General Terminology


Abdication: When a King leaves the throne of his own accord, he is said to have abdicated. His act is called abdication.

Ad Hoc Committee: is a committee constituted for a special purpose.

Adult Franchise: The right of voting in election granted to every adult male or female, without distinction of caste, creed or colour. Also called Adult Suffrage.

Affidavit: a written declaration of evidence on oath (to pledge one’s faith).

Agricultural Revolution: The transition from feudal to modern farming practices is referred to as agricultural revolution. It does not necessarily mean some “sudden’’ or rapid changes. It may be evolutionary in character. Like the well-known industrial revolution, some countries have experienced “agricultural revolution’’. Recently, the “Green Revolution’’ witnessed in India is a case in point.

Air Pollution: means fouling up of the atmosphere as a result of discharge into it of noxious and even poisonous fumes, produced by automotive transportation, industries, nuclear explosions etc. The problem has recently assumed alarming proportions and is presently engaging the attention of scientists all over the world.

Alma mater: is the university or school where you were or are being educated. The phrase actually means ‘foster mother’.

Ambassador: a diplomatic envoy of the highest order sent by one State to another. High Commissioner: is the designation given to the highest diplomatic representative of one Commonwealth country in another.

Amnesty: a general pardon. On important national occasions like the Republic Day in India, government may declare amnesty for political prisoners. Sometimes when a new government takes over, it grants amnesty to political prisoners sympathetic to itself.

Amortization: In finance, the term denotes repayment of a debt by monthly instalments which include part of the principal and interest due. In accounting, amortization means writing off of an account over a number of years.

Anachronism: an error assigning a thing to an earlier age than it belongs to; anything out of keeping with chronology.

Anarchy: Complete absence of government or the rule of law. Anarchists hold that, “Every man should be his own government, his own law, his own church.” They oppose all restrictions. They want every body to be free to act as he likes.

Antitrust: Policy of a government to deal with monopoly. Antitrust laws aim to stop abuses of market power by big companies.

Antyodaya: It is a socio-economic scheme to banish poverty. The idea is simply that the man on the last rung of the economic ladder should be helped to rise above the poverty line. The novelty lies in the manner in which the problem is sought to be tackled. Five “poorest” families are being selected in each village and helped to become resource-generating units. Then the next five families are selected and so on.

Apartheid: it is a word from the Afrikaans language. The language is spoken in South Africa. Its literal meaning is “apart-hood’’. The word is used to describe the policy of keeping the white and the black people separate from each other. It also means favouring one race at the cost of another.

Appeasement: The policy of constantly trying to placate the neighbour country and keep at bay the forces of belligerency.

Arbitrage: Buying an asset in one market and simultaneously selling an identical asset in another market at a higher price. Sometimes these will be identical assets in different markets, for instance, shares in a company listed on both the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange.

Arithmedical density: Number of persons expressed in terms of unit area of agricultural land is known as Arithmedical Density.

Armistice: suspension of hostilities by agreement between countries at war in order to begin peace negotiations.

Asylum: means a place of refuge or protection.

Autarky: The idea that a country should be self-sufficient and not take part in international trade.

Autonomy: power or right of self-government.

Baily’s beads: Just before a total solar eclipse, sun’s light is seen in form of beads, caused by light passing through the valleys on the edge of the moon. The name is after Francis Baily, who discovered the phenomenon.

Balance of Payments: It is a statement of all goods, services, and investments or other money payments that flow in and out of a country during a given period.

Balance of Power: Some people believe that rival States should build up equal military strength. According to them, it is necessary for keeping the peace. It is called the theory of “balance of power’’.

Balance of Trade: The difference between the visible exports and visible imports of two countries in trade with each other is called balance of trade. If the difference is positive, the balance of trade (or of payment) is called favourable balance of trade (or of payment) and if negative, it is called unfavourable balance of trade (or of payment).

Bamboo Curtain: The People’s Republic of China is governed by communists. They do not allow free access to, or exit from the Chinese mainland. The restrictions are referred to as the bamboo curtain.

Bank Rate: It is the rate of interest charged by the Reserve Bank of India for lending money to commercial banks.

Bankruptcy: When a court judges that a debtor is unable to make the payments owed to a creditor(s).

Barter: direct exchange of commodities, as opposed to exchange of goods or money.

Barysphere: is the innermost layer of the earth.

Basel 1 & 2: A set of international banking regulations put forth by the Basel Committee on Bank supervision, which set out the minimum capital requirements of financial institutions with the goal of minimizing credit risk.

Basis point: One one-hundredth of a percentage point. Small movements in the interest rate, the exchange rate and bond yields are often described in terms of basis points.

Beta: Part of an economic theory for valuing financial securities, it measures the sensitivity of the price of a particular asset to changes in the market as a whole.

Bharatavani: is India’s first and largest multilingual dictionary in the form of a mobile app. The app, currently featuring 35 multilingual dictionaries, lets users search for text of one language in other languages.

Bilateral: Something which involves two parties. If two countries enter into a mutual defence pact, it will be a bilateral defence pact. But in case more than two countries do it, the agreement among them will be a multilateral agreement.

Bioinformatics: Application of information technology to the study of biological data and problems.

Bioremediation: Use of biotechnology in pollution control measures.

Biosphere reserve: Multi-purpose protected area for preserving genetic diversity.

Blackmail: to extort money or to force somebody to act under threat of defamation of physical violence.

Black Market: selling goods at a higher price with a profiteering motive by creating artificial scarcity by means of hoarding etc.

Black Money: means unaccounted money, concealed income and undisclosed wealth. In order to evade taxes, some people falsify their accounts and do not record all transactions in their books. The money which thus remains unaccounted for and is illegally accumulated is called “black money’’. Such money is usually spent on bribes and conspicuous consumption.

Blood Bank: It is a storing place of reserve blood kept for emergency transfusion. Persons donating blood are generally between 21 and 50 years of age, with negative history of AIDS, syphilis, chronic alcoholism and recent illness.

Blue Chip: This is the common stock of a large, reputed corporation which has a stable and least risky growth path. The stocks of such a corporation, typical blue-chip stocks, are high-priced.

Blue-stocking: A term used to describe a learned or a literary woman. The term is derived from a literary club in England whose members were distinguished by their blue stockings.

Bluetooth Technology: It is a specification for a small-form factor, low-cost radio solution providing links between mobile computers, mobile phones and other portable handheld devices, and connectivity to the Internet. The name comes from the Viking Harald Blattland or Harald Bluetooth, who unified Denmark and Norway in the 10th century. Using this technology, a portable phone can talk to a refrigerator, a coffee pot can start up the car.

Bolshevism: Form of revolutionary socialism in Russia based on economic theories of Karl Marx, generally known as communism.

Bond: It is a certificate issued by a government or a business company promising to pay back with interest money it has borrowed.

Book value: The cash value of the physical assets of a company, calculated at the values at which they were acquired, minus the liabilities payable to those having prior claims, such as debenture holders, represents the book value of the assets. This also shows the proportion of the money which would accrue to each shareholder of the outstanding capital.

Boom: It is a period of rapid economic growth, when production, consumption, and employment are high and growing. A boom is also called a period of prosperity.

Bootlegging: is to deal in prohibited goods, especially wine and liquors.

Borstal Schools: are penal reformatories where juvenile delinquents or young offenders are given education and industrial training to wean them from crime.

Boycott: breaking off social, political or economic contact. The first man to be subjected to a social boycott was one Capt Boycott of Ireland. He had thrown out a large number of his tenants from his lands. To punish him for this the Irish Land League organised a social boycott. The result was that nobody was prepared to deal with him.

Braille: system of reading and writing for the blind.

Brain Drain: When the best talents of one country are attracted to another because salary, living and working conditions etc, in the latter are more attractive, and a one-way traffic in talent starts, it is called brain drain.

Brain Trust: a group of experts in the USA, guiding or advising the government.

Brain-washing: To make a person change his views. This is done through propaganda, mental pressure or even physical torture.

Broadband: It refers to the transmission medium or the physical connection with which users can access the Internet. It is the capability of supporting, in both the provider to consumer (downstream) and the consumer to provider (upstream) a speed (bandwidth in technical terms) in excess of 200 kilobytes per second (kbps) in the last mile.

Bubble: It happens when the price of an asset rises far higher than can be explained by fundamentals.

Budget: is the statement of the receipts and expenditures of a country during a year. It is presented to the Assembly for voting. It is a sort of balance sheet of a country requiring the sanction of the legislature.

Buffer State: a small State existing between two enemy States. The existence of the small State prevents a direct conflict between enemies. It is, therefore, known as a buffer State.

Buffer Stock: The stock built up to meet requirements in emergencies e.g., when shortages occur.

Bulls and Bears: are terms used on the Stock Exchange. Bull refers to one who seeks to raise the price of stock and speculate on a rise, whereas Bears means one who sells stock for delivery at a future date anticipating fall in prices.

Bundh: Bandh or Bundh is the name given to an agitational movement aimed at paralysing all civic and business activity in a locality or region or State to emphasize the depth of popular feeling on a certain issue or issues.

Bureaucracy: is a system of government by officials responsible only to their departmental chiefs. It generally tends to become unwieldy and laborious in its working and produces red tape or over-systematization.

Buyers’ market: When supply exceeds demand so that the buyer can get things at the price he chooses to pay a buyer’s market is said to be existing.

Cabinet: a committee of ministers holding the most important portfolios. They are responsible to the legislature and they also work under a system of joint responsibility.

Call money: Currency loaned by the commercial banks to discount houses as overnight or one-week loans. It is included as part of bank’s reserve asset ratio.

Capital: It refers to factories, equipment, and property, other than land, that can be used to produce wealth. It also means money used to buy these things.

Capital Adequacy Ratio: The ratio of a Bank’s capital to its total assets.

Capital Gains: The profit from the sale of a capital asset, such as a share or a property.

Capital Goods: These are goods that can be used to produce more goods in the future.

Capitalism: It is an economic model that calls for the ownership and direction of most productive resources by private individuals. Economies based on the principles of capitalism are often called free enterprise economies.

Captive power station: Electrical power generation plant set up by an industrial unit to exclusively meet its own power requirement.

Carrot and Stick Policy: A policy which seeks to motivate people to go on working on distant hopes is called a “carrot and stick’’ policy.

Cartel: One method of monopoly formation is “cartelisation’’. In this firms having common interests combine together, although retaining their separate identity. They decide on a common price policy, marketing control of output etc. Cartels are of German origin and many were established during the inter-war period in that country.

Caveat Emptor: The meaning of the phrase is: “let the buyer see to it’’. It disclaims responsibility for buyer’s disappointment. The word Caveat has come from legal terminology, meaning, process to suspend proceeding or warning—let him beware.

Cellular Telephone: It is a movable telephone unit. It allows people to communicate over a wide area by using a combination of radio, telephone, and computer technology. The first commercial cellular system in the United States went into operation in 1983.

Censure Motion: means a motion of no-confidence in a government or a group in power.

Census: an official enumeration of inhabitants with statistics relating to them.

Centchroman: Name of the oral, once-a-week, non-hormonal contraceptive pills whose popular name in India is Saheli.

Central Planning: It is an economic model that calls for government control of all important economic activities.

Certiorari: It is a writ by which causes are removed from inferior courts to a High Court of Justice.

Charge d’ Affaires: temporary substitute for an ambassador.

Chauvinism: means absurdly extravagant regional or national patriotism, with overtones of contempt and even hatred for people of other region or countries. The word incorporates the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a French veteran soldier of the First republic, known for a demonstrative brand of loyalty.

Cheque Truncation System (CTS): It is a process that will give banks the freedom to avoid transporting a physical cheque from the presenting bank (where the cheque is deposited) to the drawee bank (where it is issued). As per the CTS, instead of a physical cheque, an electronic image of the cheque will be sent to the drawee bank.

