THE HINDU EDITORIAL – September 3, 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) Risks remain: on GDP growth

The spurt in economic growth is news, but the Centre must watch the fiscal deficit

The Indian economy grew at an impressive rate of 8.2% in the April-June quarter this year, its fastest pace in nine quarters, according to official GDP data released on Friday. The first quarter growth spurt was propped by strong performance in the manufacturing sector, which grew at 13.5%, after shrinking 1.8% in the first quarter last year, thanks to de-stocking by firms in the lead-up to the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. The construction and agriculture sectors that grew just 1.8% and 3%, respectively, in Q1 in 2017-18, clocked growth rates of 8.7% and 5.3% in Q1 of 2018-19. While high frequency data points like auto sales and industrial output are in sync with these numbers, it must be remembered that this 8%-plus growth print can be attributed to the resolution of several GST transition problems, budgetary support to the rural economy and, in no small measure, the effect of a lower base last year. The economy had grown just 5.6% in Q1 of 2017-18, owing to the lingering effects of demonetisation and the impending implementation of GST from July 1, 2017. Government spending made a significant contribution to overall economic growth, witnessing a sizeable increase of about 10% compared to last year, helping boost gross fixed capital formation. The latest data marks a steady upward march in the economy over the past four quarters.

The 8.2% figure couldn’t have come at a better time for the Modi government. But some of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s points to discredit the quality of growth under the UPA — for instance, that it compromised on the fiscal and current account deficits and led to spiralling inflation — are emerging as key risks for the economy again. Just over 86% of the budgeted fiscal deficit target for the current financial year has been reached within the first quarter; GST collections, after a slew of rate cuts to spur consumption, have dipped to about ₹94,000 crore in August. The falling rupee, oil price trends and the expanding current account deficit are equally worrying, as is the Reserve Bank of India’s expectation of a rise in inflation in the latter half of this year. Also, growth in the services sector has decelerated from last year’s levels. The ‘normalcy’ of this monsoon is marred by wide regional variations. In such a scenario, the RBI, which has already raised interest rates twice in the last three months, is unlikely to adopt an easy money policy that is congenial to growth. India remains the world’s fastest growing large economy. But it needs to grow even faster to spur job creation. The focus must be on sorting out vital economic indicators that are far from perfect. Sustaining an 8%-plus growth rate needs more pro-active policy-making and a continuous pursuit of well-crafted reforms.

B) Making peace with Naya Pakistan

India should encourage people’s initiatives to forge a ‘coalition of the willing’

The election of the eminent Pakistani cricketer, Imran Khan, as Prime Minister (albeit through a flawed election) has rekindled hopes among committed democrats in South Asia, especially India, that Pakistan is about to emerge into a new dawn. Also that it would bring to an end many of the travails that afflict India-Pakistan relations today.

Careful about false starts

To be optimistic about the future of democracy in Pakistan and, alongside this, an improvement in India-Pakistan relations is, no doubt, welcome. However, it needs to be laced with more than a tinge of realism, since India-Pakistan relations have witnessed several false starts over the years. A moot question at the outset is this: How far can it be said that real democracy exists in Pakistan today, even though an election process was gone through? More important, can a political neophyte turn around the situation in a country whose attempts at democracy have never been fulfilled all these years?

While hopes have been expressed that Pakistan may effect changes in the way it views relations with India, it is difficult to accept that merely because that country has a new leader who is not a politician in the usual mould, things are about to change. Democratic leaders in Pakistan, especially more recent ones like Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, have paid a heavy price whenever they sought to enlarge their democratic constituencies. They have been unable to withstand the machinations of the Pakistani ‘deep state’, which controls almost every single aspect of political activity in Pakistan.

For the Pakistani ‘deep state’, the main enemy is India. No democratically elected leader can afford to ignore this fact. Hence, India needs to assess the situation in Pakistan in somewhat greater depth, and not jump to any conclusion of better prospects in India-Pakistan relations in the immediate, or even medium, term.

No doubt, history is replete with instances of how transformational leaders, who embody particular ideas and ideologies, are able to turn around the fortunes of their countries. No one can possibly accuse Mr. Khan, however, of being a transformational leader — one who is capable of inspiring people through well-considered and carefully thought out ideas and suggestions. Hardly anyone will credit him with a single visionary idea, or articulating a new vision for Pakistan.

