The Hindu Editorials with Vocabulary (04 – 07 – 2017)

Mentor for Bank Exams
The Hindu Editorials with Vocabulary (04 – 07 – 2017)
A) OPEN ACRES: The new hydrocarbon policy makes exploration more attractive for investors
The recently unveiled Open Acreage Licensing Policy and the National Data Repository together are a significant and welcome step towards opening up the hydrocarbon exploration and production industry in India. By placing greater discretion in the hands of explorers and operators, the Licensing Policy attempts to address a major drawback in the New Exploration Licensing Policy, which forced energy explorers to bid for blocks chosen by the government. Companies can now apply for particular areas they deem to be attractive to invest in, and the Centre will put those areas up for bids. This is more attractive for prospective operators because in the past, the blocks chosen by the government often were large swathes of land or sea in which only a small fraction had hydrocarbon reserves. By offering companies the freedom to choose exactly the areas they want to explore, and their size, the government has a better chance to woo serious energy investors in an effort to help achieve a more cohesive framework of the country’s energy security. Tied to this is the National Data Repository, which is envisagedas a centralised database of geological and hydrocarbon information that will be available to all. Besides allowing potential investors to make informed decisions, this will open up a new sector in India. There are a number of companies around the world that make it their business to simply explore hydrocarbon basins and sell the information they gather. The new initiative seeks toincentivise such prospectors. Companies may also submit applications through the year and not just at designated and often infrequent points, as was the case earlier. The Directorate General of Hydrocarbons has said that while the auctions will be held twice a year for now, the frequency could be increased as soon as the industry grows accustomed to the new system. This, too, will lend more flexibility to the industry. However, there are still some concerns about the implementation of the overall Hydrocarbon Exploration and Licensing Policy. The policy awards an extra five points to bidders for an acreage if they have already invested in the exploration and development of that area, but it is doubtful if this is enough of an incentive, since the investment needed to simply explore is significant. By contrast, no such preference is given to mineral explorers while auctioning mining rights — instead, a revenue-share from mining operations is their recompense for exploration efforts. This could be considered for the hydrocarbon sector as well. Another concern is whether India can attract enough investment to meet the government’s objective of reducing oil imports by 10% by 2022, especially given the past experience investors have had with large projects such as KGD6. There are after all proven reserves in other parts of the world, such as the Gulf of Mexico, that could still keep investor appetite for Indian acreage weak.
B) THE DELTA MIRACLE: The steady loss of mangroves in the Sundarbans makes conservation efforts vital
Fresh evidence of loss of forest cover in the Indian Sundarbans, which represent a third of the largest contiguous mangrove ecosystem in the world, is a reminder that an accelerated effort is necessary to preserve them. Long-term damage to the highly productive mangroves on the Indian side occurred during the colonial era, when forests were cut to facilitate cultivation. As a recent Jadavpur University study has pointed out, climate change appears to be an emerging threat to the entire 10,000 sq km area that also straddles Bangladesh towards the east, and sustains millions of people with food, water and forest products. There is also a unique population of tigers that live here, adapted to move easily across the land-sea interface. The Sundarbans present a stark example of what loss of ecology can do to a landscape and its people, as islands shrink and sediment that normally adds to landmass is trapped upstream in rivers by dams and barrages; such a loss is not compensated by the limited benefits available elsewhere in the islands from additions. As a confluence zone of freshwater brought by the big Himalayan rivers and high concentrated salinity, these islands are a crucible of biodiversity that helps the 4.5 million that live on the Indian side. It is remarkable, for instance, that the mangrove tree species, including the Sundari, which has historically helped the local economy in the construction of boats and bridges, make up as much as a third of the global trove of such trees. Understandably, the region has attracted a large number of settlers, and the population within Indian boundaries has risen from 1.15 million in 1951 to 4.4 million six decades later. Parts of the Sundarbans are legally protected as national parks and sanctuaries, and there is a special focus on tiger conservation. Yet, its future now depends on local actions that will protect the banks from erosion, and policies that address the pressures created on natural resources by lack of human development. Suggestions for fortification against erosion on the lines of the dikes in The Netherlands merit scientific evaluation. Strengthening them with endemic plant and tree species that can thrive in changing salinity conditions can provide co-benefits to local communities. Carefully considered ecotourism holds the potential to raise awareness and funds, since the Sundarbans harbour a raft of bird and animal species. There is also a strong case for international climate finance to be channelled to India and Bangladesh for the region’s preservation, given its global uniqueness. It is vital that local communities are pulled out of poverty, which would also relieve the pressure on natural resources. Climate research and social science thus have asynergistic role in giving the Sundarbans a greater chance of survival.
