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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Difference between Amicable and Amiable

Difference between Amicable and Amiable

Amicable and Amiable

Amicable [adj]

'Amicable' is used for Friendly, Cordial, मित्रतापूर्ण
E.g- Finally the two brothers came to an amicable settlement.

Amiable [adj]

'Amiable' is used for Lovable, Obliging, सब का प्यारा, प्रिय
E.g- Being an amiable housewife she is liked by her kith & kin.
[Note- Kith & Kin means- one's relations, परिचित

Daily English Vocabulary 1-June-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

1-June-2016 English Vocabulary

Ebullience [n]

Exuberance, buoyancy, cheerfulness, joy, exuberance, buoyancy, cheerfulness, joy, उत्तेजना, जोश
The ebullience of happy children.

Grotesque [adj,n]

Malformed, deformed, outrageous, monstrous, विचित्र, भ्रष्ट, असंगत
A figure wearing a grotesque mask.

Beatific [adj]

Rapturous, joyful,

Monday, May 30, 2016

Difference among Known to, Known by and Known for

Difference among Known to, Known by and Known for

Known to, Known by & Known for

Known to

'Know to' is basically used in Passive voice.
E.g- You are known to her very well.

Known by

'Known by' is used for Recognize, पहचान
E.g- A Man is known by the company he keeps.

Known for

'Known for' is used for A Quality, गुण
E.g- Seema is well known for his benevolence.

Difference among Adopt, Adapt and Adept

Difference among Adopt, Adapt and Adept

Adopt, Adapt & Adept are homonyms. They sound similar but have meaning different.

Adopt, Adapt and Adept

Adopt [v]

'Adopt' is used for Take up, Accept, अपनाना, गोद लेना
E.g- One should not adopt the bad habits of others.

Adapt [v]

'Adapt' is used for Adjust, Modify, मेल बिठाना, अनुकूलन
E.g- One must learn to adapt oneself to the

Daily English Vocabulary 31-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

31-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Sore [adj,n,v]

Painful, hurting, upset, angry, पीड़ादायक, फोड़ा, नाराज़
If left unattended, even a small cut can turn into a sore.

Hang around [phrv]

Loiter in, linger in, waste time, associate, mix, बेकार में घूमना, मंडलाना, समीप आना
I did not see the point of hanging around waiting for them, so i went home

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 30-May-2016

Daily English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

30-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Penitence [n]

Repentance, contrition, compunction, regret, पछतावा, पश्चात्ताप
He is feeling penitence for what he has done to her.

Outlandish [adj]

Unfamiliar, weird, queer, offbeat, far out, विदेशी, विचित्र
His dress sense is outlandish.

Corpulent [adj]

Fat, obese, overweight, plump, मोटा, गोल

Difference among Live in, Live at, Live on, Live by and Live off

Difference among Live in, Live at, Live on, Live by and Live off

These all words made by Live. But these have differences among them.

Root word- LIVE

Live in

'Live in' means residential, निवास करना
'Live in' basically used for Region, Area, Country
E.g- He is living in America.

Live at

'Live at' indicate the place, address.
E.g- He is living at Agra.

Live on

Depend on food, 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 29-May-2016

Daily English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

29-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Envoy [n]

Representative, delegate, deputy, ambassador, emissary, diplomat, राज-दूत, प्रतिनिधि
The UN envoy met the warring groups.

Rebuff [v,n]

Reject, turn down, spurn, refuse, decline, दो टूक जवाब, रोकना, पराजय
His advances were rebuffed by the girl.

Intriguing [adj,v]

Interest, be of interest to,

Difference between Alter and Altar

Difference between Alter and Altar

Alter and Altar sound similar, but they are different in meaning.

Alter & Altar

Alter [v]

Change, make changes to, amend, improve, modify, बदलना, परिवर्तन करना
Alter is basically used for Change.
Mohan is so obstinate that no one can alter his views.

Altar [n]

Place of worship, टेबल जिसपर भगवान पर चढ़ाने वाली सामग्रियाँ रखी जाती है
Altar is

Friday, May 27, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 28-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

28-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Apparent [adj]

Evident, obvious, ponderous, rough, स्पष्ट, प्रकट,  आभासी
For no apparent reason she laughed.

Abominable [adj]

Odious, detestable, repugnant, aversion, घिनौना, अप्रिय, भद्दा
I hate her abominable behavior.

Defray [v]

Meet, bear, spend, pay, चुकाना, भुगतान करना, व्यय करना
She defrayed the dues

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 27-May-2016

Daily English Vocabulary For SSCCGL, IBPS & Other exam

27-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Sprightly [adj]

Lively, spry, energetic, active, उत्साहयुक्त, आनंदपूर्ण, खुशमिजाज
When he returned he was accompanied by a sprightly young girl

Shirk [n,v]

Evade, dodge, avoid, get out of, बचना, काम चोर
He shirks his duties.

Necropolis [n]

A cemetery, especially a large one belonging to an ancient

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 25-May-2016

English Vocabulary For CGL, IBPS & Other exam

25-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Siesta [n]

Afternoon sleep, nap, catnap, doze, दुपहरी आराम
She went to rest room to have a Siesta.

Ephemeral [adj,n]

[adj] transitory, transient, fleeting, passing, अल्पकालिक,  क्षणभंगुर
[n] an ephemeral plant
Fashions are ephemeral: new ones regularly drive out the old.

Putrid [adj]

Rotting, rotten, bad,

Difference between Confide in and Confide to

Difference between Confide in and Confide to 

Both are used for a person. Confide in & confide to have a difference.

Confide [verb] 

Tell someone about a secret or private matter, trust (someone) enough to tell them

Now we will talk about confide in and confide to.

Confide in 

Use-> Confide in someone - Put trust someone
Confide in used for Trust
E.g- I have always confide in

Monday, May 23, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 24-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

24-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Consensus [n]

Agreement, harmony, concord, आम सहमति, सामंजस्य
A coalition government has to work in consensus.

Confluence [n]

Convergence, meeting, junction, amalgamation, संगम, संधि-स्थल, मिलाप
Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers.

Nebulous [adj]


Daily English Vocabulary 23-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC CGL, IBPS & Other exam

23-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Relish [n,v]

Great enjoyment, condiment, accompaniment, sauce, आनंद, जोश, स्वाद, मजा लेना, प्रसन्न होना
He swigged a mouthful of wine with relish.

Acute [Adj,n]

Severe, critical, drastic, stabbing, shooting, astute, shrewd, sharp, keen, तीव्र, विकट, नोकीला, तीक्ष्ण
His judgment is acute.

Solicit [v]


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Standing up to patent bullying

Access to low-cost quality medicines plays a critical role in public health systems. In the last decade, the public health challenges facing developing countries have expanded beyond infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (“NCDs”) in large part due to changing lifestyles and environmental risks. The World Health Organisation estimates that 80 per cent of all deaths from NCDs occur in low- and middle-income countries like India.

Affordable prices for medicines are vital to ensure that governments can progressively realise the sustainable development goal of universal access to health care. In particular, low-cost, quality generic medicines have played – and continue to play – a critical role. Generic medicines are essentially identical versions of a branded medicine which can be manufactured without a licence from the innovating company and are marketed after the stipulated time under the patent laws. They are sold under non-proprietary names rather than brand names.

Generic drugs cost a fraction of the monopoly prices charged in countries like the United States, and the presence of multiple generic competitors in India has reduced the price of cancer and HIV treatment by as much as 90 to 1,000 per cent. For instance, first-line HIV treatment that costs over Rs.16 lakh annually to treat just one patient in the U.S. costs the Indian AIDS programme approximately Rs.7,000.

Access to quality generic treatment is particularly important for households that pay for medicines out-of-pocket. When poor households lack access to affordable generics, they must forego treatment, sell precious assets, or make difficult choices between paying for medicines and other basic necessities like food, clothing and children’s education.

India’s crucial role

India is at the centre of the world's generic drug production as it is one of the few countries with the technical capacity to produce raw materials, also known as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), and formulations of newer medicines as generics. Medicines produced by generics companies in India are among the most affordable in the world. When generic substitutes are not available in India --- for instance due to patent monopoly --- it leads to high pricing of medicines as only the proprietary companies can manufacture them. They become inaccessible to manufacturers at large and their high prices place them out of reach for the majority of patients who need them.

The Ministry of Commerce must be cautious of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), such as the ones it is presently negotiating with the European Union as well as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), that further strengthen or extend intellectual property monopolies. These will subsequently delay generic competition and the associated drop in prices, which will have a negative impact upon access to affordable medicines from domestic producers.

Parliament’s inclusion of public health safeguards in its patent law through an amendment in 2005 set a progressive precedent for the entire world. It substituted Section 3(d) of the Patents Act such that frivolous changes which did not increase the efficacy of a medicine would not make it eligible for a patent. Through this it protected generics from the deadly practice of ‘evergreening’, where pharmaceutical companies endlessly extend patents based on frivolous[fri-vu-lus(unimportant,तुच्छ)] modifications to their drugs that have little to no effect at best and are active health hazards[ha-zud(risky,जोखिम)] at worst. The use of these safeguards by patient groups, courts and the patent office has now become a target of the multinational pharmaceutical lobby which seeks to get rid of them so it can pursue its goal of profiting from higher medicine prices. This can be seen as the reason behind intensified pressure from the U.S. against affordable medicines that are ‘made in India’.

