ads

Reading Comprehension for RBI Grade ‘B’/NICL AO

Directions (Q. 1-20): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Act was created by the Congress in the mode of its other landmark laws on information, education and food — using a rights-based approach. It was a reaction to serious conflicts over land acquisition (especially in well-known cases in Singur, Nandigram, Niyamgiri, Kalinganagar and others) which had come after the injustice meted out by the state for several decades during massive land acquisition drives for India’s modernisation and development.
The primary objective of the LARR was less to enable land acquisition than it was to deliver “fairness” to the people affected by it. This is important: the core purpose of the law was changed. The LARR expanded the definition of project-affected people and genuinely expanded the rights, protections and compensations for people who lose land or livelihood as a result of acquisition. It was a purely political and fundamentally bureaucratic approach. And, at the same time, the LARR was designed with no recognition of the economics of land. Its creators appeared to have forgotten that eminent domain laws exist everywhere (not just in India) to provide public goods, not protect private interests. In attempting to redress the balance between public and private interests in land, the LARR went too far. It raised the price of land acquisition to unsustainable levels.
The price of land acquisition has two elements. One is the direct price paid for acquisition, and rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R). Think of this as the cash component of the acquisition price. The second element is an indirect price. This includes transaction costs (such as the cost of doing social impact assessments, running the massive new multiple-layered acquisition bureaucracy, and so on), and opportunity costs, which arise from the time taken to conclude an acquisition, time during which capital is not invested and production does not take place. Reasonable estimates suggest that if all the steps defined in the LARR are accomplished in the minimum allotted time, it will take at least five years to conclude a land acquisition.
The BJP-led government has plans to adjust both elements of acquisition price. It apparently wishes to make the definition of project-affected people more stringent, so that fewer non-owners are eligible for compensation and R&R. But the new government’s real target seems to be the indirect costs of acquisition. It is considering a series of amendments to lower these indirect costs — by partially or wholly eliminating the social impact assessment element, eliminating project categories that would need to be given “consent” by the project-affected people, reducing the share that would need to provide “consent” (from 70-80 to 50 per cent), and so on.
Some of these ideas are useful, notably to reduce the use of social impact assessments by setting reasonable triggers. The trigger should use population rather than acreage thresholds. Some ideas are trivial, especially those that tinker with the “consent” threshold. It is more important to devise a just and speedy referendum mechanism (which remains opaque even now) than to play with these percentages. Some ideas are unjust and unwise, especially those that seek to avoid compensating livelihood losers or giving them voice.
There are many serious problems with the LARR, so serious that I have argued that it cannot be implemented, and that it is likely to lead to the end of eminent domain. Some of the problems do indeed arise from the indirect costs of acquisition, but the deepest problem comes from the direct or cash cost. And the most significant of these is the doubling of the price of urban land.
The compensation mechanism in the LARR is arbitrary at best and disastrous at worst. The blanket four-fold multiplication of “market price” in rural areas is arbitrary. Why four? Why not three or five or 10? The assumption appears to be that all rural land is the same, from Chhattisgarh to Punjab, from north Bihar to south Kerala. That is just absurd.
But the real disaster is in urban and peri-urban areas. I have shown that the price of urban land in India is the highest in the world. That price is already a major constraint to development and the provision of public goods. It may indeed be the single-largest constraint on development in India now. To double that price would have consequences that go far beyond the imagination of the designers of the LARR. This has to be corrected.
If the BJP intends to be serious about getting to a just and practical land acquisition law, it must begin by focusing on the direct price of acquisition of urban land.
1. What prompted the Congress to enact the land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LARR) act?
(A) The serious conflicts over land acquisition in several states
(B) The injustice done to land owners by the states
(C) The hindrance created in the way of India’s modernisation and development due to lack of proper land acquisition law
1) All (A), (B) and (C)
2) Only (A) and (B)
3) Only (A) and (C)
4) Only (B)
5) Only (C)
2. What is/are the main objective of the LARR?
(A) To facilitate land acquisition for private companies
(B) To protect the rights of the people affected by land acquisition
(C) To provide job opportunity to project-affected people
1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Only (A) and (B)
5) Only (B) and (C)
3. Find the incorrect statement on the basis of the given passage.
1) The LARR was designed without taking into consideration the economic aspect of land.
