English Practice Set From The Hindu: Part 4

Reading Comprehension

The Vodafone Group’s decision to merge its India unit with the Aditya Birla Group-controlled Idea Cellular is a classic case of two companies recognising truth in the adage that ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Of the two mobile operators, Idea functioned in its early years as a three-way joint venture involving the Tata Group, U.S. telecommunications behemoth AT&T, and the Aditya Birla Group. The proposed deal represents a welcome chance to resurrect its flagging fortunes. The last three-quarters proved a brutal testament to the
fortunes. The last three-quarters proved a brutal testament to the ravages that heightened competition could wreak on a middle-of-the-pack firm’s operational finances. In Vodafone’s case, the planned merger offers the global telecom major an opportunity to downsize its engagement with a market in which promise has outweighed performance, without actually exiting it. To that extent, it is a win-win for both parties. Set to vault the combined entity to the top of the heap in India’s 1.13-billion subscribers strong mobile phone services market, the ‘merger of equals’, as the two companies described it, will enable Vodafone to straight away net about ₹3,900 crore on consummation of the deal by selling a 4.9% stake to the Aditya Birla Group, leaving its holding in the new company at 45.1%. Idea’s controlling shareholders will have an opportunity to increase the 26% stake they will have at the start of the relationship by acquiring more shares from Vodafone over the next four years. The two firms expect to see substantial cost savings as the projected synergies from capital and operational expenditure help focus on meeting the challenges of a fast-evolving market amid a tariff war with the current leader Bharti Airtel and the ambitious recent entrant Reliance Jio.
Nevertheless, the merger, however grand the scale, could well end up being less than adequate to help staunch the flow of red ink amid an industrywide slide in average revenue per user and the steadily escalating cost of bidding for fresh wireless spectrum. With mobile number portability having made it easier for customers to switch networks on account of service quality levels or pricing, Vodafone and Idea have their work cut out in the lead-up to the merger, which they expect to close in 2018. For Vodafone, the prospect of having to meet a huge bill of about ₹21,000 crore, were it to lose its arbitral challenge to a tax claim dating back to the transaction that paved its entry to the Indian market, must surely have been a significant consideration in tipping its hand. As the company’s Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee wrote in the 2016 annual report: “While India represents an excellent long-term investment opportunity, the present regulatory challenges are hampering economic development… and this is exacerbated by other ongoing regulatory and fiscal burdens.” Time alone can tell whether this will end up as a truly successful marriage.
(Source: The Hindu)

1. How a merger is a win-win situation for both the parties?
A. The merger will enable Vodafone to straight away net about Rs. 3,900 crore on consummation of the deal by selling a 4.9% stake to the Aditya Birla Group, leaving its holding in the new company at 45.1%Maoists use explosive devices to attack.
B. Idea’s controlling shareholders will have an opportunity to increase the 26% stake they will have at the start of the relationship by acquiring more shares from Vodafone over the next four years.
C. Both the companies would be able to reduce their expenditure.
D. Not mentioned in the passage
E. All of the above


2. What are the views of the company’s Chairman Gerard Kleisterlee about investment in Indian market?
A. India represents an excellent long-term investment opportunity.
B. Fiscal burdens worsen the economic development of the company.
C. Both A and B
D. Not clearly mentioned in the passage.
E. None of these 


3. Which of the following is TRUE in the context of the passage?
I. Idea in its early years functioned as a three-way joint venture involving the Tata Group, AT&T, and the Aditya Birla Group.
II. The merger could help both the companies to focus on the challenges posed by Reliance Jio.
III. Bharti Airtel is a current leader in managing tarriff.

A. Only I
B. Only II
C. Only III
D. Only I and II
E. Only II and III 


4. Which of the following statement is NOT TRUE in the context of the passage?
I. Merger could raise the bidding cost for wireless spectrum.
II. With the help of mobile number portability, customers are switching to the Reliance Jio.
III. The merger is fruitful for both the companies.

A. Only i
B. Only II
C. Only iii
D. Only i and ii
E. Only i and iii 


5. Choose the word most OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
Exacerbate
A. Aggravate
B. Damage
C. Worsen
D. Ameliorate
E. Reduce 


6. Choose the word most OPPOSITE in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
Ravage
A. Destruction 
B. Recover
C. Demolish
D. Ruin
E. Flaw 


7. Choose the word most SIMILAR in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
Escalate 
A. Surge 
B. Down-size
C. Plummet
D. Decrease
E. Develop 


8. Choose the word most SIMILAR in meaning to the given word, as used in the passage.
Resurrect
A. Reduce 
B. Deadly
C. Threat
D. Revive
E. None of these 


Cloze Test

The pursuit of wellness leads to an increase in human happiness, especially for those who provide it. Deepak Chopra is worth over $80 million. Baba Ramdev will soon be bigger than Procter & Gamble. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s attempts to (1)………yogic flying never rose beyond six to nine inches above the mattresses on which his yogis bounced, optimistically, in the lotus position, but the value of his real estate holdings has (2)………. .This is commendable. The first thing purveyors of wellness (3)……… to do is achieve wellness themselves, because otherwise, how will they help other people? Currently, those at the top of this profession (4)……… a deep and abiding sense of well-being.
What about the rest of us? Our search for wellness begins (5) ……… birth, when we realise that amniotic fluid is no longer available, and we will have to find things to eat. In India, many of us are still doing this. On the other hand, many others have achieved this goal, which is why close to 5% of our population can be classified as (6)……… obese. According to the National Family Health Survey, Delhi has taken the lead in this matter, with 49% of the women and 45% of the men (7)……… in this category. This has placed a lot of pressure on the transport system, leading to breakdowns of buses and overcrowding in the metro. Flights leaving from Indira Gandhi International Airport may soon be unable to take off. The runner-up is Punjab, where 37.5% of the men and 30% of the women are obese. This once-proud state is being brought to its knees by a (8)……… of drugs and butter chicken. Kerala, Goa and Tamil Nadu round out the top five.
(Source: The Hindu)

Fill in the blank 1.
A. promote
B. revive
C. gain
D. advertise 


Fill in the blank 2.
A. risen
B. skyrocketed
C. grown
D. dipped 


Fill in the blank 3.
A. has
B. need
C. have
D. needs 


Fill in the blank 4.
A. experience
B. feel
C. witness
D. realise 


Fill in the blank 5.
A. at
B. on
C. with
D. in 


Fill in the blank 6.
A. extremely
B. purely
C. exactly
D. morbidly 


Fill in the blank 7.
A. coming
B. falling
C. are
D. fall 


Fill in the blank 8.
A. mixture
B. consumption
C. combination
D. intake 

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