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SBI PO (Mains) Exam 2017: English Language Practice Set

May 26, 2017 18:17 IST

    SBI PO Mains Exam 2017 is scheduled to be held on 4th June 2017. To help aspirants crack their English section for the exam, we have created a practice set with an explanation. Candidates are advised to solve the set before appearing for the exam.

     Directions (1 - 10): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow:

     To gain some perspective on the Centre’s decision to divest 25% of its stake in five public sector general insurers, consider these numbers. Last year, the gross premium income of four of these companies — New India Assurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance — increased by over 12%. But their profits after tax fell by more than half from a year earlier, from Rs.3,094 crore in 2014-15 to just Rs.1,499 crore in 2015-16. A closer scrutiny reveals that high underwriting losses, which increased 55% in the year, were largely responsible for profits falling at these firms even as revenues rose. National Insurance took the sharpest hit, with a 148% rise in underwriting losses. Public shareholding in these firms will lead to questions about such outliers in performance that haven’t been heard under the Centre’s present 100% ownership structure, at least in the public domain. This, as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said in his Budget speech last year, would lead to greater transparency and accountability. It will also allow the firms, including General Insurance Corporation of India, to raise more capital from the markets instead of relying on taxpayer money alone. For instance, India’s Rs.1500 -crore nuclear liability insurance pool created by GIC with other insurers perhaps needs more muscle to create confidence among wary nuclear suppliers.

    That it took 11 months for a Budget announcement to secure ‘in-principle’ Cabinet approval is symptomatic of the lethargy in the disinvestment programme. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asserted early in his term — during his maiden official visit to the U.S. in 2014 — that government had no business being in business. Yet, it took two more years for the Cabinet to sign off on the first strategic sale (with transfer of ownership and control) under its watch, in the loss-making Bharat Pumps and Compressors. In December, it approved the sale of land with four sick public sector pharma firms with a plan to close two, and ‘explore the option’ of strategic sale for Hindustan Antibiotics and Bengal Chemicals. This month, stock exchanges were informed about a proposal to sell a 26% stake in heavy equipment-maker BEML to a strategic investor. The political economy window for such divestment is not unlimited. Even the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, which spearheaded the strategic sale of public sector firms engaged in businesses ranging from bread to phosphates, raised 84% of such revenue during its third and fourth years in office. Halfway through its term, it is time this government’s disinvestment plans gather steam.

     

    1. Which of the following insurance company’s stakes are being divested by the centre?

    a)      National Insurance

    b)      New India Assurance

    c)       Oriental Insurance

    d)      United India Insurance

    e)      All of the above

    Answer: e)

    Explanation: The second line of the first paragraph clearly mentions the name of the four insurance companies which are New India Assurance, United India Insurance, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance.

    2. Which of the following statement is incorrect according to the passage?

    a)      The profits after tax of four insurance companies fell from Rs. 3094 crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 1499 crore in 2015-16.

    b)      Central Government decided to divest 25% of its stake in five public sector general insurers.

    c)       National India Assurance faced a 148% rise in underwriting losses.

    d)      General Insurance Corporation of India created Rs.1500 crores nuclear liability insurance pool.

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: It has been clearly mentioned in the first paragraph of the passage that National Insurance took the sharpest hit, with a 148% rise in underwriting losses. Hence, option c) is incorrect.

    3. What is the main purpose of involving public shareholders in Insurance Companies?

    a)      Increase in the profit before tax of the insurance companies.

    b)      Increase in the profit after tax of the insurance companies.

    c)       Increase the capital of insurance companies.

    d)      Insurance companies will become accountable to public domain for their losses.

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

     Explanation: The first paragraph clearly states that “Public shareholding in these firms will lead to questions about such outliers in performance that haven’t been heard under the Centre’s present 100% ownership structure, at least in the public domain”.

