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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

Q316. > A few weeks ago, I ran into an old friend who is currently one of the > mandarins deciding India’s economic and financial policies. He asked > “And so, how is IIT doing?” As one can only indulge in friendly banter > at such gatherings, I responded with ‘Not so well actually. Your > market-friendly policies have forced up to raise the fee, so we have > 50% fewer Ph.D. applicants this year’. Not batting an eyelid, he shot > back: “Obviously. Your Ph.D. students don’t have any market value.” > Taken aback, I shifted to a more serious tone and tried to start a > discussion on the need for research in these globalised times. But he > had already walked away. The last word on the imperatives of the > ‘market’ had been spoken. This view of higher education should not > have surprised me. Worthies who look at everything as consumer > products classify higher education as a ‘non-merit’ good. Non-merit > goods are those where only the individual benefits from acquiring them > and not the society as a whole. Multilateral agencies like The World > Bank have too been pushing countries like India to stop subsidies to > higher education. > > When Ron Brown, former US commerce secretary visited India, a public > meeting was organized at IIT Delhi. At that meeting I asked him: “I > understand that since the 19th century all the way up to the 1970s, > most land grant and State universities in the US virtually provided > free education to State citizens. Was that good for the economy, or > should they have charged high fees in the early 20th century? “He > replied,” it was great for the economy. It was one of the best things > that the US government did at that particular time in American > history-building institutions of higher education which were > accessible to the masses of the people. I think it is one of the > reasons why our economy grew and prospered, one of the way in which > the US was able to close some of its social gaps. So people who lived > in rural areas would have the same kind of access to higher education > as people living in other parts of the country. It was one of the > reasons for making America strong.” Our policy-makers seem unaware > that their mentors in the US did not follow policies at home which > they now prescribe for other countries. Ron Brown’s remarks summarise > the importance policy-makers in the US place on higher education as a > vehicle for upward mobility for the poorer sectors of their > population. Even today, a majority of Americans study in State-run > institutions. Some of these institutions, like Berkeley and the > Universities of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Taxas are > among the best in the world. The annual tuition charged from State > residents (about $5000 a year) is about a month’s salary paid to a > lecturer. Even this fee is waived for most students. In addition, > students receive stipends for books, food and hostel charges. The > basic principle is that no student who gets admission to a university > should have to depend on parental support if it is not available. Ron > Brown’s remarks went unnoticed in India. Every other day some luminary > or the other opines that universities and technical education > institutions should increase their charges and that such education > should not be subsidized. Most editorials echo these sentiments. > Eminent industrialists pontificate that we should run educational > institutions like business houses. Visiting experts from the Bank and > the IMF, in their newly emerging concern for the poor, advise us to > divert funds from higher education to primary education. What was Ron Brown’s reaction to the author’s question on free education provided by US universities to their citizens? Ron Brown

  1.  criticized the US government for their action
  2.  appreciated the author but remained non-committed
  3.  ignored the fact and gave an ambiguous reaction
  4.  mentioned that the author’s information was not correct
  5.  None of these

