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In reading comprehension, it is one’s capacity to understand and reasoning ability that is being assessed. The skills to hone are one’s ability to grasp the main ideas from a passage, linking the various ideas in a given passage and being able to infer and draw conclusions. For this one requires an extensive vocabulary and advanced reading skills. Since there is no syllabus to fall back on, aspirants have to rely on their skills to be able to tackle passages they have never seen.
There needs to be a focus on grammar, at least in the initial stages of preparation as it is the first step to understanding any language. A strong grammatical basis provides a foundation to build advanced skills on. Once the candidates have a strong hold on their grammar, the focus should shift to reading comprehension. For this the more one reads, the more their confidence will increase.
One thing aspirant must remember even before reading a passage is recognising the difference between an author’s opinion and their own thoughts about a subject. Unless the passage asks for it, it is the author’s opinion the aspirants must stick to. What is being assessed here is the ability to comprehend and assimilate information presented in front of the reader. This might take some practice as students are often hardwired to stick to their preconceived thoughts. Since too much time cannot be spent on a single passage to differentiate between author’s opinion and student’s thoughts, the passages should be approached in a blank manner, only taking in what the passage is giving.
Steps to Approach a Passage:
- Read the questions carefully: In the questions, the aspirant will get instructions regarding what to look for in the passage.
- Read the passage with the questions in mind: reading the passage after having read the questions streamlines the process. The passage should be approached according to the demand in the question.
- Consider the Options: the aspirant should look at the options next and correspond them with their answer to find the closest match.
Terminology to Remember
Assume: to accept something as true without proof
Assumption a thing that is accepted as true without proof
Conclude: to arrive at an end
4. Conclusion: the final outcome or result
5. Crux: the most important point of an issue
6. Imply: indicating/ pointing towards something that is not explicitly stated
7. Implication: to draw a conclusion from something although it is not explicitly stated
8. Inference: to draw a conclusion based on evidence.
Types of Questions
1. Assumptions of the author
The questions are based on the author’s opinions and thoughts while writing the passage. The answer in this case is not directly in the passage and requires critical thinking on the part of the student. It is important to note that it is the author’s opinion that is being asked and aspirants need to remove their thoughts and opinions and focus solely on the author. It is important to note the writing style while trying to solve these questions; how the author is describing things, whether he is making a statement or posing questions. The key words to look out for in these types of questions are “assumed”, “assumptions made”, “According to the passage/author”.
A central message of modern development economics is the importance of income growth, which means growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In theory, rising GDP creates unemployment and investment opportunities. As incomes grow in a country where the level of GDP was once low, households, communities, and governments are increasingly able to set aside some funds for the production of things that make for a good life. Today GDP has assumed such a significant place in the development lexicon, that if someone mentions “economic growth”, we know they mean growth in GDP.
With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:
1. Rising GDP is essential for a country to be developed country
2. Rising GDP guarantees a reasonable distribution of income to all households.
Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?
a. 1 only
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2
d. Neither 1 nor 2
Answer and Explanation:
The passage is discussing the perceived importance of GDP in today’s world. Since the question has asked for assumptions made, you need to focus on the opinions of the author instead of your own thoughts. Of the two assumptions given as part of the question, the first seems to be reflected in the passage. The second option has the word ‘guarantees’ meaning an assurance or a promise. However the passage has the phrase “in theory” which is used in describing something that is supposed to happen but may or may not happen. The connotation or implication is usually towards the negative. So option no. 2 is not an assumption. Option no. 1 is the only assumption that has been made by the author. The answer thus is (a).
Note: Make sure to read the question carefully. It could ask what assumptions have been made and also what assumptions can be made. The first indicates assumptions of the author; the second refers to assumptions that can be made after reading the passage (by you). The answer may differ based on this technicality.
