For the benefit of UPSC CDS (I) 2018 Exam, we are providing practice questions on English passage. The questions were prepared keeping in view the standard of the questions asked previously in the CDS English Exams.
Directions: Read the following two passages and answer the questions asked at the end of each passage. The candidates must note that answers to the questions must be based on the passages only.
The UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for the final settlement of Jerusalem through negotiations may have been pitched as a contest between Israel and Palestine; however, it became a referendum on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital. The final outcome should force the U.S. to rethink its move, with 128 of the UNGA’s 193 member-countries voting for the resolution, and only nine against it.
Among those voting for the resolution that “deeply regretted” the U.S. decision were its NATO allies, Germany, the U.K. and France, its Asian allies Japan and South Korea; its closest neighbours Canada and Mexico chose merely to abstain. The overwhelming majority ignored Mr. Trump and his UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s threats that all countries that defied America would be ‘named and shamed’ and face cancellation of U.S. aid.
The suggestion was that the U.S. would exact its revenge by refusing to support these countries when they next need it at the UN. Israel showed deep derision for the world body, which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as a “house of lies”, while his UN envoy called the 128 countries “puppets forced to dance”.
Such threats and epithets mark new lows in international diplomacy, and Israel and the U.S. come away looking like churlish bullies for issuing them. With all its weaknesses, the UN is a global collective, and it is imperative to acknowledge its mandate when such a large number of nations speak in one voice.
The U.S. only recently asserted its intention to uphold the international rules-based order in its National Security Strategy document. It cannot now just walk away from both UN resolutions and its national commitment to the Israel-Palestine peace process by unilaterally changing its stand on the status of Jerusalem, without being accused of doublespeak. (Source: The Hindu)
1. Who among the following were referred to as – “puppets forced to dance”.
a) Those who voted in favour of resolution
b) Those who voted against the resolution
c) Those who restrained from voting on the resolution
d) The USA & Israel
Answer. (a) Those who voted in favour of resolution
The United Nations Envoy Nikki Haley referred to those who voted of the resolution in the UN General Assembly as “puppets forced to dance”
2. What is an appropriate synonym of ‘epithet’ used in the passage?
Answer. (b) Brickbat
The dictionary meaning of the word epithet is an act or expression showing scorn and usually intended to hurt another's feelings.
Synonyms of epithet are - affront, barb, brickbat, cut, dart, insult, gird, indignity, name, offense, outrage, personality, poke, put-down, sarcasm, slap, slight, slur, etc.
3. Which of the following countries voted in favour of the resolution?
Answer. (d) Germany
The question can be answered using the information given in the sentence - Among those voting for the resolutioon that “deeply regretted” the U.S. decision were its NATO allies, Germany, the U.K. and France, its Asian allies Japan and South Korea; its closest neighbours Canada and Mexico chose merely to abstain.
4. What is the primary intention of the author?
a) To expose the USA’s inconsistent stance on Israel-Palestine issue
b) To appreciate the USA for its bold move
c) To appreciate the UN for taking a stand on Israel-Palestine issue
d) To denounce Israel’s stance on the UN resolution
Answer. (a) To expose the USA’s inconsistent stance on Israel-Palestine issue
5. Which of the following is the most suitable title for the passage?
a) The USA vs Israel: Who is right?
b) Jerusalem: New Capital of Israel
c) Affirmative vote: on US' move on Jerusalem
d) Trump & Haley’s threats on Jerusalem
Answer. (c) Affirmative vote: on US' move on Jerusalem
Since the passage relates to the affirmative voting on Israel-Palestine relations by the United Nations General Assembly in the backdrop of the Trump’s decision to name Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, it is the most appropriate title for the passage.
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In what may be the Centre’s first strike in response to the rural distress read into the Gujarat Assembly poll outcomes, a 30% customs duty has been slapped on the import of chana dal and masoor dal.
The official reasoning is clear. Cheap imports could hit farm incomes especially at a time when domestic production of pulses is at a record high and a bumper rabi crop is expected. With an adequate domestic stockpile of pulses and with international prices remaining low for a prolonged period, the Centre fears that traders may still prefer to import some pulses rather than buy the fresh crop from local farmers at higher prices.
There has been a significant upsurge in imports, in the range of 30% to 46%, in four out of the first six months of this financial year. Chana and masoor were the key contributors for India’s pulses imports rising to over $1.6 billion between April and September, compared to $1.2 billion in the same period last year. The value of chana imports in this period rose 373%, while masoor grew 204% year on year. However, the recent trends suggest that there has been a moderation in imports, especially since October.
Against this backdrop, the government’s is too late, but flawed market timing isn’t the real issue. Because, reflexively raising or breaking such tariff walls, as the production cycle warrants, doesn’t add up to a serious long-term policy, which should be aimed at boosting farm incomes and ensuring food security.
Farmers, like investors, need predictability and coherence in government policies. Just as a duty hike on electronic goods won’t directly prop up local manufacturing or curb their consumption, hiking import duties on one dal or another won’t make farmers better-off — though traders who accumulated cheaper imports will benefit. The government must devise better means to shore up farm incomes without stirring up inflation. (Source: The Hindu)
6. What does ‘reflexively raising’ refers to in the passage?
a) By not giving much thought into it
b) By consulting with the concerned officials
c) By reflecting on the issues faced by farmers
d) None of the Above
Answer. (a) By not giving much thought into it
Author is critical of the decision to hike import duties of pulses. He viewed it as a knee-jerk reaction and was taken hastily.
7. The focus of the passage is to_____
a) Suggest measures to boost electronic goods production
b) Emphasize the need to curb imports of pulses
c) Evaluate the long term efficacy of the hike in duties on pulses
d) Suggest measures to investor protection in agriculture infrastructure
Answer. (c) Evaluate the long term efficacy of the hike in duties on pulses
The author evaluated the long term efficacy of the government’s decision to hike import duties in light of the long term objective of achieving income security to farmers.
8. Between April and November, imports of chana and masoor
a) Have been rising consistently
b) Have been decreasing consistently
c) Decreased in the initial period and then increased
d) Increased in the initial period and then moderated
Answer. (d) Increased in the initial period and then moderated
9. The appropriate title for the passage can be_____
a) Agricultural Distress – Reasons & Analysis
b) Agriculture EXIM policy: Need for revision
c) Reasons behind farmers suicide
d) Missing the pulse: on policies for farmers
Answer. (d) Missing the pulse: on policies for farmers
10. The government’s move to increase import duty on chana and masoor is
a) Too early
b) Too late
d) Can’t be decided
Answer. (b) Too late
The question can be answered from the first sentence in the fourth passage – “Against this backdrop, the government’s is too late, but flawed market timing isn’t the real issue”.
The candidates should note that, among the ten asked questions above, four questions are easy, which can be answered by simple reading of the passage and three questions are of medium level and two questions are of advanced level.
To answer medium level questions, the facts and statements spread across the passage must be correlated. To answer advanced or difficult questions, the ability to read between-lines is a must.
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