English Reading Comprehension


GK & सामान्य ज्ञान
1 (6)

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When times are hard, doomsayers are plenty. The problem is that if you listen to them too carefully, you tend to overlook the most obvious signs of change. 2011 was a bad year. Can 2012 be any worse? Doomsday, forecasts are the easiest to make these days. So let’s try a contrarian’s forecast instead. Let’s start with the global economy. We have seen a steady flow of good news from the US. The employment situation seems to be improving rapidly and consumer sentiment, reflected in retail expenditures on discretionary items like electronics and clothes, has picked up. If these trends sustain, the US might post better growth numbers for 2012 than the 1.5-1.8 per cent being forecast currently. Japan is likely to pull out of a recession in 2012 as post-earthquake reconstruction efforts gather momentum and the fiscal stimulus announced in 2011 begins to payoff.

The consensus estimate for growth in Japan is a respectable 2 per cent for 2012. The “hard-landing” scenario for China remains and will remain a myth. Growth might decelerate further from the 9 per cent that it expected to clock in 2011 but is unlikely to drop below 8-8.5 per cent in 2012. Europe is certainly in a spot of trouble. It is perhaps already in recession and for 2012 it is likely to post mildly negative growth. The risk of implosion has dwindled over the last few months- peripheral economies like Greece, Italy and Spain have new governments in place and have made progress towards genuine economic reform. Even with some of these positive factors in place, we have to accept the fact that global growth in 2012 will be tepid. But there is a flips idea to this. Softer growth means lower demand for commodities and this is likely to drive a correction in commodity prices. Lower commodity inflation will enable emerging market central banks to reverse their monetary stance. China, for instance, has already reversed its stance and has pared its reserve ratio twice. The RBI also seems poised for a reversal in its rate cycle as headline inflation seems well on its way to its target of 7 per cent for March 2012.

That said, oil might be an exception to the general trend in commodities. Rising geopolitical tensions, particularly the continuing face-off between Iran and the US, might lead to a spurt in prices. It might make sense for our oil companies to hedge this risk instead of buying oil in the spot market. As inflation fears abate and emerging market central banks begin to cut rates, two things could happen. Lower commodity inflation would mean lower interest rates and better credit availability. This could set a floor to growth and slowly reverse the business cycle within these economies. Second, as the fear of untamed, runaway inflation in these economies abates, the global investor’s comfort levels with their markets will increase.

Which of the emerging markets will outperform and who will get left behind? In an environment in which global growth is likely to be weak, economies like India they have a powerful domestic consumption dynamic should lead; those dependent on exports should, prima facie, fall behind. Specifically for India, a fall in the exchange rate could not have come at a better time. It will help Indian exporters gain market share even if global trade remains depressed. More importantly, it could lead to massive import substitution that favors domestic producers. Let’s now focus on India and start with a caveat. It is important not to confuse a short-run cyclical dip with a permanent de-rating of its long-term structural potential. The arithmetic is simple. Our growth rate can be in the range of 7-10 per cent depending on policy action. Ten per cent if we get every1hing right, 7 per cent if we get it all wrong. Which policies and reforms are critical to taking us to our 10 per cent potential? In judging this, let’s again be careful. Let’s not go by the laundry list of reforms that Fills like to wave: increase in foreign equity limits in foreign shareholding, greater voting rights for institutional shareholders in banks, FDI in retail, etc. These can have an impact only at the margin.

We need not bend over backwards to appease the Fills through these reforms – they will invest in our markets when momentum picks up and will be the first to exit when the momentum flags, reforms or not. The reforms that we need are the ones that can actually rise out sustainable long-term growth rate. These have to come in areas like better targeting of subsidies, making projects in infrastructure viable so that they draw capital, raising the productivity of agriculture, improving healthcare and education, bringing the parallel economy under the tax net, implementing fundamental reforms in taxation like GST and the direct tax code and finally easing the myriad rules and regulations that make doing business in India such a nightmare. A number of these things do not require new legislation and can be done through executive order.

  1. Which of the following is NOT TRUE according to the passage?

1) China’s economic growth may decline in the year 2012 as compared to the year 2011

2) The European economy is not doing very well

3) Greece is on the verge of bringing about economic reforms

4) In the year 2012, Japan may post a positive growth and thus pull out of recession

5) All are true

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  1. Which of the following will possibly be a result of softer growth estimated for the year 2012?