With regard to India-Pakistan relations, Mr. Khan has been content with reiterating hackneyed themes that every new Prime Minister or leader in Pakistan spouts at the beginning of his tenure, viz., a desire to initiate talks with India, resolve differences between the two countries, improve trade relations, resolve the Kashmir conflict, and alleviate poverty in both countries. In addition, we have the usual drumbeat of views by other members of his team, stressing the need for a dialogue between the two countries to sort out mutual issues and problems.

The new Pakistan Foreign Minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi (of 26/11 infamy), has ‘tongue-in-cheek’ proposed “a continued uninterrupted dialogue” to resolve “all outstanding issues”, whatever that means. In his previous stint as Foreign Minister in the Pakistan Peoples Party regime, he had hardly endeared himself to audiences in India, and there is no reason to believe he has changed colour under the Imran Khan dispensation. Many of the other key Ministers in Mr. Khan’s Cabinet are holdovers from previous administrations, quite a few being from the Pervez Musharraf period. None of this holds out much, if any, hope for an improvement in India-Pakistan relations.

Understanding Imran Khan

It would be interesting to conjecture which constituency Mr. Khan caters to, or represents, other than himself. Only after that would it be possible to determine what our policy should be towards Pakistan, and how to deal with him. Not to do so would be the height of folly, notwithstanding the genuine desire for peace in our country, or perhaps in both countries.

The circumstances under which Mr. Khan succeeded in these elections would seem to suggest that the ‘deep state’ in Pakistan played a not-so insignificant role in his victory, perhaps even a preponderant role. Over the years, the ‘deep state’ has co-opted some of the key levers of power, not excluding the judiciary, to maintain its stranglehold on Pakistan. Gone are the days when Generals like Zia-ul-Haq and Musharraf openly declared their intention to seek power and take charge of the state. Today, the ‘deep state’ adopts more insidious means to maintain control over the levers of power.

Included in this repertoire of means and methods is choosing charismatic leaders, who have no worthwhile political base and willing to do their bidding, to front for them. In doing so, they avoid accusations of military dictatorship, and of trampling on democracy and democratic rights. It would not be the first time in Pakistan, or for that matter elsewhere in the world, that these kinds of tactics have succeeded.

Whatever may be the initial euphoria, an individual functioning in this milieu is unlikely to be able to navigate an independent path that could lead, at least a part of the way, to eventual success. In the case of Mr. Khan, he seems to have even less room to manoeuvre. To all intents and purposes, he appears to be a prisoner of the ‘deep state’. India would do well to realise this at the beginning of his tenure as Prime Minister. It is much better than being lulled into a false sense of complacency.

Be clear

In this context, India will need to create a framework that leads to realistic outcomes, given that it genuinely believes in peace with Pakistan. There needs to be clarity regarding short- and medium-term goals, before embarking on the ultimate objective of bettering India-Pakistan relations. Repeating past shibboleths and setting impossible goals is not the answer.

The first step should be an acknowledgement that the new government in Pakistan faces threats, from elements both within and outside the government. Furthermore, the threat to better India-Pakistan relations comes from the ‘deep state’ embedded within the Pakistani establishment. Given the entrenched nature of the ‘deep state’, Mr. Khan will be compelled to adopt what may be termed as the ‘Pakistan First’ approach’, in which relations with India would have least priority, and the emphasis would be on better relations with China as also the U.S. and the West. In the light of this, the establishment in India should tailor its response appropriately if it hopes to succeed in the longer term.

For the present, it would perhaps be advisable for the Indian state to step back and provide greater scope for people’s initiatives, strengthen the existing democratic order initiatives driven by people’s groups, and enhance the constituency for peace in the subcontinent. Towards this end, it should coordinate strategies among different agencies within the government on how to enlarge the constituency for peace and liberal tendencies in both countries. The effort should also be on increasing the share of people in Pakistan who recognise the need to act responsibly, and rally the ‘likeminded’ who seek peaceful co-existence with India. It should involve appealing to people in Pakistan, much beyond those involved in the administration.

Only after such moves reach a certain stage, and the outlines of a ‘coalition of the willing’ emerges, should the establishment step in. The short message is for people’s groups in India to engage, and engage with whomsoever it is possible to in Pakistan with a view to creating a suitable climate for peace and better relations. Admittedly, there are many segments in both countries that may not be willing at present to back the move for better relations. However, there does exist a constituency for peace in both countries, especially in India, which needs to be galvanised to act.

