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Directions (1-9): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
It is being projected as a boon for the agricultural sector. In reality, it will be the beginning of the end for Indian farmers. It has happened in the West. Ever since big retail-dominated by multi brand retailers has entered the marked, farmers have disappeared and poverty has increased. Today, not more than seven lakh farmers remain on the farms in the West. According to a report, every minute one farmer quits agriculture. Farmers’s incomes have come down by more than forty percent. These days low supermarket prices are being cited as the reason for the exodus of dairy farmers in India.
Despite the destruction of farming globally, administrators in India are aginst allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retaining. “The agriculture sector needs well functioning markets to drive growth, employment and economic prosperity in rural areas”, says a discussion paper.
Since, 2006, India has allowed a partial opening up of the retail sector. Have these retail units benefited Indian farmers and the consumers? The answer is no. The argument for setting up of big retail chains is that the supermarket chains will squeeze out the middleman thereby providing higher prices to farmers and at the same time provide large investments for the development of post harvest infrastructure. All these claims are untrue, and big retail has not helped farmers anywhere in the world.
If the supermarkets were so efficient, why is the West providing a massive subsidy for agriculture. After all the world’s biggest retail giants are based in the West and it should have helped their farmers become economically viable. But it did not happen till 1950, a farmer who would receive about seventy per cent of what was spent on food receives no more than 3 and 4 per cent today. And that is why the farmers there are being supported in the form of direct income support by the government.
A report by the Organisation for Economic Corporation and Development (OECD), a group comprising the richest 30 countries in the world, states explicitly that farm subsidies rose by 22 per cent in 2009, up from 21 per ent in 2008. In just 2009, industrialized countries provided a subsidy of `1,260/- billion. And it is primarily for this reason that farm incomes are lucrative. Take the Netherlands : the average farm family income is 275 per cent of the average household income. This is because of farm subsidies, not supermarkets. India is therefore importing a failed model from the West especially when India is incapable of providing such heavy subsidies of its farmers.
Regarding employment, big retail does not squeeze out middlemen from the food chain. Supermarkets claim that they remove middlemen and therefore are able to provide a higher price to farmers. In reality, what happens is the opposite. Supermarkets are themselves the big middlemen. They replace the small fish. Supermarkets replace the plethora of small middlemen. The muneem clad in a dhoti-kurta is replaced by a smartly dressed up middlemen. So while the farmer pauperizes, the profit of supermarkets multiply.
Based on biased studies by consultancy firms and some institutes, it is believed that supermarkets will create employment and therefore help in ameliorating poverty. This is a flawed assumption. Lessons need to be drawn from a 2004 study done at Pennsylvania State University. The authors measured the impact of a retail boom on poverty in various adjoining states. The comprehensive study clearly brings out that those American states that had more retail stores in 1987, had higher poverty rates by 1999 than the states where fewer stores were set up.
At stake is the livelihood security of 120 lakh small shopkeepers, 4 crore hawkers and at lead 20 crore (of the 60 crore) small farmers. What is needed is more public sector investment in setting up a chain of mandis across the country. Providing an assured market and reasonable procurement price is what Indian farmers need. This has to be supplemented by a network of food grain banks at panchyayat level that assure local production and distribution.
1.         Why does the author disagree with the idea that big retail stores can salvage farmers condition in India?
            a) The farmers in India still prefer to sell their produce to local middlemen and mandis than to the big retail stores.
            b) There have been examples throughout the world that the big retail chains further deteriorate the condition of the farmers.
            c) Big retail chains buy the farmers produce at a much lower cost as compared to the present middlemen.
            d) The government subsidies to the farmers selling their produce directly to big retail stores is far lessor than the ones who sell their produce to the government itself.
            e) Selling the produce to small shopkeepers and hawkers saves the farmers of the expenses involved in selling it to big retail stores which are mostly based in big cities.
2.         Complete the following sentence by selecting the alternative which is most appropriate in the context of the passage.
            Although it was assumed that retail chain giants would squeeze out middlemen from the farming sector,-
            a) the retail chain giants helped the farmers get subsidies from the government.
            b) India is still contemplating allowing foreign direct investment in multi -brand retailing.
            c) the retail chain giants themselves proved to be a rambling version of the smaller middlemen.
            d) the government was more concerned about the welfare of the farmers.
