How to Prepare for Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension for the CAT (2014)
Part 1: Building Skills for Reading Comprehension
Section 2: LOD Exercises
Chapter 5. Level of Difficulty—I
One of the most successful commercial products ever launched is said to have come about as the result of a mistake. In 1896, Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia, was selling a nerve tonic known as ‘French Wine Cola—Ideal Nerve Tonic’. By accidentally adding fizzy water instead of still water to the recipe, a pharmacist called John S. Pemberton invented what has today become the most popular soft drink in the world: Coca-Cola. Along with its closest rival—Pepsi—which appeared on the market three years later, Coke has enjoyed phenomenal success worldwide, particularly in the past fifty years. Indeed, old Coke bottles and ‘limited edition’ cans can often fetch considerable sums from collectors, and there are even stores which deal exclusively in Coke products and memorabilia.
What could possibly account for the amazing success of Coca-Cola? How has this combination of carbonated water, sugar, acid and flavourings come to symbolise the American way of life for most of the world? After all, even the manufacturers could hardly describe Coke as a healthy product since it contains relatively high amounts of sugar (admittedly not the case with Diet Coke which contains artificial sweeteners instead of sugar) and phosphoric acid, both of which are known to damage teeth.
One explanation may be found in the name. The original recipe included a flavouring from the coca plant and probably included small amounts of cocaine (an addictive substance), but since the early part of this century, all traces of cocaine have been removed. However, Coke (like all cola drinks) also includes a flavouring from the cola tree; cola extract contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, and the Coca-Cola company adds extra caffeine for good measure. While caffeine is not thought to be an addictive substance in itself, there is considerable evidence that over a period of time, the consumption of caffeine has to be increased in order for its stimulating effect to be maintained, and so sales of Coke perhaps benefit as a result.
A more likely reason for the enduring popularity of Coke may, however, be found in the company’s enviable marketing strategies. Over the years, it has come up with some of the most memorable commercials, tunes, slogans and sponsorship in the world of advertising, variously emphasizing international harmony, youthfulness and a carefree lifestyle. Few other companies (arguably including Pepsi) have been able to match such marketing ploys so consistently or effectively. As suggested earlier, the influences of American culture are evident just about everywhere, and Coca-Cola has somehow come to represent a vision of the United States that much of the rest of the world dreams about and aspires to. Perhaps drinking Coke brings people that little bit closer to the dream.
1.According to the paragraph, ‘cans can often fetch considerable sums’ means the same as:
(a)Coke is quite expensive in some parts of the world Coke.
(b)collectors consider carefully how much they are paying for a can of Coke.
(c)old coke cans have a lot of value.
(d)some collectors will only drink Coke in exclusive stores.
(e)certain Coke cans are worth a lot of money as collectable items.
2.According to the paragraph, the author uses ‘for good measure’ to emphasize the fact that:
(a)there is a lot of caffeine in Coke.
(b)the amount of caffeine in Coke is carefully measured.
(c)the extra caffeine improves the taste of Coke.
(d)the extra caffeine balances the amount found naturally in the cola extract.
(e)the extra caffeine is healthy for the drinkers of Coke.
3.According to the paragraph, ‘Coke has enjoyed phenomenal success’ suggests that the author:
(a)thinks that the success of Coke is very strange.
(b)believes that the success of Coke has been impressive.
(c)thinks that the suecess of Coke is beyond explanation.
(d)rather disapproves of the success of Coke.
(e)considers the success of Coke to be undeserved.
4.Describing Coke’s marketing strategies as ‘enviable’ in the paragraph, the author means that:
(a)the strategies are based on envy.
(b)Coke’s marketing staff is encouraged to be envious of each other’s ideas.
(c)people are persuaded to buy Coke because they are envious of others.
(d)rivals are envious of the Coke Company’s successful methods of marketing.
(e)Coke’s marketing strategies are enviable.
5.It can be inferred from the last sentence of the passage that:
(a)most people would like to live in America.
(b)many people wish for a lifestyle like they imagine most Americans have.
(c)drinking Coke reminds a lot of people of visiting America.
(d)living in the United States is a bit like living in a dream.
(e)drinking Coke is part of the American dream.
6.According to the paragraph, all of the following are not true, except:
(a)Cocaine and caffeine are addictive substances.
(b)At least one of the ingredients of Coke is addictive.
(c)The stimulating effect of caffeine is reduced over time unless consumption of it is increased.
(d)The Coca-Cola company has gradually increased the amount of caffeine it puts in Coke.
(e)All of the above are not true.
Ask an American schoolchild what he or she is learning in school these days and you might even get a reply, provided you ask it in Spanish. But don’t bother, here’s the answer: Americans nowadays are not learning any of the things that we learned in our day, like reading and writing. Apparently, these are considered fusty old subjects, invented by white males to oppress women and minorities.
What are they learning? In a Vermont college town, I found the answer sitting in a toy store book rack, next to typical kids’ books like ‘Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy Is Dysfunctional’. It’s a teacher’s guide called ‘Happy To Be Me’, subtitled ‘Building Self Esteem’.
Self-esteem, as it turns out, is a big subject in American classrooms. Many American schools see building it as important as teaching reading and writing. They call it “whole language” teaching, borrowing terminology from the granola people to compete in the education marketplace.
No one ever spent a moment building my self-esteem when I was in school. In fact, from the day I first stepped inside a classroom, my self-esteem was one big demolition site. All that mattered was “the subject,” be it geography, history, or mathematics. I was praised when I remembered that “near”, “fit”, “friendly”, “pleasing”, “like” and their opposites took the dative case in Latin. I was reviled when I forgot what a cosine was good for. Generally, I lived my school years beneath a torrent of castigation so consistent I eventually ceased to hear it, as people who live near the sea eventually stop hearing the waves.
Schools have changed. Reviling is out, for one thing. More important, subjects have changed. Whereas I learned English, modern kids learn something called “language skills.” Whereas I learned writing, modern kids learn something called “communication”. Communication, the book tells us, is seven per cent words, 23 per cent facial expression, 20 per cent tone of voice, and 50 per cent body language. So this column, with its carefully chosen words, would earn me at most, a grade of seven per cent. That is, if the school even gave out something as oppressive and demanding as grades.
The result is that, in place of English classes, American children are getting a course in How to ‘Win Friends and Influence People’. Consider the new attitude toward journal writing: I remember one high school English class when we were required to keep a journal. The idea was to emulate those great writers who confided in diaries, searching their souls and honing their critical thinking on paper.
‘Happy To Be Me’ states that journals are a great way for students to get in touch with their feelings. Tell students they can write one sentence or a whole page. Reassure them that no one, not even you, will read what they write. After the unit, hopefully, all students will be feeling good about themselves and will want to share some of their entries with the class.
There was a time when no self-respecting book for English teachers would use “great” or “hopefully” that way. Moreover, back then, the purpose of English courses (an antique term for “Unit”) was not to help students “feel good about themselves.” Which is good, because all that reviling didn’t make me feel particularly good about anything.
7.According to the passage, the author implies that
(a)self-criticism has gone too far.
(b)evaluating criteria are inappropriate nowadays.
(c)communication is a more comprehensive category than language skills.
(d)this column does not meet the demanding evaluating criteria of today.
(e)there is a dumbing down of American education.
8.According to the author, all of the following are true except
(a)subjects are no longer taught seriously.
(b)academic standards in schools nowadays are no longer high enough.
(c)kids nowadays are encouraged to be self-critical.
(d)the use of language has changed for the worse.
