THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 11, 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) The old and the new: the U.S. Open

A) Novak Djokovic asserts greatness at the U.S. Open, Naomi Osaka shows she’s here to stay

There was a time when Pete Sampras’s tally of 14 Grand Slam singles titles — the last of which came at the U.S. Open in 2002 — seemed like the acme of sporting achievement in men’s tennis. Little did anybody expect that in the next 16 years, across 64 Majors, not one or two but three players would stand shoulder to shoulder with the American great. On Sunday, Novak Djokovic became that third man, defeating Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, for his third U.S. Open title at Flushing Meadows. The 31-year-old Serb has never been considered a once-in-a-generation talent, as have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the ones above him in the trophy count. But nobody represents the modern-day game as well as Djokovic. He is the ultimate practitioner of the attrition-based baseline tennis, and at his best, with his supremely efficient patrolling of the court, is near invincible. Over two weeks in New York he hit this high many times over. In fact, the 95-minute second set in the final was a microcosm of Djokovic’s last two years. It was long and weary as fortunes swung back and forth. But adversity energised him, and he found a level which his opponent couldn’t match. Coming after his triumphant return at Wimbledon in July, the latest success is evidence enough that technically, tactically and physically Djokovic is back to his best.

If it was about the restoration of the old order on the men’s side, it was the continuation of the new in the women’s section. There has been a first-time winner in four of the past six Grand Slam tournaments, and 20-year-old Naomi Osaka added to the eclectic mix by becoming the first Japanese to win a Major. In Serena Williams, the winner of 23 singles Slams, the most by any player in the Open Era, Osaka faced the ultimate challenge. It was also an inter-generational battle like none other. The 16-year age gap between Williams and Osaka was the second biggest in the Open Era for a women’s final, next only to Monica Seles (17) vs. Martina Navratilova (34) at the 1991 U.S. Open. To her immense credit, Osaka wasn’t awed by the stage. While growing up, she had revered Williams. After all, this is someone who chose Williams as her subject for a school essay in third grade. On Saturday she played like she knew the 36-year-old’s game like the back of her hand, absorbing everything the American threw at her, and redirecting them with much more panache. The magnitude of her achievement was nearly drowned out by the chaos in the aftermath of Williams’s tirade against the chair umpire. Yet, the manner in which Osaka, at an impressionable young age, closed out the match with a cold relentlessness showed she is here to stay.

B) Much must change in Kerala

B) After the devastating floods, Kerala society as a whole now needs to reorient its relationship with nature

In a national calamity, people look towards a leader to extend them empathy, a sense of somebody being in charge and a route to a more secure future. By any measure, Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala, has lived up to expectation on the first two aspects and may be expected to play a role in identifying the third after the State has had to face its biggest disaster in a century in the form of floods. He has reflected gravitas, displayed pragmatism and expressed a willingness to take assistance from any source. The last is a necessary corrective at a time when false pride, standing in the way of accepting the hand of friendship extended from the outside, is projected as a desirable nationalism. At the very same time, it is necessary to acknowledge the extraordinary outpouring of humanity and material assistance towards the people of Kerala from the rest of India. It is difficult to recall something on this scale as a response to a calamity in a distant corner of the country in recent times.

Natural capital and progress

Now that the Chief Minister has affirmed that the “last person has been rescued”, rehabilitation is progressing and plans are afoot to rebuild Kerala, it is hoped that the last will be approached with an open mind. This would be a mindset that recognises that much must change in Kerala’s civil society, which in turn would trigger change at the level of governance. Indeed a paradigm shift, being a profound change in the perception of progress, is needed. The central element in this new perception must be that a continuous decline of a society’s natural capital cannot be seen as compatible with progress. Kerala has justifiably been identified as having carved out a niche, and not just in India but globally, as a society with high human development at a relatively low level of income. While it may be pointed out that globally, many other societies, particularly to the east of India, have achieved the same in terms of some standard social indicators, it must be remembered that, as a part of India, it had also to deal with an ossified social structure in the form of caste and the inequalities it perpetuated. Social stratification was far less in east Asian societies making it easier for them to transform. For Kerala to have overcome this burden through a non-violent political revolution is a considerable achievement.

