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The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary PDF

1. Save A Whale, Save A Planet

In 1997, a dramatic scene played out near Los Angeles as a new-born grey whale was discovered
stranded in Marina del Rey. It had become separated from its mother during the annual
migration from Alaska to Mexico.

Hundreds of volunteers commandeered (enlist (someone) to help in a task.) boats and moving
vans and used makeshift stretchers to move this lone baby female whale over 100 miles to San
Diego in a desperate attempt to save her life. Named JJ by her rescuers, she arrived weak,
dehydrated and disoriented; but after 18 months in care, she was restored to health and
released back into the wild.

While many celebrated that day, the challenges JJ overcame were nothing compared to the
threats she and her entire grey whale species now face 20 years later. That threat is climate

Today, our oceans are under immense pressure as their waters absorb much of the carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases pumped into the air by human activity, resulting in a 30%
increase in acidity. The progress of the human race, particularly since the Industrial Revolution,
has resulted in devastating impacts to our entire climate, and those impacts are particularly
prevalent in our oceans.

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Seashells are weaker, massive ancient coral formations are bleaching and essential ecosystems
are dying. The marine food chain is endangered: clams, oysters, lobsters and crabs, which are a
dietary staple for large sea creatures such as seals, otters and walruses, are under the threat of

Most worrisomeof all, plankton, amphipods (tiny shrimp-like creatures) and other microscopic
organisms that sustain mighty whales and fish of all types and sizes are becoming harder to find.
This frightening trend means JJ will likely starve to death before the end of her normal lifespan,
and much of the sea life that billions of humans depend on will disappear.

Unlike other threats to the ocean, such as plastic pollution and overfishing, these changes are
not always easy to see, but there are obvious warnings.More than half of the world's 17 penguin
species are now endangered, largely due to climate change-related declines in their food supply.

Common clams are smaller than ever - quite literally disappearing before our eyes and humans,
too, will suffer from that loss. A protein found in a common clam shell has been shown to cure
cancers. Where do we turn when it's gone?

As a result of climate change, the world's oceans are already warming to the point where they
can no longer absorb our pollution, meaning efforts to cut carbon emissions will have to go far
beyond the levels laid out by the 2015 Paris Agreement if we are to avoid the most catastrophic

Sea level rise and the damage to coastal regions from more intense and long-lasting storms have
already wiped out vulnerablelow-lying communities and the livelihoods of local fishers, tourism
workers, farmers and so many others. Our thirst for oil has led to massive oil spills that hurt even

But there is hope. The Paris Agreement paved the way to a more sustainable future for the
planet and especially its oceans. My foundation has supported research at The Solutions Project
that shows the world could be powered by 100% clean, renewable energy by 2050. In Vietnam,
mangroves are being restored along the coast to absorb carbon, provide nurseries for countless
fish species and buffer the coast from violent storms.

And in the same waters near Los Angeles where JJ was found two decades ago, volunteers are
replanting vital giant kelp forests that are home to 800 species of other plants and animals, and
that provide oxygen to the planet for everyone.

Will it be enough? Hundreds of volunteers came together to rescue JJ - people from all walks of
life, all ages, all backgrounds. They checked their egos and agendas at the beach and dove in,

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quite literally, to save a creature in dire need. We can do so again for our oceans, for ourselves,
and for our future.

But just as we made a conscious decision to rescue JJ once upon a time, we are now making
another equally profound choice of whether she lives a full, normal life, or whether further
ocean degradation will starve her, prematurely, to death. If that happens, we are also
condemning our children to a much bleaker quality of life than the one we take for granted

We know that humankind is powerful enough - and apparently foolish enough - to change the
very chemistry of two thirds of the planet. The same alarm and urgency that arose to save JJ in
1997 needs to happen today as the massive threat to her and an entire class of marine
biodiversity increases.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14 asks us to “conserve and sustainably use the
oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development”. Let's remember that this goal
cannot be achieved merely by limiting the number of fish we take from the sea or ending risky oil
exploration in coastal waters, but also by eliminating the threats posed to our oceans from
climate change and the emissions we drive here on land.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Times of India"

1. Stranded (adjective)असहाय/फँसाहुआ: Left without the means to move from somewhere.

Synonyms: beached, helpless, isolated.

Example: Double stranded breaks in DNA if not repaired, can result in death.

2. Prevalent (adjective)प्रचलित/व्याप्त: Accepted, done, or happening often or over a large area

at a particular time/common or widespread.

Synonyms: widespread, prevailing, frequent, usual, common, current, popular.

Example: The racism our parent's faced in the past is far less prevalent today than it was
decades ago.

3. Extinction (noun)वििप्ु तहोने/वििोपन: The state or process of being or becoming extinct.

Synonyms: dying out, disappearance, vanishing, extermination, destruction, elimination

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Example: The discussed editorial is all about to try to save a species of animal from extinction.

4. Worrisome (adjective)चचिंताजनक: Causing anxiety or concern.

Synonyms: Worrying, Grave, Concerning, Alarming.

Example: The unfitness of many players has become worrisome for team management.

5. Catastrophic (adjective)विनाशकारी/प्रियिंकर/आपविजनक: Involving or causing sudden great

damage or suffering.

Synonyms: disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic, apocalyptic, ruinous, tragic.

Example: Because of the severe drought, this year has been quite catastrophic for farmers.

6. Vulnerable (adjective)अततसिंिेदनशीि/असुरक्षित: Exposed to the possibility of being attacked

or harmed, either physically or emotionally.

Synonyms: Powerless, impotent, weak, susceptible, Unguarded, Exposed, Wide Open;

Undefended, Unshielded.

Example: People who are vulnerable to the flu virus should get the flu shot every year.

7. Buffer (verb)प्रभािकमकरना: Lessen or moderate the impact of (something).

Synonyms: Lessen, Diminish, Moderate, Mitigate.

Example: In order to prevent head injuries, the football team wore helmets to buffer any contact
with the opposing team.

8. Dire (adjective)भयानक/अत्यािश्यक: In the sense of requiring immediate action./ extremely

serious or urgent.

Synonyms: Urgent, Emergency, urgent, desperate, pressing, crying, sore, grave, serious,

Example: People are very reluctant to accept pay cuts, even when the company is in pretty dire

9. Profound (adjective)अततगिंभीर/गहन: Very great or intense/ characterized by intensity of

feeling or quality.

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Synonyms: Intense, Acute, complete, utter, total, absolute.

Example: A prolonged admission is likely to result in profound weakness and physical disability.

10. Bleaker (adjective)तनराशाजनक/उजाड़: Charmless and inhospitable; dreary.

Synonyms: Gaunt, unpromising, unfavorable, unpropitious, inauspicious, discouraging.

Example: The trees are bare, the land is bleak , closed, unproductive and numb, its furrows
seemingly incapable of the new life we hope for in the spring.

2. The economy in the time of Narendra Modi

As the BharatiyaJanata Party reportedly prepares for “Modifests” to celebrate the completion of
three years in power the citizen would be interested in knowing how their government has
performed in respect of the economy. This because in his election campaign in 2014
NarendraModi had chosen to highlight his ability to turn the economy for the better, notably to
raise its growth rate. Once he became Prime Minister, he quickly presented his idea of how this
could be done. Manufacturing was to be the key and “Make in India” the government’s
programme to actualise it. Pressing ahead to produce in India can hardly be faulted as an
objective, for in a market economy income generation depends upon making something. As for
the focus on manufacturing, its relevance cannot be exaggerated. Indian agriculture is
overcrowded. With shrinking farm size, the returns to this activity is set to shrink and only
manufacturing can absorb (engross the attention of (someone).) the labour that will have to be
transferred out of agriculture. Also manufactures are often easier to export than the services
that India specialises in. So, “Make in India” is eminentl (उत्कृष्टरूपमें ) sensible of itself. But how
successful has this initiative been

A slow starter?

Turning to the evidence, we would find that far from taking Indian manufacturing to new
heights, the performance since 2014 does not match what has been achieved in the last boom in
India, which was obtained during 2003-08. During this period, for the first time in decades,
manufacturing had led the growth acceleration in the economy. In most of these years, annual
growth of manufacturing had exceeded 10%, which has not been matched since. Interestingly,
the performance of this sector in the last three years is not superior even to that at the tail end
of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) II. Clearly, “Make in India” is yet to fulfil its promise.

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Now, could it be that the programme has actually had a favourable impact but the fruits are yet
to appear? This is possible, and would be the case if the programme has led to a surge in
investment. But there is no evidence of this either. If we take a wider measure of investment —
that for the economy as a whole — we see that capital formation as a share of total output has
declined even more sharply since 2014 than it had been since the decline began in 2011. Private
investment, seen as the bellwether of an economy, has not been forthcoming despite this
government’s business-friendly orientation. As the decline in investment had commenced in
2011, the development itself cannot be laid at the present government’s door but it is
unambiguously the case that it has not been able to reverse it. Part of the reason has to do with
the fact that the focus of “Make in India”, such as the ease of doing business, has mostly been on
the supply side. But there is demand to reckon with. Firms invest in anticipation of demand, and
when they perceive slow growth of demand, they are likely to hold back.

