The Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary : Did you say privacy?

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The Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary.Welcome to letsstudytogether.co, as we all know that now a day’s in All Banking Exams and other competitive exams most of the English Sections were taken from Editorial pages. So it is essential to have a sound knowledge and understanding of English vocabulary. So here we are presenting you THE Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary from THE Statesman newspapers. This will help you to sail and score good marks in English Language section.

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The Statesman Editorial with Vocabulary

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Did you say privacy? It has already been violated

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The Supreme Court recently constituted a nine-judge bench to decide the extent to which Indians are entitled to the right to privacy; this may be a prelude  to the most significant decision of the Court in the 21st Century. Arrayed before this Bench are the country’s top lawyers; ready to assist it with their immense legal knowledge. At the centre of this controversy is the humble Aadhaar.

The importance of Aadhaar, in this digital era, may be appreciated by the fact that a host of Government agencies have filed separate applications praying for exemption from the Supreme Court’s interim order limiting the use of Aadhar. However, unknown to most of us, much of the damage to our right to privacy has already been done.

A case in the point is data sharing by the Income-tax Department, which is the repository of a humongous amount of sensitive data.

To recount: the Income-tax Department has PAN data of 25 crore people, Income-tax returns data of 5 crore people plus data about the financial transactions of an equal number of persons not all of whom are PAN holders. To protect this confidential data, Section 138 of the Income-tax Act mandates that data available with the Income-tax Department can be furnished only by a Commissioner (and above) level officer and that too subject to rigorous conditions.

Section 280 of the Income-tax Act prescribes imprisonment of six months for a public servant who furnishes data in contravention of Section 138. Unfortunately, the provisions of Section 138 have been diluted by a number of notifications, the latest having been issued in February 2017, which has removed almost all restrictions on sharing of data. Pursuant to the notification of February 2017, the Income-tax Department has signed an MOU with National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) for sharing of bulk data with them.

The practice earlier was to share data only on a need to know basis, that is data was shared only in respect of persons suspected or accused of some crime. After the signing of this MOU data of all PAN holders would be handed over; which means that all data pertaining to taxpayers (of whom 99.9999% are not terrorists) would be available to an anti-terrorist agency which would definitely use the data to profile innocent taxpayers.

Another alarming instance of the tendency to deal recklessly with the citizen’s trust and privacy is a reported MOU between the Income-tax Department and the Petroleum Ministry by which oil companies would get the entire PAN data in respect of individual tax payers having income exceeding Rs.10 lakh, with the stated objective of preventing such tax payers from availing cooking gas subsidy of a piddling amount (It is interesting to note that as per earlier Government claims most of such persons had voluntarily given up the gas subsidy). Significantly, none of these high net worth individuals is guilty or accused of any crime and most of these persons may not have availed of the gas subsidy but by a stroke of the pen, the private data of lakhs of individuals has been made available to persons who can make no legitimate use of it.

Coming to the present controversy, Aadhaar linkage of data available with Government agencies can make the right to privacy a chimera because any person with knowledge of Aadhaar number and access to Government databases can ferret out the most intimate details of any citizen. Soon the bizarre joke about a person, who ordered a burger from a McDonald outlet only to have his confidential details recounted by the attendant and finally being told by the attendant that in light of his (the customer’s) medical history, the burger would not be served to him, may become a reality.

Significantly, judicial forums have consistently held that PAN (which can be taken as the precursor of Aadhaar) is confidential and need not be disclosed even under the RTI Act. The GST clause requiring the furnishing of full personal details for any transaction above Rs. 50,000 can prove disastrous to the right to privacy because this provision would ensure that even data regarding cancer and HIV medication, hospital stays etc. would be available to anyone pressing the right buttons.

In our democratic setup, the Government is finding it hard to justify its desire to restrict the right of privacy; it is noteworthy that the Government had averred that privacy was a fundamental right in the WhatsApp privacy case – which is diametrically opposite to the stance taken by the Government in the Aadhaar case. Interestingly, this response of the Government prompted the WhatsApp Bench to refer the matter to the Aadhar Bench.