The U.S. Trade Representative operates under the office of the American President and is somewhat like India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry, mainly responsible for foreign trade. It prepares a report known as the ‘Special 301 Report’ where it has a ‘Priority Watch List’ where it lists countries whose intellectual property laws it dislikes. This is generally used to threaten and intimidate countries and is a pressure tactic to get them to change their laws so they are to the U.S.’s liking.

This year the U.S. Trade Representative released its report on April 26 --- World Intellectual Property Day --- and put India on the ‘Priority Watch List’. This move is to create pressure on the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and force it to comply with its demands on Intellectual Property (IP) enforcement so U.S.-based pharmaceutical companies can reap super profits.

Not satisfied with this move, the U.S. Trade Representative is now coming up with an ‘action plan’ for India with concrete benchmarks to hold India ‘accountable’ for IP-related trade practices that disadvantage American companies. The Indian government should reject such blatant[bley-t(u)nt(openly,खुल्लमखुल्ला)] interference in our internal policies on intellectual property. Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has rightly pointed out that the Special 301 Report is inconsistent with the WTO’s norms which clearly state that any dispute between two countries needs to be referred to its Dispute Settlement Body and unilateral actions such as the Report are not tenable.

India must clearly reject the intellectual property laws which the United States is trying to force on us. These have led to an unprecedented[ún'pre-si,den-tid(new,अभूतपूर्व)] health crisis in the U.S. itself, with spiralling prices of medicines under lengthy and multiple IP monopolies, with American insurance companies struggling to manage the cost of reimbursing expensive new medicines, all of which threaten people’s access to treatment. Current U.S. intellectual property laws have done nothing but enable pharmaceutical companies to charge exorbitant[ig'zor-bi-t(u)nt(excessive,बहुत ज्यादा)] prices for medicines, such as over $1,00,000 annually for new cancer medicines and $1,000 a pill for new hepatitis C treatments. This has made health care simply out of reach for the vast majority of Americans and the issue of affordable health care has dominated the primaries in the ongoing American presidential elections. This failed model, which has allowed companies to profit from human misery and is even rejected in its own country, is not worthy of our consideration.

India’s laws and policies on the other hand are entirely compliant with the World Trade Organisation’s trade rules on intellectual property (TRIPS), promote generic competition and limit abusive pharmaceutical industry practices including patent evergreening. They follow a middle path between granting monopoly patent rights and public health imperatives. Far from modifying our IP policy, we should be proud of the fact that our country has a vibrant pharmaceutical sector that has become the ‘pharmacy of the developing world’ supplying affordable, life-saving medicines used to treat communicable and non-communicable diseases in many developing countries.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Bank on the brink

There is much talk these days around consolidation[kun,só-li'dey-shun(integration,सुदृढ़ीकरण)] in public sector banks (PSBs). There are good reasons for fewer and bigger PSBs. Larger PSBs can support the corporate sector better in overseas acquisitions, bigger banks are less susceptible[su'sep-tu-bul(sensitive,सवेंदनशील)] to being taken over by outsiders (if government ever ceded[seed(surrender,समर्पित)] control) and large synergies are available in mergers that could alleviate capital requirements. In India, moreover, there is a certain jingoist[jing-gow-ist(extreme nationalist,कट्टर राष्ट्रवादी)] thrill in being able to say that we have a few banks that are globally significant.

But there could not be a worse time for this talk. When bank portfolios are uniformly strained[streynd(tensed,तनावपूर्ण)], as they are today, mergers can accentuate[ak'sen-choo,eyt(emphasis,जोर देना)] the strains. A bank merger is never easy but when both banks have strained balance sheets, it can lead to a collapse. Mergers eat up a lot of top management time — IT systems, organisation structures, risk systems, exposure limits, and product portfolios need to be aligned. Branches need to be rationalised, customers need to be informed, brands need to be reestablished and people have to be placed in jobs. At a time when PSBs need a razor focus on cleaning up credit portfolios, mergers will be very distracting and will bring the sector to a halt.

In fact, Indian banking operates under three disparate[dis-p(u-)rut(different,भिन्न)] regulatory policy regimes creating the PSB industry, the private bank industry and the foreign bank industry. These industries have had different freedoms, incentives and constraints in respect to branch licensing, compensation, regulatory prescriptions, M&A and capital raising. PSBs are also overseen by the dreaded[dre-did(fearsome,भयानक)] Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Bureau of Investigation. The constraints that PSBs operate under, therefore, are well known and require them to address three specific challenges — recapitalisation (to deal with NPAs, Basel requirements and for growth of their balance sheet), governance autonomy (from Parliament — for strategic moves like acquisition, the vigilance apparatus, and the ministry for CEO and board appointments), and HR autonomy (in recruitment and compensation). In the current structure, none of this works. The recent attempts to address their plight (Indradhanush), while useful in themselves, have not come close to addressing the core issues.

The current talk of consolidation provides an opportunity to address these issues once and for all. The approach I suggest can clean up the mess, release capital, and create five large, structurally unconstrained government-promoted banks that do not require any parliamentary permissions. How?

I believe the government should promote five new banks under the RBI guidelines for new private banks. The RBI guidelines stipulate that promoters can own no more than a 40 per cent stake at the time of launch, which needs to come down to 15 per cent in 12 years. No other shareholder can hold more than a 5 per cent stake. The government could even seek an exception from the RBI and ask to be allowed not to reduce its stake below 26 per cent. The five banks should be promoted in five different cities — Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata. Consolidation would occur by getting all the public sector banks located in the same city (in the case of Bangalore, the state) to transfer all their good assets and liabilities to the single new bank promoted in that city over a period of three years. So, for example, in Mumbai, the good assets and liabilities of Central Bank, Dena Bank, Union Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and IDBI Bank across the country should be transferred to the newly promoted Mumbai Bank and so on for each of the new banks. However, government capital should not be transferred. An equitable scheme for minority shareholders in the new banks would be required. Just the structure of the new banks promoted by government would allow them a much higher price to book than the less than 0.5 per cent that PSBs currently enjoy. These five new banks would enjoy all the freedom of the new private sector banks with the government just being the promoter of these banks. They would have full HR autonomy, they would not be under the CBI or the CVC, and they would each have independent boards akin[u'kin(similar,के समान)] to say an Axis Bank. They would raise capital from the market. They would start out on new technology and would look to digitise bank operations from the start. They would have fewer branches and would use partnerships and alternative channels (mobile) a lot more. The State Bank of India (SBI) could be allowed to carry on as it is but at some point the government should reduce its holding below 51 per cent to provide a similar freedom to its staff.

The existing PSBs could be provided the minimum additional capital necessary for basic ongoing business and essentially to work out their impaired assets. It is not even important to close these banks down after three years but they will become a small SUUTI type rump (the impaired assets company of UTI) that will fade away. The big bulk of their senior officers would retire in three years and their employees under 55 would get very favourable consideration in the new bank, where the bank assets are transferred, on the new terms of employment. We should recall that Axis Bank started with a bulk of their employees coming from the SBI and SBBJ.

What a move like this does is that in three years’ time, we will have five large banks, with government as the single-largest shareholder, but without any of the constraints of the present PSBs. No permissions are required to do this, no debates in parliament and in one stroke we clean up the entire sector, make the banks bigger and allow the rump to be worked out over the next three to five years. The consolidation discussion provides the required fillip. It will be a lasting legacy the Modi government could leave India — a robust[row'búst(strong,मजबूत)], large and clean banking system.

Courtesy:indian express

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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 22-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

22-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Dogmatic [adj]

Opinionated, peremptory, assertive, imperative, doctrine, कट्टर, हठधर्मी, कट्टर
He was not tempted to be dogmatic about what he believed.

Bigwig [n]

VIP, important person, notable, notability, अहम शख्स, बड़ा आदमी
Government bigwigs.

Frolic [n,v,adj]

Frisk, gambol, cavort, caper, cheerful,

Friday, May 20, 2016

What makes a video go viral

The joke goes that learning the secret to making a viral video is like hitting the jackpot. Sample this really curious mix of videos that went viral in India last year — the peppy ‘Every Bollywood Party Song feat. Irrfan’ by AIB; an episode from the hugely popular show for children, Chhota Bheem; an episode from Sony Television’s Crime Patrol; Sujoy Ghosh’s Radhika Apte-starring thriller Ahalya; an episode from the decadent MTV show Splitsvilla. A hotchpotch[hóch,póch(mixed things,खिचड़ी)] proving that we are nowhere near answering that vexing[vek-sing(annoying,खिजाऊ)] question: what makes some videos go viral and others fizzle out[fi-zul awt(unsuccessful,असफल)] ?

Last year, the Harvard Business Review reported that Unruly, a tech company that “gets videos watched, tracked and shared across the Open Web”, analysed about 430 billion views and 1,00,000 costumer data points in an attempt to answer this question.