Citizens Band Radio: It is a method of short-distance communication used by private citizens. It operates on the Citizens Band (CB), a group of radio frequencies that many nations reserve for private use. CB radio is most frequently used for conversations between places that are not linked by telephone. Many motorists and truck drivers use it to talk with other highway travellers or people who are in an office or at home.

Civil Disobedience: non-co-operation with government on an issue by not respecting civil laws without resort to violence.

Clearing House: an organization of the banks in a city for the purpose of off-setting one bank’s claim on the other by paying the difference.

Closure: a motion to stop a debate in a legislative chamber by vote of the whole house is termed as closure.

Coalition: combination of political parties. When a single political party has not won an overall majority of seats in a legislature, two or more political parties combine and form a government. Such a government is called a coalition government.

Co-existence or Peaceful Co-existence: means cordial relations between two or more countries in spite of differences in their social systems or forms of Government.

Cold War: Sometimes two countries or power blocs suspect each other. They do not fight against each other, but do everything to strenghten themselves and to weaken the opponent. This state of affairs is called cold war.

Colonial rule: rule of an independent State over an area of land which does not form its integral part and the inhabitants of which are entirely subject to the rule of that independent State.

Communism: is a political system. It believes in a classless society in which there will be no private property. The motto of social life will be “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. And finally there will be no State. Pure communism has not been achieved anywehre in the world so far.

Communism and Socialism, Difference between: The guiding principle of Socialism is, “From each according to his ability and to each according to his work.’’ Socialism admits of distinctions between classes, between mental and manual labour and between State enterprise and co-operative enterprise. It also presupposes the existence of State.

As against this, Communism is the next stage in which the State is allowed to wither away and all property vests in the community; class, labour and property distinctions disappear and social life is guided by the principle, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.’’

Compact Disc: Often called CD, it is a round, flat platter on which information is stored in the form of digital (numerical) code.

Computers: are devices capable of performing mathematical calculations on numbers or magnitudes.

Concentration Camp: a settlement for segregating persons who might be in the way of, or obnoxious to the authorities.

Condominium: Joint sovereignty exercised over a country by two or more countries. For example, before Sudan became independent in 1956, the country was under Anglo-Egyptian condominium.

Confederation: is the combination of States for a particular purpose. Units of a confederation enjoy more freedom than of a federation.

Confrontation: to come face to face. The word is also used to describe the situation where armies of two countries on the brink of war stand facing each other.

Consensus: Trend of opinion or sense of the House. Sometimes, in order to avoid an open split, the Chairman of a meeting takes the sense of the House to decide a point. This is called consensus.

Conspicuous Consumption: is said to be occurring when in order to project an image of prosperity and to show off in society, people start spending lavishly on luxuries. Such conspicuous consumption on the part of the citizens of a developing country is considered harmful for the national interest. It is looked upon as a wanton waste of resources sorely needed for development work.

Consumer Goods and Services: These are goods and services produced for current use by individuals and families. They include such goods as food and clothing and such services as medical care and education.

Consumption Tax: It is a levy on consumer goods. The objective of such a tax is not only to raise revenue but, sometimes, it is also designed to regulate consumption and even production. Sales tax, excise duties etc are illustrations.

Containment: means to hold in check. For example, the U.S.A. followed for many years a policy of containment of China in South-East Asia. Following that policy, it has tried to prevent Communist China from establishing a dominant position in South-East Asia.

Convention: a body of representative persons delegated to discuss or decide certain important questions under discussion.

Copyright: It is a right which automatically subsists in every original literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work. The Copyright Act provides that, except in certain special cases, the author of the work shall be the first owner of the copyright.

Corporation: It is a business organization formed and owned by a number of people. These people are known as stockholders.

Cost of Living Index: is a statistical device used to register changes of level in prices, wages, employment, production etc. Generally, a particular period is selected as a “base’’ period, and the value 100 arbitrarily assigned to the level of prices (or wages or employment as the case may be) ruling in that period. Then other periods are studied with reference to the “base’’ period. The cost of living index number is compiled on the basis of such costs recorded in different places over the same period of time.

Coup: the literal meaning of the word is: a violent stroke. The word is used to describe a sudden change of government brought about by illegal use of force.

Credit Squeeze: With a vast expansion of credit by banks, money supply with the public increases tremendously with a consequent pressure on demand for goods. This means a considerable pressure on prices. In order to check this trend, the Reserve Bank enforces a Credit Squeeze.

Crony Capitalism: Some companies, and even governments, are notable for awarding contracts only to family and friends. This is referred to as crony capitalism and is also considered a form of corruption.

Crossed Cheque: As distinguished from “bearer’’ or “order’’ cheques, crossed cheques are not paid at the counter, but have to be passed through accounts of the payee or of the person to whom the payee endorses such a cheque.

Curfew: in ancient times the word meant the ringing of a bell as a signal for all fires and light being put out. Now-a-days it denotes a prohibitory order against being abroad in the street between specified hours.

Currency, Floating of a: means withdrawing the fixed parity of a currency in relation to dollar or gold, and allowing it to find its own level according to the exigencies of supply and demand.

Current Account Convertability: It refers to conversion of a currency into another currency at the existing rate of all current business transactions.

Customs Duty: is a tax levied on foreign goods imported into the home country or home-made goods exported to foreign countries. (Excise Duty is a tax levied on certain commodities produced and consumed within the country).

Cyberspace: A computer generated landscape which is actually not there. When you connect your computer to cyberspace it opens up a wide variety of things you can do.

Death Duty: One way to have progressive taxation is to levy a tax on the estate of a deceased person. It may take two forms: (i) the tax may be imposed on the gross value of the estate before it is inherited by the heirs; (ii) the levy may be imposed after the heirs have divided it on the death of a person. In the former case it is called estate duty; in the latter case inheritance or succession tax.

Death Rate: is the number of persons dead per 1000 of population per unit of time.

Deficit Financing: is a process by which money is created without productive resources being augmented to back the money supply. When a Finance Minister resorts to deficit financing, the gap between the State revenues and expenditure is bridged up by drawing upon the reserves with the government or by resort to borrowing. In short, it means spending by borrowing.

Deflation: a state of decrease in money circulation resulting in low prices and unemployment.

Demagogy: means oratory aimed at swaying popular opinion in a particular direction. It has been said that demagogues seek to attract attention by playing up real or imaginary popular grievances. Therefore, they are the “mob’s lacqueys’’.

Dematerialisation: Process by which shares in the physical/paper form are cancelled and credit in the form of electronic balances are maintained at the depository.

Democracy: a form of government through representtatives elected by the people. The control is in the hands of the voters who, if dissatisfied can change their representatives—“government of the people, by the people, and for the people’’—Lincoln.

Democratic Socialism and Socialistic Democracy: A democratic socialistic society would obviously assign its first place to democratic values, and seek to establish a socialistic pattern within the framework of a parliamentary democracy. On the other hand, in socialistic democracies, the implementation of socialistic programmes and policies gets precedence over the strengthening of a truly democratic tradition. A socialist democracy, therefore, generally acquires an authoritarian character.

Democratic State: Government through representatives elected by the people.

Demonetisation: Literally; demonetisation means divesting money of value. When large accumulations of unaccounted money threaten to wreck the economy, governments sometimes resort to demonetization which means withdrawing and bringing into question currency notes of high denomination with a view to unearthing ill-gotten wealth and sterilising it.

Depression: It is an extended slump in business activity.

Deregulation: The process of removing legal or quasi-legal restrictions on the amount of competition, as also cutting the red tape.

Derivatives: Financial assets that “derive” their value from other assets.

Despotism: an arbitrary government by one vested with absolute power—a tyrant.

Detente: This term is used to denote relaxation or cessation of strained relations between States.

Devaluation: The currency of a country is primarily used for transactions within the country. It helps to serve as a medium of exchange. But when we try to sell goods abroad or buy goods from abroad, other countries will not accept settlement in terms of our rupee. We have to settle with them either in terms of gold or in terms of some standard international unit. We specify how much a sterling (£) or dollar ($) is worth in terms of our rupees and settle the exchange value accordingly. Devaluation is a term indicating a definite official downward valuation of a country’s currency in terms of its exchange value with other currencies.

Dictatorship: A form of government in which one man is vested with absolute authority e.g., rule of Hitler in pre-war Germany.

Direct Taxes: refer to income-tax levied directly on individuals on their total world income. (Taxes collected in the shape of excise duties levied on goods of daily use or consumption are called “indirect taxes’’.)

Disarmament: reduction in arms, armies, navy and air force with a view to render war less probable. The other object being utilising the money thus saved for constructive purposes.

Dividend: that which is to be divided; the share of a sum divided that fall to each individual, by way of interest or otherwise.

Dollar Diplomacy: It is a condemnatory term for diplomatic activities of the USA thought to serve the interests of American business and to further the “economic penetration’’ of other countries by the United States.

Domino Theory: According to a powerful and influential section of opinion in the US State Department, if one country in a region falls to the communists, others in the region are also bound to follow. This is called the Domino Theory.

Drop-Out: means a person who drops out of an educational institution of the social milieu. Recently this has been happening all over the world for a variety of reasons e.g., the strains built up in an acquisitive society in which “success’’ is everything; the corrosion of spiritual values in affluent societies, etc.

“Earthlock’’: Means orientation towards the earth; it is essential for uninterrupted transmission by a geo-synchronous satellite. Earthlock is ensured by the satellites sensors which “feel’’ the Earth’s radiation.

Ecological Balance: means the balance of elements necessary for life e.g., air, water etc., maintained by nature by the inter-action of living organisms and inanimate matter. Recently, in highly industrialised countries, the ecological balance has been disturbed by careless disposal of industrial wastes and abundance of exhaust fumes.

Eco Mark: The ministry of environment in 1990 decided to launch a national scheme to grant “eco mark’’ on the lines of ISI (for quality) to different products on the basis of their environment friendliness. Similar schemes exist in Germany (Blue Angel), Sweden (White Swan), Canada (Eco Logo) and Japan.

Economic Sanctions: means economic boycott by a single State of another or through collective action of States. Such boycott is effected through import and export control, shipping control, black listing, preclusive purchases, blocking of the object country’s exports etc.

E-lamp: It is a filamentless bulb that uses high frequency radio signals.

El Nino: Metrological phenomenon that originates in the Pacific Ocean and disrupts global climatic patterns, including monsoons in India. It is marked by higher sea-water temperatures and lower atmospheric pressure.

E-Mail: Electronically transmitted messages.

Embargo: ban on arrival and departure of foreign ships.

Encryption: A method of securing privacy on computer networks through use of complex algorithmic codes.

Enrichment: surrounding a particular State so that it cannot expand its frontiers.

Environmental Pollution: Centuries of growing human activities have resulted in large-scale deforestation to the point where, in many lands adjoining seacoast, only small forested areas remain. Massive erosion of soil has resulted in the loss of the original top soil, conversion of formerly fertile lands to great deserts, depletion, often to the point of extinction, of many species of animals and birds on land and fish in the sea. Degradation of coastal areas and beaches and the pouring into the sea of an ever mounting tide of poisonous wastes, have contaminated many coastal areas.

Envoy: Diplomatic Minister, inferior to an ambassador.

Equity Capital: Ordinary share capital.

Equity Shares: Equity shares or ordinary shares are those shares the holders of which take the maximum of risk as there is no guarantee of dividend in their case that is why equity capital is also called risk capital.

ERP: It is an integrated suit of application software modules providing operational, managerial and strategic information for improving productivity, quality and competitiveness.

Esperanto: It is a synthetic language using roots selected from principal European languages, and deriving a large vocabulary from them. It was devised by a Russian physician and linguisitic, Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof to make international communication easier.

Espionage: practice of spying or use of spies. It is usually a general practice of each country to keep an espionage ring to locate the military strategies of an enemy country.

Estate Duty: is a duty levied on the estate or property which changes hands on the death of a person, and has to be paid by his or her inheritors or successors.

