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Direction (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
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Paragraph 1: Afghanistan experienced remarkable economic growth for about 10 years leading up to 2012. Average economic growth was recorded at 9.4 percent annually in the period from 2003 to 2012. Per capita income increased more than threefold over the same period, growing from a mere $200 to $670. Since 2012, however, economic growth has dropped to an average yearly rate of 2.6 percent, with per capita income falling to an estimated $590 in 2017. As a result of this economic slowdown, the poverty rate increased from 36 percent in 2011-12 to 39.1 percent in 2013-14. The World Bank expects that poverty will prove to have further sharply increased through 2017, though the results of the latest household survey (2016-17) are yet to be released by the government.
Paragraph 2: The period from 2012 to 2014, which marked a turnaround in the economic performance of the country, coincided with a number of important developments. First, security responsibilities were transferred from international security troops to Afghan forces. This security transition started in 2012 and concluded in 2014. Second, as a result of the security transition, overall foreign aid is estimated to have declined from an annual average of $ 12.5 billion over 2009-2012 to around $8.8 billion in 2015. Third, a political transition also took place in 2014, where the election process leading to the establishment of the National Unity Government lasted for about six months. While the decline in foreign aid since 2012 may have well contributed to the slowdown in economic growth, it’s not the only factor. The low economic recovery since the conclusion of the security and political transition in 2014 seems to be suggesting that political developments are exerting a substantial impact on the economy.
Paragraph 3: The Survey of Afghan People indicates that the percentage share of people who are optimistic about the country’s situation has fallen since its peak in 2013 to a record low in 2016. Likewise, the percentage share of people who think that things in the country are going in the wrong direction has increased since 2013 reaching a record high in 2016. Though these two indicators show the public’s perception of the current state of affairs, they also reflect the public’s confidence in future outcomes. A decrease in public optimism reflects increased uncertainty in the country. Further, the Political Stability Index of the World Governance Indicators has fallen to the lowest level since 2003.
Paragraph 4: Uncertainty suppresses business sentiments and affects consumer confidence. The uncertainty that has been built up since the start of the security and transition process in 2012 and has subsequently been fueled by growing insecurity has significantly lowered economic growth in Afghanistan. It seems that the high growth experienced prior to 2014 will likely be difficult to achieve, unless the security environment improves and political stability is strengthened. Economic policy at times of political uncertainty is often ineffective, and does not lead to desired outcomes. Thus, a policy response in dire economic situations does not remain limited to only pure economic policy measures but should also include political resolutions and initiatives. Decisions which lead to exacerbating political instability must be avoided. Rather than investing political capital into decisions that weaken political stability and increase uncertainty, it should be invested into policy initiatives that help restore confidence in the economy.
Paragraph 5: Further, it is important that the government maintain realistic expectations around what and how much it can do to bring about growth, generate employment, and reduce poverty. The government needs to ensure that policy measures are designed based on realistic projections for economic growth, rather than overly optimistic growth forecasts. This helps policy measures achieve their expected results, and ensures that economic management remains sound and effective. It may also help avoid unintended adverse distributional impacts of policy measures. Finally, communicating realistic growth expectations and delivering achievable promises to the public would help build credibility for public policy. Credibility is found to be the single most important factor for the effectiveness of economic policy.
Q1. What conclusion can be derived from paragraph 1 regarding economic performance of Afghanistan?
(a) The economic stability is dependent on various terms like poverty, per capita income etc.
(b) There is uncertainty in economic outcome of the country.
(c) The government of Afghanistan has been negligent in its economic progress.
(d) Per capita income varies from time to time.
(e) All of these
Q2. Period 2012 to 2014 marked an unexpected change in the economy of Afghanistan. What is/ are the reason(s) behind it?
(I) decline in the economic assistance from other countries.
(II) decline in the business investments from the government.
(III) political instability
(a) Only (I)
(b) Only (II)
(c) Both (I) and (III)
(d) Both (II) and (III)
(e) All are correct
Q3. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 3 which forms a connection from paragraph 2?
(a) The economic condition of Afghanistan has faced a sudden downfall since 2012.
(b) Public standpoint regarding the country’s situation has been despairing.
(c) Perception and composite indicators show that political instability and uncertainty have heightened in Afghanistan.
(d) The lack of assistance from the other countries have shown a downfall during the period 2012- 2014.
(e) Domestic demand has weakened due to lower consumption and lower investment in the aggregate economy.
Q4. Political stability plays a major role in the economic development of the country. How it can be stated?
(I) Decision making capacity get affected due to political instability of the country.
(II) Political stability results to business confidence through rise in investments.
(III) The economic policy for the development of the country will be effective if the country is politically stable.
(a) Only (I)
(b) Only (II)
(c) Both (I) and (III)
(d) Only (III)
(e) All are correct
Q5. What does author mean by the statement “Credibility is found to be the single most important factor for the effectiveness of economic policy.”?
(a) Economic management is the outcome of the confidence in business by the public.
(b) The government must ensure the effectiveness of the policy.
(c) The acceptability of the policy by the public is the essential factor for the economic development.
(d) The successful implementation and expected outcome of economic policy for growth of the country would lead to its effectiveness.
(e) The economic policy requires realistic approach to bring growth and generate employment.
Q6. Which is the appropriate title of the passage?
(a) The Survey of Afghan People
(b) The Pre- 2014 Boom Time of Afghanistan
(c) The challenges of Afghanistan
(d) The struggle of Afghanistan for economic growth.
