Comprehension is one of the tried &tested means of judging a person’s ability of understanding words and using them in their desired form. Words are known to be the currency of communication. Having a knowledge of words or a rich vocabulary will not only help you while speaking with someone, rather your listening, reading and writing abilities are also improved. Therefore, it is always advisable to improve your vocabulary for social, academic and personal reasons. Let’s take a look at the below-mentioned article taken from a leading newspaper‘The Financial Express’ (dated April 7th, 2017).
Article: India’s leaders have failed its people, but in education, the people may have a chance to grow beyond what leaders have allowed
In my last column, I argued that Indian higher education needs reinvention as well as reform. The supply constraints that have built up in the current system will not be relaxed quickly enough by reforming current governance and regulatory institutions. Instead, India needs to embrace and accelerate digital delivery and learning. This prescription is valid for all levels of education, not just in colleges and universities. For example, field experiments by economist Karthik Muralidharan validate the benefits of digital tools for at least some aspects of education at the school level.
The government of India is fond of acronyms (NREGA, NRHM, PMGSY and so on), and it has indeed come up with a catchy one for its foray into online education. SWAYAM, which stands for Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds, is a platform for online courses, with the bulk at the university level, and created in partnership with some of India’s premier institutes of higher education, such as the IITs. The more important acronym, however, is MOOC, which stands for Massive Open Online Course. SWAYAM now offers about 300 MOOCs for higher education, with the bulk of them in engineering, science and mathematics (though the last of these is surprisingly under-represented). In 2015, when SWAYAM had just launched, an article by George Anders in the MIT Technology Review noted that only three SWAYAM courses had been announced, so the pace of addition has not been negligible.
On the other hand, the two US-based MOOC pioneers, which are for-profit private enterprises working with partner universities, have about 2,000 and 1,400 courses, respectively, and feature courses from university faculty around the world. It is difficult to make a full comparison, but my sense is that SWAYAM courses have a considerable way to go to catch up with the MOOC frontier in terms of combinations of courses that provide requisite sets of expertise in various subjects, and in the quality of learning tools and interaction possibilities that the global market leaders provide. This is not a cause for despair. After all, the Indian IT industry was disparaged in its infancy for not being up to international standards of sophistication. The industry thrived by identifying niches, competing globally, and getting some basic infrastructure from the government. The key to further progress will be a balanced role for the government, serving as an enabler and infrastructure provider, rather than as an entity that seeks to dominate content production, delivery, and certification. Indeed, if the government fails to play its role well, it will become irrelevant. As the article by George Anders illustrates, India-based students have flocked to the US MOOCs, making informed choices that supplement and enhance their existing Indian educations, and taking advantage of the quality and reputational value of the US-based offerings.
As the private MOOC providers expand, there is scope for them to undercut and bypass Indian higher education providers, if the latter do not respond.
Of course, there are limits to what MOOCs can do on their own, without some partnership with traditional physical providers. Online examinations designed for large scale courses can only go so far in testing knowledge, and there will still be a role for proctored and manually graded physical tests, but that role will definitely shrink. One can also take a cynical view that many Indian universities do not effectively prevent cheating in any case, and they do not impart useful educations that prepare students for productive jobs. If foreign competition can drive out substandard education providers in India, or force them to improve, then that is no bad thing.
One can certainly be suspicious of for-profit providers of education. In the US, some of them have a poor record of delivering quality, instead focusing on exploiting the US government’s student loan program to extract high fees. The most egregious example of exploitation that comes to mind is Trump University (though the designation was not valid or deserved), which settled fraud suits out of court for $25 million.
But the private MOOC providers have partnered with the best brands in global higher education, and economics teaches that those with valuable brands generally seek to protect them.
Those who run the Indian higher education system are going to have to figure out how to take advantage of the opportunity that MOOCs offer to India’s millions of students who are hungry for higher education and jobs but are currently poorly served.
Perhaps the biggest supply constraint in India is that of quality faculty members.
Those who are in India need to be incentivised to participate in and accelerate the ongoing revolution in higher education, and they also need to recognise that there is enough demand for their services as well as of the services of those who are producing MOOCs around the world. Once the basic delivery constraint is relaxed, further attention can be paid to making testing and validation of learning work at the scales needed.