According to its findings, viral success is often driven by two factors: how the video makes a person feel and his or her social motivations in sharing it. People shared those videos that made them feel warm, fuzzy and happy. People also shared those videos on which they wanted an opinion, or which featured subjects they are passionate about. Videos that capture people’s imagination, or are funny, valuable or meaningful have been found to go viral, according to other studies. However, this by no means provides an answer to how to break the Internet; luck obviously plays an important part too.

Videos promoting peace

In India, where everyday headlines are about failed efforts by the Indian and Pakistani governments in reaching out to each other, or of attacks along the border — news that largely desensitises people or makes them cynical[si-ni-kul(disrespectful,दोषदर्शी)] — videos that promote peace seem to strike a chord. Partition may have taken place more than half a century back but its repercussions[ree-pu'kú-shun(indirect result,अप्रत्यक्ष परिणाम)] continue to be felt today; people on both sides of the border still have stories to recount of carnage[kaa-ni(slaughter,हत्याकांड)], torn families, of daughters and sons who grew up without fathers, of displacement.

A video that has gone viral now can tick off both the success factors of Unruly’s study. Jalandhar-based Gurmehar Kaur’s heart-warming silent video #ProfileForPeace, which had been liked by more than a million people on Facebook before being removed, not only brings a lump to the throat but is also being shared because the subject is of interest to everyone. The daughter of Captain Mandeep Singh, who was killed in the Kargil War in 1999, Gurmehar makes an appeal through placards to all Indians and Pakistanis to “pull up their socks” and make peace, not war. Her father’s death when she was just two years old left her with hatred for Pakistanis and Muslims, she says, before she came to realise that the blame was to be pinned on war and not people or countries. “If France and Germany can become friends after two World Wars and Japan and the U.S. can work towards progress, why not us,” the 19-year-old asks. “Share the video if you wish for peace” is the last message on screen before Gurmehar walks out of the frame as wordless and expression- free as she had walked into it. The messages on the 30 placards are razor-sharp, the point is driven home.

The video in its poignancy[poyn-yun(t)-see(sorrow,मार्मिकता)] is similar to a Google advertisement that has been viewed by more than 13,036,440 people since it was released in 2013. In that video, two friends separated by Partition are reunited decades later through the efforts of their great-grandchildren. The themes are similar: India-Pakistan camaraderie[ka-mu'raa-du-ree(sociability,सौहार्द)], separation, memories, and love between people in the time of hostility[hós'ti-lu-tee(enmity,शत्रुता)] between governments.

But this does not mean that every video on India and Pakistan will go viral; YouTube has thrown up many similar ones that have simply not made the mark. Going back to the examples in the beginning shows us that there is no magic formula. India is obsessed with Bollywood, and with all party songs mixing and matching the same elements — women, alcohol, bright lights, pools — it isn’t surprising that the ‘Every Bollywood Party Song’ went viral. Catchy? Tick. Intelligently done? Tick. Good lyrics? Tick. Humour? Spot on. Or, for that matter, why Ahalya was watched by so many people: twist in a mythological tale, great actors, well shot, and a spectacular climax. But it is mysterious why that particular episode of Splitsvilla did well. What made it different from the other episodes? All of them feature women screaming and men flexing their muscles in exotic locations anyway.

Audience is king

There is also a difference to be made between promotional videos and those shot at home. To think content is the sole reason why most videos go viral is naive; companies work hard to make sure that certain promotional videos are posted everywhere — YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and so on. And it is hard work.

But that’s only the second step. The first is making the video itself. You can put in all the cutesy elements — babies and dogs, for instance. Or make it emotional, funny, or intelligent. Ghastly[gãst-lee(offensive,बेकार)] videos also go viral because human beings are voyeuristic[,v(w)oy-yu'ris-ti-kul(viewer,दृश्यरतिक)] — the one of an Indian woman thrashing her 70-year-old mother-in-law or of the man whose body was cut in two in an accident in Kerala immediately come to mind. But one thing is definite: videos are not about you, they are about what the audience wants. And if you are just yourself with no pretence or obvious effort, most experts say, the job is half done. You are on your way to that jackpot.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Know your English

“I heard you made poor Sujatha cry. What did you do?”
“Nothing, actually. She asked me what I thought of her essay, and I gave her my honest opinion. I pointed out a few errors she’d made, and then went on to ...”
“Good grief! Don’t you know that Sujatha is too thin-skinned for all that?”
“Thin-skinned? Is it the opposite of thick-skinned?”
“Very good! A ‘thin-skinned’ person is someone who gets upset by what others say about him. He is easily hurt or offended by their comments.”
“In other words, he is hypersensitive. He breaks down or becomes very angry when people don’t have nice things to say about him.”
“That’s right! If you want to survive in politics, you cannot afford to be thin-skinned.”
“Nagesh is very thin-skinned. So, don’t make the mistake of making fun of him.”
“You, on the other hand, are very thick-skinned. You ...”
“Let’s not talk about me! Let’s talk about you, instead. How was your trip to Kolkata? Did you manage to see the places you’d planned to?”
“Didn’t get a chance to. I couldn’t even leave the hotel room because the three days I was there, it was raining pitchforks.
“Raining pitchforks? Does it mean it was raining heavily?”
“That’s right! When you say it’s raining pitchforks, it means it’s pouring.”
“I see. So, can I say, every time we decide to go on a picnic, it rains pitchforks?”
“Sounds like a good example. Last Saturday, it rained pitchforks all day.”
“I know! It completely ruined my weekend. By the way, what is a pitchfork?”
“It’s a farm instrument. It looks like a fork with a long handle, and farmers use it to lift or move hay and grass. Tell me, how are your plans for the surprise party coming along?”
“The surprise party that I wanted to give my mother is no longer a surprise, I’m afraid. My sister told Kala about the plans, and ...”
“That was a big blunder. Doesn’t your sister know Kala has foot-in-mouth disease?”
“Foot-in-mouth disease? What kind of disease is that?”
“A person who has foot-in-mouth disease finds it difficult to keep a secret. He shares information with people he is not supposed to. He talks too much and ...”
“In other words, this person gets into trouble because of his big mouth. He talks about things he shouldn’t be.”
“I guess you could say that! He usually ends up saying the wrong things to wrong people at the wrong time. My friend Rahul has foot-in-mouth-disease.”
“Isn’t he the one who told the Principal about your plans to go on strike?”
“That’s right! The CEO doesn’t allow my boss to take part in any negotiation. She has foot-in-mouth disease. This expression has the same meaning as ‘to put one’s foot in one’s mouth.”
“I see. How about this example? Hari put his foot in his mouth when he told his pregnant wife to lose some weight.”
“I’m sure that made her really angry. Last week at a party, I really put my foot in my mouth. I asked my boss if the man next to her was her husband. She said it was her father.”
“Such things shouldn’t worry you. After all, you’re pretty thick skinned.”
“I don’t think anybody should write his autobiography until after he’s dead.” — Samuel Goldwyn

Courtesy:the hindu

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Know your English

“Do you remember my friend Sudhakar? The chap who ...”
“Sudhakar? Is he the chap who keeps running off at the mouth all the time?”
“Keeps running off at the mouth? What are you talking about?”
“A person who ‘runs off at the mouth’ talks too much. Usually about unimportant things.”
“I see. People avoid Dileep because he has a tendency to run off at the mouth.”
“Didn’t Sudhakar run off at the mouth at your birthday party?”
“That was Dileep. Sudhakar doesn’t talk much. He’s very quiet. Anyway, yesterday was his birthday, and his father gave him a brand new BMW car.”
“A BMW! Wow! Call me old fashioned, but I think it’s over the top.”
“Over the top? What do you mean by that?”
“The expression is mostly used in informal contexts. When you say that something is ‘over the top’, you’re suggesting that it is excessive. In this context ...”
“You’re saying that a BMW is an outrageous gift to give a college student.”
“In my opinion, it’s not a suitable gift. But times are changing. It’s becoming common for parents to throw over the top birthday parties for their children.”
“Very often, it’s the children who demand it. Anyway, how about this example? Some of the remarks made by the Chief Minister about the Opposition Party were over the top.”
“Sounds good. The way some of our politicians behave in public is over the top.”
“Meaning, they behave in an outrageous manner?”
“That’s right! Well, I hope you’re not expecting a BMW from your father on your birthday. He’s not made of money, you know.”
“My father’s not made of money? Are you trying to say he’s not rich?”
“That’s right! When you say that someone is made of money, you mean that the person is very rich. You need to be made of money if you want to buy land in Mumbai.”
“That’s true. How about this example? When my friend asked me to lend him a thousand rupees, I told him I wasn’t made of money.”
“Sounds good. Your friend Sudhakar is certainly made of money.”
“He certainly is! He got the BMW in the morning. When he went to college in the afternoon, he found out that he’d been made the captain of the cricket team.”
“Really? I’m not really sure if he’s captain material, though. You see ...”
“What are you talking about? He’s a wonderful batsman and a terrific bowler. Also, ...”
“That’s true. But it’s the fire in the belly that makes someone a good captain.”
“Fire in the belly? What does it mean?”
“When you say that someone has fire in his belly, you are suggesting that the person has a fierce determination to succeed. He is ambitious, full of vigour and ...”
“In other words, he has the inner drive to succeed.”
“I guess you could say that. As a captain, Saurav had a fire in his belly.”
“He certainly did. I wish some of my teachers had fire in their belly. It would make learning so much more interesting.”
“That’s true. At this year’s Wimbledon, Federer and Nadal will probably try to show the world that there’s still some fire in their belly.”
“Let’s hope they succeed. It was sad to see them lose in straight sets at the French Open.
“Happy birthday to a person that’s charming, talented and witty, and reminds me a lot of myself.” — Unknown