(A) Prices of oil will not increase.

(B) Credit availability would be lesser.

(C) Commodity inflation would be lesser.

1) Only (B)

2) Only (A) and (B)

3) Only (A) and (C)

4) Only (C)

5) All (A) (B) and (C)


  1. Which of the following can be said about the present status of the US economy?

1) There is not much improvement in the economic scenario of the country from the year 2011

2) The growth in the economy of the country, in the year 2012, would definitely be lesser than 1.8 percent

3) The expenditure on clothes and electronic commodities, by consumers, is lesser than that in the year 2011

4) There is a chance that in 2012 the economy would do better than what has been forecast 5) The pace of change in the employment scenario of the country is very slow.


  1. Which of the following is possibly the most appropriate title for the passage?

1) The Economic Disorder

2) Indian Economy versus the European Economy

3) Global Trade

4) The Current Economic Scenario

5) Characteristics of the Indian Economy


  1. According to the author, which of the following would characterize Indian growth scenario in 2012?

(A) Domestic producers will take a hit because of depressed global trade scenario.

(B) On account of its high domestic consumption, India will lead.

(C) Din exporters will have a hard time in gaining market share.

1) Only (B)

2) Only (A) and (B)

3) Only (B) and (C)

4) Only (A)

5) All (A) (B) and (C)


  1. Why does the author not recommend taking up the reforms suggested by Falls?

1) These will bring about only minor growth

2) The reforms suggested will have no effect on the economy of our country, whereas will benefit the Falls significantly

3) The previous such recommendations had backfired

4) These reforms will be the sole reason for our country’s economic downfall

5) The reforms suggested by them are not to be trusted as they will not bring about any positive growth in India


  1. Which of the following is TRUE as per the scenario presented in the passage?

1) The highest growth rate that India can expect is 7 percent

2) The fall in the exchange rate will prove beneficial to India

3) Increased FDI in retail as suggested by fall would benefit India tremendously

4) The reforms suggested by the author require new legislation in India

5) None is true


  1. According to the author, which of the following reforms is/are needed to ensure long term growth in India?

(A) Improving healthcare and educational facilities.

(B) Bringing about reforms in taxation.

(C) Improving agricultural productivity.

1) Only (B)

2) Only (A) and (B)

3) Only (B) and (C)

4) Only (A)

5) All (A) (B) and (C)

Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

  1. DRAW:

1) Entice

2) Push

3) Decoy

4) Attract

5) Persuade


  1. Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.


1) Watch

2) Achieve

3) Time

4) Second

5) Regulate


  1. Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.


1) Rise

2) Gear

3) Hurl

4) Lessen

5) Retreat


  1. Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.


1) Raising

2) Developing

3) Noticeable

4) Conspicuous

5) Uproaring


Choose the word/group of words which is most OPPOSITE in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

  1. MYRIAD:

1) Trivial

2) Difficult

3) Few

4) Effortless

5) Countless

  1. TEPID:

1) Moderate

2) High

3) Warm

4) Irregular

5) Little

  1. MYTH:

1) Reality

2) Belief

3) Contrast

4) Idealism

5) Falsehood



1 (5)
2 (4)
3 (4)
4 (4)
5 (1)
6 (5)
7 (2)
8 (5)
9 (4)
10 (2)
11 (4)
12 (2)
13 (3)
14 (3)
15 (1)

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In a reversal of the norm elsewhere, in India policymakers and economists have become optimists while bosses do the worrying. The country’s Central Bank has predicted that the country’s economy is likely to grow at a double-digit rate during the next 20-30 years. India-has the capability with its vast labour and lauded entrepreneurial spirit. But the private Sector which is supposed to do the heavy lifting that turns India from the world’s tenth largest economy to its third largest by 2030, has become fed up. Business people often carp about India’s problems but their irritation this time has a nervous edge.

In the first quarter of 2011, GDP grew at an annual rate of 7.8 per cent; in 2005-07, it managed 9-10 percent. The economy may be slowing naturally as the low interest rates and public spending that got India through the global crisis are belatedly withdrawn. At the same time, the surge in inflation caused by exorbitant food prices has spread more widely, casting doubt over whether India can grow at 8-10 per cent in the medium term without overheating.

