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Current updates (IN ENGLISH) of 15 Dec.2016

Reading Comprehension


Directions (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.



Two principles are involved in the controversy about the presence of foreign controlled media in the country; the free flow of ideas and images across national borders and the need to safeguard the national interest and preserve cultural autonomy. Both are valid but both are at loggerheads because each has been used to promote less lofty goals. The first principle conforms to a moral imperative: freedom to expression cannot rhyme with restrictions imposed by any government. But the free flow rhetoric also clouds the fact that the powerful Western, and especially American media, can and often do present, subtly or brazenly, news in a manner that promotes Western political, ideological and strategic interests. Besides, Western entertainment programmes present lifestyles and values that run counter to the lifestyles and values cherished by traditional societies. All this explains why so many Indian newspapers, magazines and news agencies have sought protection from the courts to prevent foreign publications and news agencies from operating in the country. Their arguments are weak on two counts. As the bitter debate on a new world information and communication order demonstrated in the late seventies and early eighties, many of those who resent Western ‘invasion’ in the fields of information and culture are no great friends of democracy. Secondly, the threat of such an ‘invasion’ has been aired by those media groups in the developing countries that fear that their business interests will be harmed if Western groups, equipped with large financial and technological resources and superior management skills, are allowed to operate in the country without let.

The fear is valid but it goes against the grain of the economic reform programme. The presence of foreign newspapers and television channels will increase competition, which, in the course of time, can only lead to the upgradation of dynamic Indian newspapers and television channels, even while they drive the rest out of the market. One way to strike a balance between the two antagonistic principles would be to allow foreign media entry into the country, provided the India state treats them at par with the domestic media on all fronts. On the import of technology, for instance, foreign media cannot be allowed duty concessions denied to their Indian counterparts. Foreign media will also have to face legal consequences should they run foul of Indian laws. Why, for example, should the BBC, or Time magazine or The Economist get away by showing a map of Kashmir, which is at variance with the official Indian map? Why should they go scot-free when they allow secessionists and terrorists to air their views without giving the government the right to reply, or when they depict sexually explicit scenes, which would otherwise not be cleared by the Censor Board? Since the government can do precious little in the matter, especially about satellite broadcasts, what if it should consider attaching the properties of the offending parties? Demands of this kind are bound to be voiced unless New Delhi makes it clear to the foreign media that they will have to respect Indian susceptibilities, especially where it concerns the country’s integrity and its culture. It may be able to derive some inspiration from France’s successful attempts in the recent GATT to protect its cinematography industry.


Q1. Which of the following is one of the points weakening the argument to prevent the entry of foreign media?

(a) Such entry would be against traditional culture

(b) The threat being voiced by those whose business will be harmed by such an entry   

(c) The arguments being put forth are at loggerheads

(d) The foreign media may not be treated on par with the domestic media

(e) None of these



Q2. What will be the impact of increasing competition?

(a) The domestic media will not be able to withstand it

(b) The foreign media will not be allowed duty concessions on import of technology

(c) It will improve Indian newspapers and television  

(d) The Indian newspapers and news agencies will seek protection from the court

(e) None of these



Q3. Which of the following has been cited as having succeeded in protecting country?

(a) GATT

(b) News Agencies

(c) Television

(d) Cultural traditions

(e) None of these   



Q4. Which of the following has been the major recommendation regarding the entry of foreign media?

(a) It should not be allowed

(b) It should be welcomed without putting any restrictions

(c) Allow entry, treating them on par with domestic media                

(d) Allow entry, provided they do not ask for duty concessions on import of technology

(e) None of these



Q5. In the controversy involving two principles regarding allowing foreign media, which of the following is against its entry?

(a) Free flow of ideas

(b) Preserve culture        

(c) Government restrictions

(d) Security across national borders

(e) Western ideology



Q6. According to the passage, which media in particular promotes Western interests?

(a) American        

(b) Foreign

(c) French

(d) Western

(e) None of these



Q7. Which of the following is the meaning of the phrase “without let”, as used in the passage?