     4. Which of the following statements is correct according to the passage?

    a)      The present disinvestment programme is quite robust.

    b)      The nuclear liability insurance pool created by GIC creates confidence among wary nuclear suppliers.

    c)       The first strategic sale with transfer of ownership and control under Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime was in the loss-making Bharat Pumps and Compressors.

    d)      The strategic sale of public sector firms engaged in businesses ranging from bread to phosphates raised 84% of such revenue during Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime.

    e)       None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: The passage indicates that the present disinvestment programme is quite weak. Also there is a need of more power for the nuclear liability insurance pool created by GIC that will create confidence among wary nuclear suppliers. And, under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, the strategic sale of public sector firms engaged in businesses ranging from bread to phosphates raised 84% of such revenue. Hence, only option c) is correct.

     5. What does the term ‘strategic sale’ mean in the passage?

    a)      Strategy to sell a private company incurring losses.

    b)      Sale of private shareholdings to international investors.

    c)       Sale of private shareholdings to government shareholders.

    d)      Sale of government shareholdings to private shareholders.

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: Strategic disinvestment would imply the sale of substantial portion of the Government shareholding of a central public sector enterprise (CPSE) of upto 50%, or such higher percentage as the competent authority may determine, along with transfer of management control.

    6. According to the Finance Minister, the strategic disinvestment will bring which of the following elements in the system?

    a)      Technology

    b)      Transparency

    c)       Accountability

    d)      Both Transparency and Accountability

    e)      All of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: It has been clearly mentioned in the first paragraph that Finance Minister said in his Budget speech that strategic disinvestment would lead to greater transparency and accountability.

    7 .Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi regime, in which of the following company the strategic sale was done by the government?

    a)      Hindustan Antibiotics and Bengal Chemicals

    b)      Bharat Pumps and Compressors

    c)       BEML

    d)      GIC

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

    Explanation: The second paragraph clearly mentions that it took two more years for the Cabinet to sign off on the first strategic sale (with transfer of ownership and control) under its watch, in the loss-making Bharat Pumps and Compressors.

    8. Hindustan Antibiotics and Bengal Chemicals have been referred as which type of company in the passage?

    a)      Growing Pharma Company

    b)      Growing Chemical Company

    c)       Sick Pharma Company

    d)      Sick Chemical Company

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: The third paragraph clearly mentions that Hindustan Antibiotics and Bengal Chemicals was amongst the four sick public sector pharma firms which were chosen for strategic sale by the government.

    9. What does author mean by the term ‘Prime Minister’s maiden official visit’ in the passage?

    a)      Prime Minister’s last official visit

    b)      Prime Minister’s first official visit

    c)       Prime Minister’s unofficial visit

    d)      Prime Minister’s wife’s official visit

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

    Explanation: The word maiden means being or involving the first attempt or act of its kind. Hence, option b) is correct.

    10. What can be a suitable title for the passage?

    a)      Privatization of Insurance Sector

    b)      Globalization of Insurance Sector

    c)       Loss making Public Sector Units

    d)      Strategic Disinvestment in Public Sector General Insurers

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: In the whole passage, the author is taking about the strategic sale decision of the government in public sector general insurance companies. Hence, option d) is correct.

     

    Directions (11 - 12): The following questions have a word highlighted from the passage with four words following it. Choose the most SIMILAR word to the highlighted word as your answer.

    11. PERSPECTIVE

    a)      Emphatic

    b)      Delight

    c)       Outlook

    d)      Resentment

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: Both ‘Perspective’ and ‘Outlook’ means a point of views.

    12. SCRUTINY

    a)      Unification

    b)      Analysis

    c)       Torture

    d)      Violence

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

    Explanation: Both ‘Scrutiny’ and ‘Analysis’ means critical observation or examination.

     

    Directions (13 - 15): The following questions have a word highlighted from the passage with four words following it. Choose the best word that is OPPOSITE in meaning to the highlighted word as your answer.

