Dear Banking Aspirants,

THE HINDU EDITORIAL – October 26, 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) Think small: on Ganga rejunuvation


Decentralised sludge management systems are vital to achieve clean water goals

Bad sanitation is India’s worst-kept secret, but recent data from Uttar Pradesh show that in spite of working in mission mode to expand sanitation, 87% of faecal sludge expelled from toilets in urban areas is untreated. Viewed against the 2030 goal to achieve clean water and sanitation for all under the UN Sustainable Development Agenda, this depressing statistic shows how much work remains to be done. State support for improved housing and planned development has never been strong, and the National Urban Sanitation Policy of 2008 has not changed that significantly. At the national scale, a United Nations report of 2015 estimates that 65,000 tonnes of untreated faeces is introduced into the environment in India annually. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan promised a major shift, but it has focussed more on the basic requirement of household and community toilets in rural and urban areas. The study in U.P. conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment has now exposed broken links, of faecal sludge and septage being collected from household tanks and simply discharged into drains, open land and wetlands. The problem of the waste not being contained, collected without manual labour, transported and treated safely is becoming graver. It is now time for a new approach. This has to be decentralised and different from the strategy being used to clean the Ganga, for which the NDA government announced an outlay of ₹20,000 crore in 2015. That strategy relies on large sewage treatment plants for riverside cities and towns.

Immediate investments in decentralised sludge management systems would bring twin benefits: of improving the environment and reducing the disease burden imposed by insanitary conditions. It is welcome that the CSE study is being followed up with a mapping exercise on the flow of faecal waste streams in individual cities. The results for Varanasi, Allahabad and Aligarh in particular should be revealing, since the collection efficiency for sludge in these cities ranges from just 10% to 30%. One immediate intervention needed is the creation of an inter-departmental task force to identify land to build small treatment systems for sludge, and to provide easily accessible solutions to houses that are currently discharging waste into open drains. The business of emptying faecal material using tanker trucks needs to be professionalised and de-stigmatised. It is untenable that manual scavengers continue to be employed in violation of the law to clean septic tanks in some places, and caste factors play out in the recruitment of workers even in the mechanised operations. All aspects of the business of sanitation need reform if India is to meet Goal Number 6 of the Sustainable Development Goals with egalitarian policies. A large State such as Uttar Pradesh provides the opportunity to demonstrate commitment to policy. Success here can transform lives.

B) Our time begins now

THE HINDU EDITORIAL : OCTOBER 26, 2018 India stands to suffer most from climate change. A road map to transit quickly to a near-zero carbon economy

Even at the time of its signing in 2015, it was clear that the Paris Agreement on climate change would not be enough to avoid global warming of 1.5° C over pre-industrial temperatures. In fact, early analyses revealed that the collective effect of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) would result in 3-5° C of warming. More recently, there has been mounting pressure on India to raise its pledges further. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on 1.5° C has come at a time when there are multiple alarms for India. Another study in Nature Climate Change identifies India as the country with the most expected damage from rising levels of carbon dioxide. How should India respond?

India’s NDC is already ambitious and it has made decisive changes in its energy sector. Meanwhile, the U.S. has pulled out of the climate treaty, and the support of Australia and Brazil teeters on the outcome of their respective elections. Some countries are also doing less than they claim. According to Kevin Anderson at the University of Manchester, with aviation, shipping and trade counted, the U.K. has made no reduction to its greenhouse gas emissions.

A socio-economic challenge

India has two complex and inter-related problems. The first is to bring a vast population out of poverty and into decent lives. The second is to do this while dealing responsibly with the global carbon challenge and building resilience to climate change.

While India is often mentioned along with China in climate-related discussions as a large emerging economy, the two are very different. India ranks 130 among nations in the Human Development Index, and China ranks 86. In spite of remarkable recent improvements, India still has 364 million living in multidimensional poverty. Nearly a third (27.5%) are multidimensionally poor and about a fifth (19.1%) are vulnerable to becoming poor. Almost half the country is therefore at high risk from events such as loss of a job or ill health of a family member. Combined with damage from a severe cyclone, flood or drought, each subsequent shock will have a multiplier effect on hundreds of millions, potentially pushing them deeper into poverty.