Explaining slow growth

It is clear that some part of the slow growth of demand in India is beyond the grasp of
government due to the weather cycle. Two of the past three years have been years of very poor
agricultural GDP growth, with the figure actually negative in 2014-15. But agriculture’s
performance cuts both ways, serving also as windfall when it turns out to be buoyant. Thus, for
2016-17 the Central Statistics Office’s advance estimates indicate a more than three-fold
increase in agricultural growth while industry and services register a reduction in theirs. Had
agricultural growth not risen so dramatically, growth in 2016-17 would have slowed even more
than it actually did. The government just got lucky.

Whatever may have been the demand-constraining impact of slow agricultural growth in the first
two years of this government’s tenure, the independent role of its macroeconomic policy is
evident. At a time of declining private investment the prudent thing for a government to do is to
raise public investment. This has not happened on anything like the scale necessary. Indeed, with
regard to fiscal policy, the government had been guided by fiscal consolidation defined in terms
of deficit reduction. Admittedly, in this the National Democratic Alliance-II has only taken
forward a programme initiated by UPA-I. But the slowing of capital formation was not a feature
then, and economic policy is meant to respond to a changing environment. In 2016-17, gross
fixed capital formation in the economy turned negative. This worrying development requires
addressing. But having tied itself down to a dogmatic policy stance, the government can do little.
The centrepieces of this policy package are fiscal consolidation and inflation targeting. This
combination leaves no room to address concerns of growth. The government’s response to
suggestions that it respond to the situation is that it will not sidetrack fiscal consolidation.

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Actually, no one is asking it to! It is possible to adhere to fiscal deficit targets while expanding
public capital. You do this by switching expenditure from consumption to investment.

Impact of demonetisation

All this is from a macroeconomic point of view. To be fair to the government, we must
acknowledge its other programmes. Admittedly there are several but it is demonetisation that it
thinks of as its showpiece. Claims made have been the ending of corruption and tax evasion. So
far we can only be certain that there was an immediate slowing of growth in the formal sector of
the economy after November as reflected in the Index of Industrial Production. It is too early to
establish what the impact will be on tax revenues but it is difficult to imagine that
demonetisation will achieve more for revenues than the Goods and Services Tax. Interestingly, in
his book The Curse of Cash, the guru of the “less cash” movement, Kenneth Rogoff, presents
data that show countries with a relatively high cash-to-GDP ratio, such as Japan and Switzerland,
having smaller underground economies than some such as the Scandinavian ones recording “far
far” less cash. It may be noted that in Japan the said ratio is 50% higher than in India. No one
thinks of Japan as backward. So, with demonetisation, has the government caused output loss
without clear gains elsewhere in the economy? And if the argument was that large denomination
notes abet corruption, it is difficult to comprehend the replacement of the ₹1,000 currency note
with a ₹2,000 note, with its inconvenience. It is clear from this that politicians and economists do
not employ daily-wage earners.

Prime Minister Modi is not a man for the understatement. He had come promising a
transformation of the economy. Three years later the standard indicators show no sign of his
government bucking the trend. It may be seen in the latest “Economic Survey” that growth had
began to rise and inflation fall before 2014. Since then the growth acceleration has tapered off,
with the year just ended actually recording a slowdown. Finally, in what must come as an
embarrassment of sorts considering the slogan of “minimum government”, among the most
prominent drivers of growth in the past three years has been a record growth of government
consumption expenditure. The stock market, however, exults! Apparently the punter holds
something close to his chest.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Exaggerate (Verb) अततशयोक्ततकरना/विस्तत

ृ रूपसेिर्णनकरना: Represent (something) as being
larger, greater, better, or worse than it really is.

Synonyms: overstate, overemphasize, overestimate, magnify, amplify

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Example: Experts say it's an exaggerated figure and don't want to even visualise such a situation.

2. Reckon (Verb)सक्ममलितकरना/मानना: Establish by counting or calculation; calculate.

Synonyms: include, count, consider to be, regard as.

Example: I always reckon there should be at least one impulse buy when looking for plants.

3. Perceive (Verb)समझना/अनुभिकरना: Become aware or conscious of (something); come to

realize or understand.

Synonyms: discern, recognize, become aware of, see, distinguish, realize.

Example: He was quick to perceive that there was little future in such arguments

4. Buoyant (adjective)प्रसन्नचचि: able or apt to stay afloat or rise to the top of a liquid or gas.

Synonyms: cheerful, cheery, happy, lighthearted, carefree, bright, merry, joyful, bubbly.

Example: The aim is to make the process as smooth as possible and help increase the succession
rate for buoyant businesses.

5. Prudent (adjective) वििेकी/दरू दशी: Acting with or showing care and thought for the future.

Synonyms: cautious, careful, provident, farsighted, judicious, shrewd.

Example: It is prudent for any portfolio to have some exposure to commodities, but I would not
go piling into gold.

6. Consolidation (Verb) मजबूत: make (something) physically stronger or more solid.

Synonyms: strengthen, secure, stabilize, reinforce, fortify, enhance, and improve.

Example: As a result, customers will streamline their storage management and consolidate the
number of vendors they support.

7. Prominent (verb) महत्त्िपूर्/ण प्रलसद्ध: projecting from something; protuberant./ important;


Synonyms: important, well-known, leading, eminent, distinguished, notable.

Example: Teachers' pay is also prominent in the list of motions being considered for debate.
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3. Accounting for three good years

By glossing overthe positives in the three-year rule of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
government led by Prime Minister NarendraModi, our political adversaries especially the
Congress party, are trying to project a false narrative.

When the NDA took over the reins from the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance in 2014, it
had to overcome all-round despondencyafter scam-ridden UPA rule. Now, there is an all-round,
positive image for India and the NDA leadership has delivered on its promise of clean, responsive
and transparent governance.

A global ‘bright spot’

The economy which was almost in a shambles (in a messy state), is now estimated to grow at
7.5% this fiscal. India is being hailed as the “bright spot” by the International Monetary Fund and
other international bodies amid global gloom.

The Prime Minister believes that development would be incomplete without the poor benefiting
from economic growth. With his stress on “reform, perform and transform”, people feel that he
is the biggest transformer.

The 7.5% growth projections for this fiscal clearly indicate that economic resilience is due to
efficient management. Fiscal prudence has been the watchword of this government. The golden
indicators of the economy show that fiscal deficit is under control; the current account deficit is
down to 0.7% from 4% in 2014; inflation is at a low of 4% as against a high of 11% in 2014;
foreign direct investment inflows have touched $62.3 billion, and India’s foreign exchange
reserves have touched a new high of $379 billion for the week ended May 19.The introduction of
the landmark GST regime from July 1 is set to improve the economy further. Another important
reform is the abolition of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board.

The Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, which helps in the quick resolution of insolvency cases, is
one of the government’s biggest reforms. As part of governance reforms, the share of States
from the divisible pool of taxes has been increased to 42%.

The other big reform has been the enactment of Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act,

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On the foreign policy front, the Prime Minister’s pro-active engagement with world leaders has
ensured widespread backing for India’s claim for UN Security Council membership.

The Prime Minister has made it clear that “Gaon, Garib, Kisan, Mazdoor, Mahila, Yuva” form the
core of the NDA’s people-centric policies and schemes have been formulated for their uplift.
Agriculture has been accorded highest priority and the goal is to eventually double the income of

Credit facility to agriculture has been increased to a whopping Rs. 10 lakh crore — this will go a
long way in preventing farmers from falling prey tousuriousmoney lenders.

Another major pro-farmer scheme has been the PradhanMantriFasalBimaYojana, which covers
all food grains and all risks in the crop cycle. With an outlay of Rs. 50,000 crore, the
PradhanMantriKrishiSinchayeeYojana seeks to provide water to every field (HarKhetkoPani) in
five years. The highest ever expenditure of Rs. 51,902 crore was made in 2016-17 under the
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

There is also the Blue Revolution to ensure economic prosperity for fishermen and nutritional
security where integrated development and management of fisheries, with an outlay of Rs. 3,000
crore, has been envisaged for five years.

The NDA government had to rework tax agreements with some countries. The series of
measures to unearth black money include constituting a Special Investigation Team to
announcing the successful Income Declaration Scheme (IDS). With the Benami Transactions
(Prohibition) Act, the government has blocked a key route to generate and hold black money.

Finally, the game-changing invalidation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 notes has dealt a major blow to
the twin menaces of black money and corruption, which became all too pervasive during the
UPA regime.

The entire amount of black money has come into the banking system through demonetisation
and every rupee is being verified whether it is black or white. Post-demonetisation, 91 lakh
people have been added to the income tax net. There has also been unprecedented growth in
digital payments.

