English (50 Marks)
PASSAGE I As the climate in the Middle East changed beginning around 7000 B.C., conditions emerged that were conductive to a more complex and advanced form of civilization in both Egypt and Mesopotamia. The process began when the swampy valleys of the Nile in Egypt and of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia became drier, producing riverine lands that were both habitable and fertile, and attracting settlers armed with the newly-developed techniques of agriculture. This migration was further encouraged by the gradual transformation of the once hospitable grasslands of these regions into deserts. Human population became increasingly concentrated into pockets of settlement scattered along the banks of the great rivers.
These rivers profoundly shaped the way of life along their banks. In Mesopotamia, the management of water in conditions of unpredictable drought, flood and storm became the central economic and social challenge. Villagers began early to build simple earthworks, dikes, canals and ditches to control the waters and reduce the opposing dangers of drought during the dry season (usually the spring) and flooding at harvest time.
Such efforts required a degree of cooperation among large numbers of people that had not previously existed. The individual village containing only a dozen or so houses and families, was economically vulnerable; but when several villages, probably under the direction of a council of elders, learned to share their human resources in the building of a coordinated network of water-control systems, the safety, stability, and prosperity of all improved. In this new cooperation, the seeds of the great Mesopotamian civilizations were being sown.
Technological and mathematical inventions, too, were stimulated by life along rivers. Such devices as the noria (a primitive waterwheel) and the Archimedean screw (a device for raising water from the low riverbanks to the high ground where it was needed), two forerunners of many more varied and complex machines were first developed here for use in irrigation systems. Similarly, the earliest methods of measurement and computation and the first developments in geometry were stimulated by the need to keep track of land holdings and boundaries in fields that were periodically inundated.
The rivers served as high roads of the earliest commerce. Traders used boats made of bundles of rushes to transport grains, fruits, nuts, fibers, and textiles from one village to another, transforming the rivers into the central spines of nascent commercial kingdoms. Trade expanded surprisingly widely, we have evidence suggesting that even before the establishment of the first Egyptian dynasty, goods were being exchanged between villagers in Egypt and others as far away as Iran.
Similar developments were occurring at much the same time along the great river valleys in other parts of the world for example, along the Indus in India and the Hwang Ho in China. The relation of humans and rivers has shaped the history of early civilization to a remarkable degree.
1. This passage basically explains
(a) The similarities and differences among several ancient societies
(b) The influence of river settlements on the growth of early civilizations
(c) How climatic changes led to the founding of the earliest recorded cities.
(d) The development of primitive technologies in the ancient Middle East
2. According to the passage, the increasing aridity of formally fertile grasslands in Egypt and Mesopotamia caused the settlement patterns in those regions to become
(a) Less nomadic
(b) Less stable
(c) More concentrated
(d) More sparse
3. The passage implies that the earliest geometry was practiced primarily by
(a) Farm workers
(b) Land owners
(c) Traders and merchants
(d) Mechanical artisans
4. The passage indicates that the social effects of the unpredictability of water supplies in Mesopotamia was
(a) To encourage cooperation in the creation of water management systems
(b) To drive farmers to settle in fertile grasslands far from the uncontrollable rivers
(c) To cause warfare over water rights among rival villages
(d) None of the above
5. The passage refers to the earliest trade routes in the Middle East
(a) Between various centrally-ruled commercial kingdoms
(b) Between linked villages in Egypt with others in Iran
(c) Between connected villages that were scattered along the banks of the same river
(d) Between the inhabitants of small villages and the dynastic kings who ruled them
6. The passage implies that the emergence of complex civilizations in the Middle East
was dependent upon the previous development of
(a) A system of centralized government
(b) Symbolic systems for writing and mathematical computation
(c) A method of storing and transferring wealth
(d) Basic techniques of agriculture
7. By referring to emerging civilizations in India & China, the author wants to emphasize the
(a) Relatively advanced position enjoyed by the Middle East in comparison to other regions
(b) Rapidity with which social systems developed in the Middle East spread to other places
(c) Crucial role played by rivers in the development of human cultures around the world
(d) Importance of water transportation in the growth of early trade
This is a part of an exercise to improve command over English language. Do the following exercise:
1. Read the articles.
2. Find the meaning of difficult words from dictionary.
3. Write those words along with their meanings in a separate notebook.
4. Note down the important sentences and information you can use in GD.
5. Read the passages loudly.
This exercise will help you in following ways:
1. Improve your vocabulary.
2. Improve your understanding of the language which will help you in Reading Comprehension.
3. As you practice to read different sentence structures, it will help to solve grammar questions.
4. As you become aware of the current affairs, it will help to improve your performance in GD and PI.
5. If you read the passages loudly, it will improve your communication skills.
Sinking Alliance June 22, 2010, TOI
Row between BJP and JD(U) could hurt both in Bihar
With just about four months to go for assembly elections in Bihar, the alliance between ruling coalition partners JD(U) and BJP appears to be unravelling. In the latest duel between the two partners, Bihar's deputy CM Sushil Modi boycotted chief minister Nitish Kumar's ‘Vishwas Yatra' – his planned cavalcade of rallies – a day after the state government summarily returned Rs 5 crore in flood relief aid from the Gujarat government. Earlier, trouble had flared when Nitish had objected to an advertisement campaign which showed him holding hands with Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. Nitish may have been technically right in his objection, as the ads were released without his consent. But the decision to return flood relief funds in response is ungracious and over the top.
Nitish's aggressive posture to protect his secular credentials in a poll-bound state is comprehensible, but that doesn't allow him to play political football with much needed flood relief. Can Nitish afford to do a Naveen Patnaik by breaking with the BJP? A divorce will be a costly affair and the collateral damage may sink the electoral fortunes of both parties.
There is no doubt that Nitish speaks the language of governance and has been able to build an independent social base of sections of backward castes, Dalits and Muslims for the JD (U). Nonetheless, he cannot risk the wrath of the sizeable upper castes who played an important role in his victories in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections – and who can desert him for jettisoning the BJP. Similarly, the 16 per cent pie of Muslim votes has many stakeholders including the RJD, LJP and the Congress party. The Congress could have benefited from the situation, but its weak party organisation is a major caveat to its revival in the state.
In all this, the BJP would be the biggest loser. A loss of alliance with the JD(U) could mean the de facto end of the NDA. The BJP will also lose many seats in Bihar that it can win only with the support of the JD(U). The party doesn't appear to be learning from its mistakes. It came on in a heavy-handed manner with Narendra Modi who's a liability outside Gujarat. Bihar's image has seen a massive turnaround since the change of guard in 2005. The voter's mandate was clearly in favour of development over caste-based identity politics. Any reversal of this process, accompanied by the return of political instability, will not only be to the state's but also the country's detriment.
THE SPEAKING TREE
The Selfless And The Selfish
25 June 2010, TOI
Read the following passage, find the meaning of the words in bold and answer the questions.
For any human change, evolution or transformation to take place, elements of awareness and purity are required. They act as springboards for transcending our innate tendencies. In their absence, the good in us is overpowered by evil, leading to self-destruction. A story by Manoj Das talks about what happens when a village community becomes greedy. Even greed, it seems, is sustainable so long as purity coexists, but once it exits, there is no hope.
In the courtyard of each household in a village is the sacred yajnakund where the ancient fire rite is earnestly performed. One day a Brahmin discovers a piece of gold in his kund. His wife informs him that a bull had entered their courtyard while she was sweeping it. Since she was chewing a betel-leaf and it became imperative to shout off the bull, she spat into the kund so she could frighten away the intruder.
The Brahmin is outraged at the pollution of a sacred site but his hands are already rubbing the piece of gold which shines brighter with the rub! He protests but his wife snatches the gold from him with a laugh, spitting another mouthful into the kund! The next day she appears before him in a silk sari and the promise of a pair of silk dhotis for him. Soon their humble hut gives way to a fine building, a large number of cows and servants.
The neighbours are envious. The wife who spat into the kund shares her secret with a young woman: “Who is endowed with my merit? I spit and there grows gold!” Soon the young woman too is bedecked in a silk sari and jewellery. The secret spreads and soon, gold emerges in every yajnakund – in all except one.
A village teacher remains true to his swadharma of using the yajnakund only for worship. His wife implores him to allow her to spit betel-leaf into the kund but he resists. Unable to live in poverty in the midst of such opulence, she suggests they move to their daughter’s serene hamlet at the edge of a forest.
He reluctantly agrees despite knowing it would prove disastrous. As they walk away they hear a commotion behind them. The village goes up in flames, each house torched by the fire of quarrel and division. Says the teacher tearfully: “This is the catastrophe i foresaw. Wealth earned without toil bred hatred. So long as even one yajnakund remained pure, order prevailed. But with our departure, the village lost all right to peace.”
The yajnakund symbolises divine presence and selfless service. By polluting it we give in to greed, compromise morals and adulate material prosperity. The original strength of simplicity and piety inspired by service to the divine is eroded so insidiously by materialism that a single spark is enough to destroy this weak superstructure. If purity and awareness are undermined or neglected, not only is the macrocosm of community destroyed but the microcosm of the individual psyche is destroyed as well.