(e)none of these.
9.The style of the author can be best described as
10.The attitude of the author can be best described as
11.How would you describe the author’s attitude towards current learning strategies?
12.According to the passage, the author’s intention is to get us to:
(a)confirm current trends.
(b)rethink educational strategies.
(c)think about what constitutes communication.
(e)redefine language teaching.
The first arrival on being introduced, asked me if I was the owner of the hotel. The second arrival shook my hand vigorously, then proclaimed. “Yes, of course, I’ve read your book—No full stops in India.”
“That was Mark Tully”, I said, “He smokes a pipe.”
The third or fourth arrival got it right, but spoilt it all by asking, “Do you still write, Mr. Bond?”
This is like asking a chef if he still makes soup, or a cobbler if he can repair a shoe. I couldn’t be bothered answering his question, but a little boy came to my rescue by asking me to sign my latest book. Nevertheless, the question lingers and sometimes I ask myself: Did I find my dream—the dream of 45 years ago? Do I remember that dream? Most of it, I do believe. To live independently as a fulltime writer, that was part of the dream. And I have done that for most of my adult life. No riches, no houses, no cars, no computers. But independence, certainly.
To live in the place of my choice. While I was away in Delhi in the early 1960s, I decided I was going to live in the hills and work from there. Just as, five years earlier, I had decided that my home was India and not England.
Mussoorie may not have been the perfect choice (there are places more lovely), but in many ways, it has suited me. I’m near the Doon (familiar territory), not too far from Delhi (and my publishers), and just a short walk into the solitude of the mountains. I have lived with the family and companions of my choice—Prem and his children and grandchildren, and many good people on the hillside who have been generous to me over the years.
And have I won the time for leisure, books, nature, love and friendship? Yes, most of these things, for some of the time. Not everything falls neatly into place. How can it? But I think I’ve done most of what I set out to do. I could have done it a little better, and perhaps there’s time to do more. My faults and limitations are many, but I’ve always accepted that I’m a most imperfect specimen of humanity, which means I’ve always been on friendly terms with myself! And yes, Sir, I’m still doing my thing—cobbling shoes, making a tolerable soup, and recording my life and the life around me to the best of my ability. Talking of hotels—most of them, big or small, have one thing in common: the occasional guest who makes off with the linen, the cutlery, and sometime, even a TV set.
Nandu (of the Savoy) tells of how one customer drove off with a mattress rolled up on the luggage rack. When the manager realized what had happened, he phoned the police at the toll-barrier, and they stopped the car and took possession of the mattress. The owner of the car promptly blamed his driver for the theft, but the driver responded— “Sir, you asked me to pick up two mattresses, and now you are blaming me for stealing one!”
Of course there are some tourists who leave their belongings behind; or if not their belongings, their fellow-travelers. The day after a group of jolly, beer-guzzling young men vacated their room, the housekeeper opened a cupboard to have a dead body tumble out on top of her. In a different hotel, a box-bed was found stuffed with a decaying corpse. Both cases went unsolved. Equally enterprising were the young men from Haryana who stabbed to death one of their companions and left the body in the Landour cemetery. But these gentlemen left so many clues behind that they were caught a few days later. Hill-stations are, by and large, peaceful places, but just occasionally, crime rears its ugly head and an old lady is found strangled in her bed or a failed businessman is found hanging in the bathroom. We won’t dwell on these tragedies but think instead of the thousands who come here in high spirits and go away in even better spirits—the combination of clean mountain air, breath-taking scenery, and, just occasionally, spirits of the bottled variety having done wonders for their outlook on life.
To me, flowers are the most sensual of living things, or perhaps, it’s just that the appeal to the sensuality of my own nature. A rose in bud, the heady scent of jasmine, the unfolding of a lily, the flaunting colour of dahlias and giant marigolds, the seductive fragrance of the honeysuckle, all these excite and entice me.
A wild species of geranium (the round-leaved cransebill, to give its English name) with a tiny lilac flower, has responded to my overtures, making a great display in a tub where I encouraged it to spread. Never one to spurn a gesture of friendship, I have given it the freedom of the shady back verandah. Let it be my flower of the month, this rainy August.
13.What is the author’s view towards his own life?
(a)He’s pretty relaxed about his life.
(b)He’s pretty satisfied by his life.
(c)He’s concerned about his life.
(d)He’s thinking about what the future holds for him & wants to forget the past.
(e)He is living in the past.
14.According to the passage, after the beer guzzling young men vacated their room, the housekeeper was shocked by:
(a)Not finding the carpet.
(b)Finding a box.
(c)By finding a dead body of a young man in the cupboard, which tumbled out on top of her.
(d)All of these.
(e)None of these.
15.Why does the author choose to stay in Mussourie?
(a)It suited him in many ways.
(b)It was near to Doon; which was familiar to him.
(c)It was not too far from Delhi & his publishers.
(d)All of the above.
(e)None of the above.
16.What has been the author doing for the most of his adult life?
(a)Travelling to different places.
(b)Living independently as a full time writer.
(c)Collecting riches for future.
(d)Marvelling at the nature.
(e)Living in the place of his choice.
17.What does the author want to imply by saying “Not everything falls into place”.
(a)A person cannot have all the things he wants from life.
(b)A person cannot win time for leisure, books, nature & love all at once.
(c)Life is like a jumble and its very hard to fit the right word at the right place.
(d)Life can be cruel at times.
(e)None of the above.
Recent technological advancement in manned and unmanned undersea vehicles, overcome some of the limitations of divers equipment. Without a vehicle, divers often became sluggish and their mental concentration was limited. Because of undersea pressure that affected their mind, concentration among divers was difficult or impossible. But today, most oceanographers make observations by means of instruments that are lowered into the ocean or from samples taken from the water. Direct observations of the ocean floor are made not only by the divers, but also by deep-diving submarines. Some of these submarines can dive to depths of more than several miles and cruise at depths of 15 thousand feet. Radio equipped buoys can be operated by remote control in order to transmit information back to land-based laboratories including data about water temperature, currents and weather. Some of mankind’s most serious problems, especially those concerning energy and food may be solved with the help of observations made possible by these undersea vehicles.
18.With what topic is the passage primarily concerned?
(a)recent technological advances.
(b)communication among divers.
(c)Direct observation of the ocean floor.
(e)Technological advancement of undersea vehicles.
19.Divers have had problems in concentrating underwater because:
(a)the pressure affected their minds.
(b)the vehicles they used have not been perfected.
(c)they did not think clearly.
(d)the pressure destroyed their mental processes.
(e)of distractions while diving.
20.This passage suggests that the successful exploration of the ocean depends upon:
(a)vehicles as well as divers.
(b)radio that divers use to communicate.
(c)controlling currents and the weather.
(d)removal of the limitations of diving equipment.
(e)Development of undersea vehicles.
(a)are too small for a man to fit inside.
(b)are very slow to respond.
(c)have the same limitations that divers have.
(d)make direct observations of the ocean floor.
(e)are technologically primitive.
22.How is a radio-equipped buoy most likely to be operated?
(a)By operators inside the vehicle and underwater.
(b)By operators outside the vehicle on a ship.
(c)By operators outside the vehicle on a diving platform.
(d)By operators outside the vehicle in a laboratory on the shore.
(e)Cannot be inferred.
23.According to the author, what are some of the problems the underwater studies may eventually resolve?
(a)Weather and temperature control.
(b)Food and energy shortages.
(c)Transportation and communication problems.
(d)Overcrowding and housing problems.
