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ENGLISH COMPREHENSION--september 28, 2011

(A tough passage indeed - Bank PO level)

Directions. Q-10-14: Go through the following passage and answer the questions that follow:
This confusion concerns nothing less than the concept of socialism itself. If may mean, and is often used to describe, merely the ideals of social justice, greater equality and security which are the ultimate aims of socialism. But it means also the particular method by which most socialists hope to attain these ends and which many competent people regard as the only methods by which they can be fully and quickly attained. In this sense socialism means the abolition of private enterprise, of private ownership of the means of production, and the creation of a system of “planned economy” in which the entrepreneur working for profit is replaced by a central planning body.
There are many people who call themselves socialists although they care only about the first, who fervently believe in those ultimate aims of socialism but neither care nor understand how they can be achieved, and who are merely certain they must be achieved, whatever. the cost. But to nearly all those to whom socialism is not merely a hope but an object of practical politics, the characteristic methods of modern socialism are as essential as the ends themselves. Most people, on the other hand, who value the ultimate ends of socialism no less than the socialists, refuse to support socialism because of the dangers to other values they see in the methods proposed by the socialists. The dispute about socialism has, thus, become largely a dispute about means and not about ends-although the question whether the different ends of socialism can be simultaneously achieved is also involved.
This would be enough to create confusion. And the confusion has been further increased by the, common practice of denying that those who repudiate the means value the ends. But this is not all. The situation is still more complicated by the fact that the same means, the “economic planning” which is the prime instrument for socialist reform, can be used for many other purposes. We must centrally direct economic activity if we want to make the distribution of income conform to current ideas of social justice. “Planning”, therefore, is wanted by all those who demand that ”Production for profit. But such planning is no less indispensable if the distribution of incomes is to be regulated in a way which to us appears to be the opposite of just. Whether we should wish that more of the good things of this world should go to some racial elite, the Nordic men, or the members of a party or an aristocracy, the methods which we shall have to employ are the same as those which could ensure an equalitarian distribution.
It may, perhaps, seem unfair to use the term socialism to describe its methods raters than its aims, to use for a particular method a term which for many people stand for an ultimate ideal. It is probably preferable to describe the methods which can be used for a great variety of ends as collectivism and to regard socialism as a species of that genus. Yet, although to most socialists only one species of collectivism will represent true socialism, it must always be remembered that socialism is a species of collectivism and that therefore everything which is true for collectivism as such must apply also to socialism. Nearly all the points which are disputed between socialists and liberals concerns the methods common to all forms of collectivism and not the particular ends for which the socialists want to use them; and all the consequences with which we shall be concerned in this book follow from the methods of collectivism irrespective of the ends for which they are used. It must also not be forgotten that socialism is not only by far the most important species of collectivism or “planning”; but that it is socialism which has persuaded liberal-minded people to submit once more to that regimentation of economic life which they had overthrown because, in the words of Adam Smith, it puts governments in a position where “to support themselves they are obliged to be oppressive and tyrannical”.
10. According to the author, those who agree to the aims of socialism would
a) refuse to support socialism because of possible consequences of the methods advocated to achieve those ends.
b) agree on the collectivization and centralization of economic activities since both require strong and powerful governments.
c) have disagreed if only they had known that the only way to achieve: the equalitarian ends of socialism required centralization and collectivization of economic activities.
d) explicitly advocate strict control of economic and social life always of economic and social life always since it is a mater of practical politics for them.
e) None of these.
11. From the passage, it may be inferred that the author is a supporter of
a) the ideals of socialism and does not care much about the means required to achieve them.
b) ends as portrayed by supporters of socialism but is skeptical of the efficacy of the means advocated to reach those ends.
c) the ends of socialism, since the means required to achieve those ends always involve collectivization and centralization.
d) a strong and powerful government as a means to achieve the ends of socialism, since there is no debate on the desirability of the aforementioned ends.
e) all the possible means of collectivization as they are the tools which can be used to achieve equalitarian distribution in society.
12. The statement that the author of the passage would support the most is:
a) The development of society, if left to individuals, would be impossible as each individual world exploit opportunities for plundering and exploiting one’s fellow citizens.
b) The development of society is best done by individuals working for selfish interests within free economic environment that collectively ends up improving the condition of society since the outcomes of each action of individuals are shared by the members of the society.
c) In the absence of a strong government, society world degenerate into anarchy as each individual tries to achieve success at the cost of one’s fellow citizens.
d) Individuals would create mechanisms to put a system in place that would have rules and regulation so that the society does not break down into chaos.
e) In a general environment of chaos, individuals would create clusters of order which would allow and encourage individual clusters’ economic development.
13. Among the option below, the one that best captures the ideology being advocated by the author is:
a) Fascism b) Democratic socialism c) Marxism d) Fabian socialism
e) Capitalism
14. Amongst the options given below, the one most opposite to the ideology being advocated by the author is:
a) Fascism b) Democratic socialism c) Marxism d) Fabian socialism
e) Capitalism
Directions. Q. 15-20: Go through the following passage and answer the questions that follow:
