The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary – Set 26

The Hindu Editorial Vocabulary Words with Meanings for various Exams: SBI PO/Clerk, IBPS PO/Clerk, RRB, RBI, LIC, NABARD, SEBI, SSC, UPSC, IPPB, etc.

We are providing vocabulary words from the Editorial articles The Hindu newspaper which is important for all upcoming competitive exams. Add some more words to your English vocabulary words list.


TOPIC – A new framework around caste and the census

Enumerating, describing, and understanding the population of a society and what people have access to, and what they are excluded from, is important not only for social scientists but also for policy practitioners and the government. In this regard, the Census of India, one of the largest exercises of its kind, enumerates and collects demographic and socio­economic information on the Indian population. However, no data exists in a vacuum. It has its own history, context, and purpose. The synchronous decennial Census going back to the colonial exercise of 1881 has evolved over time and has been used by the government, policymakers, academics, and others to capture the Indian population, its access to resources, and to map social change. However, as early as the 1940s, W.W.M. Yeatts, Census Commissioner for India for the 1941 Census, had pointed out that, “the census is a large, immensely powerful, but blunt instrument unsuited for specialised enquiry”. This point has also surfaced in later critiques offered by scholars who consider the Census as both a data collection effort and a technique of governance, but not quite useful enough for a detailed and comprehensive understanding of a complex society. As historian and anthropologist Bernard Cohn had demonstrated, the Census may in fact produce an imagination of society, which suggests the epistemological complexities involved. While the usefulness of the Census cannot be disregarded, for instance with regard to the delimitation exercise, there is a lack of depth where some issues are concerned. In this context, the discussion around caste and its enumeration have been controversial. Since Independence, aggregated Census data on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on certain parameters such as education have been collected. With demands to conduct a full­scale caste census gaining traction over time, some have seen the inclusion of broader caste information as a necessity to capture contemporary Indian society and to understand and remedy inequalities, while others believe that this large administrative exercise of capturing caste and its complexities is not only difficult but also socially untenable. Following decades of debate, the Socio­Economic and Caste Census (SECC) was conducted in 2011 and took a few years to complete; this was a distinct exercise from the Census of 2011. The SECC, which collected the first figures on caste in Census operations since 1931, is the largest exercise of the enumeration of caste. It has the potential to allow for a mapping of inequalities at a broader level. It would be disingenuous to ignore the emotive element of caste and the political and social repercussions of a caste census. There have been concerns that counting caste may help solidify or harden identities, or that caste may be context-specific, and thus difficult to measure. These discussions along with various counter-arguments are not new. Commenting on the 1941 Census, Census Commissioner Yeatts observed that, “Thanks to the acute interest in community figures, practically all communities this time were census­ conscious and took pains to see that their houses were in the list and that they themselves were counted.” In discussions around caste, scholars such as Nicholas Dirks and Cohn have demonstrated that the Census had the effect of marking outcaste and community in the forms we see today. The other concern is whether an institution such as caste can even be captured completely by the Census. Questions remain on whether the SECC is able to cover the effects of caste as an aspect of Indian social structure in everyday life, or at least to illuminate our understanding of its impact at varying scales — from the local to the regional and to the national scale. Can the SECC take into account the nuances that shape caste and simultaneously the ways in which caste shapes everyday life in India? The Census and the SECC have different purposes. Since the Census falls under the Census Act of 1948, all data are considered confi­dential, whereas according to the SECC website, “all the personal information given in the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) is open for use by Government departments to grant and/or restrict benefits to households”.


The Hindu Editorial Words with meanings, synonyms, and antonyms 


Enumerating (verb) – Mention (a number of things) one by one

Synonyms – itemize, compute, recite, cataloging, reckoning

Antonyms – adumbrate, break up, clutter, confuse, disorder


Synchronous (adjective) – Occurring or existing at the same time

Synonyms – concurrent, contemporaneous, simultaneous, coeval, coinciding

Antonyms – asynchronous, anachronic, serial, Jurassic, obsolete, primeval


Immensely (adverb) – To an exceedingly great extent or degree

Synonyms – hugely, tremendously, vastly, terrifically, majorly

Antonyms – little, hardly, barely, kinda, miniaturely


Blunt (adjective) – Characterized by directness in manner or speech

Synonyms – dull, deaden, abrupt, brusque, curt

Antonyms – sharp, polite, enliven, subtle, circuitous


Epistemological (adjective) – Relating to the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion

Synonyms – philosophy

Antonyms – in the dark


Traction (noun) – The act of drawing or the state of being drawn

Synonyms – grip, pull, tension, friction, adhesion

Antonyms – slipperiness, repulsion, berth, chemise, devilry


Untenable (adjective) – Incapable of being defended or justified

Synonyms – indefensible, unsustainable, fallacious, flimsy, sophistic

Antonyms – arguable, sensible, genuine, condign, equitable


Disingenuous (adjective) – Not straightforward or candid

Synonyms – deceitful, dishonest, duplicitous, foxy, tricky

Antonyms – ingenious, honest, naïve, undistorted, amiable


Illuminate (verb) – Make free from confusion or ambiguity

Synonyms – enlighten, elucidate, clarify, crystallize, irradiate

Antonyms – darken, obscure, confuse, dim, obfuscate


Nuance (noun) – A shade of difference

Synonyms – shade, subtlety, tints, hues, dyed

Antonyms – platitudes, accuracy, agreement, conformity

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