Courtesy:the hindu

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Know your English

“I ran into your new colleague at the bank. She said she loves her new job.”
“That’s not surprising at all! Shalini’s been with us only for a couple of days. So, right now, I’m sure everything is peachy.”
“Everything is peachy? I guess it means things are fine.”
“It doesn’t mean just fine. When you say things are ‘peachy’, it means things are excellent or wonderful. This informal expression is mostly used in American English.”
“I see. So, when somebody asks me, ‘How’s life?’, can I say, ‘Peachy’?”
“If things are great, you certainly can. So, what are you planning ...”
“Shalini also said she had to quit her previous job because people were jealous about her success. Apparently, she worked really hard ...”
“Please change the topic. I don’t wish to talk about anything related to work.”
“Let’s talk about you, then! Are your colleagues jealous about your ability to ...”
“People are not ‘jealous about’ something, they are usually ‘jealous of’ something. For example, there’s no need to be jealous of Priya’s good looks.”
“When I was young, I used to be jealous of my brother’s popularity.”
“As you grow older, you realise that you don’t need to be jealous of anyone.”
“That’s true. So, did you have dinner at the new restaurant yesterday?”
“Yes, I did. I went there with ...”
“What did you think of the place? Wasn’t the food just great?”
“The food was great all right. But the service was downright bad.”
“Downright bad? Are you trying to say that the service was terrible?”
“That’s right! The word ‘downright’ is frequently used before a noun to mean ‘completely’ or ‘absolutely’. It is mostly used to emphasise how bad or how terrible something is.”
“I see. The working conditions in some of the local factories are downright unhealthy.”
“The way some of our politicians behave in Parliament ... it’s a downright disgrace.”
“Talking about politicians, did you hear what our local MP said this morning? He said that women should not be allowed to run in tomorrow’s marathon.”
“That’s downright stupid. Somebody should tell that man not to talk to the press. Every time he opens his mouth, he shoots himself in the foot.”
“I’ve never heard that expression before. What does it mean?”
“When someone shoots himself in the foot, he says or does something really silly. And in the process, makes life difficult for himself.”
“It’s actually other people who make life difficult for the individual, right? They make fun of him by constantly reminding him of the silly thing he said or did.”
“That’s true. Here’s an example. The person we just interviewed doesn’t have the required qualification or experience. If you hire her as your PA, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.”
“Ranjan thinks he has a good sense of humour. But every time he tries to say something witty, he shoots himself in the foot.”
“The Vice Chancellor shot herself in the foot by suggesting that cell phones should be banned in all educational institutions.”
“I’m sure the students didn’t like that one bit.”
“The other night I ate at a real nice family restaurant. Every table had an argument going.” — George Carlin

Courtesy:the hindu

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Daily English Vocabulary 20-May-2016

The Hindu English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

20-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Laconic [adj]

Using very few words - संक्षिप्त
Synonyms – terse, brusque 
Antonyms – long-winded, wordy 
The valedictorian delivered a laconic speech, contrast to the salutatorian's lengthy speech.

 Odious [adj]

Extremely unpleasant; repulsive - घिनौना
Synonyms – abhorrent, abominable 
Antonyms –

Know your English

How is the word ‘esprit’ pronounced?
(S Sudhesh, Faridabad)
The vowel in the first syllable sounds like the ‘e’ in ‘yes’, ‘mess’, and ‘nest’, while the following ‘i’ sounds like the ‘ee’ in ‘free’, ‘tree’ and ‘fee’. The final ‘t’ is silent and the word is pronounced ‘e-SPREE’ with the stress on the second syllable. It comes from the Latin ‘spiritus’ meaning ‘spirit’ or ‘soul’. In English, the word is mostly used to refer to someone who is witty and full of life.
*His infectious esprit ensures that his classes are seldom boring.

What is the meaning of ‘five deep’ in the following sentence: “People were standing five deep waiting to be seated.”?
(Munavar Basha, Valasaravakkam)
My first impression was the people were standing in a pool! The expression ‘x-deep’ — it could be ‘five deep’, ‘seven deep’, ‘ten deep’, etc. — is used in informal contexts to suggest that there are many people present; there is, in fact, a big crowd. The sentence that you have given suggests that there were a lot of customers who were waiting their turn to be seated. In this context, ‘five deep’ could mean that people were standing in rows and there were five individuals in every row. The expression can also be used to refer to objects standing next to each other — and not necessarily behind each other. For example, if we say taxis were standing fifty deep, it could mean that there 50 taxis standing next to each other — and not behind each other. The expression has been around for several hundred years.
*The protestors couldn’t break through because the police were standing ten deep.

What is the meaning and origin of ‘put on your thinking cap’?
(K Gayathri, Chennai)
When you ask someone to ‘put his thinking cap on’ or ‘put on his thinking cap’, you want him to stop fooling around and do some serious thinking. You would like the individual to give the matter you have raised some serious thought, and come up with a solution. The expression has been a part of the English language for several centuries.
*Please put on your thinking cap and come up with creative solutions to our problem.
*If you wish to get out of the mess you’re in, you need to put your thinking cap on.
The ‘cap’ in the expression has nothing to do with the kind of caps we wear when playing games. According to some scholars, it refers to the tight fitting cap that a Judge used to put on before sentencing a criminal. The common people believed that the cap helped him think!

Which is correct? ‘She hardly exercises, does she/doesn’t she?’
(J Maya, Nellore)
The rules for using question tags are the following: if the statement is affirmative — i.e. it does not contain a negative word — then a negative question tag is used. For example, ‘My cousin Malathy is very beautiful, isn’t she?’ If, on the other hand, the statement contains a negative element, then the question tag used is ‘affirmative’. ‘My cousin Malathy isn’t very beautiful, is she?’ Since words like ‘hardly’, ‘scarcely’, ‘seldom’, ‘barely’, etc. are considered negative, they are usually followed by a non-negative question tag.
*She hardly exercises, does she?
*You seldom eat in restaurants, do you?
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” — Rick Warren

Courtesy:the hindu

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Know your English

“What happened to your car? Where did you get the big dent?”
“It happened last night. I slowed down near an intersection, and an auto-rickshaw driver who had been sitting on my tail, hit me.”
“A driver was sitting on your tail? I didn’t know you had one.”
“Very funny! When someone sits on your tail, he follows you very closely. He doesn’t maintain the required distance between his vehicle and yours.”
“But that’s the way people drive in India. When we drive, we always sit on someone’s tail!”
“That’s true! We usually sit on someone’s tail because we want to pass or overtake him.”
“I get terribly irritated when someone sits on my tail and keeps honking.”
“A lot of people find it irritating. But honking is something that what we all do!”
“I know! I do it too, sometimes. Tell me, how is your company’s new product doing?”
“It’s too early to tell. Our CEO is very bullish about the success of the product.”
“Very bullish? A bull is known for its stubbornness. So, does ...”
“It doesn’t mean stubborn, but optimistic. When you say that someone is bullish, it means that the individual is very confident about something. Sometimes, even aggressively so.”
“Ravi Shastri was bullish about India's chances of defeating Australia in the World Cup.”
“He wasn’t the only one. I think the entire country was in a bullish mood after we had won six games in a row. Or was it seven?”
“Nobody cares about that now. Understand you’ve started taking the bus.”
“It’s the company bus. I leave for office twenty minutes earlier than usual. But the good thing is, I get my forty winks on the bus.”
“Forty winks? You wink at the people on the bus?”
“Of course, not! Do you think I’m nuts? The expression ‘forty winks’ is used in informal contexts to refer to a very short nap that one takes during the daytime.”
“My grandmother usually has forty winks after her morning walk.”
“That’s a good example. The thing about forty winks is that you don’t have to actually lie down on the bed. You can have your forty winks while sitting.”
“Like my grandmother! She has forty winks while sitting in the rocking chair.”
“I read somewhere that Napoleon used to have forty winks while riding a horse.”
“That must have been very difficult to do. Anyway, what are your plans for the evening?”
“Nothing much, actually. I thought of cleaning my motorcycle. Then, I ...”
“How boring! Surely, there are more exciting things to do.”
“You know me. I don’t like to go anywhere on weekdays. Why don’t ...”
“A movie! Let’s go for a movie, can we?”
“It’s not ‘can we’ but ‘shall we’?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The usual question tag for statements beginning with ‘let’s’ is ‘shall we’. Let’s go for a movie, shall we? And the standard reply is either ‘Yes, let’s’ or ‘No, let’s not’.”
“I see. How about this example? Let’s take part in next month’s marathon, shall we?”
“No, let’s not! Let’s sit at home and watch the marathon on TV.”
“You’re such a bore!”
“Just taught my kids about taxes by eating 38 % of their ice cream.” — Conan O’Brien

Courtesy:the hindu

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How not to fight corruption

The Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), the key legislation which defines what constitutes corruption and prescribes penalties for corruption-related offences, is set to be amended by Parliament. The proposed Bill, now before a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, includes several contentious[kun'ten-shus(controversial,विवादस्पद)] amendments that are likely to have far-reaching ramifications[ra-mu-fu'key-shun(complexity,जटिलता)]. They require considerable deliberation.

