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English Reading Comprehension Set 166

Directions (01-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. 


Agriculture dominates change in India through its causal links with factor and product markets. It employs 60 per cent of the labour force and contributes 26 per cent of the gross domestic product. In the poorer states, its contribution to the domestic product is close to 40 per cent. Low productivity in agriculture has led to the concentration of the poor in this sector. Due to the sheer size of the agricultural economy and the importance of its major products (cereals) in the diets of the poor, gains in agricultural productivity have significant potential impact on poverty. Theoretically, it is possible to reduce poverty as well as expand the domestic market for industry by raising labour productivity in agriculture and spreading its gains among the low-income groups. Modelling of the linkages between agricultural and industrial growth has shown that a 10 per cent increase in agricultural output would increase industrial output by 5 per cent and urban workers would benefit by both increased industrial employment and price deflation. However, there is an asymmetry of adjustments in the demand and supply of agricultural goods. An increase in non-agricultural production would lead to an immediate increase in demand for intermediate and final agricultural goods, whereas supply-side adjustments involving re-allocation of resources and net additional investment for capacity expansion take a much longer period. There is a widely held view that in a large country like India, the demand stimulus for industrialisation would come mainly from agriculture with less social and economic costs.

Interdependencies in food and labour market are important for the development process. An upward shift in the food supply curve would simultaneously result in an upward shift in the labour demand curve. The magnitude of the interdependence depends on the technique of production causing the shifts in the food supply curve. Similarly, an upward shift in the labour supply curve shifts up the food demand curve. The extent of interdependence between the forces of labour supply and food demand depends on the employment-output elasticity and the income elasticity of demand for food. The recent estimate of the employment-output elasticity in agriculture is around 0.5, income elasticity of food is in the range of 0.55-0.60 and that for cereals is 0.25-0.30. The other important inter-dependency, which plays a crucial role in inducing indirect employment, is that between food and other sectors through demand linkages. Since food accounts for a major share in the budget of the poor and any reduction in the food price leaves a significant proportion of income for other items, a lower food price stimulates employment in industrial and service sectors. On the other hand, an increase in the food price would increase the wage costs of industrial products and hence the prices of industrial products. In the absence of adjustments through exports, it would result in demand deficiency. Clearly, the most favourable situation in India is one in which labour demand outpaces its supply and food supply outpaces its demand.

Wage rates cannot fall below a certain minimum determined by the costs of subsistence living and the labour supply curve turns elastic at the subsistence wage rate. Demographic pressure cannot push the wage rate below the subsistence level. People would be willing to starve rather than work unless the energy expended in physical work is compensated by the energy provided by food. Foodgrain price usually determines the subsistence wage rate in agricultural as well as in the urban informal sector since foodgrains account for about four-fifth of the calorie intake of the poor.


Q1. Which of the following, according to the passage, signifies influence of agricultural products on poverty?
(I) Higher labour productivity in agriculture reduces poverty.
(II) Agricultural product is the main constituent of the food of the poor.
(III) Agriculture output spurs industrial growth which ultimately helps the poor.
(a) (I) and (II) only
(b) (II) and (III) only
(c) (I) and (III) only
(d) All (I), (II) and (III)
(e) None of these
S1. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer the sixth sentence of the first paragraph “Theoretically, it is possible to reduce poverty as well as expand the domestic market for industry by raising labour productivity in agriculture and spreading its gains among the low-income groups.”
Q2. Which of the following, according to the passage, benefits the urban workers get from increased agricultural production?
(I) Urban workers get agricultural products at a cheaper rate.
(II) Urban workers get more job offers in the agricultural sectors.
(III) Urban workers get more job offers in the industrial sectors.
(a) None
(b) (I) and (II) only
(c) (II) and (III) only
(d) (I) and (III) only
(e) All (I), (II) and (III)
S2. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer the following lines of the first paragraph “urban workers would benefit by both increased industrial employment and price deflation.”
Q3. Which of the following is meant by "the labour supply curve turns elastic at the subsistence wage rate" as used in the passage?
(a) People refuse to work at the minimum wage rate
(b) People still work at the minimum wage rate
(c) People are eager to work at the minimum wage rate
(d) People have no option but to work at the minimum wage rate
(e) None of these
S3. Ans. (e)
Sol. The statement “the labour supply curve turns elastic at the subsistence wage rate" means that at the minimum wage rate people may or may not work, so labour supply gets affected.
Q4. Which of the following statements is not true in the context of the passage?
(a) Increase in labour productivity in agriculture can reduce poverty
(b) Agricultural sector can provide the impetus for greater industrialization at lower cost
(c) Increase in food supply will increase the demand for labour forces
(d) Concentration of low income group people is relatively higher in the non-agricultural sector
(e) All are true
S4. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer the fourth sentence of the first paragraph “Low productivity in agriculture has led to the concentration of the poor in this sector.”
Q5. Which of the following in addition to employment-output elasticity, according to the passage, creates indirect employment?
(a) Inter-linkage of demand of food and other sectors.
(b) Inter-dependence of forces of labour supply and food demand.
(c) Income elasticity of demand for food.
(d) All of these
(e) None of these
S5. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer the fifth, sixth and seventh sentences of the second paragraph “The recent estimate of the employment-output elasticity in agriculture is around 0.5, income elasticity of food is in the range of 0.55-0.60 and that for cereals is 0.25-0.30. The other important inter-dependency, which plays a crucial role in inducing indirect employment, is that between food and other sectors through demand linkages. Since food accounts for a major share in the budget of the poor and any reduction in the food price leaves a significant proportion of income for other items, a lower food price stimulates employment in industrial and service sectors.”
Q6. Which of the following, according to the passage, can lead to demand deficiency in India?
(a) Widespread import of food grains
(b) Oversupply of agricultural products
(c) Increase in prices of industrial products
(d) Foresight in gauging the demand-supply of labour
(e) None of these
S6. Ans. (c)
Sol. With reference to the passage we can infer that with increase in prices of Industrial products can lead to demand deficiency in India.
Q7. Which of the following, according to the passage, is the cause for increase in food supply?
(a) Less demand by the industrial sector.
(b) Bumper food production due to adequate monsoon.
(c) Change in technique of food production.
(d) Not mentioned in the passage.
(e) None of these
S7. Ans. (d)
Sol. It is not mentioned in the passage.
Q8. Which of the following has the same meaning as the word 'sheer' as used in the passage?
(a) simple
(b) undiluted
(c) mere
(d) outright
(e) unassisted
S8. Ans. (a)
Sol. ‘Sheer’ means nothing other than; unmitigated (used for emphasis). Hence it has same meaning as ‘simple’.
Q9. Which of the following has the same meaning as the word 'deflation' as used in the passage?
(a) reduction
(b) index
(c) inflation
(d) improvement
(e) diffusion
S9. Ans. (a)
Sol. Deflation means reduction.
Q10. Which of the following is most opposite in meaning of the word 'interdependence' as used in the passage?
(a) correlated
(b) dependence
(c) independence
(d) relativity
(e) interrelated

