[Comprehension] Solved Passages from CSAT 2011, with explanation and approach

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This is just illustration of Rule#1 =How to remove garbage. The following passages are taken from CSAT 2011 (Paper II).

  1. Inclusive growth (5Q)
  2. Cut down paragraph
  3. Passage: Creative Society (3Q)
  4. Passage: Foreign Domination (4Q)
  5. Passage: Keystone Species (5Q)
  6. Second question
  7. Third question
  8. Passage: Morality (3Q)
  9. Passage :Ecosystems  (3Q)
  10. Passage: Girl Education (5Q)

Inclusive growth (5Q)

For achieving inclusive growth there is-a critical need to rethink the-role of the State. The early debate among economists about the size of the Goverment can be misleading. The need of the hour is to have an enabling Government. India is too large and complex a nation for the State to be able to deliver all that is needed. Asking the Government to produse all the essential goods, create all the necessary jobs, and keep a curb on the prices of all goods is to lead to a large cumbersome bureaucracy and widespread corruption.

The aim must be to stay with the objective of inclusive growth that was laid down by the founding fathers of the nation and also to take a more modern view of what the State can realistically deliver.

This is what leads to the idea of an enabling State, that is, a Government that does not try to directly deliver to the citizens everything that they need. Instead, it (1) creates an enabling ethos for the market so that individual enterprise can flourish and citizens can, for the most part, provide for the needs of one another, and (2) steps in to help those who do not manage to do well for themselves, for there will always be individuals, no matter what the system, who need support and help. Hence we need a Government that, when it comes to the market, sets effective, incentive-compatible rules and remains on the sidelines with minimal interference, and, at the same time, plays an important role in directly helping the poor by ensuring that they get basic education and health services and receive adequate nutrition and food .

Cut down paragraph

(note, I’ve numbered the sentence so I can give reference number while discussing the answer.)

  1. For achieving inclusive growth there is-a critical need to rethink the-role of the State. The early debate among economists about the size of the Government can be misleading.
  2. The need of the hour is to have an enabling Government. India is too large and complex a nation for the State to be able to deliver all that is needed.
  3. Asking the Government to produce all the essential goods, create all the necessary jobs, and keep a curb on the prices of all goods is to lead to a large cumbersome bureaucracy and widespread corruption.
  4. The aim must be to stay with the objective of inclusive growth that was laid down by the founding fathers of the nation and also to take a more modern view of what the State can realistically deliver.
  5. This is what leads to the idea of an enabling State, that is, a Government that does not try to directly deliver to the citizens everything that they need. Instead,
  6. (such Enabling Government) it (1) creates an enabling ethos for the market so that individual enterprise can flourish and citizens can, for the most part, provide for the needs of one another, and (2)
  7. (Government) steps in to help those who do not manage to do well for themselves, for there will always be individuals, no matter what the system, who need support and help.
  8. Hence we need a Government that, when it comes to the market, sets effective, incentive-compatible rules and
  9. (need a Government that) remains on the sidelines with minimal interference,
  10. (need a Government that) and, at the same time, plays an important role in directly helping the poor by ensuring that they get basic education and health services and receive adequate nutrition and food .

First question

According to passage :

1. The objective of inclusive growth was laid down by the founding fathers of the nation.

2. Need of the hour is to have an enabling Government.

3. The Government should engage III maximum interference in market processes.

4. There is a need to change the size of the Government.

Which of the statements given above are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Now let’s check the question statement.

  1. The objective of inclusive growth was laid down by the founding fathers of the nation.
Correct as per line #4
  1. Need of the hour is to have an enabling Government.
Correct: line 5 and 6
  1. The Government should engage in maximum interference in market processes.
Not correct according to line#9 “……sidelines with minimum interference.”Ok STOP.

Look at the answer choices and eliminate the answer choices containing “3”

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2 and 3 only
  3. 1 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Observe again. 1 and 2 is definitely correct: therefor answer is (A).

Passage 1: Second question

Q2. According to the passage, the strategy of inclusive growth can be effected by focusing on

  1. meeting all the needs of every citizen in the country.
  2. Increasing the regulations over the manufacturing sector.
  3. Controlling the distribution of manufacturing goods.
  4. Delivery of the basic services to the deprived sections of the society.

Approach

a) Check line #6: such enabling Government should help only those who’re in need (poor people). Enabling Government need not help every one.

So first answer option eliminated.

b) increasing regulation = hell NO! Read 6+9

c) Controlling the distribution of manufacturing goods.= again hell NO. Read 5+6

d) Delivery of the basic services to the deprived sections of the society.= yes. That’s what 7+9 is talking about.

Final answer= D.

Third question

Q3. What constitutes an enabling Government?