First, the proposed amendments make all actual and potential bribe-givers offenders under the PCA. How fair is it to criminalise all bribe giving in a country like ours, where people are forced to pay bribes even to get their basic entitlements like rations, pensions, education and health facilities? The PCA already criminalises those who abet[u'bet(encourage,प्रोत्साहित)] corruption. While it is desirable to treat giving bribes aimed at receiving illegitimate gains as an offence, people, especially the poor and the marginalised, are often forced to pay bribes to get what is legitimately theirs. If they are also prosecuted, it would be a double wrong.

Disincentivising reporting

Imagine a poor man who rushes his young daughter to hospital after she has got badly burnt, and finds the doctor demanding a bribe to treat her. What options does he have? If he doesn’t pay the bribe, he risks losing his daughter’s life. On the other hand, if he pays it (clearly under duress), the proposed amendments to the PCA make him as guilty as the receiver — he could be in prison for up to seven years! Forcing people into this dilemma[dI'le-mu(confusion,दुविधा)] would only further the culture of impunity by disincentivising reporting of corruption by bribe-givers.

Therefore, the proposed amendments to the PCA are, practically and morally, a retrograde[re-tru,greyd(backward,पश्चगामी)] step. The government would be well advised to reconsider this and offer immunity to at least three types of bribe-givers. First, those who are coerced[kow'urs(force,मजबूर)] to pay a bribe to obtain their legal entitlements; second, those who voluntarily come forward to complain and bear witness against corrupt public officials; and third, those who are willing to turn approvers. For the second and third categories though, immunity should be provided only from criminal liability — bribe-givers must be made to return any benefit they secured as a result of the bribe. Providing immunity to these categories of bribe-givers would encourage them to complain about corruption and ensure that corruption is not a low-risk, high-return activity.

Rather than criminalising bribe-givers who are forced to pay bribes to get their legal entitlements, the objective of combating[kum'bat(fight,लड़ना)] coercive corruption would be more effectively achieved if the government puts in place a comprehensive grievance redress mechanism. Currently, if anyone files a complaint regarding denial of their entitlements, the complainant almost never gets redress nor is any penal action initiated against the guilty. This can be remedied by the enactment of the grievance redress bill, which was introduced in the Parliament in 2011 and had support across party lines, but unfortunately lapsed with the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.

Approval for investigation

The second prickly[pri-k(u-)lee(irritable,चिड़चिड़ा)] issue is the need to seek prior approval for investigation into certain cases of corruption. The amendments state that complaints regarding corruption that relate to decisions taken or recommendations made by public servants in the discharge of their official duty, shall not be investigated without the prior approval of the Lokpal or Lokayuktas, as the case maybe. Such complaints shall be forwarded to, and deemed to be complaints made to the Lokpal or Lokayuktas.

The Minister concerned clarified in the Rajya Sabha that the objective of these amendments is to safeguard public servants who are in decision-making positions, so that they may take decisions without fear of harassment. He said that the amendments were meant to replace Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, which was struck down by the Supreme Court. Section 6A mandated prior sanctions for investigation for officials of the rank of joint secretary and above, as they are in decision-making positions.

However, these amendments will potentially lead to great confusion and unending litigation. How will the police, without investigation, unambiguously[ún,am'bi-gyoo-us-lee(clearly,स्पष्ठतया)] determine whether the alleged act of corruption is relatable to a decision taken or recommendation made by a public servant?

To avoid confusion, the proposed amendments must either be dropped or state that complaints about all offences under the PCA shall be dealt with by the Lokpal at the Central level and Lokayuktas at the State level, for all categories of public servants covered in the respective laws.

Existing instruments

Finally, despite widespread public opinion against the necessity to seek the government’s permission before prosecuting a public servant for corruption, the amendments seek to strengthen this provision by increasing the cover to even retired public officials. Unfortunately, experience in India has shown that the requirement for seeking prior sanction from the government for prosecution is a critical bottleneck and results not only in huge delays but also in the accused often never being prosecuted. The PCA must insulate prosecuting agencies from government influence. The Lokpal law has vested the power of granting sanction for prosecution in the Lokpal. The proposed amendments must appropriately reflect this. Wherever the procedure for granting prosecution is defined in the Lokpal or Lokayukta laws, it should be applicable. For all other cases, including where no Lokpal or Lokayukta has been set up, an independent committee should be tasked with the responsibility of giving prior approval for prosecution.

If the Modi government is serious about tackling corruption, it should, in addition to re-introducing the grievance redress bill, immediately operationalise the Lokpal Act and the Whistle Blowers Protection Act which were passed by Parliament more than two years ago. These laws, together with the PCA, form the necessary anti-corruption statutory framework.

Courtesy:the hindu

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No longer at sea

The United Nations arbitration tribunal’s decision on the Italian marines case, announced on May 3, seeks to placate[plu'keyt(convince,मनाना)] both India and Italy over a tragic incident that led to the death of two Indian fishermen off Kochi in February 2012.

The two Italian marines accused of shooting the fishermen have been suspended in a legal twilight zone, given the many complexities that envelop the incident, thereby resulting in a long festering bilateral dispute that has soured relations between New Delhi and Rome ever since.

In summary, the Italian position is that the two marines positioned on board a merchant tanker, the Enrica Lexie, had opened fire to thwart[thwort(prevent,रोकना)] what they perceived as a pirate attack 20.5 nautical miles off Kochi. It is further argued that the death of the two Indian fishermen occurred in the course of the discharge of their operational duties, and hence functional immunity could be invoked as related to the military personnel of any nation. And that even if charges of death by accident were to be prosecuted against the marines, this would have to be done within the ambit of Italian law and jurisdiction as harmonised with the UN Law of the Sea [UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)].

New Delhi, however, has steadfastly[sted,fãst-lee(firmly,दृढ़तापूर्वक)] rejected this formulation and has invoked its sovereign right to prosecute the accused under the provisions of Indian law, thereby resulting in an impasse.

Given this basic divergence[di'vur-jun(t)s(disagreement,असहमति)] over which jurisdiction would be applicable in prosecuting the marines, an anomalous[u'nó-mu-lus(abnormal,असाधारण)] situation developed, wherein the marines were moved from detention in Kerala to the premises of the Italian Embassy in Delhi — and the already extended legal stasis continued. Over the years there were further unprecedented[ún'pre-si,den-tid(new,अभूतपूर्व)] interim provisions that allowed the marines to return to Italy — in one instance for Christmas and later to participate in an Italian general election.

An EU context

Within India, the case moved from the Kerala High Court to the Supreme Court with differing views among experts about the overlap between domestic law, the interpretation of sovereignty in territorial waters and contiguous[kun'tig-yoo-us(connected,सटा हुआ)] zones as derived from the UNCLOS and how Centre-State jurisdiction was to be determined, given the distinctive nature of the entire incident which had a bearing on the prevailing[pri'vey-ling(common,प्रचलित)] global anti-piracy effort.

India ‘asserted’ its sovereignty and sought to claim its sole jurisdiction in prosecuting the marines in a special court, but considerable time had elapsed, and by December 2014, the case acquired an EU context. A former Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini had been appointed High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and referring to the long pendency of the case (about three years, while the norm in India is decades!), she warned that “the issue has the potential to impact the overall European Union-India relations.”

Consequently[kón-si-kwunt-lee(resultant,परिणामस्वरूप)], an India-EU summit meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in early 2015 could not be scheduled, and it was evident that Italy would take recourse to international mediation, despite India’s strong reservations.

In June 2015 Italy approached the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg. In August 2015 ITLOS ordered that: “Italy and India shall both suspend all court proceedings and refrain from initiating new ones which might aggravate[ag-ru,veyt(worsen,बिगाड़ना)] or extend the dispute submitted to the Annex VII arbitral tribunal or might jeopardise[je-pu,dIz(risky,जोखिम में)] or prejudice the carrying out of any decision which the arbitral tribunal may render[ren-du(give,देना)] .” In short, ITLOS rejected the Italian request that India return the marines provisionally – though one of them is currently in Italy on medical grounds, a temporary measure granted by the Indian Supreme Court.

Subsequent to the ITLOS ruling, both parties agreed that the dispute would be resolved under the UNCLOS tribunal, while the ground situation was that while one marine was in Italy (on medical grounds), the other (Salvatore Girone) was in India in the local Italian Embassy.

