Passage – 1
Since the worldwide inoculation process is going strong, vaccine diplomacy has become a hot topic. In their quest for ensuring
vaccine security, a report by The New York Times, based on the data on vaccine contracts compiled by Duke University,
shows that the advance purchase contracts made by some advanced countries for potential vaccines would vaccinate their
population many times: the European Union, two times, the United States and the United Kingdom, four times, and Canada,
six times. The expectation that an early vaccination will bring back normalcy and a required push to economic growth fuelled
many advanced countries to engage in vaccine battles. The arguments of public good and global cooperation have gone out of
the window now. While advanced countries have turned their back on the need of poor countries to access COVID-19 vaccines,
India has displayed empathy to their needs. India has taken a position that a significant percentage of the approved doses will
be permitted for exports. While its exports to neighbouring countries will be under grant mode, initial shipment of vaccines to
least developed countries will be free of cost. And, shipments of vaccines from India have already started reaching different
parts of the developing world. While India is in its first phase of vaccination to cover health-care workers, exports from India are
helping other countries also in initiating phase one of their vaccination programme, a gesture well appreciated globally. In a
democracy, one can expect the backlash of sending vaccines abroad without vaccinating its population. Nevertheless, India’s
approach only reinforces the need of having coordinated global efforts in bringing COVID-19 under control. This response
manifests India’s unstinted commitment to global development and has consolidated its name as the world’s pharmacy. The
attitude of India towards vaccinating the populations in the poorer countries has generated discussion in the richer countries
about the necessity for more proactive measures to roll out vaccines to the developing nations.
Refer to the sentence, "While advanced countries have turned
their back ...." Therefore, the author advocates global cooperation.
So, option (B) is correct.
"Inoculation process" refers to "immunisation process." Therefore,
option (D) is correct.
Refer to the sentence, "The expectation that an early vaccination
will bring back normalcy and a required push ...." Therefore, (A) is
Refer to the sentence, "In a democracy, one can expect the backlash
of sending ...." Therefore, option (D) is correct.
All the three quoted sentences prove that the developed nations
are not at all concerned about the poor countries. Therefore, the
given SDG is debunked by all the 3 sentences. So, option (D) is
Passage – 2
Read an extract from A Scandal in Bohemia by Arthur Conan Doyle:
“I rang the door-bell and was shown up to the chamber which had formerly been in part my own.”
With hardly a word spoken, Sherlock Holmes waved me to an armchair. Then he stood before the fire and looked me
over in his singular introspective fashion.
“Watson, you did not tell me that you intended to go into harness. ”
“Then, how do you know?”
“I see it, I deduce it. How do I know that you have been getting yourself very wet lately, and that you have a most
clumsy and careless servant girl?”
“My dear Holmes,” said I, “this is too much. It is true that I had a country walk on Thursday and came home in a
dreadful mess, but as I have changed my clothes, I can’t imagine how you deduce it. As to Mary Jane, she is
incorrigible, but there, again, I fail to see how you work it out. ”
‘It is simplicity itself,” said he; “my eyes tell me that on the inside of your left shoe, just where the firelight strikes it,
the leather is scored by six almost parallel cuts. Obviously, they have been caused by someone who has very
carelessly scared round the edges of the sole in order to remove crusted mud from it. Hence, you see, my double
deduction that you had been out in vile weather, and that you had a particularly malignant boot- slitting specimen of the
In fiction, detectives like Holmes are usually portrayed as people with exceptionally brilliant minds. They possess the rare skill
to see and analyze what ordinary people can’t. They have incredible abilities to infer, deduce, induce and conclude.
Then, there is G.K. Chesterton’s fictional catholic priest, Father Brown who relies on his extraordinary power of sympathy and
empathy that enable him to imagine and feel as criminals do. He explains, “I had thought out exactly how a thing like that could
be done, and in what style or state of mind a man could really do it. And when I was quite sure that I felt exactly like the
murderer myself, of course I knew who he was.”
Sherlock finds the criminal by starting from the outside. He relies on science, experimental methods and deduction. On the
contrary, Father Brown uses varied psychological experiences learned from those who make confessions of crime to him. He
relies on introspection, intuition and empathy.
