English Quiz

Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in boldto help you locate them while answering some questions.

Health is currently a privilege in India. Not a right. Maternal and child health remains neglected even after countless plans, programmes and political proclamations. Every year, nearly 60,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth, while approximately 1.7 million children less than five years of age also die. In absolute numbers, India outranks all other countries in both regards. Sadly, most deaths can be prevented with available technologies. Many diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia kill thousands every year. While infectious diseases are very much a concern, chronic diseases are now rapidly catching up. India has become the capital of diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. Health targets in plan after plan have not been achieved, yet there has been no systematic analysis of why health systems fail to achieve these targets.

The fundamental reason why our health targets are not achieved and will not also be achieved, unless we radically change our strategies, is that we set targets without setting strategies; without understanding what is preventing progress; and without putting adequate human and financial resources toward achieving targets.

First, we equate the number of buildings to available health services. The Planning Commission and Central and State governments only count the number of health centers, without bothering to find out what is happening at these centres. Many are without staff, electricity, a telephone, water, medicines or an ambulance. No wonder these centres do not have patients mothers or children — to take care of. Surveys have shown the inadequacy of our health infrastructure and that health workers are not staying where they are posted. There are good reasons why health staff do not stay in villages. But health departments have not bothered to study this problem or remedy it. Not only are workers not staying, studies have also shown that they are quite frequently absent without reason. Such unaccountability is treated as routine and not discussed in health policy forums.

The second reason for a lack of services is underfunding and poor management of medicines, leading to a lack of availability. How can an army fight without ammunition? The lack of medicines forces poor patients to buy medicines from private pharmacy shops, which can be expensive. Often times, the quality of medicines available from these shops and government health centres is poor due to the government’s weak oversight on pharmacies and poor procurement policies. Patients do not want to go to clinics where they do not get medicines or where they are of poor quality.

While planning and funding are major problems, the root of the health problem in India, I feel, is the lack of adequate numbers of well-trained managers. Many national health programmes cover millions beneficiaries, yet they are managed by just two or three technical managers who are general or specialist doctors.

Most of the time these individuals are without any public health or management training. They learn this on the job. This is also true for health secretaries and ministers — they all learn on the job. We are obsessed with training an eighth standard-passed village health worker with six to seven modules — but there is no training or even orientation for top policymakers and managers in the health department before they take up such important managerial and policymaking jobs. Why isn’t health systems management made compulsory before an officer takes up the job of director or secretary in the health department?

Fortunately, things can rapidly change in the next few years, if government and society pay a little more attention to health. During the last five years, the government has put in significant resources into the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). At the same time, many States are also using local solutions to various problems. Preparations are underway for the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP), and thus we should be looking at what radical changes are needed in the public health system. 

Budgets for health services will need to increase by a factor of three to five times. The national government is committed to take health funding from less than one per cent to two to three per cent of the GDP. This is critical. The government must chart out how the Centre and States will increase these budgets over the next five years. This will also require advocacy on behalf of the health community. And we must also be smarter in how to spend the money that is already available. Money remains unspent in health because the regulations around spending are so complicated and confining that doctors and health works cannot spend the money. Many times, money does not arrive in time for it to be useful.

Q1. Choose the word most nearly the SIMILAR in meaning to the word printed in bold, as used in the passage.


(1) paragon 

(2) make equivalent 

(3) imbalance 

(4) regard 

(5) agree

Q2. Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage?

(1) The government has put adequate resources in NRHM. 

(2) Poor patients take medicines only from Government pharmacy shops. 

(3) Budgets for health services is sufficient 

(4) Health in India is a fundamental right. 

(5) Patients never get medicines of poor quality

Q3. Why don’t health workers stay where they are posted?

(1) Because of their low income 

(2) They have better career options 

(3) They do not receive adequate training 

(4) They are not educated enough 

(5) Not mentioned in the passage

Q4. Why has the author raised the issue of on-job training?

(1) To specify that training is not required at important positions. 

(2) To question as to why policymakers or officers of health department are not required to undergo such a training. 

(3) To recommend that training methods should be improved. 

(4) Health services are deteriorating as there is more emphasis on training. 

(5) None of these 

Q5. The author is hopeful about-

(1) Better transportation system 

(2) Better education system 

(3) Better public health system 

(4) Better economy 

(5) All of the above

Q6. India outranks all other countries in-

(1) Death of children less than five years of age 

(2) women dying in pregnancy and childbirth 

(3) Social reforms undertaken 

(4) Only 1 and 2 

(5) Only 1 and 3

Q.7 Which of the following does the author recommend to improve public health system?

(1) Advocacy on behalf of health community 

(2) Smartness in spending money allocated for the same reason 

(3) Budgets for the same need to be increased three to five times 

(4) Government should figure out how Centre and States will increase budgets for health services. 

(5) All of the above

Q.8 Choose the word most nearly the opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold, as used in the passage.


(1) in a haste 

(2) carelessly 

(3) meaningfully 

(4) lately 

(5) slowly

Q.9 Choose the word most nearly the opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold, as used in the passage.


(1) sequential 

(2) haphazard 

(3) orderly 

(4) logical 

(5) judicious

Q.10 Choose the word most nearly the SIMILAR in meaning to the word printed in bold, as used in the passage.


(1) irritation 

(2) convenience 

(3) digress 

(4) worried 

(5) aid

Answer:- Q1. (2) Q2. (1) Q3. (5) Q4. (2) Q5. (3) Q6. (4) Q7. (5) Q8. (5) Q9. (2) Q10. (4)
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