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English Quizzes, for SBI PO, Clerk Prelims 2021 – 8th July

Directions (1-15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.

Delays of several months in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) wage payments and work sites where labourers have lost all hope of being paid at all have become the norm in many states. How are workers who exist on the margins of subsistence supposed to feed their families? Under the scheme, workers must be paid writhing 15 days, failing which they are entitled to compensation under the payment of Wages Act-upto Rs. 3,000 Per aggrieved worker. In reality, compensation is received in only a few isolated instances.

It is often argued by officials that the main reason for the delay is the inability of banks and post offices to handle mass payment of NREGS wages. Though there is a grain of truth in this, as a diagnosis it is misleading. The ‘Jam’ in the banking system has been the result of the hasty switch to bank payments imposed by the Central Government against the recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council which advocated a gradual transition starting with villages relatively close to the nearest bank.

However, delays are not confined solely to the banking system. Operational hurdles include implementing agencies taking more than fifteen days to issue payment orders, viewing of works measurement as a cumbersome process resulting in procrastination by the engineering staff and non-maintenance of muster rolls and job cards etc. But behind these delays lies a deeper and deliberate ‘backlash’ against the NREGS. With bank payments making it much harder to embezzle NREGS funds the programme is seen as a headache by many government functionaries-the work-load has remained without the “inducements”. Slowing down wage payments is a convenient way of sabotaging the scheme because workers will desert NREGS worksites.

The common-sense solution advocated by the government is to adopt the business correspondent model wherein bank agents will go to villages to make cash payments and duly record them on handheld electronic devices. This solution is based on the wrong diagnosis that distance separating villages from banks is the main issue. In order to accelerate payment, clear timeliness for every step if the payment process should be incorporated into the system as Programme officers often have no data on delays and cannot exert due pressure to remedy the situation. Workers are both clueless and powerless with no provision for them to air their grievances and seek redress. In drought affected areas the system of piece rate work can be dispensed with, where work measurement is not completed within a week and wages may be paid on the basis of attendance. Buffer funds can be provided to gram panchayats and post offices to avoid bottlenecks in the flow of funds. Partial advances could also be considered provided wage payments are meticulously tracked. But failure to recognise problems and unwillingness to remedy them will remain major threats to the NREGS.

Q1. Which of the following factors has not been responsible for untimely payment of NREGS wages?
(a) Communication delays between agencies implementing the scheme
(b) Improper record keeping
(c) Behind schedule release of payments by banks
(d) Drought conditions prevalent in the country
(e) Delays in work measurement

Q2. What impact have late wage payment had on NREGS workers?
(a) They cannot obtain employment till their dues are cleared
(b) They have benefited from the compensation awarded to them
(c) The have been unable to provide for their families
(d) They have been ostracized by their families who depend on them for sustenance
(e) None of these

Q3. Which of the following can be said about the National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme?
(A) Skilled engineer are not compensated under this scheme.
(B) The scheme should be implemented only in famine prone areas.
(C) Employees haven not complied with all the requirement of the scheme.
(a) Only (A)
(b) Only (C)
(c) Only (B) and (C)
(d) Only (A) and (B)
(e) None of these

Q4. What has the outcome of disbursing NREGS wages through banks been?
(a) Theft of funds by administration officials responsible for the scheme has reduced.
(b) Increased workload for local government officials
(c) Protests by workers who have to travel long distances to the nearest bank to claim their wages.
(d) Time consuming formalities have to be completed by workers
(e) None of these

Q5. Which of the following is NOT true in the context of the passage?
(A) Workers are reluctant to open bank accounts as branches are not conveniently located.
(B) Local officials often delay wage payments in drought prone areas to benefit workers.
(C) The Government has not implemented every recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council.
(a) Only (B)
(b) Only (A) and (B)
(c) Only (B) and (C)
(d) All (A), (B) and (C)
(e) None of these

Q6. Which of the following can be considered a deficiency in the NAEGS?
(a) Lack of co-ordination among Programme officers
(b) Local officials are unaware of correct operational procedures
(c) Workers have no means of obtaining redress for untimely wage payments
(d) Disbursing wages through banks instead of readily accessible post offices.
(e) The Central Employment Guarantee Council is reluctant to award Compensation to workers.

Q7. What solution has the author suggested to expedite NREGS wage payments?
(a) Empower the Central Employment Guarantee Council to monitor the NREGS
(b) Implement payment of wages in cash at all worksites.
(c) Restrict the amount of funds to local government bodies in order to curb frauds.
(d) Provide attendance records to workers so they have proof to claim their wages
(e) Clear timelines for every step of the payment should be incorporated.

Q8. What is the author’s view about the government’s solution to the problem of delayed wage payments?
(a) He agrees with it as workers will not have bear the expense of travelling long distances to claim their wages
(b) He is not in favour of it as funds can be misappropriated agents
(c) He welcomes it as the time consuming work measurement process will be done away with
(d) He feels it does not address the core issues plaguing the scheme
(e) He feels it will ensure flawless implementation of the scheme.

Q9. According to the passage, which of the following has/have been the consequence(s) of delayed wage payments?
(A) Compensation to victimized workers has amounted to crores
(B) Banks will no longer be entrusted with remitting wages.
(C) Regulations to ensure punctual wage payments have come into force.
(a) None
(b)Only (A)
(c) Only (A) and (C)
(d) Only (A) and (B)
(e) Only (B) and (C)

Q10. To which of the following has the author attributed the delay in wage payments?
(a) Embezzlement of funds by corrupt bank staff
(b) Lack of monitoring by the Central Employment Guarantee Council
(c) An attempt to derail the NREGS by vested interests
(d) Over worked bank staff deliberately delay payment to protest against extra work
(e) Engineers’ efforts to wreck the NREGS because of low wages

Q11. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.


(a) beseech
(b) escape
(c) populated
(d) abandon
(e) vacant

Q12. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.


(a) remote
(b) cherished
(c) mingling
(d) uplift
(e) rare

Q13. Choose the word which is most similar in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.


(a) healthy
(b) restricted
(c) circumstance
(d) captivate
(e) liberated

 Q14. Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in, the passage.


(a) unsteady
(b) scrupulous
(c) wary
(d) chosen
(e) accidental

Q15. Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in, the passage.


(a) troublesome
(b) annul
(c) appropriate
(d) easy
(e) distant


S1. Ans.(d)

S2. Ans.(c)

S3. Ans.(b)

S4. Ans.(a)

S5. Ans.(b)

S6. Ans.(c)

S7. Ans.(e)

S8. Ans.(d)

S9. Ans.(a)

S10. Ans.(c)

S11. Ans.(d)

S12. Ans.(a)

S13. Ans.(b)

S14. Ans.(e)

S15. Ans.(a)

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