English Language Quiz for RBI Assistant/ IBPS PO Mains 2020- 4th November

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

The geopolitics of Afghanistan, Central and West Asia has witnessed several important changes over the last six months, which makes the time right for a fresh Indian initiative that reaches out to old friends in northern Afghanistan along with anti-Taliban elements in the southern parts.
Two changes have given rise to this opportunity. The first is the changing equations of balance of power in Afghanistan; the second deals with the current status of Taliban’s capacities in southern Afghanistan.
The geopolitical situation on Afghanistan’s borders is rapidly evolving, following Taliban’s takeover of Kunduz. What has really set the alarm bells ringing for Afghanistan’s neighbours is that the Taliban in Kunduz comprised not only Afghans, but an ensemble of Uzbeks, Tajiks, Turkmen, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Uighurs, Chechens, Dagestanis along with the Al Qaeda and Pakistanis.
An immediate outcome of this mobilisation has been to bring Russia into the picture at a scale not seen since 2001. The Russian government is concerned that local Daesh (Islamic State) elements, comprising mainly Central Asian jihadis, could, along with the Taliban, further fuel instability. There is also fear that the Daesh could retaliate against Russian targets in response to the happenings in Syria. Moreover, Russia loses 50,000 youth to narcotics, which makes its way through the porous Central Asian border. Consequently, Russia is actively considering the movement of its forces to man the Afghanistan-Tajikistan border.
The U.S., on the other hand, in search of an honourable exit from Afghanistan, has been shaken by the Kunduz incident. The Taliban operation makes it clear that the optimism generated by Pakistan-led round of talks was misplaced. The halt in troop withdrawal until 2017 is meant to buy time until the U.S. finds a better roadmap to peace in Afghanistan. While the U.S. and China still continue to place their bets on Pakistan-backed efforts, there is a growing realisation that the price Pakistan demands will never be acceptable to large sections of Afghans. Nevertheless, the U.S. is said to be examining various other possibilities for securing peace.
A resurgent Iran is also an important factor to reckon with. Tehran’s concerns are threefold. One, it is worried that instability in Afghanistan could give a boost to the Daesh. Second, an unstable Afghanistan will also lead to an increase in the illicit drug trade on Iran’s eastern border. Third, Iran is also worried that instability could lead to an influx of refugees. All these issues have motivated Iran to provide sanctuary to a few important segments of the Taliban. One such group is led by Mullah Zakir, hitherto the Taliban military commander inside Afghanistan but who has since broken away after Mullah Akhtar Mansour was anointed the new Taliban chief.
Along with these geopolitical movements in the aftermath of the Kunduz attacks, the second important change has been the inability of the Taliban to regain control of major cities in its traditional stronghold of southern Afghanistan. While Kunduz was meant to legitimise the new Taliban under Mansour’s leadership, its operations in the south give the appearance of not being as robust. In fact, there have been persistent reports of the presence of ‘Punjabi’ advisors who, it is speculated, are there to ensure that the Taliban cadres do not splinter on ethnic lines.
The geopolitical changes around Afghanistan coupled with the ongoing organisational struggles of the Taliban provide an opportunity for Russia, Iran and India to reassess their roles in Afghanistan. Of course, this will materialise only in co-ordination with the Afghanistan unity government for which it will first need to convince itself that over-reliance on a Pakistan-led solution is a non-starter.
India played a pivotal role in the resistance against the Taliban through the Northern Alliance, two decades earlier. That role was predicated on the existence of facilities and friends in the region. Now, India needs to re-establish contact not just with the old friends in the region but also factions within the Taliban and the anti-Taliban forces in the south, to help Afghanistan gain strategic autonomy. It is also imperative for India that Afghanistan’s south-eastern regions are prevented from exporting terror into India. Unlike the last time, India now has the financial muscle to do a lot more. What it needs is renewed vigour and a fresh initiative on Afghanistan.

Q1. What is author’s main objective in writing the passage?

(a) India needs to re-establish contact not just with the old friends in the region but also factions within the Taliban and the anti-Taliban forces in the south, to help Afghanistan gain strategic autonomy.
(b) The geopolitical changes around Afghanistan and the organisational struggles within the Taliban make the time right for India to reassess its role in Afghanistan
(c) The geopolitical changes around Afghanistan coupled with the ongoing organisational struggles of the Taliban provide an opportunity for Russia, Iran and India to reassess their roles in Afghanistan.
(d) The recent developments in Afghanistan offer a unique opportunity to transform the bilateral ties and to build a strong and forward-looking relationship.
(e) None of the above.

Q2. Which of the following can be the most suitable title of the passage?

(a) Time to refresh Afghan relationship.
(b) Afghanistan-Pakistan: A Temporary Entente.
(c) Foreign relations of Afghanistan.
(d) Afghanistan and India relationship
(e) None of the above.

Q3. Which of the following is not an issue that motivated Iran to provide sanctuary to a few segments of the Taliban?

