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Directions-(Q. 1-15) Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words / phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
India is rushing headlong towards economic success and modernisation, counting on high tech industries such as information technology and biotechnology to propel the nation to prosperity. India's recent announcement that it would no longer produce unlicensed inexpensive generic pharmaceuticals bowed to the realities of the World Trade Organisation while at the same time challenging the domestic drug industry to compete with the multinational firms. Unfortunately, its weak higher education sector constitutes the Achilles' heel of this strategy. Its systematic disinvestment in higher education in recent years has yielded neither world-class research nor very many highly trained scholars, scientists or managers to sustain high-tech development.
India's main competitors - especially China but also Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea-are investing in large and differentiated higher education systems. They are providing access to large numbers of students at the bottom of the academic system while at the same time building some research-based universities that are able to compete with the world's best institutions. The recent London Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of the world's top 200 universities included three in China, three in Hong Kong, three in South Korea, one in Taiwan, and one in India. These countries are positioning themselves for leadership in the knowledge-based economies of the coming era.
There was a time when countries could achieve economic success with cheap labour and low-tech manufacturing. Low wages still help, but contemporary large-scale development requires a sophisticated and at least partly knowledge based economy. India has chosen that path, but will find a major stumbling block in its university system.
India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race. It has a large higher education sector the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China and the United States. It uses English as a primary language of higher education and research. It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected. There are a small number of high quality institutions, departments, and centres that can form the basis of quality sector in higher education. The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches.
Yet the weaknesses far outweigh the strengths. India educates approximately 10 per cent of its young people in higher education compared with more than half in the major industrialised countries and 15 percent in China. Almost all of the world's academic systems resemble a pyramid, with a small high quality tier at the top and a massive sector at the bottom. India has a tiny top tier. None of its universities occupies a solid position at the top. A few of the best universities have some excellent departments and centres, and there are a small number of outstanding undergraduate colleges. The University Grants Commission's recent major support of five universities to build on their recognised strength is a step toward recognising a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence. These universities, combined, enroll well under 1 per cent of the student population.
1. Which of the following is true in the context of the passage?
(A) The top five universities in India educate more than 10 percent of the Indian student population
(B) India's higher education sector is the largest in the world
(C) In the past, countries could progress economically through low manufacturing cost as well as low wages of labourers
(D) India has recently invested heavy sums in the higher education sector leading to world class research
(E) All are true
2. What does the phrase 'Achilles' Heel' mean as used in the passage?
(C) Low Quality
3. Which of the following is / are India's strength / s in terms of higher education?
1. Its system of higher education allows variations.
2. Medium of instruction for most higher learning is English.
3. It has the paraphernalia, albeit small in number, to build a high quality higher educational sector.
(A) Only 2
(B) Only 1 and 2
(C) Only 3
(D) Only 2 and 3
(E) All 1, 2 and 3
4. Which of the following are Asian countries, other than India, doing to head towards a knowledge based economy?
1. Building competitive research based universities.
2. Investing in diverse higher education systems.
3. Providing access to higher education to a select few students.
(A) Only 1
(B) Only 1 and 2
(C) Only 2 and 3
(D) Only 2
(E) All 1, 2 and 3
5. Which of the following is possibly the most appropriate title for the passage?
(A) The Future of Indian Universities
(B) Methods of Overcoming the Educational Deficit in India
(C) India and the Hunt for a Knowledge Based Economy
(D) Indian Economy Versus Chinese Economy
(E) Indian Economy and its Features
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