Reading Comprehension Test for SBI PO Prelims 2017 : Set -5 Detailed Solutions.
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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.
Delays of several months in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) wage payments and worksites where labourers have lost all hope of being paid at all have become the norm in many States. How are workers who exist on the margins of subsistence supposed to feed their families? Under the scheme, workers must be paid within 15 days, failing which they are entitled to compensation under the Payment of Wages Act-upto Rs. 3,000/- per aggrieved worker. In reality, compensation is received in only a few isolated instances. It is often argued by officials that the main reason for the delay is the inability of banks and post offices to handle mass payments of NREGS wages. Though there is a grain of truth in this, as a diagnosis it is misleading. The ‘jam’ in the banking system has been the result of the hasty switch to bank payments imposed by the Central Government against the recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council which advocated a gradual transition starting with villages relatively close to the nearest bank. However delays are not confined solely to the banking system. Operational hurdles include implementing agencies taking more than fifteen days to issue payment orders, viewing of work measurement as a cumbersome process resulting in procrastination by the engineering staff and non-maintenance of muster rolls and job cards etc. But behind these delays lies a deeper and deliberate ‘backlash’ against the NREGS. With bank payments making it much harder to embezzle NREGS funds, the programme is seen as a headache by many government functionaries–the workload has remained without the ‘inducements’. Slowing down wage payments is a convenient way of sabotaging the scheme because workers will desert NREGS worksites. The common sense solution advocated by the government is to adopt the business correspondent model wherein bank agents will go to villages to make cash payments and duly record them on handheld electronic devices. This solution is based on the wrong diagnosis that distance separating villages from banks is the main issue. In order to accelerate payments, clear timelines for every step of the payment process should be incorporated into the system as Programme Officers often have no data on delays and cannot exert due pressure to remedy the situation. Workers are both clueless and powerless with no provision for them to air their grievances and seek redress. In drought affected areas the system of piece rate work can be dispensed with, where work measurement is not completed within a week and wages may be paid on the basis of attendance. Buffer funds can be provided to gram panchayats and post offices to avoid bottlenecks in the flow of funds. Partial advances could also be considered provided wage payments are meticulously tracked. But failure to recognise problems and unwillingness to remedy them will remain major threats to the NREGS.
1.What impact have late wage payments had on NREGS workers ?
A. They cannot obtain employment till their dues are cleared
B. They have benefited from the compensation awarded to them
C. They have been unable to provide for their families
D. They have been ostracised by their families who depend on them for sustenance
E. None of these
2.Which of the following factors has not been responsible for untimely payment of NREGS wages?
A. Communication delays between agencies implementing the scheme
B. Improper record keeping
C. Behind schedule release of payments by banks
D. Drought conditions prevalent in the country
E. Delays in work measurement
3.What has the outcome of disbursing NREGS wages through banks been ?
A. Theft of funds by administration officials responsible for the scheme has reduced
B. Increased workload for local government officials
C. Protests by workers who have to travel long distances to the nearest bank to claim their
D. Time consuming formalities have to be completed by workers
E. None of these
4.To which of the following has the author attributed the delay in wage payments ?
A. Embezzlement of funds by corrupt bank staff.
B. Lack of monitoring by the Central Employment Guarantee Council
C. An attempt to derail the NREGS by vested interests
D. Overworked bank staff deliberately delay payments to protest against extra work
E. Engineers’ efforts to wreck the NREGS because of low wages
5.What perception makes some people favor the concept of privatization of education and health services?
(A) Compensation to victimized workers has amounted to crores.
(B) Banks will no longer be entrusted with remitting wages.
(C) Regulations to ensure punctual wage payments have come into force.
B. Only (A)
C. Only (A) and (C)
D. Only (A) and (B)
E. Only (B) and (C)
6.Which of the following can be considered a deficiency in the NREGS ?
A. Lack of co-ordination among Programme Officers
B. Local officials are unaware of correct operational procedures
C. Workers have no means of obtaining redressal for untimely wage payments
D. Disbursing wages through banks instead of readily accessible post offices
E. The Central Employment Guarantee Council is reluctant to award compensation to workers
7.What solution has the author suggested to expedite NREGS wage payments ?
A. Empower the Central Employment Guarantee Council to monitor the NREGS B. Implement payment of wages in cash at all worksites
C. Restrict the amount of funds to local government bodies in order to curb frauds
D. Provide attendance records to workers so that they have proof to claim their wages
E. None of these
8.What is the author’s view about the government’s solution to the problem of delayed wage payments ?
A. He agrees with it as workers will not have to bear the expense of travelling long distances to
claim their wages
B. He is not in favour of it as funds can be misappropriated by agents
C. He welcomes it as the time consuming work measurement process will be done away with
D. He feels it does not address the core issues plaguing the scheme
E. He feels it will ensure flawless implementation of the scheme
9.Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage. “aggrieved”
10.Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage. “Deliberate”
1.Correct Answer: C. They have been unable to provide for their families
By reading first two sentences of the passage“Delays of several months in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) wage payments and worksites where labourers have lost all hope of being paid at all have become the norm in many States. How are workers whoexist on the margins of subsistence supposed to feed their families ?”. Hence option (c).
- Correct Answer: D. Drought conditions prevalent in the country
This factor has not been mentioned in the given passage
- Correct Answer: A. Theft of funds by administration officials responsible for the scheme has reduced
Refer to the fifth line of the third paragraph “With bank payments making it much harder to embezzle NREGS funds”. Hence option (a) is true.
- Correct Answer: C. An attempt to derail the NREGS by vested interests
Refer to the last sentence of the third paragraph “Slowing down wage payments is a convenient way of sabotaging the scheme because workers will desert NREGS worksites.” Hence option (c) is the answer.
5.Correct Answer: A. None
None of the given statements is true. Hence option (a) is correct.
- Correct Answer: C. Workers have no means of obtaining redressal for untimely wage payments
Refer to the fourth sentence of the last paragraph “Workers are both clueless and powerless with no provision for them to air their grievances and seek redress.”Hence option (c) is the answer.
- Correct Answer: D. Provide attendance records to workers so that they have proof to claim their wages
Refer to the fifth sentence of the last paragraph “ In drought affected areas the system of piece rate work can be dispensed with, where work measurement is not completed within a week and wages may be paid on the basis of attendance.”Hence option(d) is suggested for drought prone area.
- Correct Answer: D. He feels it does not address the core issues plaguing the scheme
Option (d) is justified by the second sentence of the last paragraph.
- Correct Answer: C. Indignant
Aggrieved means “feeling resentment at having been unfairly treated”. So , indignant is the word which is similar in meaning to it.
- Correct Answer: E. Accidental
Deliberate means “done consciously and intentionally”. So accidental is the word which is opposite in meaning to it.
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