Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 2009

Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 2009

Q 1. Write an essay in about 300 words on any one of the following:  (100 Marks)
(a)    Why are our farmers committing suicide?
(b)   Ragging: should it be distinguished from brutality or criminality?
(c)     “Sweet are the uses of adversity.”
(d)   Reforms of sports bodies in our country
(e)   Alternative sources of energy for our country

Q 2. Read carefully the passage below and write your answers to the questions that follow, in clear, correct and concise language: (5×15=75 Marks)

The altogether new thing in the world then was the scientific method of research, which in that period of Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Harvey and Francis Bacon was advancing with enormous strides. All walls, all the limitations, all the certainties of the ages were in dissolution, tottering. In fact this epoch, in which we are participating still, with continually opening vistas, can be compared in magnitude and promise only to that of the 8th to the 4th millenniums B.C. : of the birth of civilization in the Near East, when the inventions of food production, grain agriculture and stockbreeding, released mankind from the primitive condition or foraging and so made possible an establishment of soundly grounded communities: first villages, then towns, then cities, kingdoms, and empires. Leo Frobenius wrote of that age as the Monumental Age, and of the age now dawning as the Global :

“In all previous ages, only restricted portions of the surface of the earth were known. Men looked out from the narrowest, upon a somewhat larger neighbourhood, and beyond that, a great unknown. They were all, so to say, insular: bound in. Whereas our view is confined no longer to a spot of space on the surface of this earth. It surveys the whole of the planet. And this fact, this lack of horizon, is something new.”

“It is chiefly to the scientific method of research that this release of mankind is due, and every developed individual has been freed from the once protective but now dissolved horizons of the local land, local moral code, local modes of group thought and sentiment. Not only in the sciences but in every department of life the will and courage to credit one’s own senses and to honor one’s own decisions, to name one’s own virtues and to claim one’s own vision of truth, have been the generative forces of the new age. There is a growing realization even in the moral field that all Judgments are (to use Nietzsche’s words) “human, all too human,”

1. What is the “epoch in which we are participating still”?
2. In what way is it comparable to the period of the 8th to the 4th millenniums B.C.?
3. What is meant by the new “lack of horizon”?
4. What do you think is implied by “all the certainties of the ages” that were “in dissolution” during the period of Galileo and his fellow scientists?
5. What is the new freedom we have found, and why does it require courage?

Q 3. Make a précis of the following passage in about 235 words. It is not necessary to suggest a title. Failure to write within the word limit may result in deduction of marks. The précis must be written on the separate précis sheets provided, which must then be fastened securely inside the answer book. (75 Marks)

There are, of course, many motivating factors in human behaviour, but we would claim that nationalism is particularly worthy of study. Why is it particularly significant? Its significance lies in its power to arouse passionate loyalties and hatreds that motivate acts of extreme violence and courage; people kill and die for their nations. Of course it is not alone in this: people are driven to similar extremes to protect their families, their extended families or ‘tribes’, their home areas with their populations; and their religious groups and the holy places and symbols of their religions. However, these other loyalties are often rather easier to understand than nationalism. Parents making supreme sacrifices for their children can be seen as obeying a universal imperative in life forms, the instinct to protect one’s own genetic material. This instinct can also be seen at work in the urge to protect one’s extended family; but then the extended family, or on a slightly larger scale the ‘tribe’, can also be seen, in perhaps the majority of circumstances in which human beings have existed, as essential for the survival of the individual and the nuclear family. The nation is not generally essential to survival in this way. Of course, if the entire nation were to be wiped out, the individuals and their families would die, but the disappearance of the nation as a social unit would not in itself pose a threat to individual or family survival: only if it were to be accompanied by ethnic violence or severe economic collapse would it be life-threatening, and such cataclysmic events are not an inevitable consequence of the loss of political independence. Conversely, there is no logical connection between the gaining of political independence by a subject nation and increased life chances for its citizens. In many, perhaps the vast majority, of modern nations there is likewise no evidence that in defending the nation one is defending one’s own genetic material; the notion that the citizens of modem nations are kinsfolk, while the citizens of (potentially) hostile neighbours are aliens, makes no sense in view of the highly varied genetic make-up of most modern populations,’

