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Reading Comprehension based on IBPS Clerk Pre 2017

Reading Comprehension based on IBPS Clerk Pre 2017

Directions (Q. 1-15): 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.
We are in the midst of a severe economic crisis. Our macroeconomic indices are weakening. The first quarter growth figure has come in at 4.4 per cent and some analysts are projecting a figure for FY 2013-14 of below 4 per cent —the Hindu rate that we all thought was a historical memory. Inflation in critical items is well above double digits — year-on-year prices of vegetable goods have increased by 46 per cent; that of cereals by 18 per cent and proteins by 11 per cent. The rupee is hovering close to `70 to the dollar and the Sensex is gyrating, but in fall. The finance minister has pronounced a 10-point programme to narrow the fiscal deficit, balance the current account, stabilise the currency, contain inflation and bring the economy back onto the growth path. Whether he succeeds or not remains to be seen. The odds are against him. He has to contend with populist political colleagues, and the immune system of the economy has been so weakened that it seems no longer capable of countering the convulsions of the international market. But even if he does succeed, there is doubt that potential investors will bring India back onto their radar screen. Sure, “hot money” might flow back, but investments into the more stable and longer-term “bricks and mortar” and services sectors will most likely remain lacklustre.
This is because the current crisis is not just about “poor economics”. It is also about the loss of confidence in the government’s commitment to upholding the constitutional checks and balance of governance. It is about the weakening of the pilars upon which Brand India has been built and which so positively differentiated us from other emerging economies.
As every marketer knows, there is a difference between “advertising” and “branding”. Advertising is a tangible instrument for hawking a product. Branding is an intangible asset that embodies the qualities, values and experience of the company. The two are, of course, interrelated. Advertising helps build the “brand” and the brand reinforces (hopefully) sales. But they are conceptually different.
When India was growing at 8 per cent plus, it was not difficult to develop a compelling advertorial for the country. The pitch was pegged on the fundamentals of the economy — the large market, our youthful population, the reservoir of talent —and the ingredients of Brand India. Economic growth had not done away with corruption, red tape and shoddy infrastructure, but these negatives were offset by the assurance that if and when the entry hurdles were overcome, the strength of our institutions would ensure a level playing field, respect for contracts and protection against the arbitrary and discretionary exercise of power.
Today, these assurances have been dented. Investors see not only an economy on the skids, but a governance process that is opaque and unpredictable. The government may have had “good” reasons for the spate of tax charges that have been slapped on the multinationals and for unilaterally rewriting binding contracts and passing orders with retroactive effect, but the result has been to make investors nervous about the operating environment. For the first time since the onset of economic reforms, boardroom discussions are not about specific investments but about the fundamentals of the Indian polity. People are asking generic questions. What is the nature of India’s democracy? How strong are the institutions of the executive, legislature and judiciary? Have these institutions got so hollowed out that there is a power vacuum? And so, where does power reside? Investors will want satisfactory answers to these questions before they bring India back on their investment agenda.
Investors invest in a country’s future. Whilst they may be influenced by its present they do not invest in it. Nor do they invest on the basis of a comparison between a country’s past and its present. Herein lies our hope. We have messed up the present, but we can still recover the future. To do so the government will have to no doubt first resolve the current crisis. This will not be easy. The PM and FM are confident they can bring the fiscal and current account deficit under control. But unfortunately, the numbers are not adding up and the international market is not helping.

