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Comprehension Passages (Entrance Exams)

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In 1954, a Bombay economist named A.D. Shroff began a forum of free Enterprise, whose ideas on economic development were somewhat at odds with those then influentially articulated by the Planning Commission of the Government of India. Shroff complained against the 'indifference, if not discouragement, with which the state treated entrepreneurs.

At the same time as Shroff, but independently of him, a journalist named Philip Spratt was writing a series of essays in favour of free enterprise. Spratt was a Cambridge communist who was sent by the party in the 1920s to the foment revolution in the subcontinent. detected in the act, he spent many years in an Indian jail. The books he read in the prison, and his marriage to an Indian woman afterward, inspired a steady move rightwards. By the 1950s, he was editing a pro-American weekly from Banglore, called mysIndia. there he inveighed against the economic policies of the government of India. These, he said, treated the entrepreneur 'as a criminal who has dared to use his brain independently of the state to create wealth and give employment’. The state’s chief planner, P.C. Mahalanobis had surrounded himself with Western leftists and Soviet academicians, who reinforced his belief in 'rigid control by the government overall activities’. The result, said Spratt, would be `the smothering of free enterprise, a famine of consumer goods, and the tying down of millions of workers to soul-deadening techniques.'

The voices of men like Spratt and Shroff were drowned in the chorus of popular support for a model of heavy industrialization funded and directed by the governments. The 1950s were certainly not propitious times for free marketers in India. But from time to time their ideas were revived. After the rupee was devalued in 1966, there were some moves towards freeing the trade regime and hopes that the licensing system would also be liberalized. However, after Indira Gandhi split the Congress Party in 1969, her government took its `left turn’, nationalizing a fresh range of industries and returning to economic autarky.

Which of the following statements can most reasonably be inferred from the information available in the passage:

In Mann Joseph's debut novel Serious Men, the protagonist, Ayyan Mani, is a U1, scheming Dalit-Buddhist who almost gets away with passing off his partially deaf son, Adi, as a prodigy, a genius who can recite the first 1,000 prime numbers. The garb of satire-where almost every character cuts a sorry figure-gives the author the licence to offer one' of the most bleak and pessimistic portrayals of urban Dalits. Despite his savage portrayal of Dalit (and Female) character-or perhaps because of it? - Serious Men has won critical appreciation front a cross-section of readers and critics.

At a time when a formidable body of Dalit literature - writing by Dalits about Dalit lives- has created a distinct space for itself, how and why is it that a novel such as serious Men, with its gleefully skewed portrayal of an angry Dalit Man, manages to win such accolades? In American literature and particularly in the case of African-American authors and characters-these issues of representation have been debated for decades. But in India, the sustained refusal to address issues related to caste in every life and the continued and unquestioned predominance of a Brahminical stranglehold over cultural production has led us to a place where the non-Dalit portrayal of Dalits in literature, cinema and art remains the norm.

The journey of modem Dalit literature has been a difficult one. But even though it has not necessarily enjoyed the support of numbers, we must engage with what Dalit are writing not simply for reasons of authenticity, or as a concession to identity politics, but simply because of the aesthetic value of this body of writing, and for the insights, it offers into the human condition. In a society that is still largely unwilling to recognise Dalits as equal, rights-bearing human beings, in a society that is inherently indifferent to the everyday violence against Dalits, in a society unwilling to share social and cultural resources equitably with Dalits unless mandated by law (as seen in the anti-reservation discourse), Dalit literature has the potential to humanise non-Dalits and sensitise them to a world into which they have no insight. But before we can understand what Dalit literature is seeking to accomplish, we need first to come to terms with the stranglehold of non-Dalit representations of Dalits.

Rohinton Miary's ( A Fine Balance), published 15 years ago, chronicles the travails of two Dalit characters uncle Ishvar and nephew Omprakash who migrate to Bombay of the Emergency, Ishvar's father Dukhy belongs to the era of the anti-colonial nationalist movement. During one of Dukhi's visits to the town, he chances upon a meeting of the Indian National Congress, where speakers spread the "Mahatma's message regarding the freedom struggle, the struggle for justice," and wiping out "the disease of untouchability; ravaging us for centuries, denying dignity to our fellow human beings."