Euro: is the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union and is the official currency of the eurozone, which consists of 17 of the 27 member States of the European Union: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. The currency is also used in a further five European countries. The euro is the second largest reserve currency as well as the second most traded currency in the world after the United States dollar.

Euthanasia: means mercy-killing or the deliberate ending of life to relieve incurable pain or disease. Recently, the British House of Lords turned down a bill seeking to make euthanasia legal.

Exchange Rate: is the price of one nation’s currency in terms of another’s currency.

Excise Duty and Customs Duty: Excise duty is a tax levied on certain commodities produced and consumed at home. Customs duty is levied on imports and exports.

Extradition: means delivering up of accused persons by one government to another—to hand over for trial or punishment to a foreign government. Ordinarily, there is no rule of international law making it incumbent upon a State to entertain such a demand (for extradition of a person) from another State. But States enter into extradition treaties with each other for such purposes.

Face Value: The value that appears on the face of a share or a bond. It is also known as par value.

Fascism: a doctrine which sets the State above the individual and gives supreme power into the hands of one man.

Fascists: The term Fascism came into force during the Second World War; Hitler and his co-workers in Germany, and Mussolini and his team in Italy, were known as Fascists. Anyone who does not follow democratic principles, has dictatorial tendencies and is intolerant of opposition views is believed to be a Fascist.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): Direct investment in production by investors from other countries, either by buying a company or establishing new operations of an existing business.

Federal State: is the State government founded upon mutual agreement in which several States, while independent in home affairs, combine for national or general purpose, or common interest in respect of matters like Defence, Customs etc.

Fiduciary Issue: is the putting in circulation of paper money which has not been covered by any reserve of bullion.

Fifth Column: term applied to people who work secretly against their own government and help the enemy.

Fiscal drag: It is the restraining effect of progressive taxation on economic expansion. It causes reduction in aggregate demand.

Flag at half mast: lowering of the flag as symbol of mourning.

Floating of Currency: means withdrawing the fixed parity of a currency in relation to dollar or gold, and allowing it to find its own level according to the exigencies of supply and demand. In the course of the last two years, for various reasons the position of the dollar in the international currency market has several times become very weak. To tide over the uncertainty, other western countries have every time had resort to floating their currencies.

Floor Crossing: When a member of the legislature leaves the opposition to join the party in power or vice versa, he or she is said to have crossed the floor. This is also called “defection” of legislators from their parties.

Footloose Industries: As contra-distinguished from the location-specific industry, the footloose one can be located anywhere because it is not bound to a particular location by specific locational requirements. Most of the cottage industries are footloose e.g., handloom industry.

Four Freedoms: President Roosevelt defined the “four essential human freedoms”as (1) Freedom of speech and expression (2) Freedom to worship God in one’s own way (3) Freedom from want (4) Freedom from fear.

Fourth Estate: By the Fourth Estate of the Realm is meant the daily Press—the newspapers. This is regarded as the most powerful of all the Estates, the others being the Lords Spiritual, the Lords Temporal and the Commons. Edmund Burke, referring to the Reporters’ Gallery in the British Parliament, is stated to have remarked: “Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, more important than them all.’’ The power of the Press has been recognised by the world’s statesmen through the ages, but in recent years the power of the Press has been shrinking owing to the intolerance of the politicians in power who have been placing all sorts of restrictions on the freedom of the Press. The Fourth Estate is consequently in chains almost throughout the world and is no longer the most powerful.

Fourth World: This term is of recent origin. It has come into existence following the abnormal increase in the price of petroleum, effected by the OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries). As we very well know, the energy crisis has adversely affected many “third world’’ countries. The group known as the “fourth world’’ comprises those countries who have further slipped down economically and who are experiencing great difficulty in servicing foreign debts due to the energy crisis. The energy crisis, it is said, has pushed India also in the “fourth world’’.

Free Port: a port where no duties are levied on articles of commerce.

Free Trade: The ability of people to undertake economic transactions with people in other countries, free from any restraints imposed by governments or other regulators.

Frequency modulation: It is the process wherein the frequency (and not the amplitude) of the carrier wave is varied in proportion to the signal to be carried by the wave. It is also known as FM.

Fringe benefits: Low or no tax benefits that companies offer in addition to the normally taxed salaries, such as free transport and health care.

General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR): These rules generally empower tax authorities to deny tax benefit on transactions or arrangements which do not have commercial substance or consideration other than achieving tax benefits.

Generation Gap, The: means the gulf that divides the old and the young in their ways of thinking, their sense of right and wrong, their ideas of virtue and vice etc. While the older generation swears by established norms in what they mean by success in life, their view of the sanctity of marriage and other social relationships, their ideas of virtuous living, the younger generation is driven by a compulsive irreverence to challenge all these values and test their relevance and validity for themselves. The conflict thus created is generally referred to as the generation gap.

Genocide: The word genocide means “deliberate examination of a race or a people’’. It was used for the first time by Prof Raphael Lemkin in 1944 in a book dealing with violations on human rights. Subsequently in 1948, the UN adopted a Convention on genocide. This Convention took effect from 12 January 1951. According to it, the signatory States confirm that genocide whether in time of peace or war is a crime under international law which they undertake to prevent and to punish. According to the Convention, genocide means any one or more of the following acts against a member of a national, racial or religious group: (1) killing members of the group; (2) causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (3) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (4) imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; (5) forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Gherao: These are tactics of coercion and intimidation by wrongful confinement adopted by agitating workmen. “Gheraos’’ have been termed illegal and banned.

Gift Tax: In order to plug the leakage of taxes through the offerings made by way of gifts by a relative to another of his kin, the Central Government introduced the Gift Tax.

Gilt-edged Securities: Stocks, interest from which is considered perfectly safe; usually government securities which are supposed to be backed by gold.

Global Positioning System (GPS): It is a satellite based digital information system that enables to find precise location of objects or places on the surface of the earth.

Gold Bonds: These were introduced on October 27, 1965. The main feature of these bonds was that gold will be returned for gold after a period of 15 years and no enquiries would be made as to how the gold had been acquired. Investment in gold bonds is exempted from wealth tax and any gift of the bonds up to 5 kgs is exempt from levy of gift tax.

Golden Handshake: Retrenchment compensation given to workers is popularly known as “golden handshake’’.

Gold Rush: Literally means a rush to a new goldfield. It can also connote a rush of customers for the yellow metal—a phenomena witnessed in London and Paris in the first quarter of 1968.

Gold Standard: is the name of a monetary system in which a fixed weight of gold, or the value of a fixed weight of gold is the standard unit. Internal gold standard means circulation of gold coins within a country. International gold standard exists when international payments are made in gold or a currency convertible into gold at a fixed price.

Green bonds: These are structured like ordinary bonds but invest in only those companies and projects that help in reducing carbon footprint— renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable waste management, sustainable land use, biodiversity conservation, clean transportation, sustainable water management and climate change adaptation.

Green GNP: Economic-environmental accounting framework which measures the national wealth by accounting for degradation of natural assets and investments in environmental improvements.

Green Revolution: refers to alleged elements of change brought about in Indian agriculture by the use of better seeds, improved implements and modern farm practices in order to quicken the progress in agriculture.

Green Room: The place of accommodation for actors and actresses when off stage.

Gross Domestic Product: It is the value of all goods and services produced within a country during a given period, regardless of who owns the production facilities.

Gross National Product: It is the value of all goods and services produced by a country during a given period, even if production facilities are in another country.

Growth Rate, Negative: According to a study of the global impact of the energy crisis carried out by the World Bank, India may produce an absolutely negative growth rate in 1974-75. This would be so because India is one of the most affected oil consumers. Both fertilisers and pesticides are petroleum-based and may be in short supply in the country.

GST: Goods and Services Tax. It is an indirect tax which was introduced in India on 1 July 2017 and was applicable throughout India. It replaced multiple cascading taxes levied by the central and State governments. It was introduced as The Constitution (One Hundred and First Amendment) Act 2017

Guerrilla Warfare: Guerrilla is a Spanish word meaning “small war’’. Guerrilla warfare is a form of war carried on by independent para-military groups against superior forces. Guerrilla bands strike from the rear or on the flanks of the enemy and then disappear in the surroundings.

Guillotine: was the machine brought into use in France in the eighteenth century for beheading condemned prisoners. Recently it was learnt that the use of the machine has been discontinued.

Gun-boat Diplomacy: means efforts to exert political pressure through show of force to gain a desired diplomatic objective. As for example, the USA despatched its Seventh Fleet near the Bay of Bengal while the Indian and Pakistani forces were locked in an armed conflict in Bangladesh. The presence of the Seventh Fleet in the area was intended as a threat to India which in the opinion of the USA was the aggressor in the Indo-Pak conflict of December 1971.

Habeas-Corpus Act: Passed in 1679 during the reign of Charles II. It facilitates a prisoner to appear in person in a court for obtaining ‘either a speedy trial or release on bail. The act provides that no one is to be imprisoned without a writ or warrant stating the charges.

Hallstein Doctrine: is a doctrine of foreign-policy originally enunciated by Dr Walter Hallstein who was Secretary of State in the Foreign Office of Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) from 1951 to 1958. Dr Hallstein held that “any country having diplomatic relations with the Federal Government, which recognised the East German regime would be committing an unfriendly act’’. Accordingly, when Yugoslavia recognised East Germany in 1957, Bonn broke off with Belgrade. But subsequently, West Germany almost gave up the doctrine because it realised that the re-unification of Germany could only be possible with co-operation from the communist bloc.

Hansard: In the 18th century, the proceedings of the British House of Commons were printed and issued by Luke Hansard. Since then official reports of debates in the British Parliament have been known as Hansard. These reports are now printed and published by Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

Harakiri: is a Japanese way of committing suicide.

Hartal: voluntary closure of all business or work to express protest for redress of grievances.

Hashish: is an intoxicating drug made of the leaves, shoots or resin of hemp or bhang.

Hawk: a term used to describe persons who favour war-like national policies.

Heat Index: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has introduced a heat index for the entire country starting April 2016. The heat index will be calculated based on humidity levels and actual temperatures.

Hijacking: means diverting a plane from its destination at the point of a gun or under some other threat. The intent can be political or private or no more than a desire for publicity by a deranged mind.

Hire-Purchase: is a system for purchase of goods on hire bases. The goods are obtained on hire through the Hire-Purchase Agency and payment made in instalments with specified interest. The goods thus purchased remain pledged with the Hire-Purchase Agency till the full cost with interest is paid. The system facilitates the buyer in making payment in easy instalments.

Hoarding: Ordinarily goods move from one point to another or from one person (seller) to another (buyer). But when scarcity of a good, particularly of an imperishable good, is anticipated it is intentionally accumulated to create artificial scarcity and to profiteer from the resultant price escalation. Dealers in foodgrains sometimes indulged in hoarding foodgrains and raising the price thereby to the detriment of the consumers. The government is usually faced with the growing tendency of hoarding foodgrains, money and many other goods.

Holography: A method for storing and displaying a three-dimensional image, usually on a photographic plate or another light-sensitive material. The exposed plate is called a hologram. Some credit cards contain holograms to prevent counterfeiting. Holograms also appear in advertising displays, in artwork, and in jewellery. Holography may be used to detect flaws in tires, lenses, airplane wings and other products.

Holy Grail: A mysterious, holy vessel, associated with fertility rites, made famous by the authors of the Arthurian romance.

Home Guards (India): voluntary force for home defence in India, organised in October 1960. The Home Guards are given training in first-aid, fire fighting, social service etc.

Hot Line: is an important instrument of international diplomacy. In emergencies where a small error of judgement owing to ignorance of each other’s intentions may lead to a major catastrophe, it can be used for direct contact between the statesman of the two countries at the highest level.

Hot Money: The term has come into use to describe money or currency which everybody is anxious to drop for fear of a fall in its exchange rate.

 Human Development Index (HDI): A new measure of “inclusive wealth”, which stretches beyond Gross Domestic Product (GDP). India ranked 130 among 188 countries in Human Development Report 2015, titled ‘Work for Human Development’.

