Important English Vocabulary from “The Hindu Editorial”-(Day-89):
Dear Readers, to score good marks in English Section first and for most thing is you need to develop your reading skills, while reading a passage you need to highlight the tough words in it and you should know the correct meaning for those words. This will help you understand the passage clearly and also you can learn more new words, it means also you can develop your vocabulary. To help you in this part we have provided a English Vocabulary passage along with meaning, synonyms and usages of hard words in the passage, make use of it. We also providing Important Vocabulary Quiz based on “THE ECONOMIST” and “THE HINDU”
A wider net
As the tax base widens, the Finance Minister should cut the share of indirect taxes
The demonetisation of high-value currency notes and the advent of the goods and services tax regime have triggered a surge in the number of those filing taxes in the country. The Economic Survey argues that the large gains on the indirect and direct tax fronts indicate that the primary intentions behind the two big-bang economic strides — of formalizing the economy and bringing more income into the tax net — have been met to some extent. From about 59 million individuals who filed income tax returns or whose tax was deducted at source in 2015-16, the number of tax-filers rose by 10.1 million since the note ban. Stripped of statistical adjustments to avoid a bias in findings, the Survey assesses that roughly 1.8 million, or 3% of the existing compliers, started paying up. Many of them are reporting incomes close to the 2.5-lakh threshold for personal income tax, so this may not swell the exchequer much. But it holds potential for growth as the new taxpayer’s progress in their vocations. Personal income tax collections are expected to rise to a historic high of 2.3% of GDP in 2017-18, compared to 2% between 2013-14 and 2015-16. This may seem glacial progress but could be considered a tipping point in a country where just 4% of adults pay personal income tax, though the government reckons that number should be 23%. The Survey finds a 50% increase in unique indirect taxpayers in the first six months of GST, with around 10 million registered taxpayers now compared to an estimated 6.5 million pre-GST. The GST regime, despite the initial chinks, could end up boosting India’s macro-economic stability by breaking what the Survey terms ‘inertia’ of the tax-GDP ratio. This ratio for the Centre has remained at the same level since the 1980s, though the economy grew at an annual average of about 6.5%. The Survey has noted that both of India’s underlying macro weaknesses — the fiscal and current account deficits tend to get exacerbated when oil prices move up. A wider tax base could at least help tackle the former. Fixing exporters’ GST woes and continuing to ease the transition pains under its new features, such as e-way bills to deter evasion, would be critical to attain the 7%-7.5% growth projected for the coming year. At the same time, the government needs a road map to expand the direct tax pie by pruning blanket exemptions for vocations such as farming and using a more proactive Big Data driven approach to target evaders. The government must reward this tax base expansion by offering the ‘compliant’ some relief in the Budget, even if it means slashing high duties on petroleum products. After all, high indirect taxes pinch the poorest the most.
Siege of terror
The Taliban and the Islamic State are exposing Kabul’s growing inability to keep the peace
With four attacks in 10 days that killed at least 158 people in Afghanistan, terrorists have sent a loud message to the government and its international backers. Of the four, two were claimed by the Taliban — the raid on January 20 in Kabul’s tightly-guarded Intercontinental Hotel and the January 27 ambulance bombing in a busy street. The Islamic State attacked a British children’s charity in Jalalabad on January 24 and an army post outside the capital days later. Though the IS and the Taliban are opposed to each other in the complex conflict landscape, both share a goal: to destabilize the state that has been built since 2001, and throw the country into further chaos. In recent years, despite the government’s claims of cracking down on militants, threats from the IS and Taliban have only grown. The IS, which lost territory in Iraq and Syria, is trying to build networks elsewhere, particularly in war-torn Afghanistan. From an enclave in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan, the group has planned and orchestrated several attacks, mainly targeting Shia minorities. Last year, the IS claimed at least 15 bombings in Afghanistan, while the Taliban is steadily expanding its firepower. Earlier, the Taliban had said it was targeting Afghan military facilities and soldiers, not civilians. As the ambulance bombing that killed more than a hundred people shows, the facts are to the contrary. The Afghan government is caught in a classic security bind. Over the years, whatever it has done, including stepping up the military campaign against the Taliban, has only deepened the security crises. The protracted war and the indiscriminate use of airpower by the U.S. have turned a substantial portion of the rural population away from Kabul, a resentment the Taliban has tapped into. The group now controls almost a third of the country. And as the war drags on, other militant groups such as the IS have also swept in, making a solution to the crisis even more elusive. The Taliban is now too strong to be defeated outright, but not strong enough to unseat the government in Kabul. This is the stalemate the war has entered. When U.S. President Donald Trump announced more troops for Afghanistan in August, the plan was to break this logjam. But since that announcement, the Taliban has increased its attacks, in an apparent message to Washington that a military solution is not possible. Even the tough line the U.S. has taken vis-à-vis Pakistan, which has direct links with the Taliban and its allies in the Haqqani network, by withholding military aid doesn’t seem to have had any immediate impact on Islamabad. The problem is the lack of a cohesive strategy. The U.S. focusses too much on the military aspects of the problem, while the Afghan government, plagued by corruption and infighting, remains incompetent in tackling the challenges it faces. In such a scenario, it’s advantage Taliban.
1). Strides (Noun)
Definition: a step or stage in progress towards an aim
Synonyms: make progress, make headway, gain ground, progress, advance, proceed, move
Usage: great strides have been made towards equality
2). Chinks (Noun)
Definition: a narrow opening, typically one that admits light.
Synonyms: opening, gap, space, hole, aperture, break, breach, crack
Usage: a chink in the curtains
3). Exacerbated (Verb)
Definition: make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.
Synonyms: aggravate, make worse, worsen, inflame, compound, intensify
Usage: the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem
4). Pruning (Verb)
Definition: reduce the extent of (something) by removing superfluous or unwanted parts.
Synonyms: reduce, cut, cut back, cut down, cut back on, pare, pare down, slim down
Usage: the workforce was pruned
5). Enclave (Noun)
Definition: a portion of territory surrounded by a larger territory whose inhabitants are culturally or ethnically distinct.
Synonyms: territorial dominion, district, territory
Usage: the besieged Muslim enclave of Srebrenica
6). Orchestrated (Verb)
Definition: plan or coordinate the elements of (a situation) to produce a desired effect
Synonyms: organize, arrange, put together, plan, set up, bring about, manage, mobilize
Usage: the situation has been orchestrated by a tiny minority
7). Protracted (Adjective)
Definition: lasting for a long time or longer than expected or usual
Synonyms: prolong, expected, spun out
Usage: a protracted and bitter dispute
8). Elusive (Adjective)
Definition: difficult to find, catch, or achieve.
Synonyms: difficult to catch/find, difficult to track down; evasive, slippery, shifty
Usage: success will become ever more elusive
9). Logjam (Noun)
Definition: a situation that seems irresolvable
Synonyms: problem, trouble, dispute, dilemma
Usage: the president can use his power to break the logjam over this issue
10). Allies (Noun)
Definition: a person or organization that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity
Synonyms: associate, colleague, friend, confederate, partner, supporter, accomplice, helper, accessory
Usage: he was forced to dismiss his closest political ally
11). Plagued (Verb)
Definition: cause continual trouble or distress to
Synonyms: afflict, bedevil, cause suffering to, torture, torment, trouble, beset
Usage: he has been plagued by ill healths