Even here, best practices are encouraging in terms of results, as the anecdotes in the Anders article reveal. India’s leaders have repeatedly failed its people, but in education, the people may have a chance to grow beyond what the leaders have allowed.
1. Constraint (noun) (अवरोध): Constraint refers to the element or a factor which restricts or limits the usage.
Synonym: Curb, hindrance, restraint, captivity
Antonym: Encouragement, freedom, liberation, release
Sentence: Time is one of the biggest constraints of life, which restricts an individual to do anything in life.
2. Accelerate (verb) (शीघ्रता करना): Accelerate is defined as to cause faster or greater activity or progress.
Synonym: Advance, expedite, hasten, spur
Antonym: Block, cease, delay, discourage
Sentence: The five-year national policies have accelerated nation’s growth rate.
3. Disparaged (verb) (नीचा दिखाना): Disparaged is to belittle or degrade a person or an idea.
Synonym: Belittle, decry, defame, degrade
Antonym: Admire, approve, commend, compliment
Sentence: That merger was an act to disparage the worth of the competitor’s company.
4. Thrived (verb) (बढ़ना): Thrived is to flourish or succeed in one’s life or in career.
Synonym: Bloom, develop, flourish, prosper
Antonym: Cease, decrease, lessen, lose
Sentence: The right set of skills can help an individual to thrive in his career.
5. Proctored (verb) (निरीक्षक): Proctor refers to the person who is appointed to keep a watch over students at the examination.
Synonym: Watched over, stewarded, officered, rove
Sentence: He single-handedly proctored and administered the board exams.
6. Cynical (adjective) (स्वार्थी): Cynical refers to the set of people who are generally selfish and dishonest.
Synonym: Contemptuous, derisive, ironic, misanthropic
Antonym: Hopeful, optimistic, trusting, believing
Sentence: His cynical ideas of experimenting things at the chemical lab made him quite popular in the entire college.
7. Egregious (adjective) (चिड़चिड़ापन): Egregious refers to something which is extremely bad in a way which is very noticeable or prompting.
Synonym: Atrocious, deplorable, flagrant, glaring
Antonym: Concealed, hidden, mild, good
Sentence: If you make an egregious error in the examination, you will lose all the marks.
8. Incentivised (verb) (प्रोत्साहन देना): Incentivised is to make someone want to do something.
Synonym: Encourage, motivate, stimulate, boost
Antonym: Deter, abstain, deincentivized, discourage
Sentence: Sales managers are trying hard to incentivise the sales of their newly launched product.
9. Anecdotes (noun) (कहानी): Anecdotes refers to short and amusing stories.
Synonym: Episode, gag, narration, reminiscence
Antonym: Fact, biography, memorial, truth
Sentence: The suicide of the model was long been the subject of rumor and anecdote.
10.Substandard (adjective) (घटिया): Substandard is something which is below satisfactory standard.
Synonym: Inferior, lousy, inadequate, shoddy
Antonym: Good, divine, awesome, wonderful
Sentence: Due to substandard housing condition of the newly constructed flat, no one is willing to buy a single flat.
Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed.
1.Find out the words which mean the same as ‘constraint’(अवरोध)
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word is used to describe as something that limits or restricts someone of something. So, from theabove-given options, option (3) is a right choice as the synonym of the word.
2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘foray’ (आक्रमणकरना)
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word is defined as a quick raid, usually for the purpose of taking plunder. Hence, from the given options, option (1) is the correct choice as the synonym of the word.
3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘despair’ (निराशा)
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word refers to the feeling of not having any hope left. So, from the given options, option (4) is an apt choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘enabler’ (योग्य बनाना)
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word refers to a person or thing that makes something possible. Hence, from the given options, option (2) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘bypass’ (उपमार्ग)
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word is often defined asto follow a secondary pipe or to neglect or consult or to ignore the opinion/decision of others. Therefore, from all the above options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
Word of the Day
Meaning (English) –refers to the pleasant words or actions which
are used in order to persuade someone to do something.
Meaning (Hindi) – खुशामद / चापलूसी
Synonyms – Flattery, adulation
Antonyms – Criticism, repulsion
Example – His email, which was full of blandishment, made the base of his abroad trip.
उदाहरण – उसका ईमेल, जो चापलूसी से भरा था, ने उसकी विदेश यात्रा का आधार बनाया।