BOOKSHOPS are piled higher than ever before with lavishly illustrated children’s books tricked out to look like instant classics. What to buy?
1. Books for Five-year olds and under
Whether to be read alone or to be read aloud, a good picture book for young children strikes a balance between words, which must not be too plentiful, and images, which must not shout too loudly. “How Many Miles to Bethlehem?” is a deft retelling of the story of the Nativity by an English poet, Kevin Crossley-Holland, with Peter Malone as illustrator. The words are spare and well chosen (every actor in the drama, from the ass to the angel, has a page to present his point of view), while the rich pictures are almost Giotto-like in atmosphere and choice of detail.
Also ringing the changes on a seasonal theme is “Santa’s Littlest Helper”—a collaboration between Anu Stohner and Henrike Wilson as illustrator. One of Santa’s undervalued assistants stumbles upon a startling fact: animals, unlike children, don’t usually get presents.
Alexis Deacon is one of the finest of a younger generation of English illustrators for children. In his third work, “Jitterbug Jam: A Monster Tale”, Mr. Deacon collaborates with an American writer, Barbara Jean Hicks, to produce a gentle morality tale about the nature of strangeness. His horned monsters, alarming to look at but gentle in character, seem distantly related to Maurice Sendak’s wild things.
The best animal picture book of the season is “Lord of the Forest” by Caroline Pitcher and Jackie Morris. Ms. Morris’s illustrations are lavish and painterly, and the story—who exactly is the king of the jungle?—holds the reader in suspense until the very last page.
The funniest new picture book is Posy Simmonds’s “Baker Cat”, the tale of a baker’s cat who manages to outwit his owner, a thoroughly punitive and miserable fellow, by forging a cunning alliance with the very mice he is supposed to be keeping out of the bakery. Children will adore the fussy detail and the hilarious dialogue.
New in Britain, “The King of Capri” is a tale by Jeanette Winterson, who is better known for her novels for grown-ups; it is illustrated with panache by Jane Ray. The wind blows away the clothes of a greedy king, but they land on the roof of a tender-hearted woman. The story has all the ease and surprise of an old folk tale.
2. Six-to-ten-year olds
Two new editions of classic books head the list for children at the younger end of this age range. Naomi Lewis has produced an excellent new selection from the “Tales of Hans Christian Andersen.” All the favourites are here, from “Thumbelina” to “The Little Mermaid” and “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, along with lesser known stories, such as “The Flying Trunk”. Joel Stewart’s illustrations bring out the many moods in Andersen’s stories—their darkness, their vertigo-inducing strangeness, their wild flights of humour.
From the same publishers comes Martin Jenkins’s sensitive abridgement of Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver”. The illustrations of Chris Riddell, formerly with The Economist, show his characteristic flights of fancy.
Admirers of Philip Pullman for his a “Dark Materials” trilogy, will be pleased to discover that he is no less adept at writing fantasy for younger children. “The Scarecrow and His Servant” has familiar elements of plot and characterisation, from the perky and comical scarecrow himself, to the serendipitous journey he takes in the company of a small, hungry boy called Jack. Yet, the familiar is transformed by the engaging and unpredictable way in which the story unfolds. Sheer delight.
“Magical Children” brings together three short novels by Sally Gardner about children who have magical gifts—the strongest girl in the world, a boy who can fly and another who just happens to be invisible. Ms Gardner’s strength lies in her ability to combine the extraordinary with the utterly unexceptional.
“Christopher Mouse: The Tale of a Small Traveller” is a wonderful first novel by William Wise for readers with growing confidence. It is about the adventures of a mouse who moves from family to family and after much travel and heartache, finds a happy home. The delight of this book is in the deft humour of the first-person storytelling.
Two novels not to be missed at the upper end of the age range are Linda Newbery’s “At the Firefly Gate” and Shannon Hale’s “Enna Burning”. The first is about an unconfident urban boy, newly displaced to rural Suffolk, who makes strangely magical links across the generations. The second is a historical fantasy which circles around the mysteries of fire.
3. Eleven and above
Children’s fiction for this age group has long been dominated by fantasy published in series. This season, two authors with an excellent record have new titles to their name, Herbie Brennan adds to his “Faerie Wars” series with a new book, “The Purple Emperor”. In it, a son has the unenviable task of following in the footsteps of a father who has returned from the grave. Mr Brennan’s manner is both brisk and amusing.
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell have again collaborated on the latest novel—the seventh—in the “Edge Chronicles” series. “Freeglader” is set in foot-slogging, mist-choked Tolkien/Pratchett country. A young knight-librarian, Rook Barkwater, inches his way through peril, meeting ferocious birds, treacherous blowholes and bogs, and much else to keep him on his mettle.
Ursula Le Guin is a distinguished author of fantasies for older children. Her new novel, “Gifts”, feels rooted in the folk tales of some distant, mythic tribe. The intricate plot is plainly yet absorbingly written.
Frank Cottrell Boyce has written a delightful and quirky thriller, set in Ireland, just before the introduction of the euro. “Millions” is quite unlike anything else recently written for this age group. The narrator, Anthony Cunningham of Year Six, has a direct and beguiling voice: funny, odd and compulsively readable. This is a story about money—how it arrives out of the blue, and how it needs to be to spent, fast.
More poignant and inward-looking is “Private Peaceful”, a novel by Michael Morpurgo, Britain’s children’s laureate. A young private, trapped in the trenches during the first world war, reflects upon his peaceful rural childhood. The closer danger creeps, the more he faces backwards into the past to retrieve some sense of inner tranquility.
24.What should a good picture book for children not contain?
(a)Quantum of words.
(b)Images should not be blatant.
(c)There should be a balance between words and images.
(e)All of above.
25.In Anu Stohner’s “Santa’s Littlest Helper”
(a)There is a story on morality about strangeness.
(b)There are horned monsters.
(c)both a and b.
(d)The words are spare and well chosen.
26.Which of these books is not listed in the passage?
III.“The Purple Emperor”
(c)II & III.
(d)I & II.
27.According to the passage, which of the following books has humour?
(a)“Christopher Mouse–The Tale of a Small Traveler”.
(d)At the Firefly gate.
28.Which of the following books has been set in a time just before the introduction of the euro?
(e)At the Firefly gate.
For something that was supposed to be the next global gold rush, the Internet sure seems disappointing. True, companies such as America’s Netscape Communications Corporation that sell the technology for setting up shop on Internet’s World Wide Web, are doing a land-office business and making immense paper fortunes in a bull market dazzled by the Web. But it’s damned hard to find any of the prospectors who use those tools actually hitting pay dirt by selling merchandise and information or running advertisements on the Internet.
The horror stories of money-losing Web ventures are everywhere, including high profile fumbles by some of the premier names in media and communications. The biggest losers so far have been US companies, mainly because they plunged in early with money to burn. But players large and small, are now following in Europe and Asia. They’re likely to hit red ink as well Take two US leaders, Time Warner and AT&T. Don Logan, the New York-based CEO of Time Inc., last year complained publicly that Pathfinder, Time’s glitzy Web site, gives new definition to the term ‘black hole’. Since then, Pathfinder has gotten new management, a facelift, and a plan to begin charging for some content. Now, Time Warner executives say the site will generate profits ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, AT&T as part of an overhaul of its Web strategy, ended up killing an ambitious ‘Health Site’ before even finishing testing. MCI Communications Corporation’s Internet shopping mall failed to lure tenants and is shuttered. No wonder the question being asked—ever more nervously by bankers, entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives is: Can you make money on the Net? The answer is yes, but not a lot of it yet. The number of losers still exceeds the number of money makers by more than 2 to 1. But it turns out that while the corporate giants have been thrashing around noisily in cyberspace, showing how not to make money on the Net, scores of entrepreneurs have been quietly tinkering, creating new business models for retailing, marketing, publishing and advertising that work for them and could perhaps point the way to an Internet payoff. This first wave of profitable companies is proving that electronic commerce can work, that you can sell ads on the Web, and that at least sometimes, people will pay for online information. “Companies that are offering a unique business proposition on the Web can and will be successful,” says San Francisco analyst Betty Lyter of Montgomery Securities.