8. In absence of which of the following, the good in us is overpowered by evil, leading to self-destruction?
(a) our innate tendencies
(b) evolution or transformation
(c) elements of awareness and purity
(d) None of these
9. What does the yajnakund in the passage symbolises?
(a) divine presence and selfless service
(c) Simplicity and purity
10. Which word in the passage means “sacrosanct”?
(a) envious (b) opulence
(c) sacred (d) commotion
11. Which word in the passage is the opposite in the meaning of “poverty”
(a) catastrophe (b) worship
(c) divine (d) opulence
Terms Of Re-engagement
The time is right to move beyond the old paradigm of India-Pakistan rivalry
23 June, 2010, Indian Express
Read the passage and find the meanings of the words in bold.
To turn a metaphor around, what can't be endured must be cured. Trust is the key curative ingredient in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's nuanced strategy of structured re-engagement with Pakistan. And yet the meetings between home minister P Chidambaram and external affairs minister S M Krishna with their Pakistani counterparts on June 26 and July 15 respectively mark a fundamental shift in the balance of diplomatic power between India and Pakistan.
Pakistan's decades-long attempt to acquire parity with India is over. Despite the Pakistani army's braggadocio, its deployment of over 1,00,000 troops in the recently renamed Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa region (formerly known as the North West Frontier Province) has significantly weakened both its fighting capabilities on the LoC and its morale. The economic disparity between the two countries is growing. India's GDP is now nearly 10 times Pakistan's. Power shortages are crippling industry and everyday life in Pakistan. The entire country generates a mere 11,800 MW of electricity per day on average (Maharashtra alone generates more) and faces a daily shortfall of nearly 4,000 MW.
While the inevitably long drawn out appeal process against the death sentence given to Mohammed Ajmal Kasab will continue to cause public disquiet in India, the arrest of failed New York bomber Faisal Shahzad has seriously weakened Pakistan's ability to run with the Taliban hares and hunt with the American hounds. Washington has woken up.
The prime minister's strategy of re-engaging Pakistan couldn't be better timed for three other reasons. One, the eighteenth constitutional amendment has given Pakistan's National Assembly greater parliamentary power than it has had since the time of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the early 1970s. General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani may still be the power behind the throne but on the throne sits a significantly empowered prime minister.
Two, ISI-created terror groups in north Waziristan led by Sirajuddin Haqqani are
being relentlessly pursued by the US following the interrogation of Shahzad. Washington is forcing Islamabad to dismember Pakistan's “strategic terror assets” designed by Rawalpindi GHQ to remote control a Talibanised Afghanistan after the Americans leave. That strategy now lies in tatters.
Three, India's conventional military strength is being quietly burnished. The Indian navy has already commissioned an advanced stealth ship (INS Shivalik) and two more stealths (INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri) are expected to enter service next year. The navy has begun a two-year sea trial of INS Arihant, its first indigenously built ATV nuclear submarine, and will have a fleet of six by 2020. A nuclear-tipped supersonic cruise missile, BrahMos, is under classified development and will join the Agni-III whose range is 5,000 km. The navy's aircraft carrier (INS Vikramaditya) and nuclear submarines, supplemented by land-based and air-fired missiles, form a deadly triad of offensive military capability.
The prime minister is a pacifist but knows that to win the peace you must first possess the means to win a war. He now has those means and they immeasurably strengthen his negotiating position. But while talks with Pakistan are necessary, they must serve one clear purpose: a permanent end to state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan. From this will emerge a modus vivendi on Kashmir and water, closer economic cooperation, stronger trade ties, easier travel and more people-to-people contact.
The Indian home minister's mandate at the SAARC home ministers' summit beginning in Islamabad on June 26 is to carry the prime minister's dual strategy forward. The first part of that strategy is to narrow the trust deficit with Pakistan's civilian government through purposeful re-engagement between the two countries' home and foreign ministers. The second part of the strategy is to assess whether the Pakistani army's adversarial mindset has changed significantly.
The influence of General Kayani, whose tenure ends on November 29 and may not be extended, is waning as Pakistani civil society, a reinvigorated judiciary and the democratically elected government reassert themselves. Washington no longer trusts him, especially after Shahzad's handlers were traced back to the ISI. New economic and geopolitical realities have shrunk the ambitions of even the hawks within the ISI who have long made a profitable living out of Pakistan's adversarial relationship with India.
