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Reading Comprehension

Reading Comprehension: English Reading Comprehension Exercises with Answers, Sample Passages for Reading Comprehension Test for GRE, CAT, IELTS preparation

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English Reading Comprehension Test Questions and Answers. Improve your ability to read and comprehend English Passages

Q66. > I start with the news from Kerala. The said proposal for an > administrative reforms commission has come from a left-wing > government. This is significant, as the intellectuals linked to the > communists have generally played down the will to power of the > bureaucracy. They concentrate their energies on demonising the market. > While it is absolutely essential following the triumphalism that has > accompanied the collapse of the former Soviet Union to query the > efficacy of the market mechanism, social analysis that ignores the > role of the bureaucracy implies credulousness when it is not actually > complicit. Perhaps the Left intellectuals avoid the critical approach > as they fear alienating the bureaucracy on whom their party must rely > when it eventually comes to power. From the point of view of social > critique, however, this is deficient, as the bureaucracy in India has > shown itself to be quite capable of slowing down, when not actually > subverting, the programmes of democratically elected governments. This > it is able to do with impunity given its near-exclusive control of the > machinery of government. Attempted oversight has proved to be too > distant to be effective. While India’s top bureaucracy is protected by > statute, its lower echelon achieves independence by closing ranks > whenever the action of its members is challenged; the clogged courts > are hardly a source of redressal for the citizen having to engage with > the latter on a daily basis. > > The proposal of the Kerala government is to be welcomed on two > grounds. First, there is reason to believe that despite the enthusiasm > of academics for the Kerala Model, the public of the State do not feel > well served by its machinery of government. We may infer this from the > packed attendance at the lok adalat-type meetings that were held by > Oommen Chandy while he was the Chief Minister. Mr. Chandy’s office had > tried to spin this to its perceived advantage as the face of a caring > government. It could not have escaped its attention though that the > durbar may also be read as the public having been failed in the first > instance, thus amounting to waste of the Chief Minister’s time and the > public’s money. Actually, it may be interpreted as another instance of > the political class’s reluctance to fix the system as that would > eliminate its role as a purveyor of patronage to a beleaguered > citizenry. This is in line with the disincentive of this class to > finally eradicate poverty as then it can no longer appear benevolent > by distributing private goods and announcing welfare schemes. So, > quite unusually for an Indian political party, Kerala’s Left > Democratic Front has signalled the need for administrative reforms. > And, going by the news reports, it has chosen the right man to head > the proposed commission. Mr. Achuthanandan may not have sparkled as > Chief Minister but it is clear where his heart lies. He had had the > nerve to publicly remind the State’s civil service that they were > servants of the people. India’s politicians rarely read the riot act > to the bureaucracy as they rely on it to further their personal > interests. The idea for an administrative reforms commission has come from which stakeholders?

  1.  an autocratic establishment
  2.  a right-wing government
  3.  a left-wing government.
  4.  Indian National Congress
  5.  None of these

Solution : a left-wing government.
Q67. > The option in India will soon apply not only to the bags that hold the > groceries, but also to the cash used to purchase them.The Reserve Bank > of India (RBI) is preparing to circulate 1 billion plastic notes of 10 > rupees (6 fils) in five cities to test their practicability. The > purpose of the new notes was to increase the lifespan of the currency > and combat counterfeiting. The five cities - Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, > Bhubhaneshwar and Shimla - have been chosen for their geographic > disparity and to test the effect of their varying climates on the > notes. No date has been announced for the start of the trials. Plastic > currency notes - or polymer banknotes, as they are also called - were > first issued in Australia in 1988 and have since been adopted in > Singapore, Brazil, Mexico and Nigeria, among other countries. Only a > handful of nations have switched over entirely to polymer currency. > They include Canada, New Zealand, Brunei and Vietnam. > > > There have been no estimates in India of the cost of printing > banknotes on paper versus plastic. But central banks in Canada and New > Zealand have said that plastic notes cost twice as much to produce. > However, polymer notes have an average lifespan of five years, > compared with one year for paper notes. “You can tear paper with your > fingers. You can’t do that with polymer notes,” Mr Jhunjhunwalla said. > “It isn’t easy to write on polymer notes or crease them. Paper is > affected in climate that is too cold or too warm or too rainy.” For > the RBI, the durability of plastic cuts the expense of printing > replacements for soiled paper notes and disposing of those taken out > of circulation. According to the RBI’s annual report for the year from > 2009 to 2010, 13 billion banknotes - nearly a quarter of all the notes > in circulation - had to be destroyed. Until the mid-1990s, retracted > banknotes were burnt. Today, as in many other countries, soiled paper > notes are shredded. The RBI has tried to recycle shredded notes into > novelty paperweights, bricks or cardboard. But Mr Gandhi said they > discovered the paper was so finely shredded that they could not even > give it away. The shredded notes now make their way to landfills and > land reclamations. Which of the following statement would weaken the arguments for issuing plastic currency in India ?