Neither in the 1940s, where the novel's past is set nor in the Emergency period of the 1970s when the minds and bodies Ishvar and Omprakash, are savaged by the state do we find any mention of a figure like B.R. Ambedkar or of Dalit movements. In his 'nationalist' understanding of modem Indian history, Mistry seems to have not veered too far from the road charted by predecessors like Mulk Raj Anand and Premchand. Sixty years after Premchand, Mistry's literary imagination seems stuck in the empathy-realism mode, trapping Dalits in abjection. Mistry happily continues the broad stereotype of the Dalit as a passive sufferer, without consciousness of caste politics.

The writer of this passage is critical of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance for the reason that:

In Mann Joseph's debut novel Serious Men, the protagonist, Ayyan Mani, is a U1, scheming Dalit-Buddhist who almost gets away with passing off his partially deaf son, Adi, as a prodigy, a genius who can recite the first 1,000 prime numbers. The garb of satire-where almost every character cuts a sorry figure-gives the author the licence to offer one' of the most bleak and pessimistic portrayals of urban Dalits. Despite his savage portrayal of Dalit (and Female) character-or perhaps because of it? - Serious Men has won critical appreciation front a cross-section of readers and critics.

At a time when a formidable body of Dalit literature - writing by Dalits about Dalit lives- has created a distinct space for itself, how and why is it that a novel such as serious Men, with its gleefully skewed portrayal of an angry Dalit Man, manages to win such accolades? In American literature and particularly in the case of African-American authors and characters-these issues of representation have been debated for decades. But in India, the sustained refusal to address issues related to caste in every life and the continued and unquestioned predominance of a Brahminical stranglehold over cultural production has led us to a place where the non-Dalit portrayal of Dalits in literature, cinema and art remains the norm.

The journey of modem Dalit literature has been a difficult one. But even though it has not necessarily enjoyed the support of numbers, we must engage with what Dalit are writing not simply for reasons of authenticity, or as a concession to identity politics, but simply because of the aesthetic value of this body of writing, and for the insights, it offers into the human condition. In a society that is still largely unwilling to recognise Dalits as equal, rights-bearing human beings, in a society that is inherently indifferent to the everyday violence against Dalits, in a society unwilling to share social and cultural resources equitably with Dalits unless mandated by law (as seen in the anti-reservation discourse), Dalit literature has the potential to humanise non-Dalits and sensitise them to a world into which they have no insight. But before we can understand what Dalit literature is seeking to accomplish, we need first to come to terms with the stranglehold of non-Dalit representations of Dalits.

Rohinton Miary's ( A Fine Balance), published 15 years ago, chronicles the travails of two Dalit characters uncle Ishvar and nephew Omprakash who migrate to Bombay of the Emergency, Ishvar's father Dukhy belongs to the era of the anti-colonial nationalist movement. During one of Dukhi's visits to the town, he chances upon a meeting of the Indian National Congress, where speakers spread the "Mahatma's message regarding the freedom struggle, the struggle for justice," and wiping out "the disease of untouchability; ravaging us for centuries, denying dignity to our fellow human beings."

Neither in the 1940s, where the novel's past is set nor in the Emergency period of the 1970s when the minds and bodies Ishvar and Omprakash, are savaged by the state do we find any mention of a figure like B.R. Ambedkar or of Dalit movements. In his 'nationalist' understanding of modem Indian history, Mistry seems to have not veered too far from the road charted by predecessors like Mulk Raj Anand and Premchand. Sixty years after Premchand, Mistry's literary imagination seems stuck in the empathy-realism mode, trapping Dalits in abjection. Mistry happily continues the broad stereotype of the Dalit as a passive sufferer, without consciousness of caste politics.

According to this passage, Premchand and Mulk Raj Anand:

Direction: The passage given below is followed by a set of questions. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