2. Explicit Information
These are direct questions and perhaps the easiest to solve because of their direct nature. The answers are fact based and are found within the passage itself. For these questions the details need to be focused on. It is also important to read the question properly as many times they are negative. The question may ask what the passage is NOT saying. Either way, for these questions the second reading of the passage needs to be detail oriented. The questions are direct or may ask which of the given options are true.
The sugar maple is a hard maple tree. It can grow as tall as 100 feet and as wide as 4 feet. The sugar maple is commercially valued for its sap, which is used in making maple syrup. Two northeastern states, Vermont and New York, rank as major producers of maple syrup. In Canada, Quebec’s annual syrup production surpasses 2.5 million gallons. To make pure maple syrup, holes are made in the trunk of the tree at the end of winter or in early spring. The water-like sap seeps through the holes and runs through a plastic spout that is put into the hole. Afterwards, the collected sap is transferred into tubes that are hooked up to a tank kept in the sugar house. Then, the sap goes through the boiling process. Boiling enhances flavour and adds colour to the sap. Once the sugar content of the sap is about 65%–66%, the sap is ready to be strained and marketed. Maple syrup found in supermarkets, however, is usually not pure and has other additives. The colour of pure maple may range from golden honey to light brown. Between 35 to 50 gallons of sap is needed to produce 1 gallon of maple syrup. Also, popular for the strength and finish of its wood, the sugar maple tree has been put to use in furniture, interior woodwork, flooring, and crates.
According to the passage, which of the following periods is ideal for sapping?
(a) End of winter or in early spring
(b) Beginning of winter or in early spring
(c) End of winter or late spring
(d) Throughout the year
Answer and Explanation
This is a question where the answer is explicitly given in the passage.So after reading the passage a cursory reading, re-read the passage carefully looking for the answer. These questions are a sure way to score some marks. Based on the information in the passage, sapping takes place at the end of winter and in early spring. Hence, the correct answer is (a).
3. Implicit Information
This is the direct opposite of explicit information in that the answers to these types of questions are not given directly within the passage. They need to be deduced from the passage after a close reading. They test the aspirant’s reasoning ability along with their comprehension skills. The implied idea will not be found by merely evaluating the options. The key words to look out for are “implied” or “implications”. While reading the passage, the aspirant should think about the consequences of the passage, what the passage is saying and also what the passage is not saying.
In the immediate future, we will see the increasing commodification of many new technologies– artificial intelligence and robotics, 3D manufacturing, custom made biological and pharmaceutical products, lethal autonomous weapons and driverless cars. The moral question of how a driverless car will decide between hitting a jaywalker and swerving and damaging the car has often been debated, the answer is both simple- save the human life - and complex. At which angle should the ar swerve- just enough to save the jaywalker or more than enough? If the driverless car is in Dublin, who would take the decision? The Irish Government, or the car’s original code writer in California, or a software programmer in Hyderabad to whom maintenance is outsourced? If different national jurisdictions have different fine print on prioritising a human life, how will it affect insurance and investment decisions, including transactional ones?
Which of the following statements best reflect the rational, plausible and practical implications that can be derived from the passage given above?
1. Too much globalisation is not in the best interest of any country.
2. Modern technologies are increasingly blurring the economic borders.
3. Innovation and capital have impinged on the domain of the State.
4. Public policy of every country should focus on developing its own supply chains.
5. Geopolitics will have to reconcile to many ambiguities and uncertainties.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
a. 1, 4 and 5 only
b. 1,2,3 and 5 only
c. 2,3 and 5 only
d. 1,2,3,4 and 5
Answer and Explanation
This passage is about the moral conundrum of new technologies. It is full of examples and you need to focus on the main idea. It is important to note that the passage is not criticising new technologies, nor is it offering any solutions. It is merely stating that new technologies have caused new problems. Option 1 is a direct critique of globalisation. Since the passage is not a critique of globalisation, Option 1 gets immediately negated. All the options except (c)have option 1 in them. So the third option is the correct answer.
