Innovative Way To Read Newspaper and Practice English: Part 3

Reading Comprehension

A set of new sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States over a missile test has taken ties between the two countries, which saw incremental improvement over a couple of years, back to the pre-Obama era. Bilateral relations were particularly hostile during the presidency of George W. Bush, who had threatened military action over Iran’s nuclear programme. Barack Obama took a different line, moored in political realism. He reached out to the Iranians and finally clinched the nuclear deal last year, a far-sighted diplomatic solution to a complex international crisis. The U.S. and other world powers took years to find a common ground with Iran, which prevented the country from acquiring nuclear weapons in return for removal of international sanctions. The deal, viscerally opposed by Israel, allowed Iran to amend ties with European countries, boost its oil production and trade with other countries, thereby minimising the pain its people had suffered due to economic sanctions. The U.S. and Iran cooperated on the battleground in Iraq against the Islamic State. And domestically, it strengthened the hands of Iranian moderates. This progress stands threatened by President Donald Trump’s hostility towards Iran.
Mr. Trump may not repeal the nuclear deal as it is a multilateral agreement. But by putting immigration curbs on Iranian citizens imposing new sanctions on Iran and branding the country the “greatest state sponsor of terrorism”, the Trump administration has clearly announced that détente is dead and the policy of containment back. If Mr. Obama’s Iran policy was defined by pragmatism, Mr. Trump appears determined to pursue the agenda of restoring the bipolar balance between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the U.S.’s strongest allies in West Asia. This could prove dangerous. Iran, unlike the Iraq of 2003, is a strong regional power whose influence runs from Iraq and Syria to Lebanon and Yemen. Any meaningful effort to stabilize West Asia calls for Iran’s cooperation, not hostility. Second, the primary reason for destabilization in West Asia is the ongoing cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Targeting Iran by siding with the Saudis would only prompt Tehran to step up its activities in other countries through the “Shia corridor”. Finally, the world, including the U.S., needs Iran’s cooperation to fight the Islamic State, particularly in Iraq, where Iranian-controlled Shia militias played a key role in liberating cities. If Mr. Trump ignores these realities, he runs the risk of making West Asia even more chaotic that it is.
(Source: The Hindu)

1. Choose the word which is most similar to the word given in bold in the passage.
Repeal
(a) Commencement
(b) Enactment
(c) Recall
(d) Formalization
(e) None of these

2. What are the realities that if Mr. Trump ignores would make West Asia more chaotic?
I. Iran is a strong regional power
II. Iran’s cooperation is necessary to fight against Islamic state
III. Iraq will cancel nuclear deal

(a) Only I is correct
(b) Only I and II are correct
(c) Only I and III are correct
(d) Only II and III are correct
(e) All I, II and III are correct

3. What steps Mr. Trump government has taken which has led to bitter relations between U.S. and Iran?
(a) Tie up with European countries
(b) Boosting oil production and trade with other countries
(c) Cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran
(d) New sanctions imposed over Iran’s missile test
(e) None of these

4. Choose the word which is most opposite to the word given in bold in the passage.
Hostile
(a) Antagonist 
(b) Bellicose
(c) Frigid
(d) Acrimonious
(e) Benign

5. What is meant by the phrase ‘détente is dead’ as given in the passage? (a) End of hostility
(b) Iran and U.S. has ended up nuclear deal
(c) End of relaxed relations and tensions
(d) Friendly relations
(e) None of these

Answers

1 (c) 
2 (b) 
3 (d) 
4 (e) 
5 (c)

CLOZE TEST

Forty-four years after creating a state monopoly in coal, it is welcome (a) _____ the government has decided to permit commercial mining of coal, which remains our main source of commercial energy. Mining and evacuation without specifying end-use (b) ______ allow specialist coal producers to realise economies of scale and scope and competitively seek custom. The extant policy of a coal monopoly supplemented with captive mines, whether allocated (c) ____ auction or not, is hugely inefficient and gives rise to a host of rigidities and at huge national cost.

In recent years we have imported upwards of Rs 1 lakh crore of coal, never mind our large proven reserves, (d) _____ much policy dithering. The coal secretary has reportedly declined to identify the coal blocks, the estimated reserves contained in them, or specified the auction methodology to be followed. (e) ______, the Centre plans to issue a consultation paper on commercial mining of coal, which is sensible. The way ahead is to transparently overhaul market design and oversight, so that efficient producers can gainfully boost output and supply at fine rates. In tandem, we need improved environmental norms for cent-percent beneficiation of coal in a time bound manner. We simply cannot afford to ferry millions of tonnes of noncombustible shale and rock, wasting energy on haulage and pre-empting freight capacity.

In parallel, we do need to purposefully coagulate resources to handsomely rev up thermal efficiency in our power plants, which are by far the single-biggest users of coal. Proven methods like ultra-supercritical boiler technology (f) ______ optimise power output at thermal stations and rationalise attendant fuel logistics. We need proactive policy to step-up efficiency improvements right across the supply chain in coal. Following the Supreme Court’s summary cancellation of 214 captive coal blocks awarded from 1993, bidding interest for captive coal blocks (g) _____ largely muted since 2014. Now that international coal prices have begun to harden again, a better response can surely be expected.
(Source: The Economic Times)

(a) 

1. In 
2. And 
3. That 
4. Or

(b) 

1. Should 
2. Would 
3. Did 
4. Ought to

(c) 

1. By 
2. And 
3. In 
4. On

(d) 

1. Thank 
2. Thank to 
3. Thanked 
4. Thanks to

(e) 

1. Despite 
2. although 
3. Instead 
4. Though

(f) 

 1. Have 
 2 had 
 3. Would 
 4. Rather

(g) 

 1. Had 
 2. Have been 
 3. Is 
 4. Has been

Answers: 

(a) 3
(b) 2
(c) 1
(d) 4
(e) 3
(f) 3
(g) 4

MISCELLANEOUS


1. Which of the following options follows the given statement :

After the death of Jayalalithaa in December, Ms. Sasikala, known for her backroom manoeuvres, first stage-managed her election as the AIADMK general secretary, and now as the Legislature Party leader.
(a) The issue is not about the relative abilities of Mr. Panneerselvam or Ms. Sasikala.
(b) It is no surprise that there are many who voted for the AIADMK and Jayalalithaa less than a year ago who feel cheated by the turn of events.
(c) Without ever having run for public office, she is at this point no more than a ceremonial step away from becoming the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
(d) For her to stake a claim to head the government at this juncture is ill-advised and inappropriate.
(e) On the two occasions he stood in for Jayalalithaa, after her disqualification in 2001 and her conviction in 2014.

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

(A) Last year, the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the powerful Naga Mothers’ Association (NMA), to allow 33% reservation to women in urban local body elections. The government of chief minister T R Zeliang wanted to conduct municipal polls on February 1, in such reservations. Various tribal organisations immediately swung to action.
(a) To….that….in
(b) For….in…..to
(c) For….with…..into
(d) To….with….into
(e) Statement is correct

(B). The judgement of Special Judge O P Saini hearing the 2G telecom cases that dismissed the charges against former telecom minister Dayanidhi Maran and his brother is noteworthy for reasons other than its refusal even to frame charges against the accused.
(a) Has….is….against
(b) Has….are….for
(c) That….are…against
(d) That…are…for
(e) Statement is correct

Answers

1. (c) 
2(A). (c) 
2(B). (e)
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