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English Reading Comprehension Set 177

Directions (1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
The likelihood of at least 600,000 deaths being caused annually in India by fine particulate matter pollution in the air is cause for worry, even if the data released by the World Health Organisation are only a modelled estimate. The conclusion that so many deaths could be attributed to particulate matter 2.5 micrometres or less in size is, of course, caveated, since comprehensive measurement of PM2.5 is not yet being done and the linkages between pollution, disease and deaths need further study. What is not in doubt is that residents in many urban areas are forced to breathe unhealthy levels of particulates, and the smallest of these — PM10 and less — can penetrate and get lodged deep in the lungs. The WHO Global Burden of Disease study has been working to estimate pollution-linked health impacts, such as stroke and ischaemic heart disease, acute lower respiratory infection and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 

Data on fine particulates in India show that in several locations the pollutants come from burning of biomass, such as coal, fuel wood, farm litter and cow dung cakes. In highly built-up areas, construction debris, road dust and vehicular exhaust add to the problem. The Prime Minister launched an Air Quality Index last year aimed at improving pollution control. The new data, which the WHO says provide the best evidence available on the terrible toll taken by particulates, should lead to intensified action. A neglected aspect of urban air pollution control is the virtual discarding of the Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, notified to sustainably manage debris that is dumped in the cities, creating severe particulate pollution. 

The Environment Ministry has highlighted the role that debris can play as a resource. Municipal and government contracts are, under the rules, required to utilise up to 20 per cent materials made from construction and demolition waste, and local authorities must place containers to hold debris. This must be implemented without delay. Providing cleaner fuels and scientifically designed cookstoves to those who have no option but to burn biomass, would have a big impact on reducing particulate matter in the northern and eastern States, which are the worst-hit during winter, when biomass is also used for heating. Greening the cities could be made a mission, involving civil society, with a focus on landscaping open spaces and paving all public areas to reduce dust. These measures can result in lower PM10 and PM2.5 levels. Comprehensivemeasurement of these particulates is currently absent in many cities, a lacuna that needs to be addressed.
Q1. Which of the following are pollution linked health impacts, as per the WHO Global Burden of Disease study?
(l) stroke and ischaemic heart disease 
(ll) infection of the lower respiratory system
(lll) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(a) only (lll)
(b) only (l)
(c) Both (l) and (ll)
(d) None of the above
(e) All of the Above

S1. Ans. (e)
Sol. Refer 1st para last line.

Q2. The conclusion regarding the deaths attributed to particulate matter 2.5 micrometers is considered to be caveated because
(a) measurement of all aspects of PM2.5 is not radical
(b) measurement of all aspects of PM2.5 has been done comprehensively
(c) relation between pollution, disease and death is complete
(d) PM 2.5 is less in size
(e) None of the Above

S2. Ans. (a)
Sol. Refer 1st para 5th line.

Q3. Which of the following statements is not true in the context of the passage?
(a) the smallest particulate matter PM2.5 penetrates and gets lodged in lungs. 
(b) Eastern and southern states are worst hit in winter by burning of biomass.
(c) Comprehensive measurements of particulate matter is highly practiced.
(d) None is true
(e) All are true

S3. Ans. (d)
Sol. None is true. Refer the following lines
“What is not in doubt is that residents in many urban areas are forced to breathe unhealthy levels of particulates, and the smallest of these — PM10 and less — can penetrate and get lodged deep in the lungs.”
“Comprehensive measurement of these particulates is currently absent in many cities, a lacuna that needs to be addressed.”
“Providing cleaner fuels and scientifically designed cookstoves to those who have no option but to burn biomass, would have a big impact on reducing particulate matter in the northern and eastern States, which are the worst-hit during winter, when biomass is also used for heating.”

Q4. Which of the following, according to the passage, are the measures for lowering particulate matter in the atmosphere?
(l) landscaping open areas
(ll) providing cooking stoves designed scientifically
(lll) making cleaner fuels available 
(a) only (lll)
(b) only (l)
(c) Both (l) and (ll)
(d) None of the above
(e) All of the Above

S4. Ans. (e)
Sol. Refer para 3

Q5. Which of the following could be a suitable title for the passage?
(a) Soaring pollution levels
(b) Landscaping green world
(c) Following the path less dusty
(d) Aspiring for a green world
(e) None of the Above
S5. Ans. (c)
Sol. “Following the path less dusty” is the most suitable title because the paragraph deals with the methods and ways to make the environment dust free. It does not deal only with the rising pollution levels but also suggests ways to for a dust free environment.

Q6. Choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the following word given in bold in the passage
CAVEAT
(a) Admonition
(b) betrayal
(c) imprudence
(d) unhygienic
(e) haste

S6. Ans. (a)
Sol. Caveat: a warning or proviso of specific stipulations, conditions, or limitations.
Admonition: a firm warning or reprimand.

Q7. Choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the following word given in bold in the passage
PENETRATE
(a) retreat
(b) invade
(c) withdraw
(d) misconstrue
(e) congregate

S7. Ans. (b)
Sol. Invade: enter (a place, situation, or sphere of activity) in large numbers, especially with intrusive effect.

