaky

Meaning: Not safe or reliable; liable to fail or falter.

Synonyms: Trembling, shaking, tremulous

Antonyms: Brave, Certain, Firm

Example: “A cracked, dangerously shaky table”

28) Aftermath

Meaning: The consequences or after-effects of a significant unpleasant event.

Tamil Meaning: பின்விளைவு

Synonyms: Repercussions, after-effects, by-product

Antonyms: Cause, Origin, Source

Example: “Food prices soared in the aftermath of the drought”

29) Precipitous

Meaning: (of a change to a worse situation or condition) sudden and dramatic.

Tamil Meaning: திடீர் வீழ்வு (அ) ஏற்றமான

Synonyms: Sudden, rapid, swift, abrupt

Antonyms: Calm, Flat, Kind

Example: “A precipitous slide in the government’s popularity”

30) Demise

Meaning: The end or failure of an enterprise or institution.

Synonyms: End, break-up, disintegration

Example: “The demise of industry”

31) Bogged Down

Meaning: To be/become so involved in something difficult or complicated that you cannot do anything else

Tamil Meaning: சிக்கி்

Synonyms: Entangled, involved, overwhelmed

Antonyms: Advance, Forward, Help

Example: Let’s not get bogged down with individual complaints

32) Fraught

Meaning: Causing or affected by anxiety or stress.

Tamil Meaning: செறிந்த

Synonyms: Full of, filled with, swarming with

Antonyms: Empty

Example: “Marketing any new product is fraught with danger”

33) Prolonged

Meaning: Continuing for a long time or longer than usual; lengthy.

Tamil Meaning: நீட்டு

Synonyms: Lengthen, make longer, extend

Antonyms: Cease, Expedite, Halt

Example: “An idea which prolonged the life of the engine by many years”

34) Unsustainable

Meaning: Not able to be maintained at the current rate or level.

Tamil Meaning: இயலாததாக

Example: “Macroeconomic instability led to an unsustainable boom”

35) Hazard

Meaning: A danger or risk.

Synonyms: Danger, risk, peril

Antonyms: Safety, Certainly

Example: “The hazards of childbirth”


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