Devotion to one’s religious group, like support for one’s nation, is much less obviously to the individual’s advantage than is defence of the family, but we would maintain that it can be more comprehensible than nationalism. It can be seen in ideological terms as the defence of a world view and its symbols, against rival world views, which are considered to be fundamentally erroneous and which, if successful, would force the conquered to act in ways abhorrent to their beliefs. While the defence of one’s nation has often been seen as the defence of one’s religion, and while modern hostilities between nations frequently do have a religious dimension, there are many serious national conflicts that have no clear religious element; the two world wars were fought in Europe with Catholic France, Protestant Britain, and Orthodox Russia opposing Germany with its mixed Catholic and Protestant population. Thus, while modern nationalisms may be linked to religion, many cases can be found without any clear religious dimension. Not only do modern nationalisms lack a religious element: there is often (to outsiders) no obvious ideological difference between rival nations. Hence, while defence of one’s religion can be seen as defence of an entire system of beliefs, a world view, it is difficult in many cases to claim that this is true of the defence of one’s nation. There is in fact a good case for seeing nations as ‘imagined communities’, and such would be the view of some commentators.

Such imagined communities could not, of course, exist unless they fulfilled a need. We can postulate that the need to belong to a community of some kind is a fundamental human characteristic, and that nations have arisen to fulfil this need, as earlier more primary communities – local, ‘tribal’, and religious – have lost their significance through economic and social change. But why should this need be fulfilled by nations, rather than some other type of unit? There is strong support in the literature for a view of nations as products of particular social and economic conditions operating from around the mid-eighteenth century, as products of ‘modernization’.

Q 4. Answer as directed: (25 Marks)

(a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections: (10 Marks)
1. The bear had a ring on it’s nose.
2. This shirt is too lose for me.
3. This coat looks a bit small – l’d like to try on it.
4. Let’s listen the music.
5. Do you know what is the answer?
6. The weather today is too good.
7. I saw him yesterday only.
8. Who you want to see?
9. The ice cream’s good – may I please have little more?
10. His office is quite opposite to my house.

(b) Supply the missing words: (5 Marks)
1. The shopkeeper refused to bargain————- the customer.
2. He did not be believe ————– bargaining.
3. He had already decided ———–a fair price.
4. The customer was looking ———— a bargain.
5. They argued —————- the price for a long time.

(c) Use the correct form of the verb in brackets: (5 Marks)
1. I do not usually————– an umbrella but today I’m————- one. (CARRY)
2. She never ————- about her children. (WORRY)
3. That child always ————when he has a bath. Listen, he’s———– now. (CRY)

(d) Form the opposites of these words by adding a prefix: (5 Marks)
1. do                                        —————-
2. credible                                —————-
3. ambiguous                           —————-
4. lawful                                  —————-
5. legal                                     —————-

Q 5. Answer as directed: (25 Marks)
(a) Combine the following sentences using too——to (5 Marks)
1. The coffee was hot.
We could not drink it.

2. You are now old.
You cannot continue to work.

3. The child was very small.
It could not walk.

4. This book is heavy.
I cannot carry it.

5. She was shocked.
She did not react.

(b) Rewrite these sentences so that they begin with the word it. (5 Marks)
1. To talk like that is silly.
2. To hear your voice was good.
3. To tell the truth is essential.
4. To have friends is better than money.
5. To think for yourself is difficult.

(c) Combine these sentences using one of the words although, but, yet, so or because. Use each word once. (5 Marks)
1. They were tired. They worked late into the night.
2. He slept early. He woke up late.
3. He was on medication. He felt drowsy.
4. She was very angry. She said nothing.
5. The engine stopped. It had heated up.

(d) Combine the following sentences using enough to. (5 Marks)
1. The wind was strong. It could blow people away.
2. The print was clear. We could read it easily.
3. It was hot. We could cook food with the sun’s rays.
4. You are old. You should know better.
5. The essay was good. It earned full marks.

(e) Rewrite these sentences, using a form of the word get and a suitable preposition or prepositions instead of the word(s) underlined.  (5 Marks)
1. Has the company recovered from its losses?
2. I’d like to continue with my cooking now, if I may.
3. How do you manage with so little to eat?
4. Did you establish a connection with New York on the telephone?
5. Put the milk away where the cat can’t reach it.

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