Directions (Q. 1-15): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.
India’s growing economy, booming businesses and expanding middle class are often commented upon, but are these really the criteria by which we should be judging our progress? Shouldn’t a country truly be able to call itself a leading nation only when it has an enlightened attitude towards its art and cultural heritage as well as its economic development? Unless there is a drasticchange in approach towards the future of our museums, we are at the risk of turning India into a Potemkin Village, whereby a cultural vacuum lurks behind a glossy facade of development.Indeed, there is no shortage of glitzy shopping malls filled with relics of economic power, but when it comes to spaces of true integrity, we in India fall embarrassingly short. By maintaining the status quo, we will lose not only priceless art works but also the wide range of cultural activity that such objects encourage and inspire.
From major institutions in the capital to smaller museums around the country, the idea of preservation, presentation and curating are well below international standards and seem instead to belong to another century, when it was merely enough to put objects in cabinets, with no further thought to how to bring them to life. Museum staff are under-qualified, uninterested and few in number. Acquisition budgets are either nonexistent or paralysed by red tape, and visitor numbers are not even worthy of comment.The contemporary art scene may appear vibrant, but the influx of new commercial galleries is only further propping up the facade. Without major contemporary exhibitions in non-commercial institutions, we do not have the necessary means to attribute academic meaning to current artistic outputs. Our rich past and endlessly fascinating present should make us a world leader in cultural production— this is simply not the case.
By comparison, museums in the West have become the lifeblood of cities. Often referred to as the churches of the 21st century, such places are charged, dynamic and teeming with people. Serious academic research coexists with fun and educational days-out for the family—the study of the past corresponding with a celebration of the cultural present. The British Museum in London, for example, attracts nearly 6 million visitors a year (many of them Indian), whereas the National Museum in Delhi is one of the few places in the city where one can actually escape the crowds.The effect of our failing museums is immediately tangible, as art works are deteriorating through a lack of care and attention, and also philosophical—in the sense that the study of art can instil a feeling of context, pride and intellectual inquiry in the nation. Rather than encouraging us to take an interest in art and antiques, the current system inhibits private collectors and dealers through endless red tape and archaic laws which dictate that complex registrations and forms be filled each time anything above 100 years old is bought, transferred or even transported. Without becoming a plausible place for the art trade to operate, and thus without a community of specialists, enthusiasts and professionals, the art world in India will lack the grassroots foundations it needs to progress.Whilst the current state of affairs is being increasingly acknowledged, relatively few initiatives have been proposed to tackle the problem. These currently focus around staff development and consultancy through tie-ins with international bodies like the British Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. The impetus for such schemes is commendable, but how much do these partner institutions really understand the unique challenges of India’s government infrastructure?It is perhaps time we looked beyond the state and further towards the private sector for the future of our museums—following the example of the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum in Mumbai, which rescued itself through its partnership with the Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. By combining the financial support of larger corporations with the passion, knowledge and networks of private individuals and foundations, these various entities have the unique potential to set up new museums and develop them into dynamic, engaging and sustainable spaces. In other words, if the Government won’t wake up to the responsibility and benefit of reforming our museums, then perhaps it is time to leverage the power of India’s liberalised free-market capitalism (which one normally associates with industry and technology) to help the country grow culturally, as well as economically. The hope being that such initiatives will kickstart a new era of interest in the arts—inspiring, educating and enriching the country along the way. At the least, such initiatives will act to preserve the art and heritage of our past until the state system wakes up.
1. Which of the following does not reflect the actual position of museums in the western countries?
1) Museums are often referred to as the churches of the 21st century.
2) These have become the life blood of cities.
3) Serious academic research coexists with fun for the family.
4) The British Museum in London attracts about six million visitors per year.
5) In museums there is a deserted look on weekend days.

2. What problems do private collectors and dealers have to face while buying, transferring and transporting art and antiques?
  • (A) The problem of red tape and archaic laws compel them to complete the long formalities whenever art or antiques are bought, transferred and transported.
  • (B) Whenever anything above 100 years old is bought or transferred complex registrations and forms are required to be filled.
  • (C) Private collectors and dealers have to bribe the museum authorities.

1) Only (A)
2) Both (A) and (B)
3) Only (B)
4) Only (C)
5) Both (B) and (C)

3. Which of the following is definitely true regarding the current state of affairs of museums?
1) People agree that the present situation is grim.
2) No initiative has been proposed to tackle the problem.3) No effort is being made for staff development.
4) British Museum and Art Institute Chicago have refused India government’s plea for help.
5) None of these

4. The writer has mentioned a ‘Potemkin Village’. Which of the following seem(s) to be the characteristics of a Potemkin Village?
  • (A) A Potemkin Village is one where a lot of emphasis is laid on the the development of art and culture.
  • (B) It is a village where there is cultural vacuum.
  • (C) It is the village where all the signs of a developed city can be seen.

1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Either (A) or (B)
5) Both (A) and (C)

5. According to the writer, which of the following is the criteria for judging the progress of a country?
  • (A) Growing economy, booming business and expanding middle class
  • (B) Scientific development, availability of health facilities and the living standard of the people of the country
  • (C) Enlightened attitude towards art and cultural heritage as well as its economic development

1) Only (A)
2) Only (B)
3) Only (C)
4) Both (B) and (A)
5) None of these
6. In the writer’s opinion, which of the following is correct about the art scenario in India?
  • (A) The contemporary art scenario appears vibrant. 
  • (B) There is lack of major contemporary exhibitions in non-commercial institutions.
  • (C) Though rich past and fascinating present can make us a world leader in cultural production, it is actually not so.

1) Only (A) and (B)
2) Only (B) and (C)
3) Only (A) and (C)
4) All (A), (B) and (C)
5) None of these

7. What do you mean by ‘status quo’ used in the passage?
1)The state of affairs that exists at a particular time
2) Efficiency of a state to tackle its problems
3) The status of a state in respect to other states
4) Maintaining high standard of ethics by the state government employees
5) None of these

8. Which of the following can be the most appropriate title for the given passage?
1) Economy vs Art and Culture
2) Future of Art and Culture
3) Indian Museums vis-a-vis Foreign Museums
4) Contemporary Art vs Antiques
5) Shopping Malls vs Museums

9. Which of the following is incorrect about the status of museums in India?
1) The standard of preservation, presentation and curating are far below international standards.
2) The presentation of objects is so poor that their ages seem widely different from their original age.
3) The objects preserved in cabinets reflect lack of interest of the preserver.
4) Museum staffs are under-qualified, unilateral and few in number.
5) All the above are correct

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.

1) Dire
2) Stringent
3) Impulsive
4) Radical
5) Stylist

1) Gloomy
2) Shining
3) Sullen
4) Divine
5) Precious

1) Dull
2) Boring
3) Showy
4) Lacklusture
5) Jaded

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.

1) Sonorous
2) Sluggish
3) Brilliant
4) Robust
5) Attractive

1) Diffuse
2) Inculcate
3) Infuse
4) Commence
5) Inspire

1) Inappropriate
2) Reasonable
3) Believable
4) Worthy
5) Justifiable

Answers :-
  1. 5
  2. 3
  3. 1
  4. 2
  5. 3
  6. 4
  7. 1
  8. 3
  9. 5
  10. 4
  11. 2
  12. 3
  13. 2
  14. 1
  15. 1

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