CSAT Paper - II Questions

Cooking with biomass and coal in India is now recognized to cause major health problems

UPSC Critical Reading

Cooking with biomass and coal in India is now recognized to cause major health problems, with women and children in poor populations facing the greatest risk. There are more than 10 lakh premature deaths each year from household air pollution due to polluting cooking fuels with another 1.5 lakh due to their contribution to general outdoor air pollution in the country. Although the fraction of the Indian population using clean cooking fuels, such as LPG, natural gas and electricity, is slowly rising, the number using polluting solid fuels as their primary cooking fuel has remained static for nearly 30 years at about 70 crore.

Which of the following is the most crucial and logical inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Rural people are giving up the use of polluting solid fuels due to their increasing awareness of health hazards.
  2. Subsidizing the use of clean cooking fuels will solve the problem of India's indoor air pollution.
  3. India should increase its import of natural gas and produce more electricity.
  4. Access to cooking gas can reduce premature deaths in poor households.

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All actions to address climate change ultimately involve costs

UPSC Critical Reading

All actions to address climate change ultimately involve costs. Funding is vital in order for countries like India to design and implement adaptation and mitigation plans and projects. The problem is more severe for developing countries like India, which would be one of the hardest hit by climate change, given its need to finance development. Most countries do indeed treat climate change as real threat and are striving to address it in a more comprehensive and integrated manner with the limited resources at their disposal.

With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Climate change is not a challenge for developed countries.
  2. Climate change is a complex policy issue and also a development issue for many countries.
  3. Ways and means of finance must be fount to enable developing countries to enhance their adaptive capacity.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 3 only 
  3. 2 and 3 only 
  4. 1, 2 and 3

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Though I have discarded much of past tradition and custom

UPSC Critical Reading

Though I have discarded much of past tradition and custom, and am anxious that India should rid herself of all shackles that bind and contain her and divide her people, and suppress vast numbers of them, and prevent the free development of the body and the spirit; though I seek all this, yet I do not wish to cut myself off from that past completely. I am proud of that great inheritance that has been and is, ours and I am conscious that I too, like all of us, am a link in that unbroken chain which goes back to the dawn of history in the immemorial past of India.

The author wants India to rid herself of certain past bonds because

  1. he is not able to see the relevance of the past
  2. there is not much to be proud of
  3. he is not interested in the history of India
  4. they obstruct her physical and spiritual growth

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I am a scientist, privileged to be somebody who tries to understand nature

UPSC Critical Reading

I am a scientist, privileged to be somebody who tries to understand nature using the tools of science. But it is also clear that there are some really important questions that science cannot really answer, such as : Why is there something instead of nothing? Why are we here? In those domains, I have found that faith provides a better path to answers. I find it oddly anachronistic that in today's culture there seems to be a widespread presumption that scientific and spiritual views are incompatible.

Which of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. It is the faith and not science that can finally solve all the problems of mankind.
  2. Science and faith can be mutually complementary if their proper domains are understood.
  3. There are some very fundamental questions which cannot be answered by either science or faith.
  4. In today's culture, scientific views are given more importance than spiritual views.

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Many pathogens that cause food borne illnesses are unknown

UPSC Critical Reading

Many pathogens that cause food borne illnesses are unknown. Food contamination can occur at any stage from farm to plate. Since most cases of food poisoning go unreported, the true extent of global food borne illnesses is unknown. Improvements in international monitoring have led to greater public awareness, yet the rapid globalization of food production increases consumers' vulnerability by making food harder to regulate and trace. "We have the world on our plates", says an official of WHO.

Which of the following is the most logical corollary to the above passage?

  1. With more options for food come more risks.
  2. Food processing is the source of all food borne illnesses.
  3. We should depend on locally produced food only.
  4. Globalization of food production should be curtailed.

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Global population was around 1.6 billion in 1990 - today it is around 7.2 billion and growing

UPSC Critical Reading

Global population was around 1.6 billion in 1990 - today it is around 7.2 billion and growing. Recent estimates on population growth predict a global population of 9.6 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100. Unlike Europe and North America, where only three to four per cent of population is engaged in agriculture, around 47 per cent of India's population is dependent upon agriculture. Even if India continues to do well in the service sector and the manufacturing sector picks up, it is expected that around 2030 when India overtakes China as the world's most populous country, nearly 42 per cent of India's population will still be predominantly dependent on agriculture.