This government has ushered in an infectious sense of honesty, accountability and transparency
in the bureaucracy. The biggest example of this is the transparent auctioning of coal blocks and
spectrum. Auctioning of 82 blocks over the life of the lease period would net Rs. 3.94 lakh crore.
Compare this with the astronomical loss of Rs. 1,86,000crore in the coal blocks allocations, as the
Comptroller and Auditor General computed it, under the UPA dispensation.

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There has also been decisiveness in resolving the four-decade old One Rank One Pension for ex-
servicemen and the long-pending Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh.

I move back to welfare for the needy. Under Jan DhanYojana, a record 28.52 crore bank accounts
were opened. Another 13 crore people have availed social security cover at nominal rates under
Jan Suraksha. Capital of Rs. 3.17 lakh crore as collateral-free loans has been provided to 7.45
crore small entrepreneurs under the Micro Units Development & Refinance Agency Ltd (MUDRA)

Other pro-poor initiatives include Atal Pension Yojana, PradhanMantriSurakshaBimaYojana and

Jan SurakshaYojana benefiting 16 crore people.After the Prime Minister’s appeal, about 1.2
Lakhs people have surrendered their LPG subsidy, which is being given to the poor under

As many as 224 schemes have been brought under the Direct Benefit Transfer platform and over
Rs. 1.92 lakh crore transferred to 32 crore beneficiaries, resulting in a saving of Rs. 49,560 crore.
Rural development, infrastructure and housing have been given a huge thrust through ‘Housing
for All’; rural electrification (about 13,432 of 18,456 un-electrified villages have been electrified)
and rural connectivity (1.20 lakh km of rural roads constructed in last three years) are others.

Several schemes to empower women have been successfully implemented which include
BetiBachao, BetiPadhao (BBBP), SukanyaSamriddhiYojana (over one crore accounts opened),
Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act (increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks) and
PradhanMantriSurakshitMatritvaAbhiyan (safe pregnancy). After BBBP, there has been a
remarkable improvement in the child sex ratio in Haryana — 950 girls to 1,000 boys.

Another important reform-driven outcome has been the cancellation of 23 million fake ration
cards following Aadhar-linked public distribution in the States. With the mass movement of
Swachh Bharat, 40 million toilets have been built and 1,94,000 villages have become open
defecation free.

The NDA Government can definitely look back with satisfaction on its three-year rule.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Gloss over (Phrasal verb)छिपाना: Try to conceal or disguise (something unfavourable) by

treating it briefly or representing it misleadingly.

Synonyms: Conceal, Cover Up, Hide, Camouflage.

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Example: The report praised the managers but glossed over the high cost ofthe project.

2. Adversary (noun)विपिी/विरोधी: One's opponent in a contest, conflict, or dispute.

Synonyms: opponent, rival, enemy, antagonist, combatant, challenger.

Example: If you don’t believe in yourself, then you are your worst adversary.

3. Despondency (Noun)तनराशा/उदासी: Low Spirits From Loss Of Hope Or Courage.

Synonyms: hopelessness, despair, discouragement, low spirits, wretchedness.

Example: Because I just won a huge lottery, I am no longer despondent about my financial

4. Insolvency (noun)ददिालियापन/: Inability to pay debts.

Synonyms: Bankruptcy, Financial Ruin, Pennilessness, Impecunious.

Example: The economy has entered a sharp downturn, and unemployment and insolvencies can
be expected to increase.

5. Usurious (adjective)सूदखोर: Relating to or characterized by usury

Synonyms: exorbitant, outrageous, steep, extortionate, unconscionable.

Example: The Malaysian financier, Benedict said, demanded 29 percent interest, a usurious
amount indeed.

6. Outlay (noun)िागत: An amount of money spent on something.

Synonyms: Expenditure, Expenses, Spending, Outgoings, Money Spent, Cost, Price.

Example: The Company has outlaid nearly 20 million dollars in its new project.

7. Envisage (verb)पररकल्पनाकीगई: Contemplate or conceive of as a possibility or a desirable

future event.

Synonyms: imagine, contemplate, visualize, envision, picture, conceive of.

Example: He had never envisaged spending the whole of his working life in that particular job.

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8. Infectious (adjective)सिंक्रामक/शीघ्रप्रभािी: Likely to spread or influence others in a rapid

Synonyms: communicable, transmittable, transferable, spreadable, contagious, epidemic.

Example: The steel band music of Trinidad and Tobago is an infectious musical rhythm with a
strong beat, and notes similar to American jazz.

9. Usher in (Phrasal verb)प्रारमभकरना: Cause or mark the start of something new.

Synonyms: Herald, Mark The Start Of, Prelude, Pave The Way Form.

Example: We ushered in the India victory with champagne and dancing.

10. Nominal (adjective)नाममात्र/बहुतमामि

ू ी: (Of a price or charge) very small; far below the real
value or cost.

Synonyms: Tiny, Minute, Minimal, Small, Infinitesimal, Insignificant, Trifling.

Example: It is expected that there will be a nominal charge.

4. The case for a rate cut

Did demonetisation impact the economy badly? Observers have been awaiting the growth
figures for the full year, 2016-17, for a clear answer to the question. Well, the figures are out
now. But the answer is not as clear as some would like to believe.

Demonetisation happened on November 8, 2016. Observers had said its effects would be
reflected in the figures for growth in the third quarter of the year (October-December). They
were proved wrong. Growth held up quite well in Q3 compared to that in the previous quarter.

Hold on, critics of demonetisation said, you will see the effect with a lag in the fourth quarter. It
would appear they have been proved right. Growth, measured by Gross Value Added (GVA), did
slow down — from 6.7% in Q3 to 5.6% in Q4. But if demonetisation did impact the economy,
growth for the year as a whole should have been lower than forecast before demonetisation.

Check the timeline

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This has not happened. Growth in GVA for the year as a whole, at 6.6%, is in line with estimates
prior to demonetisation. Growth in GDP, which is GVA plus net taxes, came in at 7.1% for 2016-
17. This is what the Central Statistics Office (CSO) had forecast even before the impact of
demonetisation became known.

Some argue that the impact of demonetisation may not be reflected in aggregate growth but it is
reflected in particular sectors that bore the brunt (चोटकोसहनककया) of demonetisation.
Manufacturing slowed down from 8.2% in Q3 to 5.3% in Q4. The growth rate in construction
over the two quarters changed from 3.4% to minus 3.7%. Segments of the services sector also
slowed down sharply in Q4. The services sector as a whole was rescued by an acceleration in
public administration, defence and other services.

The difficulty is in disentangling the effect of demonetisation from that of other factors. Merely
because growth in FY 2016-17 is lower than in 2015-16 or because there was a deceleration in
Q4 of 2016-17 relative to Q3, we cannot conclude that demonetisation is primarily responsible.

In 2015-16, the Indian economy reaped the benefits of a sharp drop in oil prices and the boost to
consumption it gave. The Economic Survey of 2014-15 had estimated the potential gain for the
next year at 2 percentage points of GDP. This gain was absent in 2016-17 when oil prices
stabilised or even rose slightly. Private investment has continued to decelerate. The fall in GDP
growth from 8% in 2015-16 to 7.1% in 2016-17 reflects these larger factors.

Reserve Bank vs CEA

So much for the impact of demonetisation. The fact remains that growth has decelerated over
the past year. The policy question is: how should the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) respond? Chief
Economic Adviser (CEA) Arvind Subramanian and the RBI differ on this all-important question.

Mr. Subramanian noted in an article last month that “since the middle of last year (2016) there
has been a noticeable deceleration in manufacturing activity”. He went on to argue that “there is
a strong case for broad macro policy support, including monetary policy support, to reinvigorate
the economy.”(Mint, May 25, 2017.)

That is not the line that the RBI has been taking. The minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee
(MPC) meeting of April 20 noted that growth in GVA was poised to rise to 7.4% in 2017-18 from
the then estimated level of 6.7% in 2016-17. Further, in its monetary policy report, the RBI noted
that manufacturing activity had gained momentum in the second half of 2016-17. The RBI
seemed to be saying: growth is recovering of its own accord, there isn’t much that we need to

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This is not quite true. Even if growth were recovering, it would be below the output potential of
the economy. We need to aim for higher growth. The case for the RBI to cut interest rates in
order to support growth does not go away.

But growth is not the primary mandate of the RBI today. The primary mandate is keeping
inflation within a targeted band of 4% plus or minus 2%. The MPC’s interpretation of this
mandate has evolved. To start with, the MPC suggested that it only needed to ensure that
inflation stayed with the overall band. In February 2017, the MPC made a significant shift: it
signalled that its inflation target was 4%. Where do we stand in relation to this target?

In his VKRV Rao memorial lecture last month, Mr. Subramanian argued that the economy has
“over-achieved” on inflation. Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation is well below the RBI’s medium
target. “True core” inflation, that is, inflation minus food, fuel and transport services, has been
falling for the past several months.

