English Quiz for RBI Assistant Mains 2020, 22nd September- Reading Comprehension

Directions (1-8): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow the passage. Some words are highlighted to help you answer some of the questions.

In the din over the Bharatiya Janata Party’s losses to the Congress in three States in the Hindi heartland, the dismal defeat of the ruling Congress party to the Mizo National Front in Mizoram has gone insufficiently noticed. With this, the Congress has lost its last remaining State in the Northeast, a region in which it was traditionally dominant. The BJP managed to mark its first and only victory in the State by winning the Chakma refugee-dominated Tuichawng seat in south Mizoram’s Lawngtlai district. But the BJP will consider the MNF’s victory as a significant accretion to its set of fellow-travellers and alliance partners in the Northeast.

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The MNF is part of the North-East Democratic Alliance, an anti-Congress front formed by the BJP that includes all the other ruling parties in the region. While the MNF has come to power on its own, without an alliance with the BJP, its membership in the NEDA means it is an ally of the BJP for all practical purposes. Despite an improvement in social indices in the State over its decade-long tenure, the Congress was always expected to face an uphill task to retain power because of growing anti-incumbency sentiment following allegations of corruption in recent years. The MNF’s victory was also aided by its strong positions on total prohibition, a promise that carried a lot of weight with conservative and influential Christian civil society groups in the State, which had implicitly lent support to the party.

The presence of the Zoram People’s Movement, a collective of seven parties formed just a few weeks before the Assembly elections, hit the Congress’s chances even more. The candidates of the ZPM contested as independents but garnered close to 23% of the vote, damaging the Congress in particular. The Congress’s vote share dipped to 30.2%, a 14-percentage point swing from its 44.6% share in 2013. The Congress’s total tally of five seats is its lowest-ever in the 40-member Mizoram Assembly.

The MNF faces the task of diversifying the economy, given the disproportionately large section of the population dependent on agriculture and horticulture. The New Land Use Policy launched by the Congress did bring a significant pause to jhum cultivation (the practice of slash and burn) but fell short of encouraging sustainable agricultural practices as the scheme effectively provided patronage for commercial crop-growing by select beneficiaries. Mizoram has the potential to be a gateway in the Act East and BIMSTEC connectivity schemes to extend trade routes from the Northeast to Myanmar and onwards. But it requires better road connectivity and infrastructure. This should be an important priority for the new MNF government.

Q1. What, as per the passage, should be the emotion of the BJP after considering the performance of itself and MNF’s in the Assembly election in the Mizoram?

(a) Animosity

(b) Grief

(c) Satisfaction

(d) Angst

(e) Dejection

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Q2. Which of the following parties had a performance which reflect irony?

(a) MNF

(b) Congress

(c) BJP

(d) Both (a) and (c)

(e) No such party is mentioned in the passage

Q3. Which of the following statements delineates the relationship between the BJP and MNF?

(a) The MNF and the BJP fought election in Mizoram together.

(b) The MNF is an anti-BJP political party.

(c) Though the MNF and the BJP didn’t fight election in Mizoram together, the former is an ally of the latter for all practical purposes

(d) The MNF is part of the NEDA, an anti-Congress front formed by the BJP

(e) Both (c) and (d)

Q4. What were the reasons for the loss of Congress in the assembly elections held in Mizoram?

(a) No improvement in social indices in Mizoram over decade-long tenure of Congress.

(b) Growing sentiment of anti-incumbency for the former Congress-led government in Mizoram.

(c) Allegations of corruption for the Congress-led government in Mizoram.

(d) Options (b) & (c)

(e) None of the above

Q5. What does ‘total prohibition’, as given in the second paragraph, mean?

(a) Total prohibition of migrants.

(b) Total prohibition on corruption.

(c) Total prohibition on crimes.

(d) Options (b) & (c)

(e) Information insufficient

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Q6. Which political party(ies) has relatively gained with the presence of the Zoram People’s Movement?

(a) MNF

(b) Congress

(c) BJP

(d) Both (a) and (b)

(e) All of (a), (b) and (c)

Directions (7-8):Choose the option which mention all antonyms and/or synonyms of the given words.

Q7. ‘Garnered’

(I) Collected

(II) Spend

(III) Amassed

(IV) Reprimanded

(a) (I), (II) & (III)

(b) Only (II) & (III)

(c) Only (II) & (IV)

(d) Only (I)

(e) None of the above

Q8. ‘Patronage’

(I) Sponsorship

(II) Obstruction

(III) Discouragement

(IV) Hindrance

(a) Only (I)

(b) Only (II) & (III)

(c) Only (I), (II), (III) & (IV)

(d) Only (I), (II), & (IV)

(e) Only (I) & (IV)

Directions (9-15): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow the passage. Some words are highlighted to help you answer some of the questions.

For a few years after it opened its doors to the world in the 1970s, China was still a socialist economy, unused to the ways of the capitalist world. My friend, Stefan Messman, a professor at Central European University, Budapest, and an authority on socialist law, was a key member of a Volkswagen team that finalised a deal with China. He was astonished at the kind of barters that had to be negotiated to set up a car plant in a country that had no market economy at that time.

