The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary– July 16, 2021; Day 101
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The importance of reading editorials of reputed newspapers is not hidden from anybody. What causes obstruction are difficult words which act like speed-breakers forcing you to either refer to a dictionary for its meaning or simply guess it. While getting the meaning from the dictionary is the best way to understand it, sometimes a dictionary is not within your reach. Also, a number of aspirants get confused when they see more than one meaning next to a word in a dictionary. It becomes a difficult process for them to pick the relevant meaning.

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We at PracticeMock understand this and that’s why we have come up with a series of Editorials’ Difficult Words where we shortlist the important editorials of the day and pick the difficult words/ phrases therein. Next to the word, we put only the contextual sense of the word/ phrase so that you don’t get confused. Now let’s go through today’s editorial.

Difficult Word/ PhraseContextual Sense
Precarity the state of being uncertain
Levy an act of levying a tax, fee, or fine
Reel under To struggle to deal with some oppressive or difficult burden or responsibility
Spiral show a continuous and dramatic increase
Dog follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently
Mainstay the most important part of something, providing support for everything else
Disconcertingly in a way that makes someone feel uncertain and uncomfortable or worried
Unabated without any reduction in intensity or strength
Traction the extent to which a product, idea, etc., gains popularity or acceptance
Looming appear as a vague form, especially one that is large or threatening
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Growing precarity (the state of being uncertain): On fuel prices and rising inflation

Fuel levies (an act of levying a tax, fee, or fine) must be cut to ease the burden on consumers reeling under (to struggle to deal with some oppressive or difficult burden or responsibility) rising inflation

The latest inflation data based on retail and wholesale prices are yet again flashing cautionary signals as spiralling (show a continuous and dramatic increase) costs continue to dog (follow (someone or their movements) closely and persistently) the pandemic-hit economy. CPI-based inflation stayed stuck above the RBI’s 6% upper bound for the second straight month, with June’s provisional annualised 6.26% only a touch slower than the six-month high pace of 6.3% registered in May. Inflation at the retail level was largely propelled by sharp increases in key food item prices including oils and fats, which surged almost 35% from a year earlier and gained 2.9% from May’s levels, as also egg, which jumped 19.4% year-on-year and 6.2% from the preceding month, and pulses and products, which climbed 10% from June 2020. As RBI officials reviewing the State of the Economy in the central bank’s monthly Bulletin released on Thursday observed, fuel inflation, which excludes petrol and diesel, surged to a record 12.7% in June driven by LPG, kerosene and the rural poor’s mainstay (the most important part of something, providing support for everything else), firewood and dung-cake. And, disconcertingly (in a way that makes someone feel uncertain and uncomfortable or worried), LPG and kerosene prices have also registered increases so far in July. Transport costs remain persistently high as both petrol and diesel prices continue to rise, with the former now averaging ₹102.92 a litre in the four major metros as on July 12, and diesel at almost ₹94, according to the Bulletin article. With global crude oil trending higher, the unabated (without any reduction in intensity or strength) rise in domestic transportation costs is bound to reflect in retail prices of farm produce and products shipped from factories.

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Wholesale price inflation also stayed stubbornly high at 12.07% in June, after May’s record 12.94%, as price gains in the fuel and power category soared 32.8% annually, and those of manufactured products edged up to 10.88%. Medium and small-scale industrial units, already struggling to cope with the pandemic’s impact on demand and overall finances, now face rising raw material and input costs. With manufacturing activity contracting in June for the first time in 11 months as per IHS Markit’s PMI, the economy is visibly struggling to regain traction (the extent to which a product, idea, etc., gains popularity or acceptance) in the wake of the second wave, which has eroded demand and consumptive capacity in both urban and rural markets. Add to this the looming (appear as a vague form, especially one that is large or threatening) possibility that this year’s monsoon rains may be less than adequate, either temporally or spatially, disrupting agricultural output and the outlook for both inflation and growth gets significantly clouded. With cumulative rainfall since June 1 being 5% below average and 12 weather subdivisions spanning 37% of the country’s area experiencing deficient rainfall as on July 15, and the pandemic still nowhere near under control, the risk of precarity and hardship rising in the rural hinterland is very real. The Government must, at the very least, cut fuel taxes to ease the burden on consumers.

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Hope you got to know some new words/phrases which will definitely be useful in the English section of upcoming competitive exams. Wishing you all the best for your preparation!

Want to improve your vocabulary further? Download the Lists of Word-Meanings of Previous Months here.

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