It is important to build vocabulary, not only for banking exams but for other competitive exams as well. So, to enrich your vocabulary and knowledge of words, below is a passage taken from ‘The Business Times’ (dated December29th, 2016).The difficult words from it, are highlighted so that you can identify and familiarize with their application in a sentence. These words are explained at the end of the passage with synonyms and antonyms along with their usage as well. All the best!
Article: Let’s admit it, China is not our enemy
IIt is time we Indians did a rethink on China and reconfigured our relations with that country while it is still possible. Unfortunately, we are being driven by an early 20th century mindset, conjured grievances, a sclerotic military-bureaucratic complex and an insecure, anxious West, to confront our largest neighbour and most important trading partner — one that has historically never been our enemy.
In the process, we are not satisfied with effectively shoring up our defences against China, but are also bent on challenging it militarily in our near and extended neighbourhoods.
There is little subtlety in the kind of relations we are trying to forge with Japan or the quasi military cooperation emerging with Vietnam; both are the outcome of our China phobia.
Lately, there is also an overemphasis on an unstated alliance with the United States, a fickle partner in the best of times, and now, with the emergence of Trump, heading into an isolationist hole, compelling countries, especially those in SE Asia to seek individual accommodations of their own with China.
Driving China away
In the process, we are diverting billions, to achieve the impossible and also the most unnecessary — matching China militarily, and geopolitically through a string of measures guaranteed to reinforce a rivalry that is clearly unaffordable and already counterproductive. It should not be lost on us that China is far richer than we are; soon after India announced a $2 billion package for Bangladesh, China committed twelve times that amount.
The lasting outcome of our stand-off against China is to have driven it firmly on to Pakistan’s side. That is something we must do everything possible to reverse. It is bad enough to have one enemy at the gate, it is positively foolhardy to persist with two, especially when one of them need never have been our foe in the first place, and can be our friend again.
It also makes abundant sense for us to join hands with China to make for durable peace — surely even with Pakistan — and accelerate development in our neighbourhood.
This is something the West, directly at war in Afghanistan since 2001, has failed to achieve, despite the enormous cost in human lives and money! The US military expenditure there peaked at around $200 billion in 2008 and continues to be over $50 billion today.
That is the kind of transformational money that China is pouring into the region, building roads, ports and railroads across Asia with results for all to see. The first freight train to Europe was flagged off on its 9,800-km journey to Hamburg in 2015 and another arrived in Tehran earlier this year, covering long distances, through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan from Zhejiang province.
Within the next few years China would have connected by rail and superhighways to all of Asia and be at our doorstep in the East, the West and the North.
It would make abundant economic and commercial and even strategic sense to plug into this network rather than persist with our getting-nowhere efforts to connect to south-east Asia by rail and road.
In fact, feelers for this have been unmistakable coming from China on and off and we should be smart enough to make the best of them rather than feel threatened and besieged.
After Mongolia and Russia, China has its longest border with us and that too in arguably in one of the most geologically challenging parts of the world. The Himalayan glaciers are melting faster than anyone expected them to and our major river systems, on which millions depend, are seriously endangered.
At the end of the day, we need to accept that we can never hope to mitigate the impact of climate change without China’s cooperation. So, what should we do?
For a start, we’d do well to acknowledge that we seriously erred in making an enemy of China in the first place and worse, sustaining the hostility for over a half a century and more.
Now that much of the evidence is in, the 1962 border war with China appears to have been as much our fault as it was China’s — if we are mature enough to accept that. This is not just Neville Maxwell’s view but that of most experts except, unsurprisingly our own.
Going by the border settlements China has arrived at with Russia and Vietnam, a final deal with it should not be bad for us either. All that is possible if we woke up to the realities of geo-politics and displayed a willingness to settle instead of continuing to whip up public opinion against giving up, ‘even an inch of our territory,’ in a possible settlement.
Let’s be partners
We have big lessons to learn from China. It has come out of nowhere to challenge the United States for global supremacy in every area. China’s universities and research establishments are among the very best in the world and it has practically licked the kind of poverty and illiteracy that is endemic in our country. Clearly, those are the areas we need to best China!