One example is American jazz fan, Jason Olim. Frustrated by skimpy selections in music shops, he came up with the idea of a cyber store that could offer every jazz album made in the US and 20,000 imports. The beauty of it: no brick-and-mortar costs and no inventory. Shoppers place their orders with CDnow, which, in turn, contacts distributors. Most discs are delivered to the customer’s door in 24 hours. Add in advertising revenues, and CDnow expects to hit $6 million in sales in 1997, triple last year’s revenue, with 18% operating margins. Says Jason Olim: ‘We’re dancing as fast as we can’.
In California, Peter Ellis was nearly wiped out by the deep recession of the early 1990s. He lost $15 million, when he was forced to sell off or close 16 auto dealerships. But last January, he was back in business on the Net. Auto-By-Tel, his new company, makes money by selling sales leads to auto dealers across America. For a monthly subscription fee of $250 to $1500, dealers get the names of Web surfers who have checked in at Auto-By-Tel and decided to buy at the listed “no-haggle” price. Some 1400 dealers use the system, and at the current growth rate, Ellis says he will return a profit of $6.5 million of revenues this year. “This thing is on fire”, he says.
In Silicon Valley, veteran entrepreneur Jerry Kaplan thinks he has the right formula this time. His previous startup, a maker of handwriting recognition software called Go, went south in early 1994. In July, he launched ONSALE, an on-line computer auction. For a growing audience of computer-savvy consumers, bidding in the twice-weekly sale has become a ritual: part bargain hunting, part entertainment. By August, each auction was bringing in an average $445000, putting the company on an annual run rate of $45 million. What’s more, ONSALE, with 10 to 20% gross profit margins, has been profitable since January.
Olim, Ellis, and Kaplan are not the only “Netpreneurs” who are making it big on the Web. In a June survey of 1100 US Web-based businesses, conducted by market researcher ActiveMedia, 31% claimed to be profitable, with 28% more saying that they will be in the next 12 to 24 months. Those surveyed accounted for $130 million in Web revenues in June alone. And this only reflects the average company on Net rather than the large companies, which are not included.
1.Active media is a firm ____________
(a)in the business of Internet service.
(b)using Internet extensively.
(c)involved in marketing research.
(d)A web marketing firm.
(e)None of these.
2.Auto-by-Tel is in the business of _____________
(a)selling auto spares.
(b)selling automobiles at the ‘no-haggle’ prices.
(c)selling addresses of people who are interested in buying an automobile.
(d)selling addresses of those who have surfed the service on Net.
(e)Selling cars on telephone.
3.The term ‘Netpreneurs’ has been used to address __________
(a)individuals who have an access to the Internet.
(b)entrepreneurs who take assistance from the Net for locating a supplier.
(c)entrepreneurs who use the Net for their business advantage.
(d)Entrepreneurs who run net busineses.
(e)None of these.
4.To be successful on the net, you need to ________
(a)be a successful businessman.
(b)offer a unique business proposition.
(c)have massive funds.
(d)be renowned in the field.
(e)Have an internet sales model.
5.Which of these sentences is true, according to the passage?
(a)Netscape, completely robbed off, was back in the business on the net.
(b)Peter Ellis, completely robbed off, was back in business on the net.
(c)Even average companies are making huge money in business through net.
(d)All of the above.
(e)None of the above.
6.According to the passage, the MCI was looking for __________
(e)None of these.
7.Which of the following sentences is incorrect, according to the passage?
(a)Recession of the early 90s caused severe economic damages around the world.
(b)Pathfinder’s management got an upstart with the new definition of the term ‘black hole’.
(c)There is a sort of cacophony on the net because of the presence of a notion how to make money through the Internet.
(d)There are netpreneurs apart from Olim, Ellis and Kaplan.
(e)None of these.
Proton and Daewoo bid for Lotus and after a fierce battle, Proton bought Lotus, lock, stock, and sports cars for a total of $51 million. Why? Stop before you dismiss this as an irrelevant question and turn to the next story. The answer could have a link with India’s much-won muddle at its largest car-maker, Maruti Udyog Limited (MUL). To understand why, you need to know about Proton and what Lotus means to it. Proton is Malaysia’s number one car manufacturer, and it has announced an all-new product range that will be on the road by the turn of the millennium. Proton was set up by the government of Malaysia, in cooperation with Japan’s Mitsubishi. The first Proton, fitted with the most modern Japanese technology, rolled off the production line in 1985, a year after MUL rolled out its first car. At present, its production capacity is over 180,000 vehicles, whereas MUL is nearly 300,000.
By 2000, Proton plans to increase production to over 400,000 cars a year. In just two years after the first Proton rolled out, the company started exports. Proton now exports to 32 countries, has sold over 80,000 cars in the UK and is easily one of the most successful importers there. Impressive? Yes. But can Proton sustain the growth? And whatever happened to Mitsubishi, the Japanese partner? The most important difference between Proton and MUL is that while the government of Malaysia wanted to build a national car and was ready to support it for as long as it was needed, MUL was the creation of a lobby of politicians. But first, let us concentrate on what the government of Malaysia did to ensure Proton’s future. To start with, the Japanese never had more than 30 per cent stake in the company. Instead, the Malaysian government, which held the majority stake through a company called Hicon Holdings, was always ready to pay the Japanese any royalties they wanted. Mitsubishi began losing interest and now holds only a marginal stake.
But last year, Proton got a new owner. The 50-year old Tan Sri Yahaya Ahamad is the son of a forestry official who trained at Loughborough University as an automotive engineer, then returned to Malaysia to sell cars. He went from one success to another, and when the Malaysian government decided to sell the state owned Hicon Holdings, Yahaya was its man. He is now one of the biggest players in the rapidly growing Malaysian economy. A true technocrat, he saw no growth for Proton unless investments were made in research and development. The timing was perfect. Lotus, the legendary sports car maker and research firm that designs everything from Olympic medal winning cycles to Corvette engines, was up for sale.
It would take Yahaya and Proton lots of money to buy Lotus—in fact, fully double of what the previous owner Romano “Silver Fox” Artioli paid General Motors for the ailing firm just a few years ago. Too much was at stake for Artioli and with bailiffs knocking at the door, he was willing to part with 80 per cent of Lotus. The seeming simplicity of the deal may have had something to do with the size of the offer. For a company grappling with terminal cash-flow problems, an offer for 80 per cent amounting to roughly double the company’s value three years earlier, was irresistible. Yahaya guaranteed Artioli a seat on the board of the new Lotus, committed himself to doubling the production of the Elise sports car, and expanding the contract engineering business.
