The Comprehension practice is important to score well in CLAT and other law entrance examinations. Two passages to practice reading comprehensions are given below.

Passage 1

The daunting scale of the second coronavirus wave becomes clearer by the day. Figures published on Friday by the Office for National Statistics showed more than 50,000 new infections a day in the week to 23 October, up from 35,000 a day a week earlier. The numbers are surging in almost every part of the country and every age group, with secondary school children showing a particularly steep growth curve. Figures for the week now ending seem certain to be higher still. As a result, tougher restrictions are being introduced across many areas of Britain, with more to come. Pressure for a fuller lockdown, like the ones announced in many of our neighbouring European countries this week, is growing.

This is, therefore, a very strange time for the UK government’s job retention scheme, better known as the furlough programme, to be closing down. Yet Saturday is the final day of the scheme that the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, introduced at the start of the March lockdown.

The furlough was a lifeline. It paid, at the start, 80% of the wages, up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month, of employees whose firms and workplaces had been closed because of the lockdown. Later this proportion was cut to 60% as the economy began to reopen. Without the furlough, thousands of businesses would have failed and millions of jobs would have been lost. It was expensive; the scheme cost the treasury around £40bn. But it was urgently needed and it was widely effective. At its peak in early June, nearly 9 million people, almost a third of the UK workforce, were in the furlough.

There are three underlying — (1) — why this is economically unsustainable. First, while some of the most affected businesses may manage to struggle on, many will not be able to service the borrowing they have taken on since March, especially in parts of Britain covered by the toughest lockdown measures. Second, up to a million of the workers still in the furlough scheme are in jobs in sectors such as manufacturing, construction and high street retail, which may be unviable in the long term anyway. Third, a deepening recession, an unemployment rate that is already running at 4.5%, and a sharp fall in vacancies are making the winter outlook for jobs bleaker still.

Source

Questions
  1. The literal meaning of the word ‘furlough’ is
  • Leave of absence
  • Job offering
  • The act of joining
  • None of the above
  1. Furlough is not economically viable because:
  • It is too much pressure on the treasury of the country
  • Many of the business will not be able to service the borrowing.
  • The market is opening again
  • All of the above
  1. The best-suited word for (1) is
  • Reasons
  • Consequences
  • Effect
  • Either (b) or (c)
  1. Which of the following fact has not been established by the passage?
  • The Furlough was widely effective at the time of lockdown.
  • In the initial lockdown period, the maximum furlough amount paid to a person was 2500 pounds per year.
  • Job retention scheme is known as Furlough scheme
  • None of the above
  1. The Country being talked about in the passage above is
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Scotland
  • Both (a) and (b)

Passage 2

Labour has been braced for months for the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s report on antisemitism during Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. The release of the report on Thursday was generally expected to mark what Keir Starmer duly called it, a “day of shame” for the party, in which Labour took its punishment, confessed its sins and apologised. Few expected events to take the dramatic course they then did, with Mr Corbyn’s unwillingness to apologise and his subsequent suspension from the party he recently led threatening to eclipse the larger issue.

The report’s findings are nevertheless clear and stark. Labour, it says, was responsible for unlawful and antisemitic acts of harassment and discrimination. There were multiple failures in the party’s system for handling antisemitism complaints, including inconsistent approaches, poor training and lack of transparency. There was also, more broadly, a Labour culture that “at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it”. The report concludes that antisemitism within Labour could have been tackled more effectively if the party leadership had chosen to do so.

These are — (1) — findings, not just against Mr Corbyn but against any party, especially one that prides itself on its commitment to equality and which set up the very commission that conducted the investigation. Mr Starmer takes this view. He is understandably determined to draw a line. He has already authorised private settlements in the civil cases brought by former party members and staff. On Thursday he announced that the party would plead guilty to the report on all counts. Labour accepted the findings in full and said it would implement all its recommendations. There will be an action plan, a new independent complaints process and zero tolerance of antisemitism.

Source

Questions
  1. Antisemitism refers to
  • Prejudice or discrimination against Jews
  • Prejudice or discrimination against Muslims
  • Racial Discrimination
  • Gender discrimination
  1. The best-suited word for (1) is:
  • encouraging
  • devastating
  • motivating
  • happening
  1. The reasons for anti-Semitic acts of harassment and discrimination are
  • Failure in handling complaints of antisemitism
  • Poor training
  • Inconsistent approaches
  • All of the above
  1. The plan to curb antisemitism does not include:
  • Independent Complaint Process
  • Zero tolerance of antisemitism
  • Both (a) and (b)
  • None of the above

Answers

Passage 1

  1. (a)
  2. (b)
  3. (a)
  4. (d)
  5. (b)

Passage 2

  1. (a)
  2. (b)
  3. (d)
  4. (d)
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