THE HINDU EDITORIAL : OCTOBER 25, 2018
THE HINDU EDITORIAL : OCTOBER 25, 2018
Dear Banking Aspirants,
THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 25, 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 long march: on migrants march to USA
#CaravanaMigrante puts issues in the U.S. mid-term elections in sharp relief
The winding caravan of more than 7,000 migrants from Central America through Mexico has become such a political hot potato that it is likely to thrust the immigration issue to the forefront of the U.S. mid-term elections, barely two weeks away. Already, President Donald Trump, who has not been shy about translating his conservative views on immigration into harsh policy measures, has fuelled fears that the caravan may harbour terrorists from West Asia; he has also attacked Mexico for not stopping the “onslaught”. This, besides the usual sloganeering around “illegal immigration” that will purportedly steal American jobs and threaten the security of an otherwise peaceful American society. In truth, most members of this caravan, not by any means the first of its kind but certainly one of the largest in recent history, are either economic migrants seeking escape from grinding poverty in places like Honduras or fleeing persecution, trafficking or gang violence in the region. Unlike previous such caravans, whose members numbered in the hundreds and which dissipated along the way or upon reaching the border, this one has gathered momentum from sheer media attention and support from advocacy groups. It is not going away any time soon. This puts candidates from both the major parties in the U.S. in a tricky position. Democrats are wary of committing too much political currency to the caravan or undocumented migration as a phenomenon, given the prevailing mood in the country. And the Republican mainstream harbours concerns about the strident anti-immigrant rhetoric against the caravan, and what it stands for, emboldening far-right groups associated with racism and Islamophobia.
At the heart of the shrill debate on immigration is the weight of history. Americans can never get away from the fact that they are and will probably always be a nation of immigrants. As President, Barack Obama took a hard line on undocumented worker deportations, whose number soared through his two terms in office. But he sought to toe a moderate line when it came to delaying the deportation of childhood arrivals, and policed borders with a relatively light touch. Mr. Trump, contrarily, has made every effort to deliver on his radical campaign promise to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., although he faced numerous legal setbacks in that mission, and then made even immigration hawks squirm over his decision to separate undocumented child migrants from their families. Ultimately #CaravanaMigrante will seek to cross that line in the sand which Mr. Trump and his supporters hope will one day become a high wall. Liberal-progressive Americans who hope that these asylum-seekers will not be rudely rebuffed at that point will have to regroup and focus their energies on the November campaign and use any newfound power they win in Congress to chip away at the immigration agenda of the Trump machine.
B) An ‘anti-national’ regulation
Silencing of academics from criticising the government denies us a vital safeguard against despotism
The university in India is morphing under external pressure. How it will end up should be a matter of concern for all Indians and not just its denizens. This is so as universities are a source of new ideas for human advancement, hold a mirror to society, and act as a bulwark against authoritarianism. At least that is the idea behind setting them up at public expense.
For almost a decade now they have been subject to unaccountable governance by India’s higher education regulator, the University Grants Commission. However used they may have become to the meddling, nothing could have prepared them for the most recent diktat. This one requires employees of publicly-funded universities to be subjected to the Central Civil Service (conduct) rules governing Central government employees. Now, Central government employees are prohibited from writing critically about the government and making joint representations. So the latest regulatory measure would be a blow to India’s national prestige today and its health in the future. The silencing of academics is taken to be both a sign of backwardness and incompatible with democracy. But it is more than just how the world sees it, for stifling freedom reinforces the backwardness of a society.
The West and history
The argument that universities need adhere to a code of conduct is incontestable. All associations need codes of conduct to prevent chaos. Further, taking democracy seriously would make it incumbent upon them to adopt codes in keeping with its norms. Thus universities need to follow codes maintaining respect for the autonomy of its members, ensuring fairness in the evaluation of performance of students and teachers, efficiency in the conduct of everyday business, and accountability in the wielding of power by the administrative authority.