Human Rights, Universal Declaration of: was adopted by the U.N. on December 10, 1948 as “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations’’. The Declaration was meant to ensure that human beings everywhere could live in dignity and freedom as equal partners in human society. But neither the UN General Assembly nor the Security Council nor the Secretary General had anything to say when the human rights embodied in the “Declaration’’ were wantonly and curelly trampled under-foot by the Pakistani goondas let loose on Bangladesh in 1971. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains a “pious declaration’’ as long as thinking among nations of the world is dominated by power politics.

Hunger Strike, Relay: Hunger-strike undertaken by different persons on successive days.

IMF: means “International Monetary Fund’’. It is an organisation of the United Nations established with the object of stabilising the currency of member Nations by promoting exchange arrangements and eliminating unnecessary foreign exchange restrictions.

Imperialism: Belief in empires built by the use of force and governed for the benefit of the conquering power at the cost of the subject nation. Imperialism can be political (Britain, France, Portugal were great imperialist powers in that sense). It can be racial (as in South Africa and Rhodesia). It can also be economic (a charge usually brought against the USA).

Income-tax: Direct tax levied on total world income of a person in a year. It was levied for the first time in the world in Britain in 1799 by William Pitt to help finance a war against France.

India Design Mark: It symbolizes product excellence in form, function, quality, safety, sustainability and innovation. It acts as a brand extension and imparts competitive advantage to a product in local and international markets. All types of mass produced products are eligible for India Design Mark, which is granted by India Design Council (An autonomous body under Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India), in association with G-Mark, Japan.

Index Number: is a statistical device used to register changes of level in prices, wages, employment, production etc. Generally, a particular period is selected as a “base’’ period, and the value 100 arbitrarily assigned to the level of prices (or wages or employment as the case may be) ruling in that period. Then other periods are studied with reference to that “base’’ period. The cost of living index number is compiled on the basis of such costs recorded in different places over the same period of time.

Indirect Tax: A tax collected indirectly in the form of GST or excise duties etc. levied on articles of daily use or consumption and services.

Inflation: “A phenomenon that occurs when the supply of money and of bank deposits circulating through cheques increases relatively to the demand for medium of exchange, so as to bring about a rise in general price level, developing into spiral wherein costs and prices chase each other.’’ In short, it is an increase in the amount of paper money, which tends to raise general price-level of commodities.

Initial Public Offer (IPO): First issue of equity shares of a company to the public with a view of collecting fresh capital and broadbasing the investor base.

Initiative: right of citizens outside legislature to originate legislation as is done in Switzerland.

Injunction: Judicial process restraining persons from wrongful act, or compelling restitution to injured party.

Interpol: is the popular name of the International Criminal Police Organisation. It has 90 affiliated countries which have joined hands through it to fight against international crime. Interpol has its headquarters in Paris.

Iron Curtain: Isolation of communist State of Europe from the Western democracies. Restrictions imposed by communist governments on freedom of thought and movement. The phrase was brought into use by the late Sir Winston Churchill, Britain’s war-time Prime Minister.

Jamboree: Jamboree is celebration, merry-making; large rally of boy scouts.

Junta: Factions or groups of individuals who seize political power by force or other undemocratic methods. The word was once used to refer to the Grand Councils of State in Italy and Spain.

Jurisprudence: is the science of Law.

Kala Utsav: is an initiative of Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to promote arts in education by nurturing and showcasing the artistic talent of school students at the secondary stage in the country.

Laissez faire: a general principle of non-interference.

Leap second: It is the periodic adjustment of time signal emissions to maintain synchronism with the coordinated universal time.

Leftist: relatively more liberal, progressive and actively innovating party or wing in politics—(derived from its sitting to the President’s left).

Legal Tender: money in any form which a creditor cannot refuse in payment of debt.

Liberalism: is opposed to too much of State control, condemns all monopolies, whether State or private, and stands for humanism and coownership in industry. In the international sphere, it favours control of armaments and policies of peace.

Limited Company: a registered company in which the liability of each share-holder is limited to the extent of his (or her) share in it.

Lock-out: is a term in industry used for the situation when the employers themselves close the doors of a factory to the employees to force them to accept the imposed terms.

Loftus Law: or as Mr P.J. Loftus, its author, simply calls it “the rule of parity’’ states that “everywhere wages in manufacturing tend to amount to just half the value added to the raw materials by the manufacturing’’. According to Mr Loftus, the value added is the value of the product minus the cost of materials and energy.

Log-rolling: The term literally means a combination for facilitating the collection of logs in a stream. In politics it refers to mutual support among politicians.

Lokpal and Lokayukt: The Lokpal is an anti-corrpution authority in India to deal with complaints against ministers and secretaries in the Central government. The Lokayukt deals with complaints against State ministers and government officials.

Macroeconomics: It is a branch of economics concerned with the economy as a whole, including total production, overall employment, and general price levels.

Maiden Speech: is the first public speech made by a person.

Malnutrition: Protein-calorie malnutrition occurs when an insufficient quantity of deficient quality of food is ingested, or food is inadequately absorbed or is improperly utilized because of disease. Malnutrition, in other words, means faulty, imperfect and usually deficient nutrition.

Mandamus: is a writ or order issued by a higher court to a lower court. Manifesto: a written or oral public declaration of intentions.

Marginal Standing Facility: or MSF is a facility under which banks can borrow additional amount of overnight money from the Reserve Bank against their excess SLR holdings. This provides a safety valve against unanticipated liquidity shocks to the banking system.

Market Economy: was strongly favoured by Adam Smith, Keynes and Hicks.

Marshal Plan: A programme of economic aid to war-torn Europe, also called the European Recovery Programme, sponsored by George C. Marshall, US Secretary of State in 1947.

Marxism: is the name given to socio-economic theories put forward by Karl Marx, a German-born Jew and his friend Friedrich Engels. According to them, feudalism is dethroned by capitalism. In turn capitalism yields place to socialism and a classless society. They held that changes in the social order are caused by technical and economic progress, because the poor are always trying to improve their lot. They favoured State ownership of land, industry, banking, transport and other means of production.

Masala Bond: The term is used to refer to rupee-denominated borrowings by Indian entities in overseas markets. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank, in November 2014, issued a ₹1,000 crore bond to fund infrastructure projects in India and named them Masala bonds to give a local flavour by calling to mind Indian culture and cuisine.

May Day: the day of workers of the world celebrated throughout the world on the 1st May every year with the slogan “Workers of the World, Unite’’.

MCX: Multi Commodity Exchange is the first bourse in India to be listed. This puts it at par with major global bourses like NYSE Euronext, Nasdaq, Singapore, Hong Kong and Sydney, which are all listed.

Melodrama: a play with musical accompaniment to the action and spoken dialogue, with or without songs a kind of romantic and sensational drama, crude, sentimental and conventional, with strict attention to poetic justice and happy endings.

Mendelian Law: The law of inheritance propounded by Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk. The law says when two races are crossed, the resultant hybirds will exhibit the dominant features of one parent, but the offspring of the second generation will show those of both grand-parents.

Microeconomics: It is a branch of economics concerned with the activities of individual consumers and producers.

Mid-term Poll: A mid-term poll is an election held out of schedule as a result of the dissolution of a State legislature before it has been in existence for its normal span of life.

Mixed Economy: Signifies the middle path between capitalism and socialism. India has a mixed economy economic activity being mainly divided into two sectors the public sector and the private sector. Via the public sector, the government participates in economic activity, particularly in spheres in which very large capital investment is needed. In the private sector initiative and drive for productive activity is provided by the private entrepreneur. India had accepted the ideal of a mixed economy as its national policy.

Modem: The device that allows a computer to transmit information over a phone line.

Monarchy, Absolute: is said to exist where a monarch or king holds despotic sway over his domains, and his authority is not circumscribed or inhibited in any way.

Monarchy, Constitutional: is a system of government in which the king is the titular head, there only to reign and not to rule.

Money Market: Field for the investment of money is termed as money market.

Monopoly: It exists when there is only one seller of a product in a market.

Monroe Doctrine: A principle of American policy declining any European intervention in political affairs of the American continent, outlined by President Monroe in 1823.

Moratorium: It is the period during which the settlement of debts may be postponed legally.

Most-favoured Nations: when two nations extend to each other tariff concessions which they do not ordinarily make in the case of others with whom they have trade, they are said to be treating each other as the “most favoured nations’’.

Motel: is type of a hotel built for touring motorists. It provides individual self-contained sleeping quarters with bath, toilet facilities and garage, the meals being generally obtainable at a central restaurant.

Mulki Rules: While the Nizam ruled the erstwhile State of Hyderabad, he had made it a condition that anybody seeking service in the State or admission to an educational institution in the State should either (i) have been born in Hyderabad or (ii) have lived in the State for more than 15 years, or (iii) be the son or daughter of a person fulfilling either of the two conditions. These rules were referred to as Mulki Rules. Though anachronistic and inequitable, the rules were upheld by the Supreme Court of India. This upset the people of the Andhra region who had been feeling that the Rules had been militating against them, and gave rise to an agitation for separating Andhra Pradesh from Telengana.

Multiple Cropping: This programme, initiated in 1967-68, aims at increasing the cropping intensity of land through better utilisation of the existing irrigation facilities together with the development of new irrigation potential throughout the country.

Nagoya Protocol: on Access and Benefit Sharing, negotiated in 2010, sets the standards for benefit sharing between industry and holders of traditional knowledge. The objective of the protocol is fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of genetic resources.

National Dairy Plan: Launched on 19 April 2012, it aims to increase the productivity of milch animals by adopting focused, scientific and systematic processes and help provide rural milk producers with greater access to the organized milk processing sector.

National Debt: The money borrowed by a country to meet expenditure which it is unable to meet from its own ordinary resources. The money so borrowed may be either for use in productive and national building activities or for destructive purposes such as war.

National Income: Marshall defines National Income thus: “The labour and capital of a country acting on its natural resources, produce annually a certain net aggregate commodities material and immaterial, including services of all kinds.’’ The word “net’’ is of special significance, because from the total gross produce a certain amount is to be deducted as charges for depreciation and wearing out of the plant and other capital equipments, while the net income from foreign investments must be added.

Nationalisation: When the State acquires from private ownership the right to run a service or industry, such service or industry is said to have been nationalised. In capitalist countries nationalisation is done only when the government considers that it would be in the public interest to do so. In socialist countries, it is a general policy.

Naturalisation: means granting to a foreigner the privileges belonging to citizens. After naturalisation, the former acquires the citizenship of the country in which he is naturalised.

Naxalites: The term has come into use to describe radical communists (now belonging to the CPI-LM) who believe in the type of revolution preached by Mao. They want to herald a revolution in India by exploiting feelings of discontentment among peasants and tribesmen. The first such revolt was attempted in Naxalbari in West Bengal in 1967. The word “Naxalite’’ has been derived from “Naxalbari’’. The organisation was banned on 4 July 1975.

Nazism: The word Nazi is an abbreviated form of “National Socialism’’. It was the name of the party led by Adolf Hitler of Germany in the thirties. The Nazis believed that the Aryan race was a superior race.

NCDEX: National commodities and Derivatives Exchange. It is one of India’s three new online demutualised bourses. The other two are NSE and BSE.

Need-based Wages: means wages determined so as to cover the basic needs of wage-earners as distinguished from wages determined having regard purely to availability of labour, productivity and profitability.

Netizens: Persons who use Internet for work, entertainment and other daily activities.

New Colonialism: means colonialism of a new type. Political colonialism has gradually declined during the last 20 years. But economic colonialism is very much there. It means prosperous countries following policies which should give them the controlling hand in the affairs of under-developed or weak nations.

Nippon: It is Japanese name for Japan. The term simply signifies Japan.

Node: Any device that is connected to a computer network.

Non-aggression Pact: an agreement between countries not to wage war with each other and to defend each other in case of any aggression from outside.