In India, as in many fast-growing nations, the confidence to invest depends on the conviction that the long term trajectory is intact and it is that which is in doubt. Big Indian firms too, sometimes, seem happier to invest abroad than at home, in deals that are often hailed as symbols of the country’s growing clout but sometimes speak to its weaknesses-purchases of natural resources that India has in abundance but struggles to get out of the ground. In fact, a further dip in investment could be self-fulfilling: if fewer roads, ports and factories are built, this will hurt both short-term growth figures and reduce the economy’s long term capacity. There is a view that because a fair amount of growth is assured the government need not try very hard.

The liberalization that began in 1991 freed markets for products and gave rise to vibrant competition. At the same time what economists call factor markets, those for basic inputs like land, power, labour etc., remains unreformed and largely under state control, which creates difficulties. Clearances today can take three to four years and many employers are keen to replace workers with machines despite an abundance of labour force. This can be attributed to labour laws which are inimical to employee creation and an education system that means finding quality manpower a major problem. In fact, the Planning Commission concluded that’ achieving even nine per cent growth will need marked policy action in unreformed sectors. Twenty years ago it was said that the yardstick against which India should be measured was its potential and it is clear that there remains much to do.

  1. Why are employers reluctant to hire Indian labour force?

(A) India’s labour force is overqualified for the employment opportunities available.

(B) High attrition rate among employees stemming from their entrepreneurial spirit

(C) Labour laws are not conducive to generating employment.

1) Only(C)

2) All (A), (B) and (C)

3) Only (A) and (C)

4) Only (A) & (B)

5) None of these


  1. What is the state of India’s basic input sectors at present?

1) These sectors attract Foreign Direct Investment because of their vast potential.

2) These sectors are lagging as projects are usually awarded to foreign companies.

3) These sectors are stagnating and badly in need of reforms.

4) These sectors are well regulated as these are governed by the State.

5) None of these


  1. Which of the following can be said about the Indian economy at present?

1) It can comfortably achieve double-digit growth rate at present.

2) High food prices have led to overheating of the economy.

3) Citizens are affluent owing to laxity in regulation.

4) Private sector confidence in India’s growth potential is high.

5) Unreformed sectors are a drag on economic growth.


  1. What impact has the GDP growth of 7.8 per cent had?

(A) Indian Industry is anxious about India’s economic growth.

(B) India has achieved status as the world’s third largest economy at present.

(C) Foreign investment in India has drastically increased.

1) Only (A)

2) All (A), (B) and (C)

3) Only (A) and (C)

4) Only (A) and (B)

5) None of these


  1. Which of the following is most opposite in meaning of the word ‘marked’ given in bold as used in the passage?

1) Decreased

2) Ignored

3) Clear

4) Assessed

5) Imperceptible


  1. What is the author’s main objective in writing the passage?

1) Showcasing the potential of India’s growth potential to entice foreign investors

2) Exhorting India to implement measures to live up to its potential

3) Recommending India’s model of development to other developing countries

4) Berating the private sector for not bidding for infrastructure development projects

5) Criticizing the measures taken by India during the global economic crisis


  1. What measures do experts suggest to be taken to ensure targeted economic growth?

1) Lowering of interest rates to help industries hit by recession

2) Prolonged financial support for basic input industries

3) Incentives to Indian companies to invest in infrastructure

4) Formulation of policies and their implementation in factor markets

5) Stringent implementation of licensing system


  1. Which of the following is most similar in meaning to the word ‘clout’ given in bold as used in the passage?

1) Strike

2) Standing

3) Force

4) Launch

5) Achieve

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Answers (Q. 16 to 23)

16 (1)

17 (3)

18 (5)

19 (1)

20 (5)

21 (2)

22 (4)

23 (3)


In many countries, a combustible mixture of authoritarianism unemployment and youth has given rise to disaffection with strongmen rulers, which have, in turn, spilled over into uprisings. Young people in these countries are far better educated than their parents were. In 1990, the average Egyptian had 4.4 years-of schooling; by 2010, the figure had risen to 7.1 years. Could it be that education, by making people less willing to put up with restrictions on freedom and more willing to question authority, promotes democratization? Ideas about the links between education, income and democracy are at the heart of what social scientists have long studied. Since then plenty of economists and political scientists have looked for statistical evidence of a causal link between education and democratization.

