Reading Comprehension (IFS English (Mains)): Questions 1 - 11 of 14

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Passage

Read the following passage and answer the questions given below: (10×5 = 50 Mark)

All of us are now aware of the threats facing the earth of the degradation that man is causing to his own environment. We know that the global temperature is rising, that the ozone layer is being disrupted, that the groundwater level is going down alarmingly. We also know that our air, water and soil are being increasingly polluted, that our forests are being steadily depleted. Our earth is becoming more and more uninhabitable.

Why is this so? The most important reason is that our concept of development is unscientific and illogical. Our development has made life more complicated and difficult for us. In fact, it is over-exploitation of our natural wealth that has resulted in the many unsolvable problems we now have, problems of pollution of air, water and soil.

The natural resources of our earth are being exploited by the developed nations to such an extent that it becomes almost impossible for the rest of the world to meet even their basic needs. The developed nations do this for the sake of change and novelty and this craze has given rise to ‘a throwaway culture’. They throw away not only cups and plates, paper and clothes and foodstuffs, furniture and cars, but even their homes and old people. This attitude of the developed countries has wrought havoc not only to them but to the poor, backward nations too; for this is the model of development the developed countries place before them.

Development does not mean piling up luxuries; development does not mean having more and more automobiles on your roads; development does not mean making air, water and soil more polluted; development doesn’t mean more and bigger buildings. The mad rush to catch up with the artificial speed of high competition is not development.

Let us take the example of a small State. Kerala was one of the most beautiful places on the earth, all lush green with the Sahya Mountains on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west. Forty-four river and an intricate network of lakes and Streams and backwaters and two regular rainy seasons kept this land cool and prosperous. Here we had our own system of agriculture, our own seed and manuring and our own watering methods.

Then came development. The groves were cut down and cash crops were sown. The ponds were filled up because it considered wastage of land. The people were told that their local seeds were no good and were given high-yielding varieties. Cow dung and leaf manure were also considered primitive. At subsidized rate chemical fertilizers and pesticides were given. The chemical manure was considered excellent and pesticides a boon. It took time for the people to understand that the chemical fertilizers are not wonderful and that the pesticides do not know when to stop killing. Even the friendly moths, the beneficial bacteria, the earthworm, field spiders and the grasshoppers are wiped out. The soil and water and the network of streams and canals have become polluted.

Likewise, in the name of development we have cleared most of our precious lands. Felling and encroachment, the so-called developmental activities and big dams have almost wiped them out. We have at present not more than 5 % good forest in Kerala.

Question number: 1 (1 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2015

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What caused deforestation in Kerala?

Question number: 2 (2 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2015

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How did the so-called development affect the people of Kerala?

Question number: 3 (3 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2015

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What is the greatest danger, which the earth is facing now?

Question number: 4 (4 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2015

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What does the author mean by ‘throwaway culture’?

Question number: 5 (5 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2015

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What is the real meaning of the term ‘development’ as explained in the passage?

Passage

Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:

Safe Water for All

In developing countries a very large section of the population-both in urban and rural areas-does not have convenient access to safe water. Millions of people die annually due to water related diseases. Water related diseases are the leading killers of infants and children. About 5 million infants die every year from intestinal diseases before they complete one year of life. Every day a large number of people die from unsafe water as two-third of the people on the earth have no other choice except to drink it, cook with it and bathe in it.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 hospital bed out of 4 in the world is occupied by a patient who is ill because of polluted water. Provision of a safe and convenient water supply is the single most important activity that could be undertaken to improve the health of people living in rural area of the developing world.

The problem of providing a convenient supply of safe water to all remains unsolved. In some parts of the world, women and children spend half of their time for fetching water. Some have to walk as far as 25 kilometres or so to reach the source of water. In India, the people of village in the hilly and desert regions, where nearest water sources are about 1.6 kilometres away, have difficult access to water. Besides, these water sources contain toxic elements, which are dangerous to health and are carriers of epidemic diseases like cholera and guinea pig infestation. Many other villages also have inadequate and unprotected drinking water sources. Various schemes and projects undertaken to supply safe water have met with several difficulties. According to the Evaluation Report on the Accessibility of the poor to the Rural Water Supply, 1980 of the Planning Commission of India, There are several weak points in the programme. Remedial measures need to be undertaken to ensure safe water supply conveniently through bore, tube of drill wells and pipes, require regular and timely supply, adequate number of supply points, better management for breakdown and out-of-order conditions, provision for separate public points for the poor and increase of supply hours.

Besides, measures should also be taken to educate the community to make them aware that water from open dug wells without parapets and by individual collections from ponds, tanks, lakes, etc. , is basically unsafe.

Question number: 6 (1 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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Enumerate the problems faced by people in procuring water to sustain themselves? (10 Mark)

Question number: 7 (2 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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Why is safe water important for people?

Question number: 8 (3 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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What are the hazards of drinking unsafe water? (10 Mark)

Question number: 9 (4 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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Why do people drink unsafe water? (10 Mark)

Question number: 10 (5 of 5 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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What are the remedies to counter the problem of unsafe water? (10 Mark)

Passage

Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:

In the 1970s, Chipko activists in Tehri Garbwal used to sing a song, praising their hills as paradise, the place of Gods, where the mountains bloom with rare plants and dense cedars. Chipko began as a movement to save the indigenous forest of oak and rhododendron from being felled by the Forest Department. It soon became a wider assertion of local rights to the environment, protesting against inappropriate policies imposed on the hills by a distant plains-based State Government. That sense of alienation and exploitation grew into a broad-based campaign for regional autonomy. The state of Uttarakhand was formed in 2000, and many hoped that the region would finally chart a path of development that was in harmony with its unique ecology and culture.

The recent catastrophic rain, landslides and floods, and the consequent human tragedy, makes us look more closely and critically at Uttarakhand’s development narrative. The story that is told- the state can produce wealth and welfare by using natural resource to the fullest- grossly misunderstands the nature of Himalaya ecology. First, the Himalayas are known to be geologically active. Earthquakes and glacial lake outbursts are natural hazard that accompany these processes. But the destructive power of these events has been eclipsed by man-made hazards that exponentially increase the instability of the Himalayan landscape. Cutting mountains for building roads often trigger landslides. Blasting tunnels through the mountains for river projects destabilizes an already fragile geology. The pressure of water in dam reservoirs induces tectonic shifts, multiplying the risk of earthquakes. Second, like the mountains, Himalayan Rivers are dynamic entities. Blocking and diverting their path with dams and tunnels, dumping lakhs of truckloads of debris from construction sites and from landslides, and building close to the river channel, has disastrous consequences. The cloudburst that precipitated the recent disaster was a natural event, but the toll taken by the floods and landslides was made much worse by Uttarakhand’s development strategy. It has become clear that our understanding of nature is poor, our ability to control and manipulate it poorer still. Nonetheless, we chose to forge ahead with building more concrete infrastructure because, in the short term, that’s where the money lies. This is a warning to us that development has to incorporate the precautionary principle, anticipating potential harm and acting prudently to prevent it. This means a conservative approach to construction in the hills.

Answer the following question on the basis of the above passage: (40 Mark)

Question number: 11 (1 of 4 Based on Passage) Show Passage

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Appeared in Year: 2011

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Why is the Himalayan region thought to be geologically and ecologically fragile?

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