(a) with no difficulty 

(b) without confinement

(c) with strings

(d) without restrictions        

(e) conducive environment



Q8. Why would the entry of foreign media harm local interests?

(a) They are better equipped managerially and technologically       

(b) Our cultural heritage will be lost

(c) Economic reform programmes will get a setback

(d) Different sets of laws and rules were made applicable for foreign media

(e) None of these



Q9. Which of the following is the meaning of the phrase “at variance”, as used in the passage?

(a) discrepancy 

(b) at large

(c) in conformity

(d) variable

(e) differing



Q10. Which of the following seems to be the most likely purpose of writing this passage?

(a) To criticize foreign media

(b) To highlight the exploitation by developed nations

(c) To highlight the steps and caution to be taken about the entry of foreign media        

(d) To make the public aware of the technological and managerial superiority of western media

(e) To prevent foreign media from entering our country



Q11. Which of the following is the meaning of the phrase “at loggerheads”, as used in the passage?

(a) in league with

(b) unimportant

(c) out of place

(d) unsuited to each other

(e) opposite to each other 



Directions (12-13): Choose the word that is most opposite in meaning to the word given in the passage.


(a) similar     

(b) downwards

(c) unresponsive

(d) upwards

(e) imitate




(a) counteract

(b) coincidental

(c) equal

(d) corresponding    

(e) dependent



Directions (14-15): Choose the word or group of words that is most similar in meaning to the word given in the passage.


(a) norms

(b) weaknesses

(c) influences

(d) persuasions

(e) sensitivities   




(a) rhyming words

(b) persuasive speaking       

(c) dull monologue

(d) tongue-in-cheek

(e) double talk



Directions (16-25): 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.

Despite the economic crunch worldwide that saw pulverization of some of the largest banking and finance giants, Indian banking houses have managed to show positive growth this quarter. Some of India’s leading national banks have posted a net profit rise of more than 40% over the last quarter amid global turmoil. This would come as a big shot in the arm for the investors and consumers of these banks even though apprehension is mounting on other banking and broking firms worldwide. One of the main reasons behind the success of these banks this quarter, would be their direct backing by the Government of India. People take solace in their investments in public sector watching the bailout packages being cashed out by governments all over the world to save big business houses.

Other private banks in India have also reported a substantial net profit over the last quarter. Given the internal and domestic scenario, one cannot put this down as a mundane achievement. While others are on a cost-cutting spree and firing employees, Indian companies are actually working on boosting staffing in banking and broking sector. This can be seen as a big boon in the days to come when the current recession eases and the economy gradually comes back on to the fast track. The finance minister has assured Indian public about the sound health of all Indian banks. This could also be evident from the fact that there have been no mergers and takeovers in Indian banking sector in a contrast to world scenario where finance houses are looking for mergers to cut costs on operations. We definitely are not looking to thrive; rather we are looking for growth. It is just that the pace of growth is a little slow now as compared to a year or two before. These are hard times to test the hard. The weak in business and career will be weeded out and it is sometimes very beneficial for business in the long run. 


Q16. What, according to the author, is the reason for the success of Indian national banks in this quarter?

(a) Indian national banks do not have any commitments in troubled foreign markets.

(b) These banks can never face financial crisis because of their sheer size.

(c) These banks are ready to give loans at a very low rate of interest. 

(d) The public is ready to invest in these banks because of the knowledge that these banks get strong support from the Government.

(e) None of these 



Q17. What does the phrase ‘shot in the arm’ as used in the passage mean?

(a) Shock

(b) Fear

(c) Encouragement

(d) Anxiety

(e) None of these



Q18. How, according to the author, is the current recession beneficial?

(a) Worldwide companies have realized that India is a strong power to reckon with.

(b) India is surging ahead of the other Companies throughout the world.

(c) After the recession is over international companies will turn to India for investment.

(d) Recession is bringing down the prices of essential commodities.