Many have pointed to the strong correlation that exists between levels of education and measures like the pluralism of party politics and the existence of civil liberties. The patterns are similar when income and democracy are considered. There are outliers, of course-until recently, many Arab countries managed to combine energy-based wealth and decent education with undemocratic political systems. But some deduce from the overall picture that as China and other authoritarian states get more educated and richer, their people will agitate for greater political freedom, culminating in a shift to a more democratic form of government.

This apparently reasonable intuition is shakier than it seems. Critics of the hypothesis point out that correlation is hardly causation. The general trend over the past half-century may have been towards rising living standards, a wider spread of basic education and more democracy, but it is entirely possible that this is being driven by another variable. Even if the correlation were not spurious, it would be difficult to know which way causation ran. Does more education lead to greater democracy? Or are more democratic countries better at educating their citizens?

A recent NBER paper compared a group of Kenyan girls in 69 primary schools whose students were randomly selected to receive a scholarship with similar students in schools which received no such financial aid. Previous studies had shown that the scholarship programme led to higher test scores and increased the likelihood that girls enrolled in secondary school. Overall, it significantly increased the amount of education obtained. For the new study, the authors tried to see how the extra schooling had affected the political and social attitudes of the women in question. Findings suggested that education may make people more interested in improving their own lives but they may not necessarily see democracy as the way to do it. Even in established democracies, more education does not always mean either more active political participation or greater faith in democracy. Poorer and less educated people often vote in larger numbers than their more educated compatriots, who often express disdain for the messiness of democracy, yearning for the kind of government that would deal strongly with the corrupt and build highways, railway lines-and-bridges at a dizzying pace of authoritarian China.

  1. Which of the following is most similar in meaning to the word ‘promotes’ given In bold as used in the passage?

1) Upgrades

2) Prefers

3) Recommends

4) Advocates

5) Publicizes


  1. In the context of the passage, which of the following characterize(s) democracies?

(A) Active participation of majority of educated citizens in electoral process

(B) Fast, paced economic growth and accountability of those in power

(C) Better standards of living and access to higher education

1) All (A), (B) and (C)

2) Only (B) and (C)

3) Only(C)

4) Only (A) and (B)

5) None of these


  1. What, according to the author; has led to uprisings in authoritarian countries?

1) Lack of access to education

2) Vast numbers of uneducated and unemployable youth

3) Frustration with the existing system of governance

4) Unavailability of natural energy resources like coal and oil

5) Government’s over-ambitious plans for development


  1. What does the phrase “messiness of democracy” convey in the context of the passage?

1) Democratic nations are chaotic on account of individual freedoms.

2) Most democratic countries frequently have violent revolts among their citizens.

3) The divide between the poor and the educated is growing wider in democracies.

4) High levels of pollution on account of frantic pace of infrastructure development

5) Resigned acceptance of intrinsic corruption in the education system


  1. Which of the following is/are true about China in the context of the passage?

(A) China’s citizens are in favor of a more representative form of government.

(B) China has made huge strides in infrastructure development.

(C) China is in the midst of a political revolution.

1) None

2) Only (A)

3) Only (A) and (C)

4) Only (B)

5) All (A), (B) and (C)

  1. hat conclusion can be drawn from the statistics cited about Egypt’s education system?

1) Job prospects have been on the rise in Egypt in recent times.

2) Authoritarian leaders have played a vital role in reforming Egypt’s education system.

3) Egypt -has one of the youngest and best educated demography’s in the world.

4) Egypt is likely to be a successful vibrant democracy.

5) There has been a rise in education levels in Egypt in recent times.


  1. Which of the following most aptly describes the central theme of the passage?

1) Democratic nations are richer and have a better track record of educating their citizens.

2) Education does not necessarily lead to greater enthusiasm for a democratic form of government.

3) Educated societies with autocratic form of government enjoy a better quality of life than democracies.

4) Citizens can fulfil their personal aspirations only under a democratic form of government.

5) Democracy makes citizens more intolerant as it does not restrict personal freedoms.





1 (4)
2 (5)
3 (3)
4 (1)
5 (5)
6 (4)
7 (2)

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