The central bank, however, is guided, not by past inflation, but by inflation expected in the
future. In its monetary policy report of April 2017, the RBI noted that “core” inflation (CPI
inflation minus food and fuel) was sticky. The RBI said it expected inflation to average 4.5% in the
first half and 5% in the second half of 2017-18.

There is every prospect that inflation in 2017-18 will be within the RBI’s 4% target. However, if
the RBI does not want to take chances, it can cite several factors that could cause the 4%
inflation target to be breached. GST might impact the price level adversely. The climatic factor
known as El Niňo could disrupt food output. Commodity prices may harden. Allowances
prescribed by the last Pay Commission could cause the inflation rate to edge up. And so on.

For a government that is keen to push growth, the RBI’s position does present a problem. A cut
in the policy rate would help repair the balance sheets of banks and corporates and reverse the
fall in the investment rate. It would further boost consumption. By checking the
appreciation(the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something.)
of the rupee we have seen over the past year, it would give a fillip to exports.

Rupee not a worry

Until December 2016, when the U.S. Federal Reserve announced the first of many interest rate
increases expected in a tightening cycle, the concern was that any rate cut by RBI would lower
the difference in yields on the rupee and the dollar, cause an exodus of funds from the Indian
markets, and lead to a destabilising fall in the rupee exchange rate. This is not such a concern
today when foreign inflows remain strong and the problem we have is of rupee appreciation.

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Whichever way you look at it, the Indian economy could use a rate cut today. However, the RBI’s
commitment to an inflation target of 4% renders a rate cut difficult. If the RBI wishes to do its bit
to boost growth, there is only one way out. It must avail of the flexibility it has been provided
under the inflation mandate. It must return to its initial commitment to the inflation band of 4%
plus or minus 2% instead of being fixated on a 4% target. The alternative would be to squander a
great opportunity for stepping up growth.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Aggregate (noun) कुल/ संयक्

ु तकरना: a whole formed by combining several (typically disparate)

Synonyms: collection, mass, agglomeration, conglomerate, assemblage.

Example: The aggregate amount of loans also picked up drastically, from 7.3 billion leva to 11.1
billion leva.

2. Disentangling (noun) अिगकरने/सुिझाना: Free (something or someone) from an

entanglement; extricate.

Synonyms: untangle, unravel, untwist, unwind, undo, untie, straighten out, smooth out.

Example: That is the process of your work - disentangling the string and reworking it into a
meaningful tapestry.

3. Reinvigorate (Noun)पन
ु जीवित/कफरबिदे ना: give new energy or strength to.

Synonyms: reinvigorate, revitalize, exhilarate

Example: Repackaging economics courses can also reinvigorate them and stimulate student

4. Accord (noun)तािमेि/आपसीमेि: (of a concept or fact) be harmonious or consistent with.

Synonyms: agreement, consensus, unanimity, harmony, unison, unity, concord.

Example: The evolutionary psychologists and I are in accord in opposing conventional feminist

5. Mandate (noun) आदे श/अचधकार-पत्र: an official order or commission to do something.

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Synonyms: authority, approval, acceptance, ratification, endorsement, sanction, authorization.


6. Breached (verb)उल्ििंघन: make a gap in and break through (a wall, barrier, or defense).

Synonyms: break, contravene, violate, infringe, defy, disobey, flout.

7. Squander (verb) अपव्ययकरना: Waste (something, especially money or time) in a reckless and
foolish manner.

Synonyms: waste, misspend, misuse, throw away, fritter away, spend recklessly.

Example: The state of the health services and the plight of many of our old people are just two
reasons why we cannot afford to squander money on another stadium.

5. Nuclear power: Expensive, hazardous and

By all accounts, nuclear power has had a bad year. In March, Westinghouse, the largest historic
builder of nuclear power plants in the world, declared bankruptcy, creating a major financial
crisis for its parent company, Toshiba. The French nuclear supplier, Areva, went bankrupt a few
months earlier and is now in the midst of a restructuring that will cost French taxpayers about
€10 billion. Its reactor business is being taken over by a clutch of companies, including the public
sector Électricité de France, which is itself in poor financial health. In May, the U.S. Energy
Information Administration announced that it expects the share of nuclear electricity in the U.S.
to decline from about 20% in 2016 to 11% by 2050. The newly elected Presidents of Korea and
France have both promised to cut the share of nuclear energy in their countries. And the Swiss
just voted to phase out nuclear power.

Both Areva and Westinghouse had entered into agreements with the Indian government to
develop nuclear plants. Areva had promised to build the world’s largest nuclear complex at
Jaitapur (Maharashtra), while last June, Prime Minister NarendraModi and U.S. President Barack
Obama announced, with great fanfare, that Westinghouse would build six reactors at Kovvada
(Andhra Pradesh). The collapse of these companies vindicates critics of these deals, who
consistently pointed out that India’s agreements with Areva and Westinghouse were fiscally

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irresponsible. If these projects had gone ahead, Indian taxpayers would have been left holding
the bag — billions of dollars of debt, and incomplete projects. This narrow escape calls not only
for a hard look at the credibility of those members of the nuclear establishment who advocated
these deals for a decade, but for a comprehensive re-evaluation of the role of nuclear power in
the country’s energy mix.

Therefore, the government’s recent decision to approve the construction of ten 700 MW
Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) deserves to be scrutinised carefully. Strictly
speaking, there is little that is new in this decision. A list of all the sites where the PHWRs are to
be constructed had already been provided to Parliament by the United Progressive Alliance
government in 2012. But delays with the first 700 MW PHWRs already under construction, the
changed international scenario for nuclear energy, and the ongoing reductions in the cost of
renewable energy all imply that these earlier plans are best abandoned.

It doesn’t come cheap

First, although the 700 MW PHWRs are cheaper than imported reactors, their electricity is likely
to be costly. These reactors are commercially untested, since the largest PHWRs constructed so
far in India are the 540 MW twin units at Tarapur. There are two 700 MW PHWRs under
construction at Rawatbhata (Rajasthan) and Kakrapar (Gujarat), but these have been delayed by
over two years, and the government has not revealed the resultant cost increases.

Nevertheless, assuming a capital cost of ₹10 crore per megawatt, suggested by the government’s
press release on its decision, and using the pattern of expenditure seen at Rawatbhata and
Kakrapar, a rough estimate suggests that the cost of electricity during the first year of operations
at these reactors is likely to be around ₹6 per unit at current prices. The Central Electricity
Regulatory Commission’s published tariffs show that almost all currently operating Indian coal,
natural gas and hydroelectric power plants produce cheaper electricity.

Even prices for solar power have dropped below those of nuclear power. For example, the
winning bid at the auction for the Bhadla Phase-IV Solar Park in Rajasthan held last month was
₹2.44 per unit, which is fixed for 25 years. This is not an isolated example, but part of a trend of
falling prices in the renewable sector.

In fact, the government’s tariff model makes nuclear power appear more competitive than it
really is. The capital invested in any plant yields no returns while the plant is being constructed.
At the end of construction, the government fixes a tariff by calculating a rate of return on the
nominal amount of capital invested, disregarding the value this amount could have accumulated
during this idle time. As a result, the effective rate of return on equity invested in nuclear energy

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is significantly lower than the rate of return provided by other sources of electricity that have
shorter gestation (he process of carrying or being carried in the womb between conception
and birth.) periods. Nuclear power would be even less economically attractive if a methodology
that consistently incorporates the time value of capital were to be used to establish tariffs.

While announcing its decision, the government claimed that these plants would “generate more
than 33,400 jobs in direct and indirect employment”. But this number ceases to be impressive
when viewed in the context of the planned capital expenditure of ₹70,000 crore. The relevant
factor in assessing the employment opportunities provided by a project is not just the total
number of jobs produced but the ratio of the jobs produced to the capital invested.

A widely cited study by three analysts from the University of California, Berkeley, found that
nuclear power created only 0.14 job-years per gigawatt-hour of electricity produced. In contrast,
solar photovoltaic sources were more than six times as labour intensive, creating about 0.87 job-
years per gigawatt-hour of electricity. Since solar energy is cheaper, this comparison is even
more unfavourable to nuclear power when viewed in terms of jobs created per rupee spent.

Bad fit for climate change

The government also argued that these reactors would bolster “global efforts to combat climate
change”. While climate change is indeed a grave problem, it is not the only environmental
problem confronting us. Nuclear power poses its own set of threats to the environment and
public health, and is therefore an inappropriate tool to mitigate climate change.

All nuclear reactors produce radioactive waste materials because each fission event involving
nuclei of uranium or plutonium gives rise to radioactive elements called fission products. Some
of these remain radioactive for hundreds of thousands of years. Despite decades of research,
nuclear waste remains an unavoidable long-term problem for the environment.

Nuclear reactors are also capable of catastrophic accidents, as witnessed in Fukushima and
Chernobyl. A single nuclear disaster can contaminate large tracts of land with radioactive
materials, rendering these areas uninhabitable for decades. More than 30 years after the
accident at Chernobyl, about 650,000 acres are still excluded from inhabitation.