    13. SPEARHEADED

    a)      Initiated

    b)      Prompted

    c)       Launched

    d)      Dissuaded

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: Spearheaded means lead an attack or movement and ‘Dissuaded’ is the exact opposite word.

    14. SYMPTOMATIC

    a)      Conceal

    b)      Indicative

    c)       Demonstrative

    d)      Characteristic

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: a)

    Explanation: Symptomatic means serving as a symptom or sign, especially of something undesirable and ‘Conceal’ is the exact opposite word.

    15. LETHARGY

    a)      Sleepiness

    b)      Passiveness

    c)       Drowsiness

    d)      Liveliness

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: Lethargy means lack of energy and enthusiasm and ‘Liveliness’ is the exact opposite word.

     

    Directions (16 - 20): Rearrange the following sentences (A), (B), (C), (D), and (E) to make a meaningful paragraph and then answer the questions which follow.

     

    (A)   However, these resources are not uniformly distributed across the country.

    (B)   To solve these problems, the government launched the Interlinking of Rivers Programme.

    (C)   India is one of the few countries in the world gifted with considerable water resources.

    (D)   The initiative will help the country to achieve the goal of faster and inclusive growth in near future.

    (E)    The non-uniform distribution of water resources across India is causing frequent floods and droughts.

     

    16. Which among the following is the fourth statement?

    a)      D

    b)      A

    c)       C

    d)      B

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    17. Which among the following is the second statement?

    a)      E

    b)      A

    c)       B

    d)      D

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

     18. Which among the following is the first statement?

    a)      C

    b)      A

    c)       B

    d)      D

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: a)

     19. Which among the following is the third statement?

    a)      A

    b)      C

    c)       E

    d)      D

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    20. Which among the following is the fifth statement?

    a)      D

    b)      A

    c)       B

    d)      E

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: a)

    Explanation: The proper sequence of sentences to make a meaningful paragraph will be ‘CAEBD’:

     

    Directions (21 -25): Each question below has a blank, each blank indicating that something has been omitted. Choose the word for each blank which best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

     

    21. The Economic Survey suggested the setting up of a public sector asset rehabilitation agency, or bad bank, to buy                       assets from state-run banks.

    a)      Outperforming

    b)      Underperforming

    c)       Non-performing

    d)      Performing

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: As per the meaning of the sentence, the word ‘Non-performing’ which means not producing the expected return, fits in the blanks.

     

    22. ESOPS are common in the private sector, where companies offer stocks to reward and retain key and top-performing                           .

    a)      Owners

    b)      Creditors

    c)       Bankers

    d)      Employees

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: As per the meaning of the sentence, the word ‘Employee’ fits in the blanks.

     

    23. Large public sector banks have better access to growth capital, better market valuation, and also some non-core assets to           holding them in good stead to their smaller counterparts.

    a)      Invest

    b)      Divest

    c)       Harvest

    d)      Reinvest

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

    Explanation: As per the meaning of the sentence, the word ‘Divest’ which means to sell something valuable, such as property or stocks, fits in the blanks.

    24. The $1.5-trillion Indian Banking industry in the last 6 months has reluctantly reported that a dozen banks were hit by                      , which included compromising 3.2 million card details.

    a)      Firmware

    b)      Software

    c)       Hardware

    d)      Malware

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: As per the meaning of the sentence, the words ‘Malware’ which means a software which is specifically designed to disrupt, damage, or gain authorized access to a computer system, fits in the blanks.

    25. The government had earlier explored the idea of setting up a National Asset Management Company that could act as a                 agency to deal with the problem of bad loans.

    a)      Multimodal

    b)      Modal

    c)       Nodal

    d)      Antipodal

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: A 'nodal' agency means a primary centre which branches out to several others, overseeing their work.

    Directions (26 - 30): In the following passage, there are blanks each of which has been numbered. For each number some words are suggested below the passage, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find the appropriate words.