4. Inference/Conclusion based questions
These questions ask the aspirant to infer from the information given in the passage or draw a conclusion. The conclusion could be directly given in the passage or it could be that the aspirant needs to draw the inferences themselves. Inferences can usually be drawn from anywhere within the passage while conclusions will focus on the last few lines. The words to look out for are “concluding remarks”, “infer”, “inference”.
Our cities are extremely vulnerable to climate change because of large concentrations of populations and poor infrastructure. Moreover, population densities are increasing in them but we have not yet developed the systems to address climate change impacts. Our cities contribute to 65 percent of the GDP, but there are not enough facilities to address the issues of air quality, transport, etc., that are vital to identifying sustainable solutions. We need to involve citizens in city planning and create an ecosystem that meets the needs of the people.
Which of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the passage given above?
a. Our cities need to have well-defined administrative set-up with sufficient autonomy.
b. Ever increasing population densities is a hindrance in our efforts to achieve sustainable development.
c. To maintain and develop our cities we need to adopt sustainability related interventions.
d. Public-private Partnership mode of development is the viable long-term solution for the infrastructure and sustainability problems in India.
Answer and Explanation
This passage is about cities that are being affected due to climate change. Since inference based questions require critical thinking by you, you need to read the passage very carefully to determine the most logical inference. After reading the passage, think about what the passage is indicating since the answer is not directly there in the passage. Here while options a), b) and d) are all true statements, option c) is the most appropriate option.
By now it should be clear to you how important having a strong vocabulary is.
To have even a basic understanding of comprehension passages it is important to first understand the words. However, building up one’s vocabulary requires rigorous practice.
Read, Rinse and Repeat: Reading is an essential, unavoidable step of the process. In order to get familiar with important words that might come up in comprehension passages, making a habit of reading newspapers is helpful. Some good examples include Indian Express, The Times of India and The Hindu. Everytime you come across a new word, it is a good idea to underline or highlight it and relate it to your own life. Make a note of each new word you come across to refer to later.
A Separate Notebook: It is a good idea to have a separate space to write down all the new words that you come across. As you come across more words, it is likely that some might escape your memory. Having them all written down in one place for reference later can be particularly helpful for active recall.
Construct Sentences: Memorising a list of new words will only get you so far. Writing sentences with unfamiliar words you come across makes you actively engage with each word, which each in turn helps retain it in your memory for much longer. It is also extra grammar practice that will help you write better essays in future.
Flashcards: Flashcards help in active recall which has been proven to improve one’s memory.
Word games: Playing word games could be a way to build your vocabulary while relaxing. However, be careful to not use this as an excuse to use your phone to procrastinate.
A List of Important Words
Abdicate: 1. (of a monarch) to renounce one's throne
2. to fail to fulfil a responsibility or duty
Synonyms: resign, retire, step down, disown, turn down
Abject: extremely unpleasant
Synonyms: wretched, miserable.
Abrade: scrape or wear away by friction or erosion
Synonyms: wear, erode
Abridged: A piece of writing that has been shortened.
Synonyms: Concise, shortened, condensed.
Antonyms: lengthened, expanded
Abundant: having large quantities
Synonyms: plentiful, ample, copious
Antonyms: scarce, sparse.
Acquit: To free someone from a criminal charge by verdict of not guilty.
Synonyms: absolve, clear, exonerate.
Adamant: Refusing to be persuaded or change one's mind.
Synonyms: firm, Steadfast, resolute.
Adequate: Satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.
Synonyms: Enough, sufficient, ample.
Antonyms: insufficient, inadequate.
Adverse: harmful or unfavourable.
Synonyms: disadvantageous, dangerous.
Antonyms: favourable, beneficial, positive
Aggravate: make a problem worse or more serious; to annoy.
Synonyms: provoke, antagonise.
Antonyms: calm, conciliate
Ailing: in poor health.
Synonyms: ill, unwell.
Antonyms: healthy, strong.
Alienated: to feel isolated.
