Read the passage carefully and solve the questions that follow.
(Exercise Solving time: 4 minutes)
Union Cabinet’s decision to fix Rs 14,000 crore as the base price for 5
Megahertz of 2G spectrum in the upcoming auctions must surely bring closure to
the contentious debate over exactly how much the 2G scam cost the exchequer.
For one, it validates the Comptroller and Auditor General’s Rs 1.76 lakh crore
upper-end loss calculation and methodology for the 2008 2G spectrum sale.
Broken down, the CAG’s figures lead to a Rs 3,350 crore/MHz value for 2G
spectrum. Ironically, the same government that had discredited the CAG,
splitting hairs between ‘notional’ and ‘presumptive’ loss, has now itself
estimated the value of spectrum at Rs 2,800 crore/MHz. Except that this is just
the price at which bidding begins. The expectation is that the final bid price
will be higher. The Cabinet seal for a high base price, supported by the
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s rigorous analysis of a near negligible
increase in customer tariffs, confirms that spectrum was as valuable in 2008 as
it is now. This should effectively silence the claims of Cabinet ministers and
even some economists that high spectrum costs would lead to higher tariffs. If
tariffs didn’t go up in 2010 after the 3G auctions, they wouldn’t have gone up
in 2008, simply because the bid amount is amortized across the 20-year licence
pricing should be determined by scarcity and consumer tariffs by competition
and if that fails, through TRAI intervention. The government has itself
established the flimsiness of its excuse that revenue must be foregone in order
to subsidise consumer tariffs for spectrum and other natural resources. Another
important learning is that institutions must be allowed to do their job free
from political pressure. Investigating and estimating losses to the exchequer on
account of flaws in policy implementation are very much in the CAG’s domain.
Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal’s attempt to discredit the CAG at a press
conference in January 2011 by insisting there was “zero loss” from A. Raja’s 2G
spectrum sale did as much damage to the credibility of the government as the
original audit report. Since the United Progressive Alliance government is
reluctant to learn from the CAG — whom it has ridiculed without remorse since
November 2010 — or the Supreme Court, whose licence cancellation judgment of
2012 it challenged immediately through three different petitions, it is best
that it learn from itself. And the top lesson is this: if due process —
including the engagement of an independent regulator and the adoption of a transparent
price discovery mechanism — is followed, scams and shame can be avoided.
of the following statements is/are true in the light of the passage.
1. CAG’s estimate of spectrum value is exactly equal to
the government’s current estimate.
2. Union Government’s decision to peg the base price at
Rs. 14000 crore has vindicated Kapil Sibal’s theory of zero loss in 2008 2G
3. CAG’s estimate of ideal base price for 2008 2G auction
has been proved right by the current price set by the government.
4. Consumer prices should be directly determined by TRAI.
5. The fear that tariffs would increase due to increase
in auction price is not justified.
passage carefully and solve the questions that follow. (Exercise Solving time: 5
Indians have been wondering whom to blame
for the paralysis that has afflicted their government for the last two years.Timemagazine’s cover picture of Manmohan
Singh, captioned “The Underachiever”, seems to have made up their minds for them.
But granted that Dr. Singh is not a natural leader can one ever, justifiably,
pin the blame for the collapse of an entire governmental system on a single
In Dr. Singh’s case we need to look all the harder for other
explanations because he is the same person who piloted a painless transition
from a command to a market economy and, a decade later, brokered the coalition
with Mufti Mohammad Sayeed’s People’s Democratic Party — in the teeth of
opposition from the Indian intelligence agencies — that gave the Kashmiris the
first government they felt they could call their own. This began the
marginalisation of militant separatism in the Valley.
Equally important are the things Dr. Singh prevented from
happening. In 2001, the United States responded to 9/11 by invading
Afghanistan. In 2002, the NDA responded to the abortive terrorist attack on
Parliament by mobilising three quarters of a million soldiers on the Pakistan
border. In 2008, Dr. Singh responded to 26/11 by resisting every demand from an
enraged public to hit back at Pakistan, and continued to do so even after the
terrorists’ phone calls revealed the role of the Inter-Services Intelligence in
History has vindicated his restraint. The
U.S. is stuck in a quagmire from which it has yet to extricate itself;Operation
Parakramgained a diplomatic
victory for India, but asking the army to mobilise fully for a war that the
political leaders never intended to wage sowed the seeds of distrust in the
military that have weakened civilian control over it. By contrast, the present
warming of relations between our two countries would never have begun had Dr.
Singh not exercised extraordinary forbearance in 2008.
Add to all these his authorship of the proposal to resolve the
Kashmir dispute by softening and eventually erasing the Line of Control that
found favour with President Pervez Musharraf, and the India-U.S. nuclear
agreement, and his place in history should have been secure.
Why then is it so much in doubt? The sole answer is the striking
contrast between the effectiveness of the first UPA government and the
ineffectiveness of the second. Failing to find any other explanation, most
analysts have concluded that the change must lie in Dr. Singh himself. However
seductive it is to believe that changing the Prime Minister will solve all our
problems, the truth is that it will change nothing. The explanation is to be
found in the growing dysfunctionality of our political system. UPA-II just
happens to be in power when it has come to a head.
A clue to where the problem lies is the fact that nearly all of
Dr. Singh’s successes lie in the realm of foreign policy. In this respect,
Indian democracy is beginning to resemble the American more and more. Harold
Laski may have been the first to note, in his definitive analysis of the
American presidency three quarters of a century ago, that the absence of strict
party discipline and the ubiquity of cross-voting in the U.S. Congress severely
limited the power of the President to pass domestic legislation. It took a
crisis of the dimension of the Great Depression of the 1930s to enact the New
Deal. It was, therefore, only in foreign policy that U.S. Presidents had been
able to exert their full authority.