The last was actually Yahaya’s trump card. And now that Mitsubishi link was weakening every day, Proton needed all the services Lotus could offer. And Yahaya would try to maximize every penny of the $80 million that he had spent acquiring that controlling stake. A glimpse of things to come was seen at the Frankfurt International Auto Show ’97, where Proton launched the stylish 1800cc coupe, combining high performance, responsive handling and lavish standard specifications. The concept is to explore the market developed by the South Korean giants by playing their own value-for-money game. So Proton, a former government owned company is emerging as a credible player on the competitive global car market. There are lessons in this for MUL. The problem with MUL was that the desire to make a national car came from the ruling Congress party. It wanted to pay homage to Sanjay Gandhi whose dream was an affordable automobile for the masses and one that was built in India. And those who worked feverishly to achieve that can be proud because MUL does make an affordable quality automobile in large volumes in India. But once the company was created, the need to protect it became so paramount that competition was not on the agenda in the start up period. To Suzuki, the partner, this was something new. Financially speaking, no partner can be better than a government and whatever difficulties Suzuki had to face were erased easily by government sops. So what started for Suzuki as a minor overseas operation, soon became its largest car plant outside Hamamatsu. And India became a good money earner for Suzuki outside Japan, with 74.6 per cent of its global profits coming in from the Rs. 800 crore profit made by MUL in 1996–97.
The Maruti 800 became the benchmark car in India and a shooting yen prevented MUL from swapping the model from Alto nee Zen, the same car made an entry in India as a classier hatchback and a replacement market car. And the 800 cc continued to reign supreme. Credit must go to MUL and Suzuki for indigenising the car and making it one of the cheapest in the world—it retails well under US $10000 mark. But Suzuki fast became complacent and with the stake of the company raised to 50 per cent from a mere 26 per cent in 1992, it became ever more so. Nowhere in all this did the government think of setting up an R&D wing big enough to develop newer designs or at least revamps, without going to Hamamatsu. To be fair, Suzuki never voiced the need for an in-house MUL R&D.
8.Which of the following sentences is correct, according to the passage?
(a)Lotus was taken over by Proton so as to be able to offer a new product range.
(b)Lotus was taken over by Proton for increasing its cash balance.
(c)Lotus was taken over by Proton for contract engineering expertise.
(d)(a) & (b) both.
(e)a, b & c.
9.Which of the following statements is correct, according to the passage?
(a)Hicon Holdings was a Malaysian Government owned company.
(b)Maruti Udyog Ltd. belongs to the joint sector.
(c)Proton is an internationally competitive company today.
(d)a & b.
(e)None of these.
10.As per the passage, Maruti Udyog Ltd. has been successful because:
(a)It was created by a lobby of politicians.
(b)It had the protection of government regulations.
(c)It catered to 70% of the Indian market.
(d)It created a national car for the requirements of the common Indian.
(e)It was technologically superion than its competitors.
11.As projected by the passage, the MUL has nurtured the interest of_________
(d)India’s growth story
(e)None of these
12.The major difference between the Proton and MUL has been
(a)the political backing.
(b)the Japanese Collaboration.
(c)the emphasis on R&D efforts.
(d)The use of technology.
(e)None of the above.
13.Which of the following sentences is incorrect, according to the passage?
(a)The realization of Maruti cars in India is in consonance with the dream of the late Sanjay Gandhi who desired to have an affordable automobile for the masses.
(b)The contribution of Suzuki Motors towards indigenising the car is noteworthy.
(c)A high performance & efficient 1800 cc coupe was launched to explore the South Korean market.
(d)The Maruti 800 became the benchmark car in India.
(e)None of the above.
Sheepish scientists now admit that the first and most famous cloned animal, Dolly, is probably growing old before her time. It is reported that Dolly suffers from arthritis in one of her hind legs. Created from a cell taken from an adult ewe’s mammary glands by Ian Wilmut and his team of scientists at the Roslin Institute in Scotland five years ago, Dolly created ripples in frontier biotech research. Hundreds of such cloned animal foetuses created before Dolly were found to be either abnormal or incapable of survival or both. Now, sceptics point out that Dolly’s arthritis at so young an age is proof of the untenability of the cloning technique itself. In Dolly’s case, they say, the issue at hand is premature ageing; in others, however, the consequences could be much more complicated and serious. Anti-cloning activists are quick to point out that the dangers of serious side-effects would be similar in human clones—making the entire technology highly questionable. Dolly’s limping back into the limelight has opened up a fresh debate on the pros and cons of using cloning techniques to create new embryos, stem lines and tissues, whether animal or human. “The cloning process still has some problems producing a true copy of donor animals”, admits a Japanese scientist based in Tokyo. He also concedes that the animals might indeed develop health problems in the future.
Dolly’s creator, however, is optimistic. According to him, only systematic studies could help us overcome all these difficulties as there is no way of knowing whether Dolly’s arthritis is due to cloning, or whether it is an unrelated occurrence. Scientists say that it is unusual but not unknown for a five-and-a-half year-old sheep to develop arthritis. “It should keep a lot of us in business for a long time,” he says. Dr. Wilmut had earlier come out strongly against extending cloning to human embryos, as he felt that the nascent technique ought to be perfected and understood in animals before being extended to humans. Dolly’s premature ageing, however, was not entirely unexpected as it was revealed—soon after her birth—that she had very short telomeres for a newborn. Produced during embryonic development, telomeres are the nubs that cap the ends of chromosomes rather like shoe-lace ends. As the cells mature and divide with growth, the telomeres crumble and eventually, when the erosion is complete, the cell dies. Dolly’s shortened telomeres are attributed to the fact that she was made using genetic material taken from a six-year-old ewe, making her technically as old as her ‘Mom’. As such, Dolly’s ageing should not be taken as a representative example of how cloning technology can go wrong. The case should be treated as pointer to the complexities involved and could provide guidance for the future. The therapeutic value of cloning to create stem cells and tissues to treat terminally ill patients is too important to be dismissed summarily. An independent assessment of the long-term health of cloned animals worldwide would be a step in the direction towards greater understanding of the effects of the new technology.
14.Which of the following statements about Dolly is correct?
(a)The cell taken from the ewe’s mammary gland in Scotland created ripples, as the famous clone Dolly was born.
(b)Dolly’s body being prone to disease attests the unfeasibility of the cloning technique.
(c)Premature aging could be the factor causing Dolly’s abnormalities.
(d)Dolly’s arthritis is a proof of the fact that cloning is untenable.
(e)All of these.
15.Which of the following sentences matches with the opinion of the scientist about the newly cloned sheep?
(a)The cloning process is completely impeccable.
(b)The cloning process has got many side effects.
(c)Medical science failed to detail any clarification with respect to the abnormalities besetting Dolly.
(d)The cloning process is still not impeccable.
(e)None of these.
16.Which of these sentences relates to the opinion of Dr. Wilmut?
(a)Dolly’s premature ageing was revealed after a long time after its birth.
(b)Cloning has to be first perfected in animals before being extended to human beings.
(c)Dolly’s premature ageing was due to short telomeres.
(d)b & c both.
(e)None of these.
17.With of which of these subjects is the passage related?
(e)Social & Medical effects of cloning.
