IBPS PO/CLERK Pre – Reading Comprehension Set


Directions (Q.1-10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions. 


To understand how India makes its own life difficult in the Ease of Doing Business stakes, one needs only to look at the $16-billion pharmaceutical sector, already in the news for a controversial ban on several household medications .While the ban has hogged the headlines, there’s another, quiet recall of drugs set to happen, and it’s no less of a logistical, and avoidable, nightmare. Every year, the government comes out with a revision of prices of essential medications, which is good and proper given that most Indians pay for healthcare from their own pockets and the authorities need to keep a beady eye on profiteering. The problem is price changes have become, in effect, retrospective. In other words, once the revised prices of the drugs are announced, it’s not just drugs manufactured after that date, but all medicine already out there in the market that has to be sold at the revised lower price. Consider what this means. This year, companies will have to sell the drugs at the revised price from April 1, so they will have to reach out through the system to every chemist in the country that stocks their drugs with an SOS message: Send us back the blister packs of, say, a cardiac drug, because we need to put a new price sticker on it. These packs will wend their way through the system – from the 8,00,000 chemists in the country back to wholesalers, stockists and the company. The company cannot take the old packets back into the factory for fear that they will get mixed with fresh batches of the drug. Such drugs are meant to be stored at certain temperatures , and there’s no guarantee that every chemist in the country would have adhered to these norms. So the companies will entrust the task to a third party vendor, seldom as satisfactory, quality-wise, as handling your product in-house. New price stickers will go on to the packs, and the medicines will go out to the trade again. The companies get 45 days to do this, which industry watchers say is too short a period.

About $500 million worth of drugs will be frozen out of the market at any point due to this strange mechanism. Worse, many companies have stopped producing new batches of the drugs in the run up to April 1, preferring that the existing supplies taper down, raising the risk of shortages, because they want to recall less. There is also a proposal to make chemists liable if they sell the drug at the old price after April 1, raising its own issues. In comparison with issues like retrospective tax and minimum alternate tax on foreign institutional investors, all this may sound like inside baseball, too much being made of an industry’s bread-and-butter dealings. But it is usually in these humdrum details that the Ease of Doing Business pinch is most felt. Prime Minister wants to move India’s ranking in the list to the top 50 (currently 130). His bureaucrats could start by sweating the small stuff.

1. Which of the following is the central theme of the passage? 
1) Revision of prices, a barrier on Ease of doing business in pharma industry. 
2) Price changes, a vital problem for the government
3) Government to start price shifting in pharma industry
4) Prices to be revised for essential medications
5) None of these

2. In the context of the passage, what is/are the problems that companies face every year because of the revised price? 
1) They have to reach out through the system to every chemist in the country that stocks their drugs with an SOS message. 
2) New stickers have to be made which would be a burden on budget.
3) Medicines have to be sold at prices lower than already mentioned.
4) Requirement of more manpower for lifting the stocks in the market.
5) All of the above

3. In the context of the passage, what is the government trying to achieve? 
1) Revision of prices to keep a beady eye on profiteering 
2) Removal of ban on several household medications
3) Reduction of prices on medicines to achieve better healthcare
4) A better ease of doing index from easy tax and regulations
5) Enhancing business opportunities for pharma industry

4. According to the passage, why have many companies stopped producing new batches of the drugs? 
1) To freeze out the market at any point 
2) To taper down the existing supplies of medicines
3) To raise the risk of shortages of medicines
4) Because companies want to recall less in any situation of price revision.
5) All of these

5. Which of the following statements is true in the context of the passage? 
1) The government scheme of price revision every year is good for pharma industries. 
2) The government somewhere is trying to make their own profit.
3) It is the pharma industries, who have to suffer the most in the whole process of revision of medicine prices.
4) Lower prices for the households is the result of revision of prices.
5) There should not be revision of prices every year.

6. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning to the word ‘hogged’ given in bold as used in the passage? 
1) Monopolize 
2) Bogart
3) Dominate
4) Controlled
5) Criticised

7. Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning to the word ‘ADHERE’ given in bold as used in the passage? 
1) Followed 
2) Abjure
3) Flout
4) Overlook
5) Abject

8. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE in meaning of the word ‘SELDOM’ given in bold as used in the passage? 
1) Often 
2) Sporadically
3) Exceptional
4) Rare
5) Prevalent

9. Choose the word which is most nearly the OPPOSITE in meaning of the word ‘TAPER’ given in bold as used in the passage? 
1) Downgrade 
2) Incline
3) Knell
4) Attenuate
5) Increase

10. Which of the following statements is/are ‘true’ in the context of the passage ?
A. The mechanism of revision of prices can lead to millions of drugs to freeze out of market
B. The drugs which are meant to be stored at a certain temperatures can’t be lifted off from the market.
C. Price changes have become retrospective.

1) Only A 
2) Only B
3) Only A and B
4) Only B and C
5) All of the above

Answer Key :

1. 1
2. 1
3. 1
4. 4
5. 3
6. 5
7. 1
8. 1
9. 5
10. 4

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