Dr. Singh has been suffering from a similar liability. During UPA-I,
India’s GDP was growing at almost 9 per cent and there was a palpable sense of
well-being in the country. The challenges he faced were therefore mostly in the
realm of foreign relations, and on related issues like Kashmir. Even during
that period, consensus on domestic issues was conspicuous by its absence. The
business community frequently expressed the disappointment that Dr. Singh was
unable to reform the labour laws and open up key sectors like retail trade and
insurance to foreign investment. But since the Congress depended for its
survival on the Left, which had never hidden its opposition to these reforms,
people did not have to look any further for the causes of its paralysis.
Which of the following ideas the
author would agree with?
1) Mr. Manmohan Singh is an underachiever.
2) Dr. Singh is only interested in solving foreign
3) Harold Laski identified shortcomings in the American
4) The consensus on domestic issue which existed during
UPA I is missing in UPA II.
5) One main reason for the failure of UPA-II is the dysfunctional
political system as a whole.
6) Robust GDP growth veiled some of the problems during
7) Aggression of US against terrorism was much better
than the restrain shown by Dr. Singh.
passage carefully and solve the questions that follow. (Exercise Solving time:
In the eight years since he was elected
to Parliament from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi has shown a lot of political promise
but little else. As a leader of the new generation in the Nehru-Gandhi lineage,
he was expected to play a prominent role, first in the party, and later, in
government. In 2004, when his mother declined the prime ministership and
instead asked Manmohan Singh to lead the country, Rahul’s reluctance to jump
into governance was understandable. A quick, dramatic entry into Cabinet at
that point would have undermined the Prime Minister, who had no political base
of his own and who depended entirely on the Congress’s first family for his
political survival. Rahul chose instead to work within the organisational ranks
of the Congress; his decision was both tactical and strategic. The fact that he
did not seem greedy for the fruits of power and appeared ready to go through
the drudgery of field work did his public image a lot of good. But he also
tried to use his leadership over the Youth Congress and students’ wing to
democratise these organisations — and through them — the ‘mother party’. Though
his efforts helped the Congress draw fresh talent, the grip of the old guard,
sadly, remains just as firm today as it was eight years ago. More than the
indifferent electoral results Rahul produced in Uttar Pradesh this year then,
it is his failure to make a dent in the party organisation that must surely
Clearly, Rahul Gandhi is not, and could
never have been, the answer to all the shortcomings of the Congress. But if he
is the heir-apparent, as the entire party thinks he is, and he is to be
projected as a prime ministerial candidate in 2014, he must end his wanderings
through the thicket of the party organisation and take on concrete ministerial
responsibilities. Congress leader Salman Khursheed got it partly right when he
lamented the fact that Rahul had so far only shown “cameos” of his thoughts and
ideas. The answer, though, is not for him to come up with some “grand
announcement” for India but to demonstrate to the people that he can actually
administer, as a minister, some of the small but important infrastructure
programmes of the UPA government. On Thursday, he indicated his readiness to
take on a more pro-active role in the party and the government. He should
forget about the party for now. In 2012, Rahul can have no excuse for staying
away from the Cabinet. Anything else would appear as a shirking of
responsibility, or worse, as aversion to working under Manmohan Singh. Indeed,
his entry could give the Prime Minister a perfect opportunity to wield some
long knives in his next Cabinet reshuffle and give younger ministers the
responsibility they deserve.
Which of the following ideas the author would agree with?
1) Rahul has been forthcoming to work with Manmohan
2) Tact and strategy are not entirely same.
3) Rahul has been able to break the grip of the old
guard on the party.
4) Rahul’s inclusion in the cabinet can create strife
in the party.
5) Rahul must
take up a significant ministerial role to strengthen his candidature as the
prime ministerial candidate for 2014.
passage carefully and solve the questions that follow. (Exercise Solving time: 4 minutes)
really his brains and bravado, it seems, which has kept Batman alive and afloat
all these years to fight evil. If a team of physicists from the University of
Leicester are to be believed, it is but sheer luck that Batman did not drop to
his death as he went around tackling an assortment of villains. The
culprit,according to the
researchers, is his somewhat faultily designed cape, which might let him glide
across the menacing Gotham City skyline but will not let him land with any
amount of safety. An urgent makeover is the need of the hour, whether it
involves packing in a chute or using propulsion jets.
That researchers are interested
in the flight safety of a cruising Batman liberates the superhero from more
constricting confines, whether it is the covers of a book or the inaccessible
reaches of the cinematic or gaming world. The larger-than-life heroism of
superheroes had always owed to the fact that they could breach the restrictions
of the physical world that felled their human counterparts. If the batman
story-tellers over the ages made him pack a chute (and while we are at it,
maybe a lunchbox and a thermos of decaf coffee?) or asked him to check the
weather conditions or wait at the traffic lights before he took flight, chances
are slim that he would have become the legendary do-gooder that he went on to
become. Fantasy, at its best, is a flight of imagination and yoking mechanical
accuracy to it is an idea whose time may never come.
But now with the research out in the public domain, there is
nothing to prevent imitative efforts from being spawned. What, pray, would be
the exact chemical composition of the web that Spiderman spins, which
guarantees such enormous tensile strength to allow him to swing from one
skyscraper to another? Is there actually a way of creating adamantium, that
indestructible metal alloy that gives Wolverine his prowess? Most of us, hemmed
in by our limited human abilities, will be eagerly waiting for the results.
Which of the following
ideas the author would agree with?
urgently needs a chute to save himself from an imminent landing disaster.
B) The power
of scientific research can strengthen the super heroes.
C) Fantasy consists
of ideas that will be implemented in the future.
