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IBPS SO Exam 2017: Reading Comprehension Quiz ‘When the River Weeps’

Jan 27, 2017 17:47 IST

    English is very important if you want to get a government job these days. In order to equip you with necessary questions for the section, we, the team of Jagranjosh, the leading website in banking exam preparation, have launched an exercise where you get to practice questions on English for cloze test, reading comprehension, sentence arrangement etc. Here is RC quiz based on the article taken from ‘The Hindu’ (dated January 12, 2017).

    Question (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. Some words / phrases are printed in bold in order to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

    Article: When the River Weeps

    Agitations over the distribution of water in the Cauvery river are not new or surprising given the extreme dependence on agricultural and economic activity in the river basin. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are fighting over water in a drying river, paying little attention to framing long-term solutions.

    South India has always been highly dependent on the monsoon, which is uncertain and risky. Over the past few decades, the south-west monsoon has become unpredictable and has reduced in intensity. What does this mean for the Cauvery? The amount of water the river receives during the summer rains is becoming increasingly unreliable. In good years, when the river receives enough rainfall, there is no discord between the two States. In bad years, like the one we are facing now, it turns into a gargantuan political crisis. Unfortunately, the number of bad years is only going to worsen.

    The Cauvery river’s fertile basin has encouraged the growth of forests, agriculture and industry, all of which coexist in an uneasy manner and are now threatened. We need to pay attention to land use at the regional level. Dense forest cover once helped reduce the likelihood of flash flooding, retaining water on hill slopes to enable slow percolation and recharge of the tributaries. Deforestation across the basin has contributed to reduction in rainfall, soil erosion, and flooding, with hundreds of thousands of trees being decimated to make way for plantations, urban construction, and agriculture. In the place of forests, plantations of water-hungry trees such as eucalyptus and acacia are further reducing the water table. In Coorg, local groups have agitated against the felling of lakhs of trees for the construction of a new railway line from Mysuru, and a high-tension power line. They have received little support from the local and national administration despite warning of the effect on the river. These are not isolated incidents; deforestation is widespread along the length and breadth of the river. Tree clearing is now threatening even previously protected sites on mountain heights and steep slopes, sensitive zones where soil erosion further impacts river recharge.

    Rapid urbanization has converted fertile agriculture, forests and wetlands into concreted areas that are unable to retain rainwater or channel them into tributary streams that feed the Cauvery. Urbanization demands concrete; concrete requires sand. In the districts surrounding the Cauvery, rampant sand mining has altered the natural topography of the river, eroding its banks, widening the river, and altering water flow patterns. Despite warnings from environmentalist groups and farmer coalitions, and interventions by the court, this practice continues unchecked. It is no surprise that the wells that replenish farms across the basin are running dry — or that desperate farmers are reduced to abandoning agriculture and renting their farms to sand contractors for sand storage, thus becoming complicit in their own destruction.

    The large number of dams across the river contributes to a significant decrease in the river’s capacity for water storage. Siltation in dams and connecting river channels has reached alarming proportions. Industries along the Cauvery and its tributaries send large volumes of polluted water that, far from being of use to farmers, destroy their land beyond redemption. There is no farming activity for kilometers on the side of tributaries such as the Noyyal, polluted by Tiruppur’s textile industry. The toxic sludge from industrial effluents builds up on the river bed, further reducing its capacity for storage. Despite abundant discussion, government funding for de-siltation of the river’s channels remains conspicuous by its absence.

    Widespread changes in farming and agricultural patterns exacerbate the problem. Once an area of millet cultivation, the Cauvery basin has transformed into a location for the cultivation of high-yield paddy and sugar cane, both water-intensive crops. There needs to be a redesign of the farming system, keeping in mind in particular the water requirements of the crops planted after the onset of the south-west monsoon.

    What are Karnataka and Tamil Nadu planning to do in terms of developing more water-smart agricultural strategies? There is little discussion on this. Though a politically charged topic, it is one that must be addressed through conversations with farmers who seem well aware of these issues. They need better alternatives and greater state assistance in facilitating explorations of alternative cropping strategies, including an examination of a possible return to millet farming (which is more nutritious as well as water-efficient), or to multi-cropping of vegetables, or even to the development of more water-efficient varieties of paddy.

    While Karnataka and Tamil Nadu struggle to find workable solutions to the distribution of water in the river during years of drought, the writing on the wall is clear. As climate change makes its impact visible, we are going to face many more seasons of drought and points of conflict. It is important that we think long term and in a coordinated fashion across the basin. We need to find ways to recharge the river, increase inflow of water, clean up hotspots of pollution, and increase the efficiency of water use. For this, we must take up afforestation along the river on a war footing, move to water-efficient cropping, limit industrial pollution of rivers, ban excessive sand mining, and limit the growing consumption of water for cities and towns along the river. This requires conversation and cooperation across the basin, not reactive conflict. Given the politically charged minefield that the Cauvery water-sharing issue has become, can we hope for reasoned, concerted action?

    1. Which among the following explains the attitude of the author towards the Cauvery dispute ongoing between two states in India?

    1. The author is more concerned about the river and not the dispute, therefore, there is no mention of the states in the passage fighting or doing something.
    2. The author is of the view that there should be long term planning in case of the dispute since you need to address issues plaguing the water issue.
    3. The author has no concrete view of the Cauvery dispute issue and does not support anybody in the issue.
    4. There is nothing the court can do in the issue and only farmers can understand the situation
    5. Both (2) and (4)

    Solution: Option (5)

    Explanation: According to the passage, the farmers are well aware of the issue facing the Cauvery water basin in South India and therefore, they must be taken into confidence whenever any policy decision is being taken regarding the river. Secondly, the states fighting for the water of the river must have developmental planning for the river to survive. These make option (5) the right choice among the given options.

