English Questions: Reading Comprehension Set – 3

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For at least the past one year in India, much has been made of the “Gujarat model of development”, and the media have widely projected the idea that the State of Gujarat and its citizens have flourished because of effective and decisive governance, particularly in the realm of economic policies. This public perception probably played an important role in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) general election victory.
Unfortunately, much of the recent literature on the State, even by reputed economic analysts, has been uncritical and verging on the hagiographic, and so has not provided a sober assessment of actual trends. Thus, GDP growth tends to be lauded without looking at its composition or its impact on mass consumption. Poverty reduction in Gujarat is highlighted as a big success when the evidence suggests that it has been sluggish than most other States despite higher growth and generally confined to rural areas, with almost stagnant levels of urban poverty.
The genuine progress in electrification and some other infrastructure is certainly to be welcomed, but, typically, it is lauded without noting that this has worked largely for the benefit of the corporate sector, with little improvement in infrastructure for the masses. Gujarat, like many other States, has a proliferation of supposedly innovative “schemes” and “programs” but most positive accounts simply list these in glowing terms without assessinghow they can work with very limited funds and very small numbers of staff.
Sebastian Morris notes that the recent good growth performance of Gujarat has been strongly related to electricity generation and the demand-side effects of higher agricultural growth (which in turn can be linked to good rainfall over this period as well as the effects of the Narmada project), but the easy availability of land and subsidized infrastructural facilities have also been major factors in determining investment. Indeed, Sunil Parekh shows that in the last decade, the State has seen an exceptionally large inflow of private industrial investment, attracted by good power supply to industry, good-quality roads, small and large all-weather ports and shore jetties and the expansion of industrial parks and special economic zones (SEZs).
However, large investments have focused on resource extraction, so Gujarat produces important raw materials, many of which are exported outside for further processing into value-added finished products. Because of this, the State’s economy does not enjoy the full benefits of industrial growth, even as it suffers environmental degradation.
There is also a contentious issue of subsidies provided to large businesses in Gujarat. Earlier policy objectives of promoting small-scale industries and balanced growth have been jettisoned in favour of promoting increasingly larger industrial units and mega-projects, without adequate attention to the employment generation effects of such projects. The strategies of incentives and subsidies have promoted cronycapitalism, with a few favoured industrialists becoming major national players through State patronage.
Data from the National Sample Survey Organization (NSSO) indicate that while Gujarat’s per capita income is around 20 per cent higher than the per capita income for the country as a whole, rural wages are about 20 per cent lower and urban wages are 15 per cent lower! Clearly, the bargaining position of workers in Gujarat, in both towns and villages, is very weak, not just absolutely but also when compared with the rest of India.

On the basis of the above passage, answer the following questions :

  1. As per passage, what perception of BJP in the minds of public led to its victory in general elections?
    a. Influence of the “Modi Wave”
    b. Huge campaigning by BJP
    c. A Vibrant Gujarat
    d. Big promises by BJP
    c.A Vibrant Gujarat
  2. The progress in electrification and other infrastructure in Gujarat has largely benefitted whom?
    a. Government
    b. Unemployed population
    c. Corporate sector
    d. Poor people
    c.Corporate sector
  3. The recent performance of Gujarat has been strongly attributed to which among the following factor/s?
    a. Electricity Generation
    b. High Agricultural Growth
    c. Good vision by Modi
    d. Both a and b
    e. Both b and c.
    Both a and b
  4. What among the following gets a major chunk of subsidies in Gujarat?
    a.Small scale sector
    b.Large companies
    c.Agricultural sector
    d.Power sector
    e.None of these
    b.Large companies
  5. Which of the following fact is true regarding per capita income of Gujarat?
    a.Gujarat’s per capita income is 15% less than the world’s per capita
    b.Gujarat’s per capita income is equal to nation’s per capita
    c.Gujarat’s per capita is 20% of nation’s per capita
    d.Gujarat’s per capita is 15 times of nation’s per capita
    e.Gujarat’s per capita is 20% higher than nation’s per capita
    e.Gujarat’s per capita is 20% higher than nation’s per capita
  6. Which of the following is closest in meaning to Flourished as used in the passage?
  7. Which of the following is closest in meaning to Proliferation as used in the passage?
  8. Which of the following is closest in meaning to Contentious as used in the passage?
  9. Which of the following is farthest in meaning to Decisive as used in the passage?
  10. Which of the following is farthest in meaning to Jettisoned as used in the passage?
    a. Cast off
    b. Customise
    c. Adopt
    d. Fabricate
    e. Sabotage
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