Reading Comprehension for SBI Clerk Prelims: 12th May 2018

Dear Aspirants,

Reading Comprehension for SBI Clerk Prelims Exam: 28th April 2018

Today is the Day 21 of the SBI Clerk 60 Days Study Plan. This section can be easy as pie if your basics are clear. Sometimes, even those who can communicate very well in English, fail to perform to the best of their ability in the banking exams. So, instead of boiling the ocean, try building up a strong vocabulary, an effective knowledge of grammar, and efficient comprehension skills so as to be on the ball to face this particular section. Here is a quiz on Reading Comprehension being provided by Adda247 to let you practice the best of latest pattern English Questions.

Directions (1- 10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has recently tightened priority sector lending (PSL) norms for foreign banks in India. Foreign banks with more than 20 branches in India will now be required to extend a portion of their loans to small and marginal farmers as well as micro enterprises from fiscal year 2018-19, as per the respective sub-sectoral targets. Those with less than 20 branches will also need to fulfil the overall PSL norms of 40% of adjusted net bank credit (ANBC) in a phased manner by 2020. However, foreign banks have cited their lack of knowledge, and fear of stressed assets, as reasons for their reluctance to lend to these sectors. The impact of priority sector loan targets on banks’ credit risk management strategies in India has been commented upon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In a recent report the IMF, raising concerns regarding the role of the public sector in the financial system, has advised the RBI to review its PSL policy to allow for greater flexibility in meeting targets. It also suggests a gradual reduction in PSL as a means to move funds into “more productive activities”, and greater participation of the private sector in capitalizing public sector banks, together with full capitalization. What is the truth? Are PSL norms responsible for banks’ stressed assets? Is there a business case for greater flexibility in targets for PSL, if not a complete removal of PSL norms?
A perusal of the RBI’s Trend and Progress of Banking in India reports over the last decade reveals that public-sector banks have been continuously underperforming on the total priority sector target of 40% since 2012, while private sector banks have continuously lent more than the mandatory target of 40%, except for two years. Foreign banks also outperformed their mandated target of 32% throughout the decade till 2015-16, as well as the higher targets required later. However, all banks have defaulted on their sub-sectoral targets, especially that of 18% for agriculture, in most years. This appears strange, since paradoxically, priority sector loans have contributed far less to the gross non-performing assets (NPAs) of all three categories of banks than non-priority sector loans. In fact, public sector banks had a large proportion of NPAs among their priority sector loans (50%) in 2012, a figure that had come down to 24.1% in 2017. Non-priority sector loans contributed to 82% of NPAs in the case of private sector banks in 2017, against the 18% of NPAs in the case of priority sector loans. Foreign banks had a comparable figure for NPAs within their non-priority loans.
Thus, priority sector lending may not be responsible for compromising banks’ credit risk minimization strategies, or risk accumulation. Yet, most bankers seem reluctant to lend to the priority sectors. An informal chat with bankers reveals that the problem with priority sector loans is the lack of understanding of the sub-sectoral target groups, especially agriculture and the small and medium sector, as also weaker sections. A foreign bank, desirous of opening a bank branch in some remote area to service agricultural borrowers, neither understands its borrower, nor is clearly aware of the legal provisions to recover stressed assets. Further, given the vagaries of the monsoon that agriculture is susceptible to and the undiversified risk portfolios in such rural areas, the credit risks for such banks from such PSL would be extremely high. The same would be the case for PSL to the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) sector. The sector, with its unorganized operations and lack of proper accounting records and financial statements, poses higher costs and greater risks in credit disbursement. Little wonder, then, that foreign banks have exhibited a reluctance to extend their bank branches, with the number of foreign bank branches in India falling to 286 on 31 January 2018, compared to 317 in FY 2016.

Thus, while priority sector lending, by itself, may be seen as serving the purpose of directed credit within a developing country like India, there appears to be a genuine business case for allowing flexibility in sub-targets for various categories of bank priority sector lending. Banks should be allowed to choose the category they wish to lend to. Foreign banks may then choose to lend in the form of export credit (which was a sub-sectoral target for foreign banks prior to 2012, and was later removed), rather than to agriculture. Similarly, private sector banks may choose to lend housing credit in urban areas, rather than being forced to lend agricultural finance. The government may rely on specialized institutions such as the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Nabard) to fulfil sectoral lending targets, while at the same time ensuring structural reforms in these sectors to make lending to them more viable. It is time the banking sector in India is allowed to grow its balance sheets, and do business the only way that it ought to be done, namely, with reference to bottom lines.

Q1. What are the reasons cited by private sector banks for their unwillingness towards priority sector lending?
(l) not having complete knowledge about these sectors.
(ll) fear of stressed assets.
(lll) Not having sufficient funds.
(a) only (l)
(b) only (ll)
(c) Both (l) and (ll)
(d) Both (ll) and (lll)
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S1. Ans.(c) Sol. Refer first para 6th line However, foreign banks have cited their lack of knowledge, and fear of stressed assets, as reasons for their reluctance to lend to these sectors.