Q8. Choose the word which best expresses the meaning of the following word given in bold in the passage
LODGE
(a) prevent
(b) unsettle
(c) disorganize
(d) embed
(e) dislodge

S8. Ans (d)
Sol. Lodge: make or become firmly fixed or embedded in a place.
Embed: fix (an object) firmly and deeply in a surrounding mass.

Q9. Choose the word which is most opposite to the following word given in bold in the passage
COMPREHENSIVE
(a) Broad
(b) Extensive
(c) Restricted
(d) Exhaustive
(e) Discursive

S9. Ans. (c)
Sol. Comprehensive: including or dealing with all or nearly all elements or aspects of something.
Restricted: limited in extent, number, scope, or action.

Q10. Choose the word which is most opposite to the following word given in bold in the passage
LACUNA
(a) Cavity
(b) Depression
(c) Closure
(d) Interim
(e) Hiatus

S10. Ans. (c)
Sol. Lacuna: an unfilled space; a gap.
Restricted: limited in extent, number, scope, or action.
Directions (11-15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below them.

Many children have died of malnutrition in India and yet Women and Child Development Ministers over the years haven’t decided what food to give children in anganwadis. This is worrying. How many more children must suffer from stuntedgrowth before the Minister in charge of their welfare decides on whether to serve them hot-cooked nutritious meals or packaged/processed fortified mixes? And why does there have to be a choice between the two? Why can’t India incorporate both? Is it really that difficult to keep a close watch on the quality of food served to children between the ages of three and six as well as take-home ration for pregnant and lactating women? The latest data show that 39 per cent of children under the age of five in India are short for their age. Apparently, it is. If you put together the years of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government and the Bharatiya Janata Party government, no solution is in sight after more than a decade of discussions.

The Minister of Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi, and her predecessor, Renuka Chowdhury, have always exercised the easy option: dense, fortified food for malnourished children, courtesy the manufacturers. But early this month, Ms. Gandhi locked horns with her own officials on arriving at a solution. While her officers are batting for take-home rations that are locally available and processed, Ms. Gandhi favours a quickly served, nutrients-fortified alternative. It is an old debate; one that involves big biscuit-makers and assorted corn puff manufacturers on the one hand and social activists on the other, with children caught in between. Data on malnutrition should serve as a wake-up call for the government: 38% of children are stunted and 35.7% are underweight in India. About 21% of children under the age of five are wasted (low weight for height), according to the National Family Health Survey-4 data. “The impact of impaired intrauterine nutrition is not only on a girl child in the womb but also on that growing baby’s own oocytes (forming eggs) in her ovaries. So, the epigenetic changes in the yet-to-be-born baby may also affect the future of her future children.”

 Eight years ago, when malnutrition deaths occurred in some districts in Maharashtra, a simple solution involving a protein-rich diet called Lapsi — a green millet mixture combined with water and milk — was given to malnourished babies. In Jharkhand, dry rations such as oil, dal, wheat or rice were given to mothers — until the contractor lobby forced the government to shift in favour of processed food. The point is to address malnourishment through locally produced, diverse food options that the country offers. Under the UPA government, the Minister in charge wondered aloud in 2007 about who would keep a watch on the quality of meals served. She asked what would happen if something fell into the food being cooked. “Can we keep a close watch? Why not serve packaged food?” This is a valid point of concern, but is it impossible to work out a solution? Or is there no solution because children cannot be quantified as vote banks?

Q11. “But early this month, Ms. Gandhi locked horns with her own officials on arriving at a solution.” What does the phrase “locked horns” means, according to the passage?
(a) engaged in conflict
(b) formed a mutual consent
(c) engaged in partnership
(d) engage in a friendly discussion
(e) None of the above

S11. Ans. (a)
Sol. Lock horns: engage in conflict.

Q12. According to the passage, the children are caught between which two groups in the debate highlighted in the passage?
(a) Maneka Gandhi and Renuka Chowdhury
(b) Social activists and UPA Government
(c) Food manufacturers and social activists
(d) Food manufacturers and UPA Government
(e) None of the above

S12. Ans. (c)
Sol. Refer 2nd paragraph. “It is an old debate; one that involves big biscuit-makers and assorted corn puff manufacturers on the one hand and social activists on the other, with children caught in between”.

Q13. Which of the following words is similar in meaning to the word ‘stunted’ as used in the passage?
(a) developed
(b) enlarged
(c) impede
(d) augment 
(e) upsurge

S13. Ans. (c)
Stunted means prevent from growing or developing properly.
Impede: delay or prevent (someone or something) by obstructing them; hinder.

Q14. In 2007, the minister in charge under the UPA government was concerned about which of the following factors?
(l) keeping a watch on the quality of meals served.
(ll) consequences of the failure to see if something falls in the food being cooked.
(lll) perplexed as to why not serve packaged food. 
(a) only (lll)
(b) only (ll)
(c) Both (l) and (ll)
(d) All of the above
(e) None of the Above

S14. Ans. (d)
Sol. Refer para 3

Q15. According to the National Family Health Survey-4 data, what percent of children under the age of five have a lower weight according to their height?
(a) 38%
(b) 35.7%
(c) 21%
(d) 67%
(e) None of the Above

S15. Ans. (c)
Sol. Refer para 2

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