Synonyms: estranged, isolated, set apart.
Allude: to hint at; suggest indirectly.
Synonyms: imply, mention in passing.
Ally: a state formally cooperating with another state. verb combine or unite a resource for mutual benefit.
Synonyms: amalgamate, pool.
Ambiguous: unclear or vague.
Synonyms: perplexing, cryptic, dubious.
Antonyms: unambiguous, clear.
Ambivalent: having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something. Synonyms: uncertain, doubtful, inconclusive.
Antonyms: certain, unequivocal.
Amidst: in the middle of, at the time of.
Ample: Enough or more than enough.
Synonyms: plentiful, abundant.
Antonyms: insufficient, scarce.
Annihilate: to destroy completely.
Synonyms: destroy, wipe out, obliterate.
Antonyms: create, build, establish.
Applaud: verb. to show approval or praise (by clapping).
Synonyms: acclaim, cheer.
Audacity: 1. a willingness to take bold risks.
- rude or disrespectful behaviour.
Synonyms: impertinence, impudence, insolence, daring.
Complacency: A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.
Synonyms: smugness, self-approval, gloating.
Complement: a thing that contributes features to something else in a way that improves or emphasises its quality.
Synonyms: supplement, accompany.
Compliance: to act in accordance with a wish or command.
Synonyms: obey, follow, fulfil,
Antonyms: ignore, disober.
Compliment: a praise or expression of approval.
Synonyms: flattering, appreciative.
Conundrum:. 1. A confusing and difficult problem 2. A riddle Similar Words: dilemna, quandary, puzzle, teaser
Deleterious: causing harm or damage.
Synonyms: harmful, amaging, detrimental
Antonyms: beneficial, advantageous
Dichotomy: a division or contrast between two things that are seemingly opposite or completely different.
Synonyms: contradiction, polarity.
Distinguish: to recognise or treat something as different.
Synonyms: differentiate, discriminate, separate
Distortion: twisted or contorted
Egalitarian: based on the principle that all are equal and deserve equal rights. Noun. a person who supports equal rights and equality for all people.
Synonyms: equalitarian, classless, impartial
Emphasise: give special importance or value to something; lay stress on something. Synonyms: stress, highlight, dwell on.
Empirical: based on observation or experience rather than theory or pure logic. Synonyms: observed, factual, first-hand.
Exacerbate: make a problem or situation worse
Synonym: aggravate, worsen, intensify.
Antonym: calm, reduce
Fragment: a small part broken off or separated from something.
Synonyms: piece, particle.
Impact: effect or influence. verb. come into forcible contact with another object.
Synonym: impression, collision, crash
Indigenous: originating or occurring naturally in a particular place
Synonyms: native, aboriginal, local
Antonym: migrant, foreign
Integration: the process of uniting different things.
Synonyms: combination, unification, incorporation.
Antonyms: separation, segregation
Jurisdiction: the official power to make legal decisions and judgements
Synonyms: Authority, control, power, dominion.
Mitigate: make (something bad) less severe; lessen the gravity of something.
Synonym: alleviate, reduce, diminish.
Antonym: aggravate, intensify
Muddle: a mix up, confused state.
Synonyms: disarray, disorganise.
Necessitate: make something necessary as a result or consequence
Synonym: entail, require
Pervasive: spreading widely throughout an area or a group of people.
Synonyms: prevalent, penetrating,
Profusely: In large amounts. similar words: excessively, extensively, abundantly. Opposite words: Scanty, Sparing.
Quintessential: Representing the most typical example of something.
Synonyms: typical, classic, essential
Reconcile: restore friendly relations between.
Synonyms: appease, placate, pacify
Antonyms: agitate, irritate
Renounce: formally declare abandonment LAW: Refuse or resign a right or position
Synonyms: Relinquish, reject, abdicate, surrender.
Rhetoric: the art of effective or persuasive speaking or writing. Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect, but is often regarded as lacking in sincerity.
