IAS Prelims 2014 Exam is going to be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission on 24 August 2014. The IAS Prelims exam consists of two papers: General Studies Paper I and General Studies Paper II (popularly known as CSAT). The Syllabus for IAS Prelims Exam mentions Comprehension as one of its topics under General Studies Paper II.
The Comprehension section is of great importance for the candidates preparing for IAS Prelims Exam as around 40-50 per cent of the paper is comprised of questions from this section i.e. around 30-40 questions are asked from this section. This means that mastering the comprehension section is essential to clear the IAS Prelims Exam.
Comprehension in English and Hindi
• The Comprehension section has been included in the Exam in order to test the capability of the candidates to read, understand and analyse a given unseen passage in a very objective manner and answer questions based on it.
• This ability is essential for the candidates to comprehend the number of objective information and conclude on its basis.
• This ability is important for a Civil Servant in order to be able to understand properly all the official documents and records.
• Most of the official proceedings are carried out in written mode of communication which makes it absolutely necessary for the candidates to be well equipped to understand and analyse the given written text.
• It also tests the analytical bend of the mind of the candidates as to how well can they grasp the implied meaning of the written excerpt.
The Comprehension passages that are given only in English language (without Hindi translation) test the ability of the candidates to understand the text written in simple English language of basic school level. This ability is indispensable for the Civil Servants in order to understand the documents or correspondence that is done in English. It is also essential for the candidates to know English so that they can communicate with the delegates and officials at international level.
Some questions from 2013 exam are given below:
The law in many parts of the world increasingly restricts the discharge of agricultural slurry into watercourses. The simplest and often the most economically sound practice returns the material to the land as semisolid manure or as sprayed slurry. This dilutes its concentration in the environment to what might have occurred III a more primitive and sustainable type of agriculture and converts pollutant into fertilizer. Soil microorganisms decompose the organic components of sewage and slurry and most of the mineral nutrients become available to be absorbed again by the vegetation.
The excess input of nutrients, both nitrogen and phosphorus - based, from agricultural runoff (and human sewage) has caused many 'healthy' oligotrophic lakes (low nutrient concentrations, low plant productivity with abundant water weeds, and clear water) to change to eutrophic condition where high nutrient inputs lead to high phytoplankton productivity (sometimes dominated by bloom-forming toxic species). This makes the water turbid, eliminates large plants and, in the worst situations, leads to anoxia and fish kills; so called cultural eutrophication. Thus, important ecosystem services arc lost, including the provisioning service of wild-caught fish and the cultural services associated with recreation.
The process of cultural eutrophication of lakes has been understood for some time. But only recently did scientists notice huge 'dead zones' in the oceans near river outlets, particularly those draining large catchment areas such as the Mississippi in North America and the Yangtze in China. The nutrient-enriched water flows through streams, rivers and lakes, and eventually to the estuary and ocean where the ecological impact may be huge, killing virtually all invertebrates and fish in areas up to 70,000 km2 in extent. More than 150 sea areas worldwide are now regularly starved of oxygen as a result of decomposition of algal blooms, fuelled particularly by nitrogen from agricultural runoff of fertilizers and sewage from large cities. Oceanic dead zones are typically associated with industrialized nations and usually lie off'- 'countries that subsidize their agriculture, encouraging farmers to increase productivity and use more fertilizer.
10. According to the passage, why should the discharge of agricultural slurry into watercourses be restricted?
1. Losing nutrients in this way is not a good practice economically.
2. Watercourses do not contain the microorganisms that can decompose organic components of agricultural slurry.
3. The discharge may lead to the eutrophication of water bodies.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
11. The passage refers to the conversion of "pollutant to fertilizer". What is pollutant and what is fertilizer in this context?
(a) Decomposed organic component of slurry is pollutant and microorganisms in soil constitute fertilizer.
(b) Discharged agricultural slurry is pollutant and decomposed slurry in soil is fertilizer.
(c) Sprayed slurry is pollutant and watercourse is fertilizer.
(d) None of the above expressions is correct in this context.
12. According to the passage, what are the effects of indiscriminate use of fertilizers?
1. Addition of pollutants to the soil and water.
2. Destruction decomposer of microorganisms in soil.
3. Nutrient enrichment of water bodies.
4. Creation of algal blooms.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only
(b) 1, 3 and 4 only
(c) 2 arid 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
13. What is/are the characteristics of a water body with cultural eutrophication?
1. Loss of ecosystem services
2. Loss of flora and fauna
3. Loss of mineral nutrients
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
14. What is the central theme of this passage?
(a) Appropriate legislation is essential to protect the environment.
(b) Modern agriculture is responsible for the destruction of environment.
(c) Improper waste disposal from agriculture can destroy the aquatic ecosystems.
(d) Use of chemical fertilizers is undesirable in agriculture.
English Passage - 1
Seven-year-old Jim came home from the park without his new bicycle. "An old man and a little boy borrowed it," he explained. "They are going to bring it back at four o'clock." His parents were upset that he had given his expensive new bicycle, but were secretly proud of his kindness and faith. Came four o'clock, no bicycle. The parents were anxious. But at 4:30, the door bell rang, and there stood a happy man and a boy, with the bicycle and a box of chocolates. Jim suddenly disappeared into his bedroom, and then came running out. "All right," he said, after examining the bicycle. ''You can have your watch back!"
67. When Jim came home without his bicycle, his parents
a) were angry with him.
b) were worried.
c) did not feel concerned.
d) were eager to meet the old man and the little boy.
68. Jim returned the watch to the old man and the little boy because
a) they gave him chocolates.
b) his father was proud of him.
c) he was satisfied with the condition of his bicycle.
d) they were late only by 30 minutes.