English Quiz for RBI ASSISTANT MAINS
Improve your English with English quiz. English Quiz to help you improve your score for exams like Bank, SSC, Railway, UPSC, UPSSSC, CDS, UPTET, KVS, DSSSB and other Government exams.
Directions (1-10): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow accordingly. Some of the words have given in bold.
The Dust Bowl, considered one of the greatest man-made ecological disasters, was a period of severe dust storms that lasted nearly a decade, starting 1931, and engulfed large parts of the US. The dust storms originated in the Great Plains—from states like Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas. They were so severe that they choked everything and blocked out the sun for days. Sometimes, the storms travelled thousands of kilometers and blottedout monuments such as the Statue of Liberty. Citizens developed “dust pneumonia” and experienced chest pain and difficulty in breathing. The storms damaged the soil in around 100 million acres of land, leading to the greatest short-time migration in the American history, with approximately 3.5 million people abandoning their farms and fields.
Dust storms are an annual weather pattern in the northern region of India comprising Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and Punjab, as also in the Sindh region of Pakistan. But, they are normally low in intensity and accompanied by rains. In fact, people welcome dust storms as they bring down temperatures and herald the arrival of the monsoons. But, the dust storms that have hit India since February this year have been quantitatively and qualitatively different from those in the past. They are high-powered storms travelling long distances and destroying properties and agricultural fields. Since February, they have affected as many as 16 states and killed more than 500 people. Cities like Delhi were choked in dust for days, with air quality level reaching the “severe” category on most days.
The Dust Bowl areas of the Great Plains are largely arid and semi-arid and prone to extended periods of drought. The US federal government encouraged settlement and development of large-scale agriculture by giving large parcels of grasslands to settlers. Waves of European settlers arrived at the beginning of the 20th century and converted grasslands into agricultural fields. At the same time, technological improvements allowed rapid mechanization of farm equipment, especially tractors and combined harvesters, which made it possible to operate larger parcels of land.
For the next two decades, agricultural land grew manifold and farmers undertook extensive deep ploughing of the topsoil with the help of tractors to plant crops like wheat. This displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that trapped soil and moisture even during dry periods and high winds. Then, the drought struck. Successive waves of drought, which started in 1930 and ended in 1939, turned the Great Plains into bone-dry land. As the soil was already loose due to extensive ploughing, high winds turned them to dust and blew them away in huge clouds.Does this sound familiar?The dust storm regions of India and Pakistan too are largely arid and semi-arid. But they are at a lower altitude and hence less windy compared to the Great Plains. Over the last 50 years, chemical- and water-intensive agriculture has replaced the traditional low-input agriculture. Canal irrigation has been overtaken by the groundwater irrigation. In addition, mechanized agriculture has led to deeper ploughing, loosening more and more topsoil. The result has been devastating for the soil and groundwater. In most of these areas, the soil has been depleted and groundwater levels have fallen precipitously. On top of the man-made ecological destruction, the natural climatic cycle along with climate change is affecting the weather pattern of this region.
First, this area too is prone to prolonged drought. In fact, large parts of Haryana, Punjab, Delhi and western UP have experienced mildly dry to extremely dry conditions in the last six years. The Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), which specifies the level of dryness or excess rains in an area, of large parts of Haryana, Punjab and Delhi has been negative since 2012. Rajasthan, on the other hand shows a positive SPI or excess rainfall. Second, this area is experiencing increasing temperatures.In fact, there seems to be a strong correlation between the dust storms and the rapid increase in temperature. Maximum temperatures across northern and western India have been far higher than normal since April this year.Last, climate change is affecting the pattern of Western Disturbances (WDs), leading to stronger winds and stronger storms. WDs are storms originating in the Mediterranean region that bring winter rain to northwestern India. But because of the warming of the Arctic and the Tibetan Plateau, indications are that the WDs are becoming unseasonal, frequent and stronger.
The Dust Bowl led the US government to initiate a large-scale land-management and soil-conservation programme. Large-scale shelterbelt plantations, contour ploughing, conservation agriculture and establishment of conservation areas to keep millions of acres as grassland, helped halt wind erosion and dust storms. It is time India too recognizes its own Dust Bowl and initiates a large-scale ecological restoration programme to halt it. Else, we will see more intense dust storms, and a choked Delhi would be a permanent feature.
Q1.Which of the following statement is definitely false?
(a)The storms damaged the soil in around 100 million acres of land, leading to the greatest short-time migration in the American history.
(b)Over the last 50 years, traditional –low-input agriculture has replaced the chemical and water intensive agriculture.
(c)Citizens developed “dust pneumonia” and experienced chest pain and difficulty in breathing due to the Dust Bowl.
(d)WDs are storms originating in the Mediterranean region that bring winter rain to northwestern India.
(e)People welcome dust storms as they bring down temperatures and herald the arrival of the monsoons.
Q2.What is/are the factor/s turning large parts of India into a Dust Bowl?
(b)Changing weather patterns
(d)Unsustainable agriculture and deforestation
(e) All of these.
Q3.What is the difference between dust storm regions of India and Great Plains of US?
(a)The regions of India are less windy.
(b)Dust storm regions of India are at lower altitude than that of US.
(c)Dust storm regions in India are more intense than the ones in US.
(d) Both (a) and (b).
(e) Both (b) and (c).
Q4.What is the main reason that has led to the devastation of soil and depletion of groundwater?
(a)High powered storms travelling short distances.
(b) Deeper ploughing of soil and increased rate of using ground water source over canal water system.
(c) Because parts of Indo-Gangetic Plains were getting engulfed in a thick cloud of dust last week.
(d)WDs are becoming unseasonal, frequent and stronger.
(e) None of these.
Q5.What does SPI(Standardized Precipitation Index) indicate?
(a) Indicates the intensity of precipitation.
(b) Captures the effect of increased temperatures.
(c) Computes the amount of moisture in the air.
(d) Determines the air quality level.
(e) Specifies the level of dryness or excess rains in an area.
Directions (6-8): Choose the word which is most nearly the SAME in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
Directions (9-10):Choose the word which is the OPPOSITE in meaning as the word printed in bold as used in the passage.
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