Synonyms: oratory, eloquence.
Scrutiny: Critical observation or examination.
Synonym: careful examination, inspection, survey
Antonym: Cursory look
Stringent: (of regulation, requirements or conditions) strict, precise and exacting.
Synonym: strict, firm, rigorous.
Antonym: lenient, flexible
Trajectory: the path followed by something.
Synonym: course, route, path.
Vulnerable: exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Synonyms: at risk, endangered, unguarded.
Antonym: invulnerable, resilient
Withstand: remain undamaged or unaffected by something; offer strong resistance to something.
Synonyms: resist, hold out against.
Antonyms: give in, surrender
Useful Phrases and Idioms:
- ‘The best of both worlds’ – means you can enjoy two different opportunities at the same time.
- ‘Speak of the devil’ – this means that the person you’re just talking about actually appears at that moment.
- ‘See eye to eye’ – this means agreeing with someone.
- ‘Once in a blue moon’ – an event that happens infrequently.
- ‘When pigs fly’ – something that will never happen.
- ‘To cost an arm and a leg’– something is very expensive.
- ‘A piece of cake’– something is very easy.
- ‘Let the cat out of the bag’ – to accidentally reveal a secret.
- ‘To feel under the weather’ – to not feel well.
- ‘To kill two birds with one stone’ – to solve two problems at once.
- ‘To cut corners’ – to do something badly or cheaply.
- ‘To add insult to injury’ – to make a situation worse.
- ‘You can’t judge a book by its cover’ – to not judge someone or something based solely on appearance.
- ‘Break a leg’ – means ‘good luck’ (often said to actors before they go on stage).
- ‘To hit the nail on the head’ – to describe exactly what is causing a situation or problem.
- ‘A blessing in disguise’ – An misfortune that eventually results in something good happening later on.
- ‘Call it a day’ – Stop working on something
- ‘Let someone off the hook’ – To allow someone, who has been caught, to not be punished.
- ‘No pain no gain’ – You have to work hard for something you want.
- ‘Bite the bullet’ – Decide to do something unpleasant that you have avoided doing.
- ‘Getting a taste of your own medicine’ – Being treated the same unpleasant way you have treated others.
- ‘Giving someone the cold shoulder’ – To ignore someone.
- ‘The last straw’ – The final source of irritation for someone to finally lose patience.
- ‘The elephant in the room’ – A matter or problem that is obviously of great importance but that is not discussed openly.
- ‘Stealing someone's thunder’ – Taking credit for someone else's achievements.
Important Note: These lists are only starting points meant to give you a head start. Only memorising these will not be enough. It is important you form a habit of practising as much as possible. A general tip for gaining confidence with unseen passages widely. This not only helps in increasing the vocabulary but it allows aspirants to grow familiar with the English language, an essential skill to possess. Since the passages come from a variety of topics dealing with current affairs, reading widely, across different kinds of reading media, like (newspapers, novels, blog posts) can help ease one’s fear of unfamiliar passages.
Read the following passages and answer the questions given below:
1. Though top leaders of the nationalist movement were the policy makers, the immediate day-to-day leadership was provided by the middle-class intellectuals. The rural origin of the industrial labour force together with rampant illiteracy and their simplistic docility attracted social workers, mainly drawn from the middle-class intellectuals. They had an obvious advantage. Not being employees, the leaders were free from fear of victimisation and immune towards the risks of leadership. Being generally well educated, they had a better perspective and sense of organisation. They could see the issue in a broader context. They belonged to a higher social plane than the workers and with good education and intellectual development comparable to the best among the employers they could meet the employers on their own plane and carry on negotiations on an equal footing. According to the Royal Commission on Labour in India, ‘the effect of this surge was enhanced by the political turmoil which added to the prevailing feelings of unrest and assured to provide willing leaders of a trade union movement’. But outside leadership had led to the politicisation of the movement.