    2. Which among the following describes the problem regarding agriculture in Cauvery basin?

    1. The farmers near the basin are more interested in farming crops that consume more water.
    2. The sand miners are responsible for water wastage and that is why the water gets dry these days more often as compared to before.
    3. The farmers are more interested in industry in the basin and therefore trees are often felled with the permission of the district administration only.
    4. Both (1) and (2)
    5. All the above

    Solution: Option (4)

    Explanation: According to the passage, paddy and sugar cane are main crops that are being cultivated in the Cauvery basin area and both are water intensive crops whereas on the other hand, you have sand miners consuming land for sand mining. This contributes to the reason of the river running dry many times during the year. These make option (4) the right choice among the given options.

    3. Which among the following may be the central idea of the passage among the following?

    1. The rivers in the country should not be used for the sole purpose of farming.
    2. The rivers in the country should be taken care of properly with professional water management.
    3. The water management of rivers should be left to the farmers in our country because they understand the importance of rivers.
    4. The water management course is not at all important in universities since there is nothing that can be taught in academic institutions regarding the same.
    5. The rivers in our country are mainly dependent on monsoon rains.

    Solution: Option (2)

    Explanation: The central idea of the passage is that the rivers in our country are not being properly taken care of as there is no professional management of water resources in our country. This makes the rivers go dry at times for various reasons. This makes option (2) the right choice among the given options.

    4. Which among the following may describe the farming practice in the Southern part of India?

    1. South India is more dependent on industry as compared to agriculture and that is why all the rivers are dry these days in that part of the country.
    2. The agriculture in South India is mainly dependent on natural rains and that is why rivers play a very vital role in the issue.
    3. Southern India has very innovative practices regarding agriculture production and that is why they do not need irrigation in case of farming.
    4. South India is more important for coffee and tea production and that is why this part of the country is not properly taken care of by the policy makers.
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (2)

    Explanation: According to the passage, South India is mainly dependent on rainwater and that is why rivers are mainly getting dry when there is no rain or very little rain. This makes option (2) the right choice among the given options.

    5. Which among the following makes urbanization one of the major issues regarding Cauvery water dispute as mentioned in the passage?

    1. The process of urbanization leads to concretization and that makes the rivers go dry in the Southern part of the country.
    2. Deforestation leads to more and more trees being cut and that leads to more floods in the locality.
    3. Southern India is more dependent on rivers because there is no ice in the region.
    4. Both (1) and (2)
    5. Both (2) and (3)

    Solution: Option (4)

    Explanation: According to the passage, the process of urbanization requires more concrete land and that is why the rivers are getting dry. At the same time it is also developing the practice of sand mining in the country. It is also the reason behind deforestation and it is responsible for floods in the region. These make option (4) the right choice among the given options.

    6. How is urbanization related to sand mining in the South Indian states of the country according to the passage?

    1. Urbanization is good for forests since it causes the sand miners to backtrack and go to other regions.
    2. Urbanization is a process that requires more sand mining areas and that is why, both are not on the same page.
    3. Urbanization requires more sand mining areas since concrete is needed for urban areas to develop.
    4. Sand mining leads to less urbanization since sand mining areas can never develop into good habitable areas.
    5. None of the above

    Solution: Option (3)

    Explanation: According to the passage, urbanization requires more and more concrete areas and it, in its turn, requires more and more sand. Hence, with rapid urbanization, the sand mining areas are also on the rise in the Southern part of the country. This makes option (3) the right choice among the given options.

    7. Which among the following is SIMILAR in meaning to the word Discord as used in the passage?

    1. Assistance
    2. Sensation
    3. Dissonance
    4. Tumult
    5. None of the above

    Solution: Option (3)

    Explanation: The word has been used in the passage to imply that there is a dissonance between the two warring states regarding the river Cauvery in South India. It makes option (3) the right choice among the given options.

    8. Which among the following is SIMILAR in meaning to the word Gargantuan as used in the passage?

    1. Tremendous
    2. Towering
    3. Humongous
    4. Vital
    5. None of the above

    Solution: Option (5)

    Explanation:  According to the passage, the given word is used in order to imply that the issue of river water becomes very serious in case of the river going dry during little or no rain in the area. It makes option (5) the right choice among the given options since no word is similar in meaning to the given word.

    9. Which among the following is OPPOSITE in meaning to the word Isolated as used in the passage?

    1. General
    2. Commonplace
    3. Disguised
    4. Distilled
    5. Instilled

    Solution: Option (2)

    Explanation: The given word in the passage implies that the river water dispute is not a single incident these days among states in our country but it has become a very common issue nowadays. This makes option (2) the right choice among the given options.

    10. Which among the following is OPPOSITE in meaning to the word Replenish as used in the passage?

    1. Waste
    2. Deplete
    3. Dry up
    4. Recharge
    5. Other than those given in options

    Solution: Option (2)

    Explanation: According to given passage, the word implies that the water level is not replenished properly these days because of less rainfall in the Cauvery basin area. This makes option (2) the right choice among the given options as it means that the water level is going down these days in the Cauvery basin for various reasons. This is leading to the dispute between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu concerning the river water.

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