Directions: Each of the following question contains a paragraph and a blank in it. Choose from the options, the appropriate phrase to fill in the blank that is both logically and grammatically correct.
- China is no stranger to reform. Over the past three decades the structure of the government has changed at least half a dozen times. But the scale of reform pushed through this month is comparable to that of 1998 when Zhu Rongji as Premier shut or merged 15 ministries as part of a major liberalisation drive. This time, Prime Minister Li Keqiang has closed six ministries, two ministry-level agencies and seven vice ministry-level departments. Beijing ____________________________________, while the Vice President, till now holding a ceremonial post, is expected to play an active role in policymaking.
will coordinate between the banking and securities regulators and work towards trimming China’s debt burdenhas also created a powerful anti-corruption agencyhas enjoyed over the last two and a half decades was a result of high and sustained economic growth coupled with reformwill ignore these intimations of discontent only at his own riskAll are CorrectOption B
- The Delhi High Court verdict setting aside the disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in Delhi is a searing indictment of the manner in which the Election Commission handled the complaint that ________________________________________. For a body vested with the crucial power to determine whether lawmakers have incurred disqualification in certain circumstances and advise the President or the Governor suitably, this is an embarrassing moment. The court has not reviewed its decision on merits. Rather, it has ruled that the EC violated the principles of natural justice while adjudicating a lawyer’s complaint against the legislators.
have treated the matter with abundant caution, given the ease with which political parties tend to question the EC’s impartialityhad not heard the matter and assumed office only in September 2017, had signed the orderthey held offices of profit while serving as parliamentary secretariesmay result in unseating elected representatives, fairness of procedure is no less important than finding an answer to the questionAll are CorrectOption C
- Cricket is a sport, but it is also a code of honour. The phrase ‘it’s not cricket’ refers to any act that is not fair. That it has been called ‘a gentleman’s game’ suggests that it is held to high standards. Yet, like a few other things wrong with the game, ball-tampering remains one of its murkiest secrets. The seemingly innocuous application of saliva and sweat, and more interventionist acts such as pressing chewed lozenges, ___________________________ the use of nails or abrasive dust from the turf, and in some cases the use of bottle openers have plunged a knife into the game’s heart even as they enhanced many a fast bowler’s ability to extract reverse-swing.
throwing the ball hard on the surface,publicly questioned the team’s approach to the gamethe overwhelming feeling among the game’s greats and the larger cricketinga nefarious attempt to alter the shape of the ballAll are CorrectOption A
- Elections to the Rajya Sabha would have been dull, predictable affairs if not for stories of intrigue and betrayal. In this round of biennial elections to the Upper House of Parliament, _________________________________the 10th seat from Uttar Pradesh, eventually won by the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Bahujan Samaj Party through a combination of cross-voting and last-minute switch of loyalties. BSP legislator Anil Kumar Singh was open about his rebellion, and his support for the BJP candidate. Independent member Raghuraj Pratap Singh, who is close to the SP, helped the BJP’s cause too.
it created more differences between the Left and the Congressto drive a wedge between the two partiesthe BJP was hoping that the outcome would sow the seeds of distrust between the SP and the BSPthe element of drama was provided byAll are CorrectOption D
- The Maldivian government’s decision to lift the state of emergency after 45 days, just ahead of the expiry of its second self-imposed deadline, comes as cold comfort for those concerned about the turn of events in the islands over the past couple of months. In a statement India said the withdrawal of the emergency is but “one step”, and much more must be done to restore democracy in the Maldives. The opposition, mostly in exile and led by former President Mohamad Nasheed, says the emergency was lifted only because President Abdulla Yameen _____________________________________ since the February 1 court verdict that cancelled the sentencing of 12 opposition leaders and ordered their release.
to demonstrate its relevance to the Maldives as the biggest power in the South Asian regionpushback from the Yameen government is in stark contrast to its desire over the past few years to work with Indiais seen to be coercion by the security forces, which had locked downhas established total control over the judiciary and parliamentAll are CorrectOption D
- The NDA government’s scheme to provide health cover of ₹5 lakh per year to 10 crore poor and vulnerable families through the Ayushman Bharat-National Health Protection Mission has taken a step forward with the Union Cabinet approving the modalities of its implementation. Considering the small window, just over a year, available before the term of the present government ends, urgent action is needed to roll out such an ambitious scheme. For a start, the apex council that _____________________________________it in partnership with the States need to be set up.
will steer the programme and the governing board to operationaliseto be given a sound legal basis, ideally through a separate lawgovernment should take the bold step of including these groups universallya grand national health system to expand accessAll are CorrectOption A
- The U.S. Federal Reserve continues to slowly pull away the punch bowl as the party gets going. This week the Fed raised its benchmark short-term interest rate by 25 basis points to 1.50-1.75%, the highest in a decade. While this is only the sixth rate increase since the financial crisis of 2008 — which pushed central banks to cut interest rates to historic lows —_____________________________________. Higher borrowing costs could squeeze both markets and the wider economy. If its dot-plot projections are considered, the Fed under its new Chairman Jerome Powell — who chaired the Federal Open Market Committee meeting for the first time on Wednesday — is expected to raise rates two more times in 2018.
is at its highest since the financial crisiswhich is directly influenced by central banks to affect interest rates across the boardit portends further increases in global interest ratesmaking them prone to exchange rate risks as wellAll are CorrectOption C
- The world has just learned how a data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, harvested the data of 50 million Facebook users and used that information to feed strategies such as ‘behavioural microtargeting’ and ‘psychographic messaging’ for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in the U.S. Chris Wylie, a former CA employee-turned-whistle-blower,___________________________________ for alt-right media guru Steve Bannon to try to sway the election in Mr. Trump’s favour. CA chief executive Alexander Nix, who was suspended a few days ago following an undercover report by a British TV broadcaster, said the company has used other dubious methods in projects worldwide — including honeytraps to discredit clients’ opponents.
is evolving at a rapid pace, raising the question whether laws need to be reframed mandating an opt-out approach universally rather than an opt-in approachis particularly prickly because politics and elections are involvedset off a storm with revelations of how the company had deployed a ‘psychological warfare’ toolto have their data destroyedAll are CorrectOption C
- Will laying down procedural safeguards to curb false accusations work against the interest of protecting the oppressed from discrimination and caste-based atrocities? This is the salient question that arises from the Supreme Court verdict that has taken note of the perception that the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, is being rampantly misused to settle personal scores and harass adversaries. On the face of it, it is difficult to fault the court’s approach. It is settled law that ________________________________________.
conviction rates under the Act remain lowthe spirit of a law in favour of oppressed sectionsthe mere scope for misuse of an Act is not a ground to invalidate itone need not worry about misuse and its adverse effectsAll are CorrectOption C
- The government’s announcement that the remains of 39 Indian workers, kidnapped four years ago by the Islamic State, have been found near Mosul in Iraq, has brought a painful closure to the episode. According to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, remains found in a mass grave have been matched conclusively with DNA samples for all but one of the men declared missing almost four years ago. Part of a group of construction labourers held by the IS shortly after the fall of Mosul in June 2014, they ______________________________________and said they were being held in a basement while fighting raged outside.
have shown more sensitivity by informing the families before Ms. Swaraj made the rushed announcement in Parliamenthave been more prudent for the authorities to be circumspect instead of unnecessarily talking up the chances of finding the men alivehad subsequently fled with a group of Bangladeshi labourershad last contacted their families in the middle of that monthAll are CorrectOption D