S10. Ans. (c)
Sol. Interdependence means the dependence of two or more people or things on each other. Hence it has opposite meaning as ‘independence’.
Directions (11-15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. 

On a personal level, winning doesn’t mean the other guy has to lose. As former P&G brand manager Bruce Miller put in, ‘It’s not a zero-sum game. It’s more like golf than tennis, you are playing against yourself and the course, not the guy across the net or in the next office. Play your best game and, if it’s good enough, you’ll be a winner. You might not achieve the specific goal you have set, but the company is big enough and flexible enough to move you up and onward in a way that suits your talents. That’s winning.” 

Miller remembers the story of an assistant brand manager who, by his own account, was achieving great things and looked as if he had the world by the tail. At about the time his “class” was ready to go out on sales training, he had a closed-door meeting with his boss. His peers assumed he was the first to get the nod. It turned out his performance had all along been more flash than substance, and the meeting with his boss was to discuss other career alternatives inside or outside the company. Miller is convinced that the moral of the story is that winning is all about your own performance and not about keeping up with what the other guy seems to be doing.

Former CEO ED Artzt equates winning with professionalism: It’s mastery of the fundamentals. And that’s what you must do to win in management. You must master the fundamentals of the business you’re in, the functions you perform, and the process of managing people. If you don’t do that, you’ll eventually become a journeyman or journeywoman, and the brilliance you once had will surly tarnish. 

Mastering the fundamentals of any profession, be it in the arts, sports, or business, requires great sacrifice, endless repetition, and a constant search for the best way to do things. A professional in search of mastery brings an attitude to his or her work that no sacrifice is too great, and no experience or grunt work is too menial if it helps achieve mastery of the fundamentals. It all begins with attitude, striving to attain professionalism and embracing winning as a way of life. If you want to become a winning manager, I urge you to embrace that attitude with all your might. 

Q11. What does Miller mean when he says that winning is not “a zero sum game”? 
(a) It does not mean that the other guy has to lose. 
(b) You are playing against yourself. 
(c) It’s more like golf than tennis. 
(d) The company is big enough to move you up.
(e) None of these
S11. Ans. (a)
Sol.  Refer the third sentence of the first paragraph “It’s more like golf than tennis, you are playing against yourself and the course, not the guy across the net or in the next office.”
Q12. By “more flash than substance,” the author means 
(a) the achievement was temporary, not lasting. 
(b) the achievement was more a matter of chance. 
(c) the manager was fooling himself. 
(d) None of the above 
(e) All are correct
S12. Ans. (b)
Sol. The author means by the phrase “more flash than substance” is that there was no quality.
Q13. A journeyman or journeywoman 
(i) is not a master of fundamentals. 
(ii) is just passing time. 
(iii) is not brilliant. 
(a) i and ii 
(b) i, ii and iii 
(c) i and iii 
(d) ii and iii
(e) None

S13. Ans. (c)
Sol. Refer the third paragraph of the passage.
Q14. The author does not feel that  
(a) mastering fundamentals is essential to win. 
(b) mastering fundamentals requires great sacrifice. 
(c) winning is not a zero sum game. 
(d) None of the above 
(e) All of the above
S14. Ans. (d)
Sol. None of the following sentences is true.
Q15. The best title for the passage could be 
(a) Winning
(b) Winning and Professionalism 
(c) Getting a Winner’s Attitude 
(d) Mastering Fundamentals is Important 
(e) winning and losing

S15. Ans. (c)
Sol. We can get the idea from last few lines of the passage “It all begins with attitude”

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