Innovative way to read newspaper and practice English: Part 2


Cloze Test

Complete the passage with the appropriate option:

Oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan (a) _____ clarified that the government’s plan to merge state petroleum companies will not lead to one giant entity. This is (b) ______ welcome. We do need multiple companies in our large and fast-growing oil economy to gainfully compete for custom.
And, in tandem, we need to genuinely (c) ______ the retail oil market. A large amorphous entity would mask losses made in unwise or capricious decisions such as domestic or foreign acquisitions that (d) _____ no sound commercial rationale.
The oil minister has also stressed that the Centre’s role (e) _____ be limited to framing policy and facilitating implementation, and that there would be no attempt at micromanaging merger and acquisition in the oil sector. This is also assuring. It (f) ______ perfect sense to leave it to the board-managed companies to seek synergy and explore their options for M&A.
There can be competitive advantage for companies to have solid presence across the value chain in oil, so as to better manage risks in the high-risk upstream segment, optimise throughput in refining and value-addition, and seek brand value in the marketing of oil products. And they must face competition. The domestic oil majors should have integrated operations across the value chain. But, in parallel, we need to purposefully liberalize the marketing of petroleum products. It makes no sense to ring-fence the retailing of petro-products only (g) ______ oil concerns.
Abroad, in the mature markets, stand-alone oil retailers account for as much as half the off take. As the third-largest oil market that is poised for huge volumes growth going forward, we do need a policy for independent oil retailers posthaste, even as we put in place policy for fully integrated oil majors here. Integration must not rev up monopoly rents in oil.
(Source: The Economic Times)

(a) 

 1. Have 
 2. Would 
 3. Has 
 4. Was

(b) 

 1. Much 
 2. Most 
 3. Worst 
 4. Many

(c) 

 1. Open 
 2. Opens 
 3. Open up 
 4. Open out

(d) 

 1. Has 
 2. Have 
 3. Could 
 4. Had

(e) 

 1. Would 
 2. Can 
 3 ought to 
 4. Need

(f) 

 1. Make 
 2. Made 
 3. Makes 
 4 is

(g) 

 1. With 
 2. For
 3. To 
 4. Along

Answers:

(a) 3
(b) 2
(c) 3
(d) 2
(e) 1 
(f) 3. 
(g) 2

Reading Comprehension

Read the passage carefully and answer the question that follows:

The destruction caused to a significant part of the Chennai coastline from the oil spill that followed a collision between two ships is both tragic and ironic. A large quantity of oil was released into the sea, affecting marine life and livelihoods of coastal communities. What makes the collision ironic is that it comes at a time when there is steadily declining pollution due to such incidents. Ship collisions are less common today because GPS-based navigation systems have made their operation much safer. It is apparent that the first response to the Chennai collision involving an LPG tanker and the fuel carrier off the Kamarajar Port was seriously deficient. The port initially denied any significant environmental damage from oil, but as the scale of the disaster began to unfold, and a large number of dead turtles and fish were washed ashore, it became obvious that the spill had not been quickly contained. Such failure calls into question the efficacy of the National Oil Spill Disaster Contingency Plan that is updated periodically for all stakeholders, notably ports, under the leadership of the Coast Guard. That the removal of the coastal sludge depended in large part on volunteers wielding buckets does not inspire much confidence in the protocol for mitigation.
An independent inquiry is vital to determine whether the training and acquisition of equipment to handle such accidents for all agencies passed muster. Moreover, pollution response equipment for all major ports and 26 non-major ports is funded to the extent of 50% by the Centre, casting a responsibility on ports to contribute the other half and build the capabilities to handle disasters. Obfuscation of facts after an oil spill is counterproductive, since the impact is prolonged; moreover, it could erode the confidence of the international community in the country’s ability to fulfil its commitments within the UN system to protect marine life and biodiversity. Failure to safeguard marine turtle and bird habitats, for example, is a clear violation of the provisions of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, and its specific memorandum on the Indian Ocean-Southeast Asian region to which India is a signatory. Considerable oil pollution is caused not just by catastrophes but through the discharge of ballast, sludge and water used for the cleaning of tanks. On the other hand, the efficacy of chemical dispersants to degrade oil at sea remains controversial. All this underscores the importance of timely advice from agencies such as the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, which is mandated to forecast the course of an oil spill.
(Source: The Hindu)