A major problem of Indian industrial and commercial development was the supply of capital. Until 1850, British capital was shy of Indian adventure. The risks and unknown factors were too great, and prospects in other directions too bright. The working capital of the agency house after 1813 at first consisted mainly of the savings of the Company’s servants. Their cries of woe when these houses fell as in the crisis of 1831 were loud and poignant. Indian capital was also shy for different reasons. It needed to acquire confidence in the new regime, and outside the presidency towns, to acquire confidence in the new regime, and outside the presidency towns, to acquire the habit of investment. Investment for large scale production for ‘enabling’ works like railways was an unfamiliar and suspected practice. Thus, the first big development came when European capital was coaxed into the country by government guarantees or went of its own free will to develop industries with which it was already familiar as in the case of jute or coal. Indian capital followed where it was in touch with European practice as in Bombay (Mumbai) and dealing with familiar products like cotton. These considerations throw into all the greater relief the achievement of the Tatas in developing iron and steel. Thus, the major part of the capital provided was British which a steadily increasing Indian proportion from 1900. As late as 1931-32 the capital of companies registered abroad was nearly four times that of companies registered in India. But this is not an exact guide because it leaves out of account the stock in British companies held by Indians, as well as government stocks.
Speaking plainly, it may be said that the capital of the cotton industry was mainly Indian, that of the iron and steel industry entirely so, that of the jute industry about half and half, while the coal and plantation industries were mainly British, together with that used for the building of railways, irrigation, and other public works. Management in the cotton and steel industries was mainly Indian though European technicians were freely employed, that of the jute, coal, and the plantation industries being European, the jute men in particular being Scotch. Their capital, apart of course from government enterprise, operated thorough joint-stock companies and managing agencies. The latter arose through the convenience found by bodies of capitalists seeking to develop some new activities and lacking any Indian experience, of operating through local agents. It arose in the period after 1813 when private merchants tookover the trade formerly monopolized by the Company. The money world be found in Britain to promote a tea garden, a coal mine, or a jute mill, but the management would be confided to a firm already on the spot. The managing agency was the hyphen connecting capital with experience and local knowledge.
Until 1914 the policy of the government continued in the main to be one of ‘enabling’ private capital and enterprise to develop the country. Direct promotion was confined to public utilities like canals and railways. The line between enabling and interfering action became distinctly blurred, however, in the case of the cotton industry and there was a tendency for enabling action to pass over into the positive promotion of particular projects. This was most noticeable in the time of Lord Curzon with his establishment of an imperial department of agriculture with a research station at Pusa and a department of commerce and industry presided over by a sixth member of the Viceroy’s Council. The First World War began the transition to a new period of active promotion and positive support. As the conflict lengthened there arose a demand for Indian manufactured goods. India failed to take full advantage of this opportunity, partly because of uncertainty as to the future and partly because the means for sudden expansion were lacking. The outcome of this situation was the appointment of an industrial commission in 1916, under pressure from London. The commission criticized the unequal development of Indian industry which had led to the missing of her, war opportunity. A much closer co-operation with industry was planned through provincial departments of industry. Increased technical training and technical assistance to industry was proposed while it was suggested that the central government should set up a stores department which should aim at making India self sufficing in this respect. The commission’s report was only partially implemented, but a stores department and provincial industrial departments were created and something was done towards promoting technical assistance. The importance of the report and its aftermath was that it marked the transition from the conception of Indian economy in broadly colonial terms with freedom for private enterprise to the conception of India as an autonomous economic unit.
15. The following can be inferred from the passage:
A) Industrial development of a country requires supply of external capital.
B) Investment in uncertain industries is more when government provides guarantees against failure.
C) Lack of indigenous technical expertise cab be a constraining factor in a country’s economic development.
D) Enabling infrastructure like railways would have to be provided necessarily by the government.
E) Marked development for the final products is a important prerequisite for industrial development.
a) A and B b) A, C and D c) B, C and E
d) C, D and E e) A, B, C and E.
16. The first capitalists investing in Indian economy were
a) the Indians b) predominantly the British
c) the Europeans except the British d) Both (A) and (B) e) Both (A) and (C)
17. After the start of the first World War, all of the following could be likely reasons for the British government adopting a proactive stance towards Indian industry except.
a) The major investors in Indian enterprises were British and they had missed out on an opportunity.
b) The war had created a huge demand for industrial goods.
c) The British government wanted economic development of the country ad India was strategic economically in the war.
d) The development of Indian economy was required for contributing towards the war effort.
e) The desire to see India as self sufficient in technical expertise.
18. From this passage, it can be inferred that on of the problem that could have cropped up in the early stages of industrialization might have been.
a) government interference in day-to-day operations of business.
b) equitable sharing of risks between domestic and foreign investors.
c) ensuring adequate working capital.
d) regulation of the stock markets to protect investors from dubious enterprises.
e) the alignment of interest of the capitalists and the management.
19. From the passage it can be inferred that during the early part of twentieth century, starting a greenfield project was more difficult for an Indian capitalist than for an European.
a) Definitely true as inferred from the passage.
b) It was true on a selective case by case basis.
c) No trend of discrimination between the two categories of capitalists can be inferred from the passage.
d) Preference was given to British capitalists, buffeted by the fact that the country was under British rule.
e) Preference was given to European capitalists.
20. During the early twentieth century, Indians were restricted to making investment in stocks of companies that were necessarily listed in India. This was done with the aim of confining Indian capital to India so that it could not compete with British capital.
a) Definitely true as inferred from the passage.
b) It was true on a selective case by case basis.
c) This was the fact during the early part of the British rule.
d) This was true in the later part of the British rule.
e) No evidence to support the same is given in the passage.

11.e 12.a 13.b 14.e 15.c 16.d 17.e 18.c 19.c 20.e

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