Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 2003
1. Write an essay in about 300 words in any one of the following: (100)
(a) The Need for Alternative Sources of Energy
(b) The Role of Judiciary in India
(c) Freedom of Expression
(d) My Idea of an Administrator
(e) Pleasures of Reading
2. Read the following passage and answer in your own words the questions that follow: (5 × 15 = 75)
This rule of trying always to do things as well as one can do them has an important bearing upon the problem of ambition. No man or woman should be without ambition, which is the inspiration of activity. But if one allows ambition to drive one to attempt things which are beyond one’s own personal capacity, then unhappiness will result: If one imagines that one can do everything better than other people, then envy and jealousy, those twin monsters, will come to sadden one’s days. But if one concentrates one’s attention upon developing one’s own special capacities, the things one is best at, then one does not worry over much if other people Ere more successful.
There are those again who are discontented with their own job and complain of drudgery. But there is no job in the world which does not contain a large element of drudgery. Do you imagine that a Prime Minister has no drudgery to do, or an artist, or an author? I loathe drudgery as much as any man; but I have learnt that the only way to conquer drudgery is to get through it as neatly, as efficiently as one can. You know I am right when I say that. A dull job slackly done becomes twice as dull; a dull job which you try to do just as well as you can becomes half as dull. Here again effort appears to me the main part of the art of living.
Have I any other, and less disagreeable, hints to suggest? I believe that every man and woman has somewhere tucked away inside them a sense of beauty. Without this sense life on this earth is veiled in dim grey clouds. It may be that you do not care, or think you do not care, for poetry or art or music. If you make the least effort, you may find that some or all of these things will cause you sudden delight; and once you catch that delight it will never leave you. Because if life, as I believe, is a constantly renewed effort, then the human frame aid nerves require some relaxation.
(a) When does ambition lead to unhappiness?
(b) How can a person avoid envy and jealousy?
(c) How can we avoid the feeling of drudgery?
(d) Should we avoid ambition?
(e) What does the phrase “to get through it” mean?
3. Make a precis of the following passage in your own words in about 230 words. Marks will be deducted if the precis is not written on the separate precis sheets provided and the length of the precis exceeds or falls short of more than 10 words of the prescribed length. State the number of words used by you in the precis and securely fasten the precis-sheets inside the answer-book. (75)
Some wars in the past were quite as disorganizing and as destructive of the civilization of devastated areas as was the Second World War. North Africa has never regained the level of rosperity that t enjoyed under the Romans. Persia never recovered from the Mongols nor Syria from the Turks. There have always been two kinds of wars, those in which the vanquished incurred disaster, and those in which they only incurred discomfort. We seem, unfortunately, to be entering upon an era in which wars are of the former sort.
The atom bomb, and still more the hydrogen bomb, have caused new fears, involving new doubts as to the effects of science on human life. Some eminent authorities, including Einstein, have pointed out that there is a danger of the extinction of all life on this planet. I do not myself think that this will happen in the next war, but I think it may well happen in the next but one, if that is allowed to occur. If this expectation is correct, we have to choose, within the next fifty years or so, between two alternatives. Either we must allow the human race to exterminate itself, or we must forgo certain liberties which are very dear to us, more especially the liberty to kill foreigners whenever we fell so disposed. I think it probable that mankind will choose its own extermination as the preferable alternative. The choice will be made, of course, by persuading ourselves that it is not being made, since (so militarists on both sides will say) the victory of the right is certain without risk of universal disaster. We are perhaps living in the last age of man, and, if so, it is to science that he will owe his extinction.
If, however, the human race decides to let itself go on living, it will have to make very drastic changes in its ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving. We must learn not to say ‘Never! Better death than dishonour’. We must learn to submit to law, even when imposed by aliens whom we hate and despise, and whom we believe to be blind to all considerations of righteousness. Consider some concrete examples. Jews and Arabs will have to agree to submit to arbitration; if the award goes against the Jews, the President of the United States will have to ensure the victory of the party to which he is opposed, since, if he supports the international authority, he will lose the Jewish vote in New York State. On the other hand, if the award goes in favour of the Jews, the Mohammedan world will be indignant, and will be supported by all other malcontents. Or, to take another instance, Eire will demand the right to oppress the Protestants of Ulster, and on this issue the United States will support Eire while Britain will support Ulster. Could an international authority survive such a dissension?
Again: India and Pakistan cannot agree about Kashmir, therefore one of them must support Russia and the other the United States. It will be obvious to anyone who is an interested party in one of these disputes that the issue is far more important than the continuance of life on our planet. The hope that the human race will allow itself to survive is therefore somewhat slender. But if human life is to continue in spite of science, mankind will have to learn a discipline of the passions which, in the past, has not been necessary. Men will have to submit to the law, even when they think the law unjust and iniquitous. Nations which are persuaded that they are only demanding the barest justice will have to acquiesce when this demand is denied them by the neutral authority. I do not say that this is easy; I do not prophesy that it will happen; I say only that if it does not happen the human race will perish, and will perish as a result of science.
4. (a) Fill in the blanks using the appropriate form of the words given below: (10)
offensive, imagination, psychological, conceive, vacation, entire, enthusiasm, lacerating, deify, margin
(i) I do not believe in the ……………….of an ordinary politician.
(ii) She could not bear to look at his …………….hand.
(iii) Most people do not have any clear ……………of judicial activism.
(iv) Who can dare to ………………….the boss?
(v) A sensible person can ………………….the plight of others.
(vi) You have to consider the matter in its …………………
(vii) It is difficult to ………………..such dullards.
(viii) We can no longer ………………..the poor and the suppressed.
(ix) You will have to …………….the house.
(x) ………………..is an interesting subject.
(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 within brackets: (5)
(i) No metal is as costly as gold. (Use the comparative degree of “costly”)
(ii) I doubt if you have done it. (Change into a negative sentence without changing the meaning)
(iii) He was elected leader. (Change into active voice)
(iv) She confessed that she was guilty. (Turn it into a simple sentence)
(v) She said, “Can you write a poem?” (Change into indirect speech)
5. (a) Correct the following sentences: (10)
(i) Each of the scholars, belonging to various countries, have spoken about it.
(ii) All were present except he and his sister.
(iii) I wonder if ten thousand rupees are a large sum.
(iv) She lay the table an hour ago.
(v) He absented from the class for no reason.
(vi) He is untidy boy.
(vii) All his plans fell out for lack of help.
(viii) Of milk, coke and coffee the latter is my favourite.
(ix) All this happened prior 1971 war.
(x) Scarcely had she gone that he arrived.
(b) Choose the appropriate words given in the brackets to fill in the blanks in the following sentences: (10)
(i) Nehruji made a ………………. speech in Parliament on this occasion.
(ii) Such heavy responsibilities cannot be ………………….easily.
(iii) The doctor visits him on ………………….days.
(iv) I do not know why he is …………………..towards me.
(v) To work for more than eight hours is quite ……………………
(vi) Democracy does not allow the ………………..of the minorities.
(vii) No meeting of the ……………..of ministers has been scheduled for tomorrow.
(viii) All worldly pleasures are considered to be …………………..by saints.
(ix) Any …………………. of secret documents is punishable by law.
(x) He is an ……………..person to work with.
(c) Use the following phrases in your own sentences so as to bring out their meaning: (5)
(i) to come across
(ii) to be cut out for
(iii) over head and ears
(iv) to see eye to eye
(v) to draw the line
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