1. Identify the meaning of the phrase ‘passed muster’ as used in the passage.
(a) An assembly or collection.
(b) Meets the required standard
(c) Passes a difficult situation
(d) Is not beneficial.
(e) None of these

2. Why is the oil spill incident tragic?
(a) It underscores the importance of timely advice from different agencies.
(b) It signifies the need of training to train the ship members.
(c) It affected a large number of marine animals as well as the coastal communities.
(d) It has eroded the confidence of the international community.
(e) None of these

3. Suggest an appropriate title for the given passage.
(a) Negligence of port authority
(b) International agencies advices
(c) Chennai Oil spill: Causes and consequences
(d) Marine life
(e) Government view

4. Choose the word which is most opposite to word printed in bold.
Efficacy
(a) Potency
(b) Capacity
(c) Ineffectiveness
(d) Amateur
(e) None of these

5. Choose the word which is most similar to the word printed in bold in the passage.
Obfuscation
(a) Decode 
(b) Illuminate
(c) Becloud
(d) Analyse
(e) None of these

Answer: 

1 (b); 
 2 (c); 
3 (c); 
4 (c); 
5 (c)

Miscellaneous 

Which of the following option follows the given statement?

1. It is welcome that the government has taken up the important subject of reforming political funding. But the proposal set out in the Budget, to let donors buy so-called electoral bonds that can be redeemed only in the account of a political party from banks and donate them to the party of their choice, serves little purpose.
(a) This denies citizens the right to know who funds parties.
(b) In a democracy, the fundamental point of campaign finance reform is to let every voter know the identities of big political funders, and their interest in doing so. Poll bonds do the exact opposite.
(c) Instead of advancing transparency, the bond gives legitimacy to opaque contributions to political parties, trashing the present norm that parties must maintain a list of all donors who contribute any sum larger than Rs 20,000.
(d) In any case, parties show only a fraction of their actual spending in the accounts they file.
(e) This might still leave some political funding unaccounted, but would still mark a huge improvement over the current state of affairs.

Identify the error in the given statement and mark the correct option. If there is no error, mark option (e) Statement is correct

2.  The Economic Survey makes a case of replacing India’s much direct and indirect subsidies for the poor to one Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme.

(a) Of….many….through’
(b) For…..much….along
(c) Of….much….with
(d) For….many….with
(e) Statement is correct

3. The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) is approves the appointment of Sanjeev Sanyal, former Global Strategist and Managing Director, Deutsche Bank, to the posting as Principal Economic Adviser in the Department of Economic Affairs," an official statement said.
(a) Is approving….posting as
(b) Approves….post
(c) Has approved….post of
(d) Has approved….post as
(e) None of these.

Answer: 

1. (c)
2. (d) 
3. (c)


Fill in the blanks with the same word.

I. 
(A) To _______ the name of his latest purchases would be like walking into the jaws of disdain.
(B). The Air force declined to ______ the details of agreement between Indian and French authority regarding 36 Rafale fighter jets.
(a) Show
(b) Enquire
(c) Disclose
(d) Associate
(e) None of these

II
(A) Apple has only a 2% share of the Indian market, well behind _____ Samsung on 23%, according to research firm Canalys.
(B). Keeping their fingers crossed over EC's decision on 'cycle' symbol, leaders of _____ Samajwadi Party camps today discussed various options and possibilities.
(a) Political party
(b) Company
(c) Associate
(d) Rival
(e) None of these

Answer 

I.  (c)
II. (d)
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