Solution : None of these
Q317. > A few weeks ago, I ran into an old friend who is currently one of the > mandarins deciding India’s economic and financial policies. He asked > “And so, how is IIT doing?” As one can only indulge in friendly banter > at such gatherings, I responded with ‘Not so well actually. Your > market-friendly policies have forced up to raise the fee, so we have > 50% fewer Ph.D. applicants this year’. Not batting an eyelid, he shot > back: “Obviously. Your Ph.D. students don’t have any market value.” > Taken aback, I shifted to a more serious tone and tried to start a > discussion on the need for research in these globalised times. But he > had already walked away. The last word on the imperatives of the > ‘market’ had been spoken. This view of higher education should not > have surprised me. Worthies who look at everything as consumer > products classify higher education as a ‘non-merit’ good. Non-merit > goods are those where only the individual benefits from acquiring them > and not the society as a whole. Multilateral agencies like The World > Bank have too been pushing countries like India to stop subsidies to > higher education. > > When Ron Brown, former US commerce secretary visited India, a public > meeting was organized at IIT Delhi. At that meeting I asked him: “I > understand that since the 19th century all the way up to the 1970s, > most land grant and State universities in the US virtually provided > free education to State citizens. Was that good for the economy, or > should they have charged high fees in the early 20th century? “He > replied,” it was great for the economy. It was one of the best things > that the US government did at that particular time in American > history-building institutions of higher education which were > accessible to the masses of the people. I think it is one of the > reasons why our economy grew and prospered, one of the way in which > the US was able to close some of its social gaps. So people who lived > in rural areas would have the same kind of access to higher education > as people living in other parts of the country. It was one of the > reasons for making America strong.” Our policy-makers seem unaware > that their mentors in the US did not follow policies at home which > they now prescribe for other countries. Ron Brown’s remarks summarise > the importance policy-makers in the US place on higher education as a > vehicle for upward mobility for the poorer sectors of their > population. Even today, a majority of Americans study in State-run > institutions. Some of these institutions, like Berkeley and the > Universities of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Taxas are > among the best in the world. The annual tuition charged from State > residents (about $5000 a year) is about a month’s salary paid to a > lecturer. Even this fee is waived for most students. In addition, > students receive stipends for books, food and hostel charges. The > basic principle is that no student who gets admission to a university > should have to depend on parental support if it is not available. Ron > Brown’s remarks went unnoticed in India. Every other day some luminary > or the other opines that universities and technical education > institutions should increase their charges and that such education > should not be subsidized. Most editorials echo these sentiments. > Eminent industrialists pontificate that we should run educational > institutions like business houses. Visiting experts from the Bank and > the IMF, in their newly emerging concern for the poor, advise us to > divert funds from higher education to primary education. The basic principle adopted by the renowned State-run universities in the US is that the students __________.

  1.  must pay the lecturer’s salary from their own resources
  2.  should earn while they learn and pay higher education fees
  3.  must seek the necessary help from their parents on whom they depend
  4.  need not be required to depend upon their parents for acquiring higher education
  5.  None of these

Solution : need not be required to depend upon their parents for acquiring higher education

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Q318. > A few weeks ago, I ran into an old friend who is currently one of the > mandarins deciding India’s economic and financial policies. He asked > “And so, how is IIT doing?” As one can only indulge in friendly banter > at such gatherings, I responded with ‘Not so well actually. Your > market-friendly policies have forced up to raise the fee, so we have > 50% fewer Ph.D. applicants this year’. Not batting an eyelid, he shot > back: “Obviously. Your Ph.D. students don’t have any market value.” > Taken aback, I shifted to a more serious tone and tried to start a > discussion on the need for research in these globalised times. But he > had already walked away. The last word on the imperatives of the > ‘market’ had been spoken. This view of higher education should not > have surprised me. Worthies who look at everything as consumer > products classify higher education as a ‘non-merit’ good. Non-merit > goods are those where only the individual benefits from acquiring them > and not the society as a whole. Multilateral agencies like The World > Bank have too been pushing countries like India to stop subsidies to > higher education. > > When Ron Brown, former US commerce secretary visited India, a public > meeting was organized at IIT Delhi. At that meeting I asked him: “I > understand that since the 19th century all the way up to the 1970s, > most land grant and State universities in the US virtually provided > free education to State citizens. Was that good for the economy, or > should they have charged high fees in the early 20th century? “He > replied,” it was great for the economy. It was one of the best things > that the US government did at that particular time in American > history-building institutions of higher education which were > accessible to the masses of the people. I think it is one of the > reasons why our economy grew and prospered, one of the way in which > the US was able to close some of its social gaps. So people who lived > in rural areas would have the same kind of access to higher education > as people living in other parts of the country. It was one of the > reasons for making America strong.” Our policy-makers seem unaware > that their mentors in the US did not follow policies at home which > they now prescribe for other countries. Ron Brown’s remarks summarise > the importance policy-makers in the US place on higher education as a > vehicle for upward mobility for the poorer sectors of their > population. Even today, a majority of Americans study in State-run > institutions. Some of these institutions, like Berkeley and the > Universities of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Taxas are > among the best in the world. The annual tuition charged from State > residents (about $5000 a year) is about a month’s salary paid to a > lecturer. Even this fee is waived for most students. In addition, > students receive stipends for books, food and hostel charges. The > basic principle is that no student who gets admission to a university > should have to depend on parental support if it is not available. Ron > Brown’s remarks went unnoticed in India. Every other day some luminary > or the other opines that universities and technical education > institutions should increase their charges and that such education > should not be subsidized. Most editorials echo these sentiments. > Eminent industrialists pontificate that we should run educational > institutions like business houses. Visiting experts from the Bank and > the IMF, in their newly emerging concern for the poor, advise us to > divert funds from higher education to primary education. What was the outcome of US strategy of imparting free university education to US citizens?