D) Paying attention
to details and safety would spoil the effectiveness of Batman stories.
is the strongest metal on the earth.
should be a research to find out the chemical composition of the Spiderman web.
Read the passage and answer the question that follows.
A recent report from the
London School of Economics (LSE) titled “India: The Next Super Power?” — and,
very surprisingly, given excessive mileage by various sections of the media —
reflects a new obsession among certain global think tanks and research institutions
of the need to remind India that it has a long way to go before it can join the
The report posed the
question in the context of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2009 visit
to India when she said she considered India to be a global rather than a
regional power. Do we really need to take cognizance of preachy sermons on how
“India has miles to go before it can sleep,” or would we rather be driven by
Rabindranath Tagore's dream of an India “where the mind is without fear and the
head is held high … Into that heaven of freedom let my country awake?” I think
most Indians would still prefer the latter. So let me try and explain why this
argument of India aspiring to be a superpower is both historically and
contextually a “no-brainer” argument.
A superpower, according to
many international relations theorists, should have the ability to both exert
influence and exercise power in its areas of interest, wherever that may be
across the globe. Today, that area has extended into the realms of outer space.
More importantly, modern neo-realists also believe that true superpower status
is reflected in a willingness to engineer regime changes to protect your own
way of life or interests, or even to pursue altruistic agendas of “keeping the
world a safer place to live in.” No Indian in his right mind, leave alone
policymakers and strategists, could ever dream of subscribing to such fanciful
ambitions. I would even go to the extent of wagering my entire savings that
even if all the fissures and cracks cited by the panel of LSE experts were to
be filled up in a few decades, India could never get around to becoming a
superpower of the likes of the U.S. of today or the yesteryear Soviet Union, or
for that matter, an emerging China.
This argument of mine has
historical backing. Unlike the Greeks, Romans, Mongolians, the participants of
the Crusades, Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union or the U.S. which had their own
reasons for conquest or “expansive doctrines,” India, for centuries, was a
“potpourri” of small nation states, satisfied within the boundaries of its
geographical expanse, religious tolerance, cultural diversity and abundant
natural/water resources. Modern India, ravaged for two centuries by colonial
exploitation, is still a nation in the making, benignly looking outward in
recent times, primarily to seek energy resources and develop its vast human
capital. Nothing exemplifies this aspiration more than the consistent
statements of the strategic establishment that all current national strategies
including those relating to security would first revolve around India's
progression from a developing to a fully developed nation — a tall order by any
Let me now dwell a bit on
“hard power” and see how it is factored into this whole business of fingerprinting
a “superpower.” Capability is never equal to power unless it is backed by
intent and willingness to use the power in pursuit of national interests. The
development cycle of hard power in respect of superpowers or potential
superpowers usually commences with a preponderance of deterrent capabilities,
re-enforced as time passes with significant coercive or offensive capabilities,
until a stage is reached when this coercive capability offers prospects of
widespread “compellance.” Incidentally, compellance is a term propagated by the
eminent political scientist, Thomas C. Schelling, during the Cold War and is
still widely discussed in the global discourse on power equations. Going by
these characteristics, where does India stand in this imaginary and premature
quest for superpower status? India's development of force projection capability
has always been governed by an overarching strategic direction of
responsibility, restraint, resilience and respect for sovereignty. This has
meant that deterrence has always occupied pole position, with coercive and
expeditionary capabilities taking a back seat.
On the basis of the passage state whether the
following statements are True or false.
1) LSE regards India as the
next Super Power.
2) The author believe that
with respect to becoming a super power Indians are driven by “India has miles
to go before it can sleep,”
3) Capability is never
equivalent to power.
4) It is only a matter of
time before India emerges as a super power.
5) India has started to
look outward to dominate its neighbors.
6) The idea of India as a
super power is not realistic.
7) The reason of India not
being a serious contender for the super power title is that Indians generally
have a feeling of respect for human
Read the following passage and answer
the following question.
Indian officialdom and civil society are
quick to cry hoarse and demand immediate action when Indian students come under
attack in Australia or other countries. But when it comes to offering help to
foreign students in a similar situation in India, the official machinery is
depressingly slow to act. Sadly, the situation is worse when the students are
from Africa or poorer Asian countries. Like the shabby prevarication we saw in
Australia earlier, the Punjab administration would like us to believe racism was
not a factor in the attack on the young Burundian. Even if it wasn’t, it is
hard to believe Yannick’s race and African origin were not factors in the tardy
response of the system. Indeed, the Central and State governments woke up to
the issue only after wide coverage in the media. The callous attitude of
government authorities in such cases betrays a mindset that concerns itself
only with the concerns of the rich and the powerful. All projections of a
rising India count for nothing if the country cannot ensure the rule of law and
the safety and security of its citizens and residents, including overseas
visitors and students. India is becoming an attractive destination for higher
education, especially for students from countries in the global south. If a repeat
of the Jalandhar-type attack is to be avoided, the authorities will have to
learn to be responsive and quick. And universities and colleges, whether
private or State-funded, will have to work with the government to strive to
create a welcoming and nurturing environment for foreign students.
In the light of the above passage, classify
the following students as Strengthening Statements (SS), Weakening Statements (WS),
Inference Statement (IS) or No
Impact Statements (NIS)
1) Author doesn’t believe in Punjab administration’s
claim that racism was not a factor in the attack.
2) The world views this attack as a rare exception and
not as a regular practice.
3) There is no precedent of such an attack on a foreign
student in India.
4) There are a number of students in India from the
5) In the last few years, there has been an increase in
the number of students from African nations.
6) In case of an attack on a British student the
administration swung into action within hours and nabbed the culprits.
following passage andidentify
the paragraphs from which the subsequent questions have been taken.
