The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary – May 2018
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The Hindu Editorial with Vocabulary – “Dilemmas in Civil Services Selection”
Despite a rigorous process, are we able to choose the right candidate for the job? About 1,000 young men and women got the nod a few days ago from the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) for induction into the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and other services. This was at the end of a tough three-stage selection process, in which more than 4,50,000 candidates appeared at the first stage, a written test called the Prelims. Only about 13,000 made it to the written main examination, and 2,500 to the final interview stage.
We should be grateful that we have such a rigorous process to choose those who’ll occupy vital positions in the higher echelons of the bureaucracy. Some five decades ago, when I took the examination, only about 10,000 competed for a little less than 1,000 openings. Interestingly, a candidate can now take the examination in his or her native language. Surprisingly, this facility is availed of only by a few. This will not change as long as our university education remains English-oriented. Despite all this flexibility, the current examination is extremely tough to crack, and it holds many surprises to a candidate who appears for the first time.
It’s gratifying that the entire selection process has till now not been hit by any scandal, something very few other prestigious systems of recruitment in the country can claim. Also, the UPSC has had an enviable record of relative freedom from graft and politics, against the sordid image of most of the Public Service Commissions in the States, where jobs have often been sold.
We can certainly have a more representative bureaucracy. Given the skewed selection decades ago, when the urban elite and middle classes managed to hog the services, we have come a long way to recognise and respect the diversity that is Bharat. This year, many of those selected were from rural areas; 120-odd were from the minority communities. Who can take exception or be blind to this inclusive nature of selection? We would like to see more from these groups. Any attempt to prescribe quotas among these groups will, however, be undesirable, apart from being unconstitutional. Of the successful candidates, 240 were women. We need to have a greater number of women.
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Several fault lines
All this does not mean that we have a faultless system that offers no scope for improvement. A widely prevalent criticism is the pushing up of the age limit and the number of times a candidate may take the examination. Recent years have seen older candidates succeed. This has certainly had a negative impact on the utility of training.
I don’t want to undermine the talent or sheer perseverance of those who get appointed in their thirties. What is disconcerting is the baggage that these recruits bring and the possibility that they may not be receptive to new inputs offered by a modern training programme. Is there, therefore, not a case for lateral entry through another set of examinations, whereby older individuals with past job experience can still get into the civil services at appropriate levels?
There are two issues which are worrying. There is a certain lack of sensitivity to the needs of the common man, even among recruits from the lower economic stratum and those who have a rural upbringing. You will comprehend this harsh reality if you go to the grassroots of village administration, including the police. It is precisely to extirpate this phenomenon of bias against the rural poor that we welcomed the changing profile of the civil service. If the rural inductees to the IAS and IPS do not empathise with the villager, who will?
Public servant corruption is still a harsh reality in urban and rural settings. While the intensity of this evil has come down appreciably in the Central government, the picture remains largely unchanged in the States. A 33-year-old IPS trainee in Maharashtra was recently caught demanding a Rs. 3 lakh bribe through an agent. An even more strident complaint against young recruits is their lack of preparedness to cope with political interference in day-to-day administration. Here again the fault is more with our vague training inputs and the leadership. Until we have an honest and fearless civil service we will not have fulfilled the dream of Sardar Patel, to whom a strong bureaucracy was the sine qua non of democracy.
Vocabulary Words from The Hindu Editorial
1. Enviable(adjective) प्रशंसनीय /पाने योग्य: An enviable quality is one that someone else has and that you wish you had too. (As enviable when someone else has it and you wish that you had it too.)
Synonyms: Desirable, Attractive, Sought-After, Admirable, Commendable, Praiseworthy, CovetableFavoured
Antonyms: Unenviable, Unfavoured, Undesirable, Unwanted
Example: This is a deep relationship with an lifestyle.
2. Skewed(adjective) तिरछी नज़र से देखना/ तोड़ना-मरोड़ना/ भय खाना : Make biased or distorted in a way that is regarded as inaccurate, unfair, or misleading. (suddenly change direction or position)
Synonyms: Biased, Prejudiced, Distorted, Inexact, Partial, Lop-Sided
Antonyms: Level, Straight, Balanced, Even, Symmetrical, Uniform, Unbiased
Example: That man would often have been a monk, which brings a further skewed perspective.
3. Hog (verb) हाथियाना/कब्जा जमा लेना: Take or use most or all of (something) in an unfair or selfish way. (keep or use all of (something) for oneself in an unfair or selfish way.)
Synonyms: Monopolize, Dominate, Take Over, Corner, Control, Dominate, Bogart
Antonyms: Share, Give, Division
Example: ‘Leave it to my sister to hog all the attention at my party,’ Rahul sighed.
4. Disconcerting(adjective) चिंताजनक/ नाकाम बनाना/ घबराना : Causing a feeling of disturbance, uncertainty, wariness, or confusion. (it makes you feel anxious, confused, or embarrassed.)