WORDS/ VOCABULARY
1) Unveiled
Meaning: Show or announce publicly for the first time.
Example: The Home Secretary has unveiled plans to crack down on crime.
Synonyms: Make Known, Publish.
Antonyms: Conceal, Cover.
2) Discretion
Meaning: The freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation.
Example: The Local authorities should use their discretion in setting the charges.
Synonyms: Choice, Option.
Antonyms: Neglect, Omission.
3) Bid for
Meaning: Offer to do (work) for a stated price; tender for.
Example: Nineteen companies have indicated their intention to bid for the contract.
Synonyms: Make An Offer Of.
4) Swathes
Meaning: A broad strip or area of something.
Example: Vast swathes of countryside.
5) Woo
Meaning: Seek the favour, support, or custom of.
Example: Political parties have roped in Hollywood stars only to woo the young.
Synonyms: Try to win, Seek the favour of.
6) Cohesive
Meaning: Characterized by or causing cohesion.
Example: Each parish was formerly a cohesive unit.
Synonyms: sticky, sticking.
Antonyms: Detached, Separated.
7) Envisaged
Meaning: A desirable future event.
Example: The Rome Treaty envisaged free movement across frontiers.
Synonyms: Foresee, Predict.
8) Incentivise
Meaning: Motivate or encourage (someone) to do something.
Example: The government incentivises people to move in that direction.
Synonyms: EncourageAct as a fillip to.
9) Bidders
Meaning: A person or organization making a formal offer for something, especially at an auction.
Example: She was the highest bidder for this rare portrait.
10) Acreage
Meaning: An area of land, typically when used for agricultural purposes, but not necessarily measured in acres.
Example: A 35 per cent increase in net acreage.
Synonyms: Dimensions, Measurements.
11) Recompense
Meaning: Make amends to (someone) for loss or harm suffered; compensate.
Example: offenders should recompense their victims.
Synonyms: Indemnify, Repay.
12) Appetite
Meaning: A strong desire or liking for something.
Example:  Australians love to watch sport but they are losing their appetite to play it.
Synonyms:  Like, Love.
13) Contiguous
Meaning: Next or together in sequence.
Example: Five hundred contiguous dictionary entries.
Synonyms: Adjacent, Adjoining.
Antonyms: Divided, Separated.
14) Straddles
Meaning: Extend across or be situated on both sides of.
Example: a mountain range straddling the Franco-Swiss border.
Synonyms: be situated on both sides of.
15) Fortification
Meaning: A defensive wall or other reinforcement built to strengthen a place against attack.
Example: It was built about 1370 as part of the fortifications on the east wall of the city.
Synonyms: Rampart, Defensive wall.
16) Ecotourism
Meaning: Tourism directed towards exotic natural environments, intended to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.
Example: Costa Rica has pioneered what’s now become known as ecotourism, travelling in harmony with nature.
17) Raft
Meaning: A dense flock of swimming birds or mammals.
Example: This area affords excellent views of Burrard Inlet and rafts of offshore ducks.
18) Pulled out
Meaning: Withdraw from an undertaking.
Example: He was forced to pull out of the championship because of an injury.
Synonyms: Withdraw, Resign.
19) Synergistic
Meaning: Relating to the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects.
Example: The synergistic interaction of mind and body.