NOFN: National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) is India’s first hispeed rural broadband network. It was commissioned on 12 January 2015, in Kerala’s Idukki district. The project will be a “giant leap” to bridge the digital divide in the country, by linking all gram panchayats through the common platform of optical fibre cable.

Non-Plan expenditure: All those expenditures (of government of India) that are not part of either a Central Plan or of Central assistance for Plans of the States and UTs.

Nuclear Umbrella: means protection or guarantee of protection against nuclear attack.

Nyaya Panchayat: These are bodies in Panchayati Raj System having judicial function with limited powers of punishment. To settle the disputes, these Nyaya Panchayats employ simple and summary procedure.

Octroi: It is a form of tax levied on goods entering a municipal town. The tax thus collected is generally used for the maintenance of the town.

Old Glory: is the name of US Flag, also referred to as the Stars and Stripes.

Oligarchy: means government by a small exclusive class.

Open-door Policy: the policy according to which trade with a country should be open on equal terms to all nations.

Open University: is a University wherein students are free to join, leave and rejoin at any stage in their education which is organized as a continuing process. One such University has been functioning in the U.K. for some time now.

Options Trading: Options are deferred delivery contracts that give the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specified underlying security, at a set price, on or before a specified date. There are two types of options—call and put.

Ordinance: a measure promulgated by the head of a State in his own authority to meet an emergency.

Ostpolitik: is a German word. It has been brought into use by West Germany to describe its new approach to the communist countries of East Europe, abandoning the cold war stance.

Panchayati Raj: established in 1959, it means the exercise of power by the villagers themselves and local self-government at the grass-roots. Rightly implemented, the scheme ensures elimination of all the evils and malpractices which have become associated with capitalism, centralisation and monopoly power.

Paper Gold: or Special Drawing Rights: Drawing rights given to members of the International Monetary Fund in proportion to their quota in the Fund so that the expanding world-trade can be financed on international faith and cooperation. It is international money existing only in the Fund’s books and changing hands only on ledger sheets, but the members of the Fund accept it as payment.

Parkinson’s Law: It is a law of public administration propounded by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, British historian, in 1958. According to it “work expands to fill the time available for its completion’’ and “subordinates multiply at a fixed rate regardless of the amount of work produced’’.

Partyless Democracy: Democracy means the rule of the people as against the rule of any individual, however, wise or experienced he may be. But “the people’’ as such signify an imprecise and indeterminate entity. They can be articulate and can make their presence felt and get their programmes implemented only through a properly organised and efficient political system. The theory of democracy itself is vague and fragmentary. The most popular definition of democracy is that of President Lincoln: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.’’ But the mass of people cannot govern; mob rule inevitably leads to confusion and chaos. Except in a small community, or in the ancient Greek City States, democracy can function only through distinct, properly organised and efficiently led groups of people called political parties.

Party Whip: an MP responsible to his party for the organisation of the members to carry the vote through—one who enforces the attendance of a political party and makes calls on members of the Parliament to be in their places on the occasion of an important division.

Pentagon: Government offices in Washington (the largest in the world), housing many thousands of military and civilian workers in the War Department of the United States (Army, Navy and Air Force).

Per Capita Income: The term means national income per head or coefficient resulting from the division of the national income by the size of the population. Per capita income is directly proportional to the national income and inversely to the population. Unless, therefore, national income increases, addition to population, as in the case in India, ends in a corresponding reduction in the per capita income.

Perestroika: which means ‘restructuring’ was the reform programme started by the Soviet leader, Mr Mikhail Gorbachov, to bring about economic change in the former USSR with, what he called, greater democracy.

Personality Cult: When induced or spontaneous adoration of a leader results in his being idolized by the people, a personality cult originates. It helps the leader so idolized to run the administration as he would like, by the sheer effectiveness of his personality.

Persona Non Grata: a person not acceptable to those to whom he is sent.

Petro-Dollars: the oil-exporting countries are now flooded with dollars as a result of the five-fold increase in the price of oil which has made them fabulously rich almost overnight. The windfall that has accrued to the oilproducing countries is described as “petro-dollars’’.

Photonics: Broad field of scientific research encompassing lasers, communication systems, opto-electronics, etc.

Piezoelectricity: Electricity generated by application of mechanical pressure on a dielectric crystal.

Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Chinese technique of inviting foreign teams to international table-tennis tournaments and using such occasion to achieve or promote diplomatic aims is known as Ping-Pong diplomacy. At such sports gatherings, the Chinese leaders often give Mona Lisa-like smiles, creating the impression that China is friendly towards everyone. Some effort in this direction was made at the table-tennis tournament in Peking, and again at the international table-tennis tournament in Calcutta in February 1975. Very often, nothing concrete comes out of such diplomacy; it merely leaves the other country guessing about Peking’s real intentions.

Planetarium: is a device to show the motions and orbits of the planets.

Planned Economy: An economic system in which some or all of the decisions on allocation, production, investment and distribution are made by government or an agency delegated such an authority. India does not fall in this category as it has not centralized form of planning in a mixed capitalist system. The decision-making process is partly under the control of the government (as through the Planning Commission) and partly under the private entrepreneurs.

Plebiscite: direct vote by all electors of a State on a controversial question.

P-notes: or participatory notes, are a way for foreigners to invest in the Indian markets without registering themselves with Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). P-Notes are for individuals who do not want to disclose their identity for various reasons.

Point of Order: A question raised to get a decision on whether proceedings are according to rules.

Polarization: literally means the separation of the positive and negative charges of a molecule. In politics it can be said to have occurred when politically like-minded individuals, groups or parties converge on two separate points forming two mutually opposed forces.

Police State: When citizens of a particular State are deprived of the basic civil liberties like freedom of thought, expression and belief, they are said to be living in a Police State.

Politburo: Name given to the sub-committee of the Central Communist Party of the former U.S.S.R. and to similar bodies of the Communist parties of other countries. It is an abbreviated form of Political bureau.

Political Sabotage: wiping out a political opponent (a person or a party) applying destructive methods.

Population Explosion: A sudden rise in the rate of growth of population.

Pornography: means writing, painting or photography describing or depicting sex in such a manner that it excites impressionable minds.

Poverty Line: is to be found at the level of income at which a person or a family can barely subsist. Anyone having an income below that level is said to be below the poverty line.

Power Politics: In the game of power politics, the player’s sole aim becomes acquisition of power to the exclusion of every other object e.g., the welfare of the masses, the good of the country etc. Every move of theirs is inspired by a desire to capture power somehow.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana: It is a financial inclusion scheme that aims at covering every household in India with a bank account and insurance cover. It was launched on 28 August 2014.

PRAGATI: Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation (PRAGATI) is a unique integrative and interactive platform, which is aimed at addressing the common man’s grievances and monitoring important programmes and projects.

Preamble: Preliminary or introductory part of the Constitution of a country. It embodies a brief statement of the need and advisability having particular constitutional law passed.

Preference Shares: are shares which are entitled to a fixed dividend before any distribution of profits can be made amongst the holders of ordinary shares.

Press Conference: is a gathering of press correspondents, usually invited to meet a public figure to facilitate or to get elaborations of important pronouncements.

Price Index: A figure which discloses the relative change, if any, of price, costs or some similar phenomena between one period of time and some other period of time selected as the base year is called index number. The base year or period is assigned the index number of 100.

Primary Gold: means gold of the highest purity i.e., 24 carats.

Privy Purse: These were certain privileges and annual payments granted by the Indian Government to Rulers (hereditary monarchs or Princes) of States in India before independence. The Princes had agreed to surrender their States to the Indian Union in return for Privy Purses.

Prize: in modern warfare means a ship or goods captured by the Naval forces of a belligerent at sea or seized in a port. The term can also be extended to aircraft and goods carried in them. The Universally accepted principle is that a prize has to be adjudicated and thereafter either released or condemned by the sentence of a Prize Court. Such a sentence vests the property in the captor and constitutes international title to the poverty.

Prize Court: A Prize Court is a court set up by a country at war with another for judging regarding enemy ships seized on the high seas.

Prohibition: a measure barring the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.

Proportional Representation: in the context of electing a President of India is the system under which a college of voters represents the wider base of the electorate, each member of the college commanding a number of votes in proportion to the number of electors he represents.

Prorogation: of a legislature means the discontinuance of its meetings for a time without its being dissolved. A prorogation is ordered by the Governor or the President.

Protocol: the first draft of a diplomatic document; used specially in treaties and agreements before their definitive signature.

Proxy: Means one who acts for another or the agency of one acting as such.

Psephology: Sociological and statistical study of election results and trends.

Public Debt: The money which is invested with the government of a country by her people in the shape of different funds, it is a governmentfunded debt.

Public Provident Fund: which was introduced from 1 July 1968 is a non-contributory provident fund for the general public.

Public Sector: All undertakings financed and controlled by the government.

Quantum Jump: Jumping of an electron in an atom from one energy level to the next level by absorption of a quantum of energy.

Quarantine: a time (approximately 40 days) of compulsory isolation or detention to prevent spread of a contagious disease or infection.

Quorum: minimum essential of members to be present in order to constitute a house to transact proceedings.

Quotation: A statement of a price. It is always for a product or number of products and applies only to that particular transaction for which it is given.

Quo Warranto: It is a form of writ which is a direction to the proper authorities to enquire into the circumstances under which any office or franchise is held.

Recall System: is a political device by which voters can remove an elected representative or official from office before the expiry of his regular term of office. If a fixed percentage of the electorate, being dissatisfied with an official’s conduct, sends in a written petition of his removal, a referendum is held on the subject and if the majority is found to be against the official involved in the controversy, he is removed.

Recession: A slump in trade and industry leading to accumulation of unsold stocks owing to a fall in consumer demand is called a recession.

In recent months, while Indian industrialists and business magnates have been complaining of a recession in trade and industry, Central government spokesmen have been contradicting the belief and have contended instead that there is actually an upswing in the economy.

Red Guards: This is the name assumed by Chinese School and College students spear-heading the so-called “Cultural Revolution’’ presently under way in that country. They wear military-type khaki uniforms with Red armbands and go about enforcing Mao’s precepts.

Red Tape: Official formality or routing delay or obstruction.

Referendum: When there is a controversial question requiring opinion of the general masses, that question is put to vote for deciding the opinion of the people.

Reflation: Reflation is a phenomenon which is somewhat analogous to inflation and aims at restoring the prices to a “desirable level’’ during the period of recovery from a depression or a recession. This is brought about through the monetary powers by the government. The Union budget for 1976-77 envisages certain measures for the reflation of the Indian economy which is believed to have been hit by demand-recession. A heavy dose of investment in the public sector, investment allowance scheme, reduction in excise duties and in the marginal rate of income-tax and wealth-tax are some of the budgetary proposals to generate “reflationary’’ forces to lever up the prices and production in certain sectors.

Regional Rural Banks: The avowed objective of launching the regional rural banks scheme was to meet the credit needs of the rural poor as part of a programme of relieving indebtedness to the private money-lenders.

REITs: The Securities and Exchange Board of India has approved the setting up of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), a move that may offer a new source of financing to India’s cash-strapped property developers. SEBI said REITs should operate with an asset pool of at least 5 bln rupees and have an initial issue size of at least 2.5 bln rupees for shareholders.

Repatriation: to restore or return to the native land. (Generally used in the case of prisoners of war.)

Repo rate: It is the rate at which the RBI lends money to commercial banks against securities. The higher this rate, higher the cost of capital.

Republic: a political community which is not governed by any king and the supreme authority is vested in the representatives elected by the people.

Requisitionists: In the political context, the term refers to those who requisition or call for a meeting or some other action. The requisition is usually in writing.

Resource Crunch: When resources fall short of the estimated expenditure and the gap between the two keeps on widening, the government faces a resources crunch or crush.

Revanchism: the desire to seek revenge. This was a charge occasionally brought by all communist countries against erstwhile West Germany. They accused the rulers of West Germany of making preparations and seeking alliance with a view to engaging in another war against those who had vanquished them in World War II.

