English Quiz

Directions (1-7): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow the passage. Some words are highlighted to help you answer some of the questions.
For a few years after it opened its doors to the world in the 1970s, China was still a socialist economy, unused to the ways of the capitalist world. My friend, Stefan Messman, a professor at Central European University, Budapest, and an authority on socialist law, was a key member of a Volkswagen team that finalised a deal with China. He was astonished at the kind of barters that had to be negotiated to set up a car plant in a country that had no market economy at that time.
China has come a long way since then. Today, it is unrecognisably capitalist, albeit with a communist face. In terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) it is the dominant economic power in the world, directly competing with the U.S. for supremacy in science and technology. India ranks third in PPP.
Rarely do we ask ourselves how a country that was no better off than India until the mid-1980s, and that suffered depredations under Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, has left India so far behind. Lacking good institutional mechanisms to understand China, Indians tend to fall for simplistic explanations such as, “We’re a democracy, China is not.” There is more to that country’s spectacular rise than just that one factor.
For all its vaunted institutions, the West is yet to get a grip on China, but it is constantly seeking to solve the riddle of China’s rise. For example, a recent issue of The Economist examined “How the West Got China Wrong”, and Foreign Affairs magazine attempted to fathom “how China hid its global ambitions” in an article titled “The Stealth Superpower”. Even as the West continues to snarl at China, some of its best institutions and universities have collaborations with that country running into millions of dollars. Harvard University, for instance, has several ongoing programmes with the Chinese government as well as leading universities like Peking and Tsinghua in engineering, the sciences, management, environment, design and the humanities.
Since science and technology are powering China’s growth, we need to make sense of those by setting up well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres not just in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University but also in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institutes of Technology which have the best technical and scientific minds in the country. Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China.

Q1. What does the author want India to do?
(a) Indian educational institutions do collaborations with the Chinese educational institutions.
(b) India should learn from China.
(c) India should have its own in-depth understanding of China
(d) Options (a) & (c)
(e) Options (a), (b) & (c)

Q2. What is the rank of the U.S. in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP) in the world?
(a) Third
(b) First
(c) Fourth
(d) Fifth
(e) Second

Q3. Which of the following are the correct inference from the phrase ‘even as the West continues to snarl at China’?
(a) The nations in the West make angry remarks against China regularly.
(b) The nations in the West praise China regularly.
(c) The nations in the West ignore China.
(d) both (b) and (c)
(e) None of the above

Q4. Which of the followings are the aspects that author considers to be the reason(s) behind China’s growth?
(I) China under the rule of Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong.
(II) Not having democracy
(III) Science and Technology
(a) Only (I)
(b) Only (II) and (III)
(c) Only (III)
(d) Only (I) and (III)
(e) All of (I), (II) and (III)

Q5. Which of the followings are the reason(s) for the desire of the author for India to have well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres in the best technical and scientific institutes of the nation?
(a) Such interdisciplinary centres in the mentioned institutes have the best technical and scientific minds to understand complicated concepts.
(b) Centres in such institutes would help in arriving at in-depth understanding of China.
(c) Such initiative would stop China’s economic growth.
(d) Options (a) & (b)
(e) None of the above

Q6. Which of the followings is an ANTONYM of ‘depredations’?
(a) Aberrations
(b) Torpors
(c) Galls
(d) Culpabilities
(e) Goodness

Q7. Which of the followings is a SYNONYM of ‘fathom’?(a) Betray
(b) Vindicate
(c) Mawkish
(d) Comprehend
(e) Eschew