However, there is no place in the university for a code that bars criticism of the government. When interpreted broadly in its application, such a regulation will prevent the achievement of the very goals imagined for the university. The idea that teachers exceed their brief when exercising their freedom of expression is dictatorial in its essence. Hitler and Stalin epitomised this mindset. Some German professors valorised Hitler’s racial ‘theories’. It led to the departure to the U.S. of some of Europe’s best minds, including Albert Einstein. Stalin’s politically-motivated views on genetics were championed by his ‘scientist’ Trofim Lysenko, setting Soviet science back. Russia’s dissidents did not have the luxury of leaving for America, having to head eastward to Siberia, involuntarily of course. Germany has recovered from the efforts of Hitler while the territories of the former Soviet Union have been less fortunate, showing us some of the dangers from muzzling universities.
Intellectual life abroad
As India is a democracy, it would be of interest to see how the leading universities in other democracies regulate the intellectual life of their faculty — that is, if they do so at all. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is ranked first in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking of the world’s universities for 2019. The term ‘public intellectual’ may have been coined to describe its former professor Noam Chomsky. A world authority in the field of linguistics, Prof. Chomsky has been a trenchant critic of the U.S. establishment for over 50 years. His early work in this genre was At War with Asia, which attacked American intervention in Southeast Asia at a time when the Vietnam war was raging and not yet widely unpopular. In a less provocative way, the Harvard economist, John Kenneth Galbraith, had incisively pointed out how the core of the American economy was constituted by ‘the military-industrial complex’ uncovering also its political power. Galbraith had gone on to have a happy career.
The university ranked first in the Times Higher Education (THE) ranking of universities in 2018 is Oxford. The very reference to it as the ‘home of lost causes’ reflects its character as a bastion of free thinking. An instance of it that would be of some interest to us in India is that when Gandhi was in England for the Round Table Conferences held during 1930-32 he was, on more than one occasion, the house guest of Alexander Lindsay, Master of Balliol College. At the time Gandhi was virtually at war with the British Empire, having been tried for sedition. A quarter of a century later, at the height of the infamous Cold War, the same college elected as its head a historian who was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain (it seems not even the communists can forego grand titles).
But perhaps Oxford’s most defiant moment was to come, when its members, by a popular vote, turned down the recommendation of an honorary doctorate for Margaret Thatcher, while she was yet Prime Minister, on grounds of her hostility to higher education. This honour had till then been conferred on every Oxford-educated Prime Minister of Britain since the degree had come into being at the University. As a sign of its having acted on principle and not on pique, it may be noted that the only other instance of a similar recommendation being turned down was the one of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was denied the honour for his role in the massacre that accompanied the formation of Bangladesh. It may be too much to expect India’s university teachers to display a similar confidence but these examples remind us of the meaning of a university. We invest in universities hoping that they would speak truth to power. If we take this freedom away by invoking irrelevant conduct rules, we deny ourselves a vital safeguard against despotism.
An insightful discourse
Lest we lapse into the defeatist telling that our own universities have always failed us, we may want to reflect on the discourse on India’s economic policy some 50 years ago. Then, as Indira Gandhi lurched leftward, and much of the economics profession had not protested much, two economists at Delhi University had chosen to go against the grain. Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Padma Desai wrote a stinging critique of planning in India. It is not as if their peers supported them strongly in their effort but it is unlikely that they had faced much hostility either, leave alone a menacing government. It was a time of intense debate about economic policy in India and these relatively young economists were able to express an anti-establishment view. It took two decades for it to find a place in India’s economic policy. The launching of the economic reforms of 1991 was a ‘Bhagwati-Desai moment’ in that their central prescription, liberalisation, was adopted.
I find the authors’ approach to the economy incomplete, and have argued in a national conference at the Central Sikkim University earlier this month that the subsequent quarter century in India does not validate their thesis, despite its salience in certain spaces. But the point is not whether the freedom these two young Indian economists had in the 1960s has yielded commensurate fruit. The point is that they had the freedom to challenge the then dominant position on Indian economic policy, and that this did have an impact.
No government at the Centre since 1991 has questioned the rationale of the reforms advocated by them. And, incidentally, Jagdish Bhagwati is now an enthusiast of the economic policies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi! Only time will tell us of the effect on the production of knowledge of the new conduct rules being contemplated for our public universities, but surely they are not in the national interest.