Reverse Preferences: are trade preferences granted to members of the European Economic Community by its associate African members in return for preferential treatment to African products in the American market. The USA recently demanded an end to such preferences in view of the discrimination practised by European countries against US trade.

Reverse Repo: It is the rate at which banks deposit their excess money with the RBI for short periods of time. The lower the rate, the less the incentive for banks to deposit increment cash with the central bank. This raises the liquidity in the banking system. It also encourages banks to lend at lower rates.

Revolving Fund: means a fund which is being continuously maintained at the original level by instalments being paid back into it against loans advanced out of it.

Rightists: The conservative wing in a political party or a conservative party as a whole is known as Rightists. All Rightists stand for the status quo or even a reversal of the current order to the old pattern. Generally, the Rightists are believed to be reactionaries who are opposed to socialism in any shape and to progress on radical lines.

RuPay: National Payments Corporation of India—a Reserve Bank of India initiative—has promoted this payments and settlement platform for credit and debit card transactions to break the Visa-Mastercard stranglehold. India will be able to save hundreds of crores in foreign exchange by having a domestic payment system, as Visa and Mastercard are paid in foreign currency.

Sahapedia: is a free online encyclopedia on Indian culture, developed by Delhi-based researcher Sudha Gopalakrishnan.

Sanctions: It means penalty or reward expressly attached to nonobservance or observance of a law or treaty e.g., the British Government announced tough economic sanctions against the Smith regime in South Africa when the latter declared unilateral independence illegally.

Sarvodaya: means “uplift and welfare of all’’. The movement was started by Vinoba Bhave. It aims at bringing about a non-violent socioeconomic revolution.

Secondary Market: Market where shares or bonds are traded through recognised stock exchange.

Secular State: State which treats alike all communities inhabiting its territory and in which all citizens have equal rights without distinction of caste, creed, sex and race.

Self-generating Economy: “Take-off’’ leads to a stage of economic growth where the economy moves forward without external aid in any form, and output far exceeds the growth of population. All limitations and bottlenecks impeding production are removed and the process of growth becomes automatic.

Selfie: A self-portrait photograph or group photograph featuring the photographer, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. In 1839, amateur chemist and photography enthusiast Robert Cornelius, then 30 years old, had created what is believed to be the first photographic self-portrait.

Sellers’ Market: When the demand for goods exceeds its supply at the ruling price in the market, the situation is called sellers’ market. Such a phenomenon is favourable to the sellers. If the shortages persist, the sellers may jack up the prices of their goods to reap “scarcity’’ profits. Such situations sometimes attract governmental intervention in the form of distribution and price control.

Semester System: The semester system is designed to eliminate many of the evils and malpractices associated with the existing system of examinations. Instead of one assessment of a candidate’s merit as a result of the annual examination, the assessment is spread over the whole academy year, the marks or grading of candidates being determined on the basis of regular class work and internal assessment during the term or semester. In many respects, the semester system is a marked improvement on the traditional annual examinations.

Share Price: The market price of a unit of a company’s equity capital is called share price. In a competitive market it is equal to the net present value of the expected future dividend. If annual dividend is devoted by ‘D’ and the rate of discount by ‘i’, the share price is equal to ‘D’ divided by ‘i’.

Shuttle Diplomacy: The rapid flights from one world capital to another and back again in an effort to persuade rival parties to accept a compromise formula, in which Dr Kissinger has shown himself to be a pastmaster, are known as “shuttle diplomacy’’. It was through shuttle diplomacy that Dr Kissinger ensured a truce in the Middle East and, earlier, in Vietnam (197273).

Sinking Fund: A fund into which sums are allocated periodically so that these accumulations together with the interest thereon help in defraying the debt or replacing an asset of a firm.

Sit-down Strike: is a form of strike in which workers do not absent themselves from work but do nothing and sit idle. It is also called “pen-down strike’’.

SMS: Short Message Service—to communicate with each other, usually using a mobile phone.

Snap Poll: A snap poll means a sudden election to a legislature held at short notice before the expiry of its full term. A mid-term poll also means the same thing, even if an election is ordered many months after the middle of a legislature’s usual five-year span. In India this term came into use when some State Assemblies were dissolved by Governors on the advice of the respective Chief Ministers when their ministry lost the confidence of the House. But it was the surprise dissolution of the Lok Sabha in 1971 and the election ordered soon afterwards that has given wide currency to the expression “snap poll’’.

Socialistic Pattern of Society: even distribution of economic power or reduction of inequalities in income and wealth in a country. The Resolution for a “Socialistic Pattern of Society’’ was adopted at the Avadi Session of the Indian National Congress.

Social Justice: means even distribution of economic power so that the rich are not free to exploit the poor or take advantage of them in any other manner.

Soft Loan: means a loan advanced on easy terms with regard to interest, time for repayment etc.

Spamming: It refers to both the practice of sending unsolicited bulk email and using a search ranking technique that causes degradation in the quality of the results produced by the search engine on the Internet.

Speculation: The buying and selling in the future markets is called speculation. It is not necessarily a gamble. In advanced countries it is based on scientific knowledge. Buying at a low price to sell later at a higher price and selling at a high price in anticipation of being able to buy at a lower price before delivery must be made are the essential characteristics of speculation. Speculative activities may cause artificial scarcities or abundance of a good and thereby affect the ruling price in the market.

Splinter Group: Quite often parties have within them certain groups which can be referred to as splinter groups. They are groups of people who differ from the main body in their approach, views or strategy.

Stagflation: is a coinage by economists to describe the state of an economy which is simultaneously overtaken by stagnation and inflation, just as became evident recently in the case of the USA.

Standard of Living: It usually refers to the economic level at which an individual, family, or nation lives. Economists sometimes measure this level by determining the value of the goods and services produced or consumed by the individual, family, or nation during a given period.

Statutory Liquidity Ratio: Ratio of the total demand and time deposit liabilities of commercial banks which they have to maintain as liquid assets.

Stop Press: a special space provided in a newspaper for last minute news when it is just going to be printed.

Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs): India is building SPRs at three locations that together can hold more than 36 million barrels of crude to help protect the energy import-reliant economy from supply disruptions and price volatility. The first underground storage cavern was build at Vizag on the east coast, with space for 9.75 million barrels of oil.

Streaking: is the latest craze in the West. It refers to young men and women running through busy thoroughfares dressed in little else except their birthday suits. It has happened in India also at Cochin.

Summit Conference: means a meeting of heads, the top men who deal with the subject before the meeting in their respective jurisdiction. As between countries a summit conference is a meeting of heads of State.

Summons Case and Warrant Case: A summons case is a case in which a person, irrespective of the fact whether he is accused of an offence or not is called upon to appear before any court or before any other officer having the authority to issue summons.

A warrant case is a case in which a person accused of an offence is required to be arrested and produced in a court of law or such other authority as may be competent to issue a warrant of arrest.

Surety and Security: Surety means a personal undertaking to be bound for another, whereas security means a pledge and a guarantee, a right conferred on a creditor to make him sure of recovery. It may also mean bonds or certificates executed in evidence of debt or property.

Synriam: India’s first indigenously developed anti-malarial drug.

Tariff: It is a tax on imported or exported goods.

Tariff Board: is a body constituted by the government to look after the indigenous industries and recommended to the government for their protection in the interest of national economy.

Tax: A tax is a compulsory payment made by a person or a body of persons to a public authority for which there is no quid pro quo. It is an important source of revenue for the modern governments. Generally, the emphasis is on progressive taxation, particularly in the developed societies. In the under-developed countries taxation on commodities, though productive in many cases, is a regressive form of taxation. Sales tax, for instance, in India is a case in point.

Taxation capacity: The extent to which an assessee can be taxed without affecting the will and power to work is called taxable capacity. This capacity depends on: the nature of taxation; the distribution of national income— more equality of income distribution may reduce taxable capacity; the nature of public enterprise; population; and other factors such as willingness of the people to make sacrifices etc. With so many variables of taxable capacity, it is not easily definable.

Tender: An offer made in response to an advertisement to undertake a piece of work or supply certain goods at a stated price.

Territorial Waters: Although attempts have been made to codify international law on territorial waters, it has not been found possible to enforce a universally acceptable limit. There is, however, agreement on the point that every State is entitled to a minimum of three nautical miles or 3.45 land miles. States can also claim limited jurisdiction (not territorial rights) 6 to 12 miles beyond territorial waters for enforcement of customs and sanitary regulations as also for protection of fishing rights or for security reasons.

Third World: From the point of view of international economy, the world is divided into (i) the Western bloc led by the USA, the UK, West Germany, Japan etc., (ii) the Communist bloc, and (iii) the Third World which generally means the developing countries.

Three Ms: These stands for men, material and money. Optimum utilisation of these three Ms is considered the sine qua non in industrial management for the efficient functioning of any industry.

Time Capsule: The term is used to describe metallic cylinders filled with memorabilia and buried deep in the earth so that after a few thousand years, if somebody discovers such a capsule, he should be reminded of what life and times were like when the ‘time capsule’ had been initially buried.

Total Fertility Rate (TFR): The average number of children that will be born to a woman during her lifetime.

Trade Mark: a distinctive mark or sign, or a name given to a product which is registered in order to safeguard the manufacturer’s rights. Trade mark cannot be copied by anyone under the law.

Transfer pricing: It is the setting of the price for goods and services sold between controlled (or related) legal entities within an enterprise. For example, if a subsidiary company sells goods to a parent company, the cost of those goods is the transfer price.

Turnover: The total amount of money changing hands in a business.

Two-nation Theory: Before India had won freedom, leaders of the Muslim League (which was one of the important political parties in India) put forward the theory that the Hindus and the Muslims living in India constituted two separate nations with different religious, cultural and linguistic patterns, and that India should, therefore, be divided into two parts, one of which should be a separate Muslim State to be named Pakistan. This thesis came to be described as the ‘two-nation’ theory. The killing of Muslims by Muslims in Bangladesh exposed the fallacy in this assumption on which Pakistan had been built.

Ultimatum: final terms before a certain course of action vis-a-vis another party is adopted.

Unit economics: It is an e-commerce jargon for making money from every user or on every order.

Universal Suffrage: right of vote for all without distinction of caste, creed, religion, sex or place of birth.

Value-Added Tax (VAT): A tax on the value added is termed VAT. The principle governing this tax is that the person paying for goods or services pays a tax thereon and also collects tax on his sales. The net effect of this tax is that the tax paid is credited against tax collected and only the balance is payable to the taxing authority.

Vape: The act of smoking from an electronic cigarette.

Veto: right of executive head to refuse to approve any legislation.

Visa: A visa is evidence of permission to enter the issuing State under specified conditions and for a specified time. Some countries not only require that citizen should hold a passport issued by his government but also that the passport should be authenticated and stamped by the foreign country into which he seeks to travel.

WAP: Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) is a communication protocol which enable the Internet to be accessed through wireless devices.

War Crimes: The victorious allies in the Second World War viz., the Soviet Union, the USA, Britain and France had signed on August 8, 1945 an agreement setting up an International Military Tribunal to try major war criminals among Axis prisoners. The charter setting out the jurisdiction and functions of the Tribunal set out offences for which an individual could be considered responsible. Among these offences were “murder, extermination, enslavements, deportation and other inhuman acts committed against any civilian population before or during the war’’ or “persecution on a political, racial or religious basis, whether or not in violation of domestic laws’’. It was agreed that the plea of having acted on orders from superiors could only be treated as an extenuating circumstance but not as a complete defence.

Wealth Effect: It signifies an increase in the aggregate expenditure due to a fall in the price level and the interest rates. When the prices or the interest rates fall, they induce a fall in demand which can be reversed by wealth effect.

Wealth-tax: It is a tax levied on wealth possessed by an individual or by a Hindu Undivided Family in excess of certain prescribed limits. The object is to keep even distribution of wealth in society.

