English Quiz 3 based on Reading comprehension for Banks and SSC Exam
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Directions (1 – 10): Read the following passage carefully and certain words in the passage are printed in bold letters to help you locate them easily while answering some of these questions.
The explanation for increasing turnouts in elections is simple: for the vast majority, being able to cast a vote freely is an affirmation of their status as equal citizens of the country. Indians clearly like to vote. Evidence from the ongoing Assembly elections shows that turnouts are above 80 per cent and are likely to be similar when two more States and a Union Territory hold elections soon. Indians seem also keener to vote than ever before. Statistics show a steady rise in the turnout figures over the last three decades in several parts of India. The gap between women and men voters has also steadily reduced and in some States female voters outnumbered males.
But what does this enthusiasm for voting actually signify? One popular theory proposes that poor people vote because they are intimidated into doing so. Intimidation occurs for sure, but why then do voters in places where there is no intimidation do so? Another theory is that people vote in return for inducements. But recent research across India has shown that those who spend the most do not always win elections and voters do not feel any obligation to vote for those handing out freebies. In fact, they often accept the goodies from all parties but vote for only one.
So do people really vote because they are keen to express their support for a particular candidate or party? This is certainly true; using your vote to express your choice — as captured in the Hindi word for vote, matdan — indicates. Several factors determine voter choice and as a current three-year study by an Indo-European network of scholars from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, London School of Economics, King’s College London and CERI-Sciences Po shows, more and more people vote for development interests rather than merely to support the party that projects their ethnic or caste identity.
Political parties, on their part, tend to get very excited when turnouts are high and hope that a surge in voter numbers will add to their tally. Again, research has shown that historically high percentages in voting do not provide any indication of results and dramatic upsets have been caused both by low turnouts and high ones.
Some institutional factors have, however, contributed to the rise in voter turnouts that we are seeing currently, namely the cleaning up of electoral rolls and the voter enrolment and awareness drives undertaken by the Election Commission. First-time voters are particularly targeted and deceased voters are being removed from lists. But what about the rest of the electorate? How do we explain the significant number of votes that are registered on the NOTA (None of the Above) button introduced only recently? In some seats, the votes for NOTA have been larger than the winning margin, thereby determining the result. Do people take the trouble to go and vote only to register their rejection of every candidate? What are they voting for? Why are people in tears when they are unable to vote? How do we explain a middle-aged pot-bellied policeman in Kolkata expressing blissful satisfaction at being able to vote and approvingly pointing out that he was asked for his Elector’s Photo Identity Card despite his uniform? Why did he think this was a good thing? Even more astonishingly, he went on to describe the vote he cast as “beautiful”.
The use of the word “beautiful” to describe a vote should give us pause for thought. Elections globally can be dry affairs dominated by numbers, percentages and tallies. In India, election campaigns are rambunctious events, full of sound and fury, as the world is turned upside down, candidates trade insults, untold sums of unaccounted money change hands, electoral brokers use every trick in the book to deliver the votes they have promised to the party that pays them. Yet despite this mad carnival that could cause cynicism and apathy and turn people off politics altogether, when polling day arrives millions dutifully show up with their identity cards and cast their vote, and some even describe it as a “beautiful” experience. How do we explain this?
In the book why India Votes? The author has presented some explanations. Based on research conducted by a team of researchers across India, we show that to understand the significance of elections and high voter turnout rates, we need to pay attention not just to politicians but also to the voters themselves. Research revealed that the act of voting itself holds enormous significance for people because on election days the most important actors are not the politicians but the voters. While politicians seemingly dominate campaigns, people point out the irony of even the most arrogant heads being bowed to beg for votes and the most corrupt of them being unable to buy a victory — thereby conceding that it is ordinary people who hold power at least during elections. Many noted that it is also the only time they see the administration doing their work free from political interference, thanks to the Model Code of Conduct imposed on the political establishment. It is the world they crave for.
Q1. According to the given passage, which of the following best explains the reason for the keenness of Indian voters to cast their votes?
(a) They love to see arrogant politicians bowing their heads
(b) They love to see the administration doing their work free from political interference
(c) They feel contentious when they see the inability of corrupt politicians to ensure victory on the bases of money power
(d) They enjoy the affirmation of their status as equal citizens of the country
(e) None of these
Q2. Which of the following option(s) CANNOT be inferred from the above passage?
(i) Participation of women in voting has increased owing to the women empowerment and women oriented educational programmes.
(ii) NOTA has always been available as a privilege for the voters who are not satisfied by any of the candidate
(iii) The most important element during the election time is the voter
(a) Only (i)
(b) Only (ii)
(c) Both (i) and (ii)
(d) Both (i) and (iii)
(e) None can be inferred
Q3. According to the given passage, what does a high turnout ratio indicate?
(a) A surge in voter numbers will add to their tally
(b) Dramatic upsets for the politicians
(c) Larger than the winning margin
(d) It do not provide any indication
(e) Greater support to the opposition party
- According to the given passage, what is/are the institutional reason(s) for a higher voter turnout ratio?
(a) Various awareness drives by election commission
(b) Curiosity among first time voters
(c) Keenness of people to exercise their right to vote
(d) Giving tickets to candidates with clean image.
(e) Not given in the passage.
Q5. On the basis of your reading, suggest a suitable title for the passage.
(a) Keen Voters
(b) Why India loves to vote
(c) Indian voting system
(d) Right to vote
(e) Voting season
Q6. According to the study conducted by various institutes, on what basis do voters vote?
(c) Past record of the candidate
(d) Effectiveness of election campaign
Directions (7-8): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (9-10): Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning of the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.
(c) Barn door
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