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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

Q336. > Modern bio-technology, especially the creation of genetically modified > crops, is often presented as a magic solution or universal panacea for > the problems of poverty, inadequate nutrition and even environmental > degradation across the world. Conversely, there are people who present > the picture of tech-generated monsters and major human health hazards > being created by science. Many of the technological changes currently > in the process of being utilized in agriculture can have unforeseen > consequences, and their safety and future viability are far from > secure. The reality, as always, is far more complex than either of > these two extremes. Even today the total food production in the world > is adequate to feed the hungry of the world; the problem is rather one > of unequal distribution, which deprives a large part of the population > of even their minimal nutritional requirements. Similarly, farmers, > especially in developing countries, face many problems such as lack of > infrastructure, poor or unstable market access, volatile input and > output prices etc that biotechnology does not address, much less > solve. It is true that transgenic plants can offer a range of benefits > which are above and beyond those which emerged from more traditional > innovations in cultivation. It is suggested that such new technology > offers more effective pest resistance of seeds and crops through > genetic control mechanisms, which also reduces the need for pesticide > use and leads to improved yield. A basic question, of course, is > whether the new GM technology is safe, and whether this is absolutely > crucial since the effects may only be known much later. The jury is > still very much out on this matter, and the controversy does not > appear to be resolved quickly. The trouble is that most governments in > developing countries have relatively low food and beverage regulatory > standards, and public systems for monitoring and surveillance of such > items are poor or non-existent. This leaves them open for entry and > even dumping of a range of agricultural products of the new > technology, which may not pass regulatory standards in the more > developed countries. The author of the given passage seems to be definitely

  1.  suggesting the use of traditional methods of agriculture as against bio-technology by developing countries owing to their poor regulatory standards
  2.  in favour of utilizing bio-technology as a tool for alleviation of poverty in the world.
  3.  urging the policy makers to improve infrastructural facilities so that farmers can maximize the benefits of genetically modified crops
  4.  unconvinced of the long-term effects and rationale for immediate requirement of genetically modified products.
  5.  None of these

Solution : unconvinced of the long-term effects and rationale for immediate requirement of genetically modified products.
Q337. > Modern bio-technology, especially the creation of genetically modified > crops, is often presented as a magic solution or universal panacea for > the problems of poverty, inadequate nutrition and even environmental > degradation across the world. Conversely, there are people who present > the picture of tech-generated monsters and major human health hazards > being created by science. Many of the technological changes currently > in the process of being utilized in agriculture can have unforeseen > consequences, and their safety and future viability are far from > secure. The reality, as always, is far more complex than either of > these two extremes. Even today the total food production in the world > is adequate to feed the hungry of the world; the problem is rather one > of unequal distribution, which deprives a large part of the population > of even their minimal nutritional requirements. Similarly, farmers, > especially in developing countries, face many problems such as lack of > infrastructure, poor or unstable market access, volatile input and > output prices etc that biotechnology does not address, much less > solve. It is true that transgenic plants can offer a range of benefits > which are above and beyond those which emerged from more traditional > innovations in cultivation. It is suggested that such new technology > offers more effective pest resistance of seeds and crops through > genetic control mechanisms, which also reduces the need for pesticide > use and leads to improved yield. A basic question, of course, is > whether the new GM technology is safe, and whether this is absolutely > crucial since the effects may only be known much later. The jury is > still very much out on this matter, and the controversy does not > appear to be resolved quickly. The trouble is that most governments in > developing countries have relatively low food and beverage regulatory > standards, and public systems for monitoring and surveillance of such > items are poor or non-existent. This leaves them open for entry and > even dumping of a range of agricultural products of the new > technology, which may not pass regulatory standards in the more > developed countries. Why, according to the author, is genetic modification of crops not an answer to the problem of hunger in the world? (A) People being highly doubtful of the long-term effects of genetically modified crops, do not buy the products grown by such methods. (B) The problem of hunger in the world is not due to inadequate production of food but due to unequal distribution of it. (C) Many developing countries have banned genetically modified products as developed countries have been using these countries as dumping grounds for new genetically modified products.

