reading-comprehension

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

Q166. > Farmers have progressed the world over yet they are languishing in > this country. Despite decades of industrial development, about 600 > million Indians, or roughly half the population, depend on growing > crops or rearing animals to earn a living. The country still relies on > imports of essential items, such as pulses and cooking oil. Almost > half of the average Indian household’s expenditure is on food, an > important factor behind inflation. Food security at the micro level > remains elusive. The global development experience, especially of the > BRICS countries, reveals that one percentage point growth in > agriculture is at least two to three times more effective in reducing > poverty than the same degree of growth emanating from the > non-agriculture sector. > > Of late, the woes of the farmer have exacerbated. Untimely rain > damaged winter crops in northern India. The heat wave killed more than > 2000 people - mostly working in the fields. Suicides by farmers, owing > to the low price of their produce, are almost a recurrent tragedy. > There is general concern over the monsoon; patchy or inadequate > rainfall can spell disaster. Low productivity is a chronic problem > because of the shrinking size of the cultivated plots. Two-grain > harvests a year are fairly routine. But the yields are low by global > standards. The policy message for reforming agriculture is very clear. > The areas which merit urgent and concerted attention to streamlining > agriculture revolve around investment, incentive, and institutions. We > need to rationalise and prune input subsidies. The savings, thus > generated, should be invested in agriculture - Research & Development > at rural roads, rural education, irrigation and water works. Higher > levels of investment in agriculture both by the public and private > sector can yield much better results. Policy -makers must be bold to > bite the bullet and drastically cut subsidies which will open the > avenue for increasing the size of the public investment. One way to > contain the subsidy bill is to provide subsidies directly to farmers. > Private investment is the engine of agricultural growth. Again, it > responds to incentives. Much of the adverse impact on incentives comes > from strangulating the domestic market under the Essential Commodities > Act (ECA) 1955. This law allows the state to restrict movement of > agro-products across state boundaries. Furthermore, the law bans the > storage of large quantities of any of the 90 commodities, including > onions and wheat. The intention is to deter ‘hoarding’, but it has > adversely affected investment in cold storages and warehouses. > Therefore, a substantial quantity of crops rots before they reach the > dining table. Which of the following is a cause of low production in India?

  1.  Low fertility soil
  2.  Lesser technological expertise
  3.  Lack of HYV seeds
  4.  Lack of irrigation facility
  5.  None of these

Solution : Low fertility soil
Q167. > Farmers have progressed the world over yet they are languishing in > this country. Despite decades of industrial development, about 600 > million Indians, or roughly half the population, depend on growing > crops or rearing animals to earn a living. The country still relies on > imports of essential items, such as pulses and cooking oil. Almost > half of the average Indian household’s expenditure is on food, an > important factor behind inflation. Food security at the micro level > remains elusive. The global development experience, especially of the > BRICS countries, reveals that one percentage point growth in > agriculture is at least two to three times more effective in reducing > poverty than the same degree of growth emanating from the > non-agriculture sector. > > Of late, the woes of the farmer have exacerbated. Untimely rain > damaged winter crops in northern India. The heat wave killed more than > 2000 people - mostly working in the fields. Suicides by farmers, owing > to the low price of their produce, are almost a recurrent tragedy. > There is general concern over the monsoon; patchy or inadequate > rainfall can spell disaster. Low productivity is a chronic problem > because of the shrinking size of the cultivated plots. Two-grain > harvests a year are fairly routine. But the yields are low by global > standards. The policy message for reforming agriculture is very clear. > The areas which merit urgent and concerted attention to streamlining > agriculture revolve around investment, incentive, and institutions. We > need to rationalise and prune input subsidies. The savings, thus > generated, should be invested in agriculture - Research & Development > at rural roads, rural education, irrigation and water works. Higher > levels of investment in agriculture both by the public and private > sector can yield much better results. Policy -makers must be bold to > bite the bullet and drastically cut subsidies which will open the > avenue for increasing the size of the public investment. One way to > contain the subsidy bill is to provide subsidies directly to farmers. > Private investment is the engine of agricultural growth. Again, it > responds to incentives. Much of the adverse impact on incentives comes > from strangulating the domestic market under the Essential Commodities > Act (ECA) 1955. This law allows the state to restrict movement of > agro-products across state boundaries. Furthermore, the law bans the > storage of large quantities of any of the 90 commodities, including > onions and wheat. The intention is to deter ‘hoarding’, but it has > adversely affected investment in cold storages and warehouses. > Therefore, a substantial quantity of crops rots before they reach the > dining table. What has been suggested by the author for reforming agriculture?