At times though, stories of our success relayed across the world may lead us to be somewhat swayed by praise. This may have happened to the leadership of Kerala society which extends beyond the political class to its intellectuals. While focussing on certain aspects of a society, external observers could miss others that are just as crucial in evaluating its development. Laudatory evaluations of Kerala have masked the decline in natural capital and associated ecosystem services that have accompanied the rise in income. The decline in natural capital has ranged from deforestation that contributes to rainwater run-off contributing to landslides, to sand-mining that leads to rivers over-flowing their banks, and building on the flood plains that were meant to provide a cushion. All of these contribute to flooding.

Too much consumption

When we have it upon the word of Madhav Gadgil — who may be considered India’s ecological voice and has studied the Kerala topography and its alteration — that human action may have exacerbated the consequences of the unusually heavy rain this year, we would be advised to hear the message. We know exactly the corrective actions necessary to reverse, possibly only at a glacial pace at that, the accumulated man-made factors responsible for this. At the centre of it is consumption. In relation to the ecological damage that it can wreak, Kerala consumes too much. At the centre of this consumption is luxury housing and commercial holiday resorts, of course luxurious. Structures much larger than necessary cover the soil with concrete, heightening rainwater run-off, and through their weight increase subsidence. Houses here have historically been built with sand mined from rivers. Once this source got exhausted, river sand has been replaced by manufactured sand which is a by-product of quarrying. Large-scale quarrying has meant loping off the top of hills and allowing water to seep into them, making them unstable. So at the back of much of the human factor that has exacerbated the flooding by changing the landscape is luxury housing. It is significant too that some of this housing is not even used or has very few persons living in them. This is hardly a rational use of a scarce resource such as land, especially when it has known catastrophic consequences.

Unsustainable trajectory

Altogether, Kerala’s much-acclaimed development trajectory is unsustainable as demonstrated during the recent floods, and needs a change. The needed change is radical and the reality is that its past cannot be a guide to its future. This past has been one of human development, but Kerala society as a whole now needs to reorient its relationship with nature. However inclusive this development may have been — and there is reason to believe that some of the claims made are exaggerated — that by itself does not ensure that the assault on nature will now end. Only the State’s civil society can guarantee its future on this score. Political parties are loathe to speak the language of responsible consumption for fear of losing out on votes.

While, going forward, a path-breaking environmental movement in Kerala’s civil society is necessary, it does not mean that governance in Kerala should be left unaccountable out of concern for peacability. Even in a past that has witnessed progress in the form of an elimination of social barriers, government in Kerala has remained unaccountable with respect to the economy. Malayalis have had to migrate in large numbers, leaving their families behind, to keep the home fires burning. Now with the new challenge of ecological sustainability arising, government — by which is meant the entire public sector — needs to assume accountability for the depletion of natural capital. Someone has to take responsibility for the pattern of land use in Kerala, the pathologies of which extend to building resorts on hillsides, turning every public space into a refuse dump for used plastic, and the continuous alienation of agricultural land, all of which may have had a role in exacerbating the floods. It is by now clear that the decentralisation of government has been unable to prevent these developments. Land use in the State needs review at the level of the State government.

Calling for a public review

Mr. Vijayan has been statesmanlike in saying that he will take material assistance from every quarter. He must now extend this approach to listening to independent voices on the rebuilding of Kerala. The obvious place to start would be to institute a public review of the dams in Kerala and how they are operated, focussing in particular on how their operation may have affected the flooding. Such a demand has been made by a section of Kerala’s legislators. Even a conservative body such as the World Bank had instituted an independent review of the Sardar Sarovar Project in the 1990s, and tailored its policy accordingly. Considerations of both transparency and confidence of the people in the functioning of the government machinery demand that such a review be instituted at the earliest.


1) acme

Meaning : the point at which something is at its best or most highly developed.

Tamil Meaning : உச்சகட்டமாக

Synonyms : capstone

Antonyms : base

Example : “physics is the acme of scientific knowledge”

2) attrition

Meaning : the process of reducing something’s strength or effectiveness through sustained attack or pressure.