  1. A large bureaucracy.
  2. Implementation of welfare programs through representatives.
  3. Creating an ethos that helps individual enterprise
  4. Providing resources to those who are underprivileged.
  5. Offering direct help to the poor regarding basic services.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below :

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 4 and 5 only
  3. 3, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Approach

  1. A large bureaucracy.
This is totally reverse of Enabling Government. Line #3. This is “maai-baap” Government. Hence incorrect.This eliminates A and D answer choice.

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 4 and 5 only
  3. 3, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  1. Implementation of welfare programs through representatives.
Since A and D are eliminated. We don’t need to bother checking statement #2. Move on.
  1. Creating an ethos that helps individual enterprise
Ofcourse yes. Line #6.This eliminates option  (B).

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 4 and 5 only
  3. 3, 4 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

Now just to confirm, let’s check 4 and 5 statement.

  1. Providing resources to those who are underprivileged.
Correct according to last line. Food-health and education.
  1. Offering direct help to the poor regarding basic services.
Correct: 7+10

Final answer : C

Fourth question

Q4. Why is the State unable to deliver “all that is needed”?

  1. It does not have sufficient bureaucracy.
  2. It does not promote inclusive growth.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Approach

Read line#2: India is too large and complex a nation for the State to be able to deliver all that is needed.

From Line #3 we can conclude the India can try to deliver “all that is needed” but it’ll lead to a large cumbersome bureaucracy and widespread corruption.

Answer is (D)

Fifth Question

Q5. What is essential message being conveyed by the author of the passage ?

  1. The objectives of inclusive growth laid down by the founding fathers of the nation should be remembered.
  2. The Government needs to make available more schools and health sevices.
  3. The Government needs to establish markets and industries to meet the needs of the poor strata of the society.
  4. There is a need to rethink the role of the State in achieving inclusive growth.

These type of questions are very common in CAT. They aim to check whether you’ve see the “big picture” or “overall idea” of the passage or not.

If this type of question is not asked, they’ll ask something like

1. The author would agree with …(four new statements)

2. What is the apt title for the passage (four titles)

Approach

  1. The objectives of inclusive growth laid down by the founding fathers of the nation should be remembered.
That’s right but it doesn’t quite convey the “essential message”.
  1. The Government needs to make available more schools and health services.
Right according to 10: but only for poor Besides that is not the ‘whole’ idea.
  1. The Government needs to establish markets and industries to meet the needs of the poor strata of the society.
Totally wrong. Read line #6+#7Market forces will provide ‘stuff’ for each other (ie. middleclass and rich people) while Government  will take care of poors.
  1. There is a need to rethink the role of the State in achieving inclusive growth.
That’s the apt and ‘essential’ message conveyed.

Passage: Creative Society (3Q)

The concept of ‘creative society’ refers to a phase of development of a society in which a large number of potential contradictions become articulate and active. This is most evident when oppressed social groups get politically mobilized and demand their rights. The upsurge of the peasants and tribal, the movements for regional autonomy and self-determination, the environmental movements, and the women’s movements in the developing countries are signs of emergence of creative society in contemporary times. The forms of social movements and their intensity may vary from country to country and place to place within a country. But the very presence of movements for social transformation in various spheres of a society indicates the emergence of a creative society in a country.

Same exercise, cut down the garbage using a pencil.

  1. The concept of ‘creative society’ refers to a phase of development of a society in which a large number of potential contradictions become articulate and active.
  2. This is most evident when oppressed social groups get politically mobilized and demand their rights.
  3. (signs of emergence of creative society in developing countries=) The upsurge of the peasants and tribal, the movements for regional autonomy and self-determination, the environmental movements, and the women’s movements in the developing countries are signs of emergence of creative society in contemporary times.
  4. The forms of social movements and their intensity may vary from country to country and place to place within a country.
  5. But the very presence of movements for social transformation in various spheres of a society indicates the emergence of a creative society in a country.

Q1. What does the author imply by “creative society” ?

  1. A society where diverse art forms and literary writings seek incentive.
  2. A society where social inequalities are accepted as the norm.
  3. A society where a large number of contradictions are recognized.
  4. A society where the exploited and the oppressed groups grow conscious of their human rights and upliftment.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 4 only

(c) 3 and 4

(d) 2 and 4

According to line number 1+2= answer is (C)

Q2. What according to the passage are the manifestations of social movements?

  1. Aggressiveness and being incendiary.
  2. Instigation by external forces.
  3. Quest for social equality and individual freedom.
  4. Urge for granting privileges and self-respect to disparaged sections of the society.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

  1. 1 and 3 only
  2. 2 and 4 only
  3. 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4

Read line 2+3= answer is (C)

Q3. With reference to the passage. consider the following statements:

  1. To be a creative society, it is essential to have a variety of social movements.
  2. To be a creative society, it is imperative to have potential contradictions and conflicts.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

According to line #5 movements are necessary and acco. To Line #1: contradictions necessary.

Hence answer is (C) both.

