Passage 1

A sessions court in Delhi has affirmed the belief that a dispassionate scrutiny of outlandish claims by the police is necessary for protecting the liberty of those jailed on flimsy, often political, reasons. Rejecting the purported evidence presented by the Delhi Police against climate change activist Disha Ravi, as “scanty and sketchy”, Judge Dharmender Rana has granted bail to the 22-year-old arrested for nothing more than editing a document shared among a network of activists raising global support for the farmers’ protests against three central laws. Even though it was quite obvious that the claim of a global conspiracy behind the unsavoury and violent incidents that took place on January 26 in New Delhi lacked credence, the order of bail is still notable for subjecting the specific charges to strict judicial scrutiny at a fairly early stage. In particular, the judge has applied the established test for a charge of sedition under Section 124A of the IPC to pass muster: that the act involved must constitute a threat to public order and incitement to violence. He found that there was not even an iota of evidence indicating that the ‘toolkit’, a shared Google cloud document with ideas on how to go about amplifying the protests, in any way incited violence. He was clear that there was no causal link between the violence and Ms. Ravi, a conclusion that confirmed widespread criticism that the arrest was unnecessary, and that the entire case was nothing more than a reflection of government paranoia.

 

The episode highlights a trend that has caused concern in recent times: the tendency of the rulers to treat instances of dissent, especially involving strident criticism of policies and laws in which particular regimes are deeply invested, as attempts to provoke disaffection and disloyalty. Hence, it is significant that the judge not only saw Ms. Ravi’s activism as related to her freedom of speech and expression, but went on to say that an attempt to reach a global audience is part of that freedom. In the backdrop of the claim that those who prepared the toolkit made common cause with Khalistani separatists, Judge Rana showed refreshing clarity in maintaining that mere interaction with a group with dubious credentials could not be used to consider someone culpable. It should also be underscored that such bail orders should not be rare or special, but be routine judicial responses to cases in which there is a mismatch between the accusation and the evidence. It is by now fairly clear to everyone except, perhaps, the government and its vociferous supporters, that there is no place in a modern democracy for a colonial-era legal provision such as sedition. Too broadly defined, __(1)__ to misuse, and functioning as a handy tool to repress activism, the section deserves to be scrapped.

Source
1. The meaning of the word ‘outlandish’ used in the passage is:

  • Very strange or unusual
  • Very conventional
  • Very common
  • None of these
  1. The phrase ‘scanty and sketchy’  refers to
  • Insufficient
  • Abundant
  • Strong
  • Both (b) and (c)
  1. Which of the following is not the synonym of vociferous?
  • Blatant
  • Boisterous
  • Clamorous
  • None of the above
  1. Which of the following word is not an antonym of Dubious?
  • Unobscure
  • Certain
  • Definite
  • equivocal
  1. The best suited word for (1) is
  • Prone
  • Immune 
  • Upright
  • None of the above

Passage 2

In the flux after the 2008 financial crisis, an extraordinary instrument dubbed cryptocurrency was created. Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, was introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym used by the mysterious originator. It turned our understanding of currency on its head. Inspired by the philosophy of “self-sovereign identity” cryptocurrencies are an asset which are not anyone’s liability; neither is there a single authority or institution to maintain records. What we have are digital currencies designed for decentralised operations, cutting out a regulated intermediary like a bank.

Conventional money, or fiat currency, is issued by the state. It is usually the liability of a central bank such as RBI, which also oversees the recordkeeping of transactions. Its essential features are the credibility that comes from being guaranteed by the state, which leads to a central record keeper like RBI. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ripple are just the opposite. They are underpinned by a network called blockchain, run by anonymous computers linked together by a ledger of anonymized transactions. There are two potential issues that arise from cryptocurrencies. Will they supplant conventional currency, a state monopoly? Highly unlikely because inherent limitations of cryptocurrencies limit scalability and mass use.

A cryptocurrency like Bitcoin is also __(1)__ on exchanges, including in India, taking on the role of an asset. Here many governments, including India’s, have taken a dim view. Cryptocurrencies thrive on anonymity. They open the door to peer-to-peer transactions that circumvent state controls. FATF, the inter-government body that sets standards to combat money laundering and terror financing, worries about this instrument becoming a safe haven for illegal deals. Will a ban on cryptocurrencies solve the problem? It won’t because not only do they already exist, they are designed to ___(2)___ normal filters. It is a tricky issue which needs a well-thought approach.

Source

  1. What is a pseudonym?
  • The official name
  • The fake name
  • The surname
  • The fictitious name
  1. Which of the following is not the correct statement about cryptocurrency ?
  • Ripple is also a cryptocurrency.
  • Cryptocurrency is the state’s liability.
  • Cryptocurrency was created after 2008.
  • None of the above
  1. The best suited word for (1) is
  • Compromised
  • Traded
  • Given away
  • None of the above

    4. The best suited word for (1) is
  1. Bypass
  2. Stuck
  3. Both (a) and (b)
  4. None of these

Answers

Passage 1

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

Passage 2

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

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