1.Ever since the Museum of Contemporary Art in
Belgrade closed for renovations in 2008, the chief curator Dejan Sretenovic has
been asked when the museum will reopen.
2.Sitting in the museum’s temporary administrative
digs earlier this spring, Mr. Sretenovic said that, unfortunately, he doesn’t
3.The museum, which opened in 1965 and is one of
Europe’s oldest contemporary art museums, has a fantastic collection of modern
and contemporary art spanning the 20th century, including works by artists like
Andy Warhol, David Hockney and Joan Miró, as well as some of the former
Yugoslavia’s most important artists and sculptors, including Marina Abramovic,
Rasa Todosijevic and Milica Tomic.
4.The situation the run-down museum finds itself in
— long on enthusiasm but short on funds — is emblematic of the contemporary art
scene in Belgrade. It has world-class artists and thought-provoking art, but
not much of a market and not many appropriate showcases for the work.
5.In bad need of
maintenance and updating, the contemporary museum space was closed and the
administrative offices were moved to space near the memorial complex that
houses the tomb of Marshal Josip Broz Tito in Belgrade. Three small galleries
scattered across the Serbian capital are being used to exhibit parts of the
collection and shows by contemporary artists.
hummed along the first year, with the roof and the underground space
reconstructed, but by 2010 budget cuts and the global financial crisis had
combined to bring work on the museum to a halt. The €6.5 million, or about $8
million, needed to finish the project has proved hard to come by.
frustration over its future, the museum is staging an exhibition in the
partially reconstructed space of the museum titled “What Happened to the Museum
of Contemporary Art?” The show (through Sept. 30) includes a timeline with
documentation and debate about the reconstruction from newspaper articles,
photographs, interviews, government statements and a video with curators
talking about the problems of working in a museum without a building.
also commissioned artists and designers to intervene in the space, which still
has remnants — including floor installations, posters and wallpaper by the
artist Phil Collins — from the last show the museum held on British
contemporary art in 2008.
9.“Even for a poor
country in a deep crisis, I do no think it is a big amount of money to finish
this reconstruction,” Mr. Sretenovic said. “It is more a matter of political
will. We need the public to support our pressure on the government and decision
makers to finally decide if they need a museum of contemporary art or not.”
with the museum is not an isolated example; Belgrade’s National Museum, which
includes in its collection works by Matisse, van Gogh, Titian and Picasso,
closed its permanent collection to the public 10 years ago. It remains unclear
when reconstruction on the floors where the collection is housed will begin,
though the museum still holds exhibitions in its foyer and in various spaces
across the city.
11.Many artists and
curators, frustrated by the lack of institutional support for contemporary art
and a nonexistent art market, have either left the country or spend a good
portion of their time seeking exhibitions, residencies, commissions and gallery
representation outside of Serbia.
Read each of the the following questions and identify the
paragraph where you can the find its answer.
Q1. In which country is Belgrade located?
Q2. Is the Museum of Contemporary Art, the only one
affected in Belgrade?
Q3. According to Mr. Sretenovic is money the only problem
for the Museum of Contemporary art?
Q4. What is the general state of art market in Serbia? Q5. Who is Marina Abramovic?
Read the following passage and
identify the paragraphs from which the subsequent questions have been taken.
Many rich countries have
struggled for three years to emerge fully from the GreatRecessionof 2008-09. Alas, the world is
slipping into a new recession. No global authority has dared say so, but the
writing is on the wall.
A classic lead indicator of a global recession
is a crash in commodity prices, which is evident today.
Brent crude, the benchmark variety that
determines Gulf oil prices for India, has fallen from $125/barrel in January to
barely $ 90/barrel. Major global commodity indices have slumped over 20%.
Mittal and Tata are closing some global steel plants because of falling demand.
Prices of non-ferrous metals, cotton, coal and iron ore have crashed.
This reflects decelerating or falling GDP growth
across the globe, and growing realization that conditions will remain depressed
for some time. Europe has long been a troubled zone, but the US economy is
stalling while ominous negative signs emanate from China.
The Eurozone was predicted to have a mild
recession starting October 2011 and ending by the summer of 2012. The region
slid down in the October-December quarter and then, thanks to a good German
performance, stabilized in the January-March quarter. But the latest data show
European growth plummeting in the April-June quarter, with even German
factories suffering the sharpest contraction since June 2009. The UK, which is
outside the Eurozone, is deeply in double-dip recession.
Optimists think that even if rich countries get
into trouble, the strength and resilience of fast-growing emerging markets -
above all China - will stem the rot. Alas, China is slowing down too. TheHSBCPurchasing
Managers' Index shows that Chinese manufacturing has actually fallen in May and
China's slowdown has hit Japan, which depends on
exports to that destination. Japan is now running trade deficits month after
the month, for the first time in decades. This is a game-changer.
The global fall in commodity prices has sent
shock waves through all countries that prospered by riding the commodity boom,
including Brazil and Russia. India, a net commodity importer, should gain from
falling prices. Yet its GDP growth has plummeted too.
There is a standard remedy for recessions. Governments
cut interest rates, provide easy money, and run large fiscal deficits to revive
demand. Alas, these strategies have very limited scope today because the world
is already replete with loose monetary and fiscal policies thanks to attempts
to regain momentum, after the 2008-09 Great Recession.
