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Reading Comprehension Practice Set From The Hindu: Part 1

Published on Monday, April 03, 2017
Elections were in the air of the world’s youngest democracy when I arrived in Thimphu. This was for a by-election in the capital city, that dominated the conversation at dinners, even in Thimphu’s most fun night-spot Mojo Park (the best music in town). Bhutan has taken to democracy with ease ever since 2008 when the first proper elections were held, a process India has helped out with, sending officials from the Election Commission travelling to check arrangements, explain electronic voting machine (EVM) technology and procedures. However, there are many things uniquely Bhutanese:
Monks and nuns in this deeply religious Buddhist majority are not allowed to vote, so as to avoid mixing religion and politics. All voters must wear their national dress on polling day, but no one—candidate, campaigner or voter—is allowed to wear the kabney silk and gyentag (scarf of honour, for men and women respectively, bestowed only by the King), patang (ceremonial sword), or any other sign of rank or royal patronage to avoid a misuse of influence. And, in deference to the environment, no posters can be put up on any public property, including trees, and are mostly restricted to a community billboard for all. Maybe a thing or two the world’s largest democracy could learn from the youngest?

Royal textiles
If you’re in Thimphu, put the Textile Museum on your must-do list. The museum, run by the Royal Textile Academy is the project of Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, one of the Queen Mothers of Bhutan (the former King had four Queens, all sisters). The museum is dedicated to preserving the oldest and rarest woven fabrics worn in Bhutan and used in their religious scrolls and Thangkhas. As you walk in, it is the ‘Thongdrel’ or massive silk work of the Zhabdrung Phuensum Tshogpa (in honour of a sacred meal served to Bhutan’s political and spiritual founder in 1637) that greets you. The thongdrel stands 34 feet tall, running 23 feet across and is set against a glass window that runs three stories high.
Another on your must-see list is the relatively new Tara Lakhang and Pangrizampa monastery on the outskirts of Thimphu. This is Bhutan’s only monastery dedicated to 21 Taras, the female Bodhisattva and it is a powerful display of ancient feminism. Compared to the rest of the subcontinent, women have a status more equal to men in Bhutan. There isn’t the obvious preference for the male child, girls and boys go to school in equal numbers.

Not so equal
While polygamy is practiced in some parts, so is polyandry, and divorce settlements are equal and even-handed. Even so, Bhutanese women lag behind in one place that it counts: parliament. In the last National Assembly elections, 3/4ths of the 47 seats had only male candidates (nine had females), and four women were elected as MPs. “Misogyny plays only one part of it,” explains the only leader of a party (DCT) Lily Wangchuk, who runs a hotel in downtown Thimphu. “Women just don’t vote for women, and the lack of women role models in modern Bhutan becomes a vicious cycle.”
While Bhutan’s government and people tell you they are devoted to preserving the country and its beauty, it is plain to see Bhutan is changing everyday in little ways. Less youngsters adhere to the traditionaland once mandatory national dress (Goh and Kira), more and more buildings now get permission to rise above the originally regulated two stories, and glass and granite is seen more in Thimphu where once only wood and paint were allowed. Some modernities are welcome, and the abundance of hydropower electricity means many Bhutanese (including the very dashing U.S.-educated Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay) drive hybrid cars. The countryside is still pristine, and not covered with the plastic waste ubiquitous in India, even as Bhutan explores more ‘non-wood’ uses for its 70% forest cover that is also mandated in the constitution.
There is, however, one place that doesn’t change, and it is always my first stop when I land in Paro: the Kyichu Lhakhang. This is one of Bhutan’s oldest and simplest monasteries, believed to be constructed in 659 CE, by Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo and has a link to the Jokhang temple in Lhasa.
All year round, one is welcomed into Kyichu with a spectacular and miraculous orange tree laden with fruit. It is here that you know the truth of Bhutan Tourism’s catchy slogan, ‘Happiness is a place.’
( Source: The Hindu; APRIL 01, 2017 )

(1). Which of the following statements is/are correct regarding the 2008 Elections of Bhutan?
I. India helped Bhutan in elections by sending officials from Election Commission of India.
II. Monks and nuns were not allowed to vote.
III. Wearing National Dress on Election day was compulsory.
(a) All are Correct
(b) II and III only
(c) I and III only
(d) I and II only

(2). Who is 'Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck' as mentioned in the passage?
(a) The elected Prime Minister of Bhutan
(b) The elected President of Bhutan
(c) Queen Mother of Bhutan
(d) None is Correct

(3). Consider the following statements regarding the 'Mojo Park' as mentioned in the passage.
I. It is situated in the Northeast India.
II. It is famous for its Music Shows.
III. It is situated in the City of Thimphu.
(a) All are Correct
(b) II and III only
(c) I and III only
(d) I and II only

(4). Which of the following statements is correct as given in the Passage?
(a) Polyandry is not practiced in Bhutan.
(b) Polygamy is practiced in Bhutan.
(c) There is not a single Female Member in Bhutan's Parliament.
(d) None is Correct

(5). Why was candidate, campaigner or voter not allowed to wear any sign of rank or royal patronage in the 2008 Elections of the country?
(a) Due to some kind of superstition.
(b) To neglect the misuse of influence of wealthy and famous people.
(c) Both are Correct
(d) None is Correct

(6). Consider the following statements regarding the 'Kyichu Lhakhang' as given in the passage:
I. He was the first Prime Minister of Bhutan.
II. It is one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries.
III. It was built in 7th Century.
(a) I and II only
(b) All are Correct
(c) I and III only
(d) II and III only

(7). Choose the word which is Most Similar to the word printed in bold in the passage.
(a) Document
(b) Aimless
(c) Rolling
(d) None is Correct

(8). Choose the word which is Most Similar to the word printed in bold in the passage.
(a) Downtown
(b) Away
(c) Center
(d) Periphery

(9) Choose the word which is Most Opposite to the word printed in bold in the passage.
(a) Empty
(b) Full
(c) Charged
(d) Encumbered

(10).Choose the word which is Most Opposite to the word printed in bold in the passage.
(a) Woman-hater
(b) Sexist
(c) Feminist
(d) None is Correct
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