(e) None of these


Q19. What, according to the author, will be a big boon in the days to come?

(a) The economy coming back on the fast track 

(b) The slowing down of the economy 

(c) Increased hiring in Indian financial sector in times of economic slowdown

(d) The cost cutting carried out by all the companies

(e) None of these



Q20. Which of the following statements is/are definitely true in the context of the passage?

(A) India has not been affected by the economic slowdown.

(B) India banks are showing growth in this quarter despite the recession.

(C) While banking industry in the West was severely affected by recession in the past, it is now gradually recovering and showing a positive growth.

(a) Only (A)

(b) Only (B)

(c) Only (C)

(d) Only (A) and (B)

(e) Only (B) and (C) 



Q21. Which of the following strengthens the finance minister’s statement about the sound health of Indian banks with respect to the passage?

(A) There have been no acquisitions and mergers of Indian banks.

(B) The Indian banks are recording a positive growth.

(C) Layoffs have been observed worldwide.

(a) Only (A) and (B)

(b) Only (A) and (C)

(c) Only (A)

(d) Only (B)

(e) All (A), (B) and (C) 



Directions (22-23): Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.



(a) danger

(b) shock

(c) sadness

(d) fear

(e) chaos




(a) polarisation

(b) mashing

(c) debasement

(d) fall

(e) crushing



Directions (24-25): Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning of the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.



(a) succeed

(b) deteriorate

(c) worry

(d) tremble

(e) strive




(a) extraordinary

(b) regular

(c) severe

(d) visionary

(e) routine




Directions (26-30): 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.


Modern bio-technology, especially the creation of genetically modified crops, is often presented as a magic solution or universal panacea for the problems of poverty, inadequate nutrition and even environmental degradation across the world. Conversely, there are people who present the picture of tech-generated monsters and major human health hazards being created by science. Many of the technological changes currently in the process of being utilized in agriculture can have unforeseen consequences, and their safety and future viability are far from secure.

The reality, as always, is far more complex than either of these two extremes. Even today the total food production in the world is adequate to feed the hungry of the world; the problem is rather one of unequal distribution, which deprives a large part of the population of even their minimal nutritional requirements. Similarly, farmers, especially in developing countries, face many problems such as lack of infrastructure, poor or unstable market access, volatile input and output prices etc that biotechnology does not address, much less solve.

It is true that transgenic plants can offer a range of benefits which are above and beyond those which emerged from more traditional innovations in cultivation. It is suggested that such new technology offers more effective pest resistance of seeds and crops through genetic control mechanisms, which also reduces the need for pesticide use and leads to improved yield. A basic question, of course, is whether the new GM technology is safe, and whether this is absolutely crucial since the effects may only be known much later. The jury is still very much out on this matter, and the controversy does not appear to be resolved quickly.

The trouble is that most governments in developing countries have relatively low food and beverage regulatory standards, and public systems for monitoring and surveillance of such items are poor or non-existent. This leaves them open for entry and even dumping of a range of agricultural products of the new technology, which may not pass regulatory standards in the more developed countries.


Q26. Which of the following is true in the context of the passage?

(a) Genetically modified crops have been universally recognized as a solution to poverty and environmental degradation.

(b) The only way to improve the deficit in food requirement and food production in the world is adapting genetically modified crops.

(c) Genetically modified crops produce more yield as compared to yield from the traditional methods

(d) Taking advantage of absence of regulatory standards, scientists have been dumping new products in the markets without appropriate approval.

(e) None is true



Q27. Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to OPEN printed in bold as used in the passage.

(a) Vulnerable

(b) Capable

(c) Threatened

(d) Uncertain

(e) Weak



Q28. Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning to VOLATILE printed in bold as used in the passage.

(a) Never-ending

(b) Meagre

(c) Valuable

(d) Irreversible

(e) Stable



Q29. The author of the given passage seems to be definitely 

(a) suggesting the use of traditional methods of agriculture as against bio-technology by developing countries owing to their poor regulatory standards

(b) in favour of utilizing bio-technology as a tool for alleviation of poverty in the world.