Interest rates are at or below 1% in Europe,
Japan and the US. The USFederal
ReserveandEuropean Central Bank(ECB) have injected trillions of
dollars and euros respectively into their regions, breaking all records in easy
Recent elections have brought
to power parties in France andGreecesaying there is too much austerity, so
the region must aim for growth too. The IMF and several economists across the
world echo this sentiment. Yet the claim of excessive austerity has been
debunked by Josef Joffe in the Financial Times. The ECB Bank has injected
trillions of Euros into the region, including ultra-cheap money to banks,
massive contributions to rescue funds, and large-scale purchases of government
In 2011, fiscal deficits as a proportion of GDP
were 13% in Ireland, 9% in Greece, 8.5% inSpain,
and 4% in Portugal andItaly. Even France and Holland, supposedly non-crisis
countries, had fiscal deficits of 5%. The Maastricht Treaty forbade anything
over 3%. When Maastricht rules are so massively violated, is the problem really
excessive austerity? No, the real problem is the structural madness of creating
the Eurozone, a monetary union without a political union.
This fundamental blunder remains intact with no
prospect of early resolution. A Euro zone break-up would cause massive chaos
and misery for a year or two, after which economies would pick up. Trying to
save the Eurozone will mitigate immediate misery, but ensure that it continues
for years till it becomes politically intolerable.
Europeans refuse to confront the dilemma
squarely. Instead, they are devising quick-fixes for the immediate problems of
Eurozone banks and governments.Germanymay approve some growth measures, and
relax objections to direct ECB lifelines to stricken banks and debt-ridden
governments. This can put off the day of reckoning, but cannot cure the
underlying disease of an ill-conceived monetary union.
Many analysts (including me) have said that
India's GDP growth slump to 5.3% in the January-March quarter cannot be blamed
on the Euro zone crisis alone, and reflects paralysis and bad policy at home.
This will now be compounded by a new global slump. We can hardly expect any
miraculous action from the moribundUPA
government. We need a fresh
election and fresh government.
Identify the paragraphs
from which the following questions have been taken.
Q1). What is the main
premise on which the author’s fears of recession are based?
Q2) Why according to author
the standard remedies for fighting recession will not work?
Q3) Why is author disagrees
with the idea that ‘there is too much austerity”?
Q4) What solution the author
proposes to solve the Euro crisis?
Q5) What is author’s
assumption behind drawing the conclusion in the last sentence of the passage?
Read the passage and answer
the question that follows.
an event that included sky divers, stunt bikers and people rappelling down the
side of a building. Then came another spectacle: watching Google, the Web
search giant, re-imagine itself as a hardware maker.
Wednesday atGoogleI/O, the company's annual conference
for developers, Google unveiled a new 7-inchtabletcomputer, called Nexus 7, and a
sphere-shaped device for streaming music and video that it is calling Nexus Q.
Both debuts paled in comparison to the
company's ramped-up demonstration of Project Glass, a device that puts a camera
and a tiny video screen into a kind of eyeglass frame. This involved Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, jumping on stage wearing the
device and engaging in a live video chat on Google's social network with a
couple of wing-suited sky divers as they jumped out of a plane. They were
followed by stunt bikers and rappellers who dropped down the face of the
Moscone West convention center, all the while sharing what they were seeing
through experimental versions of the glasses.
Brin said Google would make a $1,500 prototype of the
glasses - which it calls the Google Glass Explorer Edition - available to
developers from the United States who attended the conference. He said the
glasses were slated to ship early next year.
focus on hardware is a strategic shift for the company, which makes the vast
majority of its revenue from advertising. Google is likely to sell the Nexus 7
andNexus Qat cost, or even at a loss, but hopes
to make up for those losses - and then some - with additional revenue from
purchases made on Google Play, its app and content store; additional traffic to
its YouTube video site; and the advertising it reaps from all of its Internet
selling Google-branded devices, the company also aims to protect its core
search business as competitors hover. Facebook is deepening its partnership
with Microsoft's Bing search engine and Microsoft just announced plans for its
own branded tablet. Apple is moving to cut Google out of its mobile and desktop
operating systems with its own cloud, search and mapping services.
is a hardware company now," said Colin Gillis, an Internet analyst with
BGC Partners. "Hardware is becoming the doorway to products and services.
If you're going to use the Internet, you are going to have to use a device.
Whoever makes that device controls what services and products are offered to
you, and those nickels and dimes add up over time."
Nexus 7 tablet, which will be manufactured by Asus, the Taiwanese hardware
maker, features a lightweight design, 7-inch screen and high-definition
display. Google priced its tablet at $199, which puts it in direct competition
with Amazon's Kindle Fire. The cheapest version of Apple's latest iPad sells
Nexus 7 will feature Google's new version of itsAndroidmobile operating system, calledJellyBean, which was made available to
developers Wednesday and will come to some Android devices next month.
Britt, an engineering director at Google, said the Android updates include a
simpler and more accurate on-screen keyboard and a smarter auto-correct
feature. The new software will also transcribe speech even when the device is
whether the following statements are true or false.
IO is a new hardware device.
Nexus Q is a new tablet device.
Nexus 7 is going to compete with Kindle Fire.
Google Play is gaming device being launched by Google.
Google has a plan ready for making up the losses it will deliberately make
through the sales of Nexus 7 and Nexus Q.
Jelly Bean is new operating system.
new focus on hardware, Google is not giving priority to its search engine
In the following
passage there are four sentencesthat are not part of the original writing and
hence disrupt the flow. Read the passage carefully and identify these
aircraft now routinely fly over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen. Their
cameras record the presence of men in motion. A commander sitting in a base
thousands of kilometres away gives the kill order. The U.S. President had
previously been over lists of alleged terrorists and marked off those who can
be killed. This is the “kill list”. If only one person is to be killed, the
execution is called a “personality strike”. There are a wide variety of drone shapes, sizes,
configurations, and characteristics.If
the drone kills more than one person, it is called a “signature strike”.
On September 30,
2011, two U.S. Predator drones fired Hellfire missiles at a car in Yemen's
al-Jawf province. The missiles destroyed the car. Among the four dead were two
U.S. citizens, the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and the editor of Al Qaeda's English
language magazine Inspire, Samir Khan. Two weeks later, on October 14, another
U.S. drone fired at a group who were on their way to dinner. Among the 10 dead
were 16-year-old Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki, the son of the cleric, and his
17-year-old cousin Abdulrahman.