There is yet another set of detectives like those created by writers like Agatha Christie. Her Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot
is a story-teller who draws information from the stories that others tell. He patiently listens to numerous accounts of what
happened, where it happened and how it happened. He listens for credibility and ambiguity; he identifies why and how the
pieces of the jig-saws don’t fit together. Ultimately, he uncovers the truth.
Refer to the very first sentence of the passage that proves option
(B) as the correct answer.
Refer to the sentence, "Then there is GK Chesterton's fictional
Catholic priest, Father Brown ...."
Apart from option (A), all the other three options are mentioned in
the passage. Refer to the 1st, 2nd and 4th paragraphs for the
Refer to the second last sentence of the passage for the answer.
Therefore, option (D) is correct.
Incorrigible refers to a person who cannot be reformed or changed.
Therefore, 'repentant' is the antonym.
Passage – 3
In the domain of education, the current pandemic has made three things clear. It has proved beyond any doubt that we need
schools. Irrespective of which country one talks about, students and parents want schools to open and function in full glory,
with appropriate precautions. Secondly, it has shown that technology may prove to be useful in education if it is employed
thoughtfully. Random surfing of the Internet may lead to a collection of pieces of information that do not add up to any meaning.
As Noam Chomsky says, “You cannot pursue any kind of inquiry without a relatively clear framework that is directing your
search and helping you choose what is significant and what is not.” Moreover, there cannot be any hegemonic technomanagerial
solutions to the linguistic and cultural heterogeneity of students; technology must help us to respect individual,
peer group and community needs and aspirations. Thirdly, a convergence of the efforts of the public, civil society and private
enterprise will have to take place if we wish technology to meaningfully mediate between school and home, particularly among
The concept, structure and functioning of a school/college should not be trivialised in any way. This institution has survived
since ancient times in spite of proposals for “de-schooling” of various kinds. It is true that schools to a great extent perpetuate
the status quo and, as Ivan Illich observed, encourage “consumerism” and “obedience to authority”; but it is also true that those
who produced some of the most revolutionary moments in history, including quantum jumps in knowledge, also went to school.
The kind of web of learners Illich imagines may in fact have its roots in schools. There are also people who trivialise schools for
the kind of investments they demand in terms of space, buildings, teachers, libraries and labs and other infrastructure.
One thing you never forget is the school you went to, friends you made there and the kind of teachers who taught you; the kind
of teachers you loved, the kind you mocked at with friends. You recollect nostalgically the sports and other co-curricular
activities you took part in. Some of you may still have preserved your school blazer, trophies and photographs with a sense of
joy. It is important to see school holistically; it is not a set of atomic items of rooms, library, assembly halls, canteen and
playgrounds; it is all of these but in symbiotic relationship with each other, the contours of which are often far too obvious and
often simply mysterious.
The author quotes Chomsky to show that technology may prove to
be useful in education if employed thoughtfully.
Option (D) is not an argument presented by the author in favour of
the need for schools and colleges. Therefore, (D) is the answer.
"Heterogeneity" refers to "diversity". Therefore, (C) is the answer.
The author observes that technology may prove to be useful in
education. It may not be absolutely useful in education. Therefore,
option (B) is correct.
"Symbiotic" means mutually beneficial. Therefore, option (C) is
Passage – 4
Since long, we have witnessed unimaginable levels of success and failure of various projects, businesses, scientific missions
and even wars. From such triumphs and defeats emerges the much debatable thought: Is planning and strategy more important
Some project leaders and their teams are of the view that planning leads to clarity of objectives; it helps to set the timeline and
the budget. Consequently, when the planning is haphazard and unstructured, the very aims of the projects become hazy. This
further leads to unprecedented budget collapses and poor time-management. In some cases, teams have worked relentlessly
to complete assignments, but poor planning has invariably led to customer dissatisfaction and at times a complete collapse of
the entire project. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Numerous entrepreneurs have the faith that strategies help to enhance not only speed and quality of production, but also
consumer satisfaction. If there are no strategies to tackle unplanned events or unexpected interruptions, there is a possibility
of entire projects coming to a grinding halt.
Some of the world’s best airports, bridges and astronomical missions are the result of careful planning and excellent strategies.
However, there are some architects, artists and entrepreneurs who prefer to dive straight from the board of ideas into the pool
of execution. They believe that suitable strategies are best shaped during the process of execution; great plans and strategies
can fail while encountering unexpected situations.