Add to this the current rural distress and the large youth bulge with few job prospects, and the country is in dire straits. It is clear that past development frameworks have not improved well-being across social strata. Instead, evidence indicates that economic growth has gone hand-in-hand with rising inequality and the creation of a small but powerful class of the super-rich.

SDGs are crucial

It turns out that the most sensible way to deal with these complex challenges is to deepen and expand India’s commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The synergies of meeting SDGs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate can only be fully realised if transformative and cross-scale changes are conceived, deliberated upon and tested widely. Further, “scaling up” may not be the correct way to think about what is needed; rather, replication with context-relevant modifications through local and institutional innovation may be more appropriate for a country of India’s size and ecological diversity.

The 1.5° C report calls for societal transformation on a global scale that “reflect[s] the links, synergies and trade-offs between mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development.” Recent events, however, show that we cannot trade off forests, urban water bodies, riverine ecosystems, waste management or groundwater as these come back to bite us as floods, landslides, droughts and infectious disease.

India, nevertheless, has a large number of successful examples of transformative innovation around energy production and access, land, livelihoods and climate resilience. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency showed how government ‘nudges’ are made effective through appliance labelling and large-scale procurement of efficient devices. In the building and cement industry, innovation around housing and new materials, including natural fibre composites, could make far-reaching changes in infrastructure through low-carbon modular technologies.

India expects to reach its ambitious solar target of 100 GW capacity by 2022 primarily through large centralised solar power plants, but these require significant amounts of land, water and evacuation infrastructure and support from mega-corporations. Instead, as some States have shown, renewable-based microgrids can become an important feature of electricity policy. Jharkhand, which has 249 remote villages powered by solar microgrids, is now considering their use even in villages that are already grid connected.

In the near future, entrepreneurs could make use of rapidly lowering storage costs to build decentralised, neighbourhood-scale micro-utilities, managed by locally owned enterprises and cooperatives. With modern power electronics and innovations in hybrid waste to energy, water recycling and community gardens could be integrated as standalone modules that are connected to larger grids.

Sustainable approaches to land are evident in cases such as forest conservation in Mendha-Lekha village in Maharashtra and community delivery of public services in Nagaland. These and several other instances are documented in initiatives such as Vikalp Sangam. Similarly, in a recent comment in Nature, Harini Nagendra points out that India has for long had strongly rooted cultural movements about living sustainably with land and its ecology that provide practical models.

Some research groups have recognised that agro-ecology methods are best suited for increasing crop yield, raising profits, trapping soil carbon, reducing dependence on fertilisers and pesticides. Successful models are already effective on small scales in many States. Andhra Pradesh is attempting to replicate widely one such approach, Zero Budget Natural Farming, to all its farmers by 2024 with an expected savings of 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. This is with 6 million farmers across 8 million hectares. If similar methods were used for the entire country, the savings would be substantial.

In transport and urbanisation, the challenge is to create isotropic communities in the areas of the peri-urban, the rapidly expanding hinterland, which would have to be designed around not cars but walking, cycling and sustainable neighbourhood vehicles. Work and industry would also have to focus on the small and medium scale of about 300 employees and modest capital investments, which reduce the risk of speculation and jobless growth.

Energy and livelihood gains from such alternative visions could be far more significant than conventional ways of replacing fossil-fuelled infrastructure with renewables. But they also involve a lot of learning-by-doing, living laboratories and innovation, practice, patience and support from government and academia.

Putting plans into action

The next round of state action plans on climate change now being developed might begin with identifying successful development approaches overlaid with expected climate impacts in each ecological zone. Policymakers, with inputs from academia, community workers and the public, could then work on how these would be repeated in other contexts keeping climate impacts in mind.

Large investments are needed to make the transitions in each sector that would take the country to a near zero-carbon economy. But given the shortage of external support and the need for rapid deployment, India will not be able to rely entirely on external funds. Some of this could instead be financed through a ‘luxury’ carbon tax that curbs non-essential consumption. Savings can also be expected from the economic and social transformation itself.

Political pressure and activism across the globe may soon turn the tide in other countries, but India needs to begin now with its enormous untapped successes. We cannot be pressured from outside, but need to change from within.