A new US study has warned that adolescents who take performance enhancing anabolic steroids are more likely to have adverse neural and behavioural consequences, like aggression and moodiness because of the steroids affect on the underdeveloped brain and the nervous system. The study, by Northeastern University in the US, centred around a brain chemical called serotonin, which is linked to mood. Lower levels of serotonin are associated with depression and aggression. For the study, experiments were carried out on a strain of Syrian hamsters. This breed has similar neurological circuitry to humans, so experts felt it might be a good model for humans in this respect. The hamsters were given a high dose of anabolic steroids over the course of a month—which corresponded to five years, repeated dosage in humans. The researchers found that the hamsters were more aggressive than those not given steroids and these aggressive tendencies were mellowed if Prozac—a drug which boosts serotonin “uptake”—was given. However, subsequent analysis showed significantly lower than normal serotonin levels in the neural connections of the hamster’s brains. This suggests there may be a longer-term effect of taking steroids while the brain is still developing. Professor Richard Melloni, who helped run the study, was quoted as saying by BBC: “We know testosterone or steroids affect the development of serotonin nerve cells, which, in turn, decreases serotonin availability in the brain. The serotonin neural system is developing during adolescence and the use of anabolic steroids during this critical period appears to have immediate neural and behavioural consequences.”
18.Why do adolescents develop neural disorders?
(a)The effect of steroids hampers the growth of the brain.
(b)Prozac, if taken in excess by adolescents, makes them aggressive.
(c)Due to a decrease in the level of serotinin in the blood.
(d)Steroids effect the under developed brain more.
(e)None of these.
19.Which of the following sentences is true, according to the passage?
(a)Adolescents are more likely to have neural and behavioral disorders.
(b)Depression and aggression are caused by a lower intake of serotinin.
(c)Those taking steroids are likely to face long-term neural and behavioral implications.
(d)Higher serotonin intake is good for brain function.
(e)None of these.
20.The drug that boosts serotinin uptake is ________ .
(e)None of these.
21.Upon which breed of mammals were the experiments carried out?
(e)None of these.
22.The thrust area of the research mentioned in the passage was _________________.
(a)The effect of serotinin on the human brain.
(b)The effect of high doses of anabolic steroids.
(c)The immediate neural & behavioral consequences of the use of anabolic steroids.
(d)The development of the serotinin never cells.
(e)All of the above.
23.Why were Syrian hamsters considered for the experiments?
(a)They were similar to humans in their metabolic function.
(b)They were easily available.
(c)They have a similar neurological circuitry as Human beings.
(d)The effect of steroids on them is similar as on human beings.
(e)a, c & d.
24.The passage could be best described as
No Less a person than Mr. N. Vittal, Central Vigilance Commissioner, has observed about this book as follows: “Mr. K. L. Malhotra who had worked in the Central Vigilance Commission has rendered an immense service to all those connected with the administration of vigilance in Government Organisations’’.
As observed by the author in his introduction “one of the main functions of the state is maintenance of law and order, right of equality before law and to prevent abuse of power given by law and ensuring correct application of law. This can be ensured by watchfulness, caution and vigilance. As such, the Central Government has enacted a number of laws dealing with corruption and has also constituted the central vigilance commission.’’
Quoting Kautilya, the author says: “Just as a fish moving deep under water cannot be possibly found out either as drinking or not drinking water, so, government servants employed in government work may not be found out while taking the money for themselves. It is possible to ascertain the movement of birds flying high up in the sky but it is not possible to ascertain the movement of government servants or their hidden purposes. Kautilya, in his Arthashastra, further says just as it is impossible not to taste a drop of honey or poison that is placed at the tip of the tongue, so it is rather impossible for the government servant not to eat up at least a bit of the king’s revenue.’’
The introductory paragraph gives out not only the facets of corruption but also the facets of vigilance. It also deals with the functions and powers of the Central Vigilance Commission, constituted by a recent Ordinance passed by the Government of India. The author takes us through the Central Vigilance Commission Ordinance 1999, its constitution, working, function and other features. According to the author, vigilance means watchfulness or to bring awareness. It is an integral part of all government institutions.
The consultation with the commission, according to the author, ensures that a public servant who is guilty will not escape punishment and no innocent public servant will be punished. It provides independent and unbiased advice after making the proper assessment of the cases. Also, the functions of the commission are purely advisory. Final decision as to whether advice should be accepted or not rests with the competent authority. However, whenever there is any departure from the commission’s advice, the reasons for doing so should be promptly intimated to the commission. The proceedings will be reflected in the annual report of the commission.
Cases will be referred to the commission at the level of the CVO, who is normally of the status of deputy secretary and above in respect of ministries and departments. The author, by giving out the full details of the functions of the commission, has helped the staff of the government commission attorneys and lay public.
Normally, according to the author, the commission’s advice is required in all matters having a vigilance angle in which a public servant of the Central Government or the administration of a Union Territory or an employee of a public sector undertaking or a nationalised bank or an autonomous body or a registered society is involved. The author has categorised what is vigilance angle.
The role of the CVO has been succinctly explained. He is accountable to the secretary of the department and high-level officers of other institutions covered by the Act. As prevention is better than cure, the commission has the power to call for reports, returns and statements from all ministerial departments, institutions categorised in the ordinance and the commission advises the ministry, based upon exigencies and circumstances. Lot of paper work is involved in maintaining registers as listed by the author.
The second chapter and chapter 24 of the book deal with the institution that has become very famous, indispensable and much sought after. When and how the CBI was set up, its composition, its powers and jurisdiction, are explained threadbare. Discussions on the above aspects reveal the deep study and pains taken by the author in disclosing to the readers the importance of the CBI. The features of the Prevention of Corruption Act have been furnished in this chapter. The strength, functions, jurisdiction and achievements of the chief technical examiners’ organisation and that of the chief vigilance officers, including their role and other aspects are given in chapter four. The chief vigilance officers are the eyes and ears of the Central Vigilance Commission. In fact, a CVO is an extended arm of the commission, says the author.
Supported by case laws, he gives a clear picture of as to what constitutes misconduct in chapter five. An exhaustive list is there. Further, in the chapter captioned “Conduct rules—a comparative study,’’ he again deals with misconduct where cases of moral turpitude, sexual harassment, demonstration of strikes, criticisms of the government, gifts and acceptance of dowry are discussed in detail. Comparative study of misconduct by employees in government service, public sector institutions and banks, all about complaints, investigations, investigation techniques and disposals of complaints can be found in chapters six, seven and eight.
Delays in disposals of files are everywhere. How the delay occurs in this field and what dilatory tactics are adopted makes interesting reading. “Suspension” is an administrative action. It is not a recognised penalty but it leaves a deep stigma on the government servant’s entire service career, even though he may be exonerated afterwards. “No show cause notice is necessary to make a speaking order’’ so observed the Supreme Court in a case. A separate chapter has been assigned to explain how the CBI works to catch corrupt officials by laying traps. This chapter, apart from being interesting, is instructive to the staff of the persons involved in investigation of crimes. A separate chapter dealing with white-collar crimes discloses that it is the educated who commit more crimes in ingenuous manner. I will be failing in my duty if I do not refer to a case referred to by author. “Once a senior officer was approached by a contractor to show favour in the award of a particular contract, in his favour, on consideration. His P.A. had shown the file to the contractor where the officer had written ‘approved’. The contractor was pleased that the work was got done with the fraction of the ‘settled amount.’ The officer did not release the file, as the settled amount had not been paid. He called back the file and recorded ‘not approved’. The contractor again approached the officer with the plea that he had gone out of station, due to the death of his mother-in-law. When the amount was paid, he (the officer) added one ‘e’, ‘Note approved’. When that note sheet was tested in CSFL it could be easily proved that ‘Not’ was added afterwards, and ‘e’ was entered subsequently, by ultra violet rays’’.
Chapters 27 to 33 are additions to this edition of this book. Features of the Information Technology Act are given in chapter 28, which gives full details of cyber fraud and abuse. He says “Cyber space is regarded as lawless Wild West for investment swindlers.’’ Instances of certain crimes are given.