2) The main priority of the lawmakers was to safeguard private interests rather than public interests.
3) The LARR raised the price of land acquisition to unendurable limit.
4) Through LARR it has been tried to maintain a perfect balance between the interests of the land owner and the one who acquires the land.
5) None of these
4. What is/are the plans of the BJP-led government regarding acquisition price?
1) The new government wishes to make the definition of project-affected people more flexible.
2) The new government wishes to make certain changes in the act so that fewer non-owners can get compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement.
3) The new government’s real target seems to be the direct costs of acquisition.
4) The new government is considering a series of amendments to raise the indirect costs.
5) All the above
5. How can the indirect costs be brought down?
(A) By encouraging such project categories as would need the consent of the project-affected people
(B) By completing the process of land acquisition, leaving aside certain steps laid down in the LARR
(C) By wholly or partially eliminating the social impact assessment element.
1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Only (A) and (B)
5) All (A), (B) and (C)
6. What, according to the author, should be done to reduce the use of social impact assessments? Give your answer in the context of the passage.
1) The consent-seeking process expressed in percentage should be done away with and a just and speedy referendum mechanism should be devised in place.
2) The consent of only a few people of repute residing in the area of the land to be acquisitioned should be sought.
3) Adequate compensation to affected people should be made in instalments in a 5-year deferred period.
4) Importance should be given to acreage over population while setting triggers to reduce the use of social impact assessments.
5) All the above
7. Why, according to the author, can the LARR not be implemented?
(A) Because of direct cost of acquisition
(B) Because of doubling of the price of urban land
(C) Because of the excessive interference of bureaucracy
1) Only (A) and (B)
2) Only (B) and (C)
3) Only (A) and (C)
4) Only (B)
5) Only (C)
8. Which of the following statements is true with regard to the price of land acquisition?
1) The price of land acquisition has two elements – the direct price paid for acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement; and the indirect price which includes transaction costs and opportunity costs.
2) The indirect price is the price paid to brokers and the direct price is the price paid to the land owner.
3) The opportunity cost arises from the time taken to conclude an acquisition and the time during which capital remains idle and production does not take place.
4) Only 2) and 3)
5) Only 1) and 3)
9. Why does the author think that land acquisition would take not less than five years if all the steps defined in the LARR are accomplished?
1) Because land acquisition is a very complicated process
2) Because to follow all the steps mentioned in the LARR is a time-taking process
3) Because people usually do not want to handover their property to someone else
4) Because the middlemen and bureaucrats make the process of land acquisition a tough task
5) Not mentioned in the passage
10. What is/are the major constraints in the path of development in India? Give your answer in the context of the passage.
(A) The price of transportation of goods from one place to another is not cost-effective and hence it is the major obstacle in the path of development.
(B) The price of urban land is very high in India and this hinders development projects.
(C) In case of acquisition of land for use by private companies, consent of 80 per cent of all land losers is required, which is practically a difficult task and is therefore the major obstacle in the path of development.
1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Only (B) and (C)
5) Only (A) and (C)
11. Why is the author of the opinion that the LARR is disastrous?
(A) Because the compensation for land in rural areas is much more than its market price
(B) Regarding compensation, there is an absurd notion that all rural land stretching from north to south is the same.
(C) The four-fold fixing of price in rural areas does not have any logical foundation.
1) Only (A) and (B)
2) Only (B) and (C)
3) Only (A) and (C)
4) Only (C)
5) All (A), (B) and (C)
12. What is the meaning of the phrase ‘meted out’ as used in the passage?
1) withheld
2) withdrawn
3) refrained
4) inflicted
5) administered
Directions (Q. 13-16): 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.
13. Recognition
1) denial
2) appreciation
3) disclaimer
4) repudiation
5) estimation
14. Accomplish
1) forfeited
2) introduced
3) destroyed
4) abandoned
5) carried out
15. Threshold
1) completion
2) finish
3) limit
4) conclusion
5) end
16. Arbitrary
1) consistent
2) reliable
3) steady
4) irrational
5) sensible
Directions (Q. 17-20): 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.
17. Absurd
1) goofy
2) ludicrous
3) wacky
4) reasonable
5) preposterous
18. Constraint
1) restraint
2) liberty
3) duress
4) repression
5) motion
19. Stringent
1) flexible
2) rigid
3) demanding
4) acrimonious
5) confining
20. Unsustainable
1) brief
2) implausible
3) unviable
4) satisfactory
5) tenable

Answers:

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 4
  4. 2
  5. 3
  6. 1
  7. 1
  8. 5
  9. 5
  10. 2
  11. 2
  12. 4
  13. 2
  14. 5
  15. 3
  16. 4
  17. 4
  18. 2
  19. 1
  20. 5
ads
Share To:

IBTS INSTITUTE

India's Leading Institution for Competitive Exams in Chandigarh visit www.ibtsindia.com

Post A Comment:

0 comments so far,add yours