Which of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Prosperity of agriculture sector is of critical importance to India. 
  2. Indian economy greatly depends on its agriculture. 
  3. India should take strict measures to control its rapid population growth. 
  4. India's farming communities should switch over to other occupations to improve their economic conditions.

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A, B, C and D are students. They are studying in four different cities

Basic LR Sets

Read the information given below and answer the six items that follow.

A, B, C and D are students. They are studying in four different cities, viz., P, Q, R and S (not necessarily in that order). They are studying in Science college, Arts college, Commerce college and Engineering college (not necessarily in that order), which are situated in four different States, viz., Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam and Kerala (not necessarily in that order). Further, it is given that

  1. D is studying in Assam
  2. Arts college is located in city S which is in Rajasthan
  3. A is studying in Commerce college
  4. B is studying in city Q
  5. Science college is located in Kerala

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A bag contains 15 red balls and 20 black balls

Quant Probability

A bag contains 15 red balls and 20 black balls. Each ball is numbered either 1 or 2 or 3. 20% of the red balls are numbered 1 and 40% of them are numbered 3. Similarly, among the black balls, 45% are numbered 2 and 30% are numbered 3. A boy picks a ball at random. He wins if the ball is red and numbered 3 or if it is black and numbered 1 or 2. What are the chances of his winning?

  1. 1/2
  2. 4/7
  3. 5/9
  4. 12/13

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A solid cube of 3 cm side, painted on all its faces, is cut

Cubes

A solid cube of 3 cm side, painted on all its faces, is cut up into small cubes of 1 cm side. How many of the small cubes will have exactly two painted faces?

  1. 12
  2. 8
  3. 6
  4. 4

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Four political parties W, X, Y and Z decided to set up a joint candidate

Basic LR Sets

Four political parties W, X, Y and Z decided to set up a joint candidate for the coming parliamentary elections. The formula agreed by them was the acceptance of a candidate of the most of the parties. For aspiring candidates A, B, C and D approached the parties for their ticket.

  • A was acceptable to W but not Z
  • B was acceptable to Y but not X
  • C was acceptable to W and Y
  • D was acceptable to W and X

When candidate B was preferred by W and Z, candidate C was preferred by X and Z and candidate A was acceptable to X but not Y: Who got the ticket?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

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In five flats, one above the other, live five professionals

Basic LR Sets

In five flats, one above the other, live five professionals. The professor has to go up to meet his IAS officer friend. The doctor is equally friendly to all, and has to go up as frequently as go down. The engineer has to go up to meet his MLA friend above whose flat lives the professor's friend.

From the ground floor to the top floor, in what order do the five professionals live?

  1. IAS officer, Engineer, Doctor, Professor, MLA
  2. Engineer, Professor, Doctor, IAS officer, MLA
  3. Professor, Engineer, Doctor, MLA, IAS officer
  4. Professor, Engineer, Doctor, IAS officer, MLA

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A, B, C, D and E belong to five different cities P, Q, R, S and T

Basic LR Sets

A, B, C, D and E belong to five different cities P, Q, R, S and T (not necessarily in that order). Each one of them comes from a different city. Further it is given that:

  • 1. B and C do not belong to Q
  • 2. B and E do not belong to P and R
  • 3. A and C do not belong to R, S and T
  • 4. D and E do not belong to Q and T

Which one of the following statements is not correct?

  1. B belongs to S
  2. C belongs to P
  3. D belongs to R
  4. A belongs to Q

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Five people A, B, C, D and E are seated about a round table

Basic LR Sets

Five people A, B, C, D and E are seated about a round table. Every chair is spaced equidistant from adjacent chairs.

  • (i) C is seated next to A
  • (ii) A is seated two seats from D
  • (iii) B is not seated next to A

Which of the following must be true?

  • (I) D is seated next to B
  • (II) E is seated next to A

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

  1. I only
  2. II only
  3. Both I and II
  4. Neither I nor II

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Four friends A, B, C and D distribute some money among themselves

Basic LR Sets

Four friends A, B, C and D distribute some money among themselves in such a manner that A gets one less than B, C gets 5 more than D, D gets 3 more than B. who gets the smallest amount?'