Tamil Meaning : தேய்வு

Synonyms : erosion

Antonyms : happiness

Example : “the council is trying to wear down the opposition by attrition”

3) supreme

Meaning : highest in rank or authority.

Tamil Meaning : உச்ச

Synonyms : best

Antonyms : minor

Example : “a unified force with a supreme commander”

4) invincible

Meaning : too powerful to be defeated or overcome.

Tamil Meaning : வெல்ல முடியாத

Synonyms : bulletproof

Antonyms : beatable

Example : “an invincible warrior”

5) microcosm

Meaning : a community, place, or situation regarded as encapsulating in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.

Tamil Meaning : நுண்ணுயிர்

Synonyms : earth , nature

Antonyms : miniature

Example : “the city is a microcosm of modern Malaysia”

6) weary

Meaning : feeling or showing extreme tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion.

Tamil Meaning : களைப்புற்ற

Synonyms : fatigued , sleepy

Antonyms : energetic

Example : “he gave a long, weary sigh”

7) adversity

Meaning : a difficult or unpleasant situation.

Tamil Meaning : பாதகமான

Synonyms : crunch , disaster

Antonyms : assistance

Example : “resilience in the face of adversity”

8) triumph

Meaning : a great victory or achievement.

Tamil Meaning : வெற்றி

Synonyms : pride , celebration

Antonyms : forfeit

Example : “a garden built to celebrate Napoleon’s many triumphs”

9) immense

Meaning : extremely large or great, especially in scale or degree.

Tamil Meaning : மகத்தான

Synonyms : endless , extensive

Antonyms :bounded

Example : “the cost of restoration has been immense”

10) awed

Meaning : filled with awe or wonder.

Tamil Meaning : பிரமிப்படையும்

Synonyms : appall , daunt

Antonyms : bore

Example : “he spoke in a hushed, awed whisper”

11) revere

Meaning : feel deep respect or admiration for (something).

Tamil Meaning : வணங்கு

Synonyms : admire

Antonyms : condemn

Example : “Cézanne’s still lifes were revered by his contemporaries”

12) chaos

Meaning : complete disorder and confusion.

Tamil Meaning : குழப்பம்

Synonyms : anarchy

Antonyms : calm

Example : “snow caused chaos in the region”

13) tirade

Meaning : a long, angry speech of criticism or accusation.

Tamil Meaning : கிளர்ச்சி

Synonyms : diatribe , sermon

Antonyms : compliment

Example : “a tirade of abuse”

14) relentless

Meaning : unceasingly intense.

Tamil Meaning : இரக்கமற்ற

Synonyms : fierce

Antonyms : flexible

Example : “the relentless heat of the desert”

15) empathy

Meaning : the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Tamil Meaning : பச்சாத்தாபம்

Synonyms : affinity, insight

Antonyms : disdain

Example : I did not have empathy for the characters.

16) gravitas

Meaning : dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner.

Tamil Meaning : பொறுப்புணர்வு

Synonyms : dignity

Antonyms : lightness

Example : “a post for which he has the expertise and the gravitas”

17) pragmatism

Meaning : a pragmatic attitude or policy.

Tamil Meaning : தன்மைக்கும்

Synonyms : assumption

Antonyms : humility

Example : “ideology had been tempered with pragmatism”

18) affirmed

Meaning : state emphatically or publicly.

Tamil Meaning : உறுதி

Synonyms : assert , insist

Antonyms : deny

Example : “he affirmed the country’s commitment to peace”

19) afoot

Meaning : in preparation or progress; happening or beginning to happen.

Tamil Meaning : மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டுள்ளன

Synonyms : hiking

Antonyms : completed

Example : “plans are afoot for a festival”

20) recognises

Meaning : identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again.

Tamil Meaning : அங்கீகரிக்கிறது

Synonyms : admit

Antonyms : forget

Example : “I recognized her when her wig fell off”

21) Indeed

Meaning : used to emphasize a statement or response confirming something already suggested.