  1.  The cost of the notes is going to be significantly higher; because once printed these notes will last long.
  2.  Counting them might be bit of a task.
  3.  The authorities might also have to bear the cost of replacing the ATMs or vending machines and other automatic payment devices that issue money.
  4.  All of the above
  5.  None of these

Solution : The authorities might also have to bear the cost of replacing the ATMs or vending machines and other automatic payment devices that issue money.

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Q68. > I start with the news from Kerala. The said proposal for an > administrative reforms commission has come from a left-wing > government. This is significant, as the intellectuals linked to the > communists have generally played down the will to power of the > bureaucracy. They concentrate their energies on demonising the market. > While it is absolutely essential following the triumphalism that has > accompanied the collapse of the former Soviet Union to query the > efficacy of the market mechanism, social analysis that ignores the > role of the bureaucracy implies credulousness when it is not actually > complicit. Perhaps the Left intellectuals avoid the critical approach > as they fear alienating the bureaucracy on whom their party must rely > when it eventually comes to power. From the point of view of social > critique, however, this is deficient, as the bureaucracy in India has > shown itself to be quite capable of slowing down, when not actually > subverting, the programmes of democratically elected governments. This > it is able to do with impunity given its near-exclusive control of the > machinery of government. Attempted oversight has proved to be too > distant to be effective. While India’s top bureaucracy is protected by > statute, its lower echelon achieves independence by closing ranks > whenever the action of its members is challenged; the clogged courts > are hardly a source of redressal for the citizen having to engage with > the latter on a daily basis. > > The proposal of the Kerala government is to be welcomed on two > grounds. First, there is reason to believe that despite the enthusiasm > of academics for the Kerala Model, the public of the State do not feel > well served by its machinery of government. We may infer this from the > packed attendance at the lok adalat-type meetings that were held by > Oommen Chandy while he was the Chief Minister. Mr. Chandy’s office had > tried to spin this to its perceived advantage as the face of a caring > government. It could not have escaped its attention though that the > durbar may also be read as the public having been failed in the first > instance, thus amounting to waste of the Chief Minister’s time and the > public’s money. Actually, it may be interpreted as another instance of > the political class’s reluctance to fix the system as that would > eliminate its role as a purveyor of patronage to a beleaguered > citizenry. This is in line with the disincentive of this class to > finally eradicate poverty as then it can no longer appear benevolent > by distributing private goods and announcing welfare schemes. So, > quite unusually for an Indian political party, Kerala’s Left > Democratic Front has signalled the need for administrative reforms. > And, going by the news reports, it has chosen the right man to head > the proposed commission. Mr. Achuthanandan may not have sparkled as > Chief Minister but it is clear where his heart lies. He had had the > nerve to publicly remind the State’s civil service that they were > servants of the people. India’s politicians rarely read the riot act > to the bureaucracy as they rely on it to further their personal > interests. Where The lok adalat-type meetings were held?

  1.  At Jantar Mantar
  2.  At vidhan Shabha
  3.  At parliament
  4.  At Oommen Chandy’s Place while he was the Chief Minister.
  5.  None of these