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

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Geeta is older than her cousin Meena. Meena's brother Bipin is older

Basic LR Sets

Geeta is older than her cousin Meena. Meena's brother Bipin is older than Geeta. When Meena and Bipin visit Geeta, they like to play chess. Meena wins the game more often than Geeta.

Based on the above information, four conclusions, as given below, have been made. Which one of these logically follows from the information given above?

  1. Geeta hates to lose the game.
  2. Geeta is the oldest among the three.
  3. While playing chess with Geeta and Meena, Bipin often loses.
  4. Meena is the youngest of the three.

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Seven men, A, B, C, D, E, F and G are standing in a queue in that order

Basic LR Sets

Seven men, A, B, C, D, E, F and G are standing in a queue in that order. Each one is wearing a cap of a different colour like violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red. D is able to see in front of him green and blue, but not violet. E can see violet and yellow, but not red. G can see caps of all colours other than orange. If E is wearing an indigo coloured cap, then the colour of the cap worn by F is

  1. Blue
  2. Orange
  3. Red
  4. Violet

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The music director of a film wants to select four persons to work on different aspects

Basic LR Sets

The music director of a film wants to select four persons to work on different aspects of a composition of a piece of music. Seven persons are available for this work; they are Rohit, Tanya, Shobha, Kaushak, Kunal, Mukesh and Jaswant. 

Rohit and Tanya will not work together. Kunal and Shobha will not work together. Mukesh and Kunal want to work together.

Which of the following is the most acceptable group of people that can be selected by the music director?

  1. Tanya, Kaushal, Shobha and Rohit
  2. Tanya, Mukesh, Kunal and Jaswant
  3. Rohit, Shobha, Kunal and Kaushal
  4. Shobha, Tanya, Rohit and Mukesh

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A cube of side 12 cm is painted red on all the faces and then cut into smaller cubes, each of side 3 cm

Basic LR Sets

A cube of side 12 cm is painted red on all the faces and then cut into smaller cubes, each of side 3 cm. What is the total number of smaller cubes having none of their faces painted?

  1. 24
  2. 12
  3. 16
  4. 8

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Six engineers A, B, C, D, E and F are offered jobs at six different locations

Basic LR Sets

Six engineers Anthony, Brad, Carla, Dinesh, Evan and Frank are offered jobs at six different locations - England, Germany, India, Australia, Singapore and UAE. The jobs offered are in six different branches, and are based on their competence as well as preference. The branches are IT, Mechanical, Chemical, Electronics, Metallurgy and Electrical, though not necessarily in the same order. Their placements are subject to the following conditions:

  1. The engineer in the Electrical Department is not placed in Germany.
  2. Anthony is placed in Singapore while Dinesh in UAE.
  3. Frank is not in the Metallurgy Department but Brad is in the Chemical Department.
  4. Evan is placed in the Mechanical Department while Frank is offered a job in Australia.
  5. The only department offering jobs in India is the Chemical Department while there are no vacancies for IT in Singapore.
  6. Anthony is interested in IT and Electrical Department while Frank is interested in IT and Mechanical Department. Both of them settle for the options available based on their interests in the locations allotted to them.
  7. In recent years, UAE has emerged as a hub for metallurgy exports and thus recruitment is done for the same while all mechanical posts are in England.

1. Who joined the Electronics Department?

  1. Dinesh
  2. Anthony
  3. Carla
  4. Brad

2. The person placed in UAE is in the which Department?

  1. Electronics
  2. Mechanical
  3. Metallurgy
  4. Chemical

3. Out of the following, which is the correct combination?

  1. Anthony-Germany-Electrical
  2. Brad-India-Chemical
  3. Evan-England-Electronics
  4. Frank-Australia-Metallurgy

4. Who joined the IT Department in Australia?

  1. Frank
  2. Carla
  3. Evan
  4. Brad

5. Which combination is true for Dinesh?

  1. India-Electrical
  2. UAE-Electronics
  3. England-Metallurgy
  4. UAE-Metallurgy

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Due to astrological reasons, a mother named all her daughters with the alphabet K

Basic LR Sets

Due to astrological reasons, a mother named all her daughters with the alphabet K as Kamla, Kamlesh, Kriti, Kripa, Kranti and Kalpana.