The people’s concerns

Local communities are keenly aware of the hazardous nature of nuclear power. Since the 1980s,
every new site chosen for a nuclear plant has been greeted with a protest movement.
Sometimes, these movements have succeeded in forcing the cancellation of plans, including at

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two sites in Kerala and one site in West Bengal. More recently, the plan to establish a plant near
Patiala seems to have been dropped.

Other communities have been less lucky. In some proposed sites, such as Fatehabad (Haryana),
the government has succeeded in using financial incentives to counter opposition to nuclear
construction, in essence exploiting the economic vulnerability of the local population. But
protests continue at other sites, such as Chutka (Madhya Pradesh). The sad irony in Chutka is
that some of the affected people were previously displaced by the Bargi dam, and are now being
asked to move a second time. Their plight typifies the social dynamics associated with nuclear
power. The risks and costs are borne overwhelmingly by poor rural communities, who consume
only a tiny fraction of the electricity that is generated.

The government claims that its recent decision displays “India’s commitment to sustainable
development”. But does the path to sustainable development run through a source of electricity
that is expensive, hazardous and antithetical to equity?

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Bankruptcy (noun) ददिालियापन: The state of being completely lacking in a particular quality or

Synonyms: insolvency, liquidation, failure, ruin, financial ruin, collapse.

Example: Many companies were facing bankruptcy.

2. Vindicates (verb) साबबतकरना: Clear (someone) of blame or suspicion.

Synonyms: acquit, clear, absolve, exonerate, discharge, liberate, free.

Example: The former trade minister says that he is happy to submit to any tests that help
vindicate him.

3. Scrutinize (verb)छानबीनकरना/जाँचकरना: Examine or inspect closely and thoroughly.

Synonyms: Examine, inspect, survey, study, look at, peruse, investigate.

Example: All submitted data were carefully scrutinized and checked for completeness.

4. Abandoned (Adjective)त्यागाहुआ: having been deserted or cast off.

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Synonyms: unused, disused, neglected, idle, deserted, unoccupied.

Example: In the first, a young peasant woman desperately fights to protect an abandoned baby
boy she's taken under her wing.

5. Resultant (Adjective) पररर्ामस्िरूप : Occurring or produced as a result or consequence of


Synonyms: Sequent, concomitant, accompanying, consequent, incidental, attendant.

Example: A natural result of this growth is a resultant increase in the desire and need for
computers to communicate with each other.

6. Bolster (verb)आधार: support or strengthen; prop up.

Synonyms: strengthen, reinforce, boost, fortify, renew, support, sustain.

Example: Retailers rely heavily upon the period to bolster their annual sales and profits.

7. Combat (verb) विरोधकरना: Take action to reduce, destroy, or prevent (something


Synonyms: fight, battle, tackle, attack, counter, resist, withstand, impede, block, thwart.

Example: The relationship between sport and unarmed combat is not easily seen at first.

8. Grave (adjective) गिंभीर: Giving cause for alarm; serious.

Synonyms: serious, solemn, weighty, sedate, life-threatening.

Example: Health unions have expressed grave concerns about present workers being held on
inadequate pay.

9. Mitigate (verb) कमकरना: Make less severe, serious, or painful.

Synonyms: alleviate, reduce, diminish, lessen, weaken, and lighten.

Example: If you have serious credit card debts, the best way to mitigate the bill is to switch to
zero interest plastic.

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10. Catastrophic (Adjective)आपविजनक/प्रियिंकर: involving or causing sudden great damage or
suffering. Or Extremely unfortunate or unsuccessful.

Synonyms: disastrous, calamitous, cataclysmic, apocalyptic, ruinous, tragic, and fatal.

Example: These sandstone monuments display evidence of large-scale catastrophic deposition

and immense watery erosion.

11. Contaminate (verb)दवू ितकरना: make (something) impure by exposure to or addition of a

poisonous or polluting substance.

Synonyms: pollute, adulterate, defile, debase, corrupt, taint.

Example: Groundwater will be polluted, which would contaminate drinking water.

12. Plight (noun) दद

ु ण शा: A dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation.

Synonyms: predicament, quandary, difficult situation, dire straits, trouble, difficulty.

Example: The Monarchy did not at once learn its lesson, and little was done to relieve the plight
of the peasantry.

6. The neutrino opportunity

India’s wait to join the elite club of countries undertaking neutrino research suffered a
procedural delay in March this year when the National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended the
environmental clearance (EC) granted to the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), and
ordered it to file a fresh application for clearance.

The proposed INO project primarily aims to study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300-m deep
cavern in the Bodi West Hills in Theni district, Tamil Nadu. If completed, the INO would house
the largest magnet in the world, four times more massive than the European Organization for
Nuclear Research, CERN’s Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector’s magnet. Neutrinos are tiny
particles, almost massless, that travel at near light speeds. Born from violent astrophysical
events such as exploding stars and gamma ray bursts, they are abundant in the universe, and
can move as easily through matter as we move through air. They are notoriously difficult to track
down. If you hold your hand towards the sunlight for one second, about a billion neutrinos from
the sun will pass through it; this is because they are the by-products of nuclear fusion in the sun.
These little wisps (a small thin or twisted bunch, piece, or amount of something.) hold the

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blueprint of nature, which the INO project aims to use to understand some of the unsolved
mysteries of the universe.

While the suspension of INO’s environmental clearance is a setback, the scientific community
hopes these procedural lapses will be addressed in an earnest and time-bound manner. The
initial hope of making INO up and running by 2012 did not work out as the Ministry Of
Environment, Forests And Climate Change denied permission in 2009 to construct the INO on the
edge of a prime elephant habitat. An alternative site in Bodi West Hills in Tamil Nadu was found,
which got the approval in January 2015 and a new completion date was set for 2020. The NGT’s
March 2017 order further delays the start of the project. Now the earliest conceivable
completion date is projected as 2022. The INO will fall further behind other facilities including
China’s Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO), expected to open in 2019.

While suspending the EC, the Southern Bench of the NGT noted that the General Conditions
attached to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2006, and the amendment to it
on June 25, 2014, clearly makes the INO project a Category A project. The NGT further observed
that, as a Category A project, the INO’s proximity (4.9 kilometres) to the Mathikettaan Shola
National Park required clearance under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, to be obtained
from the National Board for Wildlife.

What it involves

The INO project also has its critics. Many argue, among other things, that the explosives used in
construction are a threat to the highly sensitive ecology of the Western Ghats, and that the
relevant radiation safety studies for carrying out the long baseline neutrino experiment in the
second phase of INO have not been done. The proposed excavation is planned to be carried out
by a controlled blast, limiting the impact of vibrations with the help of computer simulations.
Additionally, building the INO involves constructing an underground lab accessed by a 2 km-long
horizontal access tunnel, resembling a road tunnel. Such tunnels have been built extensively in
India and the relevant studies show that the environmental impact (mainly dust and noise in the
initial phase) have been managed. In the second phase, the INO project initially had planned to
be set up as a far detector for the Neutrino Factory, which is a proposed particle accelerator.
This may not be necessary because of the discoveries already being made in the field. Even if you
build it, the radiation from the neutrino beam alone on an average would be one in 100 millionth
of the natural radiation, which is negligible.

The procedural lapses and assumptions about the project’s agenda have made a project of this
scale hard to bear fruit in India. Further, allegations such as neutrinos being radioactive particles
and that the INO will double up the storage of nuclear waste have damaged the collaboration’s
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many years of outreach efforts. Any further delays could defeat the purpose of the project
because similar projects elsewhere could undermine India’s efforts. For those who argue that
₹1,500 crore is a waste of money, it might be instructive to look back at the enormous
achievements 20th century has brought in on the pillars of relativity and quantum mechanics.

Long history of research

Neutrino research has a long history in India. In the 1960s and 1970s, a group of scientists led by
the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research detected some unusual experimental observations,
the so-called Kolar events in the Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka. Half a century later,
however, these events remain as science fiction, yet to be explained and unravelled. From the
1980s, neutrino enthusiasts discussed the possibility of a neutrino observatory located in India.
In 2002, a document was presented to the Department of Atomic Energy which laid out an
ambitious plan to establish the INO. Since then, fast-paced developments have taken place in
neutrino physics. Consider this: more than half the Nobel Prizes in physics in the past 50 years
have been awarded to basic research in particle physics; this includes the 2015 Prize for the
discovery of neutrino oscillations. On January 5, 2015, the Union cabinet gave its approval to
establish the INO at an estimated cost of ₹1,500 crore, the most expensive basic science project
in India.

While public apprehensions in such projects are understandable, they also demonstrate that
communication between the scientific community and the public needs to be more basic and
democratic. For a country of young minds, we should generate sufficient public support for such
high technology and science projects.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Elite (noun) अलभजातिगण/समाजकाउत्कृष्टभाग: a select part of a group that is superior to the

rest in terms of ability or qualities.