(c) urging the policy makers to improve infrastructural facilities so that farmers can maximize the benefits of genetically modified crops

(d) unconvinced of the long-term effects and rationale for immediate requirement of genetically modified products.

(e) None of these



Q30. Why, according to the author, is genetic modification of crops not an answer to the problem of hunger in the world?

(A) People being highly doubtful of the long-term effects of genetically modified crops, do not buy the products grown by such methods.

(B) The problem of hunger in the world is not due to inadequate production of food but due to unequal distribution of it.

(C) Many developing countries have banned genetically modified products as developed countries have been using these countries as dumping grounds for new genetically modified products.

(a) Only A

(b) Only B

(c) Both B and C

(d) Both A and C

(e) None of these



Directions (31-45): Read the following passage carefully and answer these questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in BOLD to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

As increasing dependence on information systems develops, the need for such systems to be reliable and secure also becomes more essential. As growing numbers of ordinary citizens use computer networks for banking, shopping, etc., network security is potentially a massive problem. Over the last few years the need for computer and information system security has become increasingly evident, as web sites are being defaced with greater frequency, more and more denial-of-service attacks are being reported, credit card information is being stolen, there is increased sophistication of hacking tools that are openly available to the public on the Internet, and there is increasing damage being caused by viruses and worms to critical information system resources.

At the organizational level, institutional mechanisms have to be designed in order to review policies, practices, measures, and procedures to review e-security regularly and assess whether these are appropriate to their environment. It would be helpful if organizations share information about threats and vulnerabilities, and implement procedures for rapid and effective cooperation to prevent, detect and respond to security incidents. As new threat and vulnerabilities are continuously discovered there is a strong need for cooperation among organizations and, if necessary, we could also consider cross-border information sharing. We need to understand threats and dangers that could be vulnerable to and the steps that need to be taken to mitigate these vulnerabilities. We need to understand success control systems and methodology, telecommunication and network security, and security management practice. We should be well versed in the area of application and systems development security, cryptography, operations security and physical security.

The banking sector is poised for more challenges in the near future. Customers of banks can now look forward to a large array of new offerings by banks. From an era of mere competition, banks are now cooperation among themselves so that the synergistic benefits are share among all the players. This would result in the formation of shared payment networks (a few shared ATM networks have already been commissioned by banks), offering payment services beyond the existing time zones. The Reserve Bank is also facilitating new projects such as the Multi Application Smart Card project which, when implemented, would facilitate transfer of funds using electronic means and in a safe and secure manner across the length and breadth of the country, with reduced dependence on paper currency. The opportunities of e-banking or e-power in general need to be harnessed so that banking is available to all customers in such a manner that they would feel most convenient, and if required, without having to visit a branch of a bank. All these will have to be accompanied with a high level of comfort, which again boils down to the issue of e-security.

One of the biggest advantages accruing to banks in the future would be the benefits that arise from the introduction of Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS). Funds management by treasuries of banks would be helped greatly by RTGS. With almost 70 banks having joined the RTGS system, more large value funds transfers are taking place through this system. The implementation of Core Banking solutions by banks is closely related to RTGS too. Core Banking will make anywhere banking a reality for customers of each bank, while RTGS bridges the need for inter-bank funds movement. Thus, the days of depositing a cheque for collection and a long wait for its realization would soon be a thing of the past for those customers who would opt for electronic movement of funds, using the RTGS system, where the settlement would be on an almost instantaneous basis. Core Banking is already in vogue in many private sector and foreign banks; while its implementation is at different stages amongst the public sector banks.

IT would also facilitate better and more scientific decision making within banks. Information systems now provide decision makers in banks with a great deal of information which, along with historical data and trend analysis, help in the building up of efficient Management Information Systems, This, in turn, would help in better Asset Liability Management (ALM) which, in today’s would of hairline margins, is a key requirement for the success of banks in their operational activities. Another benefit which e-banking could provide for, relates to Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM helps in stratification of customers and evaluating customer need on a holistic basis which could be paving the way for competitive edge for banks and complete customer care for customers of banks.