Pulapre Balakrishnan teaches economics at Ashoka University, Sonipat, Haryana
Meaning : the leading or most important position or place.(n)
Tamil Meaning : முன்னணியில்
Synonyms : fore , limelight
Antonyms : background
Example : “the issue has moved to the forefront of the political agenda”(n)
Meaning : averse to change or innovation and holding traditional values.(Adj), a person who is averse to change and holds traditional values(n).
Tamil Meaning : பழமைவாத
Synonyms : stable , firm
Antonyms : liberal
Example : “they were very conservative in their outlook”(adj) , “he remains a conservative in constitutional matters”(n)
Meaning : as appears or is stated to be true, though not necessarily so; allegedly.
Tamil Meaning : உள்நோக்குடன்
Synonyms : ostensibly , supposedly
Antonyms : actually
Example :”the photos purportedly show Nina with a lover”
Meaning : state that one refuses to admit the truth or existence of.
Tamil Meaning : மறுத்தார்
Synonyms : rejected , disowned
Antonyms : admitted
Example : “both firms deny any responsibility for the tragedy”
Meaning : hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs; oppression.
Tamil Meaning : துன்புறுத்தல்
Synonyms : abuse
Antonyms : protection
Example : “her family fled religious persecution”
Meaning : (of a person or way of life) overindulging in sensual pleasures.
Tamil Meaning : சீரழித்தன
Synonyms : dissolute
Antonyms : moral
Example : “dissipated behaviour”
Meaning : public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
Tamil Meaning : சீரழித்தன
Synonyms : backing , patronage
Antonyms : attack
Example : “his outspoken advocacy of the agreement has won no friends”(n)
Meaning : feeling or showing caution about possible dangers or problems.(adj)
Tamil Meaning : எச்சரிக்கையாக
Synonyms : cautious , careful
Antonyms : naive
Example : “dogs which have been mistreated often remain very wary of strangers”(adj)
Meaning : existing at a particular time; current.
Tamil Meaning :
Synonyms : dominate , win
Antonyms : fail
Example : “the unfavourable prevailing economic conditions”
Meaning : (of a sound) loud and harsh; grating.
Tamil Meaning : கடுமையானதாகவே
Synonyms : harsh , raucous
Antonyms : soft
Example : “his voice had become increasingly strident”
Meaning : give (someone) the courage or confidence to do something.
Tamil Meaning : தைரியத்தை
Synonyms : heartening , cheering
Antonyms : appalling
Example : “emboldened by the claret, he pressed his knee against hers”
Meaning : the action of deporting a foreigner from a country.
Synonyms : exile , removal
Antonyms : recruitment
Example : “asylum seekers facing deportation”
Meaning : fly or rise high in the air.
Tamil Meaning : அதிகரித்தது
Synonyms : ascended , hovered
Antonyms : collapsed
Example : “the bird spread its wings and soared into the air”
Meaning : the quality of being particularly noticeable or important; prominence.
Tamil Meaning : முனைப்பை
Synonyms : saliency , prominence
Antonyms : groove
Example : “the political salience of religion has a considerable impact”
Meaning : opposite in nature, direction, or meaning.(adj)
Tamil Meaning : மாறாக
Synonyms : opposite , conflicting
Antonyms : like
Example : “he ignored contrary advice and agreed on the deal”(adj)
Meaning : (especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.
Tamil Meaning : தீவிரவாத
Synonyms : fanatic , extreme
Antonyms : conservative
Example : “a radical overhaul of the existing regulatory framework”
Meaning : wriggle or twist the body from side to side, especially as a result of nervousness or discomfort.(v) , a wriggling movement.(n)
Tamil Meaning : நிம்மதியின்றி
Synonyms : wriggle , writhe
Antonyms : still
Example : “he looked uncomfortable and squirmed in his chair”(v), “the toddler gave a sudden squirm”(n)
Meaning : attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something).(v)
Tamil Meaning : தேடு
Synonyms : pursue , search
Antonyms : find
Example : “the new regime sought his extradition”(v)
Meaning : reject (someone or something) in an abrupt or ungracious manner(v).,an abrupt or ungracious rejection of an offer, request, or friendly gesture.(n)
Tamil Meaning : மறுப்பை
Synonyms : repulse , reject
Antonyms : acceptance
Example : “I asked her to be my wife, and was rebuffed in no uncertain terms”(v), “his reserve was not intended as a rebuff”(n)
Meaning : a person, animal, or plant that lives or is found in a particular place.(n)
Tamil Meaning : வாசி
Synonyms : inhabitant , occupant
Antonyms : alien
Example : “denizens of field and forest”(n)
Meaning : an extension of a ship’s sides above the level of the deck.(n)
Tamil Meaning : அரணாக
Synonyms : dike , rampart
Antonyms : fragility
Example : “the ships met, their crews lining the bulwarks”(n)
Meaning : interfere in something that is not one’s concern.
