Reading Comprehension Quiz

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Reading Comprehension Quiz

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Q.Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

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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 Tata’s 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 took over 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 cooperation 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-suffcing 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.

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1.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

2.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)

3.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-su룅cient in technical expertise.

4.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.

5.From the passage it can be inferred that during the early part of twentieth century, starting a greenfield project was more diffcult 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.

6.From this passage, it can be inferred that one 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

7.Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the work/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. PROSPECTS
A. Feasibility
B. Implausibility
C. Concomitant
D. Antiquated
E. Erstwhile

8.Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. COAXED
A. Obviate
B. Despondent
C. Conniving
D. Inveigle
E. Collude

9.Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in passage. CONFIDED
A. Enervate
B. Analogue
C. Credence
D. Certitude
E. Incredulity

10.Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in passage. AUTONOMOUS
A. Sovereign
B. potentate
C. maverick
D. nonconformist
E. Protégé


Correct Answer:

  1. C. B, C and E [ first sentence of the passage).]
  2. D. Both (A) and (B)
  3. E. [Refer the fifth sentence onwards of the second paragraph.]
  4. E. No evidence to support the same is given in the passage.
  5. C. – [Refer towards the last part of the first paragraph]
  6. C. ensuring adequate working capital.
  7. A. Feasibility[Prospect means the possibility or likelihood of some future event occurring.]
  8. D. Inveigle[Coaxed means persuade (someone) gradually or gently to do something.]
  9. E. Incredulity [Confided means trust (someone) enough to tell them of a secret or private matter.]
  10. E. Protégé[Autonomous means having the freedom to act independently hence Protégé is the word most
    opposite in meaning.]

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