Passage: Foreign Domination (4Q)

A country under foreign domination seeks escape from the present in dreams of a vanished age, and finds consolation in visions of past greatness. That is a foolish and dangerous pastime in which many of us indulge. An equally questionable practice for us in India is to imagine that we are still spiritually great though we have come down, in the world in other respects. Spiritual or any other greatness cannot be founded on lack of freedom and opportunity, or on starvation and misery. Many western writers have encouraged that notion that Indians are other-worldly. I suppose the poor and unfortunate in every country become to some extent other-worldly, unless they become revolutionaries, for this world is evidently not meant for them. So also subject peoples. As a man grows to maturity he is not entirely engrossed in, or satisfied with, the external objective world. He seeks also some inner meaning, some psychological and physical satisfactions. So also with peoples and civilizations as they mature and grow adult. Every civilization and every people exhibit these parallel streams of an external life and an internal life. Where they meet or keep close to each other, there is an equilibrium and stability. When they diverge conflict arises and the crises that torture the mind and spirit.

Same routine: eliminate garbage

  1. A country under foreign domination seeks escape from the present in dreams of a vanished age, and finds consolation in visions of (via) past greatness.
  2. That is a foolish and dangerous pastime in which many of us indulge.
  3. An equally questionable practice for us in India is to (we) imagine that we are still spiritually great though we have come down, in the world in other respects.
  4. Spiritual or any other greatness cannot be founded on lack of freedom and opportunity, or on starvation and misery. (=no spiritual / other greatness)
  5. Many western writers (say) have encouraged that notion that Indians are other-worldly.
  6. I suppose the poor and unfortunate in every country become to some extent other-worldly, unless they become revolutionaries, for this world is evidently not meant for them. So also subject peoples.
  7. As a man grows to maturity matures,   he is not entirely engrossed in, or satisfied with, the external objective world.
  8. He seeks also some inner meaning, some psychological and physical satisfactions.
  9. So also with peoples and civilizations (also seek the same when) as they mature and grow adult.
  10. Every civilization and every people exhibit these parallel streams of an external life and an internal life.
  11. Where they meet or keep close to each other, there is an equilibrium and stability.
  12. When they diverge =conflict arises and the crises that torture the mind and spirit

Now the questions

Q1. The passage mentions that “this world is evidently not meant for them”. It refers to people who

1. seek freedom from foreign domination.

2. live in starvation and misery.

3. become revolutionaries .

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3

(d) 3 only

Read Line 6. Answer is B

Q2 Consider the following assumptions :

  1. A country under foreign domination cannot indulge in spiritual pursuit.
  2. Poverty is an impediment in the spiritual pursuit.
  3. Subject peoples may become other-worldly.

With reference to the passage, which of the above assumptions is/are valid ?

  1. 1 and 2
  2. 2 only
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 3 only

Approach

  1. A country under foreign domination cannot indulge in spiritual pursuit.
Read line 9+10. Every civilization and people go for spirituality when they mature. (irrespective of domination). So this statement is incorrect.
  1. Poverty is an impediment in the spiritual pursuit.
Impediment= obstacle.Again read line 9+10= Every civilization and people go for spirituality when they mature (irrespective of financial status). So this is correct statement.
  1. Subject peoples may become other-worldly.
Subject people meaning= those who live in a colony that is dominated by another superpower. So yes Subject people may be other world as per line 6.

Therefore answer is (c) both 2 and 3.

Q3. The passage thematically centres on

  1. The state of mind of oppressed people
  2. Starvation and misery
  3. The growth of civilization
  4. Body, mind and spirit of people in general

Theme means the “Stuff” that is being talked throughout the passage.

  1. the state of mind of oppressed people
Seems right enough but let’s check other options.
  1. starvation and misery
Only in line 6.
  1. the growth of civilization
Just last two lines and it is being talked in context of “spirituality” and not just “growth as such” in terms of culture, chivalry, economy, industry, art science, entrepreneurship etc.
  1. body, mind and spirit of people in general
People In general= no.Body = hardly.

Answer= A.

Fourth question

Q4. According to the passage, the torture of the mind and spirit is caused

  1. by the impact of foreign domination.
  2. by the desire to escape from foreign domination and find consolation III visions of past greatness.
  3. due to lack of equilibrium between an external life and an internal life.
  4. due to one’s inability to be either revolutionary or other-worldly.

Just read line number 10+11+12 Answer is C.