  1.  Only A
  2.  Only B
  3.  Both B and C
  4.  Both A and C
  5.  None of these

Solution : Only B

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Q338. > Two principles are involved in the controversy about the presence of > foreign controlled media in the country; the free flow of ideas and > images across national borders and the need to safeguard the national > interest and preserve cultural autonomy. Both are valid but both are > at loggerheads because each has been used to promote less lofty goals. > The first principle conforms to a moral imperative: freedom to > expression cannot rhyme with restrictions imposed by any government. > But the free flow rhetoric also clouds the fact that the powerful > Western, and especially American media, can and often do present, > subtly or brazenly, news in a manner that promotes Western political, > ideological and strategic interests. Besides, Western entertainment > programmes present lifestyles and values that run counter to the > lifestyles and values cherished by traditional societies. All this > explains why so many Indian newspapers, magazines and news agencies > have sought protection from the courts to prevent foreign publications > and news agencies from operating in the country. Their arguments are > weak on two counts. As the bitter debate on a new world information > and communication order demonstrated in the late seventies and early > eighties, many of those who resent Western ‘invasion’ in the fields of > information and culture are no great friends of democracy. Secondly, > the threat of such an ‘invasion’ has been aired by those media groups > in the developing countries that fear that their business interests > will be harmed if Western groups, equipped with large financial and > technological resources and superior management skills, are allowed to > operate in the country without let. The fear is valid but it goes > against the grain of the economic reform programme. The presence of > foreign newspapers and television channels will increase competition, > which, in the course of time, can only lead to the upgradation of > dynamic Indian newspapers and television channels, even while they > drive the rest out of the market. One way to strike a balance between > the two antagonistic principles would be to allow foreign media entry > into the country, provided the India state treats them at par with the > domestic media on all fronts. On the import of technology, for > instance, foreign media cannot be allowed duty concessions denied to > their Indian counterparts. Foreign media will also have to face legal > consequences should they run foul of Indian laws. Why, for example, > should the BBC, or Time magazine or The Economist get away by showing > a map of Kashmir, which is at variance with the official Indian map? > Why should they go scot-free when they allow secessionists and > terrorists to air their views without giving the government the right > to reply, or when they depict sexually explicit scenes, which would > otherwise not be cleared by the Censor Board? Since the government can > do precious little in the matter, especially about satellite > broadcasts, what if it should consider attaching the properties of the > offending parties? Demands of this kind are bound to be voiced unless > New Delhi makes it clear to the foreign media that they will have to > respect Indian susceptibilities, especially where it concerns the > country’s integrity and its culture. It may be able to derive some > inspiration from France’s successful attempts in the recent GATT to > protect its cinematography industry. Which of the following is one of the points weakening the argument to prevent the entry of foreign media?

  1.  Such entry would be against traditional culture
  2.  The threat being voiced by those whose business will be harmed by such an entry
  3.  The arguments being put forth are at loggerheads
  4.  The foreign media may not be treated on par with the domestic media
  5.  None of these

Solution : The threat being voiced by those whose business will be harmed by such an entry
Q339. > Two principles are involved in the controversy about the presence of > foreign controlled media in the country; the free flow of ideas and > images across national borders and the need to safeguard the national > interest and preserve cultural autonomy. Both are valid but both are > at loggerheads because each has been used to promote less lofty goals. > The first principle conforms to a moral imperative: freedom to > expression cannot rhyme with restrictions imposed by any government. > But the free flow rhetoric also clouds the fact that the powerful > Western, and especially American media, can and often do present, > subtly or brazenly, news in a manner that promotes Western political, > ideological and strategic interests. Besides, Western entertainment > programmes present lifestyles and values that run counter to the > lifestyles and values cherished by traditional societies. All this > explains why so many Indian newspapers, magazines and news agencies > have sought protection from the courts to prevent foreign publications > and news agencies from operating in the country. Their arguments are > weak on two counts. As the bitter debate on a new world information > and communication order demonstrated in the late seventies and early > eighties, many of those who resent Western ‘invasion’ in the fields of > information and culture are no great friends of democracy. Secondly, > the threat of such an ‘invasion’ has been aired by those media groups > in the developing countries that fear that their business interests > will be harmed if Western groups, equipped with large financial and > technological resources and superior management skills, are allowed to > operate in the country without let. The fear is valid but it goes > against the grain of the economic reform programme. The presence of > foreign newspapers and television channels will increase competition, > which, in the course of time, can only lead to the upgradation of > dynamic Indian newspapers and television channels, even while they > drive the rest out of the market. One way to strike a balance between > the two antagonistic principles would be to allow foreign media entry > into the country, provided the India state treats them at par with the > domestic media on all fronts. On the import of technology, for > instance, foreign media cannot be allowed duty concessions denied to > their Indian counterparts. Foreign media will also have to face legal > consequences should they run foul of Indian laws. Why, for example, > should the BBC, or Time magazine or The Economist get away by showing > a map of Kashmir, which is at variance with the official Indian map? > Why should they go scot-free when they allow secessionists and > terrorists to air their views without giving the government the right > to reply, or when they depict sexually explicit scenes, which would > otherwise not be cleared by the Censor Board? Since the government can > do precious little in the matter, especially about satellite > broadcasts, what if it should consider attaching the properties of the > offending parties? Demands of this kind are bound to be voiced unless > New Delhi makes it clear to the foreign media that they will have to > respect Indian susceptibilities, especially where it concerns the > country’s integrity and its culture. It may be able to derive some > inspiration from France’s successful attempts in the recent GATT to > protect its cinematography industry. What will be the impact of increasing competition?

