Compulsory English Paper (Civil Services Mains) 1997
Q. 1. Write an essay of about 300 words on any one of the following : 100
(a) Tolerance is the key to national unity
(b) Your idea of a happy life
(c) Advertisements : need for control
(d) Is vegetarianism a virtue ?
(e) Failures are the pillars of success
Q. 2. Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions that follow in your own words as far as possible. 75
It is true that the smokers cause some nuisance to the non-smokers, but this nuisance is physical while the nuisance that the non-smokers cause the smokers is spiritual. There are, of course, a lot of non-smokers who don’t try to interfere with the smokers. It is sometimes assumed that the non-smokers are morally superior, not realizing that they have missed one of the greatest pleasures of mankind. I am willing to allow that smoking is a moral weakness, but on the other hand we must beware of a man without weakness. He is not to be trusted. He is apt to be always sober and he cannot make a single mistake. His habits are too regular, his existence too mechanical and his head always maintains its supremacy over his heart. Much as I like reasonable persons, I hate completely rational beings. For that reason, I am always scared and ill at ease when I enter a house in which there are no ash-trays.
The room is apt to be too clean and orderly, and the people are apt to be correct and unemotional. Now the moral and spiritual benefits of smoking have never been appreciated by these correct, righteous, unemotional and unpoetic souls. In my opinion the smokers’ morality is, on the whole, higher than that of the non-smokers. The man with a pipe in his mouth is the man after my heart. He is more genial, more open-hearted, and he is often brilliant in conversation. As Thackeray observes, “The pipe draws wisdom from the lips, of the philosopher and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation that is contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent and unaffected.”
(a) What kind of hardship do .a smoker and a non-smoker cause to each other ? 15
(b) Why is it wrong to think that a non-smoker is morally superior to a smoker ? 15
(c) Why is a man without any moral weakness untrustworthy ? 15
(d) What pleasure of life is missed by a non-smoker ? 15
(e) What does Thackeray mean to say ? 15
Q. 3. Make a precis of the following passage in about 230 words. As far as possible, the precis should be in your own words. It should be written on the special sheets provided, which should be fastened securely inside the answer book. State the number of words in your answer. 75
N.B. : Marks will be deducted if your precis is much longer or shorter than the prescribed length.
In our country begging has become a profession and the beggars continue to increase in numbers. So, vast indeed is the fraternity of these beggars that foreigners visiting India, especially ,cities like Varanasi, our cities of pilgrimage, have been led to call our cities the cities of beggars and of dust ! There are no statistics available for estimating their number, but that is not needed for our present purpose. Of course, any practical reform in this matter does not require a close investigation into the causes and conditions of the existence of beggars, but we are here concerned with the question of seeing how these beggars live and what, in particular, is the effect on society of their existence.
As already suggested, the vastness of the number of the Indian beggars is evident to any visitor from a foreign country. The causes of the increase in the number of beggars are many, but of these we may just consider only a few. For good or evil, Indians have been very religious in their outlook on life, and also very generous and hospitable towards those who go to them for begging. Our Puranas and Shastras point out that giving charity to beggars ensures Moksha in the next world. The social conscience deveolped from such an article of faith has been the main cause of the increase in the number of beggars. They are always sure of finding people anxious to go to heaven by offering doles and donations to the needy and so they are thriving. There are many beggars whose profession has been hereditary – a strange perversion of human nature, which, as we are told, ought to eat out of the sweat of its brow. The most amusing spectacle from the point of view of reason, is to see able-bodied persons, dressed in abundance of rags and many coloured clothes wandering about the streets and going from house to house regularly at certain hours for no more serious a purpose than that of begging ! This might be seen at almost any village and town in our country. For ages uncounted this thing has been going on. The ignorant masses have a fear of the curse supposed to emanate from the mouths of angered beggars, and thus the beggars get more than they need. In fact, strange as it might seem, a considerable number of these beggars are richer . than their poor patrons !