(a) Instability in Afghanistan could give a boost to the Daesh.
(b) An unstable Afghanistan will also lead to an increase in the illicit drug trade on Iran’s eastern border.
(c) Instability could lead to an influx of refugees.
(d) Inability of the Taliban to regain control of major cities in its traditional stronghold of southern Afghanistan.
(e) None of the above.

Q4. Which of the following is not true in context of the passage?

(a) Russia loses 50,000 youth to narcotics, which makes its way through the porous Central Asian border.
(b) Taliban operation makes it clear that the optimism generated by Pakistan-led round of talks was misplaced.
(c) It is imperative for India that Afghanistan’s south-eastern regions are importing terror from India.
(d) The geopolitical changes around Afghanistan coupled with the ongoing organisational struggles of the Taliban provide an opportunity for Russia, Iran and India to reassess their roles in Afghanistan.
(e) None of the above.

Q5. What is the second important change other than geopolitical change around Afghanistan?

(a) Inability of the Taliban to regain control of major cities in its traditional stronghold of southern Afghanistan.
(b) Optimism generated by Pakistan-led round of talks was misplaced.
(c) There is growing realization that the price Pakistan demands will never be acceptable to large sections of Afghans.
(d) Russia is actively considering the movement of its forces to man the Afghanistan- Tajikistan border.
(e) None of the above.

Q6. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Retaliate

(a) Acknowledge
(b) Feedback
(c) Contravene
(d) Counteract
(e) Reciprocate

Q7. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Reckon

(a) Abandon
(b) Disregard
(c) Consecrate
(d) Embrocate
(e) Calculate

Q8. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Speculate

(a) Deliberate
(b) Excogitate
(c) Figure out
(d) Abstain
(e) Meditate

Q9. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITEin meaning to the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Robust

(a) Powerful
(b) Fragile
(c) Flourishing
(d) Concentrated
(e) Vigorous

Q10. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITEin meaning to the word given in bold as used in the passage.
Splinter

(a) Disintegrate
(b) Crumble
(c) Smash
(d) Whole
(e) Shatter

Directions (11-15): In each of the following sentences there are two blank spaces. Below each sentence there are five pairs of words denoted by numbers (a), (b), (c), (d) and 5). Find out which pair of words can be filled up in the blanks in the sentence in the same sequence to make it meaningfully complete.

Q11. _______ by popular support, the Supreme Court of Pakistan is trying to ______ its independence.

(a)empowered, sentence
(b)governed, stamp
(c)backed, assert
(d)marked, rebel
(e)geared, influence

Q12. One lesson that must be drawn from the grisly _____ of fake encounter killings is the need to ______ the police from its political masters.

(a)incidence, govern
(b)episode, insulate
(c)crime, motivate
(d)theory, widen
(e)malaise, revolt

Q13. MP’s should, by all means, take the government to ____ when it fails in _____ its responsibilities.

(a)book, abdicating
(b)proceedings, depicting
(c)query, require
(d)criticism, abiding
(e)task, discharging

Q14. No political party can claim ____ to the trend of holding up parliamentary _____ on some pretext or the other.

(a)exception, proceedings
(b)emancipated, debates
(c)above, sessions
(d)free, functions
(e)supreme, dealings

Q15. It is pointless to legislate well-meaning laws if there is no fair and effective ____ to ___ them.

(a)monitoring, realising
(b)transparency, forward
(c)methodology, sentencing
(d)mechanism, implement
(e)screening, processing

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Solutions

S1. Ans.(b)
Sol. The geopolitical changes around Afghanistan and the organisational struggles within the Taliban make the time right for India to reassess its role in Afghanistan.

S2. Ans.(a)
Sol. Time to refresh Afghan relationship

S3. Ans.(d)
Sol. Inability of the Taliban to regain control of major cities in its traditional stronghold of southern Afghanistan.

S4. Ans.(c)
Sol. It is imperative for India that Afghanistan’s south-eastern regions are importing terror from India.

S5. Ans.(a)
Sol. Inability of the Taliban to regain control of major cities in its traditional stronghold of southern Afghanistan.

S6. Ans.(e)
Sol. Retaliate means to make an attack in return for a similar attack. So, Reciprocate is the word which is similar in meaning to it.

S7. Ans.(e)
Sol. Reckon means to calculate. So, calculate is the word which is similar in meaning to it.

S8. Ans.(c)
Sol. Speculated means reflect deeply on a subject. So, figure out is the word which is similar in meaning to it.

S9. Ans.(b)
Sol. Robust means sturdy and strong in form, constitution, or construction. So, Fragile is the word which is opposite in meaning to it.

S10. Ans.(d)
Sol. Splinter meanstobreak or cause to break into small sharp fragments. So, Whole is the word which is opposite in meaning to it.

S11. Ans.(c)
Sol. Backed means to give financial, material, or moral support to.Assert means to state a fact or belief confidently and forcefully.

S12. Ans.(b)
Sol. Insulate means to protect from heat, cold, noise or something by surrounding material.

S13. Ans.(e)

S14. Ans.(a)
Sol. Proceedings means begin a course of action.

S15. Ans.(d)
Sol. Implement means to put (a decision, plan, agreement, etc. into effect.

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