Rome once again approached the ad-hoc[ad'hók(specific,तदर्थ)] tribunal to “take such measures as are necessary to relax the bail conditions on Sergeant Girone in order to enable him to return to Italy, under the responsibility of the Italian authorities, pending the final determination of the Annex VII Tribunal.”

The tribunal order (May 3) has accepted the Italian plea and allowed the marine in India to return, but the wording is significant. It notes: “Italy and India shall cooperate, including in proceedings before the Supreme Court of India, to achieve a relaxation of the bail conditions of Sergeant Girone so as to give effect to the concept of considerations of humanity, so that Sergeant Girone, while remaining under the authority of the Supreme Court of India, may return to Italy during the present Annex VII arbitration.”

The Indian government has interpreted this decision as affirming the authority of the Supreme Court of India in the matter, even as Rome sought to rationalise the tribunal’s order as a vindication[,vin-di'key-shun(defense,बचाव)] of Italy’s position. This provisional order only addresses what has been termed by Rome as the “humanitarian” dimension of an intractable bilateral dispute between the two countries – and in many ways the bitterly contested legal haul has just begun.

Just the beginning

The first step is for both parties to approach the Indian Supreme Court for a relaxation of the bail for Sergeant Girone. What will be critical is Rome’s unambiguous[ún,am'bi-gyoo-us(clear,स्पष्ठ)] acceptance of the conditions attached, including the fact that even while being in Italy the accused would be “under the authority of the Supreme Court of India.”

It is expected that over the next year or maybe two, the Italian marines case will be heard in an international arbitral forum and decided on ‘merits’ to determine whose jurisdiction will finally prevail. In the event that Indian jurisdiction is upheld, the criminal proceedings will then begin. In short, the stage has only been set for the first of many legal steps to be taken, and it has taken four years plus to arrive at this point.

But more than the long-drawn-out legal maze, it is the Indian domestic political context and related discourse that diminishes[di'mi-nish(lessen,कमी)] the world’s largest democracy. Even as the government made a statement in Parliament about the provisional Hague order, reiterating[ree'i-tu,reyt(repeat,दोहरान)] the affirmation of the Supreme Court of India, the opposition lost no time in casting aspersions.

Accusing the NDA government of entering into a deal with Italy over the marines case, so as to corner the Congress leadership (read Sonia Gandhi) on the VVIP chopper case, the low point was the reference to a Modi tweet of March 2014 which read: “Italian marines mercilessly killed our fishermen. If Madam is so ‘patriotic’ can she tell us in which jail are the marines lodged in?”

Given that rank political opportunism and stoking ‘nationalist’ sentiment has become the higher Delhi priority — the objective pursuit of justice and a restoration of normalcy in India-Italy bilateral relations will remain elusive over the short term.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Know your English

What is the difference between ‘sneer’ and ‘jeer’?
(V.S. Niranjana, Chennai)
When you ‘sneer’ or ‘jeer’ at an individual, you are being very rude to him. A ‘sneer’ is the contemptuous look on your face that clearly shows that you have no respect for the person you are talking to — your expression says it all! This look is usually accompanied by a wounding remark. You say something in a manner that hurts the individual.
*My uncle sneered when I told him my marks.
*“How much does your useless husband make in a year?” she sneered.
Jeering is what usually happens to people who are on stage — a politician giving a speech, an actor performing, a cricketer arguing with the umpire, etc. In all these cases, the spectators/members of the audience show their contempt for the person by loudly booing him/her. Mocking a person, shouting abuses at him, and laughing at him are all examples of ‘jeering’.
*Sandeep became nervous when the audience started to jeer at us.
*The spectators began to jeer the home team.

What is the meaning of ‘joker in the pack’?
(J. Mukherjee, Kolkata)
The joker in the expression does not refer to someone who entertains people by telling them jokes or by doing funny things. In this context, it refers to the joker that is usually found in a pack of cards. In certain card games, the joker can be assigned any value — it can be used as an Ace, a Jack, a King, etc. — it can be anything that the player wants it to be. The value that the card will be given is unpredictable. Similarly, when you say that someone is the joker in the pack, you mean that s/he is an unknown entity. He or she is someone who is going to have a big impact on the events that follow. The results of the person’s influence, however, will be hard to predict — they may be most unexpected. The expression can be used with things as well.
*The young voter was the joker in the pack in the last election.
*Don’t say anything about abortion. It may be the joker in the pack that might help you win this election.
How is the word ‘cabal’ pronounced?
(Meena Nair, Kochi)

There are different ways of pronouncing this word. Some people pronounce the first vowel like the ‘a’ in ‘china’ and the second like the ‘a’ in ‘ant’, ‘pants’ and ‘apple’. They pronounce the word ‘ke-BAL’ with the stress on the second syllable. Others pronounce the second vowel like the ‘ar’ in ‘park’, ‘dark’ and ‘shark’. They pronounce the word ‘ke-BAAL’.
The word is mostly used in the context of politics to refer to a small group of people who work secretly to usurp power — either by overthrowing the existing government or by installing a puppet regime.
*The cabal of dissidents within our party ensured we lost the election.
Is it okay to say, “Rahul is doing this with a view to make more money”?

(M. Vijay, Chennai)
The expression, ‘with a view to’ meaning ‘with the intent/aim to’ is usually followed by the ‘ing’ form of the verb. In this case, it should be ‘making’ and not ‘make’.
*Hemant went to Nagpur with a view to starting his own business.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Clampdown on the cancer e-stick

The wriggle room for electronic or e-cigarettes, which have been marketed as a healthier alternative to the cancer stick, is shrinking rapidly as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week made sweeping new rules that, for the first time, regulate the popular product.
In a 499-page regulatory road map, the FDA banned the sale of e-cigarettes to people under the age of 18. Further, producers of e-cigarettes will now have to register with the FDA and be open for inspections. The new rules also forbid manufacturers from marketing their products as “light” or “mild” unless the FDA permits them; companies cannot give out free samples either.
Cue for Indian policymakers
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), e-cigarettes have become popular across the world in a short span of four-five years. As against conventional cigarettes that burn the tobacco leaf, e-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that vaporise liquid that contains nicotine and provide a sensation similar to inhaling tobacco. There is no combustion[kum'bús-chun(burning,दहन)] involved in the process, a quality the industry has milked while branding the product as a feasible[fee-zu-bul(possible,संभावित)] option to those who want to quit smoking.
The measures recommended by the FDA vindicate['vin-di,keyt(justify,न्यायसंगत)] the cautious stance taken by countries such as India even though there are no laws regulating e-cigarettes in the country as of now. Countries like India — which is a signatory to WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), a global treaty for tobacco control — have, however, been cautious by making it amply[amp-lee(fully,पूर्णतया)] clear that e-cigarettes are not a “healthier” option and there is no evidence to say that it helps people who want to quit smoking. “We have an expert committee in place and the issue is whether we should regulate or ban it altogether,” says C.K. Mishra, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Not a healthier alternative
One of the most polemical[pu'le-mi-kul(controversial,विवादस्पद)] debates surrounding e-cigarettes is the positioning of it as a method to quit smoking. There are few studies on the health risks and none on the long-term impact of e-cigarettes on health. “We are concerned that the product currently remains unregulated in India. The cardiovascular disease community has been very vocal about the adverse effects of nicotine. There is no evidence whatsoever to say that e-cigarettes are helpful to those who want to quit,” says Dr. Monika Arora, Director, Tobacco Control Division of the Public Health Foundation of India.
The WHO has, for long, maintained that the claim is not based on evidence. There are about 500 e-cigarette brands, and only a few have been analysed. “Some of the analysed brands are known to have very low toxic emissions compared with conventional cigarettes. Some e-cigarettes have few and low levels of toxicants, but some contain levels of cancer-causing agents, such as formaldehyde, that are as high as those in some conventional cigarettes. If smoking a cigarette is like jumping from the 100th floor, using an e-cigarette is certainly like jumping from a lower floor, but which floor? We don’t know,” WHO stated in a bulletin on the topic in 2014.
Courtesy:the hindu

Daily English Vocabulary 19-May-2016

The Hindu English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

19-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Rampant [adjective]

Uncontrolled, unrestrained, unchecked, vehement, strong, violent, अनियंत्रित, आक्रामक, सामाजिक बुराई
There were allegations of rampant voter bribery and distribution of cash and gifts over the last month.

