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The Hindu Vocabulary 30th Jan 2018

Economic Survey: Cautious optimism

The Economic Survey underscores the need to maintain fiscal credibility

The Economic Survey for 2017-18 paints the picture of an economy that gives reason for both optimism (आशापूर्ण दृष्टि) and caution. It projects that GDP growth could accelerate to 7-7.5% in 2018-19, from 6.75% in the current fiscal, reinstating (पुनः प्रतिष्ठित करना) India as the world’s fastest-growing major economy. According to Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, the key factors contributing to the positive prognosis (पूर्वानुमान) are the reform measures: the July 1 implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the steps taken to address the twin balance sheet problem in the banking sector. The latter includes the push to use the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code for debt resolution and the initiative to recapitalise public sector banks. Adding to these domestic enablers are the fair winds of a global recovery that have already lent (उपवास) a lift to overseas demand for India’s goods and services. But capitalising on these favourable factors while remaining vigilant to other macroeconomic threats, including a key risk in the form of persistently high oil prices, would require exemplary (कठोर) economic stewardship (प्रबन्धक पद). Among the concerns the CEA has flagged is one relating to what the Survey calls “a classic emerging market ‘sudden stall’ induced by sharp corrections to elevated stock prices.” With Indian stock indices continuing to soar to new highs on an almost daily basis, the Survey warns against “sanguineness about its sustainability”. A correction in the stock market, besides triggering capital outflows, could force policymakers to raise interest rates, choking off the nascent (विकासशील) recovery.

On the fiscal front, the survey contends that the Centre needs to reappraise its priorities. The onus, it argues, has to be squarely placed on establishing and maintaining policy credibility. To this end, it argues against “setting overly ambitious targets for consolidation, especially in a pre-election year” that are based on optimistic (आशावादी) and unrealistic assumptions. Instead, it recommends a “modest consolidation” that would signal a return to the path of calibrated deficit reductions. In doing so, it appears that the Survey is signalling that the government may have to retain the elbow room to stabilise the GST, complete the recapitalisation exercise and, most crucially, support agriculture. Devoting an entire chapter to ‘Climate, Climate Change and Agriculture’, the CEA and his team have stressed on the dangers climate change poses to the outlook for farm growth. With the potential to reduce annual agricultural incomes — by as much as 20-25% for unirrigated areas — the Survey calls for a range of mitigation (अल्पीकरण) measures including extensive provision of efficient irrigation technologies and a wholesale review of the cereal-centric approach to policy. Citing job creation and education as key priorities, the Survey sets out a plan for rapid economic expansion by recommending that policymakers keep their sights trained on strengthening “the only two truly sustainable engines — private investment and exports.”

1. Optimism: Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the success of something.
Synonyms: hopefulness, hope, confidence, buoyancy, cheer, good cheer, cheerfulness, sanguineness, positiveness, positive attitude
Antonyms: bearishness, pessimism, despair, desperation, discouragement, disheartenment, hopelessness
2. Reinstating: Restore (someone or something) to their former position or state.
Synonyms: restore, return to a former position, return to power, put back, replace, bring back, reinstitute, reinstall, rehabilitate, re-establish
Antonyms: destroy, kill, fire, let go
3. Prognosis: A forecast of the likely outcome of a situation.
Synonyms: forecast, prediction, projection, prognostication, prophecy
4. Lent: to give to another for temporary use with the understanding that it or a like thing will be returned
Synonyms: advance, loan
Antonyms: borrow, receive, take
5. Exemplary: constituting, serving as, or worthy of being a pattern to be imitated
Synonyms: archetypal (also archetypical), classic, definitive, model, imitable, paradigmatic, quintessential, textbook
Antonyms: deficient, disappointing, failed, inadequate, inferior, atrocious, execrable, vile, wretched
6. Stewardship: The job of supervising or taking care of something, such as an organization or property.
7. Nascent: just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.
Synonyms: emerging, beginning, coming out, arising, dawning, just beginning, budding, developing, growing, embryonic, incipient, young, in its infancy, fledgling, evolving, emergent, emerging, rising, dawning, advancing, burgeoning
Antonyms: adult, full-blown, full-fledged, mature, ripe, ripened, advanced, developed, evolved, high, higher, improved, refined
8. Optimistic: Hopeful and confident about the future.
Synonyms: cheerful, cheery, positive, confident, hopeful, sanguine, bullish, buoyant, bright, encouraging, promising, hopeful, bright, rosy, reassuring, favourable, auspicious, propitious
Antonyms: bleak, dark, depressing, desperate, discouraging, disheartening, dismal, downbeat, dreary, gloomy, hopeless, inauspicious, pessimistic, unencouraging, unlikely, unpromising, unpropitious
9. Mitigation: The action of reducing the severity, seriousness, or painfulness of something.
Synonyms: alleviation, reduction, diminution, lessening, easing, weakening, lightening, assuagement, palliation, cushioning, dulling, deadening
Antonyms: increase


Roger Federer: Renaissance man

At the Australian Open, Roger Federer gave us more reasons to believe he is the greatest ever