It is a matter of life or death: that’s a concept that gets our attention, whether chuckling over it in a B-grade film or engrossed by it in an A-grade medical book such as this year’s Pulitzer Prize winner for nonfiction, The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It isn’t hyperbole to call Emperor a literary masterpiece. The Pulitzer citation describes it as, “an elegant inquiry, at once clinical and personal, into the long history of an insidious disease that, despite treatment breakthroughs, still bedevils medical science.” “Elegant” is an apposite description of the New York-based oncologist’s prose, whether he is rephrasing Tolstoy: “Normal cells are identically normal; malignant cells become unhappily malignant in unique ways”; or explaining the book’s provocative title: “This book is a ‘biography’ in the truest sense of the word – an attempt to enter the mind of this immortal illness, to understand its personality, to demystify its behaviour”; or extrapolating, from cancer’s ability to mutate, into the realm of philosophy: “If we, as a species, are the ultimate product of Darwinian selection, then so, too, is this incredible disease that lurks inside us.” Mukherjee weaves together multiple stories about medical advances, doctors and scientists, and the patients who teach us something in the living or dying. Emperor is a historical account of cancer; we understand how cancer rose to prominence as a leading cause of death – as a direct result of human beings living longer now, and more likely to develop cancer. A greater understanding of the disease however comes with the caveat, the more you
know, the more aware you are of how much you don’t know. Tales related to surgery, with its inherent drama, has the edge on our medical reading lists. Some medical books fall into the Self Help category — one of the most successful genres in the publishing world today. While the genre can attract those looking to make a quick buck by peddling to people’s insecurities, there are some useful tomes too. Author Tim Parks in Teach Us to Sit Still shares how reading a famous self-help book, A Headache in the Pelvis helped with his chronic pelvic pain syndrome. Medical books deal with a subject close to our hearts — us, we, ourselves. Perhaps the ones we are most drawn to – thrillers aside – are those that give us a deeper insight into how the mind-body machine works, why we are sick, how we can get better — and, unhappily, sometimes, why we can’t.

Which of the following statements cannot be inferred from the passage?

In view of the passage given below. Choose the best option for question.

When talks come to how India has done for itself in 50 years of Independence, the world has nothing but praise for our success in remaining a democracy. On other fronts, the applause is less loud. In absolute terms, India has not done too badly, of course, life expectancy has increased. So has literacy. Industry, which was barely a fledging, has grown tremendously. And as far as agriculture is concerned, India has been transformed from a country perpetually on the edge of starvation into a success story held up for others to emulate. But these are competitive times when change is rapid, and to walk slowly when the rest of the world is running is almost as bad as standing still on walking backwards.

Compared with large chunks of what was then the developing 'world South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia. China and what was till lately a separate Hong Kong-India has fared abysmally. It began with a far better infrastructure than most of these countries had. It suffered hardly or not at all during the Second World War. It had advantages like an English speaking elite, quality scientific manpower (including a Nobel laureate and others who could be ranked among the world's best) and excellent business acumen. Yet, today, when countries are ranked according to their global competitiveness. it is tiny Singapore that figures at the top. Hong Kong is an export powerhouse. So is Taiwan. If a symbol were needed of how far we have fallen back. note that while Korean Cielos are sold in India, no one in South Korea is rushing to buy an Indian car. The reasons list themselves. Topmost is economic isolationism.

The government discouraged imports and encouraged self-sufficiency. Whatever the aim was, the result was the creation of a totally inefficient industry that failed to keep pace with global trends and, therefore. became absolutely uncompetitive. only when the trade gates were opened a little did this become apparent. The years since then have been spent merely trying to catch up. That the government actually sheltered its industrialists from foreign competition is a little strange. For in all other respects, it operated under the conviction that businessmen were little more than crookS how were to be prevented from entering the most important areas of the economy, how we're to be hamstrung in as many ways as possible, how we're to be tolerated in the same way as an inexcusable wan. The high expropriation rates of taxation. the licensing Jaws, the reservation of whole swathes of the industry for the public sector, and the granting of monopolies to the public sector firms were the principal manifestations of this attitude. The government forgot that before wealth could be distributed, it had to be created.

The government forgot that it itself could not create, but only squander wealth. some of the manifestations of the old attitude have changed. Tax rates have fallen. Licensing has been a but abolished. And the gates of global trade have been opened wide. But most of these Changes were first by circumstances partly by the foreign exchange bankruptcy of 1991 ana the recognition that the government could no longer muster the funds of support the public sector, leave alone expand it. Whether the attitude of the government itself. or that of more than handful of ministers has changed, is open to question. In many other ways, however, the government has not changed one with. Business still has to negotiate a welter of negotiations. Transparency is still a long way off. And there is no exit policy. In defending the existing policy, politicians betray an inability to see beyond their noses. A no-exit policy for labour is equivalent to a no-entry policy for new business If one industry is not allowed to retrench labour, other industries will think a hundred times before employing new labour. In other way too, the government hurts industries.