With the percolation of social consciousness among the modern educated Indians, the problem of beggars is today being seriously thought about and ways and means are being seriously mooted on how to solve this problem. When we read how in the West, for example, begging has become a crime coming under the vagrancy acts of Parliaments and when we know that in some countries people are warned that “Those who do not work, neither shall they eat”, we begin to think how depressing is the situation in India. Poverty, no doubt, is one of the major causes of begging, and unemployment and increase in population have also been responsible for the same, but the disease-of begging has deeper roots in the social consciousness of us all, and it is to this that any reformer has to turn. We must make it clear to the masses that there is no special glory of Punya in giving charity to the able-bodied persons, and that such misplaced charity is only increasing idleness and chronic poverty. If the masses are educated in social science, its elementary principles at any rate, there will be a gradual lessening of the number of beggars in our country.
The State, too, has to devise laws for checking the growth of beggars. Some strict laws against vagrants must be put into practice in every city and village in India. It is more important to introduce them in holy cities where the beggars are leading the most unholy life. Finally, it is for the development of saner outlook on life that we must agitate if we are to root out this evil of beggary. In one form or another, begging has become the most widespread thing today. Some are honourable, modernised beggars in pants and boots and ties and they have subtler ways of exploiting their patron victims.
Q. 4. (a) Fill in the blanks using the appropriate forms of the words given below : 10
abhor, alter, determine, dwell, fellow, handle, innocent, slay, torrent, radiant.
(i) He is making a ………………… effort to succeed in the examination.
(ii) We should hold corruption in …………………. .
(iii) He ………………….. in a rented house in Delhi last year.
(iv) There is no ………………… in this, town; it is the same as it was five years ago.
(v) He deserves praise ………………. for the situation tactfully.
(vi) We love children for their ………………. .
(vii) The crops have been damaged by these …………… rains.
(viii) The rich man has been ………………. by the militants.
(ix) The …………….. of his face suggests that he is a saint.
(x) He has been awarded a ……………… for studying in Canada.
(b) Use each of the following words in two separate sentences, first as a noun and then as a verb :
favour, meet, occasion, sound, support. 10
(c) Do as directed : 5
(i) A stranger said to me, “Do you know me ?”
(Change into the Indirect form of Narration.)
(ii) He is blind …………… his own faults.
(Use the correct preposition.)
(iii) Are you not making a noise ?
(Write it in the passive voice.)
(iv) Is virtue not its own reward ?
(Transform into an assertive sentence.)
(v) God is present everywhere.
(Substitute a single word for “present everywhere”.)
Q. 5. (a) Correct the following sentences : 10
(i) If you will run, you will catch the train.
(ii) I am too glad to help you.
(iii) I am fed up of his evil ways.
(iv) He has only two brother-in-laws.
(v) I am one of those persons who cannot describe what I feel.
(vi) He has not bought some books.
(vii) Do not prevent the child to read.
(viii) I doubt that she will help you.
(ix) Ganges is a holy river.
(x) He is more intelligent than either of his four brothers.
(b) Of the words given in brackets, choose the one that you think is appropriate : 10
(i) He is an ……………… mechanic.
(ingenuous / ingenious)
(ii) He died after he had been struck by ……………… .
(lightning / lightening)
(iii) Your story is not at all ………………. .
(credulous / credible)
(iv) Only the virtuous experience true …………….. .
(facility / felicity)
(v) Some politicians try to influence the …………… officers.
(judicious / judicial)
(vi) You cannot question his honesty and …………….. .
(veracity / voracity)
(vii) The patient is still in a state of …………….. .
(comma / coma)
(viii) After the accident, the field was covered with …………….. .
(corpses / corps)
(ix) He is a dealer in ……………….. .
(stationary / stationery)
(x) You should settle this dispute in an …………….. way.
(amiable / amicable)
(c) Use the following phrases/idiomatic expressions in your own sentences so as to bring out their meanings : 5
give rise to, hang fire, pass away, put up with, tone down.
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