Passage: Keystone Species (5Q)

A species that exerts. an influence out of proportion to its abundance in an ecosystem is called a keystone species. The keystone species may influence both the species richness of communities and the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems. The sea star Pisaster the flow of energy and materials through ecosystems. The sea star Pisaster ochraceus, which lives in rocky intertidal ecosystems on the Pacific coast of North America, is also an example of a keystone species. Its preferred prey is the mussel Mytilus californianus . In the absence of sea- stars, these mussels crowd out other competitors in a broad belt of the intertidal zone. By consuming mussels, sea star creates bare spaces that are taken over by a variety of other species. A study at the University of washington demonstrated the influence of Pisaster on species richness by removing sea stars from selected parts of the intertidal zone repeatedly over a period of five years. Two major changes occured in the areas from which sea stars were removed. First, the lower edge of the 46. mussel bed extended farther down into the intertidal zone, showing that sea stars are able to eliminate mussels completely where they are covered with water most of the time. Second, and more dramatically, 28 species of animals and algae disappeared from the sea star removal zone. Eventually only Mytilus, the dominant competitor, occupied the entire substratum. Through its effect on competitive relationships, predation by Pisaster largely determines which species live in these rocky intertidal ecosystems.

Approach

Ok this is a “Science-research” type of passage. So lot of names will coming and they’re somehow interconnected with each other. Together they explain some sort of concept.

So while you’re reading, also try to make some sort of diagram as well. Other than that, our approach is one and same: remove the garbage.

  1. (keystone species) A species that exerts an influence out of proportion to its (size) abundance in an ecosystem is called a keystone species.
  2. The keystone species may influence both the species richness of communities
  3. The keystone species may influence flow of energy and materials through ecosystems.
  4. The sea star Pisaster ochraceus, which lives in rocky intertidal ecosystems on the Pacific coast of North America.
  5. (Pisaster) is also an example of a keystone species.
  6. (Pisaster loves to eat) Its preferred prey is the mussel Mytilus californianus.
  7. (If Pisaster is absent) In the absence of sea- stars, these mussels crowd out other competitors in a broad belt of the intertidal zone.
  8. By consuming mussels, sea star creates bare spaces that are taken over by a variety of other species.
  9. A study at the University of washington demonstrated the influence of Pisaster on species richness by removing sea stars from selected parts of the intertidal zone repeatedly over a period of five years.
  10. Two major changes occurred in the areas from which sea stars were removed.
  11. First, the lower edge of the mussel bed extended farther down into the intertidal zone, showing that sea stars are able to eliminate mussels completely where they are covered with water most of the time.
  12. Second, and more dramatically, 28 species of animals and algae disappeared from the sea star removal zone. (meaning Mussels gang took over this territory because Pisaster policeman wasn’t eating Mussel gang)
  13. Eventually only mussel Mytilus, the dominant competitor, occupied the entire substratum.
  14. (which species will live in this ecosystems is determined by) Through its effect on competitive relationships, predation by Pisaster’s hunting largely determines which species live in these rocky intertidal ecosystems.

First question

What is the crux of the passage ?

  1. Sea star has a preferred prey.
  2. A preferred prey determines the survival of a keystone species.
  3. Keystone species ensures species diversity.
  4. Sea star is the only keystone species on the Pacific coast of North America.

Let’s check

  1. Sea star has a preferred prey.
That’s right but it’s not the ‘crux’.
  1. A preferred prey determines the survival of a keystone species.
  1. Keystone species ensures species diversity.
Yes according to

  • line 2
  • Observations in University study (line 11,12)
  • And the “moral of the Pisaster story”given in line 14
  1. Sea star is the only keystone species on the Pacific coast of North America.
Line 5 says Sea star is an “example”. It is nowhere mentioned in the passage that Sea star is the “only” keystone species.

Final answer= C

Second question

Q2. With reference to the passage, consider the following statements :

1. Mussels-are generally the dominant species in intertidal ecosystems.

2. The survival of sea stars is generally determined by the abundance of mussels.

Which of the statements given above is /are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 ony

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

1. Mussels-are generally the dominant species in intertidal ecosystems.Hell no! Read line 7, 12 and 13. Mussels gang becomes dominant only when Pisaster policeman is not eating them. So first statement is wrong.
2. The survival of sea stars is generally determined by the abundance of mussels.It is the other way around. So this statement is also wrong.

Final answer= both incorrect= D.

Third question

Q3. Which of the following is/are implied by the passage ?

  1. Mussels are always hard competitors for sea stars.
  2. Sea stars of the Pacific coast have reached the climax of their evolution.
  3. Sea stars constitute an important component in the energy flow in intertidal ecosystem.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 2 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 3 only

Let’s check

  1. Mussels are always hard competitors for sea stars.
This is ridiculous. Sea star (Pisaster) loves to eat Mussles. So how can Mussel gang compete with sea stars?
  1. Sea stars of the Pacific coast have reached the climax of their evolution.
No where mentioned in the passage.
  1. Sea stars constitute an important component in the energy flow in intertidal ecosystem.
Yes. Combine line number 3 and 5.

Answer is D

Q4. Consider the following assumptions:

  1. The food chains/food web in an influenced ecosystem are keystone species.
  2. The presence of keystone species is a specific characteristic of aquatic ecosystems.
  3. If the keystone species is completely removed from an ecosystem, it will lead to the collapse of the ecosystem.