Grim [adjective]

Very serious, gloomy, depressing, worrying, unattractive,

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Know your English

“There’s too much of shouting and screaming on the news channels these days. The only thing that people do is to wash their dirty linens in public.”
“Some channels just manufacture news! By the way, it’s dirty linen and not linens. When you ...”
“I know what the expression means. When you wash your dirty linen in public, you are discussing in public, things that you shouldn’t be. Things that should remain private.”
“Very good! Americans tend to say ‘air your dirty laundry in public’.”
“How about this example? Political parties are washing their dirty linen in public.”
“Considering the kind of people who become politicians, it isn’t surprising. In our company, we’re told not to air our dirty laundry in public.”
“Many people like Sujatha believe that it’s not wrong to wash your dirty linen in public. Got an email from her yesterday, by the way. Wrote about the student life in America.”
“And what did she have to say about student life in America? Did she ...”
“She said that the student life there was very ...”
“It’s ‘student life’ and not ‘the student life’. The word ‘life’ is frequently used in expressions like ‘married life’, ‘city life’, ‘student life’, etc. Such expressions are not preceded by ‘the’.
“In other words, when we are talking about the way of life of a group of people, we don’t use ‘the’. Is that what you’re saying?”
“Absolutely! My friend who got married a year ago says married life is a real pain.”
“Many villagers believe that city life is exciting. What do they know, right? Tell me, are you going to watch the match tonight?”
“Of course! What else is there to do? Who are you pulling for?”
“Pulling for? Are you asking me which team I’ll be supporting?”
“That’s right! The expression ‘pull for’ can also be used to mean to cheer for someone. During the World Cup, we were all pulling for India. My neighbours, though, were pulling for South Africa.”
“ How about this example? Remember Atul, we’re all pulling for you. Just go out there and do your best.”
“Sounds good. The expression is limited to informal contexts. The champion became angry when everyone started pulling for the underdog.”
“That usually happens. Especially, when the match is one sided. Understand you ran into your boss at the theatre. What did he say?”
“Nothing! He cut me dead.”
“Cut you dead! You look alive to me. Am I ...”
“Not very funny, I’m afraid. When you cut someone dead, you ignore the person completely. You may have seen him, but you pretend you haven’t.”
“In other words, you look through the person.”
“I guess you could say that. I gave Radhika a smile, but she cut me dead.”
“She does that to a lot of people. When some of his old friends went to say hello to the Minister, he cut them dead.”
“The original expression was ‘to cut someone’. Later, the word ‘dead’ was added. The aging superstar has mellowed. He doesn’t cut anyone dead these days.”
“The youngsters are cutting him dead, I guess.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 18-May-2016

English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

18-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Proclivity [noun]

A tendency to choose or do something regularly; an inclination or predisposition towards a particular thing – झुकाव
Synonyms – penchant, predilection
Antonyms – antipathy, disinclination
The book concludes in a way that hardly matches my own political proclivity.

 Recalcitrant [adjective]

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 16-May-2016

The Hindu English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

16-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Mutiny [n,v]

Rebellion, coup, insurrection, rebellion, revolt, सैनिक विद्रोह, बग़ावत करना
The king supressed the mutiny in a very short time.

Reluctance [n]

Unwillingness, disinclination, lack of enthusiasm, अनिच्छा
The effort has run into a brick wall over the reluctance of European banks to

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 15-May-2016

The Hindu English Vocabulary For SSC, IBPS & Other exam

15-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Flank [v]

Be on each or on one side of, guard, strengthen, बीच में
The leader was flanked by his security staff.

Motley [adj,n]

Miscellaneous, disparate, diverse, multicoloured, many-coloured, मिश्रित, रंग बिरंगा
A motley collection of old clothes.

Put/Throw a spanner in the works [idm]

To do

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 12-May-2016

Daily English Vocabulary for SSC, IBPS & Others

12-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Disparage [v]

Belittle, denigrate, undervalue, underestimate, नीचा दिखाना, अपमानित करना, बुराई करना
He disparaged his students efforts.

Irk [v]

Irritate, annoy, vex, gall, सताना, गुस्सा दिलाना
It irks me to see money being wasted.

Malign [adj,v]

Harmful, evil, bad, defame, slander, libel, बदनाम करना,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 11-May-2016

English Vocabulary for SSC, IBPS & Others

11-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Contemplate [v]

Look at, view, regard, think about, thought, सोच-विचार करना, ध्यान से देखना 
She contemplated her body in the mirror.

Carp [n,v]

Freshwater fish, complain, cavil, grumble, moan, find fault, तालाब की बड़ी मछली, दोष ढूंढना, नुकताचीनी करना
He doesn't want to carp about the way you did it.

Dastard [n]

Monday, May 9, 2016

Daily English Vocabulary 10-May-2016

English Vocabulary for SSC, IBPS & Others

10-May-2016 English Vocabulary

Supercilious [adj]

Arrogant, haughty, conceited, disdainful, घमंडी, घृणापूर्ण, अवमानी
Rahul is such a supercilious person that even her family members avoid her.

Blitz [n,v]

Sudden military attack, bombardment, effort, exertion, बम बरसाना, आक्रमण होना
A heavy artillery blitz.

Obstreperous [adj]

Difficult to

Sunday, May 8, 2016

In Kerala, the battle over the bottle

History is against any strong clampdown[klamp,dawn(sudden restriction,कठोर नीति)] on liquor consumption, even when there are strong health and socio-economic compulsions to do so. Experience across time and space suggests that liquor curbs[kurb(control,नियंत्रित)] only spawn a huge black market for it and often lead to a spike in consumption of more addictive substances. Consequently[kón-si-kwunt-lee(resultant,परिणामी)], most societies that have tried to put an end to liquor consumption have had to quietly, or not so quietly, bury such grandiose[gran-dee,ows(impressive,भव्य)] hopes and live with the problem of heavy drinking, especially among the poorer sections of society, and the vice-like grip that the liquor mafia wields on the economy and polity.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) government’s ongoing experiment to curb liquor sale and consumption in Kerala is one more thrust upon it than an altruistic[al-troo'is-tik(unselfish,निःस्वार्थ)] endeavour, a case of political one-upmanship becoming policy. The man who almost single-handedly made it happen was Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V.M. Sudheeran, who saw an ideal opportunity for decisive[di'sI-siv(crucial,निर्णायक)] intervention when the UDF was up against the question of renewing the licences of 418 out of the 730-odd liquor bars in the State.

With the KPCC chief emerging as the champion of a cause that the rest of the political establishment had always fought shy of, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy found no option but to hit back with even sterner[sturn(strict,सख्त)] measures than were being advocated by Mr. Sudheeran. The end result was closure of all the 730-odd bars in the State, leaving less than two score five-star hotels and clubs with the freedom to serve liquor. The matter went up to the Supreme Court, but a division bench of the apex court comprising Justices Vikramjit Sen and Shiva Kirti Singh upheld the State government’s authority to curb liquor consumption, terming it “a positive step towards bringing down the consumption of alcohol, or as preparatory to prohibition”.

The UDF leadership has now made it a virtue, turning its goal of bringing in “prohibition in stages” its single major campaign plank for the May 16 Assembly elections. The Chief Minister himself now takes pleasure in engaging the CPI(M) in a debate on the virtues of the UDF’s policy goal of prohibition as opposed to the Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) policy of promoting abstinence[ab-stu-nun(t)s(avoidance,परहेज)] which, he reminds them, is no policy at all. Mr. Sudheeran’s stubborn stand and Mr. Chandy’s political gambit[gam-bit(trick,चाल)] appear to be paying off, with opinion polls showing that the UDF’s ‘anti-liquor’ policy has found good traction among women voters, the corruption scandals notwithstanding. The CPI(M)-led Opposition LDF is caught in a classic dilemma[dI'le-mu(confusion,दुविधा)] here, unable to forswear[for'swehr(reject,अस्वीकार)] the policy option, but unwilling to take the same course.

Demography of drinking

Like elsewhere, there has been growing concern in Kerala about the health and societal impact of alcoholism, with a study by community medicine experts in 2014 showing that around 30 per cent of the State’s population aged above 18 are hooked to the bottle, about one-third of them heavy drinkers. Till Mr. Sudheeran arrived on the scene with his prescription, prohibition was an idea which mainstream politicians did little about except pay lip service.

Mapping the demography of drinking in Kerala, experts have pointed out that the relationship between heavy drinking and the economic and educational status of the population is inversely proportional: the higher the economic and educational status, the lower the level of alcohol consumption. “Roughly 40 to 50 per cent of the drinking population in Kerala belong to lower-middle-income or middle-income groups. This is a very serious issue because you are talking about very poor families falling victims to the menace[me-nis(threat,खतरा)] ,” says S. Irudaya Rajan, professor, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), Thiruvananthapuram, who had led a study on the demographic profile of tipplers in Kerala. He points out that the propensity to drink is higher when liquor is available nearby and, therefore, the decision to shut down liquor bars could be a game changer. “Some say it will reflect in the voting pattern in the May 16 Assembly election, but I do not wish to hazard[ha-zud(risk,जोखिम)] any guess on that,” he says.

Hard times for hard liquor

Predictably, there is no agreement between the government and the Opposition on the benefits of bar closure. Initially, the government itself did not appear convinced about proposal to close bars till it became an unavoidable option, but now Mr. Chandy and his team are swearing by it, claiming that consumption of hard liquor has come down in the State by a substantive measure following the clampdown, by around 25 per cent over the past one year. The Opposition has sought to contradict this. “The UDF claim that it has brought down liquor consumption is, to say the least, a lie. There are as many as 806 beer/wine parlours, 306 government-run retail outlets of hard liquor, 33 bars in clubs and 30 five-star hotels. The sale of wine has gone up by 131 per cent and that of beer by 95 per cent. Against 316.7 lakh cases of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) sold in 2014-15, 355.95 lakh cases were sold from April 2015 to March 2016. So, where is the reduction,” asks Kanam Rajendran, CPI State secretary, pointing out that the revenue from liquor sale has also been on a sharp upswing in the State over the years from Rs.301 crore in 2013 to Rs.11, 000 crore in 2015-16.