Tamil Meaning : தலையிட
Synonyms : interfere , intrude
Antonyms : avoid
Example : “I don’t want him meddling in our affairs”
Meaning : making one feel constrained or oppressed.
Tamil Meaning : மூச்சுத் திணற
Synonyms : sultry
Antonyms : airy
Example : “the stifling formality of her family life”
Meaning : stick fast to (a surface or substance).(v)
Tamil Meaning : கடைபிடிக்கின்றன
Synonyms : stick , cling
Antonyms : separate
Example : “paint won’t adhere well to a greasy surface”(v)
Meaning : not able to be disputed.
Tamil Meaning : இயலாத
Synonyms : indisputable , undeniable
Antonyms : arguable
Example : Their command of fleets gave them incontestable advantages, as when, for instance, Otto II.
Meaning : complete disorder and confusion.
Tamil Meaning : குழப்பம்
Synonyms : disorder , turmoil
Antonyms : order
Example : “snow caused chaos in the region”(n)
Meaning : necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.(adj)
Tamil Meaning : பதவியில்
Synonyms : necessary , compulsory
Antonyms : optional
Example : “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”(adj)
Meaning : hold and use (a weapon or tool).(v)
Tamil Meaning : ஏந்திய
Synonyms : exerting , conduct
Antonyms : concealing
Example : “a masked raider wielding a handgun”(v)
Meaning : the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes.(n)
Tamil Meaning : திறனாய்வு
Synonyms : censure , critique
Antonyms : praise
Example : “he received a lot of criticism”(n)
Meaning : the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, which determines its character.
Tamil Meaning : சாரம்
Synonyms : core
Antonyms : detail
Example : “conflict is the essence of drama”
Meaning : explain the meaning of (information or actions).(v)
Tamil Meaning : விளக்கம்
Synonyms : rendered
Antonyms : distorted
Example : “the evidence is difficult to interpret”(v)
Meaning : give or ascribe value or validity to.( v)
Example : “the culture valorizes the individual”(v)
Meaning : a person who opposes official policy, especially that of an authoritarian state.(n)
Tamil Meaning : ஏற்காதவர்களை
Synonyms : separatists
Antonyms : conformists
Example : “a dissident who had been jailed by a military regime”(n)
Meaning : favoured by or involving good luck; (adj)
Tamil Meaning : அதிர்ஷ்டம்
Synonyms : lucky
Antonyms : unlucky
Example : “she’d been fortunate to escape serious injury”(adj)
Meaning : put a muzzle on (an animal).(v)
Tamil Meaning : முகவாய்
Synonyms : gaging
Antonyms : talking about
Example : “the dog should have been muzzled”(v)
Meaning : showing rage.
Tamil Meaning : சீற்றத்தோடு
Synonyms : wild
Antonyms : peaceful
Example : “a raging bull”
Meaning : (of a person or mental process) intelligently analytical and clear-thinking.
Tamil Meaning : நறுக்குத்தெறிக்கும்
Synonyms : keen
Antonyms : dull
Example : “she was an incisive critic”
Meaning : vigorous or incisive in expression or style.
Tamil Meaning : கடினமான
Synonyms : sharp
Antonyms : frivolous
Example : “the White Paper makes trenchant criticisms of health authorities”
Meaning : a style or category of art, music, or literature.
Tamil Meaning : வகையின்
Synonyms : type
Antonyms : jumble
Example : “the spy thriller is a very masculine genre”
Meaning : an institution, place, or person strongly maintaining particular principles, attitudes, or activities.(n)
Tamil Meaning : கோட்டையாக
Synonyms : citadel
Antonyms : deficiency
Example : “cricket’s last bastion of discrimination”(n)
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