Q31. The content of the passage mainly emphasizes

(a) the threat of competition among banks providing tele-banking services

(b) the scientific advancements that have facilitated quicker and scientific banking procedures

(c) threats to on-line banking and remedies to guard against them

(d) e-banking and its impact on global economy

(e) None of these



Q32. What, according to the passage, is the prerequisite to lessen the threats of hacking?

(a) Effective measures to combat vulnerability

(b) Environment-friendly gadgets to remedy damages

(c) Detection and timely prevention of the threat

(d) Effective mechanism to evaluate the e-security

(e) None of these



Q33. In what way does IT catalyse better decision-making?

(A) By providing updated data and trend analysis.

(B) By providing increasing opportunities of personal contacts.

(C) By ensuring better asset-liability management.

(a) A only

(b) B only

(c) C only

(d) A and B only

(e) All the three


Q34. What is the advantage of RTGS to the customers?

(a) Anywhere banking 

(b) Instant realization of cheque

(c) Easy withdrawal of cash

(d) Hassle-free depositing of cash-loads

(e) Availability of transaction facilities at any other bank



Q35. What, according to the author, should be the ultimate goal(s) of e-banking?

(A) Customers’ convenience.

(B) Avoidance of heavy footfall of customers in bank branches.

(C) Protection of customers’ interests.

(a) A and B only

(b) B and C only

(c) A and C only

(d) All the three

(e) None of these



Q36. Why is it obligatory that a system should be perfectly dependable?

(a) To justify escalating dependence on system

(b) To ensure security for the system

(c) To disallow any pilferage whatsoever

(d) To ascertain proper logistic support

(e) None of these



Q37. Which of the following is/are recommended by the author to ensure security of banking transactions?

(A) Continuous re-examination of policies and procedures.

(B) Ensuring appropriateness of the security measures.

(C) Cooperation among various users to identify and prevent threat.

(a) A and B only

(b) B and C only

(c) A and C only

(d) A and B only

(e) None of these



Q38. Which of the following statements definitely False in the context of the passage?

(A) Transfer of funds to any part of the country through electronic media is under active consideration.

(B) Cooperation among various competing banks is helpful to all of them in sharing legitimate benefits.

(C) Assessment of customer needs and their clustering in homogeneous groups provides competitive edge to banks.

(a) Only A

(b) Only B and C

(c) Only A and C

(d) All the three

(e) None of these



Q39. Computer-savvy citizens are also shared to transact on-line due to the following except 

(a) smuggling of vital information regarding credit cards

(b) availability of hacking tools on the internet

(c) damage by viruses to critical information

(d) sophisticated, well-guarded on-line transaction devices

(e) denial-of-service attacks that put valid customers to inconvenience



Directions (40-42): Choose the word which MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the word printed in BOLD as used in, the passage.


Q40. Instantaneous

(a) Delayed

(b) Quick

(c) Immediate

(d) Eventful

(e) Unconventional



Q41. Vulnerable

(a) Susceptible

(b) Rigid

(c) Invincible

(d) Prone

(e) Weakling



Q42. Massive

(a) Tiny

(b) Gigantic

(c) Bulky

(d) Insignificant

(e) Acute



Directions (43-45): Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in BOLD as used in the passage.


Q43. Era

(a) Year

(b) Epoch

(c) Span

(d) Spirit

(e) Instinct



Q44. Poised

(a) Balanced

(b) Adulterated

(c) Stupefied

(d) Launched

(e) Ready



Q45. Mitigate

(a) Investigate

(b) Allay

(c) Elevate

(d) Invigorate

(e) Amplify



Directions (46-50): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/expressions are given in bold in the passage of help you locate them while answering some of the questions:



A few weeks ago, I ran into an old friend who is currently one of the mandarins deciding India’s economic and financial policies. He asked “And so, how is IIT doing?” As one can only indulge in friendly banter at such gatherings, I responded with ‘Not so well actually. Your market-friendly policies have forced up to raise the fee, so we have 50% fewer Ph.D. applicants this year’. Not batting an eyelid, he shot back: “Obviously. Your Ph.D. students don’t have any market value.” Taken aback, I shifted to a more serious tone and tried to start a discussion on the need for research in these globalised times. But he had already walked away. The last word on the imperatives of the ‘market’ had been spoken.