With reference to the passage, which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

  1. The food chains/food web in an ecosystem are influenced are keystone species.
Correct according to Pisaster example cited in the para.
  1. The presence of keystone species is a specific characteristic of aquatic ecosystems.
Nope. Read line 1: Keystone species is present in every ecosystem. (including aquatic one). This is wrong statement.So it eliminates answer choice B and D.
  1. If the keystone species is completely removed from an ecosystem, it will lead to the collapse of the ecosystem.
From line 2, 3 and Pisaster example. We know that Keystone species influences food chain, species diversity, flow of material and energy.Therefore if Keystone is removed then system will collapse.This is also correct.

final answer: C: only 1 and 3.

*note: some people might feel doubt that if Pisaster is removed then Mussel gang takes over. but does that mean system collapse? So on that thought process #3 doesn’t seem right so you might feel confused 50:50 between answer choice a and c.

However, in the exam, you’re 50:50 better just leave it and move to next question.

UPSC’s official answer key says, it is “C” so let’s go with “C”.

Passage: Morality (3Q)

A moral act must be our own act; must spring from our own will. If we act mechanically, there is no moral content in our act. Such action would be moral, if we think it proper to act like a machine and do so. For, in doing so, we use our discrimination. We should bear in mind the distinction between acting mechanically and acting intentionally. It may be moral of a king to pardon a culprit. But the messenger carrying out the order of pardon plays only a mechanical part in the king’s moral act. But if the messenger were to carry out the king’s order considering it to be his duty, his action would be a moral one. How can a man understand morality who does not use his own intelligence and power of thought, but lets himself be swept along like a log of wood by a current ? Sometimes a man defies convention and acts on his own with a view to absolute good.

Remove the garbage

  1. A moral act must be our own act;
  2. (A moral act ) Must spring from our own will.
  3. If we act mechanically (=) there is no moral content in our act.
  4. (if it is proper to act like a machine and do so.) Such action would be moral, if we think it proper to act like a machine and do so. (but) For, in doing so, we use our discrimination.
  5. We should bear in mind the distinction between
    1. acting mechanically and
    2. acting intentionally.
  6. It may be moral of a king to pardon a culprit.
  7. But the messenger carrying out the order of pardon plays only a mechanical part in the king’s moral act.
  8. But if the messenger were to carry out the king’s order considering it to be his duty, his action would be a moral one.
  9.  (If you don’t use brain, you can’t understand morality.) How can a man understand morality who does not use his own intelligence and power of thought, but lets himself be swept along like a log of wood by a current?
  10.  Sometimes a man defies convention and acts on his own with a view to (do) absolute good.

First question

Which of the following statements best describe/describes the thought of the writer ?

  1. A moral act calls for using our discretion.
  2. Man should react to a situation immediately
  3. Man must do his duty.
  4. Man should be able to defy convention in order to be moral.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below :

  1. 1 only
  2. 1 and 3
  3. 2 and 3
  4. 1 and 4

Let’s check individual statement.

  1. A moral act calls for using our discretion.
Yes according to Line 9.
  1. Man should react to a situation immediately
Nowhere mentioned in passage.
  1. Man must do his duty.
Not always. line 3, 9 and 10.
  1. Man should be able to defy convention in order to be moral.
Yes, line 10

Final answer (D)

Second question

Which of the following statements is the nearest definition of moral action, according to the writer ?

  1. It is a mechanical action based on official orders from superiors.
  2. It is an action based on our sense of discretion.
  3. It is a clever action based on the clarity of purpose.
  4. It is a religious action based on understanding.

Check lines

  1. It is a mechanical action based on official orders from superiors.
Wrong. Line 3
  1. It is an action based on our sense of discretion.
Correct. Line 9 and 10
  1. It is a clever action based on the clarity of purpose.
Not mentioned.
  1. It is a religious action based on understanding.
Not mentioned.

Final answer (B)

Third question

The passage contains a statement “lets himself be swept along like a log of wood by a current.” Among the following statements, which is/are nearest in meaning to this ?

1. A person does not use his own reason.

2. He is susceptible to influence/pressure.

3. He cannot withstand difficulties/ challenges.

4. He is like a log of wood.

Correct answer?

(a) 1 only

(b) 1 and 2

(c) 2 and 3

(d) 1 and 4

1. A person does not use his own reason.Absolutely Correct. Line 9this eliminates option (C)
2. He is susceptible to influence/pressure.Yes line 9
3. He cannot withstand difficulties/ challenges.Already eliminated.
4. He is like a log of wood.Merely saying the same thing.

Final answer (B) only 1 and 2 correct.