1.) Why has the author specifically mentioned that this is the first time since the onset of economic reforms that boardroom discussions are not about specific investment but about the fundamentals of the Indian polity? 
1) Because of excessive political interference in the economic matters of the country
2) Because of the proven inefficiency of the present Finance Minister and the Chairman of the Planning Commission
3) Because of the induction of political leaders in the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs
4) Because of the severe economic crisis and failure of the govt on the economic front
5) None of these 

2.) Which of the following is the characteristics of ‘Branding’? Give your answer in the context of the given passage. 
1) Branding is the version of a product made by one particular manufacturer.
2) Branding is a permanent mark on the face of the product.
3) Branding embodies the qualities, values and experience of the company and enforces sales.
4) Branding of the product is the presentation of it to the public in a way that makes it easy for people to recognise or identify.
5) All the above 

3.) Why is the author apprehensive about the success of the 10-point programme pronounced by the Finance Minister to resolve the current economic crisis? 
(A) Because the parties in opposition, in most of the instances in the past, have not supported the ruling parties.
(B) Because the steps taken by the Finance Minister have proved a big failure.
(C) Because the current economic crisis is not only about poor economics but also about the loss of confidence in government’s commitment to upholding the constitutional checks and balances of governance.
1) Only (C) 
2) Only (B)
3) Only (A) 
4) Only (A) and (C)
5) Only (A) and (B) 

4.) What are the factors that influence the investors’ mentality as far as investment is concerned? 
1) Stable govt, experienced Finance Minister and open market
2) Good past and present record of the economy of a country
3) Better prospect of returns on invested money
4) Assurance of very high rate of returns by the govt
5) None of these 

5.) Find the incorrect statement on the basis of the given passage. 
(A) All newspapers except The Hindu are not happy with the macroeconomic indices of our country.
(B) Among edible items, vegetable goods have posted the highest percentage increase.
(C) As per the projection by the economic analysts the growth figure for the financial year 2013-14 is less than 4 per cent.
1) Only (B) and (C) 
2) Only (A)
3) Only (A) and (C) 
4) Only (B)
5) Only (C) 

6.) What steps have been taken by the government to bring the economy back onto the growth path? 
1) The Congress Working Committee has decided to cut govt subsidies, discontinue some of the major welfare schemes and launch new schemes to lure foreign investors.
2) The govt has decided to seek help from the world bank and the IMF.
3) The Finance minister has pronounced a 10-point programme.
4) The Prime Minister has called for a meeting of world-class economists to resolve the economic crisis.
5) None of these 

7.) What arguments about India were placed before investors in heyday of economic prosperity? 
1) India is a large market for investors.
2) India has liberalised its economic policy and kept its market open for foreign investors since 1991.
3) India has assured to respect contractual obligations and to provide protection against the arbitrary exercise of power.
4) Only 1) and 2)
5) Only 1) and 3) 

8.) Why are investors afraid of investing in India? 
(A) Because of unilateral rewriting of binding contracts and passing orders with retroactive effect
(B) Because of opaque and unpredictable governance process
(C) Because of a number of tax charges slapped on the multinationals
1) Only (A) and (B)
2) Only (B) and (C)
3) All (A), (B) and (C)
4) Only (A)
5) None of these 

9.) Which of the following affected the economic growth to a great deal? Give your answer in the context of the given passage. 
1) Corruption 
2) Inferior infrastructure
3) Red tapism
4) All 1), 2) and 3)
5) None of these

Directions (Q. 10-12): 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. 

10.) Convulsions 
1) recession 
2) constrictions
3) reduction
4) uncertainty 
5) cramp 

11.) Embodies 
1) excludes 
2) disintegrates 
3) concentrates
4) exhibits 
5) personifies 

12.) Generic 
1) specific 
2) awkward 
3) general 
4) difficult 
5) rude

Directions (Q. 13-15): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. 

13.) Contain 
1) enclose 
2) incorporate 
3) Increase
4) decrease 
5) drop 

14.) Contend 
1) agree 
2) cede 
3) clash
4) confront 
5) meet 

15.) Shoddy 
1) shabby 
2) cheap 
3) sleazy
4) noble 
5) superior

Answers:

  1. 4
  2. 3
  3. 3
  4. 2
  5. 3
  6. 5
  7. 3
  8. 5
  9. 5
  10. 4
  11. 3
  12. 3
  13. 1
  14. 5
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