Directions (8- 15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The Guardian once cited one question that the entrance examination paper for a trainee program at Merrill Lynch in 1972 had: “When you meet a woman, what interests you most about her?” The correct answer was beauty. Those who thought intelligence, were given low marks. There was, of course, no question on what interests one the most when meeting a man. This is gender discrimination at its worst in the financial sector. Do we see this in 21st century India? There is no gender discrimination in the Indian financial sector— whether at the organizational level or in choice of consumers. Then why did the ex -finance Minister P. Chidambaram want to set up a bank exclusively for women customer and run by women?
One reason could be political. Women as a gender are not a separate constituency yet in India. There are urban women, rural women, wealthy women and poor women but women as a gender are not a vote bank. This is a relatively low-cost experiment to create that. Beyond politics, as a symbol of women’s empowerment, this is not a laughing matter or an idea to ridicule, but translating this into success is no easy job. There are quite a few cooperative banks in India that give loans to women borrowers. Then there are two cooperative organizations run exclusively by women—the Ahmedabad-based Shri Mahila Sewa Sahakari Bank Ltd and Maharashtra based Mann Deshi Mahila Sahakari Bank Ltd— but both of them have a successful but limited geographical presence.
Globally too there aren’t too many instances of banks run by women, for women. Tanzania has one such example. In 1999, a group of women entrepreneurs mooted the idea of a women’s bank to then president Benjamin William Mkapa and it took eight years for the Women’s Bank Public Ltd Co to set up, with the government holding 97% equity stake and private entities the rest and on the day the bank was launched, 110 women opened accounts. It focuses on low-income earners, small businesses and small and medium enterprises and men can also open accounts in this bank based in Dar es Salaam.
Ahead of Tanzania, Pakistan had set up First Women Bank Ltd. Late prime minister Benazir Bhutto was instrumental in establishing this to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. It commenced business in December 1989, with five leading public sector banks— National Bank of Pakistan, Habib Bank Ltd, Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd, United Bank Ltd and Allied Bank Ltd— holding 90% stake and the government the rest. After 23 years of existence, the bank has about 60,000 women customers, handled by 600 employees spread over 41 branches over 24 locations. The only other example of a special vehicle for women is Women’s World Banking, Savings and Loans Co. Ltd. Starting operations in 1998, it has seven branches in Ghana. .
In India, the self-help groups (SHGs) and microfinance movements have been driven by women. Such groups are an intermediary between the banking system and borrowers. Banks and microfinance institutions are comfortable dealing with women borrowers as they are more responsible and disciplined in their approach in paying back the money. While many men in rural India spend their meagre earnings drinking alcohol and gambling, women keep the hearth fires burning and take care of children’s education.
A woman’s bank will not become successful in India if it focuses only on banking. If our government is serious about this project, it must see that this bank goes beyond taking deposits and giving loans and becomes a vehicle for changing attitudes about women and their money, taking care of other things such as education, vocational training, etc and help in empowering women by educating them about self-finance. At a parallel level, we also need to address two structural issues— women must have right to property (otherwise they can’t offer collateral for a loan) and get adequately involved in formal economy through jobs and entrepreneurship. Professional urban women do not need a bank of their own but rural women, particularly in those pockets of India which are fraught with casteism and gender discrimination, will find in it an oasis.

Q8. What is the author’s initial opinion about the announcement made by the then Finance Minister to set up a woman’s bank in India?
(a) The author is supportive of the idea from the start and even suggests that certain changes in the implementation which will take care of structural mistakes in the plan.
(b) The author is critical about the motive behind it but believes that it has potential of really helping out women if certain issues are taken care of by the government.
(c) The author is critical of the idea and thinks that it was announced with an eye on the large voter bank of women keeping in mind the forthcoming elections.
(d) The author thinks that Indian women face gender discrimination in the financial sector and thus having a woman’s bank is a welcome change which supports their needs.
(e) Although the author believes that women are better customers than men in terms of repayment of loans and loyalty to the bank, he finds a woman’s bank unnecessary.

Q9. Which of the following is definitely true according to the passage?
(a) Globally, microfinance initiatives are run by women.
(b) Women cooperative organizations are very successful all over India.
(c) In India, men as a gender are a vote bank.
(d) Pakistan set up its first women's bank after Tanzania.
(e) In 1972, the organization Merrill Lynch was working in the financial sector.

Q10. Women Bank Co. Ltd. Of Tanzania is basically focused on
(a)large enterprises and medium businesses
(b)working on financial sector
(c)high income earners and small enterprises
(d low-income earners, small businesses and small and medium enterprises.
(e)none of these.

Q11. Why are banks and microfinance institutions more comfortable in dealing with women borrowers rather than with men?
(a)This is due to the real gender discrimination.
(b) to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs.
(c) they are more responsible and disciplined in their approach in paying back the money.
(d)to make women adequately involved in formal economy.
(e)keeping in mind the forthcoming elections.

Q12. What are the major issues the rural women in India are loaded with due to which they need a bank of their own?
(a)drinking alcohol and gambling
(b)unable to take care of children’s education
(c)not liable to right to property.
(d)casteism and gender discrimination.
(e)none of these.

Directions (13-15): Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

Q13. Ridicule
(a)esteem
(b)commendation
(c)adore
(d)reverence
(e)contempt

Q14. Mooted
(a)defiled
(b)leashed
(c)broached
(d)trailed
(e)cultivated

Q15. Instrumental
(a)obstructive
(b)vacant
(c)counteractive
(d)influential
(e)spare
Solutions
S1. Ans. (c)
Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the starting sentences of the third paragraph and the last sentences of the last paragraph.
‘For all its vaunted institutions, the West is yet to get a grip on China, but it is constantly seeking to solve the riddle of China’s rise. For example, a recent issue of The Economist examined “How the West Got China Wrong”, and Foreign Affairs magazine attempted to fathom “how China hid its global ambitions” in an article title “The Stealth Superpower”.’
‘Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China’;
From above, it could be understood that the author is interested in having an in-depth understanding of China.
The last sentence of the last paragraph suggests that the author wants India to have an in-depth understanding of China.
Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

S2. Ans. (e)
Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second paragraph. The paragraph informs that China is the dominant economic power in the world in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), directly competing with the U.S. for supremacy in science and technology and India ranks third in PPP.
The rank of the U.S. is second.
Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S3. Ans. (a)
Sol. ‘Snarl’ [reporting verb] means ‘(of a person) say something in an angry, bad-tempered voice’;
The expression ‘even as the West continues to snarl at China’ suggests that the nations in the West continue to make angry remarks against China regularly.
Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

S4. Ans. (b)
Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the second and fourth paragraph.
From the first sentence of the second paragraph ‘… that suffered depredations under Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong, has left India so far behind…’.
Clearly, according to the author, Mao Zedong was not the reason for China’s growth.
The last two sentences of the second paragraph ‘…” We’re democracy, China is not.” There is more to that country’s spectacular rise than just that one factor…’ The phrase ‘there is more to that’ affirms that not having democracy is indeed one of the reasons/factors behind China’s growth.
The first sentence of the fourth paragraph is ‘Since science and technology are powering China’s growth…’.
So, ‘Science and Technology’ is one of the reasons considered by the author as a reason for the growth of China.
Hence, option (b) is the correct answer.