What conclusion can be drawn based on the passage given above?
I. The middle class intellectuals were active participants in the Nationalistic movement because the workers did not want to choose a leader among themselves.
II. The integration of middle class intellectuals as political leaders caused the movement to become politicised.
a. Only (I)
b. Only (II)
c. Both (I) and (II)
d. Neither (I) and (II)
2. Inequality is visible, even statistically measurable in many instances, but the economic power that drives it is invisible and not measurable. Like the force of gravity, power is the organising principle of inequality, be it of income, or wealth, gender, race, religion and region. Its effects are seen in a pervasive manner in all spheres, but the ways in which economic power pulls and tilts visible economic variables remain invisibly obscure.
On the basis of the above passage, which of the following best articulates the crux of the passage?
a. Economic power can be analysed more through its effects than by direct empirical methods
b. Inequality of different kinds, income, wealth, etc. reinforces power.
c. The nature of economic power, the driving force behind all kinds of inequality, is obscurity.
d. Economics power is the only reason for the existence of inequality in a society.
3. A majority of the TB infected in India are poor and lack sufficient nutrition, suitable housing and have little understanding of prevention. TB then devastates families, makes the poor poorer, particularly affects women and children, and leads to ostracization and loss of employment. The truth is that even if TB does not kill them, hunger and poverty will. Another truth is that deep-sealed stigma, lack of counselling, expensive treatment and lack of adequate support from providers and family, couples with torturous side-effects demotivate patients to continue treatment- with disastrous health consequences.
On the basis of the passage above, which one of the following assumptions can be made?
a. The circumstances in India makes TB an incurable disease in India.
b. Basic amenities like proper nutrition, housing can alleviate the current TB situation in India.
c. The stigma caused by TB is worse than the disease itself.
d. The poverty stricken people of India are unwilling to seek medical help to cure TB because of the harmful side effects and high cost of treatment.
4. The plunder of Latin America left 70 million indigenous people dead in its wake. In India, 30 million died of famine under British rule. Average living standards in India and China, which had been on par with Britain before the colonial period, collapsed. So too did their share of world GDP, falling from 65 percent to 10 percent, while Europe’s share tripled. And mass poverty became an issue for the first time in history, as European capitalism - driven by the imperatives of growth and profit - prised people off their land and destroyed their capacity for self-sufficient subsistence. Development for some meant underdevelopment of others.
Consider the following statements
A. European capitalism is the root cause of mass poverty
B. Colonialism caused displacement of indigenous population.
C. Europe’s status as a wealthy nation is based on the destruction of third world countries.
Which of these statements can be inferred to be true based on the passage above?
a. A and B only
b. B only
c. A and C only
d. A, B, and C only
5. The world map of inequalities reveals that national average income levels are poor predictors of inequality — among high-income countries, some are very unequal (such as the US), while others are relatively equal (Sweden). "The same is true among low- and middle-income countries, with some exhibiting extreme inequality (Brazil and India), somewhat high levels (China) and moderate to relatively low levels (Malaysia, Uruguay)," stated the World Inequality Report. The report noted that income and wealth inequalities have been on the rise nearly everywhere since the 1980s, following a series of deregulation and liberalisation programmes which took different forms in different countries. "The rise has not been uniform: certain countries have experienced spectacular increases in inequality (including the US, Russia and India) while others (European countries and China) have experienced relatively smaller rises," it said.
The report pointed out that in 2021, after three decades of trade and financial globalisation, global inequalities remain extremely pronounced. "They are about as great today as they were at the peak of Western imperialism in the early 20th century," it said. Lucas Chancel, lead author of the report, said the COVID crisis has exacerbated inequalities between the very wealthy and the rest of the population. "Yet, in rich countries, government intervention prevented a massive rise in poverty, this was not the case in poor countries. This shows the importance of social states in the fight against poverty," he said.