However, those involved in the State government’s policy formulation and implementation point out that there are a lot of misconceptions about rate of liquor consumption in Kerala. The State, spread over 36,000 square kilometres, now has only 306 retail liquor outlets, which would work out to just one outlet every 100-110 sq km. In comparison to Kerala, liquor sales in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are growing at a faster clip, mainly on account of the closer proximity of outlets to the consumers. Kerala, they point out, had seen a sharp fall in growth of liquor sale through the official outlets from 16 per cent in 2011-12 to 1 per cent the next year and further to minus 9 per cent in 2015-16. They concede that consumption of beer and wine has indeed gone up, but contend that this should be seen as a positive development in tune with the recommendations made by the A.P. Udayabhanu Commission decades ago.

Multiple flip sides

However, the fall in hard liquor consumption, if at all it’s happened on the scale at which the government claims it has, has also triggered another phenomenon in the State: a flare-up in the use of cannabis and high-end party drugs such as cocaine, LSD, nitrazepam, buprenorphine and methamphetamine, particularly among the younger generation, and the enforcement challenge could be gargantuan[gaa'gan-choo-un(big,बड़ा)] given the scale at which the drug abuse trends are being reported from different parts of the State. Police say that the crime pattern of the State itself is getting skewed on account of drug abuse. In Kochi city alone, over 250 drug-related cases have been registered this year, against 782 cases in 2015. “This is a serious issue which needs to be addressed even as we discuss the State’s liquor policy. The high purchasing power of the younger generation is probably contributing to this phenomenon,” says Prof. Irudaya Rajan.

Of equal concern for the administrators and Opposition politicians is the impact that prohibition would have on the State finances. The rise in revenue from liquor sale, as pointed out by Mr. Rajendran, is not entirely an indication of increased consumption. It has a lot to with the increase in sales tax and excise duty. In 2014-15, the government had hiked the sales tax on liquor by 35 per cent and, in 2015-16, jacked up the excise duty by 50 per cent. As a combined result of this, the Kerala State Beverages Corporation, the monopoly IMFL retailer, was able to pass on to the exchequer Rs.9,787 crore by way of sales tax and excise duties out of its annual turnover of Rs.11,577 crore. Revenue from liquor sale constitutes roughly 12 per cent of the total tax receipts of the State government and 25 per cent of the State’s own tax revenue, almost 60 per cent of which goes towards salaries and pensions of State employees and teachers.

While upholding the restrictions on liquor sale in Kerala, the division bench of the Supreme Court had spoken about the right of the “besieged State” to cure itself. Dependence on revenue from liquor contributed mostly by the poor is something that has led to this self-inflicted state of siege and makes curative interventions appear inevitable. What Kerala witnesses this election season is a heady debate on whether prohibition, with its unpredictable consequences, is the answer to that social, political and economic challenge.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Know your English

What is the difference between ‘envelope’ and ‘envelop’? (L Kamana, Chennai)

‘Envelope’ is a noun and ‘envelop’ is a verb. The two words are pronounced very differently. The first syllable of the noun is pronounced like the ‘en’ in ‘pen’, ‘ten’ and ‘hen’, while the last syllable rhymes with ‘slope’, ‘cope’ and ‘hope’. One way of pronouncing this word is ‘EN-ve-lope’ with the stress on the first syllable. An envelope is what we in India call a ‘cover’— we usually put documents, cards, invitations, etc. in it.

I’m looking for an envelope to put these documents in.

In the case of the verb, the first syllable is pronounced like the ‘in’ in ‘pin’, ‘chin’ and ‘tin’ and the following ‘e’ like the ‘e’ in ‘set’ and ‘bet’. The vowel in the final syllable sounds like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The word, in this case, is pronounced ‘in-VE-lep’ with the stress on the second syllable. It means to cover or surround something completely.

Within a matter of seconds, the fire had enveloped the house.

What is the meaning of ‘back in the saddle’? (Madhusudhan Rao, Bangalore)

For most of us who grew up watching Hollywood Westerns, when we hear this expression, we immediately remember the cowboy on his horse.

A ‘saddle’, as you probably know, is the leather seat that a rider puts on a horse’s back when he wishes to ride the animal.

A rider who is in the saddle has total control of the animal; it will do whatever he wants it to. When someone is ‘back in the saddle’, he resumes an activity that he had temporarily given up.

Who told you that I’d quit tennis? I got back in the saddle two months ago.

I think I’ll need some rest. I’ll get back in the saddle after a couple of weeks.

Native speakers of English also refer to the seat on the motorcycle and bicycle as ‘saddle’.

How is the word ‘caterwaul’ pronounced? (R Tiwari, Bhopal)

The first and third syllables are pronounced like the words ‘cat’ and ‘wall’ respectively. The ‘er’ in the second sounds like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. The word is pronounced ‘CAT-e-wall’ with the stress on the first syllable. According to one theory, the word comes from the German ‘katerwaulen’ meaning ‘to cry like a cat’.

The word can be used with both animals and human beings. When you caterwaul, you shriek loudly like a cat that is in distress — it is a very unpleasant sound. In everyday contexts, the word can also be used to mean to complain about something rather loudly.

I’ve stopped watching the news on TV. I’m sick and tired of listening to the constant caterwauling of our politicians.

Is there such a word as ‘backfriend’? (BL Laxman, Chennai)

My initial reaction was to say ‘no’, but a few dictionaries do list the word. Those that do, label it ‘archaic’. The word is no longer in use. In the past, ‘backfriend’ was used to refer to someone who pretended to be your friend, but who was in fact your enemy. He was someone who was secretly working against you.

Courtesy:the hindu

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Know your English

How is the word ‘myriad’ pronounced?
(J Karthik, Madurai)
One simple way of pronouncing this word is to pronounce the ‘y’ and the ‘i’ like the ‘i’ in ‘sit’, ‘bit’ and ‘chit’, and the following ‘a’ like the ‘a’ in ‘china’. This rather formal word is pronounced ‘MI-ri-ed’ with the stress on the first syllable. It comes from the Greek ‘myrias’ meaning ‘ten thousand’. In English, the word is used both as a noun and an adjective to mean ‘countless’ or ‘a large number of’.
*Her myriad of admirers cheered Mithali as she rose to speak.
*For someone who has myriad problems, Jai looks pretty relaxed.
Is it okay to say ‘get off of the chair’?
(CV Geetha, Hyderabad)
There are many people today who squirm when they hear someone say ‘get off of the chair’! It is interesting to note, however, that in the 15th and 16th centuries, the expression ‘get off of’ was acceptable; it was considered standard. Nowadays, of course, most people are likely to say, ‘get off the chair/table’ rather than ‘get off of the table/chair’. But the use of ‘get off of’ has not completely disappeared; it continues to be used today in informal contexts in American English. Dictionaries label such use as ‘colloquial’ and ‘non-standard’. You may be able to get away with ‘get off of’ in speech, but not in formal styles of writing.
What is the difference between ‘exemplar’ and ‘example’?
(L Jayanth, Kancheepuram)
First, let us deal with the pronunciation of ‘exemplar’. The first vowel is pronounced like the ‘i’ in ‘sit’, ‘bit’ and ‘kit’, while the vowel in the second syllable sounds like the ‘e’ in ‘set’, ‘bet’ and ‘wet’. The final ‘ar’ can be pronounced like the ‘ar’ in ‘car’, ‘far’ and ‘par’. One way of pronouncing this word of Latin origin is ‘ig-ZEM-plaa’, with the stress on the second syllable. When you refer to someone as being an exemplar of courage, you are suggesting that he is a very courageous person; he is someone that others can do well to imitate. The word literally means worthy of being copied. An ‘example’, on the other hand, can be either good or bad. It may or may not be worthy of imitation. ‘Exemplar’ suggests perfection; it is related to ‘exemplary’.
*Rishi is an exemplar of hard work.
*That shot is a good example of the importance of footwork.
What is the meaning and origin of ‘in full cry’?
(Kalamkar, Pune)
When you are in ‘full cry’ over someone or something, you are continuously talking about the person or thing — and that too in a loud and enthusiastic manner. The expression usually suggests that a lot of noise is involved. It can also be used to mean to criticise someone or something; you express your thoughts/feelings rather forcefully and loudly.
*The students were in full cry over the proposed hike in fees.
The expression comes from the world of hunting, and therefore the word ‘cry’ has nothing to do with the tears that come out of one’s eyes. In this context, it refers to the loud barking sounds that a pack of dogs make when they are in hot pursuit of another animal.
“If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.” — G. B. Shaw

Courtesy:the hindu

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