Steve Jobs says, “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”
According to Bill Gates, unhappy customers are the greatest source of learning. Fickle- minded consumers and wavering
market trends can mar projects that stand on fixed plans. It is the need-based, flexible and innovative strategies that help to
withstand the impact of these vacillating desires and trends.
After rigorous planning and testing a new recipe on two lakh consumers, in 1985, the company Coke brought out the New
Coke. Much to the company’s dismay, the product did not take off as expected and the financial loss was enormous. The
company realized that during the process of data collection, it had not considered the product-loyalty and old-fashioned habits
of the consumers.
Hence, a balance of pragmatic planning, effective strategies and efficient execution is likely to ensure the accomplishment of
tasks at each stage of a project. Successful execution is not an easy journey. The road is winding and bumpy. It may require
tweaking or at times abandoning the original plan and re-designing it.
Often, we turn to nature for inspiration. Think plans and strategies are the seed; execution is the nourishment; consumer is the
The passage looks at the subject objectively weighing both its pros
and cons. Therefore, it can be best termed as expository. The
passage does not describe a thing, a place or a process. So,
option B is incorrect. The passage does not either provide
philosophical discussion on a subject. So, option C is incorrect.
The passage is not given in the form of storytelling. So, it is not
The first four paragraphs of the passage talk about the importance
of planning and strategy and the fifth paragraph starts talking
about the importance of execution. Also refer to "Hence, a balance
of pragmatic planning, effective strategies and efficient execution
is likely to ensure the accomplishment of tasks at each stage of a
project." Option A talks only about strategies. Option C talks only
about planning and strategies and option D focuses only on
execution. Hence, option B is the answer.
Option A is incorrect because it is said in the passage that after
rigorous planning and testing a new recipe on two lakh consumers,
in 1985, the company Coke brought out the New Coke and much to
the company's dismay, the product did not take off as expected
and the financial loss wasenormous. Option B is false. 'Too
frequently' is extreme in option C. Option D is correct because of
the same reason why option A is incorrect.
Refer to "In the words of Benjamin Franklin, "Failing to plan is
planning to fail." and "Steve Jobs says, "To me, ideas are worth
nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is
worth millions."" Other options are incorrect.
The formation of a word by imitation of the sound the word refers
to is called onomatopoeia. Simile is a figure of speech that compares
two literally different things using 'like' or 'as'. Metaphor is an implied
simile in which 'like', 'so' and 'as' are not used. Anaphora is a figure
of speech in which a word or a phrase is repeated in successive
phrase, clause or sentences.
Passage – 5
A new report forecasting that India can create millions more jobs over the coming years in the gig economy underscores a
fundamental shift in the nature of work. While automation swept through factory floors and BPOs reduced manpower requirements,
e-commerce, ride hailing and food delivery apps, streaming media and fintech have created lakhs of temporary jobs in the
services sector. Although the jury is still out on the quality of life accorded by such gigs and the social security benefits they
accord, recall that informalisation of jobs started much earlier. The report by Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan
Dell Foundation predicts 90 million flexi and gig jobs in a decade from 8 million now, contributing transactions valued at more
than $250 billion and an additional 1.25% to India’s GDP. Obviously, technological evolutions are hard to predict. A decade ago,
few, if any, had divined these new jobs. Accepting change as the sole constant, it is equally critical to create the socioeconomic
framework that can support such jobs.
Expecting startups fuelled by venture capital and presently unprofitable to treat gig workers as regular employees isn’t practical.
Such moves could impede innovation and investment. But if central and state governments could deliver in areas like public
health, education, insurance and food security, anxieties generated by unsteady, irregular unemployment can be managed
better. Last year’s nationwide lockdown when the suddenly unemployed migrant workers panicked and bolted, untrusting the
promises of governments to care for them, served out this lesson in poignant detail. The gig economy does promise flexibility
and improved choices for many women and part time workers. Every technological revolution till date has effaced some jobs
and created plentiful others. There is room for optimism in the rapidly emerging tech-mediated world, but only upon strengthening
the support of educational and health infrastructure.
Option A can be found in "The report by Boston Consulting Group
and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation predicts 90 million flexi and
gig jobs in a decade from 8 million now…" Option B is out of scope.