Synonyms: beau monde, haut monde, glitterati, aristocracy, nobility, upper class.

Example: You all look so good when you cluster in little groups forming elite social circles.

2. Abundant (adjective) प्रचरु /विपुि: existing or available in large quantities; plentiful.

Synonyms: plentiful, copious, ample, profuse, rich, lavish, abounding, liberal, generous.

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Example: This allows the animal maximum use of the abundant grass supply available all

3. Conceivable (verb)प्रशिंसनीय/मम
ु ककन/सिंभिनीयतासे: capable of being imagined or grasped

Synonyms: imaginable, possible, plausible, tenable, credible, believable.

Example: It is for things to be such that it is conceivable or imaginable for knowledge of them to
be had which would enable us to know the future.

4. Excavation (noun)उत्खनन/ खद
ु ाई: the action of excavating something, especially an
archaeological site.

Synonyms: unearthing, digging up, disinterment, exhumation.

Example: The amount of scientific work that occurs on site, during excavation , is

5. Negligible (Adjective) बहुतकम: so small or unimportant as to be not worth considering;


Synonyms: trivial, trifling, insignificant, unimportant, minor, inconsequential, minimal.

Example: Eventually the government award was appealed and reduced to a negligible amount.

6. Enormous (Adjective)विशाि/असाधारर्/प्रचरु : very large in size, quantity, or extent

Synonyms: tremendous, mighty, monumental, epic, prodigious.

Example: Any one of these ideas will take an enormous amount of effort and investment to

7. Unravel (verb) सुिझाना: Investigate and solve or explain (something complicated or puzzling).

Synonyms: untangle, disentangle, separate out, unwind, untwist, unsnarl, unthread.

Example: I had to unravel a logic puzzle, really, which was an interesting take on that, and a
credit to Kavita's ingenuity.

8. Enthusiasts (noun) उत्साही: a person who is highly interested in a particular activity or subject.

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Synonyms: follower, expert, connoisseur, authority, pundit, buff.

Example: The advent of the old-new technology is something airship enthusiasts thought would
never happen.

9. Oscillations (noun) किंपन/थरथराहट: regular variation in magnitude or position around a

central point.

Synonyms: wavering, swinging, fluctuation, seesawing, yo-yoing, vacillation.

Example: The aircraft began a series of violent oscillations at 60 feet that would frighten even
the dumbest pilot.

10. Demonstrate (verb)प्रदशणनकरना/साबबतकरना: Clearly show the existence or truth of

(something) by giving proof or evidence.

Synonyms: reveal, bespeak, indicate, signify, signal, denote, show, display, exhibit.

Example: Projects had to be sustainable, give value for money and demonstrate how the public
would benefit.

Getting back on the growth track

The National Income numbers for 2016-17 have been released. What do they convey? What do
they hold for the immediate future? Briefly, this is the picture. Recent revisions in the Index of
Industrial Production and Wholesale Price Index do not alter the annual growth rates for the
recent years.

The differences are in one or two decimal points. The growth rate for 2015-16 is estimated at
8%. The growth rate for 2016-17 is 7.1%, which is the same as forecast a few months ago.

7. Impact of demonetisation
It is the numbers for the fourth quarter of 2016-17, that is, for the quarter January-March 2017,
which has attracted much attention. The numbers are being scanned with a critical eye to know
what impact demonetisation had on the economy. The overall growth rate of GDP is 6.1%, which
is nearly 1% below the growth rate for the previous quarter at 7%. The year-on-year decline is,
however, steep.

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In analysing the January-March quarter numbers, we need to keep in mind three factors. First, a
decline in growth rate has been seen from the beginning of the year. The growth rate of every
quarter has been sliding from the previous quarter. Second, during Quarter 4, the only two
sectors which have shown strong growth are agriculture and public administration. Public
administration, defence and other services have shown a sharp increase of 17%. But for this, the
overall growth rate would have declined steeply. Third, the sectors that have shown a sharp
decline are construction and trade, hotels, transport and communication. These are the sectors
which use cash extensively. In the case of construction, output actually declined by 3.7% as
compared to a rise of 3.4% in the previous quarter. However, the decline in construction should
be interpreted carefully.

Obviously the liquidity crunch brought about by inadequate availability of currency consequent
upon demonetisation must have halted a lot of construction activity immediately. But the
decline is also partly due to ‘shock effect’. After all, the construction and real estate sectors are
notorious for their cash transactions and dealings which are not above board. There is a
paramount need for the participants to adjust.

It is naive to pretend that demonetisation would not have had a short-term disruptive effect
which would adversely affect growth. The long-term benefits in terms of a change in mindset
and behaviour of people and greater use of technology-driven payments system are in the
future. They need further actions.

Fast remonetisation will help to eliminate the adverse effects caused by shortage of currency.
The authorities also need to augment the supply of ₹500 notes in a big way.

While decreased use of currency is a desirable goal, the authorities should not proceed on the
assumption that it is actually happening and therefore the supply of currency can be reduced.
While the adverse effects of demonetisation on GDP are clearly seen, it is difficult to decipher
how much of the decline in growth rate in the January-March quarter is due to demonetisation
and how much due to the underlying declining trend. Now that the disruptive effects of
demonetisation are behind us, we need to explore the other factors that may be holding growth
back. The most disturbing aspect of the data just released is the continuing decline in the Gross
Fixed Capital Formation (GFCF) rate, that is, GFCF as a proportion of GDP. It has been steadily
declining and in 2016-17 it fell to 29.5% from 30.9% in 2015-16.

Role of new investment

In the days of high growth, it hovered (remain in one place in the air.) around 33%. In recent
years an attempt has been made to raise public investment. In fact, this effort, combined with

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some improvements in the efficiency in the use of capital, has led to significant improvements in
the output of coal, power and roads. This is necessary and must be continued. But the ultimate
answer lies in the pickup in private investment.

There is a general concern that despite reasonably high growth (the average growth of GDP for
the three years beginning 2014-15 is 7.5%), job creation has been modest. Growth can happen
because of greater utilisation of existing capacity or new investment. Job creation in the first
case will only be modest as is happening currently in India.

It is only new investment that will push growth and that will generate greater employment.
Obviously, there are many other factors such as technology that play a key role in determining
the level of employment.

For sustained high growth, we need new investment and policymakers must shift their focus
towards this. In fact, foreign direct investment has been very high. Despite this, the rate of
growth of fixed capital formation has been weak. The sentiment, it is generally believed, has
changed. The reform agenda has been pushed forward. The Bankruptcy Code has become
operational. The Goods and Services Tax will very soon come into force. The FDI rules have been
considerably relaxed. All these are welcome steps. It will, however, take some time before the
impact of the first two is felt on investment and growth.

Burden of debt

Perhaps one of the reasons for investment not picking up is the burden of debt under which
Indian businesses are suffering. The banking system is also under stress. The health of the
banking system is closely aligned to the health of the private sector business, both corporate and

The sooner we resolve the problems of the banking system, the better for the economy. It is the
resolution of the NPA (non-performing assets) problem that will enable the banks to restart their
lending programme in a big way and help business to embark on new investment. The
macroeconomic stability parameters are in good shape. Prices are under control. The Central
government fiscal deficit is adhering to the road map laid out in the Budget. The balance of
payments situation is also under control.

The monsoon is expected to be normal in the current year. This is the appropriate time to
convert sentiment to firm action with a big push on private investment. Like law and order,
social harmony is also a necessary prerequisite for faster growth. Ignoring this will bring to
naught all other economic initiatives.

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Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Alter (verb) पररितणनकरना/बदिना: Change or cause to change in character or composition,

typically in a comparatively small but significant way.

Synonyms: adapt, amend, modify, revise, revamp, rework.

Example: Some men came over to alter the dress, measuring and sticking pins all over, pricking
my sides.

2. Notorious (adjective) कुख्यात/िोकप्रलसध्द: famous or well known, typically for some bad
quality or deed.

Synonyms: infamous, scandalous, well known, famous, famed, legendary.

Example: In the process he became the most celebrated, or at least most notorious, journalist of
his era.

3. Disruptive (adjective)हातनकारक/फूटडािनेिािा: causing or tending to cause disruption.

Synonyms: troublesome, unruly, badly behaved, rowdy, disorderly.

Example: Teachers said he was disruptive and his behaviour put other pupils at risk..

4. Augment (noun)बढाना: make (something) greater by adding to it; increase.

Synonyms: increase, add to, supplement, build up, enlarge, expand.

Example: This carbon dioxide will thicken the atmosphere and augment greenhouse warming.

5. Decipher (verb) समझाना: convert (a text written in code, or a coded signal) into normal

Synonyms: fathom, make sense of, interpret, understand, comprehend, grasp.

Example: He had to decipher more than ten lines of code before entering the right password.

6. Prerequisite (noun)आधार/शतण/जरूरी: a thing that is required as a prior condition for

something else to happen or exist.