  1.  Rationalizing subsidies
  2.  Providing subsidies directly to the farmer's bank accounts.
  3.  Scrapping ECA 1955
  4.  All of the above
  5.  None of the above

Solution : All of the above

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Q168. > Farmers have progressed the world over yet they are languishing in > this country. Despite decades of industrial development, about 600 > million Indians, or roughly half the population, depend on growing > crops or rearing animals to earn a living. The country still relies on > imports of essential items, such as pulses and cooking oil. Almost > half of the average Indian household’s expenditure is on food, an > important factor behind inflation. Food security at the micro level > remains elusive. The global development experience, especially of the > BRICS countries, reveals that one percentage point growth in > agriculture is at least two to three times more effective in reducing > poverty than the same degree of growth emanating from the > non-agriculture sector. > > Of late, the woes of the farmer have exacerbated. Untimely rain > damaged winter crops in northern India. The heat wave killed more than > 2000 people - mostly working in the fields. Suicides by farmers, owing > to the low price of their produce, are almost a recurrent tragedy. > There is general concern over the monsoon; patchy or inadequate > rainfall can spell disaster. Low productivity is a chronic problem > because of the shrinking size of the cultivated plots. Two-grain > harvests a year are fairly routine. But the yields are low by global > standards. The policy message for reforming agriculture is very clear. > The areas which merit urgent and concerted attention to streamlining > agriculture revolve around investment, incentive, and institutions. We > need to rationalise and prune input subsidies. The savings, thus > generated, should be invested in agriculture - Research & Development > at rural roads, rural education, irrigation and water works. Higher > levels of investment in agriculture both by the public and private > sector can yield much better results. Policy -makers must be bold to > bite the bullet and drastically cut subsidies which will open the > avenue for increasing the size of the public investment. One way to > contain the subsidy bill is to provide subsidies directly to farmers. > Private investment is the engine of agricultural growth. Again, it > responds to incentives. Much of the adverse impact on incentives comes > from strangulating the domestic market under the Essential Commodities > Act (ECA) 1955. This law allows the state to restrict movement of > agro-products across state boundaries. Furthermore, the law bans the > storage of large quantities of any of the 90 commodities, including > onions and wheat. The intention is to deter ‘hoarding’, but it has > adversely affected investment in cold storages and warehouses. > Therefore, a substantial quantity of crops rots before they reach the > dining table. Which of the following is a matter of annoyance for farmers in northern India?

  1.  Loss of fertility
  2.  Soil erosion
  3.  Much damage caused due to unseasonal rainfall.
  4.  Drastic cut in subsidies
  5.  Lack of effective policy

Solution : Much damage caused due to unseasonal rainfall.
Q169. > In terrestrial environments, gravity places special demands on the > cardiovascular systems of animals. Gravitational pressure can cause > blood to pool in the lower regions of the body, making it difficult to > circulate blood to critical organs such as the brain. Terrestrial > snakes, in particular, exhibit adaptations that aid in circulating > blood against the force of gravity. The problem confronting > terrestrial snakes is best illustrated by what happens to sea snakes > when removed from their supportive medium. Because the vertical > pressure gradients within the blood vessels are counteracted by > similar pressure gradients in the surrounding water, the distribution > of blood throughout the body of sea snakes remains about the same > regardless of their orientation in space, provided they remain in the > ocean. When removed from the water and tilted at various angles with > the head up, however, blood pressure at their midpoint drops > significantly, and at brain level falls to zero. That many terrestrial > snakes in similar spatial orientations do not experience this kind of > circulatory failure suggests that certain adaptations enable them to > regulate blood pressure more effectively in those orientations. > > One such adaptation is the closer proximity of the terrestrial snake’s > heart to its head, which helps to ensure circulation to the brain, > regardless of the snake’s orientation in space. The heart of sea > snakes can be located near the middle of the body, a position that > minimizes the work entailed in circulating blood to both extremities. > In arboreal snakes, however, which dwell in trees and often assume a > vertical posture, the average distance from the heart to the head can > be as little as 15 percent of overall body length. Such a location > requires that blood circulated to the tail of the snake travel a > greater distance back to the heart, a problem solved by another > adaptation. When climbing, arboreal snakes often pause momentarily to > wiggle their bodies, causing waves of muscle contraction that advance > from the lower torso to the head. By compressing the veins and forcing > blood forward, these contractions apparently improve the flow of > venous blood returning to the heart. The passage provides information in support of which of the following assertions?