Public sector monopolies like the department of telecommunications and Yidesh Sanchar Nigam Ltd. make it possible for Indian business to operate only at a cost several times that of their counterparts abroad The infrastructure is in a shambles partly because it is unable to formulate a sufficiently remunerative policy for private business, and partly because it does not have the stomach to change market rates for services. After a burst of activity in the early nineties, the government iS dragging itS feet. At the rate, it is going. it will be another fifty years before the government realizes that a pro-business policy is the best pro-people policy By then, of course, the world would have moved even further ahead. 

The writer ends the passage on a note of...

Read the given passage carefully and attempt the questions that follow.

MY LOVE OF NATURE, goes right back to my childhood, to the times when I stayed on, my grandparents' farm in Suffolk. My father was in the armed forces, so we were always moving and didn't have a home base for any length of time, but I loved going there. I think it was my grandmother who encouraged me more than anyone: she taught me the names of wild flowers and got me interested in looking at the countryside, so it seemed obvious to go on to do Zoology at University. 

I didn't get my first camera until after I'd graduated, when I was due to go diving in Norway and needed a method of recording the sea creatures I would find there. My father didn't know anything about photography, but he bought me an Exacta, which was really quite a good camera for the time, and I went off to take my first pictures of sea anemones and starfish. I became keen very quickly, and learned how to develop and print; obviously I didn't have much money in those days, so I did more black and white photography than colour, but it was all still using the camera very much as a tool to record what I found both by diving and on the shore. I had no ambition at all to be a photographer then, or even for some years afterwards.

Unlike many of the wildlife photographers of the time, I trained as a scientist and therefore my way of expressing myself is very different. I've tried from the beginning to produce pictures that are always biologically correct. There are people who will alter things deliberately: you don't pick up sea creatures from the middle of the shore and take them down to attractive pools at the bottom of the shore without knowing you're doing it. In so doing you're actually falsifying the sort of seaweeds they live on and so on, which may seem unimportant, but it is actually changing the natural surroundings to make them prettier. Unfortunately, many of the people who select pictures are looking for attractive images and, at the end of the day, whether it's truthful or not doesn't really matter to them. It's important to think about the animal first, and there are many occasions when I've not taken a picture because it would have been too disturbing. Nothing is so important that you have to get that shot; of course, there are cases when it would be very sad if you didn't, but it's not the end of the world. There can be a lot of ignorance in people's behavior towards wild animals and it's a problem that more and more people are going to wild places: while some animals may get used to cars, they won't get used to people suddenly rushing up to them. The sheer pressure of people, coupled with the fact that there are increasingly fewer places where no-one else has photographed, means that over the years, life has become much more difficult for the professional wildlife photographer. 

Nevertheless, wildlife photographs play a very important part in educating people about what is out there and what needs conserving. Although photography can be an enjoyable pastime, as it is to many people, it is also something that plays a very important part in educating young and old alike. Of the qualities it takes to make a good wildlife photographer, patience is perhaps the most obvious -you just have to be prepared to sit it out. I'm actually more patient now because I write more than ever before, and as long as I've got a bit of paper and a pencil, I don't feel I'm wasting my time. And because I photograph such a wide range of things, even if the main target doesn't appear I can probably find something else to concentrate on instead.

Why is she more patient now? 

Read the given passage carefully and attempt the questions that follow.

MY LOVE OF NATURE, goes right back to my childhood, to the times when I stayed on, my grandparents' farm in Suffolk. My father was in the armed forces, so we were always moving and didn't have a home base for any length of time, but I loved going there. I think it was my grandmother who encouraged me more than anyone: she taught me the names of wild flowers and got me interested in looking at the countryside, so it seemed obvious to go on to do Zoology at University. 

I didn't get my first camera until after I'd graduated, when I was due to go diving in Norway and needed a method of recording the sea creatures I would find there. My father didn't know anything about photography, but he bought me an Exacta, which was really quite a good camera for the time, and I went off to take my first pictures of sea anemones and starfish. I became keen very quickly, and learned how to develop and print; obviously I didn't have much money in those days, so I did more black and white photography than colour, but it was all still using the camera very much as a tool to record what I found both by diving and on the shore. I had no ambition at all to be a photographer then, or even for some years afterwards.