Whip: (in the legislature) an MP responsible to his party for the organisation of the members to carry the vote through.

White Flag: a sign of surrender in a battle by any of the opposing armies.

World Bank: was established in 1946 in Washington (U.S.A.) with the object of providing capital on loan for economic reconstruction of backward and under-developed countries and also to give technical advice where need be.

Write off: in book-keeping to cancel an unrealizable credit as a bad debt.

Yellow Peril: was a fear often voiced in the the late 19th and early twentieth centuries that the Oriental yellow races, particularly the Chinese will one day overwhelm the white races and dominate the world.

Yoga: literally means “union’’ (or in unison with the divine spirit); a Hindu discipline which teaches a technique of freeing the mind from attachment to the senses, so that once freed the soul may become fused with the universal spirit (Atman or Brahman) which is its goal.

Young Truks: is a term generally used to describe youthful dissidents or hardliners in a party.

Zero-base Budgeting: It is an improvement over the traditional budgeting and not a substitute of it. It examines critically, regularly and systematically the assumptions of the traditional budget. The budgeted item is treated each year at the Zero-base level as if it was non-existent in the past. Its input is related to the output to decide upon its inclusion in or exclusion from the annual budget. Cost-benefit and cost-effective criteria must be satisfied by the programmes claiming budgetary provision. If these tests are not satisfied the programme cannot find any accommodation in the budget. The merit of this budgeting is that it places equal emphasis on all items of expenditure at the time of evaluation.

Zionism: literally pertaining to the Jews. The movement of Zionism was started by the Jews towards the end of the 19th century with the object of establishing a national home for the Jews in Palestine.

Literary Terms

Abstract Poem: Verse that makes little sense grammatically or syntactically but which relies on auditory patterns to create its meaning or poetic effects.

Acronym: A word formed from the initial letters in a phrase.

Aidos: The Greek term for the great shame felt by a hero after failure.

Allegory: is a literary composition seeking to convey through characters personifying vices, virtues etc a significance deeper than meets the eye. Allegories always lend themselves to more than one interpretations. (Example: John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress).

Alliteration: Two or more words following each other beginning with the same letter e.g., How High His Highness Heaves His Haughty Head.

Allusion: A casual reference in literature to a person, place, event, or another passage of literature, often without explicit identification. Allusions can originate in mythology, biblical references, historical events, legends, geography, or earlier literary works.

Alter Ego: A literary character or narrator who is a thinly disguised representation of the author, poet, or playwright creating a work.

Ambiance: Loosely the term is equivalent to atmosphere or mood, but more specifically, ambiance is the atmosphere or mood of a particular setting or location.

Amphitheater: An open-air theater, especially the unroofed public playhouses. Shakespeare’s Globe and the Rose are two examples.

Anagram (Greek: “writing back or anew”): When the letters or syllables in a name, word or phrase are shuffled together or jumbled to form a new word.

Anecdote: A short narrative account of an amusing, unusual, revealing, or interesting event.

Anti-climax: An abrupt and ludicrous descent from the sublime to the trivial.

Apostrophe: Not to be confused with the punctuation mark, apostrophe is the act of addressing some abstraction or personification that is not physically present.

Archaism: A word, expression, spelling, or phrase that is out of date in the common speech of an era, but still deliberately used by a writer, poet, or playwright for artistic purposes.

Autobiography: A non-fictional account of a person’s life

Ballad: A traditional poem telling a stirring tale generally passed on by word of mouth. In the composing of ballads, stanzas of four iambic lines are employed with the rhyme scheme a b c d.

Beast Fable: A short, simple narrative with speaking animals as characters designed to teach a moral or social truth.

Bibliography: a descriptive list of books or book containing such a list, or study, description or knowledge of books in regard to their authors, subjects, editions and history.

Bourgeoisie (French, “city-dwelling”): The French term bourgeoisie is a noun referring to the non-aristocratic middle-class, while the word bourgeois is the adjective-form. Calling something bourgeois implies that something is middle-class in its tendencies or values.

Burlesque: A work treating a serious subject in a light-hearted manner or ridiculing the work of some other writer.

Catharsis: Catharsis is the name given to the process of purging of the effects of pent-up emotions by bringing them to the surface of consciousness through drama.

Censorship: The act of hiding, removing, altering or destroying copies of art or writing so that general public access to it is partially or completely limited.

Chronicle: A history or a record of events.

Chronology: The order in which events happen, especially when emphasizing a cause-effect relationship in history or in a narrative.

Cliché: A hackneyed or trite phrase that has become overused. Clichés are considered bad writing and bad literature.

Cliffhanger: A melodramatic narrative (especially in films, magazines, or serially published novels) in which each section “ends” at a suspenseful or dramatic moment, ensuring that the audience will watch the next film or read the next installment to find out what happens.

Climax: The high-point in a gradual build-up of ideas, each rising above its predecessor.

Colloquialism: A word or phrase used everyday in plain and relaxed speech, but rarely found in formal writing.

Comedy: An amuzing play with a happy ending e.g., Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

Connotation: The extra tinge or taint of meaning each word carries beyond the minimal, strict definition found in a dictionary.

Copyright: The copyright of any literary or artistic work is vested in the author for the period of his life-time and 50 years following which it passes into the public domain and becomes freely available to any one who wants to make use of it. Under the Copyright Act, copyright subsists in every original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work and the Copyright of the author is automatically protected.

Couplet: Two lines—the second line immediately following the first— of the same metrical length that end in a rhyme to form a complete unit.

Demagogy: means oratory aimed at swaying popular opinion in a particular direction. It has been said that demagogues seek to attract attention by playing up real or imaginary popular grievances. Therefore, they are the “mob’s lacqueys”.

Dialect: The language of a particular district, class, or group of persons.

Dialogue: The lines spoken by a character or characters in a play, essay, story, or novel, especially a conversation between two characters, or a literary work that takes the form of such a discussion

Drama: A story told through action and speeches of characters with some dynamic action and with some conflict between the characters. The conflict may be outward or external, as it is in comedies or some inner conflict in the soul of a man as in tragedies.

Eclogue: A short poem or short section of a longer poem in the form of a dialogue

El Dorado: fictitious country or city abounding in gold—“the golden land of imagination of the Spanish conquerors of America.” It was believed in the days of early Spanish explorers that somewhere on the South American Continent there was a country abounding in gold and precious stones.

The term is still used for any place of rich promise.

Elegy: is a poem of lamentation for the dead or for some past glory.

Epic: is a long narrative poem telling of the splendid deeds of heroes and heroines, frequently concerned with war. (Examples: Mahabharata, Iliad).

Epigram: is a witty expression which is also brief and pithy.

Epilogue: A conclusion added to a literary work such as a novel, play, or long poem.

Epithet: A short, poetic nickname.

Errata: Errors or mistakes in a printed text.

Essay: A short prose composition presenting the author’s reflections on a subject of his choice.

Euphemism: Using a mild or gentle phrase instead of a blunt, embarrassing, or painful one.

Existentialism: A twentieth-century philosophy arguing that ethical human beings are in a sense cursed with absolute free will in a purposeless universe. Therefore, individuals must fashion their own sense of meaning in life instead of relying thoughtlessly on religious, political, and social conventions.

Fable: A brief story constructed to bring out a lesson or moral.

Flashback: A method of narration in which present action is temporarily interrupted so that the reader can witness past events—usually in the form of a character’s memories, dreams, narration, or even authorial commentary.

Folklore: Sayings, verbal compositions, stories, and social rituals passed along by word of mouth rather than written down in a text.

Genre: A type or category of literature or film marked by certain shared features or conventions.

Hymn: A religious song consisting of one or more repeating rhythmical stanzas.

Hyperbole: An expression deliberately employing exaggeration for the sake of effect e.g. “tons of money”.

Index: In common parlance, an index is a collection of topics, names, or chapter subjects arranged by alphabetical order in the back of a book.

Innuendo: An oblique expression hinting at something, but not openly stating it e.g., “The only thing he can do is to grow hair.”

Irony: saying something of which exactly the opposite is meant.

Jargon: Potentially confusing words and phrases used in an occupation, trade, or field of study.

Juxtaposition: The arrangement of two or more ideas, characters, actions, settings, phrases, or words side-by-side or in similar narrative moments for the purpose of comparison, contrast, rhetorical effect, suspense, or character development.

Leit-motif: In literature this term refers to an object, animal, phrase, or other thing loosely associated with a character, a setting, or event.

Lexicon: A fancy term scholars use when most people would simply say dictionary, i.e., a complete list of words and their definitions.

Lullaby: A song written for children, especially a calming one designed to help an infant go to sleep.

Lyric: A poem with song-like qualities. The original connotation of the word was a song meant to be sung to the accompaniment of a lyre.

Malapropism: An inaccuracy in vocabulary induced by accidental similarity in sound.

Manuscript: A text written by hand (or typed), as opposed to one printed with a printing press.

Melodrama: A play which embodies a deliberate appeal to the emotions, using sensation and violence for their own sake—usually an inferior kind of drama.

Metaphor: is used to emphasize similarity by speaking of one thing as another, rather than comparing the two as in a smile.

Metaphor, Mixed: Use of two or more inconsistent metaphors

simultaneously, e.g., “The cat is out of the bag, but I shall nip it in the bud.”

Mysticism: the habit or tendency of religious thought and feeling of those who seek direct communion with God or the Divine.

Narration, Narrative: Narration is the act of telling a sequence of events, often in chronological order. Alternatively, the term refers to any story, whether in prose or verse, involving events, characters, and what the characters say and do. A narrative is likewise the story or account itself.

Novel: is a lengthy story told in prose in narrative form, highlighting character and incidents. Some years ago, writers like James Joyce and Birginia Woolf wrote novels in which the mind’s response to events and its reflections were more important than the incidents. Such novels have been described as “stream of consciousness” novels.

Ode: A lyric poem, lofty in feeling and style and usually in the form of an address e.g., Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale”.

Oxymoron (plural oxymora, also called paradox): Using contradiction in a manner that oddly makes sense on a deeper level.

Paradox: A statement which at first sight seems self-contradictory e.g., “The child is father of the man”.

Paraphrase: A brief restatement in one’s own words of all or part of a literary or critical work, as opposed to quotation, in which one reproduces all or part of a literary or critical work word-for-word, exactly.

Parody: is literary caricature which while purporting to imitate the theme or style of an author deliberately magnifies his faults so that they look ridiculous.

Pastoral: An artistic composition dealing with the life of shepherds or with a simple, rural existence.

Pathos: A writer or speaker’s attempt to inspire an emotional reaction in an audience—usually a deep feeling of suffering, but sometimes joy, pride, anger, humor, patriotism, or any of a dozen other emotions.

Pen Name (Pseudonym): A fictitious name that a writer employs to conceal his or her identity. For example, Samuel Clemens used the pen name “Mark Twain”.

Plagiarism: Accidental or intentional intellectual theft in which a writer, poet, artist, scholar, or student steals an original idea, phrase, or section of writing from someone else and presents this material as his or her own work without indicating the source via appropriate explanation or citation.

Poetry: A variable literary genre characterized by rhythmical patterns of language.

Poetic Justice: This is a literary expression used usually in estimating an author’s literary work, where the author portrays characters in a manner that ideal administration of reward and punishment are given in the end for the deserving characters. Marlow’s Edward II is an example of poetic justice.

Pornography: means writing, painting or photography describing or depicting sex in such a manner that it excites impressionable minds.

Prose: Any material that is not written in a regular meter like poetry.

Pulp Fiction: Mass market novels printed cheaply and intended for a general audience.

Pun: A play on two words similar in sound but different in meaning.

Relic: The physical remains of a saint or biblical figure, or an object closely associated with a saint, biblical figure, or a miracle.

Rhetoric: The art of using language; principles of eloquence and effective communication. Sometimes the word is also used to refer to a showy and laboured style of composition in prose.

Rubaiyat: An Arabic term meaning a quatrain, or four-line stanza.