The next chapter, “Computer fraud prevention and detection and Internet fraud—how to avoid Internet scam” is very important which no reader can miss. Days are not far off as cyber crime will be the prime crime in our country. There are 103 appendices as against 65 in the previous edition. Though the author has captioned the book as “Facets of vigilance — prevention to prosecution’’, it is an exhaustive study of the subject.
1.According to the passage, government servants are
I.fishes and birds.
II.fish and poison.
III.birds and poison.
(a)Only I is correct.
(b)Only II is correct.
(c)Only III is correct.
(d)None is correct.
(e)I & III are correct.
2.According to the author, vigilance is the duty of __________ .
(a)the Central Vigilance Commission.
(b)the central government.
(c)the central government and all state governments.
(d)all government institutions.
(e)All government institutions & the public at large.
3.It can be inferred from the passage that
(a)it is not impossible to predict the true character of government servants.
(b)the author doesn’t believe that government servants are not corrupt.
(c)government servants eat up a large share of government revenues.
(d)the behaviour of government servants are similar to the behaviour of birds.
(e)Corruption is an integral part of governance.
4.According to the passage, all of the following are not true, except:
(a)CVC can punish public servants who are guilty.
(b)The discretion of accepting or rejecting the recommendations of the CVC lies with the government.
(c)In certain circumstances, CVC’s advice is binding for the government.
(d)The government cannot take action on its own, against a government servant who is guilty.
(e)None of these.
5.According to the passage, the term “the institution” refers to
(a)Both (I) and (II).
(e)(I), (II) and (III).
AMONG the several citrus fruits, acid lime is one of the most prolific yielder, and this crop can be profitably grown in the tropical plains and hillslopes with scant water resources. It comes up well in sandy loam rich in organic residues and endowed with adequate drainage. Good quality grafts are ideal for raising a healthy and productive lime garden. The grafts yield true-to-parent plants of high yielding potential, and are early bearers. They also bear big fruits all through the year. However, the longevity of the grafts is less as compared with the trees developed from the seeds, according to experts. Seeds extracted from healthy fruits from proven mother plants will develop into robust plants with longer life. The main field should be thoroughly tilled, and ripe farmyard manure should be incorporated well with the final ploughing and land levelling. Green manuring will also help in increasing the soil’s organic matter content, and in improving the soil structure.
A spacing of 6 m by 6 m is recommended for raising acid lime plantation. Pits of 90 cm by 90 cm are to be dug, and filled up with adequate quantities of vermi-compost, coir-pith compost and small amounts of powdered neem cake and bio fertilizers. About 250 plants can be accommodated in a hectare. Regular irrigation is essential in the early stages of crop establishment. Drip irrigation, pitcher irrigation and micro-sprinklers have been found to give good results, besides saving considerable quantities of water and energy.
In the initial months after planting, sufficient shade should be provided to protect the tender seedlings and grafts from harsh sun. Planting Sesbania (agathi) around the young plants will be effective in ensuring the required shade, besides enriching the soil. Several annual crops such as pulses and vegetables, can be raised as intercrops in the initial years. The plants should be trained to grow vertically by discouraging the lateral shoots and other growths. Regular pruning to get the desired dome-shape should be done when the plants are still young.
The field should be kept free of weed and other unwanted vegetation. Regular manuring should be done twice annually. The nutrients mostly organic in nature, should be incorporated at the base of the plants, and watered immediately.
The plants particularly respond well to liberal application of organic amendments. The micro-nutrient deficiencies will not be noticed in acid lime plantations raised with rich organic nutrients. Plant protection is an important aspect in acid lime cultivation. The plants should be sprayed with cow’s urine, vermi-wash and other botanical insecticides to ward off leaf-munching caterpillars and other sucking and chewing pests.
Need-based application after monitoring the field for pest incidence will be rewarding. Spraying should be taken up at an interval of ten days, and it will also improve the fruit setting and fruit development. The plants will establish well and start yielding from the second year of planting. Though the fruits can be had all round the year, some major flushes can be harvested in December–January and July–August seasons.
A well nurtured grown-up tree can yield as high as 3000 fruits a year. The profit for the growers depends on the season and the prevailing market rate. With an average price of Rs. 0.35 a fruit, a farmer can realize about Rs. 2.5 lakhs from a hectare of a healthy and well-tended acid lime garden.
6.It can be inferred from the passage that
I.The quality and size of fruits depend upon the longevity of the plants.
II.The yield of grafts is less as compared to the trees developed from the seeds.
III.There is not much of a difference between grafts and the trees developed from the seeds, except in life.
(a)(I) and (II)
(e)(I), (II) and (III).
7.For a good growth of acid-lime crop, all of the following are essential except,
(a)rich residues of organic nutrients;
(b)good irrigation with adequate drainage;
(c)water-logged tropical plains;
(d)hill slopes with poor water resources.
(e)None of these.
8.The author of the passage could be
(b)an agricultural expert.
(c)an agricultural activist.
9.Which of the following is necessary for the nascent crop?
(c)regular manuring and application of organic nutrients.
(e)Both (a) and (b).
10.The most appropriate insecticide for acid-lime crop is
Mohammed Akber Ali and Shrikanth Sriram, the London duo known as Badmarsh & Shri, don’t do scenes. They figured that out soon after the release of their first CD, Dancing Drums, in 1998. The duo was waiting to play at a London night spot packed with would-be hipsters desperate to get a hit of a new music genre—dubbed “Asian underground” but often consisting of little more than DJs sampling Indian folk music over drum-‘n’-bass beats—that was then the rage in U.K. clubs. “There was a band on before us,” Sriram remembers. “And a couple of Asian guys came on with sitars. They didn’t even know how to hold them. They twanged one note, and the crowd goes, ‘Yeah, this is Asian underground.’
After two notes, they put down the sitars and out came the rock guitars.” To Sriram, a 32-year-old Bombay native who grew up surrounded by classical Indian music, it was too much to bear. “I thought, this doesn’t make any sense,” he says. “I’m not a part of this movement. The further we stay away from it the better.”
They made the right choice. Since distancing themselves from the manufactured sounds and styles of London’s Asian club scene, the duo has created its own, highly original kind of music. It’s a sonic masala of traditional tablas, sitars, flutes and strings stirred together with just about every spice in the Western pop pantry, including drum ‘n’ bass, garage, funk and reggae. All the elements are on display on Signs (Outcaste), their thrilling second CD. “This music works as well in Norway as it does in London or New York,” Sriram says. “People like to get their heads blown apart.” Says Ali: “We’re not making music in a particular genre for a particular group.”
In that sense, Badmarsh & Shri belongs to a generation of young British-Asian acts, from Nitin Sawhney to Cornershop, who have emerged from the ethnic underground to make music that bends—and transcends—traditional pop categories. South Asian culture suffuses almost every facet of modern British life: Bollywood movies outdraw West End musicals, and curry is the national cuisine. Now, with the novelty of the “Asian underground” fading, Asian musicians are demanding recognition as mainstream British artists with global appeal. Talvin Singh, the critically acclaimed London-based DJ and tabla virtuoso, says British-Asian pop “is the music of today. Whether it’s underground or overground, it’s creating a new spirit and science of making music.”