Solution : At Oommen Chandy’s Place while he was the Chief Minister.
Q69. > I start with the news from Kerala. The said proposal for an > administrative reforms commission has come from a left-wing > government. This is significant, as the intellectuals linked to the > communists have generally played down the will to power of the > bureaucracy. They concentrate their energies on demonising the market. > While it is absolutely essential following the triumphalism that has > accompanied the collapse of the former Soviet Union to query the > efficacy of the market mechanism, social analysis that ignores the > role of the bureaucracy implies credulousness when it is not actually > complicit. Perhaps the Left intellectuals avoid the critical approach > as they fear alienating the bureaucracy on whom their party must rely > when it eventually comes to power. From the point of view of social > critique, however, this is deficient, as the bureaucracy in India has > shown itself to be quite capable of slowing down, when not actually > subverting, the programmes of democratically elected governments. This > it is able to do with impunity given its near-exclusive control of the > machinery of government. Attempted oversight has proved to be too > distant to be effective. While India’s top bureaucracy is protected by > statute, its lower echelon achieves independence by closing ranks > whenever the action of its members is challenged; the clogged courts > are hardly a source of redressal for the citizen having to engage with > the latter on a daily basis. > > The proposal of the Kerala government is to be welcomed on two > grounds. First, there is reason to believe that despite the enthusiasm > of academics for the Kerala Model, the public of the State do not feel > well served by its machinery of government. We may infer this from the > packed attendance at the lok adalat-type meetings that were held by > Oommen Chandy while he was the Chief Minister. Mr. Chandy’s office had > tried to spin this to its perceived advantage as the face of a caring > government. It could not have escaped its attention though that the > durbar may also be read as the public having been failed in the first > instance, thus amounting to waste of the Chief Minister’s time and the > public’s money. Actually, it may be interpreted as another instance of > the political class’s reluctance to fix the system as that would > eliminate its role as a purveyor of patronage to a beleaguered > citizenry. This is in line with the disincentive of this class to > finally eradicate poverty as then it can no longer appear benevolent > by distributing private goods and announcing welfare schemes. So, > quite unusually for an Indian political party, Kerala’s Left > Democratic Front has signalled the need for administrative reforms. > And, going by the news reports, it has chosen the right man to head > the proposed commission. Mr. Achuthanandan may not have sparkled as > Chief Minister but it is clear where his heart lies. He had had the > nerve to publicly remind the State’s civil service that they were > servants of the people. India’s politicians rarely read the riot act > to the bureaucracy as they rely on it to further their personal > interests. Kerala’s Left Democratic Front has signalled the need for what kind of reform?

  1.  religious reforms
  2.  Business sector reforms
  3.  Political reforms
  4.  Social reform
  5.  administrative reforms.

Solution : administrative reforms.

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Q70. > Our research finds Indian households, on average, lack access to 46% > of the basic services they need, and the extent of their deprivation > varies across districts. From 2004-05 to 2011-12, public spending on > basic services rose faster than GDP, but its impact on poverty > reduction was limited by leakage, wastage or ineffectiveness. By > contrast, almost three-quarters of the reduction in India’s > Empowerment Gap during this period came from jobs and productivity > growth. Without major reforms, our research suggests, 36% of the > population could remain below the Empowerment Line in 2022 and 12% > would remain trapped in extreme poverty. But by focusing on job > creation, higher productivity and improved delivery of services, India > can reduce the population below the Empowerment Line to 7% and extreme > poverty can be virtually eradicated by 2022. For this, three pillars > are essential: first, India needs to add another 115 million non-farm > jobs over the next decade, with the manufacturing and construction > sectors, along with labor-intensive services, such as tourism, forming > the backbone. Second, India’s farms need to double their rate of > productivity growth rate in order to bring farm yields in line with > those in other emerging Asian countries. These two pillars contribute > almost three-quarters of the improvement we envision. Finally, India > needs to revamp the way it delivers basic services so that every rupee > of increased public spending can go further. The nationwide efficiency > of basic services can reach 75%, up from 50% currently, if all states > match standards already set by India’s best-performing ones. Public > spending on basic services is an important fourth level, and this > needs to grow at a more modest 6.7% annually. > > Beyond meeting food, energy and housing subsidy commitments, much of > the increase must be channeled into expansion of healthcare, water and > sanitation systems. Unleashing broad-based job and productivity growth > will require reforms that remove barriers to competitiveness and > investment — not just for large businesses, but for millions of small > enterprises that struggle to expand. Measures can also be taken to > make the labor market more flexible; states taking these steps have > been more successful in creating jobs. Focused public investment can > seed industrial clusters, tourism circuits and food processing parks, > generating jobs in regions where the need is greatest. Similarly, farm > yields can be raised by increasing investment in infrastructure, > research and technology, and by streamlining agricultural bureaucracy > to make its policies and extension services more farmer-centric. A > shift to growth-oriented investment can pay back through higher tax > revenues, helping achieve India’s combined fiscal deficit target of 6% > by 2017. Better governance will also be required to transform the way > India delivers basic services, as the poor feel these failures most > acutely in their day-to-day lives. The time has come to put job > creation, productivity improvement and effective public service > delivery at the centre of India’s national agenda. Which of the following is possibly the most appropriate title for the passage ?

  1.  Poverty reduction in India.
  2.  Economic growth: The impact on poverty reduction.
  3.  Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
  4.  India : from poverty to empowerment.
  5.  Empowerment in India.

Solution : India : from poverty to empowerment.
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Solution :

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