  1.  he disadvantages of an adaptation to a particular feature of an environment often outweigh the advantages of such an adaptation.
  2.  An organism’s reaction to being placed in an environment to which it is not well adapted can sometimes illustrate the problems that have been solved by the adaptations of organisms indigenous to that environment.
  3.  The effectiveness of an organism’s adaptation to a particular feature of its environment can only be evaluated by examining the effectiveness with which organisms of another species have adapted to a similar feature of a different environment.
  4.  Organisms of the same species that inhabit strikingly different environments will often adapt in remarkably similar ways to the few features of those environments that are common.
  5.  Different species of organisms living in the same environment will seldom adapt to features of that environment in the same way.

Solution : An organism’s reaction to being placed in an environment to which it is not well adapted can sometimes illustrate the problems that have been solved by the adaptations of organisms indigenous to that environment.

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Q170. > In terrestrial environments, gravity places special demands on the > cardiovascular systems of animals. Gravitational pressure can cause > blood to pool in the lower regions of the body, making it difficult to > circulate blood to critical organs such as the brain. Terrestrial > snakes, in particular, exhibit adaptations that aid in circulating > blood against the force of gravity. The problem confronting > terrestrial snakes is best illustrated by what happens to sea snakes > when removed from their supportive medium. Because the vertical > pressure gradients within the blood vessels are counteracted by > similar pressure gradients in the surrounding water, the distribution > of blood throughout the body of sea snakes remains about the same > regardless of their orientation in space, provided they remain in the > ocean. When removed from the water and tilted at various angles with > the head up, however, blood pressure at their midpoint drops > significantly, and at brain level falls to zero. That many terrestrial > snakes in similar spatial orientations do not experience this kind of > circulatory failure suggests that certain adaptations enable them to > regulate blood pressure more effectively in those orientations. > > One such adaptation is the closer proximity of the terrestrial snake’s > heart to its head, which helps to ensure circulation to the brain, > regardless of the snake’s orientation in space. The heart of sea > snakes can be located near the middle of the body, a position that > minimizes the work entailed in circulating blood to both extremities. > In arboreal snakes, however, which dwell in trees and often assume a > vertical posture, the average distance from the heart to the head can > be as little as 15 percent of overall body length. Such a location > requires that blood circulated to the tail of the snake travel a > greater distance back to the heart, a problem solved by another > adaptation. When climbing, arboreal snakes often pause momentarily to > wiggle their bodies, causing waves of muscle contraction that advance > from the lower torso to the head. By compressing the veins and forcing > blood forward, these contractions apparently improve the flow of > venous blood returning to the heart. According to the passage, one reason that the distribution of blood in the sea snake changes little while the creature remains in the ocean is that?

  1.  the heart of the sea snake tends to be located near the center of its body
  2.  pressure gradients in the water surrounding the sea snake counter the effects of vertical pressure gradients within its blood vessels
  3.  the sea snake assumes a vertical posture less frequently than do the terrestrial and the arboreal snake
  4.  the sea snake often relies on waves of muscle contractions to help move blood from the torso to the head
  5.  the force of pressure gradients in the water surrounding the sea snake exceeds that of vertical pressure gradients within its circulatory system

Solution : pressure gradients in the water surrounding the sea snake counter the effects of vertical pressure gradients within its blood vessels
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