Saga: Sagas are Scandinavian and Icelandic prose narratives about famous historical heroes, notable families, or the exploits of kings and warriors.

Sarcasm: The act of ostensibly saying one thing but meaning another.

Satire: Writing that holds up to ridicule the vices and follies of its age. (Example: G.B. Shaw’s Arms and the Man, a satire on war).

Simile: Comparison bringing out similarity between two things otherwise dis-similar.

Spoof: A comic piece of film or literature that ostensibly presents itself as a “genre” piece, but actually pokes fun at the clichés or conventions of the genre through imitative satire.

Stereotype: A character who is so ordinary or unoriginal that the character seems like an oversimplified representation of a type, gender, class, religious group, or occupation.

Stoic: a person who is indifferent to pleasure or pain, having austere impassivity and limited wants.

Tag: Catch-phrases or character traits that a fiction writer uses repeatedly with a character.

Tenor: In common usage, tenor refers to the course of thought, meaning or emotion in anything written or spoken.

Theme: A central idea or statement that unifies and controls an entire literary work.

Transferred Epithet: An adjective or adverb separated from the word which it properly qualifies to some other word in the sentence to lend a particular type of emphasis e.g., “Sausages cooked in a few reluctant drops of oil.”

Trilogy: A group of three literary works that together compose a larger narrative.

Utopia: The term is used for one who imagines or believes in a Utopia; one who advocates impracticable reforms or one who expects an impossible state of perfection in society. Utopia was the imaginary island of Sir Thomas Moore’s ideal state where perfect conditions of life and government existed; an imaginary state of ideal perfection.

Variorum: A variorum edition is any published version of an author’s work that contains notes and comments by a number of scholars and critics.

Vernacular: The everyday or common language of a geographic area or the native language of commoners in a country as opposed to a prestigious dead language maintained artificially in schools or in literary texts.

Wit: In modern vernacular, the word refers to elements in a literary work designed to make the audience laugh or feel amused.

Yellow Journalism: Any newspaper giving sensational news or features with lavish use of morally objectionable pictures or pseudo-scientific articles is said to be indulging in “yellow journalism”.

Parliamentary Terms & Motions



Adjournment: When a sitting of an assembly is discontinued, to be resumed after some time, it is a temporary adjournment. When time for the resumed sitting is not specified, it is called adjournment sine die. A sitting can be adjourned by the Presiding Officer of the Assembly according to the rules framed by the Assembly in this behalf or on a resolution being passed by it.

Bicameral States: are those States which like Union government have two Houses of Legislature as against unicameral States which have only one House of Legislature.

Bill: Draft law presented to the Legislature for enactment.

By-Election: election to a seat rendered vacant during the running term of an elected person. This might occur on resignation, death or any other subsequent disqualification of the member originally elected.

Cabinet: Usually a synonym for “Council of Ministers”.

Cabinet, Shadow: is a team of men selected by the party in opposition to take over the different portfolios in case the party is able to wrest power.

Caucus: A conference held by convention delegates or political leaders to determine strategy or discuss candidates. In a general sense, a caucus is a meeting of a group of politically-interested people seeking to work out a common plan of action.

Climb on the bandwagon: To support a candidate who appears likely to win an election. (A term used in US Presidential election.)

Committee: A body of persons appointed or elected for performing specified tasks; may be small group within a larger body.

Concurrent power: Powers that are shared by federal and constituent governments under a federal constitution. Where laws in an area of concurrency conflict, the federal law is normally paramount. For example, education and health are areas where Union government and State governments in India hold concurrent powers.

Constituency: A unit (geographical or otherwise) that elects one or more members to the Legislature or other bodies.

Constitutional bodies: Entities created by the constitution for specified tasks.

Crossing the Floor: When a member of Parliament or a Legislature leaves the opposition to join the party in power or vice versa, he or she is said to have defected or crossed the floor.

Cross-voting: Cross-voting is said to have occurred when members of the party in power and the party in opposition break these barriers and cast their votes on either side without regard to party affiliations.

Decentralization: A process of governance where constituent units exercise administrative, legislative and/or fiscal authority. The process is also defined in the transfer of authority from central government to lower levels of government in political, administrative and territorial hierarchy.

Dissolution: When due to a breakdown of the constitutional machinery in a State, the Governor recommends a fresh poll, the existing State Assembly is dissolved which means that its members cease to be representatives of the people who had elected them.

Election: The process of selecting a person of choice through voting.

Election Commission: A constitutional body with responsibility for conducting elections.

Enabling legislation: Legislation that gives specified officials the authority to implement or enforce a law.

Extra constitutional: Something that is not provided for in the constitution, for example an extra-constitutional power. Extra-constitutional does not necessarily mean unconstitutional, that is, in violation of the constitution.

Extra judicial: A measure undertaken without proper judicial authorization and contrary to the law. For example, an extra-judicial execution.

Federalism: A form of government in which power is divided between the Federal, or National, government and the State governments.

Filibuster: is indulging in long-winded speeches, not necessarily relevant, to obstruct, delay or bargain over the enactment of a measure under consideration.

First-Past-the-Post system: An electoral system in which the one who receives more votes than any other candidate gets elected.

Gallup Poll: A system, introduced by Dr Gallup of the USA for testing public opinion on topical subjects by taking a test poll on questions framed to elicit opinions.

Gerrymandering: connotes a wavy or irregular redistribution of electoral constituencies so as to give undue advantage to a particular political party.

Impeachment: Process under which charges are brought in Parliament against a high constitutional authority, public official or judge.

Judicial review: Powers of the courts to decide upon the constitutionality of a Legislative or an Executive act and invalidate that act if it is determined to be contrary to constitutional provisions or principles.

Jurisdiction: The territorial or legislative fields over which an order of government, including the judiciary, has the authority to make laws.

Lame-duck Session: of Parliament is the session held when a new Parliament has been elected as a result of general elections but the old Parliament meets for the last time before it completes its term and is dissolved.

The members of the Legislature who fail to get re-elected but continue to function as legislatures until the new legislature meets, are known as Lame-ducks. The term Lame-duck was first used in USA but now it has become an integral part of the political vocabulary of all democratic countries of the world.

Leftists and Rightists: Leftists is a term generally used to describe people who favour change from a bourgeoisie to a proletarian society. Rightists are those who believe in conservatism i.e., keeping things as they are or maintaining the status quo.

Legislation: The process of making enacted law; the body of enacted laws (note: an individual law is not ‘a legislation’ but a ‘piece of legislation’ or ‘a statue’).

Lobbying: means to frequent the small hall or waiting room or a pssage serving as a common entrance to several apartments of an Assembly Hall (or Parliament) for the purpose of influencing members or to collect political intelligence.

Local self-government: Government of an area smaller than the territory of a federation or a constituent unit of a federation. This may be called a village, town, city, county, district or region. True self-government implies a democratically elected body representing the local inhabitants with sufficient autonomy and resources to pursue locally determined priorities.

Majority, absolute: Complete majority – that is of more than half, not just the largest number of votes.

Mid-term Poll: is an election held out of schedule as a result of the dissolution of Legislature before it has been in existence for its normal span of life.

Minority community: A sub-group within a larger population, which may live on a given territory, which does not form either a majority or a plurality. Definitions of a minority group sometimes refer to a group that is disadvantaged in relation to a dominant group in terms of its social status, education, employment, health and political power, whatever its numerical size.

Oligarchy: A form of government where political power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family, military powers or spiritual hegemony). The word oligarchy is translated into ‘rule by few’. It needs to be understood in contrast to democracy.

Ombudsman: A Swedish word meaning ‘spokesperson’ but referring to an official receiving complaints from the public and able to inquire into them, usually relating to behaviour of officials.

Ordinances: Provisional law made by the executive under the authority of the constitution and not of another statue.

People Sniffer: A political term indicating indictment of a government policy expressed through unofficial media.

Preamble: The preamble is the introductory part of the constitution that normally sets out some, or all, of the following: the history of the constitution, the values and aspirations of the people, the nature of the state and the authority under which the constitution is made. The preamble is still one of the oldest and most common ways of incorporating values and may also hold great symbolic significance.

Proclamation: A formal public statement.

Promulgate: Put a law into effect by a formal proclamation.

Proportional representation: A system of electing members of the Legislature, in which the number of seats allocated to a particular party is determined by the percentage of the popular vote won by that party.

Prorogation: Besides the methods described in “Adjournment” in accordance with which an Assembly may be adjourned, the Governor too can, on the advice of the Chief Minister or in his discretion prorogue the Assembly under Article 174(2)(a) of the Constitution. Like ‘adjournment’, prorogation too has the effect of discontinuing the meetings of the Assembly for a time without dissolving it.

Question Hour: When Parliament is in session, the proceedings usually start each day with Question Hour. Members can ask for oral or written replies to their questions on every aspect of administration and government policy in both national and international spheres. Each member is allowed a quota of five admitted questions per day. The final admissibility of a question is decided by the Speaker.

Quorum: The minimum number of members of an organization (e.g. Parliament) needed to conduct business.

Quota: An assigned share, for example of parliamentary seats, assigned to a specific group of people (ethnic group, women, religious group, linguistic group, etc.).

Ratification: Formal improval of document (by the Parliament).

Referendum: A popular vote by the electorate to decide an issue, not to choose people.

Representative government: A system of government where the legislative and executive bodies are filled, directly or indirectly, through a process of regular elections.

Reservation: A process of positive discrimination to ensure adequate representation of marginalized groups in legislative and executive positions.

Resolution: A formal decision made by a body like Parliament.

Secular State: A secular State is a State or a country that is officially neutral in matters of religion, neither supporting nor opposing any particular religious system.

Self-determination: In modern international law, a collective “people’s right” to govern their affairs. This may not equate to a right to nationhood, but at a minimum ensures the right of a people to preserve its language and heritage.

Snap Vote: A snap vote is voting unexpectedly recorded without the voters having been briefed in advance by party whips.

Sovereignty: The principle that the State exercises absolute power over its territory and population. It also includes the freedom of a State to determine its foreign relations with other States and be a member of international organizations.

Starred and Un-starred Questions: When asking questions members of Parliament may ask for either oral or written answers. Questions to which oral answers are required are marked with an asterisk, and are known as Starred Questions. Questions requiring written replies are Unstarred Questions.

Veto: Valid power that one can exercise to block a decision (e.g. the power that a head of State has to reject a Bill passed by the Legislature).

Zero Hour: The “Zero Hour” is the time allotted in the House every day for miscellaneous business i.e., call-attention notices, questions on official statements and adjournment motions. Its duration is not specified.


Adjournment Motion: At the end of the question hour in Parliament, any member thereof may table a motion seeking adjournment of the House “for the purpose of discussing a definite matter of urgent public importance.” Such a move is called an Adjournment Motion. The notice for moving the Motion for adjournment of the business of the House is required to be given to the Presiding Officer of the House.

Call-attention Motion: A member of Parliament may, with prior permission of the Speaker, call the attention of a minister to any matter of “urgent public importance” and the minister may make a brief statement or ask for time to make a statement at a later hour or date. A motion of this nature is known as a call-attention motion.

Censure Motion: means a motion of no-confidence in a government.

Cut Motion: It is a device which members can employ to reduce the amount of a demand. It may be done either by refusing the Demand which is called a disapproval of policy cut. In such cases, the cut motion is that “the amount of the Demand be reduced to Re 1”. The other type of cut motion is termed as “Economy Cut” and according to it the Demand be reduced by a specific sum.

No-confidence Motion: Or “No-trust Motion” is a motion moved by a member to express lack of confidence in the Government for any reason. The motion, if allowed, is debated upon. At the conclusion of such a debate, a vote of confidence is sought by the Government and if it fails to get the required majority of vote, it has to submit its resignation forthwith.

Privilege Motion: is a motion moved by a member if he feels that a Minister has committed a breach of privilege of the House or of any one or more of its members by withholding the facts of a case or by giving a distorted version of facts etc.