AMCAT Reading Comprehension Previous Papers Questions - English 11

AMCAT reading comprehension previous questions with Solutions - 11

PASSAGE-21

The Indian government‘s intention of introducing caste based quotas for the ―Other Backward Classes   in centrally funded institutions of higher learning and the prime minister‘s suggestion to the private sector to ‗voluntarily go in for reservation‘, has once again sparked off a debate on the merits and demerits of caste-based reservations. Unfortunately, the predictable divide between the votaries of ―social justice   on one hand and those advocating ―merit   on the other seems to have once again camouflaged the real issues. It is necessary to take a holistic and non-partisan view of the issues involved. The hue and cry about ―sacrificing merit   is untenable simply because merit is after all a social construct and it cannot be determined objectively in a historically unjust and unequal context. The idea of competitive merit will be worthy of serious attention only in a broadly egalitarian context. But then, caste is not the only obstacle in the way of an egalitarian order. After all, economic conditions, educational opportunities and discrimination on the basis of gender also contribute to the denial of opportunity to express one‘s true merit and worth. It is interesting to note that in the ongoing debate, one side refuses to see the socially constructed nature of the notion of merit, while the other side refuses to recognise the multiplicity of the mechanisms of exclusion with equal vehemence. The idea of caste-based reservations is justified by the logic of social justice. This implies the conscious attempt to restructure a given social order in such a way that individuals belonging to the traditionally and structurally marginalised social groups get adequate opportunities to actualise their potential and realise their due share in the resources available. In any society, particularly in one as diverse and complex as the Indian society, this is going to be a gigantic exercise and must not be reduced to just one aspect of state policy. Seen in this light, caste-based reservation has to work in tandem with other policies ensuring the elimination of the structures of social marginalisation and denial of access. It has to be seen as a means of achieving social justice and not an end in itself. By the same logic it must be assessed and audited from time to time like any other social policy and economic strategy.
1.     What is the phrase 'Sacrificing merit' referring to?
A : Killing merit.   b : Selection on basis of merit.   c : Encouragingreservation     4 : None
2.     What do you mean by the word 'Egalitarian'?
Option 1 : Characterized by belief in the equality of all people.
Option 2 : Characterized by belief in the inequality of all people.
Option 3 : Another word for reservations.                          Option 4 : Growth
3.     What does the statement- and not to convert it into a fetish of ‘political correctness’ in the passage imply?
Option 1 : Reservation issue should not be converted into a political propaganda.
Option 2 : Reservation issue should not be based on caste alone.
Option 3 : Reservation issue should be left to the ruling government.   4 : None of these.
4.     What is the author most likely to agree with?
Option 1 : Caste-based reservation is the answer to India's problems.
Option 2 : Gender-based reservation is the answer to India's problems.
Option 3 : There is no solution to bridge the gap between privileged and under-privileged.
Option 4 : None of these.
5.     What do you mean by the word 'Votaries'?
Option 1 : Advocates     Option 2 : Types              Option 3 : Demerits        Option 4 : People
6.     What do you infer from the sentence ' The idea of caste-based reservations is justified by the logic of social justice' ?
Option 1 : Caste-based reservation will help in providing opportunities to the socially backward classes.
Option 2 : Caste-based reservation will lead to social equality amongst all classes.
Option 3 : Caste-based reservation will help backward classes actualise their potential.
Option 4 : All of these

7.     Why does caste-bases reservation system needs to be assessed and audited from time to time?
Option 1 : To measure its economic advantage to the Nation.
Option 2 : To make sure that it achieves social justice for all.
Option 3 : To do a cost analysis.         Option 4 : None of these.
8.     What is the tone of the passage?