S5. Ans. (d)
Sol. The answer to the question can be derived from the last two sentences of the last paragraph ‘Since science and technology are powering China’s growth, we need to make sense of those by setting up well-funded, world-class interdisciplinary centres not just in universities like Jawaharlal Nehru University but also in the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institutes of Technology which have the best technical and scientific minds in the country. Through these centres we should be able to arrive at our own in-depth understanding of China’.
From above, it could be understood that options (a) and (b) are correct. Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

S6. Ans. (e)
Sol. Depredations [noun] means ‘an act of attacking or plundering’;
Aberration [noun] means ‘a deviation from what is normal or expected’;
Torpor [noun] means ‘inactivity resulting from lethargy and lack of vigor or energy’;
Gall [noun] means ‘the trait of being rude and impertinent’;
Culpability [noun] means ‘a state of guilt’;
Goodness [noun] means ‘the quality of being good’;
From above, it could be understood that the word ‘goodness’ is an ANOTNYM of ‘depredations’.
Hence, option (e) is the correct answer.

S7. Ans. (d)
Sol. Fathom [verb] means ‘understand (a difficult problem or an enigmatic person) after much thought’;
Betray [verb] means ‘to reveal or make known something, usually unintentionally’;
Vindicate [verb] means ‘to clear of accusation, blame, suspicion, or doubt with supporting arguments or proofs’;
Mawkish [verb] means ‘overly sentimental to the point that it is disgusting’;
Comprehend [verb] means ‘grasp mentally; understand’;
Eschew [verb] means ‘avoid and stay away from deliberately; stay clear of’;
From above, we can understand that the word ‘comprehend’ is a SYNONYM of ‘fathom’.
Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

S8. Ans. (c)
Sol. Refer to the lines in the second paragraph of the passage, “One reason could be political. Women as a gender are not a separate constituency yet in India. There are urban women, rural women, wealthy women and poor women but women as a gender are not a vote bank. This is a relatively low-cost experiment to create that.” This is the initial opinion of the author about the announcement made by the then Finance Minister to set up a woman’s bank in India. Hence option (c) is the correct choice.

S9. Ans. (e)
Sol. The Guardian cited one question that the entrance examination paper for a trainee program at Merrill Lynch in 1972 had: “When you meet a woman, what interests you most about her?” The correct answer was beauty. Those who thought intelligence, were given low marks. There was, of course, no question on what interests one the most when meeting a man. This (the way answers were evaluated) is gender discrimination at its worst in the financial sector.It can be clearly inferred from the above two underlined parts that Merrill Lynch was working in the financial sector. Option (e) is hence the correct answer.

S10. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer to the third paragraph of the passage ,it clearly mentions that in 1999, a group of women entrepreneurs mooted the idea of a women’s bank to then president Benjamin William Mkapa and it took eight years for the Women’s Bank Public Ltd Co to set up, with the government holding 97% equity stake and private entities the rest and on the day the bank was launched, 110 women opened accounts. It focuses on low-income earners, small businesses and small and medium enterprise.

S11. Ans. (c)
Sol. Refer to the second last paragraph of the passage where the author is talking about self-help groups and microfinance institutions which are run by women. It is mentioned , “Banks and microfinance institutions are comfortable dealing with women borrowers as they are more responsible and disciplined in their approach in paying back the money. While many men in rural India spend their meagre earnings drinking alcohol and gambling, women keep the hearth fires burning and take care of children’s education.”

S12. Ans. (d)
Sol. In the last paragraph of the passage it is mentioned that woman’s bank will not become successful in India if it focuses only on banking. “Professional urban women do not need a bank of their own but rural women, particularly in those pockets of India which are fraught with casteism and gender discrimination, will find in it an oasis.”

S13. Ans. (e)
Sol. Ridicule means to mock.
Esteem means respect and admiration. Contempt means the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration. Hence (e) is the answer.
Commendation means praise.
Reverence means deep respect for someone or something.

S14. Ans. (c)
Sol. Mooted means suggested.
Broached means mentioned. In 1999, a group of women entrepreneurs mentioned the idea of a women’s bank to then president Benjamin William Mkapa.
Defiled means spoiled.
Leashed means lead.
Trailed means leave something behind someone in an unusual manner.


S15. Ans. (d)
Sol. Instrumental means influential.
Obstructive means unhelpful.
Counteractive means to act in opposition to.
Spare means substitute.

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