China has come a long way since then. Today, it is unrecognisably capitalist, albeit with a communist face. In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) it is the dominant economic power in the world, directly competing with the U.S. for supremacy in science and technology. India ranks third in PPP.

Rarely do we ask ourselves how a country that was no better off than India until the mid-1980s, and that suffered depredations under Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, has left India so far behind. Lacking good institutional mechanisms to understand China, Indians tend to fall for simplistic explanations such as, “We’re a democracy, China is not.” There is more to that country’s spectacular rise than just that one factor.

For all its vaunted institutions, the West is yet to get a grip on China, but it is constantly seeking to solve the riddle of China’s rise. For example, a recent issue of The Economist examined “How the West Got China Wrong”, and Foreign Affairs magazine attempted to fathom “how China hid its global ambitions” in an article titled “The Stealth Superpower”. Even as the West continues tosnarl at China, some of its best institutions and universities have collaborations with that country running into millions of dollars. Harvard University, for instance, has several ongoing programmes with the Chinese government as well as leading universities like Peking and Tsinghua in engineering, the sciences, management, environment, design and the humanities.

Since science and technology are powering China’s growth, we need to make sense of those by setting up well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres not just in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University but also in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institutes of Technology which have the best technical and scientific minds in the country. Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China.

Q9. What does the author want India to do?

(a) Indian educational institutions do collaborations with the Chinese educational institutions.

(b) India should learn from China.

(c) India should have its own in-depth understanding of China

(d) Options (a) & (c)

(e) Options (a), (b) & (c)

Q10. What is the rank of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) in the world?

(a) Third

(b) First

(c) Fourth

(d) Fifth

(e) Second

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Q11. Which of the following are the correct inference from the phrase ‘even as the West continues to snarl at China’?

(a) The nations in the West make angry remarks against China regularly.

(b) The nations in the West praise China regularly.

(c) The nations in the West ignore China.

(d) both (b) and (c)

(e) None of the above

Q12. Which of the followings are the aspects that author considers to be the reason(s) behind China’s growth?

(I) China under the rule of Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.

(II) Not having democracy

(III) Science and Technology

(a) Only (I)

(b) Only (II) and (III)

(c) Only (III)

(d) Only (I) and (III)

(e) All of (I), (II) and (III)

Q13. Which of the followings are the reason(s) for the desire of the author for India to have well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres in the best technical and scientific institutes of the nation?

(a) Such interdisciplinary centres in the mentioned institutes have the best technical and scientific minds to understand complicated concepts.

(b) Centres in such institutes would help in arriving at in-depth understanding of China.

(c) Such initiative would stop China’s economic growth.

(d) Options (a) & (b)

(e) None of the above

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Q14. Which of the followings is an ANTONYM of ‘depredations’?

(a) Aberrations

(b) Torpors

(c) Galls

(d) Culpabilities

(e) Goodness

Q15. Which of the followings is a SYNONYM of ‘fathom’?

(a) Betray

(b) Vindicate

(c) Mawkish

(d) Comprehend

(e) Eschew

Solutions

S1. Ans. (c)

Sol. Animosity [noun] means ‘strong hostility’;

Angst [noun] means ‘a feeling of deep anxiety or dread, typically an unfocused one about the human condition or the state of the world in general’;

Dejection [noun] means ‘a sad and depressed state; low spirits’;

The answer to the question can be derived from the last sentence of the first paragraph ‘But the BJP will consider the MNF’s victory as a significant accretion to its set of fellow-travellers and alliance partners in the Northeast’;

Among the given options, option (c) is the correct answer.

S2. Ans. (b)

Sol. Irony [noun] means ‘a state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often wryly amusing as a result’;

The answer to the question can be derived from the first paragraph ‘With this, the Congress has lost its last remaining State in the Northeast, a region in which it was traditionally dominant’.

Political party, Congress, which was once dominant in the region of Northeast has now lost its last remaining State in the Northeast.

The political party which has a performance reflecting irony is ‘Congress’.

Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

S3. Ans. (e)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second paragraph ‘The MNF is part of the North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), an anti-Congress front formed by the BJP that includes all the other ruling parties in the region. While the MNF has come to power on its own, without an alliance with the BJP, its membership in the NEDA means it is an ally of the BJP for all practical purposes.

Both alternatives (c) and (d) are correct.

Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S4. Ans. (d)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second paragraph. ‘Despite an improvement in social indices in the State over its decade-long tenure, the Congress was always expected to face an uphill task to retain power because of growing anti-incumbency sentiment following allegations of corruption in recent years’.

From above, it could be understood that option (a) is incorrect, options (b) and (c) are correct.

Hence, option (d) is correct answer.

S5. Ans. (e)

Sol. The term ‘total prohibition’ is mentioned in the last sentence of the second paragraph ‘The MNF’s victory was also aided by its strong positions on total prohibition, a promise that carried a lot of weight with conservative and influential Christian civil society groups in the State, which had implicitly lent support to the party’. The term is not mentioned elsewhere in the passage.

No further information is provided about ‘total prohibition’.

Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S6. Ans. (a)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the first sentence of the third paragraph ‘The presence of the Zoram People’s Movement, a collective of seven parties formed just a few weeks before the Assembly elections, hit the Congress’s chances even more. The candidates of the ZPM contested as independents but garnered close to 23% of the vote, damaging the Congress in particular. The Congress’s vote share dipped to 30.2%, a 14-percentage point swing from its 44.6% share in 2013.

From above sentences, it could be deduced that the presence of the Zoram People’s Movement in the assembly elections at Mizoram had hit Congress harder, decreasing its vote-share by 14%. The term usage of the verb phrase ‘hit harder’ for Congress implies that on a relative level, MNF benefited from the presence of Zoram People’s Movement.

Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

S7. Ans. (a)

Sol. Garnered [garner, verb] means ‘collect, accumulate’;

Collected [collect, verb] means ‘bring or gather together (a number of things)’;

Spend [verb] means ‘give (money) to pay for goods, services, or so as to benefit someone or something’;

Amassed [amass, verb] means ‘gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of material or things)’;

Reprimanded [reprimand, verb] means ‘a formal expression of disapproval’;

From above, it could be understood that the words ‘Collected’ and ‘amassed’ are synonyms of ‘garnered’, and ‘spend’ is an antonym of ‘garnered’.

Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

S8. Ans. (c)

Sol. Patronage [noun] means ‘the support given by a patron; the power to control appointments to office or the right to privileges; a patronizing or condescending manner; a patronizing or condescending manner; the regular custom attracted by a shop, restaurant, etc.’;

Sponsorship [noun] means ‘the position of being a sponsor’;

Obstruction [noun] means ‘the action of obstructing or the state of being obstructed’;

Discouragement [noun] means ‘a loss of confidence or enthusiasm; dispiritedness’;

Hindrance [noun] means ‘a thing that provides resistance, delay, or obstruction to something or someone’;

From above, it could be understood that the words ‘sponsorship’ is a synonym of ‘patronage’ while the words ‘obstruction’, ‘discouragement’ and ‘hindrance’ are antonyms of ‘patronage’.

Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

S9. Ans. (c)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the starting sentences of the third paragraph and the last sentences of the last paragraph.

For all its vaunted institutions, the West is yet to get a grip on China, but it is constantly seeking to solve the riddle of China’s rise. For example, a recent issue of The Economist examined “How the West Got China Wrong”, and Foreign Affairs magazine attempted to fathom “how China hid its global ambitions” in an article title “The Stealth Superpower”.’

‘Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China’;

From above, it could be understood that the author is interested in having an in-depth understanding of China.

The last sentence of the last paragraph suggests that the author wants India to have an in-depth understanding of China.

Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

S10. Ans. (e)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second paragraph. The paragraph informs that China is the dominant economic power in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), directly competing with the U.S. for supremacy in science and technology and India ranks third in PPP.

The rank of the U.S. is second.

Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S11. Ans. (a)

Sol. ‘Snarl’ [reporting verb] means ‘(of a person) say something in an angry, bad-tempered voice’;

The expression ‘even as the West continues to snarl at China’ suggests that the nations in the West continue to make angry remarks against China regularly.

Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

S12. Ans. (b)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second and fourth paragraph.

From the first sentence of the second paragraph ‘… that suffered depredations under Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, has left India so far behind…’.

Clearly, according to the author, Mao Zedong was not the reason for China’s growth.

The last two sentences of the second paragraph ‘…” We’re democracy, China is not.” There is more to that country’s spectacular rise than just that one factor…’ The phrase ‘there is more to that’ affirms that not having democracy is indeed one of the reasons/factors behind China’s growth.

The first sentence of the fourth paragraph is ‘Since science and technology are powering China’s growth…’.

So, ‘Science and Technology’ is one of the reasons considered by the author as a reason for the growth of China.

Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

S13. Ans. (d)

Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the last two sentences of the last paragraph ‘Since science and technology are powering China’s growth, we need to make sense of those by setting up well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres not just in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University but also in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institutes of Technology which have the best technical and scientific minds in the country. Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China’.

From above, it could be understood that options (a) and (b) are correct. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

S14. Ans. (e)

Sol. Depredations [noun] means ‘an act of attacking or plundering’;

Aberration [noun] means ‘a deviation from what is normal or expected’;

Torpor [noun] means ‘inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy’;

Gall [noun] means ‘the trait of being rude and impertinent’;

Culpability [noun] means ‘a state of guilt’;

Goodness [noun] means ‘the quality of being good’;

From above, it could be understood that the word ‘goodness is an ANOTNYM of ‘depredations’.

Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S15. Ans. (d)

Sol. Fathom [verb] means ‘understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought’;

Betray [verb] means ‘to reveal or make known something, usually unintentionally’;

Vindicate [verb] means ‘to clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proofs’;

Mawkish [verb] means ‘overly sentimental to the point that it is disgusting’;

Comprehend [verb] means ‘grasp mentally; understand’;

Eschew [verb] means ‘avoid and stay away from deliberately; stay clear of’;

From above, we can understand that the word ‘comprehend’ is a SYNONYM of ‘fathom’.

Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

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