Chidambaram's iron fist may be clothed in velvet as he meets Pakistan's leaders in Islamabad this weekend but he will leave them in no doubt about India's intent: peace is a prize to be won for the entire subcontinent. It is a prize necessary for India to pursue its expanding global agenda without being distracted by a renegade neighbour. And it is necessary for Pakistan so that it can extricate itself from decades of misguided military adventurism and state sponsored terrorism that have cost so many innocent lives.
Talking to, and trusting, Pakistan is vital for long-term peace in the subcontinent. But peace, like any other prize worth winning, carries collateral obligations. It is, for instance, the constitutional obligation of a government to protect its citizens and, in the event of a terrorist attack against them, bring the perpetrators to book. The prime minister, as his government re-engages Pakistan across a raft of issues, must honour that principal obligation by ensuring that terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim are brought swiftly to justice.
The writer is chairman of a media group and an author.
Direction: In the following passage there are blanks, each of which have been numbered. These numbered are printed billow the passage and against each five words are suggested one of which fits the blank. Find out the appropriate word in each case.
When companies are learning to (76) paperwork and speed up processes online, they (77) their own backyard. They (78) that many of the jobs that keep the human resources (HR) people busy can be better done (79). They discover ways to (80) employee expense claims online. They create an internal electronic job market. And they put training online to keep (81) and busy employees in touch with constant innovation.
Most of this is relatively (82) to do because it is, on the whole, unthreatening. It may cut out some HR jobs, but it does not (83) the main business. On the other hand, it helps to teach companies and their employees about (84) the Internet. And techniques honed in HR department can later be (85) to the other department as well.
12. a) evaluate b) eliminate
c) dispense d) include e) reject
13. a) begin in b) leave out
c) attend to d) preside over e) care for
14. a) acknowledge b) declare
c) notice d) confirm e) insist
15. a) effectively b) effortlessly
c) elaborately d) efficiently e) electronically
16. a) control b) solve
c) operate d) handle e) suspend
17. a) dependable b) diligent
c) dispersed d) diplomatic e) devoted
18. a) easy b) casual
c)laborious d) legal e)complex
19. a) jeopardize b) alter
c) terminate d) expose e) annihilate
20. a) appreciating b) evaluating
c) assessing d) applying e) extending
21. a) transformed b) transmitted
c) translated d) transported e) transferred
Fill in the blanks
Directions: Pick the most effective pair of words from the given choices to fill in the blank to make the sentence meaningfully complete.
22. Vandals who damage public property either _____ during protests or during accidents will have to pay for it under the new legislation_______ by the Government.
a) willfully ….offered
23. The two greatest problems of our times are _____ poverty in the developing world and ______ climate change.
24. Creating options is of great importance in transport and competitively priced, ______ public transport can transform the way people travel, as ______ by the new metro systems round the world.
25. The _____ against disease, ignorance and poverty in some countries like India is ______ by the persistence of superstitious beliefs and practices.
26. As artists, Ajay Atul are widely ______ for their _______ musical approach.
b) feted ….unique
c) worshiped….intricate pleasant
Directions: Read the following sentence to find out whether there is any error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The number of that part is the answer. (Ignore the errors of punctuation, if any)
27. Sharad was entrusted with (a)/ the task of coordinating yesterday's program (b)/but due to certain difficulties (c)/he does not do it. (d)/No error. (e)
28. Having deprived from their (a)/ homes in the recent earthquake, (b)/ they had no other option but (c)/ to take shelter in a school. (d)/ No error. (e)
29. The technician reminded (a)/ them to have a (b)/ throughly cleaning of the (c)/ machine after each use. (d)/ No error. (e)
30. Neither India nor Pakistan (a)/ have yet acquired (b)/ the capability to produce nuclear weapons. (c)/ No error.(d)
31. I was busy (a)/ so I asked them to come and (b)/ see me between 7 to 8 in the evening. (c)/ No error. (d)
32. I will call (a)/ your friend (b)/ when I will reach Mumbai. (c)/ No error. (d)
33. When he went out (a)/ heleft the radio on (b)/ so that his parents shall think (c)/ that he was still in the house. (d)/ No error. (e)
34. As I kept a strict watch (a)/with my way of living (b)/I could see that (c)/It was necessary to economize. (d)/No error. (e)
35. The father told his son (a)/ that he was a lazy boy (b)/ and that he has done (c)/ his work very badly. (d)/ No error. (e)
36. I can hear (a)/ the bell ringing (b)/ but nobody seems to be coming (c)/ to opening the door. (d)/ No error(e).