Option is incorrect because only India's GDP is mentioned in the
Option B can be inferred from "Expecting startups fuelled by venture
capital and presently unprofitable to treat gig workers as regular
employees isn't practical. Such moves could impede innovation
and investment." Other options cannot be inferred from the passage.
The description of gig economy is found in "e-commerce, ride
hailing and food delivery apps, streaming media and fintech have
created lakhs of temporary jobs in the services sector." Also refer
to "…informalisation of jobs started much earlier."
The tone of the given passage is sanguine as the passage is
positive and optimistic. Refer to "There is room for optimism in the
rapidly emerging tech-mediated world…" Hence, option D is the
answer. Option A is incorrect because the passage is not sceptical,
pessimistic or negative. Option B is incorrect because the passage
is not censorious. Option C is also incorrect because the passage
is not contemptuous or derisive.
Option C is the answer because it is said in the given passage that
the jury is still out on the quality of life accorded by such gigs and
the social security benefits they accord. Other options are incorrect.
Passage – 6
Following the transition to democracy, with the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president in 1994, South Africa was faced
with the task of dealing with its past, as well as undertaking some action to deal with structural social injustice. The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC), heralded as the most ambitious and organised attempt to deal with crimes of a past regime
through a concept of truth, came into force on 19th July 1995 in South Africa. Emerging as a political strategy to acknowledge
past suffering whilst promoting a future based on the concerns of social justice, the rule of law and reconciliation, the Commission
has struggled to fulfil its objectives. Although the TRC incorporated these broader concerns into the mandate of its three subcommittees,
they were disregarded in practice. These sub-committees, which reflected concerns for ‘human rights violations’,
‘amnesty’ and ‘reparation and rehabilitation’, were not ‘coupled with some form of social transformation’. The public transition
from apartheid, established through a negotiated settlement rather than a revolutionary process, framed the Commission’s
powers. Shaped by the historical context of this particular transition, the TRC was careful not to ‘rock the structural boat’.
Rather than pursuing truth and justice, as an integrated feature of social transformation, the Commissioners and, to a greater
extent, the government of South Africa, maintained an agenda that avoided a challenge to the status quo. A focus on restorative
justice was taken by the Commission with an emphasis placed on mechanisms to restore victims and survivors, through
reparations policy, state- led acknowledgement of suffering, and a condemnation, together with the transformation, of the
system that implemented such widespread forms of abuse. The priority of changing the apartheid conditions of gross inequality
and oppression provided a backdrop to the approval of the TRC by those who had suffered. More difficult to accept was the
provision of amnesty to those who had undertaken violations of human rights. The process placed amnesty of violations as a
carrot to perpetrators in exchange for a full story, with the stick of prosecutions for those who did not come forward.
'The status quo' as used in the given passage means 'already
existing conditions'. Refer to "Rather than pursuing truth and justice,
as an integrated feature of social transformation, the Commissioners
and, to a greater extent, the government of South Africa, maintained
an agenda that avoided a challenge to the status quo." Other options
Option D is the answer. The tone of the author is critical because
he has found faults with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(TRC). Refer to "… the Commission has struggled to fulfil its
objectives…" and "Although the TRC incorporated these broader
concerns into the mandate of its three sub-committees, they were
disregarded in practice."
Options A, B and D are mentioned in the passage as broad concerns
of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) as they are
mentioned in the passage, however, option C is not talked about in
it. Hence, option C is the answer. Refer to "The Truth and
Reconciliation Commission (TRC), heralded as the most ambitious
and organised attempt to deal with crimes of a past regime…" and
"Emerging as a political strategy to acknowledge past suffering
whilst promoting a future based on the concerns of social justice…"
Options A, B and D can be inferred from the given passage. Refer
to "Although the TRC incorporated these broader concerns into the
mandate of its three sub-committees, they were disregarded in
practice…", "These sub-committees, which reflected concerns
for 'human rights violations', 'amnesty' and 'reparation and
rehabilitation', were not 'coupled with some form of social
transformation', and "the TRC was careful not to 'rock the structural
boat'. Rather than pursuing truth and justice, as an integrated feature
of social transformation, the Commissioners and, to a greater
extent, the government of South Africa, maintained an agenda that
avoided a challenge to the status quo." Option C cannot be inferred
from the passage.
Amnesty as used in the given passage means official pardon.
Hence, option D is the answer. Other options are incorrect.