Strengthen democracy

India should also take steps to encourage the rest of the democratic world to advance, and defend, democracy in Pakistan, and implicitly improve relations with India. It means actively cultivating a constituency for collective action among civil society worldwide, going beyond mere populism and the usual range of India-Pakistan tensions. If sufficient progress is made, then the establishments on both sides could proceed to the next step.


1) impending

Meaning : be about to happen.

Tamil Meaning : வரவிருக்கும்

Synonyms : imminent , looming

Antonyms : gone

Example : “my impending departure”

2) owing

Meaning : (of money) yet to be paid.

Tamil Meaning : கொடுபட வேண்டிய

Synonyms : matured

Antonyms : resolved

Example : “no rent was owing”

3) deficits

Meaning : an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period.

Tamil Meaning : பற்றாக்குறைகள்

Synonyms : shortfall

Antonyms : adequacy

Example : “an annual operating deficit”

4) pace

Meaning : a single step taken when walking or running.

Tamil Meaning : வேகம்

Synonyms : step , clip

Antonyms : Meander

Example : “Kirov stepped back a pace”

5) spur

Meaning : a thing that prompts or encourages someone; an incentive.

Tamil Meaning : துருத்த

Synonyms : actuation

Antonyms : deterrent

Example : “wars act as a spur to practical invention”

6) marred

Meaning : impair the quality or appearance of; spoil.

Tamil Meaning : அழிவு

Synonyms : impair , ruin

Antonyms : assist

Example : “violence marred a number of New Year celebrations”

7) congenial

Meaning : (of a person) pleasing or liked on account of having qualities or interests that are similar to one’s own.

Tamil Meaning : இன்பகரமான

Synonyms : affable , convivial

Antonyms : disagreeable

Example : “his need for some congenial company”

8) pursuit

Meaning : the action of pursuing someone or something.

Tamil Meaning : நோக்கத்தில்

Synonyms : inquiry

Antonyms : surrender

Example : “the cat crouched in the grass in pursuit of a bird”

9) rekindled

Meaning : revive (something lost or lapsed).

Tamil Meaning : மீண்டும் எழுந்தார்

Synonyms : renew

Antonyms : kill

Example : “he tried to rekindle their friendship”

10) democrats

Meaning : an advocate or supporter of democracy.

Tamil Meaning : ஜனநாயகவாதிகள்

Synonyms : leader

Antonyms : Autocratic

Example : “as a democrat, I accepted the outcome of the referendum”

11) travails

Meaning : engage in painful or laborious effort.

Tamil Meaning : துயரங்கள்

Synonyms : agony , anguish

Antonyms : comfort

Example : “creation may travail in pain but it cannot escape its destiny”

12) laced

Meaning : trimmed or fitted with lace or laces.

Tamil Meaning : நுழைக்கப்பட்டிருந்தன

Synonyms : fortify

Antonyms : disconnect

Example : “heavy laced boots”

13) optimistic

Meaning : hopeful and confident about the future.

Tamil Meaning : நம்பிக்கை

Synonyms : buoyant , cheering

Antonyms : depressed

Example : “the optimistic mood of the Sixties”

14) tinge

Meaning : a trace of a colour.

Tamil Meaning : சாயங்கள்

Synonyms : hue , tint

Antonyms : information

Example : “there was a faint pink tinge to the sky”

15) neophyte

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

Tamil Meaning : கருதிக்கொள்ளுகிறேன்

Synonyms : newcomer

Antonyms : expert

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

16) machinations

Meaning : a plot or scheme.

Tamil Meaning : சூழ்ச்சிகளில்

Synonyms : conspiracy , intrigue

Antonyms : frankness

Example : “he was cheated by the political machinations of the legislature”

17) afford

Meaning : provide or supply (an opportunity or facility).

Tamil Meaning : வாங்க

Synonyms : manage

Antonyms : refuse

Example : “the rooftop terrace affords beautiful views”

18) replete

Meaning : filled or well-supplied with something.

Tamil Meaning : நிறைந்த

Synonyms : loaded

Antonyms : empty

Example : “sensational popular fiction, replete with adultery and sudden death”

19) embody

Meaning : be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling).

Synonyms : epitomize

Antonyms : cover

Example : “a national team that embodies competitive spirit and skill”

20) hackneyed

Meaning : (of a phrase or idea) having been overused; unoriginal and trite.

Tamil Meaning : வெற்று

Synonyms : banal

Antonyms : fresh

Example : “hackneyed old sayings”

21) reiterating

Meaning : say something again or a number of times, typically for emphasis or clarity.

