Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 2000
Q. 1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the following : 100
(a) Man is saved not by faith but by work
(b) Indian Culture
(c) Contribution of Science to human progress
(d) Political reform you want in India
(e) Laughter is the best medicine
Q. 2. Read the following passage and answer, in your own words, the questions that follow : 5 x 15 = 75
Two important stages came not so long before the dawn of written history. The first was the domestication of animals; the second was agriculture. Agriculture, which began in the river valleys of Egypt and Mesopotamia, was a step in human progress to which subsequently there was nothing comparable until our own machine age. Agriculture made possible an immense increase in the numbers of the human species in the regions where it could be successfully practised but at first these regions were few. These were in fact, only those in which nature fertilised the soil after each harvest. Agriculture met with violent resistance, analogous to that which our Ruskins and Samuel Butlers offered to machines. Pastoral nomads considered themselves vastly superior to the tame folk who stayed in one place and were enslaved to the soil. But although the nomads repeatedly won military victories, the physical comforts which the upper classes derived from agricultural serfs always prevailed in the end, and the area of agriculture gradually increased. Even now this process is not at an end, but what remains for it to achieve is no longer very important.
The only fundamental technical advance that preceded the emergence of man into recorded history was the invention of writing. Writing, like spoken language, developed gradually. It developed out of pictures, but as soon as it had reached a certain stage. it made possible the keeping of records and the transmission of information to people who were not present when the information was given.
(a) What was he second important stage in our pre-history and where did it begin?
(b) What happened in the regions where agriculture was successful ?
(c) What happened in the conflict between the nomads and agriculturists?
(d) What technical advance took place before the period of recorded history and what did it accomplish?
(e) Who considered themselves superior to whom and why ?
Q. 3. Make a precis of the following passage, in your own language, in about 230 words, on the special precis-sheets provided Marks will be deducted for precis not written on the precis-sheets. Marks will also be deducted if your precis is much longer or shorter that the prescribed length. The precis-sheets should be securely fastened inside the answer book. State the number of words used by you in your precis. 75
It has been estimated than the human population of 600 B.C. was about five million people, taking perhaps one million years to get there from two and a half million. The population did not reach 500 million until almost 8,000 years later-about 1650 A.D. This means it doubled roughly once every thousand years or so. It reached a billion people around 1850, doubling in some 200 years. It took on1y 80 years or so for the next doubling, as the population reached two billion around 1930. We have not completed the next doubling to four billion yet, but we now have well over three billion people. The doubling time at present seems to be about 37 years. Quite a reduction in doubling times: 1,000,000 years, 1,000 years, 200 years, 80 years, 37 years.
One of the most ominous facts of the current situation is that roughly 40% of the population of the undeveloped world is made up of people under 15 years old. As that mass of young people moves into its reproductive years during the next decade, we’re going to see the greatest baby boom of all time. Those youngsters are the reason for all the ominous predictions for the year 2000. They are the gun-powder for the population explosion.
How did we get into this bind ? It all happened along time ago, and the story involves the process of natural selection, the development of culture, and mans swollen head. The essence of success in evolution is reproduction …. for reproduction is the key to winning the evolutionary game. Any structure. physiological process or pattern of behaviour that leads to greater reproductive success will tend to be perpetuated. The entire process by which man developed involves thousands of millenia of our ancestors being more successful breeders than their relatives. Facet number one of our bind-the urge to reproduce has been fixed in us by billions of years of evolution.
Of course through all those years of evolution. our ancestors were fighting a continual battle to keep the birth rate ahead of the death rate. That they were successful is attested to by our very existence, for, if the death rate had overtaken the birth rate for any substantial period of time, the evolutionary line leading to man would have gone extinct. Among our apelike ancestors, a few million years ago, it was still very difficult for a mother to rear her children successfully. Most of the offspring died before they reached reproductive age. The death rate was near the birth rate. Then another factor entered the picture – cultural evolution was added to biological evolution.
Of course, in the early days the whole system did not prevent a very high mortality among the young, as well as among the older members of the group. Hunting and food-gathering is a risky business. Cavemen had to throve very impressive cave bears out of their caves before the men could move in. Witch doctors and shamans had a less than perfect record at treating wounds and curing disease. Life was short, if not sweet. Man’s total population size doubtless increased slowly but steadily as human populations expanded out of the African cradle of our species.
Then about 8,000 years ago a major change occurred – the agricultural revolution. People began to give up hunting food and settled down to grow it. Suddenly some of the risk was removed from life. The chances of dying of starvation diminished greatly in some human groups. Other threats associated with the nomadic life were also reduced, perhaps balanced by new threats of disease and large scale warfare associated with the development of cities. But the overall result was a more secure existence than before and the human population grew more rapidly. Around 1800, when the standard of living in what are today the developed countries was dramatically increasing due to industrialization, population growth really began to accelerate. The development of medical science was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Q. 4. (a) Fill in the blanks using appropriate forms of the words given below : 10
characterize; coagulant; fright; globe; civilized;
disastrous; move; enthusiasm; pessimistic; philosophizing
(i) The ————- of clouds leads to changes in the weather.
(ii) Man’s continuance on earth is shrouded in ———– .
(iii) A cosmic ————– may end life on earth.
(iv) Vitamin K is essential for the ———— of blood.
(v) Is our ———- going on the right path
(vi) The economic. ———- of our country is changing.
(vii) Once in the jungle, the boys were ————– .
(viii) What does Indian ————- teach?
(ix) —————- is affecting India’s economy.
(x) He spoke ———— about the existence of God.
(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) “Shut the door after you,” she told him curtly.
(Change into indirect form)
(ii) Did she commit all the mistakes ?
(Change into passive voice)
(iii) Many difficulties are impossible to overcome.
(Use a single word for the underlined phrase)
(iv) Hard as he tried, the old man failed to find a buyer for his bicycle.
(v) She is so good that others cannot beat her.
(Replace “so” by “too”)
Q. 5. (a) Correct the following sentences : 10
(i) She vividly described about the situation.
(ii) He chose only such men for his company whom he could trust.
(iii) He does not boast his-merits.
(iv) The rich lead a luxuriant life.
(v) The work was hard and exhaustive.
(vi) Sages had prophecied the coming of the prophet.
(vii) Earth may again be hit by a huge meteor.
(viii) He came to the city with a view to get a job.
(ix) He was angry upon me.
(x) Why she is doing this ?
(b) Of the words given in brackets, choose the one you think appropriate to till in the blanks : 10
(i) She has the ——————- to this property.
(wright ; right)
(ii) He has ——————- his own method for doing the work.
(devised ; deviced)
(iii) Fetch me a ——————- of water.
(pale ; pail)
(iv) All the ————— of the airline were grounded.
(aircraft ; aircrafts)
(v) The government has selected the ——————— for the hospital.
(site ; cite)
(vi) The ——————- of Kargil have fallen silent.
(canons ; cannons)
(vii) The tropic of ——————— is an imaginary line.
(Cancer ; cancer)
(viii) The budget —————— could not be offset.
(deficit ; deficiency)
(ix) When they came down the hill the ——————- was steep.
(descent ; decent)
(x) The government collapsed when there was a ————– in the party.
(fraction ; faction)
(c) Use the following phrases in sentences so as to bring out their meaning : 5
(i) bring about
(ii) break in
(iii) heart and soul
(iv) lie low
(v) hold one’s breath
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