Badmarsh & Shri are an unlikely team: the Yemeni-Indian Ali, 34, grew up in East London listening to black dance music before becoming a DJ; Sriram, who moved to London from India in 1997, plays bass and has tastes that range from Rush to Herbie Hancock. After meeting in 1998, they decided to record together—Ali spinning and mixing, Sriram laying down bass lines and melodies—and within a month they had finished Dancing Drums. “Shri became my human sampler,” Ali says. “Instead of sampling from vinyl, I sampled from him.”
Signs closes with Badmarsh & Shri’s sparest song to date: Appa, which features Sriram’s father, T.S. Sriram, playing a delicate sitar raga, backed by the Strings of Bombay. Sriram included the song on the album not only as a homage to his father but also as a retort to those pretenders—the guys who couldn’t hold their sitars properly—who once populated the so-called Asian underground. “I thought I’d show people what real sitar can sound like,” he says. “Even my father says he never knew he could sound that good.”
11.According to the passage, what does “Asian Underground” stand for?
(a)Indian folk music.
(b)A music group formed by Asians.
(d)A type of music.
(e)An Indian curry.
12.According to the passage, the appeal of Sriram’s music seems
(e)limited to the Asian British.
13.According to the passage, which of the following is true?
(a)The duo has created a totally original kind of music.
(b)The duo has totally abandoned the manufactured sounds.
(c)The new music is totally devoid of any traces of Indian folk music.
(d)The current trend in music is a mixture of two kinds of music.
(e)The new music is liked only by Asians.
14.According to the passage, the duo Badmarsh and Shri can be said to be
(a)totally compatible to each other.
(b)totally incompatible to each other.
(c)a totally unlikely combination.
(d)a successful pair.
(e)An eccentric couple.
15.It can be inferred from the passage that
(a)British culture no more influences the modern British life.
(b)British culture is now less influential than the Asian culture.
(c)South Asian culture has now defeated British culture on its own soil.
(d)South Asian culture is becoming more and more a part of the British society.
(e)Both b & d.
Room 46 in the West Bengal legislative assembly complex is called the ‘Bejoy Kumar Banerjee Hall.’ Few would recognise his name today but for 38 years he made the headlines in every Indian newspaper. What he said and did in 1967 are relevant to the events of today.
The West Bengal of 1967 presented as confused a picture as the Goa, Jharkhand, and Bihar of today, no party having won a clear majority in the assembly election. Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee, leader of a group of Congress defectors, joined hands with the Marxists to form the United Front. The coalition ministry was involved in a running battle with Governor Dharam Vira from the first. It did not last very long, the exasperated governor kicking out the United Front to install the Progressive Democratic Alliance that was led by Dr P C Ghosh.
It was at this point that Speaker Bejoy Kumar Banerjee entered the picture. The Speaker refused to recognise the new regime, ruling it was the exclusive power of the House to make and unmake ministries. Efforts to do so behind the back of the assembly were, he declared, unconstitutional and invalid. The P C Ghosh ministry threw in the towel, there was a bout of President’s Rule, and the Ajoy Mukherjee-led United Front returned in 1969.
Many think that politicians should be barred from becoming governors. It may interest them to know that Dharam Vira was no politician, he had been one of India’s most distinguished civil servants, efficient and incorruptible. He was genuinely concerned about the deteriorating situation in West Bengal; the Ajoy Mukherjee ministry was so spectacularly incompetent that the chief minister once sat on a dharna outside Writers Building against his own government! But the Speaker was equally correct in upholding the authority of the assembly.
Both Dharam Vira and Bejoy Kumar Banerjee could legitimately claim that they were working in West Bengal’s best interests. Nobody would buy that excuse from Governor S C Jamir, the former Speaker Vishwas Satarkar, and Speaker Pro-tem Francisco Sardinha. Does anyone think S C Jamir had no role to play in the fall of the BJP-led Manohar Parikkar ministry? Speaker Satarkar sought to counter this by disqualifying an MLA just before a crucial vote in the assembly.
Finally, Speaker Pro-tem Sardinha stretched the powers of his post to the limit by ordering the ouster of an MLA from the BJP side.
The sad part is that it was actually politics as usual up to the point where Francisco Sardinha entered. S C Jamir is scarcely the first governor to be partial to one party. There are even precedents of a Speaker playing fast and loose with the rules. (The governor would have been justified in recommending President’s Rule after Satarkar’s timely disqualification of the pro- Congress Philip Neri Rodrigues.) But what the Speaker Pro-tem did was in a class of its own. It opened the door to manipulation on a different scale.
Every assembly—even the Lok Sabha come to that—starts proceedings with a Speaker Pro-tem being nominated. That nomination is the gift of the executive wing, not of the legislature. Imagine what might happen if other Speakers Pro-tem follow Sardinha to disqualify ‘inconvenient’ members. You could face a situation where an electoral verdict is overthrown before all the legislators have time to read the oath.
A governor serves at the pleasure of the President. A Speaker is elected by the legislature over which he presides, and he may be removed by its members. But who is to check abuse of power by a Speaker Pro-tem? Sitaram Yechury says the Left disapproves of all legislative problems being dumped into the judiciary’s lap. In principle he is correct, but who else can lay down the law to prevent the disgusting antics we saw in Goa?
The Supreme Court stepped in to tell Governor Syed Sibtey Razi that it was setting a date for the vote of confidence in the Jharkhand assembly. It told ‘Chief Minister’ Soren that he could not have one of his pets sitting there as a nominated Anglo-Indian member. I pray that it also lays down broad guidelines on the powers of a Speaker Pro-tem.
But what of those Speakers, properly elected and not serving pro-tem, who act as tools of the executive wing? The position of a Speaker was spelt out on January 4, 1642 when King Charles I came in person to arrest five MPs from the House of Commons. Not finding them, he asked the Speaker where they were. William Lenthall, famously replied, ‘I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here.’ Speaker Bejoy Kumar Banerjee was a man cast in the same iron mould; others, I am afraid, have been far more accommodating to the executive branch.
I recall something Dr Ambedkar said long ago. After pointing several perceived flaws in the Constitution, his interlocutor asked Babasaheb how long such a body of laws could last. He replied soberly, ‘Good men can make even bad laws work to the common benefit, but bad men will abuse even the best Constitution.’ In the ultimate analysis, it is for us voters to see that only the best people get elected. If we are swayed by prejudice, then let us resign ourselves to more Satarkars and Sardinhas.
16.Governor Dharmavira was__________
(a)prejudiced with the existing government.
(b)trying to save the interest of West Bengal.
(c)against the then speaker Bijoy Kumar Banerjee.
(d)trying to gain political favours.
(e)a shrewd politician.
17.Who had to sit on a Dharna outside Writer’s Building against his own goverment?
(a)Bijoy Kumar Banerjee
(b)Dr. P.C. Ghosh
(c)Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee
(e)None of these.
18.According to the passage which of the following is correct?
(a)The P.C. Ghosh ministry was inefficient right from the start.
(b)The left approves of all powers being held by the judiciary.
(c)Dharam Vira had worked for the interest of his political bosses.
(d)The Supreme Court has given directives about all speakers Pro-tem.
(e)S.C. Jamir is not the first governor to be partial towards a particular political party.
19.The ultimate fate of Indian Democracy is in the hands of__________
(a)the speaker of Lok Sabha.
(b)the president of India.
(c)we, the people of India.
(d)the Supreme Court of India.
(e)The politicians & the bureaucrats.
20.The style of working of William Lanthall of the house of Commons was similar to the style of which of the following Indian politicians?
(b)Ajoy Kumar Mukherjee.
(e)None of these.
21.Who holds the exclusive power to make and unmake ministries?
(d)All of the above.
◊ Answer Key