(e) Political uncertainty affecting Afghanistan’s economy
Directions (7- 8): Choose the word which is most similar in meaning of the word printed in bold in context of the passage.
Directions (9- 10): Choose the word which is most opposite in meaning of the word printed in bold in context of the passage:
(Directions 11-15): In the following questions, two sentences are provided consisting of a blank in each. Four words follow the sentences which may or may not fill the blanks. Choose the most suitable combination of the given words from the given alternatives that can interchangeably fill the blanks to make both the sentences grammatically correct and contextually meaningful. If the blank cannot be filled with any of the given combinations choose option (e) i.e., ‘none of these’ as your answer choice.
Q11. [I] Even though the old man appeared grumpy, he really had a pleasant _____________________.
[II] With her inquisitive _____________________, Sarah is an ideal candidate for the detective’s position.
(e) none of these
Q12. [I] The chess champion played the game with a _____________________ that allowed him to easily beat all the other players.
[II] The medical students watched in amazement as the brilliant surgeon performed the operation with great _____________________.
(e) none of these
Q13. [I] After the war, the losing countries had to _____________________ the victorious nations billions of dollars for damages.
[II] The civil court jury will decide how much money the drug manufacturer must _____________________ the widow for the death of her husband.
(e) none of these
Q14. [I] Researchers must not unjustifiably criticise or _____________________ other Researchers.
[II] Never _____________________ feelings your friend or relative expresses, but point out realities and offer hope.
(e) none of these
Q15. [I] Many people were under the _____________________ that school was going to be canceled after a rumor spread online.
[II] It was heartbreaking to witness my ailing grandmother’s _____________________ that her deceased husband was alive.
(e) none of these
S1. Ans. (b)
Sol. As mentioned in the first paragraph that there was surge in country’s economy upto the year 2012 and after that there has been an economic fall down. From this we can conclude that there is uncertainty in the economic outcome of the country.
S2. Ans. (c)
Sol. Both the sentences (I) and (III) are correct. We can infer from second paragraph of the passage that decline in foreign aid and political transition in 2014 are the factors responsible for economic turnaround of Afghanistan. Hence option (c) is the correct choice.
S3. Ans. (c)
Sol. We can infer from paragraph 3 that political instability is the cause of economic downfall in Afghanistan, which forms a connection with paragraph 2. Hence option (c) is the correct choice.
S4. Ans. (d)
Sol. We can infer from fourth paragraph of the passage that “Economic policy at times of uncertainty is often ineffective and does not lead to desired outcomes.” Hence Political stability plays a major role in the economic development of the country.
S5. Ans. (d)
Sol. We can infer from the last few lines of the fifth paragraph, which implies that the effectiveness of the economic policy for the public, develops its credibility.
S6. Ans. (d)
Sol. “The struggle of Afghanistan for economic growth.” is an appropriate title of the passage.
S7. Ans. (b)
Sol. Dire means extremely serious or urgent. Hence it has same meaning as appalling.
S8. Ans. (e)
Sol. Exacerbating means make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse. Hence it has same meaning as aggravating.
S9. Ans. (c)
Sol. Adverse means preventing success or development; harmful; unfavourable. Hence it has opposite meaning as beneficial.
S10. Ans. (c)
Sol. Optimistic means hopeful and confident about the future. Hence it has opposite meaning as ominous.
S11. Ans. (c)
Sol. The most suitable combination of words to fill the given blanks of both the sentences is (C)-(D). ‘Disposition’ is a noun which means a person’s inherent qualities of mind and character. Since, it is a synonym of ‘personality, option (c) becomes the most viable answer choice.
Composition means the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.
Complexion means the natural colour, texture, and appearance of a person’s skin, especially of the face.
S12. Ans. (d)
Sol. The most suitable combination of words that precisely fits the given blank of the sentences is (A)-(C). ‘Finesse’ is a noun which means impressive delicacy and skill. Since, ‘skill’ is the synonym of ‘finesse’ option (d) becomes the most viable answer choice.
Impotence means inability to take effective action; helplessness.
S13. Ans. (b)
Sol. The most suitable combination of words that precisely fits the given blank of the sentences is (B)-(D). ‘Requite’ is a verb which means make appropriate return for (a favour, service, or wrongdoing). Moreover, ‘reciprocate’ means respond to (a gesture or action) by making a corresponding one. Therefore, both the words fill appropriately in the grammatical syntax and context of the sentence. All the other options fail to make the sentence coherent. Hence, option (b) is the most suitable answer choice.
S14. Ans. (a)
Sol. The most suitable combination of words that precisely fits the given blank of the sentences is (B)-(C). ‘Disparage’ is a verb which means to regard or represent as being of little worth. Moreover, ‘belittle’ means to dismiss (someone or something) as unimportant. Therefore, both the words fill appropriately in the grammatical syntax and context of the sentence. All the other options fail to make the sentence coherent. Hence, option (a) is the most suitable answer choice.
Commend means praise formally or officially.
S15. Ans. (c)
Sol. The most suitable combination of words that precisely fits the given blank of the sentences is (A)-(B). ‘Delusion’ is a noun which means an idiosyncratic belief or impression maintained despite being contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder. Moreover, ‘fallacy’ means a mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound arguments. Therefore, both the words fill appropriately in the grammatical syntax and context of the sentence. All the other options fail to make the sentence coherent. Hence, option (c) is the most suitable answer choice.
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