  1. Kamla is not the tallest while Kripa is not the most qualified.
  2. The shortest is the most qualified amongst them all.
  3. Kalpana is more qualified than Kamlesh who is more qualified than Kriti.
  4. Kamla is less qualified than Kamlesh but is taller than Kamlesh.
  5. Kalpana is shorter than Kriti but taller than Kranti.
  6. Kriti is more qualified than Kamla while Kamlesh is taller than Kriti.
  7. Kripa is the least qualified amongst the daughters.

1. Who is the third tallest starting in decreasing order of height?

  1. Kamla
  2. Kamlesh
  3. Kriti
  4. Kranti

2. Who is the most qualified?

  1. Kamlesh
  2. Kriti
  3. Kripa
  4. Kranti

3. What is the rank of Kriti in increasing order of qualification?

  1. 2
  2. 3
  3. 5
  4. 4

4. What is the rank of Kamla in increasing order of height?

  1. 3
  2. 5
  3. 4
  4. 2

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Alex walks 1 mile towards East and then he turns towards South and walks further 5 miles

Directions

Alex walks 1 mile towards East and then he turns towards South and walks further 5 miles. After that he turns East and walks 2 miles further. Finally he turns to his North and walks 9 miles. How far is he from the starting point?

  1. 25 miles
  2. 2 miles
  3. 5 miles
  4. 4 miles

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A, B, C, D and E are members of the same family

Basic LR Sets Blood Relations

Read the following passage and answer (three) items that follow:

A, B, C, D and E are members of the same family. There are two fathers, two sons, two wives, three males and two females. The teacher was the, wife of a lawyer who was the son of a doctor. E is not male, neither also a wife of a professional. C is the youngest person in the family and D is the eldest. B is a male.

1. How is D related to E?

  1. Son
  2. Father
  3. Wife
  4. Husband

2. Who are the females in the group?

  1. C and E
  2. E and A 
  3. D and E
  4. C and D 

3. Whose wife is the teacher?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

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In a survey regarding a proposal measure to be introduced

Basic LR Sets

In a survey regarding a proposal measure to be introduced, 2878 person took part of which 1652 were males. 1226 persons voted against the proposal of which 796 were males. 1425 persons voted for the proposal. 196 females were undecided.

1. How many females voted for the proposal?

  1. 624
  2. 430
  3. 600
  4. 640

2. How many females were not in favour the proposal?

  1. 430
  2. 1226
  3. 586
  4. 496

How many males were undecided?

  1. 31
  2. 426
  3. 227
  4. 581

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Guest lectures on five subjects

Basic LR Sets

Guest lectures on five subjects viz., Economics, History, Statistics, English and Mathematics have to be arranged in a week from Monday to Friday. Only one lecture can be arranged on each day. Economics cannot be scheduled on Tuesday. Guest faculty for History is available only on Tuesday. Mathematics lecture has to be scheduled immediately after the day of Economics lecture. English lecture has to be scheduled immediately before the day of Economics lecture.

1. Which lecture is scheduled before the Mathematics lecture?

  1. History
  2. English
  3. Statistics
  4. Economics

2. Which lecture is the last one in the week?

  1. Economics
  2. English
  3. Mathematics
  4. History

3. Which lecture is scheduled on Monday?

  1. History
  2. Economics
  3. Statistics
  4. Mathematics

4. Which lecture is scheduled on Wednesday?

  1. History
  2. Statistics
  3. English
  4. Economics

5. Which lecture is scheduled between Statistics and English?

  1. History
  2. Mathematics
  3. Economics
  4. No lecture

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Five cities P, Q, R, S and T are connected by different modes

Basic LR Sets

Read the following statements and answer the four items that follow:

Five cities P, Q, R, S and T are connected by different modes of transport as follows:

  • P and R are connected by boat only
  • S and R are connected by bus and boat
  • P and Q are connected by boat as well as rail
  • Q and T are connected by air only
  • T and R are connected by rail and bus

1. Which more of transport would help one to reach R starting from Q, but without changing the mode of transport?

  1. Rail
  2. Boat
  3. Air
  4. Bus

2. If a person visits each of the places starting from P and gets back to P, which of the following places must he visit twice?

