Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 1999
Q. 1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the following : 100
(a) Power of the press
(b) An ideal college
(c) The technological miracles of the twentieth century
(d) An encounter with an astrologer
(e) “Cowards die many times before their death”.
Q. 2. Read the following passage and answer in your own language the questions that follow : 75
Forecasting the weather, or trying to find out what it will be like in several day’s time, has always been a difficult business. Many different things affect the weather and each one has to be carefully studied before we can make even a fairly accurate forecast. The ancient Egyptians, of course, had no need of this- the weather in the Nile valley hardly ever changes -but people living farther north had to protect themselves and their crops. During a period of drought, when no rain fell for weeks on end, streams and rivers dried up, cattle died from thirst and crops were ruined. A storm could wreck ships and houses, and heavy falls of rain caused rivers to flood a whole countryside. Action in the sky stirred man into action, and in this respect farmers became just as much men of action as were sailors on the high seas. Both had to reckon with the weather – it often upset their plans, sometimes with disastrous results.
In early times, when there were no instruments such as thermometer or barometer, man looked for tell-tale signs in the sky. He made his forecasts by watching the flights of birds or the way smoke rose from a fire. He thought that the moon controlled the weather – that it held a lot of water, especially when as a crescent or sickle-shaped moon it lay on its back. Even today there are people who think that the sight of the moon lying on its back means that the rain is on its way. Many of the weather-sayings are still heard today. I expect you know the one : ‘A red sky at night is the shepherd’s delight. A red sky in the morning is the shepherd’s warning.’ Do you believe this ? It’s sometimes right but more often wrong. If this and hundreds of other sayings like it were true, there would be no need for weather science or meteorology.
(a) What is drought and what are its consequences?
(b) Does the writer endorse the popular sayings about the red sky ?
(c) Is weather forecasting a science; if so, what is it called ?
(d) Why is it not easy to forecast the weather ?
(e) How would the moon help the people in forecasting weather ?
Q. 3. Make a precis of the following passage in your own language, in about 230 words, on the special precis-sheets provided. The precis sheets should be fastened securely inside the answer book. State the number of words used by you in your precis. 75
N.B. Marks will be deducted if your precis is much longer or shorter than the prescribed length.
Karl Marx was no gentle dreamer about a better life. such as the Utopian socialists have been. He was a fighter. As he examined the relations between the capitalists and labourers of the world, his belief became clearer and sharper, until at last he was sure that he was dealing with a new science – the science of the means of production. He was sure that his ideas were not dreams but solid scientific facts, and he therefore referred to himself as a scientific socialist, so that people would not confuse him with the Utopians.
Marx and a friend named Friedrich Engels were in France during the revolution of 1848, and it was at this time they published a pamphlet called The Communist Manifesto. This was a call to battle for the labouring classes of the world: “Workers of the world, arise: you have nothing to lose but your chains.” The last years of Marx were spent in England writing his book Das Kapital (‘Capital’). Engels supported Marx and completed the work when the latter died, leaving the book unfinished.
Das Kapital is one of the most important books ever written. In it Marx expressed some astonishing and radical ideas. According to his economic theory, all the wealth in the world is produced by human labour. This is true of not only the goods turned out by factories and of the money received for such goods, but is true as well of the factories themselves, which were also built by human toil, and therefore represent a type of frozen and stored up labour. It is the workers, said Marx, rather than the capitalists, who have supplied this labour, and therefore the wealth should belong to them. They do not receive it, but are paid instead only a small fee for their efforts. The great difference between what the workers produce and what they are paid is surplus wealth, which goes to the owners of the factory, when it should go to the workers. Hence the workers are being exploited, or robbed, and the capitalists are growing wealthy. So said Marx.
Das Kapital also included Marx’s philosophy of history. According to this theory, in every age the social class that controls the source of wealth also controls the government and has power over the people. There is, however, a considerable overlapping. As the sources of wealth change, the, old group in power tends to hang on to its control of the government. For example, the nobles of the Middle Ages owned the land which was the key source of wealth at that time, and they also controlled the government.
With the coming of factories as the chief producers of wealth, the nobles retained their control of the various governments of Europe for many years. Finally, the businessmen, or capitalists, who controlled the new source of wealth gained control of the government. They still control it, said Marx, but it is an unfair situation, and will not continue. In time, the workers, who really produce the wealth, will get the power. As wealth piles up, the factories and other means of production will fall into fewer and fewer hands as the rich grow steadily richer. The poor, at the same time, will grow steadily poorer and more numerous until at last a point will be reached is which almost everybody will be living in misery to support a few fabulously wealthy individuals.
This situation will be so intolerable and so ridiculous that the great masses of the workers will rise up, take industry away from its owners, and run it for the benefit of the workers.
We now know that many of Karl Marx’s ideas were wrong, and that many of his predictions have not come true. Wealth has become more widely distributed rather than less, and the standard of living of the workers has gone up rather than down. Capitalists have proved not to be the evil ogres that Mary pictured them. Nevertheless, the ideas of Karl Marx have had a strong appeal for many people and a profound effect upon the history of the world. Communism. one of the greatest forces in the twentieth century, had its origins in the writings of Karl Marx.
Q. 4. (a) Fill in the blanks using the appropriate forms of the words given below : 10
stay; reality; health; pertinent; proof; post; stretched; accident; rouse; provision
(i) I am not his ………………. brother.
(ii) He got up with a ……………… and a yawn.
(iii) Keep him …………….. with the latest news about his mother.
(iv) He fell into the gorge ………………… .
(v) I have sold off my farm-house and the land ………………….. to it.
(vi) Demagogues try ………………. the masses.
(vii) The new typist ……………….. to be useless.
(viii) I will go …………………. that my expenses are paid.
(ix) ……………… you have forgotten one thing.
(x) Had you taken the medicine, the wound …………………… by now.
(b) Use each of the following words in two separate sentences, first as a noun and then as a verb : 10
(c) Rewrite the following sentences as directed parenthetically : 5
(i) Einstein was the greatest scientist of our century.
(Use the comparative degree)
(ii) Let us have a cup of coffee now.
(Use the right tag question)
(iii) She said. “Darling, why are you looking so pale ? Cheer up, please.”
(Change the mode of narration)
(iv) The fact is so evident that it requires no proof.
(Replace ‘so’ by ‘too’)
(v) He has to do his job well. (Change the voice)
Q. 5. (a) Correct the following sentences : 10
(i) You are a mechanic; isn’t it ?
(ii) I have already availed of all the casual leave due to me.
(iii) The health of my brother is better than me.
(iv) He insisted to leave immediately.
(v) She congratulated him for his success.
(vi) The choice lies between honour or dishonour.
(vii) If it will rain, we shall stay back.
(viii) The ship was drowned in the sea.
(ix) By studying hard, his grades improved.
(x) I have to give my examination in April.
(b) Of the words given in brackets, choose the one that, you think, is appropriate to fill in the blanks : 10
(i) The book has been ………………. for the Indian readership.
(ii) The case has been hanging fire because the judge is …………….. .
(iii) Trespassers will be ……………….. .
(iv) He is a man of ……………… .
(v) Justice should be ……………. with mercy.
(vi) The condition of homeless people becomes ……………….. in winter.
(vii) He led a ……………. life.
(viii) I vowed to …………… myself for the death of my cousin.
(ix) I have ……………. him a job in our company.
(x) Aren’t you tired of this ……………… rain ?
(c) Use the following phrases in your own sentences so as to bring out their meanings : 5
(i) to lead by the nose
(ii) pell- mell
(iii) gift of the gab
(iv) to make a dash
(v) to fish in troubled waters
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