Unfortunately, we live in denial about China and refuse to accept how much we stand to gain by actively partnering rather than confronting it. It is no longer news that China is the world’s factory for everything from toys to smart phones and laptops; less well known is the fact that it has quietly overtaken South Korea and Japan as the world’s leading shipbuilder.
China has also has emerged as the global leader in DNA sequencing and is placed only next to the US in nano technology; India by contrast, is placed a lowly seventh.
Utterly lacking in home-grown expertise required to understand China, we continue to see it through western eyes and remain wary of a country that we have less reasons to fear, and many more to partner and ensure that the 21st century witnesses an Indian-Asian miracle and not just a Chinese one.
1. Sclerotic (adjective): is something which is related to sclerosis tissue (which results in diabetics or hepatitis, etc.) or to become rigid and unresponsive in nature.
Synonym: Crippled, Sick, arthritic, paralytic
Antonym: Healthy, steady, Hardened, Malleable
Sentence: His wound has hit the sclerotic coat of the outside layer of the membrane of the eyeball, which is hard to repair.
2. Quasi (adjective): Something which is almost or has reached to a certain extent.
Synonym: Apparently, Seemingly, would-be, virtual
Antonym: Entire, whole, total, dissimilar
Sentence: I am aware of the quasi-denial of my parents’ affirmation to my passion for acting.
3. Shoring (noun):It refers to the process of supporting a building a vessel, structure or trench with shores (props) when in danger of collapse or during repairs or alterations*(source: Wikipedia).
It can be also used as a verb which means to ‘reinforce or strengthen’ something.
Synonym: Support, fortify, underpin, bolster up
Antonym: Weaken, release, discourage, dissuade
Sentence: The party was shoring before the police arrived.
4. Fickle (adjective): Something which changes very frequently.
Synonym: Capricious, arbitrary, whimsical, unfaithful
Antonym: Reliable, cognizant, steady, faithful
Sentence: We should always be alert from the fickle standards of our friends.
5. Peaked (adjective): It refers to reaching the highest point.
Synonym: Climax, culminate, reach the zenith, pointed
Antonym: Pointless, bottoms, depressions, lows
Sentence: As I was reading the chapters of the new Harry Potter book, my interest towards the characters peaked.
6. Besieged (verb): means to be surrounded or captured with a force.
Synonym: Encircle, confine, beset, trap
Antonym: Unenclosed, aided, carefree, freewheeling
Sentence: The reporters besieged the politician in order to inquire about the acquisitions made by his party on him.
7. Threatened (verb): to take hostile action against something or to cause risk to someone.
Synonym: Vulnerable, warned, unprotected, jeopardized
Antonym: Guarded, protected, safe, invulnerable
Sentence: The terrorists have threatened the safety and integrity of the nation.
8. Endemic (adjective): is a condition which is regularly found in a particular region or restricted to a certain place.
Synonym: Native, local, regional, indigenous
Antonym: Foreign, alien, exotic, cosmopolitan
Sentence: The endemic corruption in the local government hospital is one of the main causes of rising organ theft.
9. Licked (verb): to taste a little amount or to overcoming something decisively.
Synonym: Stroke, smack, whiff, hint
Antonym: Undefeated, glob, lot, reams
Sentence: He has licked so many asses to reach up to this position.
10. Utterly (adjective): Something which is absolute or complete, without a hint of doubt.
Synonym: Entirely, thoroughly, implicitly, undisputedly
Antonym: Inadequately, partially, partly, incompletely
Sentence: It is an utterly nonsense attitude of the people who do not wish to stand for the national anthem.
Question (1-5): Answer the following as directed.
1. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘erred’
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word means to make a mistake or do something wrong. Among the given options, option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
2. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘endangered’
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word means thatsomeone (a species) is seriously at risk of extinction. Among the given options, option (2) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
3. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘mitigate’
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word implies to weaken or lighten something. Among the given options, option (1) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
4. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘conjured’
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word means to appeal or to ask something. This makes option (3) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.
5. Find out the words which mean the same as ‘phobia’
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word refers to the state of fear. Therefore, among the given options, option (1) is the right choice as the synonym of the word given in the options.