  1. R
  2. S
  3. Q
  4. T

3. Which of the following pairs of cities is connected by any of the routes directly without going to any other city?

  1. Q and R
  2. P and T
  3. T and S
  4. None of these

4. Between which two cities among the pairs of cities given below are there maximum travel options available?

  1. Q and S
  2. P and R
  3. Q and R
  4. P and T

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A tennis coach is trying to put together a team of four players

Basic LR Sets

Read the following passage and answer the three items that follow:

A tennis coach is trying to put together a team of four players for the forthcoming tournament. For this 7 players are available: males A, B and C; and females W, X, Y and Z. All players have equal capability and at least 2 males will be there in the team. For a team of four, all players must be able to play with each other. But, B cannot play with W, C cannot play with Z and W cannot play with Y.

1. If Y is selected and B is rejected, the team will consist of which one of the following groups?

  1. A, W, Y and Z
  2. A, C, W and Y
  3. A, C, Y and Z
  4. A, C, X and Y

2. B is selected and Y is rejected, the team will consist of which one of the following groups?

  1. A, B, C and X
  2. A, B, C and W
  3. A, W, Y and Z
  4. A, B, C and Z

3. If all the three males are selected, then how many combinations of four member teams are possible?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

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Out of four friends A, B, C and D, A and B play football and cricket

Basic LR Sets

Examine carefully the following statements and answer the three items that follow:

Out of four friends A, B, C and D, A and B play football and cricket, B and C play cricket and hockey, A and D play basketball and football, C and D play hockey and basketball.

1. Who does not play hockey?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

2. Who plays football, basketball and hockey?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

3. Which game do B, C and D play?

  1. Cricket
  2. Basketball
  3. Football
  4. Hockey

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Only students can participate in the race

Syllogism

Consider the following three statements:

  1. Only students can participate in the race.
  2. Some participants in the race are girls.
  3. All girl participants in the race are invited for coaching.

Which one of the following conclusions can be drawn from the above statements?

  1. All students are invited for coaching.
  2. All participants in the race are students.
  3. All participants in the race are invited for coaching. 
  4. None of these

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None but the rich ran afford air-travel

Syllogism

Examine the following statements:

  1. None but the rich ran afford air-travel.
  2. Some of those who travel by air become sick.
  3. Some of those who become sick require treatment.

Which one of the following conclusions can be drawn from the above statements?

  1. All the rich persons become sick.
  2. All those who travel by air are rich.
  3. Those who travel by air become sick.
  4. All the rich persons travel by air.

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All artists are whimsical

Syllogism

Consider the following statements:

  1. All artists are whimsical.
  2. Some artists are drug addicts.
  3. Frustrated people are prone to become drug addicts.

From the above three statements it may be concluded that:

  1. Whimsical people are generally frustrated.
  2. All frustrated people are drug addicts.
  3. Artists are frustrated.
  4. Some drug addicts are whimsical.

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None but students are the members of the club

Syllogism

Examine the following statements:

  1. None but students are the members of the club.
  2. Some members of the club are married.
  3. All married persons are invited for dance.

Which one of the conclusions can be drawn from the above statements?

  1. All members of the club are married person
  2. All married students are invited for dance
  3. All students are invited for dance
  4. None of these

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All animals are carnivorous

Syllogism

Directions: There are four statements. Of these four statements, two cannot both be true, but both can be false. Study the statements carefully and identify the two that satisfy above condition.

Examine the following statements:

  1. All animals are carnivorous.
  2. Some animals are not carnivorous.
  3. Animals are not carnivorous.
  4. Some animals are carnivorous.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 3 and 4
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 3

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We are witnessing a dangerous dwindling of biodiversity in our food supply

UPSC Critical Reading

We are witnessing a dangerous dwindling of biodiversity in our food supply. The green revolution is a mixed blessing. Over time farmers have come to rely heavily on broadly adapted, high yield crops to the exclusion of varieties adapted to the local conditions. Monocropping vast fields with the same genetically uniform seeds helps boost yield and meet immediate hunger needs. Yet high-yield varieties are also genetically weaker crops that require expensive chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides. In our focus on increasing the amount of food we produce today, we have accidentally put ourselves at risk for food shortages in future.