Roger Federer’s iridescent (आनंददायक) late-career renaissance (नवजागरण) continued at the Australian Open on Sunday. The Swiss maestro (कलाकार) has now won three of the last four Grand Slam events he has entered — a success rate great champions usually achieve during their athletic prime, not in the mid-30s. Indeed, Ken Rosewall, who claimed the 1972 Australian Open at 37, is the only man older than Federer (36 years and 173 days) to have won a Major singles title in the Open Era. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Federer’s record-extending 20th Grand Slam crown was the certainty that accompanied it. Where last year’s triumph in Melbourne was startling — it was his first Major victory in nearly five years — Federer entered the second week this time as the firm favourite. His striking, well-proportioned game looked in good order. Significantly, he seemed in no trouble taking the ball impossibly early; his repurposed single-handed backhand was equal to the task. A large part of his success over the last year owes itself to this more urgent style of play, which both conserves energy and discomfits (बेचैन करना) the opponent. Although rewarding, it is a method fraught with risk. It requires the full range of Federer’s genius to pull it off — in particular, his sense of timing and innate (अंतर्जात) understanding of court-space. Through the fortnight, he balanced this risk-reward equation expertly, making the final without a set dropped.

The draw might have cleared for Federer — neither Novak Djokovic nor Rafael Nadal kept his appointment with the World No. 2 — but Marin Čilić proved a formidable (भयानक) adversary (विपक्षी) in the title round. The 6’6” Croat has reserves of easy power and moves well for someone his size. A Major winner himself, Čilić is no stranger to the big stage. Federer tightened up at least once during the match. He later admitted that in the fourth set his “mind was all over the place” — “I was so close and I was telling myself, ‘Don’t mess it up,’ and then that’s exactly what I did.” But the greatest of athletes find a way of silencing the voice of doubt that whispers in their ear. If anything, Federer, at this stage of his career, seems to have become better at it. He appears more adept at relaxing into the moment and seizing it: he did it to spectacular effect against Nadal in Melbourne last year, shedding the mental baggage of defeats past; Čilić has never worried Federer in a similar manner, but victory demanded a masterful calming of the nerves. It is this ability to continually refurbish (नए जैसा करना) and nuance (जरा सा फर्क) all facets of his game — the physical, the mental, the tactical, and the technical — that allows Federer to outcompete and outlive much younger opponents. It is this that sets him apart, even among the pantheon (प्रसिद्ध लोगों का दल) of tennis’s finest.

1. Iridescent: Showing luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles.
Synonyms: shimmering, shimmery, glittering, sparkling, coruscating, dazzling, shining, gleaming, glowing, lustrous, scintillating, dancing, opalescent, opaline
2. Renaissance: A revival of or renewed interest in something.
Synonyms: revival, renewal, resurrection, reawakening, re-emergence, reappearance, resurgence, rejuvenation, regeneration, rebirth, new birth, new dawn, new beginning
Antonyms: dark age
3. Maestro: A distinguished figure in any sphere.
Synonyms: conductor, director
Antonyms: amateur, inexpert, nonexpert
4. Discomfits: Make (someone) feel uneasy or embarrassed.
Synonyms: embarrass, make uncomfortable, make uneasy, abash, disconcert, nonplus, discompose, discomfort, take aback, unsettle, unnerve, put someone off their stroke, ruffle, confuse, fluster, agitate, disorientate, upset, disturb, perturb, distress
Antonyms: advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote
5. Innate: being a part of the innermost nature of a person or thing
Synonyms: built-in, constitutional, constitutive, essential, hardwired, immanent, inborn, inbred, indigenous, ingrain, ingrained (also engrained), inherent, integral, intrinsic, native, natural
Antonyms: adventitious, extraneous, extrinsic, superficial, surface
6. Formidable: Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable.
Synonyms: intimidating, forbidding, redoubtable, daunting, alarming, frightening, terrifying, petrifying, horrifying, chilling, disturbing, disquieting, dreadful, brooding, awesome, fearsome, ominous, foreboding, sinister, menacing, mean-looking, threatening, dangerous
Antonyms: calming, comforting, consoling, inviting, lulling, pacifying, quieting, reassuring, relaxing, soothing, tranquilizing
7. Adversary: marked by opposition or ill will
Synonyms: adversarial, hostile, antagonistic, antipathetic, inhospitable, inimical, jaundiced, mortal, negative, unfriendly, unsympathetic
Antonyms: friendly, hospitable, nonantagonistic, nonhostile, sympathetic
8. Refurbish: Renovate and redecorate
Synonyms: renovate, recondition, rehabilitate, revamp, make over, overhaul, restore, renew, develop, redevelop, rebuild, reconstruct, remodel
Antonyms: antique, damage, break, destroy
9. Nuance: A subtle difference in or shade of meaning, expression, or sound.
Synonyms: fine distinction, subtle difference, subtle distinction, shade, shading, gradation, variation, modulation, degree
Antonyms: brightness, light, information
10. Pantheon: All the gods of a people or religion collectively.

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