Passage :Ecosystems  (3Q)

Ecosystems provide people with a variety of goods and services; food, clean water, clean air, flood control, soil stabilization, pollination, climate regulation, spiritual fulfilment and aesthetic enjoyment, to name just a few. Most of these benefits either are irreplaceable or the technology necessary to replace them is prohibitively expensive. For example, potable fresh water can be provided by desalinating sea-water, but only at great cost. The rapidly expanding human population has greatly modified the Earth’s ecosystems to meet their increased requirements of some of the goods and services, particularly food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. These modifications have contributed substantially to human well being and economic development. The benefits have not been equally distributed. Some people have actually been harmed by these changes. Moreover, short-term increases in some ecosystem goods and services have come at the cost of the long-term degradation of others. For example, efforts to increase the production of food and fiber have decreased the ability of some ecosystems to provide clean water, regulate flooding and support biodiversity.

Just remove the garbage

  1. Ecosystems provide people with a variety of goods and services; food, clean water, clean air, flood control, soil stabilization, pollination, climate regulation, spiritual fulfilment and aesthetic enjoyment, to name just a few.
  2. Most of these benefits either are irreplaceable
  3.  or the technology necessary to replace them is prohibitively (=)expensive. For example, potable fresh water can be provided by desalinating sea-water, but only at great cost.
  4. The rapidly expanding human population has greatly modified the Earth’s ecosystems to meet their increased requirements of some of the goods and services, particularly food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel.
  5. These modifications have contributed substantially to human well being and economic development.
  6. The benefits have not been equally distributed. Some people have actually been harmed by these changes.
  7. Moreover, short-term increases in some ecosystem goods and services have come at the cost of the long-term degradation of others.
  8. For example, efforts to increase the production of food and fiber have decreased the ability of some ecosystems to provide clean water, regulate flooding and support biodiversity (and increased flooding.)

First question

Q. With reference to the passage, consider the following statements. Expanding human population has an adverse effect on :

  1. Spiritual fulfillment
  2. Aesthetic enjoyment
  3. Potable fresh water
  4. Production of food and fiber
  5. Biodiversity

Which of the statements given above are correct ?

  1. 1, 2 and 3 only
  2. 2, 4 and 5 only
  3. 3 and 5 only
  4. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
  1. Spiritual fulfillment
Not mentioned in passageThis eliminates option (A) and (D)
  1. Aesthetic enjoyment
Not mentioned in passage. This eliminates (B)Hell matter is over! answer is (C)
  1. Potable fresh water
Yes. Line 8
  1. Production of food and fiber
Actually, it is reverse- read line 8. (We are trying to increase production of food and fiber and that’s hurting ecosystem). Hence this statement is false.
  1. Biodiversity
Yes

Final answer: C only 3 and 5.

Second question

Q. The passage mentions that “some people have actually been harmed by these changes”. What does it imply ?

  1. The rapid expansion of population has adversely affected some people:
  2. Sufficient efforts have not been made to increase the production of food and fiber.
  3. In the short term some people may be harmed, but in the long term everyone will benefit from modifications in the Earth’s ecosystems.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. None of the statements given above

Let’s check individual statement

  1. The rapid expansion of population has adversely affected some people:
Correct. Read line 6.
  1. Sufficient efforts have not been made to increase the production of food and fiber.
This is not what line 8 says.
  1. In the short term some people may be harmed, but in the long term everyone will benefit from modifications in the Earth’s ecosystems.
This is not what line 7 and 8 say.

Final answer (A) only 1.

Third question

Q. With reference to the passage, consider the following statements:

  1. It is imperative to modify the Earth’s ecosystems for the well being of mankind.
  2. Technology can never replace all the goods and services provided by ecosystems.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

Let’s check

  1. It is imperative to modify the Earth’s ecosystems for the well being of mankind.
Nope. That’ll be harmful in long term according to line 7+8.So this statement is false.
  1. Technology can never replace all the goods and services provided by ecosystems.
Line 2 +3. Technology is necessary to replace them is 1) either very expensive 2) not available (at the moment). =that doesn’t mean technology can never replace ecosystem. So this statement is also false.

Answer (D) neither 1 nor 2.

  • By the way, there might be confusion regarding second statement because it says technology can never replace “all“. (=you might think that statement is right and hence answer is (B))
  • But official answer key released by UPSC, says answer is (D).

Passage: Girl Education (5Q)

Now India’s children have a right to receive at least eight years of education, the gnawing question is whether’ it will remain ‘on paper’ or ‘become a reality’. One hardly needs a reminder that this right is different from the others enshrined in the Constitution, that the beneficiary – a six year old child cannot demand it, nor can she or he fight a legal battle when the right is denied or violated. In all cases, it is the adult society which must act on behalf of the child. In another peculiarity, where a child’s right to education is denied, no compensation offered later can be adequate or relevant. This is so because childhood does not last. if a legal battle fought on behalf of a child is eventually won, it may be of little use to the boy or girl because the opportunity missed at school during childhood cannot serve the same purpose later in life. This may be painfully true for girls because our society permits them only a short childhood, if at all. The Right to Education (RTE) has become law at a point in India’s history when the ghastly practice of female infanticide has resurfaced in the form of feticides. This is “symptomatic of a deeper turmoil” in society which compounding the traditional obstacles to the education of girls. Tenacious prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls runs across our cultural diversity and the system of education has not been able to address it.

