Reading Comprehension Practice Questions for English Language

Reading Comprehension Practice Questions for English Language

Passage 1

Source: (https://www.drishtiias.com/mains/model-essays/multinational-corporations-savior-or-saboteur)

In today’s globalised and increasingly interconnected world such companies are only increasing their tribe. Exchange of goods, services, ideas, labour etc. are being encouraged worldwide; specialization is being touted as the need of the hour and increasingly more and more companies are spreading their influence outside their country of origin. While one country may be specialized in manufacturing of certain types of goods using patented technology, others may have abundant supply of qualified human resources or cheap​​ labour​​ along with market for selling the finished goods. Therefore such difference in availability of resources, skills, markets etc., caused not only by geo-political reasons but by historical reasons like imperialism and colonialism, has meant that companies today are increasingly looking to have a global footprint. Most of the major MNCs today are headquartered in the industrial or developed countries. These companies, armed with the latest technology and surplus capital, are mainly looking towards the markets in less developed and developing economies to expand their operations. A number of MNCs are operating all over the world today. In India, MNCs like Standard Chartered, HSBC, Colgate-Palmolive, Castrol etc., to name a few, have been operating for decades now. However such multinational corporations can be both, a boon as well as a bane, especially for the less developed or developing countries and for a number of reasons which we will be discussing. Multinational corporations bring with them capital to invest in developing countries. Such capital can be of utmost use in developing economies where capital is scarce and where​​ tremendous growth opportunities exist. Therefore it becomes a win-win situation for both the MNCs and the developing countries as MNCs can deploy their surplus capital for good returns, whereas, the receiving country can expect a boost to its economic growth. However, quick and mass repatriation of such capital in volatile times can be equally harmful to the economy of the developing country. The East Asian crisis of 1997 caused due to such flight of foreign capital from Thailand, South Korea, and Indonesia etc is a good example. Similarly, usage of tax havens to avoid payment of taxes and ‘transfer pricings’ are also major sources of financial loss caused by MNCs to the developing countries. In recent studies it was also found that majority of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) being received from developed world was only a reinvestment of profits by the MNCs and their investors and not a deployment of fresh capital. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the share of reinvested earnings is reported to have accounted for as much as four-fifths of total outflows in 2014 for select developed countries. UNCTAD also underlined the large amount of losses to the exchequer of developing countries ($100 billion a year) due to the routing of FDI through tax havens.​​ 

Questions

  • Which of the following factors has become the need of the hour in order to grow?

  • Technological advancement

  • Specialization​​ 

  • Both a and b

  • None of the above

Ans. b

Rationale: specialization is being touted as the need of the hour and increasingly more and more companies are spreading their influence outside their country of origin.

  • Due​​ to which of the following reasons multinational corporations prove to be a bane for the receiving country?

  • MNCs send their surplus money back to their country of origin which can be harmful for the developing economies in volatile times

  • MNCs make the developing countries dependable on them and when they leave the country, the developing economies become paralysed

  • MNCs give very less money to the workers to the developing countries in proportion to the work employed and send major surplus back to their countries which hinders the economic growth of the developing economy

  • MNCs bring with them capital to invest in developing countries. Such capital can be of utmost use in developing economies where capital is scarce and where tremendous growth opportunities exist.

Ans. a

Rationale:​​ However such multinational corporations can be both, a boon as well as a bane, especially for the less developed or developing countries and for a number of reasons. A quick and mass repatriation of such capital in volatile times can be equally harmful to the economy of the developing country.

  • Why are the factors responsible for​​ availability of varied resources across the world?

  • Social and cultural

  • Geo political and cultural

  • Demographic and historical

  • Geo political and historical

Ans. d

Rationale:​​ such difference in availability of resources, skills, markets etc., caused not only by geo-political reasons but by historical reasons like imperialism and colonialism, has meant that companies today are increasingly looking to have a global footprint.

  • In which of the following types of economies MNCs are interested in investing?

  • Developed economies as they have more potential to grow

  • Developing economies as it is easy to expand there

  • Both a and b

  • None of the above

Ans. b

Rationale: Most of the major MNCs today are headquartered in the industrial or developed countries. These companies, armed with the latest technology and surplus capital, are mainly looking towards the markets in less developed and developing economies to expand their operations.

  • What do you understand by the term reparation?

  • Investment in the developing country

  • Return of someone to their own country

  • Allowing someone to come into another country

  • Sending someone back to their own country as punishment

Ans. b

  • Rationale: reparation means return of someone to their own country or sending the money back to one’s own country.

