In order to help you learn new words on a contextual basis, we have launched a new initiative in which we bring to you an article from a leading English newspaper and difficult words are highlighted in the passage. These words are explained at the end of the passage with their usage as well. In this article, you will get an article from ‘The Hindu’ (dated October 25th, 2016) and words contained therein. You must go through them and enrich your vocabulary base.
Article: The Perils of Plastic
The data breach at 19 Indian banks that has led to more than 32 lakh debit cards being blocked or recalled is a wake-up call for the banking industry. While the actual number of complaints received so far, 641, and the sum of money that appears to have been fraudulently withdrawn, Rs.1.3 crore, are both small relative to the scale of the potential data theft, it is disconcerting that it has taken almost six months for the system to officially acknowledge the incidents and initiate steps to address them. It is all the more galling since the Reserve Bank of India and its top officials have been urging bankers for quite some time to accord urgent priority to cyber security. A private bank appears to have been a point of entry for the data criminals who, according to reports, may have infiltrated using malware at ATMs operated by a third-party payment services vendor. The National Payments Corporation of India has been coordinating investigations into the incident, and a forensic audit is expected to reveal preliminary findings soon. For the government and the banking regulator, much is at stake as the two have sought to move in concert to harness the digital revolution to advance socio-economic policy objectives. These include increasing financial inclusion, better targeting of subsidies through the direct benefit payments model, improving economic efficiency by lowering transaction costs, and moving toward a cashless economy so as to reduce the circulation of black money and curb tax evasion.
In this context, former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan’s comment at a recent banking technology conference is instructive: “Payment systems are the plumbing of the financial system; so long as there is no leakage or clogging, we are unaware of their functioning. But when they do back up, the situation becomes catastrophic quickly.” With banks in India having embraced technological change, the onus is on them to integrate inter-generational legacy systems across branches, ATMs and online banking networks into one seamless and secure whole. The Carbanak cyber gang’s coordinated and widespread attack, which is estimated to have cost about 100 financial institutions worldwide $1 billion, revealed that today’s criminals are using more and more sophisticated tools to access computer systems at banks. As these may gestate for several months before manifesting themselves, banks can ill-afford to be complacent and approach incidents such as the latest debit card data breach with band-aid solutions. Top managements at lenders should reappraise their cyber culture, heed warnings and alerts promptly, and address shortcomings.
1. Fraudulently (adverb): obtained, done by or involving deception, especially criminal deception / unjustifiably claiming or being credited with particular accomplishments or qualities
Synonym: deceitfully, dishonestly, deviously
Antonym: frankly, genuinely, honestly
Sentence: The money from his account has been withdrawn fraudulently by the malware set by the hackers.
2. Disconcerting (adjective): causing one to feel unsettled
Synonym: agitating, bewildering, baffling
Antonym: comforting, encouraging, glorifying
Sentence: He had a disconcerting habit of offering jobs to anyone he met over dinner.
3. Acknowledge (verb): accept or admit the existence or truth of / understand the importance of something
Synonym: admit, accept, grant, concede
Antonym: contradict, deny, refuse
Sentence: The plight of the refugees was acknowledged by the authorities at last.
4. Initiate (verb): cause a process or action to begin
Synonym: begin, launch, commence
Antonym: finish, end, close
Sentence: He proposes to initiate discussions on planning procedures.
5. Galling (adjective): causing annoyance or resentment / annoying
Synonym: aggravating, annoying, exasperating
Antonym: agreeable, pleasant, cheering, comforting
Sentence: It would be galling to lose your job because of your dispute with a customer.
6. Accord (verb): give someone power, status or recognition / be harmonious or consonant with a concept or a fact
Synonym: adapt, attune, agree
Antonym: reject, disagree, neglect
Sentence: The powers accorded to the head of the state are within the ambit of the constitution.
7. Infiltrated (verb): enter or get access to an organization of a forum surreptiously and gradually, especially to get information of secretive nature
Synonym: penetrated, permeated, pervaded
Antonym: depleted, took out, drained
Sentence: The organization has been infiltrated with informers.
8. Curb (verb): restrain or keep in check
Synonym: repress, suppress, check, control
Antonym: admit, agree, approve
Sentence: She promised in front of the office that she would curb her temper in office.
9. Evasion (noun): the action of evading something / an indirect answer / a prevaricating exercise
Synonym: escape, dodging, circumvention, avoidance
Antonym: directness, frankness, honesty
Sentence: The police were irritated with their adroit evasion of all the questions thrown at them during the interrogation.
10. Onus (noun): Something that is someone’s duty or responsibility
Synonym: burden, blame, culpability
Antonym: advantage, blank, blessing
Sentence: The onus is on you now to prove to the court that you have not committed the crime.
Question (1-5): Answer the questions as directed.
1. Find the word that means the same as ‘apparent’
Solution: Option (3)
Explanation: The given word means that something is obvious or evident. Among the given options, option (3) means that something is evident from the given facts and that makes it the right choice among the given options.
2. Find the word that means the same as ‘abominable’
- Other than those given in options
Solution: Option (4)
Explanation: The given word means that something is detestable or repugnant. Among the given options, ‘odious’ refers to the same and that makes it the right choice among the given options.
3. Find the word that means the same as ‘allay’
Solution: Option (2)
Explanation: The given word means that somebody is pacifying somebody or soothing somebody to give some relief in grief. Among the given options, option (2) refers to the same and that is why, it is the right choice among the given options.
4. Find the word that means the opposite as ‘axiom’
Solution: Option (5)
Explanation: The given word means a saying or maxim or dictum. Among the given options, only option (5) means that something is irrelevant or a blunder and that makes it the right choice among the given options.
5. Find the word that means the opposite as ‘abjure’
Solution: Option (1)
Explanation: The given word means to forsake or renounce something for some reason. Among the given options, option (1) means to approve something and that is why, it is the right choice among the given options.