Same approach

Remove the garbage

  1. Now India’s children have a right to receive at least eight years of education,
  2. the gnawing question is whether it will remain ‘on paper’ or become a reality.
  3. One hardly needs a reminder that this right is different from the others enshrined in the Constitution,
  4. that the beneficiary – a six year old child cannot demand it, nor can she or he fight a legal battle when the right is denied or violated.
  5. In all cases, it is the adult society which must act on behalf of the child.
  6. In another peculiarity, where a child’s right to education is denied, no compensation offered later can be adequate or relevant.
  7. This is so because childhood does not last.  (forever)
  8. If a legal battle fought on behalf of a child is eventually won, it may be of little use to the boy or girl because the opportunity missed at school during childhood cannot serve the same purpose later in life.
  9. This may be painfully true for girls because our society permits them girls get only a short childhood, if at all.
  10. The Right to Education (RTE) has become law at a point in India’s history when the ghastly practice of female infanticide has resurfaced in the form of feticides.
  11. This is “symptomatic of a deeper turmoil” in society which compounding the traditional obstacles to the education of girls.
  12. Tenacious prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls runs across our cultural diversity and
  13. system of education has not been able to address(ed) it.

First Question

With reference to the passage, consider the following statements :

  1. When children are denied education, adult society does not act on behalf of them.
  2. Right to Education as a law cannot be enforced in the country.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

1. When children are denied education, adult society does not act on behalf of them.This is not the message given in line 5.
2. Right to Education as a law cannot be enforced in the country.Read line 2. Author doubts whether this will remain on paper or will become reality. He doesn’t outrightly say this cannot be enforced.This statement is also false.

Answer D

Second question

53. According to the passage, what could be the traditional obstacles to the education of girls ?

  1. Inability of parents to fight a legal battle when the Right to Education is denied to their children.
  2. The traditional way of thinking about girl’s role in society.
  3. The prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls.
  4. Improper system of education.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below :

  1. 1 and 2 only
  2. 2, 3 and 4 only
  3. 1, 3 and 4 only
  4. 1, 2, 3 and 4
  1. Inability of parents to fight a legal battle when the Right to Education is denied to their children.
This is not the “traditional” obstacle. Because “traditionally” there was no right to education before. Besides, author says even if legal battle is won, childhood is gone. Line8So first statement is false.
  1. The traditional way of thinking about girl’s role in society.
true. Line 9, 11 and 12.
  1. The prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls.
true line 12
  1. Improper system of education.
true line 13.

Final answer: B = statement 2, 3 and 4.

Third question

Q3. On the basis of the passage, consider the following statements:

  1. Right to Education is a legal right and not a fundamental right.
  2. For realising the goal of universal education, the education system in the country must be made identical to that of developed countries.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct ?

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2
  1. Right to Education is a legal right and not a fundamental right.
RTE is fundamental right =line 3.So this statement is false.
  1. For realising the goal of universal education, the education system in the country must be made identical to that of developed countries.
Not mentioned anywhere in the passage. So this statement is false.

Final answer = D

Fourth question

Which one of the following statements conveys the key message of the passage ?

  1. India has declared that education is compulsory for its children.
  2. Adult society is not keen on implementing the Right to Education.
  3. The Right to Education, particularly of a girl child, needs to be safeguarded.
  4. The system of education should be address the issue of right to education.

Let’s check

  1. India has declared that education is compulsory for its children.
Ya but that’s not the “key messag”. The key message is about deficiency in the RTE or the “whole idea”
  1. Adult society is not keen on implementing the Right to Education.
This is putting words in your mouth. Incorrect.
  1. The Right to Education, particularly of a girl child, needs to be safeguarded.
Yes this is valid. Line 2,6, 8 and 9.
  1. The system of education should be address the issue of right to education.
No, read line 13. System of education should address the discrimination against girls. Os this is false.

Final answer (C)

Fifth question

Which one of the following statements conveys the inference of the passage ?

  1. The society has a tenacious prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls.
  2. Adults cannot be relied upon to fight on behalf of children for their Right to Education.
  3. The legal fight to get education for children is often protracted and prohibitive.
  4. There is no sufficient substitute for education received in childhood.

Let’s check

Inference of whole passage= not just from one or two things but the ‘whole big picture’ that is being conveyed.