Finally, it would appear that the Government is trying to persuade the Aadhaar Bench that though the right to privacy is not a fundamental right it would ensure this right to citizens by passing a Right to Privacy Act.

This is a hollow promise, as demonstrated by the manner in which Income tax data is being widely shared despite explicit legislative provisions to the contrary.

Rather, the setting up of the NATGRID database, which would have all data entrusted by citizens to Government agencies, reveals the Government’s true intentions. Unless the Supreme Court comes to our rescue, we are doomed to an Orwellian future.

Magical Vocabulary from “The Statesman”

  1. Prelude (noun) आरम्भ/प्रस्तावना An action or event serving as an introduction to something more important.

Synonyms: Preliminary, overture, opening, preparation, Introduction, Curtain-Raiser, Precursor, Forerunner, Harbinger.

Example: A contest and talent hunt will be held as a prelude to the event.

  1. Significant (Adjective) महत्वपूर्ण/ अर्थपूर्ण: Sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy or having a particular meaning; indicative of something.

Synonyms: Notable, noteworthy, worthy of attention, remarkable, important.

Example: It is not intelligence, it is information, and that, I think, is a significant point.

  1. Repository (noun) कोष/भण्डारगृह A store of information or in which a particular quality may be found.

Synonyms: Store, storehouse, depository, self-storage, reservoir, bank, cache, treasury, fund, mine.

Example: Work is about to begin on one of the most important sections in the library – a new repository for rare books and manuscripts.

  1. Contravention (noun) उल्लंघन/ विरोध An action which offends against a law, treaty, or other ruling.

Synonyms: Breach, violation, infringement, neglect, dereliction

Example: Young persons who commit offenses bear responsibility for their contraventions.

  1. Pursuant (adverb) के अनुसार /अनुवर्ती In accordance with (a law or a legal document or resolution) or following; going in pursuit.

Synonyms: Subsequent, consequential, puisne mortgagees accordingly, following, agreeable.

Example: The transfers must be made pursuant to certain court orders.

  1. Piddling (adjective) छोटा/छुद्र/तुच्छ Pathetically trivial; trifling.

Synonyms: Trivial, trifling, petty, footling, slight, small, insignificant, unimportant, inconsequential.

Example: They were aristocrats with little interest in piddling estates of 30 hides.

  1. Chimera (noun) मिथ्या परिकल्पना/भ्रम A thing which is hoped for but is illusory or impossible to achieve.

Synonyms: Illusion, fantasy, delusion, dream, daydream, pipe dream, figment of the/one’s imagination.

Example: The economic sovereignty you claim to defend is a chimera.

  1. Ferret (verb) खोजना : Discover information by means of an assiduous search or investigation.

Synonyms: Unearth, Uncover, Discover, Detect, Search Out, Bring To Light, Bring Into The Open.

Example: Only the pirates know where to dig to ferret out their buried treasure.

  1. Aver (verb) दृढ़ता से कहना/कथन करना :State or assert to be the case.

Synonyms: Assert, State, Claim, Cite, Affirm, Avouch.

Example: To ease unrest in our company, the boss made a speech to aver policy changes were coming.

  1. Doom (verb) बुरा भाग्य होना/ कयामतCause to have an unfortunate and inescapable outcome.

Synonyms: Destine, fate, predestine, preordain, foredoom, mean, condemn, sentence.

Example: I have to work today with this feeling of impending doom hanging over me.

  1. Bizarre (adjective) विचित्र/अजीब Very strange or unusual, especially so as to cause interest or amusement.

Synonyms: Strange, peculiar, odd, funny, curious, outlandish, outré, abnormal, eccentric, unconventional.

Example: Shocked by what she heard, she returned home and told her husband of the bizarre encounter.

  1. Demonstrate (verb) साबित करना / प्रदर्शन करना Clearly show the existence or truth of (something) by giving proof or evidence.

Synonyms: Indicate, determine, establish, prove, confirm, verify, corroborate, substantiate

Example: The learners must demonstrate competence in all technical skills by performing the tasks.


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