The Bureau of
Investigative Journalism (BIJ) estimates that between 2001 and 2012, the U.S.
launched about a hundred drone strikes in Yemen, killing between 317 and 826
people. The civilian casualty is estimated to be anywhere between 58 and 138,
of them 24 being children. These are all very poor numbers, as the Bureau
acknowledges. The U.S. has not released any firm data; indeed the U.S.
continues to have an ambiguous attitude regarding its assassination policy. Many people
have mistakenly used the term UnmannedAerialSystem, or UnmannedAir
VehicleSystem, as these
designations were in provisional use at one time or another.It takes credit for the killings, but does not
take responsibility for the programme itself.
In a stinging
29-page report in 2010, former United Nations special representative on
extrajudicial executions Philip Alston asked the major powers to lay out the
legal limits to extrajudicial assassinations. In a statement that accompanied
the report, Alston described the political problem for the U.S.: “I'm
particularly concerned that the United States seems oblivious to this fact when
it asserts an ever-expanding entitlement for itself to target individuals
across the globe. But this strongly asserted but ill-defined licence to kill
without accountability is not an entitlement which the United States or other
states can have without doing grave damage to the rules designed to protect the
right to life and prevent extrajudicial executions.” The Bureau of
aBritishnot-for-profitnews organisation backed by a number of prominentjournalists.In the quiet rooms of the U.N., such language is rare: it asserted
that the continual U.S. use of drones was not only a violation of current norms
but a threat to the architecture of conflict resolution and the rules of war.
collected data not only from Yemen but also from Pakistan and Somalia. In
Pakistan, U.S. drones have killed between 2,462 and 3,145 people, among whom
482 to 830 were civilians (including 175 children). The numbers of those
injured are upwards of 3,000. After the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
(NATO) summit in Chicago, the U.S. struck in Waziristan about seven times (by
June 3). In Somalia, the U.S. conducted a handful of drone strikes, with deaths
reported in the hundreds (among them three children). The BIJ's method is
eclectic; it uses news reports and speeches. These are, therefore, not exact
numbers, only indications of a trend. With no information forthcoming from the
U.S., there is no way to have better figures.
The first public
admission of extrajudicial executions came with the killing of Osama bin Laden
in 2011, and the first public admission of the use of drones came from
President Barack Obama in an Internet interview on January 30 this year. Of the
drone attacks, Obama said, “This is a targeted, focussed effort at people who
are on a list of active terrorists who are trying to go in and harm Americans,
hit American facilities, American bases and so on.” He said geographical conditions
necessitated these attacks. These Unmanned Aircraft Systems range in cost
from a few thousand dollars to tens of millions of dollars, with aircraft
ranging from less than one pound to over 40,000 pounds.According to him, the alleged terrorists are
in a region in Pakistan that is not amenable to a simply military operation.
“Obviously a lot of these strikes have been in the FATA [Federally Administered
Tribal Areas] and going after Al Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough
terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The key phrase in
his statement was that he had a “list of active terrorists” who could be killed
by the unmanned drones.
Read the following excerpt from an interview.
Different answers given by the expert have been labeled as A, B, C etc. followed
by the questions that were asked.(labeled as 1,2 3 etc.) Match the questions
with the answers.
A] I have worked during one round of the selection process, when
Amartya Sen was the Jury Chair. The charter of the Prize is in keeping with
what I would like it to achieve. The Prize has established itself, but frankly,
it has to be given much greater attention in India.
In India, there is such an obsession with the day’s news, with
politics and the policy-making process. The kind of attention I get makes me
convinced that these things get disproportionate attention (laughs). We ought to give much greater attention to
the fundamental sciences. I actually mean fundamental thinking. I mean writers,
poets, fundamental mathematics, fundamental economics — all these people and
their work deserve much more attention in India.
I must say thatThe Hindudoes
probably more than any other newspaper in India in terms of focusing on these
things. The paper’s attention to the life of the mind is distinctly more than
most others. Of late, there are others like theHindustan
Times, which are doing more, but we really need to go much further.
In contrast, America gives huge attention to these things. The
obituaries inThe New York Timeson
people in the arts and sciences are more substantial than articles on people in
politics or policy making.
When eminent Indian statistician Raghu Raj Bahadur [considered
to be one of the architects of modern mathematical statistics] died in 1997,
the longest obituary was in theNYT, not in any Indian newspaper.
gap in subjects like economics may have widened now, but about 15-20 years ago,
when we had Amartya Sen, Jagdish N. Bhagwati and Prasanta K. Pattanaik, the gap
in cutting edge research was much narrower. People in the sciences also tell me
the same thing.
C] I am
glad that Infosys is giving a reasonable amount of money. But, as in things
like this, if the prize is properly projected, the money will become relatively
minor. The Nobel Prize is big money, but people will be willing to give money
to get the prize.
the awards are announced, the media must follow-up to find out what the winners
have achieved. One of the great things after the Nobel announcements every year
is the fun in reading in lay language the contributions of the winners.
I believe that the pursuit of knowledge and aesthetic beauty —
in poetry, literature, mathematics and in many other fields — is an end in
itself. Just harping on the utilitarian aspects of these branches is no good.
People must be motivated by the pure pursuit of aesthetics, like a music
composer or artist is, or like Pythagoras did when he discovered the triangle
theorem. The sheer beauty of triangles caught his imagination. It is indeed
arguable that Pythagoras’ Theorem has contributed more than the biggest of the
business houses. It gave us the instrument, which made it possible for rockets
to fly. But Pythagoras himself was never distracted by these possibilities.
as there is the concept of Corporate Social responsibility for business, there ought
to be the concept of Media Scientific Responsibility. The media should make a
deliberate contribution to science, even if it is unprofitable.