  1. The society has a tenacious prejudice against the intellectual potential of girls.
Nothing to infer. This is directly said in line 12.
  1. Adults cannot be relied upon to fight on behalf of children for their Right to Education.
Putting words in your mouth.Incorrect.
  1. The legal fight to get education for children is often protracted (lengthy) and prohibitive.
That’s true according to line 7. But is it inference of the (whole) passage?
  1. There is no sufficient substitute for education received in childhood.
Author is repeatedly trying to show this throughout the passage: line 4, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

Among the given option (D) is most suitable.

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Environment by ShankarIAS
  3. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  4. Art & Culture by Nitin Singhania (Hindi | English)
  5. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  6. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  7. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  8. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  9. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  10. School Atlas
  11. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Disha


So far 24 Comments posted

  1. vijay

    sir,what could be the possible average time one spends for one passage(those which are not common to both the medium) and for those which are common in the exam?

  2. camdidate

    sir ras has changed his pattern but not notified on its site ,but it had already published in newspapers.so could you give a full map for ras 2013 preparation after seeing its syllabus
    thanks

  3. vikram

    Thank You ….

  4. Lakhan Jadeja

    sir pdf file download nahi ho rahi hai download hoti hai bit size is only 1.26kb nd andar se puri blank hai

  5. Mohit

    Mrunal, The new PDF extension which u have installed on your site isn’t working properly. It removes all the formatting of the webpages (Strikethrough, Bold etc.)
    Plz revert to the previous one…

  6. RAKESH JAINAPUR

    Mrunal,what do ur THINK TANK think abt the postpone of notification from UPSC TODAY

  7. dev

    thanx alpt sir,,,

  8. Tanvi Patel

    Sir, Pdf file downoad nai ho rahi hai in pdffile download section “Website is Curruntly Unreacheble” Displayed

  9. saurav bhoi

    mrunal sir , i want to start practice sets for cgl-T1 but i confused to follow which book to be best for coming exams. reference books are only to gather knowledge actually practice book will make us sharpen to meet the level of actual exam.so pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee sugest me———————————————

  10. subba

    Answer for the 2nd question of “Foreign domination” passage should be “D” because “Poverty is NOT an impediment in spiritual pursuit.”

  11. N. S. DAIMA

    sir please send me prelimainry oriented study plan GS+CSAT with book list important topics of every subject including comprehension for hindi and english thank

  12. prashant

    ausm mrunal sir …
    can you please provide one more article .. let say same as for 2012 paper .. it is really helpful ..
    thanks …. i liked that trick actually “No need to tick all question in passage you are attempting ” . mostly I do mistake like .. studets think “yar pe passage attempt kar raha hu to sabhi question attempt karte hai .. chalo ek do tukke mar lete hai agar confused hai to ” 😀 😀 😛

  13. sanju

    thank you sir …..u r great

  14. Praveensingh

    Mrunal Sir,

    It will be great help if u l provide some comprehensions in hindi because as we r going to read comprehention in prelims in hindi so these eng comp passages do not serve our object. I have TMH and Arihant but they dont have upsc styled passages.

    Thanks

  15. just_do_it

    Sir,
    w.r.t the passage on RTE, 3rd Question:-
    Line 3 says that RTE is a different right from others enshrined in the constitution ( as the beneficiary is a 6 year old child who cant defend himself)…..does this indicate that it is a Fundamental Right or just that the beneficiary is a defenceless child? 🙂

  16. jyoti garg

    Mrunal sir,

    Thanks sir,I can answer to questions of passage quickly because of your strategy for comprehension.it will help me in ibps po .

  17. suddat

    hello sir,
    the technique of cutting the paragraph into more comprehensive way is very affective on paper.
    But how to tackle this questions on computer?…plz do reply soon.thanx..

  18. jyoti garg

    he is right,sir.i think so also. plz give answer soon.exam will be come on next saturday.

  19. Mahaakaal

    Dear Bro Mrunal, I am very much scared after seeing such high cut offs in prelims 2013, if this continues i doubt there will remain any Hindi medium student to write mains because all of them will be eliminated in prelims. Don’t you think that the present structure of this exam(CSAT) is against the ideal of Inclusive Participation of every citizen in the policy making of the country because Most of People from 1.Rural 2. Vernacular background will be disqualified at only the screening stage. and that is the reason I believe behind the very Low cut offs in mains and final exams.

  20. subair p m

    PANAMPUZA MANNANTHODHI(H), VADAKKEPURAM , MELMURI -27
    MELMURI

  21. subair p m

    HOW THIS IS CORRECT MRUNAL BAI????

    Poverty is an impediment in the spiritual pursuit.
    Impediment= obstacle.Again read line 9+10= Every civilization and people go for spirituality when they mature (irrespective of financial status). So this is correct statement.

  22. preeti poonam

    how to prepar in hindi mediam sir…ple tell me what is the safe cut of marks in pt 2015…

  23. ABHILASH

    Namaste sir,
    so, nice collection here! i m searching for upsc syllabus.
    please tell me about upsc preparation.

    ABHILASH.

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