Quiz: Reading Comprehension

Dear Readers,
                        Today’s article is related to CBI and some ammendments related to it. This can be important as per SBI, IBPS, SSC and other related examinations.


Directions
(Q.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.

        Union
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley struck the right note recently while speaking at
the 16th D.P. Kohli memorial lecture organised by the Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) on April 27 in New Delhi. D.P. Kohli was the founder
director of the CBI who held office from April 1, 1963 to May 31, 1968. The CBI
traces its origin to the Special Police Establishment (SPE) which was set up in
1941 by the Government of India. It became the Delhi Special Police Establishment
and acquired its popular current name, the Central Bureau of Investigation
through a Home Ministry resolution dated April 4, 1963. Kohli is rightly
remembered as being a determined crusader against corruption. One may not agree
with all that Mr. Jaitley said at the lecture especially with regard to how an
investigator somehow wants to make out a case against an accused, although the
evidence marshalled by him did not justify it. He had said: “He [the
investigator] follows the golden rule that if he gives a report that the
accused is prima facie not guilty, then questions are going to be raised about
him. Therefore, his golden rule is he must somehow make the case and it is the
accused’s good luck that he gets a fair trial,” adding that this process has
hindered the whole process of economic decision making. Mr. Jaitley further
added that under such circumstances, decision-making becomes a game of passing
the parcel. “Departments of purchase, defence and disinvestment have all
suffered,” he said.
        However,
his views on the need to revisit several provisions of the Prevention of
Corruption Act (PC Act), 1988, cannot be ignored. His description of the fear
psychosis that grips the bureaucracy is no exaggeration. It is real, I
have heard about this and had this conveyed to me strongly by many friends in
the civil service. I agree that apprehension by civil servants of the
consequences of taking a decision in a matter of public importance — especially
one that involves huge expense to the public exchequer — has been a roadblock
to proactive and positive administration. I highlight this especially at a time
when the entire nation wants governments, both Central and State, to work fast
and effectively. Ironically, fear is the hallmark of those more honest among
civil servants than the ones who are venal and bereft of values. In this
context, it should be remembered that there are instances where an honest civil
servant makes a rank bad decision, not because of a lack of intelligence or
inarticulation, but because of timidity and an inability to turn down unscrupulous,
off-the-record directions from a political master. In cases like these, the
official concerned has to be punished within government and not in courts, that
too for lack of courage rather than of integrity. Unfortunately the law, as it
exists, does not make a distinction between the reasonably honest yet
pusillanimous government official and the dishonest one. It places both on a
par. This is the crux of the matter with regard to a lack of integrity in the
civil services.
        I
was struck by the distinction Mr. Jaitley drew between the pre- and post-1991
situation in government and its impact on anti-corruption investigations. In
the second time frame, the civil servant at the higher levels had to take
momentous decisions to fast track liberalisation and quicken the processes of a
failing economy. Conventional and routine thinking had to be shed and bold
courses of actions adopted to meet the dire needs of the country. Mr.
Jaitley was on target when he said that the PC Act was totally unsuited for
such a situation facing a nation that was trying to march ahead on the economic
front. He said, “… the Act pre-dated 1991, when the economic reform process
began. It was perceived in a regulatory framework when we were still more
regulated. That Act has today to evolve. And the basis of the evolution is that
when economic activity is being enlarged in the country, in any economic
activity and decision-making there would always be new areas to charter out and
quick decisions to be taken.”
        Unfortunately,
necessary changes to the law were not put in place and this failure to reform
anti-corruption law had its impact on the pace of public administration and
staff morale. Even now, the proposed amendments to the Act are excruciatingly
slow in coming, although approved by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)
government more than a year ago. The information now is that the Union Cabinet
has cleared the suggested changes and has improved upon the measures agreed
upon by the UPA. Section 13(1)(d)(iii) of the Act is generally looked upon as
being the villain of the piece. Under this provision of law, the investigating
agency has to prove that a civil servant whose conduct was in question took a
decision which “obtains for any person any valuable thing or pecuniary
advantage without any public interest” in order to proceed against him under
the Act. There is a suggestion here of a presumption of guilt that can be drawn
against the official in question. This, prima facie, is a negation of the
English jurisprudence which we inherited and adopted. The overall perception
generated by the stern wording of this subsection was that it was not necessary
at all for the investigator to prove mens rea or dishonest intention to proceed
against the civil servant being probed, and that an adverse presumption could
be drawn straightaway against him. Section 20 of the Act, which deals with
presumptions that can be drawn against an accused by the court, however refers
only to clauses (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of Section 13 and not to clause
(d)(iii) that punishes even an inadvertent act causing loss to government. Even
so, as a rule of thumb, investigating agencies, both in the Centre and in the
States, have, in the initial stages of an investigation and before obtaining
legal opinion, tended to interpret the law in a very narrow perspective. In
turn, this has had an adverse impact on civil servant morale. In these
circumstances, relief to a civil servant can come only from the court before
whom he/she is arraigned. For this, the civil servant should be lucky to get a
knowledgeable judge and an objective public prosecutor — both of whom are now a
vanishing tribe. An amendment to the PC Act, which would delete this particular
subsection (1)(d)(iii) of Section 13, has been on the anvil for quite some
time. I am certain that there is political consensus that this harsh provision
will have to go sooner than later. This move will greatly reduce misgivings in
the civil service.
-Source The Hindu, Delhi Edition, 2 May

