English Questions: Vocabulary Set 333

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The Hindu : Checks and balance: On EVMs

In a significant and welcome change from their earlier demand for a return to paper ballots, representatives of a large section of the mainstream Opposition parties met the Election Commission (ECI) to demand changes to the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail counting process during the general elections. Returning to paper ballots will be regressive. The Electronic Voting Machine process, despite the plethora of grievances about its functioning from the Opposition parties, is a major improvement over paper-based voting. There has been no evidence of EVM-tampering as claimed by some parties, and administrative and technical safeguards instituted by the ECI and EVM manufacturers have held steady since the introduction of the EVM. Despite this, the ECI had fast-tracked the implementation of the VVPAT, an adjunct to the EVM that allows for a paper trail for voting and later verification of the electronically registered mandate in the ballot unit of the EVM. VVPATs are now deployed in all Assembly and parliamentary elections with EVMs. This implementation has not been without some misgivings. The Opposition’s demand for a count of 50% of the VVPAT slips, as opposed to the current system of counting VVPAT slips in one randomly selected booth of each constituency, is aimed at ensuring that EVMs have not been tampered with. ECI safeguards are robust enough to prevent this, but VVPAT recounts could eliminate any remaining doubt about possible “insider fraud” by errant officials or manufacturers.

While the demand to count half of all the slips is an over-reaction, as a scientifically and randomly chosen sample of booths is a reasonable enough verification for the process, there remains the question whether counting one booth per constituency is a statistically significant sample to rule out errors. A more robust sampling technique that factors in the average size of the electorate in any constituency for each State and voter turnout, involving the counting of more than a single booth in some States, may be a better method. The ECI’s response that it is waiting for a report on this from the Indian Statistical Institute should be encouraging. The other issue with the VVPAT is more significant: machine glitches. During the parliamentary by-elections in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and Assembly elections in Karnataka in 2018, VVPAT glitches resulted in machine replacement rates rising to 20% and 4%, respectively. Glitches in the VVPAT machines were largely due to spooling issues in the print unit, which was sensitive to extreme weather. Some hardware-related changes were introduced, which improved its functioning in the recent elections in five States. Machine replacement rates due to VVPAT failures came down to 1.89% for Chhattisgarh. Deployment of improved machines should help curb glitches in the Lok Sabha elections.

1. Regressive (adjective) : प्रतिगामी

Meaning – returning to a former or less developed state; characterized by regression.

Synonym – backsliding,going back ,reverting

Antonym – progressive,developed,forward-looking

Usage
The tax system as a whole has thus become both increasingly regressive and increasingly unsupportive of family formation.

2. Plethora (noun) : बहुतायत

Meaning – a large or excessive amount of something.

Synonym – abundance,excess

Antonym – deficiency,lacking,scarcity,undersupply

Usage
Whatever the reason, the plethora of choices has increased the brutally competitive environment for fast-food restaurants in the past year.

3. Steady (adjective) : नियमित

Meaning – constant,unchanging, regular, even, and continuous in development, frequency, or intensity.

Synonym – constant,fixed,abiding

Antonym – unstable,dodgy,insecure

Usage
A steady growth in the popularity of two smaller parties may upset the polls.

4. Adjunct (noun/adjective) : सहायक

Meaning – a thing added to something else as a supplementary rather than an essential part.

Synonym – accessory,add-on,supplement

Antonym – subtraction,detriment

Usage
Insomnia can be successfully treated with therapeutic touch as an adjunct to other relaxation techniques.

5. Deployed (verb) : तैनात

Meaning – bring into effective action./move (troops or equipment) into position for military action.

Synonym – station,dispose,install

Antonym – disarrange,displace

Usage
Riot police are being deployed throughout the city to prevent any trouble.

6. Misgivings (noun) :गलतफहमी

Meaning – a feeling of doubt or apprehension about the outcome or consequences of something.

Synonym – qualm,doubt,reservation

Antonym – confidence,assurance,belief

Usage
My only misgiving is that we might not have enough time to do the job properly

7. Errant (adjective) :भटकIनेवाला

Meaning – erring or straying from the accepted course or standards.

Synonym – aberrant,delinquent

Antonym – orderly,normal

Usage
An errant husband is one who leaves his wife for other women.

8. Rule out (verb) : खारिज करना

Meaning – exclude,eliminate, deem ineffective

Synonym – ban,debar,exclude

Antonym – accept,include

Usage
Pragmatism does not rule out any theory about what makes a community better.

9. Spooling (verb) : अटेरन

Meaning – wind (magnetic tape, thread, etc.) on to a spool.

Synonym – rolling,coiling

Antonym – unwind

Usage
The tin wire was spooled after it was used.

10. Glitches (noun) : गड़बड़

Meaning – a sudden, usually temporary malfunction or fault of equipment.

Synonym – fault,problem,bug

Antonym – perfection, in proper order

Usage
This minor glitch has turned into a humongous problem for the airline.