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English Reading Comprehension Set 123

Directions: Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/ phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some fo the questions.
Almost everything has implications for the poor, whether it is education, health, family planning, employment, or the environment, or the environment: they are all fields where current performance hurts the poor in particular. Policies that enhance economic growth, and agriculture growth, will favour reduction of poverty. The lives of poor people are most threatened by potential shortages of water and low water quality, and by air pollution; pressures on common pool resources also bear most heavily on the poor, and on women in particular. 

Since half of India’s poor are in the persistent category, the country’s anti-povery programmes can at best, have only a limited impact. They are excessively scattered and unrelated to basic processes in the economy. They focus on regions with particular problems, such as drought prone areas; subsidy programmes such as the Targeted Public Distribution System for food; a number of employment-related schemes, and social security measures for the very poor. Most of them have been shown to be inefficient in terms of the proportion of expenditure actually reaching the poor, and in terms of their lasting effects. But greater impacts on poverty could be made by improved performance in the social sectors and the environment generally, concentrating on the states with the greatest backlogs. Better health and nutrition and better education for all, and clean air and water are the best anti-poverty programmes. To these must be added reproductive health services and family planning, again most needed in the poorest states : they too are pro poor measures in themselves for high fertility households.

The majority of the poor remain in rural areas, and measures to redress poverty must concentrate on enhancing both agricultural growth and non-farm employment. Yet India, for all its anti-poverty commitment, has not seen the increases in the key investments--irrigation, rural roads, and agriculture research-- that would help to achieve this. Anti-poverty strategies all over the world rightly give an important place to the empowerment of the poor, and their involvement in the design and management of schemes intended for their benefit. India has made considerable strides in these directions : in water, moving to farmer managed watershed development; in a range of activites devolving budgets and management to panchayats and pushing decentralization. Much of this experience has been positive; but much has not. Instead of empowering the poor, it has empowered local-vested interests. Like, markets, devolution and decentralization cannot be guaranteed to help the poor. There is an indispensable role for the state. But frequently public action by state institutions has not delivered either.

Policies to redress poverty require the positive engagement of central and state governments as well as NGOs, local communities, and group of beneficiaries. With greater account ability and transparency India’s own resources will be adequate to overcome poverty. Accountability is needed most particularly in public services that affect the poor : health, education and the police perhaps more than any other, as well as the general working of bureaucracy. If resources are not invested or distributed where they are needed, and policies are not framed to benefit the poor or to ensure that the poor receive the benefits meant for them, this projection of slow poverty decline could become a reality. It is ultimately down to politics. If more of India’s politicians see electoral promise in genuinely addressing the needs of the poor, poverty can and will decline much faster.
1. Irrigation, rural roads and agriculture research will help to achieve
1) watershed development by vested interest
2) empowering state government to plan the budget
3) reduction of food subsidy
4) agricultural growth
5) None of these

2. In rural areas anti poverty commitments should pay attention to
(A) reproductive health-services and family planning.
(B) good nutrition and education for all.
(C) farm based and non-farm based employment.

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

3. Which of the following porgrammes provides relief to the poor?
(A) Targeted Public Distribution System
(B) Pro-poverty strategies
(C) Reproductive health-service and family-size management

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

4. What kind of policies will help curtail poverty?
(A) Water conservation and pollution control measures
(B)Economic development and agricultural growth programmes.
(C) Employment schemes and social security.

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

5. According to the passage what is ‘down to politics’?
1) Social security measures 
2) Considering strides in education
3) Framing anti-poor policies 
4) Projection of slow poverty decline
5) None of these

6. Which has to play an important role in promoting decentralisation?
1) State through the implementation of competent and effective policies
2) Centre by reserving common pool resources
3) Politician’s promised made during elections
4) Management by imitating policies of other countries
5) None of these

7. Why do anti-poverty programmes have only a limited impact?
(A) They are unrelated to basic economic processes.
(B) Their focus is on general problem and broader issues.
(C) They are balanced in terms of expenditure and benefit.

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

8. According to the passage what should be the fundamental role of the state?
1) Monitoring working of bureaucracy
2) Implementation of anti-poverty strategies
3) Reducing role of panchayats
4) Empowering local-vested interest
5) None of these

9. How will India’s own resources and systems be helpful to diminish poverty?
1) Positive engagement of central and state government
2) With higher accountability and transparency
3) General working of bureaucracy
4) Devolving budgets and managements to panchayats
5) None of these

Directions: Choose the word/phrase which is most nearly the same in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

10. Implications
1) impacts 
2) advantages 
3) production 
4) expenses 
5) arrangements

11. Current
1) fresh 
2) recent 
3) shock 
4) hidden 
5) voltage

12. Prone
1) affected 
2) unassailable 
3) incited 
4) liable 
5) vulnerable

Directions: Choose the word/phrase which is most opposite in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

13. excessively
1) closely 
2) absurdly 
3) meagerly 
4) profusely 
5) moderately

14. lasting
1) temporary 
2) first 
3) final 
4) timely 
5) concluding

15. heavily
1) animated
2) thickly
3) relaxing
4) lightly
5) delicately




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

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