F] No. We
need multiple actions. Government funding is very critical, but we also need to
create space for the scientists. University nurture is extremely important. But
take the case of the Delhi School of Economics. Even in its heyday, its success
was not because of government nurture. Greater autonomy played a huge part in
its success. Amartya Sen was made full professor of economics at the age of 30.
Prasanta K. Pattanaik became professor at 29. Part of the tribute would have to
go to people like Dr. V.K.R.V. Rao and K.N. Raj, who were, what I would call,
academic entrepreneurs. They may not have been the greatest researchers but
they built the Delhi School of Economics.
you see the Infosys Prize as one way of doing this?
2) But can
even a Prize of this stature help in the absence of government funding for
do you plan to set about getting more attention for the awards?
4) Do you see the gap in coverage as a reflection of the gap in
the advancement of the fundamental sciences in India and in the advanced
5) What should the media do?
6) You took over the Jury Chair of the Infosys Prize for Social
Sciences in April. What are your plans for the Prize in the social sciences?
Read the passage and answer the question that follows.
Studies on Subhas Chandra
Bose's flirtation with the Axis powers, first Hitler's Germany and Mussolini's
Italy and next Tojo's Japan, vary a lot in their approach from the denunciatory
to the apologetic and hagiographic, so typical of Indian nationalistic writings.
Some have emphasised his activities in South-East Asia – with its Azad Hind
government and the rest, which the brilliant advocate Bhulabhai Desai so ably
described at the Indian National Army (INA) trial in the Red Fort in New Delhi
– to the neglect of the crucial phase in Germany, which preceded it.Romain Hayes' work, based on massive research, deserves wide
readership in India because it is scrupulously fair and richly nuanced. It
covers the background to Bose's adventure – his outlook on democracy
and/differences with Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. All of which explain, but do
not justify, why he sought and took help from the fascists. The author's
emphasis on Bose's sturdy independence is writ all over the book. He was
incapable of being anybody's stooge; only an opportunistic, albeit fierce,
nationalist. That said, the author is unsparing in his censures of Bose's moral
blindness to the crimes of his deliberately chosen allies.There is a record of such opportunism and not in India alone. The
Irish patriot, Sir Roger Casement, was tried for treason and hanged. The
Italian scholar Marzia Casolari has revealed, on the basis of archival
evidence, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh's (RSS) links with and admiration for
Mussolini's fascist regime (“Hindutva's foreign tie-up in the 1930s”, Economic
& Political Weekly, January 22, 2000. One wonders when her studies will
emerge in book form). At one time, Churchill expressed his admiration for
Mussolini.So did Gandhi. Indeed Bose and Gandhi's mistakes fed on each
other. Were it not for Gandhi's shabby treatment of Bose – forcing an elected
Congress president to vacate his office and then treating him with scorn – Bose
would not have left India in December 1940. “Bose left no doubt that the
attitude of Gandhi had been central to his leaving India.” Maulana Azad noted
with some astonishment that Gandhi's “admiration for Subhas Bose unconsciously
coloured his view about the whole war situation”, especially on Cripps'
proposals of March 30, 1942, for a settlement of India's political impasse.As early as in 1941, “Sardar
Patel felt convinced that the Allies were going to lose the war” (K.M. Munshi;
Pilgrimage to Freedom, 1967; page 75). Singapore fell to Japanese arms on
February 15 and Rangoon on March 7, 1942. However, on June 22, 1941, Hitler
attacked the Soviet Union and on December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbour
bringing the “unsinkable aircraft carrier”, the United States, into the war.
Historians are agreed that by mid-June 1942 “the limit of Japanese power [was]
reached”.Nirad C. Chaudhuri had a poor opinion of Nehru's and Bose's
understanding of international affairs. He analysed the 1942 episode in detail
in an article in The Times of India of February 28, 1982, aptly titled, “They
were ignorant of International Politics”. This was a reference to “the two
Cambridge men” in the Congress, Nehru and Bose, “who were always talking about
the international situation. They were also regarded by their political
colleagues as expert authorities on international affairs… (but) their ideas on
international politics were only a projection of their nationalism, which
prevented their seeing any international situation for what it was.” This is
true also of Indian writers on foreign affairs.The failing persists, still. South Asia has produced world-class
economists, historians, scientists and diplomats. It has not produced a single
world-class scholar on international affairs. Nationalist self-absorption is no
help in scholarly pursuits. The myopic outlook on world affairs was laid bare
in all its unreality at a historic meeting of the Congress Working Committee
(CWC) in Allahabad from April 27 to May 1, 1942.On the first day, Gandhi's
draft resolution declared: “Britain is incapable of defending India…. Japan's
quarrel is not with India. She is warring with the British Empire.… If India
were freed her first step would probably be to negotiate with Japan.” Nehru
disagreed. “Gandhiji's draft is an approach which needs careful consideration.
