Innovative way to read newspaper and practice English – Part 7

CLOZE TEST

In a disingenuous move, state power utilities are reportedly jacking up spot market power tariffs by (1)______ 40 per cent for large industrial consumers seeking “open access” to the grid. But a highly distorted tariff structure (read: penal tariffs), with the express purpose of deterring cross-country power exchange via open access, is really no reform. The way ahead is for politicians to stop patronising power theft and bring down runaway revenue leakage in power distribution pan-India so (2)________ to have a proper market for power.

It would then make eminent sense for efficient producers to gainfully seek custom via open access to the line network, for a reasonable fee. And attempting shortcuts like steep open-access charges, never mind huge distribution losses of state power utilities, (3)______ be thoroughly suboptimal, and can short-circuit the system. The Electricity Act, 2003, was intended to bring in independent oversight put paid to politically mandated tariffs and gross populism in power.
But it (4)_____ now been shown that state power regulators may not revise tariffs for years, to remain in the good books of the powers that be. And such a mind-set needs prompt overhauling. The idea that power can be supplied gratis or dirt cheap with the right political patronage needs to be junked wholescale.
Yes, there is certainly a case for limited, budgeted subventions for power. But gross open-ended subsidies just make no sense. Such policies can bankrupt entire state treasuries and lead to environmental damage like falling water tables. Pacing reforms in the policy-challenged power sector is (5)_______.
What’s required is regular disclosure of power utility results prior to implementing routine open access. A proper market can wait, pending basic power tariff reform.
(Source – The Economic Times)

1. Fill in the blank (1) 
a. At least 
b. Utmost 
c. Up to 
d. only

2.  Fill in the blank (2) 
a. If 
b. As 
c. That 
d. with

3. Fill in the blank (3)
 
a. Would 
b. Could 
c. Can 
d. Is

4. Fill in the blank (4) 
a. Is 
b. Was 
c. Have 
d. has

5. Fill in the blank (5)
a. Useless 
b. Vital 
c. Ignorant 
d. To be reformed

ERROR DETECTION

6. Choose the sentence which represents different theme or story than the other four
(a) Reliance Infocomm has merged with Aircel and MTS and is in talks to bring Tata Teleservices into its embrace.
(b) If there are other online ventures that are still around, it is because their benefactors—private equity funds—generously continue to support them.
(c) Vodafone in India is merging with Idea Cellular. Bharti is acquiring Telenor’s loss-making operations in India.
(d) The consumer’s benefit is hardly obscure. Tariffs have fallen sharply: calls are free and data has become cheap, once you become a subscriber for a nominal fee, which is zero for Jio alone till March.
(e) Indian telecom is consolidating at a rapid pace, thanks to the disruptive entry of Reliance Industries’ Jio, which fancies itself as a digital empire in the making rather than as a telecom company, and is, thus, prepared to offer voice services for free and data services at an ultra-low rate to facilitate all kinds of digital commerce.

7. Choose the sentence which represents different theme or story than the other four
(a) Since FY09, when the scheme had a pan India roll out, expenditure for MGNREGA has grown at an average of 7% per annum in nominal terms.
(b) However, this the comes nearly two years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing the scheme ¬ in a speech delivered to Parliament on February 27, 2015 ¬ “a living monument of the UPA's failure”.
(c) This year in his budget speech, finance minister Arun Jaitley proudly announced allocation of Rs 48,000 crore for MGNREGA ¬ the highest since the inception of the scheme.
(d) As far as our position on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is concerned, we are clear that a secular law alternative must be available to every citizen.
(e) The question, then, is what has changed for Modi and Jaitley? Have they realised the importance of the scheme as a safety net to fall back on during drought years, or are they going to turn it from essentially a dole into a development scheme?

8. Directions: Substitute the bold words in the sentence with the correct alternative. If there is no error mark option (5). 
This newspaper has argued for a long time now because most e-commerce players in the country do not had a viable business model since they are essentially relying on huge discounts to attract customers, when not being able to rein in costs.
(a) That....had....when
(b) Because...has....while
(c) That...have...while
(d) Because...have...while
(e) None of these

9. Directions: Substitute the bold words in the sentence with the correct alternative. If there is no error mark option (5).
The Competition Commission of India, rather than the telecom regulator Trai, can oversee competition in the industry. There are no contradiction between having a sectoral regulator and entities operating in the sector been regulated for a particular purpose by another regulator.
(a) Can...is...been
(b) Should....is...been
(c) Should...are...been
(d) Should...is...being
(e) None of these

Answers

(1) c
(2) b
(3) a
(4) d 
(5) b
(6) b
(7) d
(8) c
(9) d

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