Tamil Meaning : வலியுறுத்தி

Synonyms : renew , restate

Antonyms : take back

Example : “she reiterated that the government would remain steadfast in its support”

22) spouts

Meaning : send out (liquid) forcibly in a stream.

Synonyms : cascade

Antonyms : conceal

Example : “volcanoes spouted ash and lava”

23) alleviate

Meaning : make (suffering, deficiency, or a problem) less severe.

Tamil Meaning : போக்க

Synonyms : assuage

Antonyms : intensify

Example : “he couldn’t prevent her pain, only alleviate it”

24) stint

Meaning : supply a very ungenerous or inadequate amount of (something).

Tamil Meaning : சேர்வதை

Synonyms : stretch , tour

Antonyms : failure

Example : “stowage room hasn’t been stinted”

25) slew

Meaning : turn or slide violently or uncontrollably.

Tamil Meaning : பெருந்தொகை

Synonyms : bunch , plenty

Antonyms : lack

Example : “the Renault slewed from side to side in the snow”

26) endeared

Meaning : cause to be loved or liked.

Tamil Meaning : பெரிதும் நேசித்தனர்

Synonyms : captivate , cherish

Antonyms : dislike

Example : “Flora’s spirit and character endeared her to everyone who met her”

27) conjecture

Meaning : an opinion or conclusion formed on the basis of incomplete information.

Tamil Meaning : அனுமானம்

Synonyms : inference

Antonyms : reality

Example : “conjectures about the newcomer were many and varied”

28) folly

Meaning : ack of good sense; foolishness.

Tamil Meaning : முட்டாள்தனமான

Synonyms : idiocy , lunacy

Antonyms : care , sense

Example : “an act of sheer folly”

29) insidious

Meaning : proceeding in a gradual, subtle way, but with very harmful effects.

Tamil Meaning : நயவஞ்சக

Synonyms : dangerous

Antonyms : fair

Example : The insidious playboy planned to con the heiress out of her fortune

30) repertoire

Meaning : the whole body of items which are regularly performed.

Tamil Meaning : திறமை

Synonyms : range

Antonyms : debt

Example : “the mainstream concert repertoire”

31) accusations

Meaning : a charge or claim that someone has done something illegal or wrong.

Tamil Meaning : குற்றச்சாட்டுகள்

Synonyms : allegation

Antonyms : approval

Example : “accusations of bribery”

32) euphoria

Meaning : a feeling or state of intense excitement and happiness.

Tamil Meaning : நன்னிலை உணர்வு

Synonyms : elation

Antonyms : depression

Example : “in his euphoria, he had become convinced he could defeat them”

33) milieu

Meaning : a person’s social environment.

Tamil Meaning : சூழல்

Synonyms : ambience , surroundings

Example : “Gregory came from the same aristocratic milieu as Sidonius”

34) manoeuvre

Meaning : a movement or series of moves requiring skill and care.

Tamil Meaning : மாற்றம்

Synonyms : trick

Antonyms : tightness

Example : “snowboarders performed daring manoeuvres on precipitous slopes”

35) intents

Meaning : intention or purpose.

Tamil Meaning : அங்கிகரிப்புக்கும்

Synonyms : acceptation

Antonyms : admonition

Example : “with alarm she realized his intent”

36) lulled

Meaning : calm or send to sleep, typically with soothing sounds or movements.

Tamil Meaning : ஆற்ற

Synonyms : breather

Antonyms : continuation

Example : “the rhythm of the boat lulled her to sleep”

37) shibboleths

Meaning : a custom, principle,

Tamil Meaning : வெற்றுப்பேச்சுக்களை

Synonyms : catchword , custom

Example : “liberal shibboleths about education”

38) entrench

Meaning : establish (an attitude, habit, or belief) so firmly that change is very difficult or unlikely.

Tamil Meaning : மேலும் ஆழமாக்கும்

Synonyms : define

Antonyms : discourage

Example : “ageism is entrenched in our society”

39) coalition

Meaning : a temporary alliance for combined action, especially of political parties forming a government.

Tamil Meaning : கூட்டணி

Synonyms : affiliation

Antonyms : detachment

Example : “a coalition between Liberals and Conservatives”

40) propped

Meaning : support or keep in position.

Tamil Meaning : ஆதரி

Synonyms : aid

Antonyms : hindrance

Example : “she propped her chin in the palm of her right hand”


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