Sujatha Byravan is a Chennai-based scientist. Sudhir Chella Rajan is with the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability, IIT Madras


1) faecal

Meaning : waste matter remaining after food has been digested, discharged from the bowels; excrement.

Tamil Meaning : கழிவு

Synonyms : ordure , stool

Antonyms : luminousness

Example : “discharge of fecal matter”

2) sludge

Meaning : thick, soft, wet mud or a similar viscous mixture of liquid and solid components, especially the product of an industrial or refining process.

Tamil Meaning : கசடு

Synonyms : muck

Antonyms : hygiene

Example : “the dumping of sewage sludge”

3) expelled

Meaning : officially make (someone) leave a school or other organization.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வெளியேற்ற

Synonyms : ejected , exiled

Antonyms : unpunished

Example : “she was expelled from school”(v)

4) graver

Meaning : a burin or other engraving tool.(n)

Tamil Meaning : பயங்கரமான

Synonyms : carver, engraver

Example : an engraver.(n)

5) activism

Meaning : the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change.

Tamil Meaning : ஈடுபாடு

Synonyms : advocacy activity

Antonyms : inaction

Example : “growing activism on the abortion issue”

6) relies

Meaning : depend on with full trust or confidence.

Synonyms : depends believes

Antonyms : distrusts

Example : “I know I can rely on your discretion”

7) outlay

Meaning : an amount of money spent on something.

Tamil Meaning : செலவீடு

Synonyms : expenditure , disbursement

Antonyms : wages

Example : “a modest outlay on local advertising”

8) revealing

Meaning : making interesting or significant information known, especially of a personal nature.

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்த

Synonyms : disclose expose

Antonyms : hide

Example : “a revealing radio interview”

9) untenable

Meaning : (especially of a position or view) not able to be maintained or defended against attack or objection.(adj)

Synonyms : invalid

Antonyms : arguable

Example : “this argument is clearly untenable”(adj)

10) egalitarian

Meaning : believing in or based on the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.(adj), a person who advocates or supports the principle of equality for all people.(n)

Tamil Meaning : சமத்துவ

Synonyms : equal

Antonyms : elitist

Example : “a fairer, more egalitarian society”

11) mount

Meaning : climb up (stairs, a hill, or other rising surface).

Tamil Meaning : ஏற்ற

Synonyms : rise , ascend

Antonyms : drop

Example : “he mounted the steps”

12) pledges

Meaning : a solemn promise or undertaking.(n), commit (a person or organization) by a solemn promise.(v)

Tamil Meaning : உறுதிமொழி

Synonyms : promises

Antonyms : redeems

Example : “the conference ended with a joint pledge to limit pollution”

13) decisive

Meaning : settling an issue; producing a definite result.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தீர்மானகரமான

Synonyms : conclusive

Antonyms : indefinite

Example : “the archers played a decisive part in the victory”

14) teeters

Meaning : move or balance unsteadily; sway back and forth(v).

Tamil Meaning : தள்ளாடுகிறது

Synonyms : seesaws , falters

Antonyms : stabilizes

Example : “she teetered after him in her high-heeled sandals”

15) aviation

Meaning : the flying or operating of aircraft.

Tamil Meaning :

Synonyms : flight

Antonyms : gale

Example : “the aviation industry”

16) resilience

Meaning : the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Tamil Meaning : விரிதிறன்

Synonyms : flexibility

Antonyms : fragility

Example : “the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”(n)

17) distress

Meaning : extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.(n), cause (someone) anxiety, sorrow, or pain.(v)

Tamil Meaning : துயரத்தில்

Synonyms : trouble

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “to his distress he saw that she was trembling”

18) bulge

Meaning : a rounded swelling which distorts an otherwise flat surface.(n), swell or protrude to an incongruous extent.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வீக்கம்

Synonyms : swell

Antonyms : dent

Example : “the telltale bulge of a concealed weapon”

19) prospects

Meaning : the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring.(n), search for mineral deposits, especially by drilling and excavation(v)

Tamil Meaning : வாய்ப்புக்கள்

Synonyms : outlooks

Antonyms : impossibilities

Example : “there was no prospect of a reconciliation”

20) dire

Meaning : extremely serious or urgent.(Adj)

Tamil Meaning : கொடிய

Synonyms : dreadful

Antonyms : fortunate

Example : “misuse of drugs can have dire consequences”

21) stratum

Meaning : a layer or a series of layers of rock in the ground.(n)

Tamil Meaning : தட்டாக

Synonyms : level

Antonyms : clot

Example : “a stratum of flint”

22) conceive

Meaning : form or devise (a plan or idea) in the mind.(V)

Synonyms : devise

Antonyms : destroy

Example : “the dam project was originally conceived in 1977”

23) resilience

Meaning : the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.