Unlike many of the wildlife photographers of the time, I trained as a scientist and therefore my way of expressing myself is very different. I've tried from the beginning to produce pictures that are always biologically correct. There are people who will alter things deliberately: you don't pick up sea creatures from the middle of the shore and take them down to attractive pools at the bottom of the shore without knowing you're doing it. In so doing you're actually falsifying the sort of seaweeds they live on and so on, which may seem unimportant, but it is actually changing the natural surroundings to make them prettier. Unfortunately, many of the people who select pictures are looking for attractive images and, at the end of the day, whether it's truthful or not doesn't really matter to them. It's important to think about the animal first, and there are many occasions when I've not taken a picture because it would have been too disturbing. Nothing is so important that you have to get that shot; of course, there are cases when it would be very sad if you didn't, but it's not the end of the world. There can be a lot of ignorance in people's behaviour towards wild animals and it's a problem that more and more people are going to wild places: while some animals may get used to cars, they won't get used to people suddenly rushing up to them. The sheer pressure of people, coupled with the fact that there are increasingly fewer places where no-one else has photographed, means that over the years, life has become much more difficult for the professional wildlife photographer. 

Nevertheless, wildlife photographs play a very important part in educating people about what is out there and what needs conserving. Although photography can be an enjoyable pastime, as it is to many people, it is also something that plays a very important part in educating young and old alike. Of the qualities it takes to make a good wildlife photographer, patience is perhaps the most obvious -you just have to be prepared to sit it out. I'm actually more patient now because I write more than ever before, and as long as I've got a bit of paper and a pencil, I don't feel I'm wasting my time. And because I photograph such a wide range of things, even if the main target doesn't appear I can probably find something else to concentrate on instead.

How is she different from some of the other wildlife photographers she meets?

Read the given passage carefully and attempt the questions that follow.

MY LOVE OF NATURE, goes right back to my childhood, to the times when I stayed on, my grandparents' farm in Suffolk. My father was in the armed forces, so we were always moving and didn't have a home base for any length of time, but I loved going there. I think it was my grandmother who encouraged me more than anyone: she taught me the names of wild flowers and got me interested in looking at the countryside, so it seemed obvious to go on to do Zoology at University. 

I didn't get my first camera until after I'd graduated, when I was due to go diving in Norway and needed a method of recording the sea creatures I would find there. My father didn't know anything about photography, but he bought me an Exacta, which was really quite a good camera for the time, and I went off to take my first pictures of sea anemones and starfish. I became keen very quickly, and learned how to develop and print; obviously I didn't have much money in those days, so I did more black and white photography than colour, but it was all still using the camera very much as a tool to record what I found both by diving and on the shore. I had no ambition at all to be a photographer then, or even for some years afterwards.

Unlike many of the wildlife photographers of the time, I trained as a scientist and therefore my way of expressing myself is very different. I've tried from the beginning to produce pictures that are always biologically correct. There are people who will alter things deliberately: you don't pick up sea creatures from the middle of the shore and take them down to attractive pools at the bottom of the shore without knowing you're doing it. In so doing you're actually falsifying the sort of seaweeds they live on and so on, which may seem unimportant, but it is actually changing the natural surroundings to make them prettier. Unfortunately, many of the people who select pictures are looking for attractive images and, at the end of the day, whether it's truthful or not doesn't really matter to them. It's important to think about the animal first, and there are many occasions when I've not taken a picture because it would have been too disturbing. Nothing is so important that you have to get that shot; of course, there are cases when it would be very sad if you didn't, but it's not the end of the world. There can be a lot of ignorance in people's behaviour towards wild animals and it's a problem that more and more people are going to wild places: while some animals may get used to cars, they won't get used to people suddenly rushing up to them. The sheer pressure of people, coupled with the fact that there are increasingly fewer places where no-one else has photographed, means that over the years, life has become much more difficult for the professional wildlife photographer. 

Nevertheless, wildlife photographs play a very important part in educating people about what is out there and what needs conserving. Although photography can be an enjoyable pastime, as it is to many people, it is also something that plays a very important part in educating young and old alike. Of the qualities it takes to make a good wildlife photographer, patience is perhaps the most obvious -you just have to be prepared to sit it out. I'm actually more patient now because I write more than ever before, and as long as I've got a bit of paper and a pencil, I don't feel I'm wasting my time. And because I photograph such a wide range of things, even if the main target doesn't appear I can probably find something else to concentrate on instead.

Which does 'them' refer to in the 7th line in paragraph 3? 

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