Reading Comprehension
Reading Comprehension

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.

This year’s UNDP Human Development Report doesn’t, as usual, present a pretty picture so far as India is concerned. India ranks 126 in the human development index (HDI) among 177 countries. Placed in the lower half of ‘medium human development’ countries, India is 10 places ahead of Bangladesh and only three ahead of Myanmar.

Though it is India’s abysmal rank that grabs one’s attention — particularly in the context of the euphoria about India’s economic growth — the UNDP report is best used to chart the performance of the state. The HDI, brainchild of economist Mahbubul Haq, was developed to track human welfare as opposed to material wealth which is measured by GDP. It is a measure based on three dimensions of human development — life expectancy, literacy and standard of living. India’s showing on all three counts is far from inspiring. Even if India is compared to developing countries in Asia it fares poorly. Indonesia, for example, is streets ahead with an adult literacy rate of 90 per cent as compared to 61 per cent in India; Indonesia’s life expectancy is 67.2 to India’s 63.6; and the population who survive on $1 a day is 7.5 per cent in Indonesia as opposed to 34.7 per cent in India. There are several other countries in the region such as Thailand, Iran and Vietnam that are way ahead of India on all these indices.

The uninspiring figures for India must be seen in the light of state spending on health and education. The health expenditure of the state was 1.2 per cent of GDP, which is at par with Indonesia and Bangladesh, but far lower than medium-development countries such as China or Vietnam. On the education front, the public spending on education in India at 3.3 per cent of GDP is higher than that in Indonesia, but lower than other developing countries like Mexico. It is not all gloom and doom for India though. India’s dependence on foreign aid has come down over the last 15 years. Foreign development assistance now stands at 0.1 per cent of GDP as compared to 0.4 per cent in 1990. The figures for China and Vietnam stand at 0.1 and 4 per cent respectively. India does not fare too badly either on the Gini index, which measures inequality on a scale where 0 represents perfect equality and 100 perfect inequality. India scores 32.5 on the Gini which compares favourably with China’s 44.7 and Indonesia’s 37.0. The picture that emerges is that of an Indian state that channels inadequate funds into health and education, which is reflected in India’s poor showing on the HDI. A few obvious conclusions can be drawn from this. One, India’s aspirations of becoming a global power must be taken with more than a pinch of salt. Two, the Indian state hasn’t got its priorities right. This can be seen from government spending on defence, which is nearly the same as that on education and more than double that on health. Three, even when government does allocate funds there is no guarantee that it reaches the intended beneficiaries. As Rajiv Gandhi once remarked, out of every rupee spent on development, only 17 paisa actually reached its target. The failure of the state machinery in India is an old story. But it touches a different chord at a time when there are breathless predictions about India, along with China, becoming the economic powerhouse of the world. It is apparent that the benefits of a consistently high level of growth do not automatically trickle down to the poor and translate into a better quality of life. But what does one do to ensure that education and health benefits percolate down to the neediest?

There are some who would like to believe that education and health should be left in private hands. This is a reflection of the increasing antipathy among certain sections towards the state. It also reflects a belief that India’s economic boom has happened despite the state. There could well be some truth in that. But it still begs the question as to why private players would take up projects such as health care and education for the poor where there is little or no chance of profit. There is no escaping the fact that education and health, along with law and order, remain responsibilities of the state.

1.Why does the UNDP’s Human Development Report on India take one by surprise?
A. because India has been targeted in an unfair manner in this report
B. because amidst its sound economic growth India has fared badly in the area of human
C. because India lags behind even Bangladesh and Myanmar in this report
D. because India’s economic growth has not been considered in this report
E. None of these

2.According to the author, how can India improve its position on the HDI?
A. by pursuing its economic growth on a continuous basis
B. by allowing privatisation of essential services in the areas of health and education
C. by competing with lesser known countries like Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, etc
D. by setting its priorities right and spending adequately in the areas of human welfare
E. None of these

3.Which of the following seems to be ‘true’ in the context of the passage?
A. India’s health expenditure as a proportion of its GDP is similar to that of Indonesia and
B. Better economic growth of any region is bound to produce a better picture of its human
C. Indonesia is miles ahead of India in terms of human welfare and economic growth.
D. Government’s allocation of funds for key areas is sure to bring desired results.
E. None of these

4.Which of the following seems to be ‘false’ in the context of the passage?
A. India has tackled the issue of inequality better than China and Indonesia.
B. Better GDP does not ensure sound HDI for a nation.
C. Proper allocation of funds can certainly bring betterment in areas of human welfare.
D. Economic growth does not guarantee better quality of life for poor always.
E. None of these

5.What perception makes some people favor the concept of privatization of   education and health services?
A. due to the failure of the state in these areas, it is believed that only private sector can    deliver rightly.
B. these areas are good avenues of business.
C. private sector is better equipped to do justice to people.
D. in the age of globalisation all such areas should be freed from the clutch of government
E. None of these

6.Why is the author against privatisation of health and education services?
A. because private sector lacks the expertise and funds required to deal with these areas
B. because government will have no major job left in such a case
C. because private sector cannot deliver in remote areas in these fields
D. because private sector will not be keen to take up these areas
E. None of these

7.Choose the word which is the same in meaning as the word given in bold as used    in the passage-  PERCOLATE
A. range
B. raise
C. distribute
D. permeate
E. sustain

8.Choose the word which is the opposite in meaning of the word given in bold as   used in the passage. – ABYSMAL
A. rapid
C. graceful
D. terrible
E. upgrade


Click Here To View Detailed Answers