            e) None of thee
3.         Which of the following is true in context of the passage?
            a) Noticing the state of farmers in the West owing to the advent of retail giants, Indian administrators are not too keen to allow multi-brand retailing in India.
            b) Supermarket chains have provided large investments for the developments of post - harvest infrastructure.
            c) These days, farmers in the West earn several times more than their earnings half a century ago.
            d) India is providing heavy subsidies to cover up the losses made by the farmers because of retail chain giants.
            e) None of these
4.         The fact that the West provides enormous subsidies to its farmers proves that -
            a) the government in the West lures the farmers into selling their produce to retail chain giants in return of such subsidies.
            b) many farmers who had given up farming as a profession are now returning to it.
            c) Supermarkets have indeed helped in making farming a lucrative business.
            d) the retail chains are arm twisting the government to provide subsidies to the farmers who sell their product to them
            e) the retail chains have failed to benefit the farmers thus forcing the government to come to their rescue.
5.         Which of the following have been the arguments for setting up big retail stores in India?
            A) the retail chains would sell the farmers produce at a comparatively higher price than the smaller shops so as to improve the farmers profit.
            B) The retail chains would drive the middlemen out of the system, thus improving farmers profit margin.
            C) Big retail chains in the West have been taking strides of growth and have been benefiting the farmers.
            D) The big retail chains would provide an organized market which would bring bout growth in the rural areas.
            a) Only (A) and (C)         b) Only (C) and (D)         c) Only (A), (C) and (D)
            d) Only (B) and (D)         e) All (A), (B), (C) and (D)
6.         The author of the given passage definitely ………..
            a) is indicating that the West has completely failed to make agriculture a lucrative sector.
            b) is against the argument that retail chain giants can help come to the rescue of farmers in India.
            c) is not in favour of removing the local middlemen as they provide a higher price to the farmers.
            d) is suggesting that the Indian government must increase farm subsidies emulating some of the western countries.
            e) is comparing the successful performance of retail chains in India as opposed to those in the West.
7.         Which of the following would be the most appropriate title for the given passage?
            a) Multi brand retailing - making farming more lucrative
            b) Supermarkets - towards employment and growth in rural areas.
            c) Supermarket - A super risk for farmers
            d) Allowing Supermarkets in India - why are administrators unwilling?
            e) Supermarkets - making the farmers rich via subsidies.
8.         What, according to the author, are the reasons behind the fact that farmers income in some countries in the west is several times an average household?
            a) Farming in these countries is lucrative as farmers are provided with good return for their produce.
            b) Big retail chains have benefited the farmers enormously
            c) Retail chains have completely wiped out the middlemen in these countries and have thus, increased the farmers profit.
            d) Huge subsidies are being provided by the government to these farmers.
            e) None of these
9.         Which of the following suggestion/s has/have been made by the author to address the present problems of Indian farmers?
            A) Increasing the procurement price of their crops to a certain rational limit.
            B) Opening more retail chains so as to provide them an assured market for their yield.
            C) Assuring the production and distribution of good grains at local level as well.
            a) Only (A) and (C)         b) Only (B) and (C)         c) Only (A) and (B)
            d) Only (C)                    e) Only (B)
            Directions (10-12): Choose the word/groups of words which is most similar is meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
10.        EXODUS
            a) Loss                         b) Exit               c) Apathy          d) Deprivation     e) Unemployment
11.        BRINGS OUT
            a) Exists           b) Encourages   c) Dismisses     d) Criticises       e) Reveals
12.        DRIVE
            a) Transfer         b) Move             c) Compel         d) Force            e) Stimulate
            Directions (13-15): Choose the word/phrases which is most opposite in meaning to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
13.        MULTIPLY
            a) Reduce         b) Divide            c) Step-down     d) Converge       e) Add
14.        FAILED
            a) Passed         b) Prominent      c) Successful    d) Privileged       e) Fortunate
15.        PAUPRERISES
            a) Wins             b) Struggles       c) Prevails         d) Advances      e) Prospers 

1 comment:

  1. sir,iam preparing for bank exams for past 6 months..spending time only in quantitative aps but not spending much in computer knowledge and general awareness want to improve in this stream..Dont know how to approach can you guide me sir..


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