Which among the following is the most logical and critical inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. In our agricultural practices, we have become heavily dependent on expensive chemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides only due to green revolution
  2. Monocropping vast fields with high-yield varieties is possible due to green revolution
  3. Monocropping with high-yield varieties is the only way to ensure food security to millions
  4. Green revolution can pose a threat to biodiversity in food supply and food security in the long run

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We generally talk about democracy but when it comes

UPSC Critical Reading

We generally talk about democracy but when it comes to any particular thing, we prefer a belonging to our caste or community or religion. So long as we have this kind of temptation, our democracy will remain a phoney kind of democracy. We must be in a position to respect a man as a man and to extend opportunities for development to those who deserve them and not to those who happen to belong to our community or race. This fact of favouritism has been responsible for much discontent and ill-will in our country.

Which one of the following statements best sums up the above passage?

  1. True democracy could be established by providing equal opportunities to all
  2. It will never be possible for us to establish truly democratic governance in our country
  3. Our country has a lot of diversity with its many castes, communities and religions
  4. So far none of us have actually understood the meaning of democracy

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Governments may have to take steps which would otherwise

UPSC Critical Reading

Governments may have to take steps which would otherwise be an infringement on the Fundamental Rights of individuals, such as acquiring a person's land against his will, or refusing permission for putting up a building, but the larger public interest for which these are done must be authorized by the people (Parliament). Discretionary powers to the administration can be done away with. It is becoming more and more difficult to keep this power within limits as the government has many number of tasks to perform. Where discretion has to be used, there must be rules and safeguards to prevent misuse of that power. Systems have to be devised which minimise, if not prevent, the abuse of discretionary power. Government work must be conducted within a framework of recognised rules and principles, and decisions should be similar and predictable.

Which among the following is the most logical assumption that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Government should always be given wide discretionary power in all matters of administration
  2. The supremacy of rules and safeguards should prevail as opposed to the influence of exclusive discretion of authority
  3. Parliamentary democracy is possible only if the Government has wider discretionary power
  4. None of the above statements is a logical assumption that can be made from this passage

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No Right is absolute, exclusive or inviolable

UPSC Critical Reading

No Right is absolute, exclusive or inviolable. The Right of personal property, similarly, has to be perceived in the larger context of its assumed legitimacy. The Right of personal property should unite the principle of liberty with that of equality, and both with the principle of cooperation.

In the light of the argument in the above passage, which one of the following statements is the most convincing explanation?

  1. Personal property is a theft and an instrument of exploitation. The Right of personal property is therefore violative of economic justice.
  2. The Right of personal property is a Natural Right duly supported by statutes and scriptures.
  3. The comprehensive idea of economic justice demands that the Right of each person to acquisition of property has to be reconciled with that of others.
  4. The Right of personal property is violative of distributive justice and negates the principle of cooperation.

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Open defecation is disastrous when practised in very densely

UPSC Critical Reading

Open defecation is disastrous when practised in very densely populated areas, where it is impossible to keep away human faeces from crops, wells, food and children's hands. Groundwater is also contaminated by open defecation. Many ingested germs and worms spread diseases. They prevent the body from absorbing calories and nutrients. Nearly one-half of India's children remain malnourished. Lakhs of them die from preventable conditions. Diarrhoea leaves Indian's bodies smaller on average than those of people in some poorer countries where people eat fewer calories. Underweight mothers produce stunted babies prone to sickness who may fail to develop their full cognitive potential. The germs released into environment harm rich and poor alike, even those who use latrines.

Which among the following is the most critical inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Open defecation reduces the human capital of India's workforce
  2. Open defecation is the most important public health problem of India
  3. The Central and State governments in India do not have enough resources to afford a latrine for each household
  4. Open defecation is a public health problem in all developing countries

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Set against a rural backdrop, 'Stench of kerosene' is the story

UPSC Critical Reading

Set against a rural backdrop, 'Stench of kerosene' is the story of a couple, Guleri and Manak, who have been happily married for several years but do not have a child. Manak's mother is desperate to have a grandchild to carry on the family name. Hence, she gets Manak remarried in Guleri's absence. Manak, who acts as a reluctant but passive spectator, is meanwhile, informed by a friend that Guleri, on hearing about her husband's second marriage, poured kerosene on her clothes and set fire to them. Manak is heartbroken and begins to live as if he were a dead man. When his second wife delivers a son, manak states at a the child for a long time an blurts out, "Take him away! He stinks of kerosene."