  1.  The domestic media will not be able to withstand it
  2.  The foreign media will not be allowed duty concessions on import of technology
  3.  It will improve Indian newspapers and television
  4.  The Indian newspapers and news agencies will seek protection from the court
  5.  None of these

Solution : It will improve Indian newspapers and television

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Q340. > Two principles are involved in the controversy about the presence of > foreign controlled media in the country; the free flow of ideas and > images across national borders and the need to safeguard the national > interest and preserve cultural autonomy. Both are valid but both are > at loggerheads because each has been used to promote less lofty goals. > The first principle conforms to a moral imperative: freedom to > expression cannot rhyme with restrictions imposed by any government. > But the free flow rhetoric also clouds the fact that the powerful > Western, and especially American media, can and often do present, > subtly or brazenly, news in a manner that promotes Western political, > ideological and strategic interests. Besides, Western entertainment > programmes present lifestyles and values that run counter to the > lifestyles and values cherished by traditional societies. All this > explains why so many Indian newspapers, magazines and news agencies > have sought protection from the courts to prevent foreign publications > and news agencies from operating in the country. Their arguments are > weak on two counts. As the bitter debate on a new world information > and communication order demonstrated in the late seventies and early > eighties, many of those who resent Western ‘invasion’ in the fields of > information and culture are no great friends of democracy. Secondly, > the threat of such an ‘invasion’ has been aired by those media groups > in the developing countries that fear that their business interests > will be harmed if Western groups, equipped with large financial and > technological resources and superior management skills, are allowed to > operate in the country without let. The fear is valid but it goes > against the grain of the economic reform programme. The presence of > foreign newspapers and television channels will increase competition, > which, in the course of time, can only lead to the upgradation of > dynamic Indian newspapers and television channels, even while they > drive the rest out of the market. One way to strike a balance between > the two antagonistic principles would be to allow foreign media entry > into the country, provided the India state treats them at par with the > domestic media on all fronts. On the import of technology, for > instance, foreign media cannot be allowed duty concessions denied to > their Indian counterparts. Foreign media will also have to face legal > consequences should they run foul of Indian laws. Why, for example, > should the BBC, or Time magazine or The Economist get away by showing > a map of Kashmir, which is at variance with the official Indian map? > Why should they go scot-free when they allow secessionists and > terrorists to air their views without giving the government the right > to reply, or when they depict sexually explicit scenes, which would > otherwise not be cleared by the Censor Board? Since the government can > do precious little in the matter, especially about satellite > broadcasts, what if it should consider attaching the properties of the > offending parties? Demands of this kind are bound to be voiced unless > New Delhi makes it clear to the foreign media that they will have to > respect Indian susceptibilities, especially where it concerns the > country’s integrity and its culture. It may be able to derive some > inspiration from France’s successful attempts in the recent GATT to > protect its cinematography industry. Which of the following has been cited as having succeeded in protecting country?

  1.  GATT
  2.  News Agencies
  3.  Television
  4.  Cultural traditions
  5.  None of these

Solution : None of these
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Solution :

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