Synonyms: Upsetting, Bothersome, Unsettling, Unnerving, Discomfiting, Disturbing, Perturbing, Troubling, Worrying
Antonyms: Pleasing, Soothing, Calming, Reassuring, Encouraging
Example: The past few months have been a disconcerting time for women.
5. Extirpate(verb) उखाड़ना/ उन्मूलन करना : To remove or destroy something completely.
Synonyms: Eradicate, Exterminate, Deracinate, Annihilate, Extinguish, Abolish, Root Out.
Antonyms: Conserve, Preserve, Protect, Construct, Create Manufacture
Example: The Central Govt. are seeking to extirpate the cancer before it spreads any further.
6. Strident(adjective) सुनने में कड़ा/ चीं-चीं करनेवाला/ तीक्ष्ण : Expressing opinions or criticisms in a very forceful and often annoying or unpleasant way. ((of a shout, voice, etc) having or making a loud or harsh sound)
Synonyms: Strict, Severe, Stern, Authoritarian, Austere, Stringent
Antonyms: Soft, Quiet, Gentle, Mild, Low, Silent, Subdued, Dulcet, Mellifluous, Moderate
Example: They are increasingly strident in their belief that something new needs to be tried
7. Echelon(noun) विभाग/ श्रेणीबद्ध करना: A level or rank in an organization, a profession, or society. (An echelon in an organization or society is a level or rank in it.)
Synonyms: Level, Rank, Grade, Step, Rung, Tier, Stratum, Plane, Position, Order, Division, Sector
Example: Only a very small number in the higher echelons can be branded fat cats.
8. Get the nod(idiom) मंजूरी मिलना: To be selected or get approval for something.
Synonyms: Selected, Chosen, Picked, Make the Grade
Antonyms: Ignored, Rejected, Refused
Example: Vsaundra Raje got the nod from the Narendra Modi to start the Election campaign 2019.
9. Gratifying(adjective) संतुष्टिदायक : Pleasing and satisfying: (giving one satisfaction or pleasure)
Synonyms: Enjoyable, Felicitous Delightful Fulfilling, Gladdening, Heartening, Satisfying
Antonyms: Deplorable, Doleful, Dolorous, Lamentable, Lugubrious, Abominable Unpleasant, Unwelcome demoralizing, depressing, discouraging, disheartening, dispiriting
Example: It is gratifying too that the link between school and university is strengthening.
10. Sordid(adjective) अनैतिक/घटिया/ घिनौना: Morally wrong and shocking; dirty and unpleasant.( selfish and grasping)
Synonyms: Squalid, Sleazy, Vile, Dishonourable, Disreputable, Abhorrent, Ignominious
Antonyms: Immaculate, Spotless, Stainless, Ultraclean, Unsoiled, Unstained, Unsullied Upright, Venerable, Virtuous
Example: Most disturbing is their fury at the poverty that leaves them conducting their affair in sordid hotels.
11. Preparedness (noun) तत्परता / मुस्तैद: It is the state of being ready for something to happen, especially for war or a disaster.
Synonyms: Readiness, alacrity, ready, assiduity, preparation.
Antonyms: Unreadiness, ingredient, ignorance.
Example: If the Government is serious about disaster preparedness , it is going to have to start with the fundamentals.
12. Vague (adjective) अस्पष्ट/ अनिश्चित : Of uncertain, indefinite, or unclear character or meaning. (it does not explain or express things clearly.)
Synonyms: Imprecise, rough, approximate, inexact, incomplete, nonspecific, generalized, ambiguous.
Antonyms: Apparent, distinct, plain, sure, secure, certain, definite, clear, obvious, determined, explicit
Example: You are focused and efficient and can turn vague ideas into a smart action plan.
Word of the Day – “Prerogative”
- Prerogative (noun) विशेषाधिकार, परमाधिकार, प्राधिकार, वरियता, अधिमानता, प्राथमिकता, खास हक
- Meaning:- If something is the prerogative of a particular person or group, it is a privilege or a power that only they have. (a right or privilege exclusive to a particular individual or class.)
- Synonyms: Entitlement, right, privilege, advantage, immunity, perquisite, claim, exemption.
- Antonym: Duty, obligation, powerlessness, subordination, prohibition.
- Example: It is the prerogative of the High Court to accept or reject the public interest litigation in many countries.
- उदाहरण: अनेक देशों में जनहित याचिका को स्वीकार करना या अस्वीकार करना उच्च न्यायालय का विशेषाधिकार होता है।
Quote of the Day
“No matter how dark the moment is, love and hope are always possible.” George Chakiris
“इस बात से कोई अंतर नहीं पड़ता कि कोई विशेष क्षण कितना कठिन है, प्रेम और आशा हमेशा संभव हैं।” जार्ज चैकिरिस
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