This view of higher education should not have surprised me. Worthies who look at everything as consumer products classify higher education as a ‘non-merit’ good. Non-merit goods are those where only the individual benefits from acquiring them and not the society as a whole. Multilateral agencies like The World Bank have too been pushing countries like India to stop subsidies to higher education. 


When Ron Brown, former US commerce secretary visited India, a public meeting was organized at IIT Delhi. At that meeting I asked him: “I understand that since the 19th century all the way up to the 1970s, most land grant and State universities in the US virtually provided free education to State citizens. Was that good for the economy, or should they have charged high fees in the early 20th century? “He replied,” it was great for the economy. It was one of the best things that the US government did at that particular time in American history-building institutions of higher education which were accessible to the masses of the people. I think it is one of the reasons why our economy grew and prospered, one of the way in which the US was able to close some of its social gaps. So people who lived in rural areas would have the same kind of access to higher education as people living in other parts of the country. It was one of the reasons for making America strong.”

Our policy-makers seem unaware that their mentors in the US did not follow policies at home which they now prescribe for other countries. Ron Brown’s remarks summarise the importance policy-makers in the US place on higher education as a vehicle for upward mobility for the poorer sectors of their population. Even today, a majority of Americans study in State-run institutions. Some of these institutions, like Berkeley and the Universities of Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Wisconsin and Taxas are among the best in the world. The annual tuition charged from State residents (about $5000 a year) is about a month’s salary paid to a lecturer. Even this fee is waived for most students. In addition, students receive stipends for books, food and hostel charges. The basic principle is that no student who gets admission to a university should have to depend on parental support if it is not available.

Ron Brown’s remarks went unnoticed in India. Every other day some luminary or the other opines that universities and technical education institutions should increase their charges and that such education should not be subsidized. Most editorials echo these sentiments. Eminent industrialists pontificate that we should run educational institutions like business houses. Visiting experts from the Bank and the IMF, in their newly emerging concern for the poor, advise us to divert funds from higher education to primary education.


Q46. The author of the passage seems to be a/an 

(a) official working in economic affairs department

(b) financial advisor to government or a bureaucrat in finance department

(c) social activist devoted to illiteracy eradication programme

(d) educationist in IIT or some such Educational Institution

(e) industrialist employing highly qualified technocrats



Q47. What was the net tangible impact of raising fees on the higher level of technological research?

(a) The number of prospective researchers was reduced to almost a half

(b) The market value of Ph.D. students was almost lost

(c) Research studies attained a higher market value

(d) Research became more and more relevant to market demands

(e) In the current globalised times, the need for research was less than ever



Q48. According to the author, the US policy-makers consider education as a 

(a) hindrance in the way to economic growth and prosperity

(b) means for achieving upward mobility for the poor

(c) wastage of resources and a totally futile exercise

(d) matter of concern only for the parents of the students

(e) None of these



Q49. Who among the following support the view that higher education should be free to everyone aspiring for it?

(A) Editors and Journalists’

(B) Industrialists

(C) Visiting Experts from Banks and IMF

(a) A only

(b) B only

(c) C only

(d) All the three

(e) None of these



Q50. Which of the following makes the policy-makers classify education as “non-merit” commodity?

(a) The tendency of people to seek any individual benefits

(b) The attitude of giving unreasonably more weightage to society

(c) The tendency of viewing everything as mere consumer product

(d) Undue pressure from International Agencies like the World Bank, etc.

(e) None of these




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