Tamil Meaning : விரிதிறன்

Synonyms : flexibility

Antonyms : fragility

Example : “the often remarkable resilience of so many British institutions”

24) procurement

Meaning : the action of obtaining or procuring something.(n)

Tamil Meaning : கொள்முதல்

Synonyms : purchase

Antonyms : attempt

Example : “financial assistance for the procurement of legal advice”

25) ambitious

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

Tamil Meaning : மூர்க்கமான

Synonyms : eager

Antonyms : amenable

Example : “a ruthlessly ambitious woman”

26) evacuation

Meaning : the action of evacuating a person or a place.

Tamil Meaning : வெளியேற்றுதல்

Synonyms : excretion

Antonyms : insertion

Example : “there were waves of evacuation during the blitz”

27) integrated

Meaning : (of an institution, body, etc.) desegregated, especially racially.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : ஒருங்கிணைந்த

Synonyms : unified

Antonyms : isolated

Example : “integrated education”

28) evident

Meaning : clearly seen or understood; obvious.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : தெளிவாக

Synonyms : obvious

Antonyms : indefinite

Example : “she ate the biscuits with evident enjoyment”

29) substantial

Meaning : of considerable importance, size, or worth.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : கணிசமான

Synonyms : firm

Antonyms : minor

Example : “a substantial amount of cash”

30) deployment

Meaning : the movement of troops or equipment to a place or position for military action.(n)

Tamil Meaning : பயன்படுத்தல்

Synonyms : distribution

Antonyms : abate

Example : “the authorities announced deployment of extra security forces in towns and cities to prevent violence”

31) rely

Meaning : depend on with full trust or confidence.(v)

Tamil Meaning : நம்ப

Synonyms : depend

Antonyms : doubt

Example : “I know I can rely on your discretion”

32) untapped

Meaning : (of a resource) not yet exploited or used.(adj)

Tamil Meaning : எடுக்கப்படாத

Synonyms : unused

Antonyms : exploited

Example : “the vast untapped potential of individual women and men”

33) overlaid

Meaning : cover the surface of (something) with a coating.(v)

Tamil Meaning : மேற்பொருத்தப்பட்ட

Synonyms : covered

Antonyms : stripped

Example : “their fingernails were overlaid with silver or gold”

34) Reveal

Meaning : make (previously unknown or secret information) known to others.(v), (in a film or television programme) a final revelation of information that has previously been kept from the characters or viewers.(n)

Tamil Meaning : வெளிப்படுத்தி

Synonyms : disclose

Antonyms : hide

Example : “Brenda was forced to reveal Robbie’s whereabouts”

35) deliberated

Meaning : engage in long and careful consideration.(v)

Tamil Meaning : வேண்டுமென்றே

Synonyms : ponder

Antonyms : accidental

Example : “she deliberated over the menu”

36) nevertheless

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

Tamil Meaning : இருப்பினும்

Synonyms : yet

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

37) claim

Meaning : an assertion that something is true.(n), state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.(v)

Tamil Meaning : கூற்றை

Synonyms : assert

Antonyms : deny

Example : “he was dogged by the claim that he had CIA links”

38) sewage

Meaning : waste water and excrement conveyed in sewers.

Synonyms : garbage

Antonyms : endow

Example : “sewage treatment”

39) sanitation

Meaning : conditions relating to public health, especially the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sewage disposal.(n)

Tamil Meaning : துப்புரவு

Synonyms : hygiene

Antonyms : dirt

Example : “they could afford to erect new dwellings with a reasonable standard of construction and sanitation”

40) employ

Meaning : make use of.(v)

Synonyms : use

Antonyms : idle

Example : “the reactors employ carbon dioxide gas as a coolant”


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