What is the most logical inference that can be drawn from the above passage?
a. The involvement of the state is essential to the alleviation of the poor.
b. The COVID crisis has caused the rich to become richer and poor to become poorer.
c. High income countries are more unequal than low income countries
d. The World Inequality Report states that income levels are not good indicators of inequality.
6. Scientists have warned that global warming will keep getting worse until humanity reaches “net zero” emissions globally — that is, the point at which we are no longer pumping any additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. So in recent years a growing number of countries and businesses have been pledging to “go net zero” by various dates. But the concept can easily be abused. It’s one example of climate terminology that can be hard to decipher.
What are the most appropriate implications according to the passage given above?
I. The solution to global warming is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
II. The language surrounding climate change leaves room for loopholes that are misused.
III. Businesses and countries pledging environmental goals will help making lasting impact on climate change issues
IV. Climate change policies require cooperation on a global scale.
V. Businesses pledging “go net zero” are contributing to rising temperatures globally.
a. Only (IV)
b. (II), (IV) Only
c. (I),(II),(III),(V) Only
d. (II),(III),(V) Only
7. No superhuman brain is required to avoid the various foolish opinions that many of us hold. A few simple rules will keep you away not from all errors, but from silly errors. If the matter is one which can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple method of counting the teeth of Mrs. Aristotle. Thinking that you know, when in fact, you do not know, is a bad mistake to which many of us are prone.
Based on the passage above, which of the following assumptions has been made by the author?
a. Even great people like Aristotle can make a mistake
b. Silly mistakes can be avoided by resorting to thinking.
c. One does not have to be exceptionally clever to avoid making silly mistakes.
d. We are prone to making avoidable mistakes since we do not care to think for ourselves.
8. Those who pay attention to the Olympics tend to view them from one end of a telescope or the other. Most who tune in for the sporting event every couple of years love the suspense. They may know, in the recesses of their minds, that the spectacle disguises a rusty and corrupt system, prone to vote buying in the selection of host cities, appeasement of dictators and unkept promises. To the fans of the Olympics, the positives outweigh the negatives.
Those who analyse the Olympics more broadly see the balance in reverse. They may appreciate the athletic achievements, but not enough to outweigh concerns about damage inflicted by the Olympics.
Which of the following options best reflects the central message of the passage given above?
a. The Olympic games are a testament to the world’s athletic talent
b. Analyses of the Olympic games reveals a lot of corruption in the host cities
c. Despite the athletic marvels showcased in the Olympics, its many drawbacks cannot be ignored
d. The Olympics are a polarising event in today’s society
9. Books today have become mere adjuncts to the world of the mass media, offering light entertainment and reassurances that all is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds. The resulting control on the spread of ideas is stricter than anyone would have thought possible in a free society. The need for public debate and open discussion, inherent in the democratic idea, conflicts with the ever-stricter demand for total profit.
Which of the following implications is correct based on the passage above?
a. The false sense of security provided by conformist literature can be detrimental to free thought
b. Light entertainment can be harmful to the democratic idea of a free society in the long run
c. The most important idea in democracy is dissent
d. Books published earlier used to be more critical of society as opposed to the light entertainment we get today
10. Cause and effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army. It is a crab scuttling sideways, a drip of soft water wearing away stone, an earthquake breaking centuries of tension. Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later, sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions of others; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. What all these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in the hope.
What is the crux of the passage given above?
a. Imagination is the breeding ground for ideas that change the world
b. History is not a linear movement
c. Mass movements can be sparked by a single person
d. History should be approached in a holistic manner instead of a cause and effect manner
11. The concept of sustainability has often been distorted, co-opted, and even trivialised by being used without the ecological context that gives it its proper meaning. What is sustained in a sustainable community is not economic growth, competitive advantage, or any other measure used by economists, but the entire web of life on which our long-term survival depends. The first step toward a sustainable community, naturally, must be to understand how nature sustains life. This involves a new ecological understanding of life, or “ecoliteracy”, as well as a new kind of systemic thinking - thinking in terms of relationships, patterns and context.