Option 1 : Neutral           Option 2 : Biased             Option 3 : Celebratory   Option 4 : Critical

PASSAGE-22

The great event of the New York cultural season of 1882 was the visit of the sixty-twoyear-old English philosopher and social commentator Herbert Spencer. Nowhere did Spencer have a larger or more enthusiastic following than in the United States, where such works as ―Social Statics   and ―The Data of Ethics   were celebrated as powerful justifications for laissezfaire capitalism. Competition was preordained; its result was progress; and any institution that stood in the way of individual liberties was violating the natural order. ―Survival of the fittest  —a phrase that Charles Darwin took from Spencer—made free competition a social as well as a natural law. Spencer was, arguably, the single most influential systematic thinker of the nineteenth century, but his influence, compared with that of Darwin, Marx, or Mill, was short-lived. In 1937, the Harvard sociologist Talcott Parsons asked, ―Who now reads Spencer?   Seventy years later, the question remains pertinent, even if no one now reads Talcott Parsons, either. In his day, Spencer was the greatest of philosophical hedgehogs: his popularity stemmed from the   Page 54 fact that he had one big, easily grasped idea and a mass of more particular ideas that supposedly flowed from the big one. The big idea was evolution, but, while Darwin applied it to species change, speculating about society and culture only with reluctance, Spencer saw evolution working everywhere. ―This law of organic progress is the law of all progress,   he wrote, ―whether it be in the development of the Earth, in the development of Life upon its surface, in the development of Society, of Government, of Manufactures, of Commerce, of Language, Literature, Science, [or] Art.   Spencer has been tagged as a social Darwinist, but it would be more correct to think of Darwin as a biological Spencerian. Spencer was very well known as an evolutionist long before Darwin‘s ―On the Origin of Species   was published, in 1859, and people who had limited interest in the finches of the Galápagos had a great interest in whether the state should provide for the poor or whether it was right to colonize India.
1.     Why did Spencer have a large enthusiastic following in the United States?
Option 1 : Because he believed in Darwin's theory of evolution
Option 2 : Because his work was perceived to justify capitalism
Option 3 : Because he was a English philosopher              Option 4 : None of these
2.     Which of the following will the author agree to?
Option 1 : Mill, Marx and Darwin are more famous than Spencer as of today.
Option 2 : Spencer is more famous than Mill, Marx and Darwin as of today.
Option 3 : Mill, Darwin, Marx and Spencer are equally famous
Option 4 : Mill, Darwin, Marx and Parsons are very famous today today.
3.     What does Talcott Parson's statement, "Who now reads Spencer?" imply?
Option 1 : No one read Spencer in 1937
Option 2 : He is asking a question to his students.
Option 3 : Everyone should read Spencer               Option 4 : None of these
4.     What could possibly "laissez-faire" mean as inferred from the context in which it has been used in the passage?
Option 1 : Restricted                     Option 2 : Not interfered by the government
Option 3 : Unprincipled             Option 4 : Uncompetitive
5.     According to the author, why was Spencer so popular in the 19th Century?
Option 1 : He supported capitalism
Option 2 : He extended Darwin's theory of evolution to a lot of things.
Option 3 : He had one broad and simple idea and many specific ideas flowed from it.
Option 4 : He was a friend of Parson's.
6.     What is the author most likely to agree to in the following?
Option 1 : Darwin's idea of evolution preceded that of Spencer
Option 2 : Both Darwin and Spencer got the idea of the evolution at the same time
Option 3 : Spencer's idea of evolution preceded that of Darwin
Option 4 : Darwin and Spencer worked on totally different models of evolution
7.     What must have been the most-likely response/reaction of the New York audience to Spencer's talk in 1882?
Option 1 : Vindication       Option 2 : Surprise         Option 3 : Happiness      4 : Depression
8.     Which people is the author referring to in the statement: "people who had limited interest in the finches of the Galápagos"?
Option 1 : People who were not interested in the bird finch
Option 2 : People who were not interested in finches in particular from Galapagos.
Option 3 : People who were not interested in animal species or natural evolution

Option 4 : People who did not have interest in birds.



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