Independence means, among other things, the withdrawal of British troops. It is
proper; but has it any meaning, our demanding withdrawal? Nor can they
reasonably do it even if they recognise independence. Withdrawal of troops and
the whole apparatus of civil administration will create a vacuum which cannot
be filled up immediately.“If we said to Japan that her fight was with British imperialism
and not us she would say, ‘We are glad the British army is withdrawn; we
recognise your independence. But we want certain facilities now. We shall
defend you against aggression. We want aerodromes, freedom to pass our troops
through your country. This is necessary in self-defence.' They might seize
strategic points and proceed to Iraq, etc. The masses won't be touched if only
the strategic points are captured. Japan is an imperialist country. Conquest of
India is in their plan. If Bapu's approach is accepted we become passive
partners of the Axis powers. This approach is contrary to the Congress policy
for the last two years and a half. The Allied countries will have a feeling
that we are their enemies…. “The whole background of the draft is one which
will inevitably make the world think that we are passively lining up with the
Axis powers. The British are asked to withdraw. After the withdrawal we are to
negotiate with Japan and possibly come to some terms with her. These terms may
include a large measure of civil control by us, a certain measure of military
control by them, passage of armies through India, etc…. Whether you will like
it or not, the exigencies of the war situation will compel them to make India a
battleground. In sheer self-defence they cannot afford to keep out. They will
walk through the country. You can't stop it by non-violent non-cooperation.
Most of the population will not be affected by the march. Individuals may
resist in a symbolic way. The Japanese armies will go to Iraq, Persia, etc.,
throttle China and make the Russian situation more difficult…. But the whole
thought and background of the draft is one of favouring Japan. It may not be
conscious. Three factors influence our decisions in the present emergency: (i)
Indian freedom, (ii) sympathy for certain larger causes, (iii) probable outcome
of the war; who is going to win? It is Gandhiji's feeling that Japan and
Germany will win. This feeling unconsciously governs his decision. The approach
in the draft is different from mine” (emphasis added throughout). (Congress
Responsibility for the Disturbances 1942-43, Government of India, 1943, page
On the basis of the passage state whether the
following statements are True or false.
1) ‘Unsinkable aircraft carrier’
title has been used for Japan. 2) Nirad C Chaudhari had a poor
opinion about Nehru’s and Gandhi’s understanding of international affairs. 3) Nehru was not in favour of
immediate troop withdrawals by the British. 4) Nehru felt that in case of
British withdrawals, the Japanese would exploit Indian for their strategic
pursuits. 5) Gandhiji opposed the British
in favour of Japan and Germany as he thought that the latter were morally
superior. 6) RSS, Churchill and Gandhiji
are known to have expressed admiration for Mussolini.
the following excerpt from an interview. Different answers given by the expert have
been labeled as A, B, C etc. followed by the questions that were asked.(labeled
as 1,2 3 etc.) Match the questions with the answers.
is a huge global environmental problem — like climate change. Desertification
adds to, and worsens the impact of climate change. Currently, some two billion
people are affected by desertification and the degradation of land; 41 per cent
of the landmass worldwide is prone to desertification. The major deserts in the
world are expanding at an alarming rate. Deserts in China, Mongolia and Africa
are all invading their neighboring regions. In your own country, the deserts in
western India are expanding. Hundreds of thousands of hectares in the arid and semi-arid
regions and drylands around the world are becoming sand dunes every year. This
means fewer and fewer hectares are available for agriculture, livestock rearing
and allied activities that offer livelihood sources to hundreds of millions of
world population, especially the poor. Desertification cuts on the availability
of food and water even as the global population is increasing. It also causes
disasters such as sandstorms which wipe out large swathes of habitable lands.
Aquifers vanish and biodiversity is greatly reduced.
If we do not rehabilitate the degraded lands and stop the march
of the deserts, there will be huge global shortages of food, water and fuels
and unprecedented mass migrations.
degradation and desertification is a long process. They involve a host of
issues such as deforestation, over-grazing, over-cultivation, logging, pressure
of population, industrialisation and poor land-use practices. A naturally dry
climate, long spells of droughts and heavy winds add to the anthropogenic
Rio+20 role will be very crucial as world leaders can take a bold decision of
setting a sustainable development goal for “zero net land degradation.” We are
pushing for an agreement on zero net land degradation by 2030. Setting up of an
Intergovernmental Panel on Land and Soil will be very helpful in speeding up
efforts to check desertification. Desertification is nearly as critical as
climate change and international initiative on climate change and biodiversity
loss should have linkages and synergies with steps against desertification.
Unfortunately, people are not as aware of the impact of desertification as they
are of climate change. The Rio+20 meeting can bring in desertification on the
sustainable development agenda. It can also agree to give more legal teeth to
course, the battle against desertification calls for long-term commitment and
investment. There is no alternative. Regional, sub-regional and country-level
plans are necessary for Africa and Asia to reclaim deserts and restore them to
fertile farmlands. Developing countries need to integrate their poverty
eradication programmes with strategies to fight desertification. They could
also earmark a certain share of their annual budgets for the efforts. The soil and
land preservation efforts should be prioritised and mainstreamed. The funds for
climate change mitigation and adaptation could be dovetailed to the
anti-desertification programme. In Africa, several countries have come together
to form a 12,000 sq.km “great green wall” extending from Senegal to Djibouti
with the participation of local communities. People's participation is crucial
in reclaiming lands. China's “great green wall” project is on a massive scale
and is now starting to show results.
E] More than
two billion hectares of degraded land in various parts of the world can be
rehabilitated. The techniques include agro-forestry and farmer-managed natural
regeneration. Small community initiatives like closure of degraded lands for
grazing, curtailing farming, growing fast-growing plants, raising tall trees
that serve as a barrier against winds and sandstorms are very effective.
National governments could consider building large green belts, prioritise
forestry programmes and launch projects of fixing and stabilising sands. In
China, where deserts comprise 27 per cent of the landmass, lots of money has
been invested in anti-desertification programmes. The country has realised that
desertification — and its spin-off, the sandstorm — has to be tackled to
sustain its economic development.
Match the following questions with their corresponding answer.
1] Steps to check desertification and rehabilitating degraded lands are
expensive and time-consuming. How can poor countries rise to the challenge?
2] How do you assess the threat of
3] What are some of the ways to
rehabilitate degraded lands?
4] What will be the role of the upcoming
Rio+20 conference in the fight against desertification?