What is the most plausible, logical inference drawn from this passage?
a. Ecoliteracy is essential to the understanding of climate change policies
b. Nature and naturalistic living needs to be given more importance over a demand for total profit
c. Separating sustainability from its ecological context has led to the reduction of its importance.
d. Ecological understanding of life is essential for a sustainable future.
12. Education plays a transformatory role in life, particularly so in this rapidly changing and globalising world. Universities are the custodians of the intellectual capital and promoters of culture and specialised knowledge. Culture is an activity of thought, and receptiveness to beauty and human feelings. A merely well informed man is only a bore on God’s earth. What we should aim at is producing men who possess both culture and expert knowledge. Their expert knowledge will give them a firm ground to start from and their culture will lead them as deep as philosophy and as high as art. Together it will impart meaning to human existence.
On the basis of the above passage the following can be said to be true
I. Without acquiring culture, a person’s education is not complete
II. A society of well educated people cannot be transformed into a modern society
III. It is essential that a society has cultured as well as intellectual people.
Which is/are valid?
a. I only
b. II only
c. I and II only
d. I and III only
13. Global population was around 1.6 billion in 1990- today it is around 7.2 billion and growing. Recent estimates on population growth predict a glocal population of 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10. 9 billion in 2100. Unlike Europe and North America, where only three to four percent of the population is engaged in agriculture, around 47 percent of India’s population is dependent upon agriculture. Even if India continues to do well in the service sector and the manufacturing sector picks up, it is expected that around 2030 when INdia overtakes China as the world’s most populous country, nearly 42 percent of India's population will still be predominantly dependent on agriculture.
Which of the following reflects the most logical inference based on the passage above?
a. Indian economy greatly depends on its agriculture
b. Prosperity of agriculture sector is of critical importance to India
c. India’s farming communities should switch over to other occupations to improve their economic conditions
d. India should take strict measures to control its rapid population growth.
14. All political systems need to mediate the relationship between private wealth and public power. Those that fail risk a dysfunctional government captured by wealthy interests. Corruption is one symptom of such failure with private willingness-to-pay trumping public goals. Private individuals and business firms pay to get routine services and to get to the head of the bureaucratic queue. They pay to limit their taxes, avoid costly regulations, obtain contracts at inflated prices. If corruption is endemic, public officials - both bureaucrats and elected officials- may redesign programmes and propose public projects with few public benefits and many opportunities for private profit. Of course, corruption is only one type of government failure. Efforts to promote good governance must be broader than anti corruption campaigns. Governments may be honest but inefficient because no one has an incentive to work productively, and narrow elites may capture the state and exert excess influence on policy. Bribery may induce the lazy to work hard and permit those not in the inner circle of cronies to obtain benefits. However, even in such cases, corruption cannot be confined to ‘functional’ areas. It will be a reasonable response to a harsh reality but, over time, it can facilitate a spiral into an even worse situation.
Consider the following statements
I. Productivity linked incentives to public/private officials is one of the indiatives of an efficient government.
II. The governments which fail to focus on the relationship between private wealth and public power are likely to biome dysfunctional
Which of the statements given above is/are valid?
a. Only (I)
b. Only (II)
c. Both (I) and (II)
d. Neither (I) nor (II)
15. All actions to address climate change ultimately involve costs. Funding is vital in order for countries like India to design and implement adaptation and mitigation plans and projects. The problem is more severe for developing countries like India, which would be one of the hardest hit by climate change, given its need to finance development. Most countries do indeed treat climate change as a real threat and are striving to address it in a more comprehensive and integrated manner with the limited resources at their disposal.
What implications can be drawn from the passage above?
a. Climate change is a complex issue that requires developing countries to adapt their financial policies
b. Climate change does not affect developed countries
c. Climate change will affect India more than other countries because of its tropical climate
d. Climate change is not taken seriously by most countries