Synonyms: (necessary) condition, precondition, essential, requirement, requisite.

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Example: All the prerequisite formalities were smoothly dealt with and battle was joined!

8. Shake-out in Westminster
On Wednesday night, the Union Chapel, a church in the central London borough of Islington that
doubles as a popular and trendy music venue, played host to a different kind of stardom, as
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn held his last rally before Thursday’s general election. “Oh Jeremy
Corbyn” and “Jez We Can” were among the loud, musical chants of the audience gathered there,
while more stood outside unable to get in. Such gatherings across the country have been the
trademark of Mr.Corbyn since his epic campaign to become leader of the Labour party in 2015,
but were scoffed at in the early days by his opponents within and outside his party, convinced
that his supporters were hardly representative of the wider British public.

That assumption was thrown out with the bathwater on Thursday night, along with hopes of a
comfortable Conservative victory, as the election resulted in a hung Parliament, with the
Conservatives losing seats. The rubber stamp on the Conservative track record that Prime
Minister Theresa May had sought was nowhere in sight. By contrast the vote for Labour was up
by over three million.

Holding off the right

Much uncertainty remains but there are a number of takeaways for Britain and beyond so far.
First, the much-touted march of the right, vaunted by its proponents in the wake of the Brexit
referendum and the victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. last year, is far from inevitable. What is
happening in Britain points to something far more complex at work in the West: widespread
dissatisfaction with the status quo that doesn’t necessarily give into campaigns of fear and
negativity pegged around immigration and Islamaphobia.

While the results and the preceding BBC exit poll came as a shock to many, the Conservatives
could have looked back to the campaigns of the Brexit referendum to get a sense of where theirs
may have floundered. Post-mortems of the Brexit campaigns had suggested that the Remain’s
focus on scaring people about what a Britain outside Europe would suffer rather than making a
positive case for membership was one of the factors that contributed to its failure, and such an
approach was certainly the case with the Conservative campaign this time round. Initial attempts
to send a positive message focussed on Ms. May’s track record quickly gave way to a highly
personalised assault on Mr.Corbyn and other members of his team, with the Conservatives

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deriding the “coalition of chaos”(अराजकताकागठबंधन) that could result from the Labour Party
working with others such as the Scottish National Party and the Liberal Democrats. It attempted
to pour scorn on Labour’s spending plans and policies such as removing tuition fees for students,
with the concept of a “Magic Money Tree.” However, the Conservatives failed to make much
headway with this as the party did not provide detailed costings in its manifesto, and questions
were raised about the financial viability of their programme, which counted heavily on cutting
immigration, viewed by and large as a disaster by Britain’s business community. The negative
campaigning was cleverly and humorously played on by Labour at times, which used social media
to its advantage with great mastery, through the campaign. #LastMinuteCorbynSmears was
doing the rounds in the days before the election result, as Labour supporters parodied (produce
a humorously exaggerated imitation of (a writer, artist, or genre).) some of the attempts by the
tabloids and others to barrage people with scare stories about Mr.Corbyn and his policies.

The Corbyn transformation

By contrast, the Labour campaign focussed overwhelmingly on its aspirations to build a nation
“For the Many, Not the Few,” cleverly shifting the debate away from Brexit to the impact that
years of austerity, including for the past seven years under the Conservatives, had had on voters
— from the schools their children attended to the pressures facing the National Health Service.
Austerity even figured high in the debate around terrorism, with the Conservatives attempts to
portray Mr.Corbyn as weak on security, failing to fully convince. They struggled as he shifted the
focus back on them and the cuts that had been made to police forces over the past few years. In
a television interview on Friday morning, even John Redwood, a Conservative MP to the right of
the party, acknowledged the public appetite for greater spending on public services.

The results also question the common perception that politics and politicians don’t change over
the course of the campaign, but merely reflect the sentiments that have ridden through it.
Mr.Corbyn, a long-term passionate and principled politician who had taken up a range of causes
over the years, from nuclear disarmament to cracking down on caste discrimination, proved able
to juggle the different policies within his party. Some policies in the manifesto were ones that he
had explicitly opposed in the past, such as the renewal of Trident, Britain’s nuclear deterrent.
Wary in his early days of working with the mainstream media, Mr.Corbyn was increasingly willing
to engage over the course of the election, joining in a televised debate that he and Ms. May had
originally not intended to participate in. Such moves helped draw in Labour voters who had
initially been sceptical of him, as well as win support from within influential party figures, such as
Tony Blair’s ally Alastair Campbell.

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Mr.Corbyn’s earnest and passionate style contrasted with Ms. May’s, as her attempt to position
herself as a “bloody difficult woman” felt out of step with the mood of a country concerned
about the ways in which negotiations over Brexit would pan out. Her refusal to take part in a
televised debate, which Mr.Corbyn joined in at the last minute, accentuated that image, while
moments captured of her on the election trail suggested she wasn’t fully engaged with the
specific concerns of communities. That was the case with an interview with a journalist from a
local newspaper in the port town of Plymouth, which went viral online, where genuine questions
about local concerns about potential Brexit-related job cuts were met with unemotional, highly
general responses.

The result will have a huge impact on the Labour Party going forward, putting paid to the
assumption of many within the party, since the days of Mr. Blair, that being on centre ground
was the party’s only hope of success. The Corbyn manifesto is a radical one, with pledges to
renationalise key infrastructure, raise taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and revisit Britain’s
interventionist foreign policy. The campaign has returned the British electoral system to one
dominated by the two mainstream parties in a way it has not been for many years.

Questions on Brexit

With Brexit negotiations set to commence soon, the result will also raise fundamental questions
about Britain’s Brexit strategy, though perhaps not in the way some had foreseen. The collapse
of support for the right-wing UK Independence Party had been expected to benefit just the
Conservatives, but Labour gained from them too, suggesting that the disillusionment that UKIP
in part reflected did not necessary involve policies focused around cutting immigration. While
Labour has pledged “fair rules and reasonable management of migration”, its immigration
strategy would be a big departure from the tough Conservative approach, making allowances
(significantly for India) for family reunions and a more welcoming environment for students.
However, the results also suggested that there was limited public appetite for the Liberal
Democrat pledge to hold a second referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal, as the party
failed to make the comeback it had hoped to. At the same time, Labour has pledged to rip up the
Conservatives’ white paper and adopt a more conciliatory approach to the negotiations, which
would include retaining the benefits of the single market and customs union.

Uncertainty is likely to continue in the coming days, but one thing is clear: political victory
doesn’t always equal winning an election, and as Mr.Corbyn said on Friday, British “politics has
changed and politics isn’t going back into the box it was in before.”

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

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1. Scoffed (verb) मजाकउड़ाया/तानामारना: Speak to someone or about something in a scornfully
derisive or mocking way.

Synonyms: mock, deride, ridicule, sneer at, jeer at, jibe at, taunt.

Example: Department officials scoffed at the allegations.

2. Vaunted (adjective) अपनीबड़ाईकरना / शेख़ीमारना : Boast about or praise (something),

especially excessively.

Synonyms: bluster, brag, tout, gas, gasconade, parade, flaunt, acclaim, trumpet, praise.

Example: The much vaunted information superhighway.

3. Proponents (noun)समथणकों/प्रस्तािकरनेिािा : A person who advocates a theory, proposal, or


Synonyms: advocate, champion, supporter, backer, promoter, protagonist.

Example: It is the recognition of this that has further compelled the proponents of cosmopolitan
democracy to set out their case.

4. Inevitable (noun)अतनिायण : Certain to happen and a situation that is unavoidable.

Synonyms: unavoidable, inescapable, inexorable, ineluctable, assured.

Example: It recognises that human error is inevitable and should be anticipated.

5. Floundered (Adjective) असफिरहे : Struggle or stagger helplessly or clumsily in water or mud.

Synonyms: splash, stagger, stumble, reel, lurch, blunder, squirm, writhe.

Example: Once in Ireland, he floundered in a confused situation, victim of Charles I's tricky

6. Austerity (noun)आत्मसिंयम/तपस्या: sternness or severity of manner or attitude.

Synonyms: severity, strictness, seriousness, solemnity, gravity, frugality, thrift.

Example: She has added an element of sophisticated glamour to his image of Presbyterian

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7. Disillusionment (noun) मोहभिंग/तनराशा: A feeling of disappointment resulting from the
discovery that something is not as good as one believed it to be.

Synonyms: disappointment, despair, frustration, hopelessness, discouragement.

Example: There is disillusionment on the part of the community and frustration on the part of
the parents.

8. Appetite (noun) भूख/िुधा/चाि: A natural desire to satisfy a bodily need, especially for food.

Synonyms: craving, longing, yearning, hankering, hunger, thirst, passion, enthusiasm.

Example: Perhaps then their appetite for loud and highly dangerous explosions would be

9. Conciliatory (adjective) लमिापकरनेिािा: Intended or likely to placate or pacify.

Synonyms: propitiatory, placatory, appeasing, pacifying, mollifying, peacemaking.