Q2. As per the passage, what are the risks associated with agriculture sector and MSMEs that are responsible for reluctance of banks for PSL?
(l) Unexpected changes of monsoon that agriculture is prone to.
(ll) Lack of proper accounting records in MSMEs
(lll) Lack of awareness about the legal provisions for recovering stressed assets.
(a) Only (l)
(b) Only (ll)
(c) Both (l) and (ll)
(d) Both (ll) and (lll)
(e) All (l) (ll) and (lll)

Show Answer
S2. Ans. (e) Sol. All (l) (ll) and (lll) are correct. Refer 3rd para 5th line.

Q3. As per the passage, what should the government do to make PSL more feasible?
(a) dividing the targets equally between public, private and foreign banks.
(b) extending bank branches.
(c) government may depend upon specialized institutes like NABARD to fulfill their priority sector lending targets.
(d) capitalizing all banks
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S3. Ans. (c) Sol. Refer 4th para 7th line.

Q4. As per RBI, what is the mandatory target for banks for priority sector lending?
(a) 24.1%
(b) 40%
(c) 50%
(d) 18%
(e) 82%

Show Answer
S4. Ans.(b) Sol. Refer first 4 lines if 2nd para.

Q5. What is the most suitable title of the passage?
(a) Extending Bank Branches
(b) PSL and Nabard
(c) RBI and its PSL Policy
(d) Time to do away with priority lending norms
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S5. Ans.(d) Sol. “Time to do away with priority lending norms” is the most suitable title for this passage because the passage describes about the drawbacks of priority sector lending norms and suggests ways to improve these norms.

Q6. What is the tone of the author?
(a) Descriptive
(b) Didactic
(c) Sarcastic
(d) Nostalgic
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S6. Ans.(a) Sol. The author’s tone is descriptive, because the writer begins in a general manner and then gives detailed description about Priority sector lendings and data associated with it.

Q7. Choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the following word given in bold in the passage
(a) scrutiny
(b) ignorance
(c) negligence
(d) feasible
(e) gradual

Show Answer
S7. Ans.(a) Sol. Perusal: the action of reading or examining something. Scrutiny: critical observation or examination.

Q8. Choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the following word given in bold in the passage
(a) Accuracy
(b) Standard
(c) Absurdity
(d) Pragmatic
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S8. Ans.(c) Sol. Paradox: a seemingly absurd or contradictory statement or proposition which when investigated may prove to be well founded or true.
Absurdity: the quality or state of being ridiculous or wildly unreasonable.

Q9. Choose the word which is most opposite to the following word given in bold in the passage
(a) Sensitive
(b) Vulnerable
(c) Resistant
(d) Disposed
(e) Inclined

Show Answer
S9. Ans.(c) Sol. Susceptible: likely or liable to be influenced or harmed by a particular thing. Resistant: unwilling and hesitant; disinclined.

Q10. Choose the word which is most opposite to the following word given in bold in the passage
(a) Applicable
(b) Unfeasible
(c) Pragmatic
(d) Specialized
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S10. Ans.(b) Sol. Viable: capable of working successfully; feasible

Directions (11-15): In the passage given below there are blanks which are to be filled with the options given below. Find out the appropriate pair of words in each case which can most suitably complete the sentence without altering the meaning of the statement.  

The biggest challenge faced by the fruit processing industry is perhaps, limited and ………(11)………. availability of fruits. Due to low per capita availability of fruits in India, most fruits find their way to retail markets, and almost nothing is left for processing. In the …..(12)…… of consistent fruit supply, the industry cannot assure supply to its customers. They are reduced to …..(13)……. players processing table varieties and filling the gap left by crop failures in other parts of the world. This leads to ……(14)…….. and low capacity utilization of processing units. This, ….(15)…. with low farm productivity, makes fruit processing a non-.starter or a high-cost producer at best.

(a) definite
(b) reluctant
(c) inconsistent
(d) adequate
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S11. Ans.(c) Sol. Inconsistent: not staying the same throughout. As the sentence talks about challenges, therefore inconsistent goes correctly with the sentence.

(a) presence
(b) absence
(c) excess
(d) surplus
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S12. Ans.(b) Sol. ‘absence’ goes correctly in the sentence as the sentence has a negative tone.

(a) abundant
(b) significant
(c) marginal
(d) major
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S13. Ans.(c) Sol. Marginal: minor and not important; not central.

(a) perseverance
(b) anxiety
(c) negligibility
(d) uncertainity
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S14. Ans.(d) Sol. Uncertainity: the state of being uncertain. ‘uncertainity’ fits correctly into the statement.

(a) disjoined
(b) coupled
(c) unfastened
(d) ambiguous
(e) None of the Above

Show Answer
S15. Ans.(b) Sol. Coupled fits correctly in the sentence as sentence talks about connecting two things together and their result.

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