Tamil Meaning : உண்மை

Synonyms : certainly

Antonyms : doubtfully

Example : “it was not expected to last long, and indeed it took less than three weeks”

22) paradigm

Meaning : a typical example or pattern of something; a pattern or model.

Tamil Meaning : முன்னுதாரணம்

Synonyms : chart

Example : “society’s paradigm of the ‘ideal woman’”

23) profound

Meaning : (of a state, quality, or emotion) very great or intense.

Tamil Meaning : ஆழ்ந்த

Synonyms : intelligent

Antonyms : open

Example : “profound feelings of disquiet”

24) niche

Meaning : a shallow recess, especially one in a wall to display a statue or other ornament.

Tamil Meaning : முக்கிய

Synonyms : alcove , slot

Antonyms : closure

Example : “each niche holding a shepherdess in Dresden china”

25) ossified

Meaning : turn into bone or bony tissue.

Tamil Meaning : உயர்மட்டத்தில்

Synonyms : fossilized

Antonyms : thinned

Example : “these tracheal cartilages may ossify”

26) perpetuate

Meaning : make (something) continue indefinitely.

Tamil Meaning : நிலைத்த

Synonyms : bolster

Antonyms : discontinue

Example : “the confusion was perpetuated through inadvertence”

27) swayed

Meaning : move or cause to move slowly or rhythmically backwards and forwards or from side to side.

Tamil Meaning : இயக்கலாம்

Synonyms : waver , bend

Antonyms : straighten

Example : “he swayed slightly on his feet”

28) exacerbate

Meaning : make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.

Tamil Meaning : அதிகப்படுத்தும்

Synonyms : annoy

Antonyms : alleviate

Example : “the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem”

29) aftermath

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

Tamil Meaning : பின்னர்

Synonyms : impact , outcome

Antonyms : cause

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

30) quarry

Meaning : a place, typically a large, deep pit, from which stone or other materials are or have been extracted.

Synonyms : aim , chase

Antonyms : predator

Example : “a limestone quarry”

31) acclaim

Meaning : praise enthusiastically and publicly.

Tamil Meaning : பாராட்டை

Synonyms : applause

Antonyms : criticism

Example : “the conference was acclaimed as a considerable success”

32) trajectory

Meaning : the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces.

Tamil Meaning : பயணப்பாதை

Synonyms : orbit

Example : “the missile’s trajectory was preset”

33) loathe

Meaning : feel intense dislike or disgust for.

Tamil Meaning : வெறு

Synonyms : despise

Antonyms : adore

Example : “she loathed him on sight”

34) pathology

Meaning : pathological features considered collectively; the typical behaviour of a disease.

Synonyms : anatomy , ecology

Example : “the pathology of Huntington’s disease”

35) accumulated

Meaning : gather together or acquire an increasing number or quantity of.

Tamil Meaning : குவிக்க

Synonyms : accrue

Antonyms : contract

Example : “investigators have yet to accumulate enough evidence”

36) intellectuals

Meaning : a person possessing a highly developed intellect.

Tamil Meaning : அறிவு

Synonyms : scholar

Antonyms : imbecile

Example : “a prominent political thinker and intellectual”

37) stratification

Meaning : the arrangement or classification of something into different groups.

Tamil Meaning : அடுக்கமைவுகளை

Synonyms : lamination

Antonyms : nonhierarchical

Example : “wealth is the main symbol of social stratification

38) rescued

Meaning : an act of saving or being saved from danger or difficulty.

Tamil Meaning : மீட்பு

Synonyms : delivery

Antonyms : failure

Example : “the dramatic rescue of nine trapped coal miners”

39) compatible

Meaning : a computer that can use software designed for another make or type.

Tamil Meaning : இணக்கமான

Synonyms : adaptable , consistent

Antonyms : improper

Example : “packages available for IBM PCs and compatibles”

40) Laudatory

Meaning : (of speech or writing) expressing praise and commendation.

Tamil Meaning : புகழ் பேசுகிற

Synonyms : acclamatory

Antonyms : blaming

Example : “enthusiastic and laudatory articles”


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