Passage 2

Source: (https://www.drishtiias.com/mains/model-essays/the-paths-to-glory-lead-but-to-the-grave)

Of all the truth, death is the most universal, whose realisation is assured beyond any doubt and without any exception. One thing that man has consistently failed at is in achieving physical immortality. No alchemy, sacrifice, yoga and no enlightenment or Nirvana could materialise into an everlasting enduring life. One who has been born, shall die, so shall one who will be born. Entire life, people torment themselves for money, material, love, family, health, glory etc. But all the varieties of trouble a life might encounter, with all its preoccupations, find their submergence in death. Death is an inevitable phenomena associated with life, since the moment worldly existence of life form is realised. Greek hero of Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad - Achilles- was tried to be made immortal by his mother Thetis, herself a sea-nymph. He was dipped into the holy water by her mother to attain immortality. However he was killed at the end of the Trojan War within the city of Troy by an arrow which struck him in the heel. It was discovered that he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by which she held him while dipping into the water, which remained dry. After his death, all his bravery, all the swiftness of his sword and all his insurmountable strength reduced to a phrase of grammar called ‘Achilles heel’.​​ Indeed death is the ultimate truth. There is nothing that can stop one from realization of this truth. Nevertheless, fear associated with death might be optional. The fact is, death seems scary, not because death is scary but because life, many a times, gets scary. The fear of death follows from that of life.​​ One,​​ who is prepared to die anytime, is the one who lives the life fully. It is in such achievement of fearlessness for life that glory sprouts and nurtures itself. The durability of life is often associated with the intensity of glory achieved. Maria Corazon Aquino was a self proclaimed plain housewife till she decided to run for president in Philippines after her husband was assassinated. She was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution and was named Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" the same year. She toppled the 20-year authoritarian rule of President Ferdinand E. Marcos, restored democracy to the Philippines and served as the 11th President. Prior to this, she had not held any other elective office. She would say: “I would rather die a meaningful​​ death than to live a meaningless life.” Sacrosanct and inviolable as she might appear, but she died of colon cancer in the year of 2009. Death doesn't demand a submission of being, but it ensures the same. Before being social, man was only an animal. Concept of society, tamed him for the sustainable needs of inter-dependence. Path to glory resonates with such balance of needs and sustenance. Still, a beast always resides within. This beast stares and sharpens its claws, and attacks vigorously when drunk with power and pride followed by imbalance of conscience. Glory is not an unproblematic select to deal with ease. Oriana Fallaci - an Italian author, journalist and an ardent interviewer - having keenly observed her political interviewees, said: “Glory is a heavy burden, a murdering poison. To bear it is an art, and to have that art is rare.”​​ 

Questions

  • What became the reason of death of Greek hero of Trojan War?

  • The hero was made immortal by his mother so it was not possible for him to die

  • He became vulnerable at the part of the body by which his mother held him while dipping into the immortal sea water

  • The overconfidence of the Hero that no one can kill him caused his death as he missed his vulnerable spot

  • The hero died in the sea waters when he was dipped into it with a desire to get immortal

Ans. b

Rationale: However he was killed at the end of the Trojan War within the city of Troy by an arrow which struck him in the heel. It was discovered that he was left vulnerable at the part of the body by which she held him while dipping into the water, which remained dry.

  • Who was named Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" in the year 1986?

  • Thetis Trojan

  • Ferdinand E. Marcos

  • Maria Corazon Aquino

  • Oriana Fallaci

Ans. c

Rationale: Maria Corazon Aquino was a self proclaimed plain housewife till she decided to run for president in Philippines after her husband was assassinated. She was the most prominent figure of the 1986 People Power Revolution and was named Time magazine's "Woman of the Year" the same year.

  • Who tried to make Greek hero of Trojan War immortal?

  • Sea turtle

  • Greek Goddess

  • Sea-nymph

  • All the above

Ans. c

Rationale: Greek hero of Trojan War, the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad - Achilles- was tried to be made immortal by his mother Thetis, herself a sea-nymph. He was dipped into the holy water by her mother to attain immortality.

  • Who is considered to live life fully?

  • One who is always happy and smiling

  • One who realises life is mortal

  • One who submits his life to God

  • One who is prepared to die anytime

Ans. d

Rationale: The fear of death follows from that of life. One, who is prepared to die anytime, is the one who lives the life fully.

  • What do you understand by the idiom Achilles heel?

  • Weakness in spite of overall strength

  • The strongest person

  • The one who is immortal

  • The maximum strength which cannot be defeated by any other power

Ans. a

Rationale: ‘Achilles heel’ which means a weakness or vulnerable point in spite of overall strength which can lead to downfall.

 

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