  1.  Education was easily accessible to the vast majority
  2.  US citizens found it unaffordable and expensive
  3.  US Economy suffered due to such a lop-sided decision
  4.  US government could not plug the loopholes in their economic policies
  5.  None of these

Solution : Education was easily accessible to the vast majority
Q319. > A few weeks ago, I ran into an old friend who is currently one of the > mandarins deciding India’s economic and financial policies. He asked > “And so, how is IIT doing?” As one can only indulge in friendly banter > at such gatherings, I responded with ‘Not so well actually. Your > market-friendly policies have forced up to raise the fee, so we have > 50% fewer Ph.D. applicants this year’. Not batting an eyelid, he shot > back: “Obviously. Your Ph.D. students don’t have any market value.” > Taken aback, I shifted to a more serious tone and tried to start a > discussion on the need for research in these globalised times. But he > had already walked away. The last word on the imperatives of the > ‘market’ had been spoken. This view of higher education should not > have surprised me. Worthies who look at everything as consumer > products classify higher education as a ‘non-merit’ good. Non-merit > goods are those where only the individual benefits from acquiring them > and not the society as a whole. Multilateral agencies like The World > Bank have too been pushing countries like India to stop subsidies to > higher education. > > When Ron Brown, former US commerce secretary visited India, a public > meeting was organized at IIT Delhi. At that meeting I asked him: “I > understand that since the 19th century all the way up to the 1970s, > most land grant and State universities in the US virtually provided > free education to State citizens. Was that good for the economy, or > should they have charged high fees in the early 20th century? “He > replied,” it was great for the economy. It was one of the best things > that the US government did at that particular time in American > history-building institutions of higher education which were > accessible to the masses of the people. I think it is one of the > reasons why our economy grew and prospered, one of the way in which > the US was able to close some of its social gaps. So people who lived > in rural areas would have the same kind of access to higher education > as people living in other parts of the country. It was one of the > reasons for making America strong.” Our policy-makers seem unaware > that their mentors in the US did not follow policies at home which > they now prescribe for other countries. Ron Brown’s remarks summarise > the importance policy-makers in the US place on higher education as a > vehicle for upward mobility for the poorer sectors of their > population. Even today, a majority of Americans study in State-run > institutions. Some of these institutions, like Berkeley and the > Universities of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Taxas are > among the best in the world. The annual tuition charged from State > residents (about $5000 a year) is about a month’s salary paid to a > lecturer. Even this fee is waived for most students. In addition, > students receive stipends for books, food and hostel charges. The > basic principle is that no student who gets admission to a university > should have to depend on parental support if it is not available. Ron > Brown’s remarks went unnoticed in India. Every other day some luminary > or the other opines that universities and technical education > institutions should increase their charges and that such education > should not be subsidized. Most editorials echo these sentiments. > Eminent industrialists pontificate that we should run educational > institutions like business houses. Visiting experts from the Bank and > the IMF, in their newly emerging concern for the poor, advise us to > divert funds from higher education to primary education. Multilateral agencies like The World Bank have been __________

  1.  pressurizing India and other countries to stop substantial higher education
  2.  insisting on discontinuance of subsidies to higher education
  3.  analyzing the possibilities of increasing subsidies to higher learning
  4.  emphasizing on the need of lowering fees for higher education
  5.  forcing countries like India to strengthen only industrial development