This is a sensitive issue-based story which tries to sensitise the readers about

  1. Male chauvinism and infidelity
  2. Love and betrayal
  3. Influence of patriarchal mindset
  4. Lack of legal safeguards for women

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The conflict between man and State is as old as State history

UPSC Critical Reading

The conflict between man and State is as old as State history. Although attempts have been made for centuries to bring about a proper adjustment between the competing claims of State and the individual, the solution seems to be still far off. This is primarily because of the dynamic nature of human society where old values and ideas constantly yield place to new ones. It is obvious that if individuals are allowed to have absolute freedom of speech and action, the result would be chaos, ruin and anarchy.

The author's viewpoint can be best summed up in which of the following statements?

  1. Old values, ideas and traditions persist despite the dynamic nature of human society.
  2. Constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech is not in the interest of society.
  3. The conflict between the claims of State and individual remains unresolved.
  4. Anarchy and chaos are the obvious results of democratic traditions.

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India has suffered from persistent high inflation

UPSC Critical Reading

India has suffered from persistent high inflation. Increase in administered prices, demand and supply imbalances, imported inflation aggravated by rupee depreciation, and speculation - have combined to keep high inflation going. If there is an element common to all of them, it is that many of them are the outcomes of economic reforms. India's vulnerability to the effects of changes in international prices has increased with trade liberalisation. The effort to reduce subsidies has resulted in a continuous increase in the prices of commodities that are administered.

What is the most logical, rational and crucial message that is implied in the above passage?

  1. Under the present circumstances, India should completely avoid all trade liberalisation policies and all subsidies.
  2. Due to its peculiar socio-economic situation, India is not yet ready for trade liberalisation process.
  3. Economic reforms can often high inflation economy.
  4. There is no solution in sight for the problems of continuing poverty and inflation in India in the near future.

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Climate change is already making many people hungry

UPSC Critical Reading

Climate change is already making many people hungry all over the world, by disrupting crop yields and pushing up prices. And it is not just food but nutrients that are becoming scarcer as the climate changes. It is the poorest communities that will suffer the worst effects of climate change, including increased hunger and malnutrition as crop production and livelihoods are threatened. On the other hand, poverty is a driver of climate change, as desperate communities resort to unsustainable use of resources to meet current needs.

Which among the following is the most logical corollary to the above passage?

  1. All the countries of the world must unite in fighting poverty and malnutrition and treat poverty as a global problem
  2. We must stop unsustainable agricultural practices immediately and control food prices
  3. Poverty and climate impacts reinforce each other and therefore we have to re-imagine our food systems
  4. Government should allocated more funds to poverty alleviation programmes and increase food subsidies to the poor communities

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The richer States have a responsibility to cut down carbon emissions

UPSC Critical Reading

The richer States have a responsibility to cut down carbon emissions and promote clean energy investments. These are the States that got electricity, grew faster and now have high per capita income, making them capable of sharing India's burden of becoming eco-friendly. Delhi, for example, can help by generating its own clean electricity using solar rooftop panels or even help poor States finance their clean energy projects. It is no secret that State Electricity Boards, which control 95% of the distribution network, are neck-deep in losses. These losses further discourage State utilities from adopting renewable energy as it is more expensive than fossil fuels.

Which among the following is the most logical and rational assumption that can be made from the above passage?

  1. The poor States always have to depend on rich States for electricity.
  2. The richer States must lead in the production and adoption of renewable energy.
  3. The high economic disparity between the rich and poor States is the major cause of high carbon emissions in India.
  4. The State Electricity Boards can improve their finances by undertaking clean energy projects.

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The Global Financial Stability Report finds that the share of portfolio

UPSC Critical Reading

The Global Financial Stability Report finds that the share of portfolio investments from advanced economies in the total debt and equity investments in emerging economies has doubled in the past decade to 12 per cent. The phenomenon has implication for Indian policy makers as foreign portfolio investments in the debt and equity markets have been on the rise. The phenomenon is also flagged as a threat that could compromise global financial stability in a chain reaction, in the event of United States Federal Reserve's imminent reversal of its 'Quantitative Easing' policy.

Which among the following is the most rational and critical inference that can be made from the above passage?

  1. Emerging economies are at a risk of shock from advanced economies
  2. India should desist from accepting foreign portfolio investments in the future
  3. Advanced economies undermine the global financial stability
  4. Foreign portfolio investments are not good for emerging economies

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