Q.1.Choose an appropriate title
for the passage?
1) The Speech
2) CBI and its Acts
3) Corruption in CBI
4) Removing
Ambiguities in Graft Law
5) What an “ACT”
Q.2.Which of the following is
nearest to the meaning of “Venal”?
1) Bribable
2) Cruel
3) Merciless
4) Barbaric
5) None of these
Q.3.Which of the following is
true according to the passage?
A) DP Kohli was the first director of CBI.
B) Mr Kohli used to be one of the firm directors.
C) Some changes are suggested by UPA government in
section 13(1)(d)(iii) of the Act that has recently been approved by union
cabinet
1) Only A and B
2) Only B and C
3) Only C and A
4) All A, B
and C
5) None
Q.4.Which of the following is not
true according to the passage?
1) The information now is that the Union Cabinet has
cleared the suggested changes and has improved upon the measures agreed upon by
the UPA.
2) necessary changes to the law were not put in place
and this failure to reform anti-corruption law had its impact on the pace of
public administration and staff morale
3) Pre 1991, the
civil servant at the higher levels had to take momentous decisions to fast
track liberalisation and quicken the processes of a failing economy
4) There is a suggestion here of a presumption of
guilt that can be drawn against the official in question
5) None of the above
Q.5.Which of the following change
was suggested by the UPA Govt.?
1) Civil
servants decision which obtains for any person any valuable thing or pecuniary
advantage without any public interest in order to proceed against him under the
Act.
2) The change has been suggested for the conviction of
Ministers and their counterparts.
3) UPA Govt changed the criteria for the suspected
civil servants and their trials were to be transferred to the area of concern.
4) All of the above
5) None of the above
Q.6. What is the synonym of the
word “excruciatingly”?
1) Exterminating
2) Extensively
3) Extremely
4) Extracting
5) None
Q.7. What is the synonym of the
word “exaggeration”?
1) Over Reacting
2) Embellishment
3) Tolerating
4) Dilemma
5) None
Q.8. What does the author mean by
the phrase “meet the dire needs of the country”?
1) Urgent
needs of the country
2) Required needs of the country
3) Estimated needs of the country
4) All of the above
5) None of the above
Q.9. What is the antonym of the
word “apprehension”?
1) None
2) Trepidation
3) Perturbation
4) Consternation
5) Confidence
Q.10. What is the antonym of the
word “unscrupulous”?
1) Reprobate
2) Villainous
3) Treasuries
4) Despicable
5) Ethical

1. (4
2. (1
3. (4
4. (3
5. (1
6. (3
7. (2
8. (1
9. (5
10. (5