    India's banks will need 910 billion rupees ($13.6 billion) in Tier-1 capital until March 2019 to grow at a    26    minimum pace of 8 to 9 percent on average, India Ratings and Research said on Wednesday. Of the total    27    needs, 500 billion rupees will have to come from additional Tier-1 bonds, the rating agency, and an affiliate of Fitch, said. The Indian government, which owns majority in nearly two dozen lenders, has plans to    28    200 billion rupees into those banks over the next two financial years beginning April. Analysts have said the government will have to increase the capital injection    29    to keep some weak banks    30    as global Basel III banking rules are due to be fully implemented by March 2019.

     

    26.

    a)      Ware

    b)      Fare

    c)       Rare

    d)      Bare

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: The appropriate word should be ‘bare’ which means only just sufficient.

     

    27.

    a)      Money

    b)      Amount

    c)       Capital

    d)      Corporate

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: The appropriate word should be ‘Capital’ which means wealth in the form of money or other assets owned by a person or organization or available for a purpose such as starting a company or investing.

     

    28.

    a)      Reject

    b)      Inject

    c)       Deject

    d)      Select

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: b)

    Explanation: The appropriate word should be ‘Inject’ which means to introduce a new or different element into something.

     

    29.

    a)      Significantly

    b)      Insignificantly

    c)       Minimally

    d)      Casually

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: a)

    Explanation: The appropriate word should be ‘Significantly’ which means something sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention.

     

    30.

    a)      Drown

    b)      Sink

    c)       Refloat

    d)      Afloat

    e)      None of the above

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: The appropriate word should be ‘afloat’ which means to keep firms or organisations out of debt or difficulty.

     

    Directions (31 - 35): In the following questions, some parts of the sentences have errors and some are correct. Find out which part of the sentence has an error and mark ‘e’ if no error is found. Ignore punctuation errors.

     

    31. Ship collisions are less common today because GPS-based navigation systems have made their operation much safer.

    a)      operation much safer

    b)      today because GPS-based

    c)       navigation systems have made their

    d)      Ship collisions are less common

    e)      No error

    Answer: e)

    Explanation: There is no grammatical error in the sentence.

     

    32. Considerable oil pollution is caused not just by catastrophes but by the discharge of ballast, sludge and water used for the cleaning of tanks.

    a)      And water used for the cleaning of tanks

    b)      Considerable oil pollution is caused

    c)       not just by catastrophes

    d)      But by the discharge of ballast, sludge

    e)      No error

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: Before the word ‘discharge’, the preposition ‘through’ should replace ‘by’.

     

    33. The finance minister managed to do both to a fair degree, without resorting to the easy options of blatant populism and spending his way out of trouble in a slowing economy.

    a)      out of trouble in a slowing economy

    b)      The finance minister managed to do both to a fair degree

    c)       Without resorting to the easy options of

    d)      blatant populism and spending his way

    e)      No error

    Answer: d)

    Explanation: The sentence structure should be in the form of either-or. Hence, instead of ‘and’, ‘or’ should be used.

     

    34. There is an undoubted element of public interest in the manner in which the Supreme Court had engaged itself with the administration of cricket in recent years.

    a)      There is an undoubted element of

    b)      public interest In the manner

    c)       in which the Supreme Court had engaged itself

    d)      with the administration of cricket in recent years

    e)      No error

    Answer: c)

    Explanation: Since ‘recent years’ is used, the sentence should be in the present perfect tense. Hence, grammatically correct line should be – “in which the Supreme Court has engaged itself”.

     

    35. It takes singular skill and certain ruthlessness, however, to make capital of the smallest advantages.

    a)      It takes singular skill

    b)      and certain ruthlessness

    c)       Of the smallest advantages

    d)      To make capital

    e)      No error

    Answer: e)

    Explanation: There is no grammatical error in the sentence.

    'Strength of mind is exercise, not rest.'

    All thre best!

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