Example: The common thread in all this seems to be a recognition that the conciliatory
approach has failed.

9. ‘Neighbourhood First’ in Nepal

Last week, on June 7, just days before he turns 71, Prime Minister SherBahadurDeuba was sworn
in as the new Prime Minister of Nepal, marking his fourth term as Prime Minister. Yet compared
to the rather turbulent politics in Nepal which makes him the 24th Prime Minister since the
beginning of multiparty democracy in the country 27 years ago, this transition was singularly

His elevation comes as part of the deal struck between Nepali Congress (NC) and the Maoist
party (CPN-Maoist Centre) last July under which Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ became Prime
Minister in August, with NC support on the understanding that after nine months, during which
his government would conduct the local body elections, he would hand over charge and support
NC leader Deuba’s claim to the post.

Prachanda delivers

Mr. Prachanda upheld his end of the bargain and in contrast with his first term as Prime Minister
which ended ignominiously with his resigning after nine months in 2009, following the

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controversy around arbitrarily dismissing the Army chief RookmangudKatawal, his second nine-
month tenure was productive.

Domestically, he tried to build bridges with the Madhesis and the Janjatis who had been
alienated by his predecessor K.P. Sharma Oli’s highhandedness, by promising them a
consultative process and a constitutional amendment that would address their concerns. In
keeping with this assurance, his government tabled a constitutional amendment proposal which
goes a long way in addressing the Madhesi reservations. That it has not been passed is because
of opposition from Mr. Oli’s party, the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), and the difficulty in
mustering the two-thirds majority necessary.

Externally, Mr. Prachanda also set about repairing relations with India which had reached a low
during the tenure of Mr. Oli, who blamed India for stoking the Madhesi agitation and imposing
an economic blockade. Mr. Prachanda’s early official visit in September 2016 followed by a
second one during the BRICS outreach event in October, and reciprocal visits by President
Pranab Mukherjee and Nepali President Bidya Devi Bhandari, helped restore the relationship.

As promised, he held the first phase of the local body elections for municipalities and village
development councils on May 14, in three of the seven federal provinces (an area of special
knowledge, interest, or responsibility.). These elections were last held in 1997. At present, there
are 744 local bodies in Nepal and the first phase covered 283 local bodies in three predominantly
Pahadi provinces, including metropolitan areas of Kathmandu and Pokhara.

Under the new Constitution promulgated (promote or make widely known (an idea or cause).)
in 2015, seven provinces have been created and significant decentralisation of powers has taken
place. Consequently, the local bodies now enjoy extensive financial powers. It is estimated
significant that more than $5 billion will now be spent by the local bodies on infrastructure and
delivery of social services. Historically, given the centralised character of the Nepali state, all
political leaders have gravitated towards Kathmandu. The enhanced powers of the local bodies
will enable the creation of a much needed new political leadership.

Deuba’s challenges

Mr. Deuba’s fourth term as Prime Minister will be a short one, even shorter than his previous
terms. None of these had lasted two years. The second time in 2002, he was sacked by King
Gyanendra for ‘incompetence’, and after his 2004-5 term, he was placed under house arrest by
the same monarch. This time, he has the opportunity to ensure a happier ending for his fourth
term. He has already announced that his primary responsibility is to ensure that provincial and

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parliamentary elections are held before January 18, which gives him a tenure of under eight

Mr. Deuba’s immediate challenge is to conclude the second phase of the local body elections
scheduled for June 28 in the four remaining provinces. These provinces include the two Terai-
based provinces (Provinces 2 and 5) and the far east and the far west provinces (Provinces 1 and
7). Madhesis have a significant presence in the two Terai-based provinces. They had demanded
that unless the constitutional amendment addressing their concerns was passed, they would not
participate in the local body elections.

Given the UML’s stand, it is clear that the Deuba government cannot muster the two-thirds
majority needed. Mr. Deuba has, however, committed that once the local body elections are
concluded, he will exert all possible efforts to get the constitutional amendment through.

Except for a small number, most Madhesi leaders who have strong roots in the Terai see the
political logic in participating in the local body elections. They sense the public enthusiasm
reflected in the high turnout, and realise that their boycott will not prevent the elections from
going ahead but make them appear ‘spoilers’. Second, if they are cut out of local politics for the
next five years, it will be difficult for them to maintain their cadre base, necessary to ensure a
good showing in the following provincial and parliamentary elections.

In the 2008 elections for the first Constituent Assembly, the three Madhesi parties emerged as a
credible political force for the first time, with 84 seats. Internal squabbling and power politics
fractured the three into a dozen, and in the 2013 elections, they were down to 40. Realising the
need for unity, some Madhesi parties came together in April to form a new entity, RastriyaJanata
Party Nepal (RJPN). The first decision of the Deuba government was to amend the Local Level
Election Act, on June 8, which provides recognition of the RJPN and its election symbol, enabling
it to join the June 28 elections in its new avatar. Earlier, some were thinking about fighting the
elections under their old symbols, but with this change, any reservations should be set aside
because now the RJPN can put up a united front. The two other major Madhesi groups led by
UpendraYadav (Federal Socialist Forum Nepal) and BijayGachhadar (Nepal Democratic Forum)
have already indicated that they will be joining the elections, thus ensuring a good Madhesi
presence in the local bodies in the Terai.

Restoring goodwill

Mr. Oli’s nine-month tenure which ended in July last year marked a low point in India-Nepal
relations. It increased ethnicpolarisation within Nepal and as always happens at such times,
enabled him to don the mantle of Nepali nationalism and blame India for interfering in its

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internal affairs, of imposing an economic blockade and supporting the Madhesi agitation.
Significantly, it eroded the significant goodwill that had been generated by Prime Minister
NarendraModi’s historic visits to Nepal in 2014. With Mr. Prachanda withdrawing support from
the Oli coalition and forming his coalition government with NC support, it gave both Nepal and
India an opportunity to step back.

Meanwhile, China has been stepping up its presence in Nepal. Miffed with India, Mr. Oli had
signed an Agreement on Transit Trade which is now being developed along with an examination
of a possible rail link. For the first time, joint military exercises were held in early 2017, after the
first ever visit by the Chinese Defence Minister to Nepal, promising a military grant of $32
million. Work is under way to restore and upgrade the Rasuwagadi-Syabrubesi road link with
Tibet. Nepal has also signed on to the Belt and Road Initiative and a special economic zone has
been promised. A 1,200 MW hydel project on the BudhiGandakiriver was awarded on EPCF
(Engineering, Procurement, Construction, Finance) basis to the Gezhouba group.

India needs to support Mr. Deuba’s efforts to conclude the local body elections followed by the
passage of the constitutional amendment, which will clear the way for the provincial and
parliamentary elections under the new Constitution. This will go a long way in bringing political
stability to Nepal which, during the last quarter century has gone through a Maoist insurgency
and transitioned from a monarchy to a republic. Importantly, India needs to ensure speedy
delivery of the generous pledges of over a billion dollars committed during the last two years to
make good on Mr. Modi’s ‘neighbourhood first’ policy.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”

1. Turbulent (adjective) अशािंत/उपद्रिी: characterized by conflict, disorder, or confusion; not

controlled or calm.

Synonyms: tempestuous, stormy, unstable, unsettled, tumultuous, chaotic, violent, anarchic.

Example: The paper has had a somewhat turbulent history.

2. Elevation (noun) उन्नतत/उत्थान: The action or fact of elevating or being elevated.

Synonyms: promotion, upgrading, advancement, advance, preferment, aggrandizement,


Example: Their elevation to management level coincided with the development of Irish
Permanent's branch network.

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3. Ignominious (adjective)िज्जाकर/अपमानपूर्:ण deserving or causing public disgrace or shame.

Synonyms: humiliating, undignified, embarrassing, mortifying, ignoble, inglorious, disgraceful.

Example: The prospect of ignominious home defeat loomed ever larger with the passing
minutes, until those dramatic closing stages turned the tide.

4. Reciprocal (adjective)पारस्पररक: (of an agreement or obligation) bearing on or binding each

of two parties equally.

Synonyms: mutual, common, shared, joint, corresponding, complementary.

Example: We want to enjoy a reciprocal co-operation when we need to call on players to face

5. Sacked (verb) बरख़ास्तकरना: dismiss from employment.

Synonyms: dismiss, discharge, lay off, let go, terminate, get rid of, cashier, make redundant.

Example: Any official found to be involved would be sacked on the spot.

6. Monarch (noun)सम्राट: A sovereign head of state, especially a king, queen, or emperor.

Synonyms: sovereign, ruler, the Crown, crowned head, potentate, king.

Example: He managed to curry favour with a succession of kings of England and was consort to
the nine-year-old monarch Henry III.

7. Squabbling (noun) वििादों: Quarrel noisily over a trivial matter.

Synonyms: quarrel, argue, bicker, fall out, disagree, have words, dispute.

Example: The boys were squabbling over a ball.

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