Solution : insisting on discontinuance of subsidies to higher education

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Q320. > As increasing dependence on information systems develops, the need for > such systems to be reliable and secure also becomes more essential. As > growing numbers of ordinary citizens use computer networks for > banking, shopping, etc., network security is potentially a massive > problem. Over the last few years the need for computer and information > system security has become increasingly evident, as web sites are > being defaced with greater frequency, more and more denial-of-service > attacks are being reported, credit card information is being stolen, > there is increased sophistication of hacking tools that are openly > available to the public on the Internet, and there is increasing > damage being caused by viruses and worms to critical information > system resources. At the organizational level, institutional > mechanisms have to be designed in order to review policies, practices, > measures, and procedures to review e-security regularly and assess > whether these are appropriate to their environment. It would be > helpful if organizations share information about threats and > vulnerabilities, and implement procedures for rapid and effective > cooperation to prevent, detect and respond to security incidents. As > new threat and vulnerabilities are continuously discovered there is a > strong need for cooperation among organizations and, if necessary, we > could also consider cross-border information sharing. We need to > understand threats and dangers that could be vulnerable to and the > steps that need to be taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities. We need > to understand success control systems and methodology, > telecommunication and network security, and security management > practice. We should be well versed in the area of application and > systems development security, cryptography, operations security and > physical security. The banking sector is poised for more challenges in > the near future. Customers of banks can now look forward to a large > array of new offerings by banks. From an era of mere competition, > banks are now cooperation among themselves so that the synergistic > benefits are share among all the players. This would result in the > formation of shared payment networks (a few shared ATM networks have > already been commissioned by banks), offering payment services beyond > the existing time zones. The Reserve Bank is also facilitating new > projects such as the Multi Application Smart Card project which, when > implemented, would facilitate transfer of funds using electronic means > and in a safe and secure manner across the length and breadth of the > country, with reduced dependence on paper currency. The opportunities > of e-banking or e-power in general need to be harnessed so that > banking is available to all customers in such a manner that they would > feel most convenient, and if required, without having to visit a > branch of a bank. All these will have to be accompanied with a high > level of comfort, which again boils down to the issue of e-security. > One of the biggest advantages accruing to banks in the future would be > the benefits that arise from the introduction of Real Time Gross > Settlement (RTGS). Funds management by treasuries of banks would be > helped greatly by RTGS. With almost 70 banks having joined the RTGS > system, more large value funds transfers are taking place through this > system. The implementation of Core Banking solutions by banks is > closely related to RTGS too. Core Banking will make anywhere banking a > reality for customers of each bank, while RTGS bridges the need for > inter-bank funds movement. Thus, the days of depositing a cheque for > collection and a long wait for its realization would soon be a thing > of the past for those customers who would opt for electronic movement > of funds, using the RTGS system, where the settlement would be on an > almost instantaneous basis. Core Banking is already in vogue in many > private sector and foreign banks; while its implementation is at > different stages amongst the public sector banks. IT would also > facilitate better and more scientific decision making within banks. > Information systems now provide decision makers in banks with a great > deal of information which, along with historical data and trend > analysis, help in the building up of efficient Management Information > Systems, This, in turn, would help in better Asset Liability > Management (ALM) which, in today’s would of hairline margins, is a key > requirement for the success of banks in their operational activities. > Another benefit which e-banking could provide for, relates to Customer > Relationship Management (CRM). CRM helps in stratification of > customers and evaluating customer need on a holistic basis which could > be paving the way for competitive edge for banks and complete customer > care for customers of banks. The content of the passage mainly emphasizes

  1.  the threat of competition among banks providing tele-banking services
  2.  the scientific advancements that have facilitated quicker and scientific banking procedures
  3.  threats to on-line banking and remedies to guard against them
  4.  e-banking and its impact on global economy
  5.  None of these

Solution : the scientific advancements that have facilitated quicker and scientific banking procedures
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Solution :

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