Directions: In each of the following questions a passage is given in which there is a blank. Choose the most logical and appropriate option from the five options given that can be filled in the blank.
- The Department of Telecom (DoT) needs to be commended for taking the lead in adopting strong net neutrality rules and ensuring that the free nature of Internet is not changed. Strong rules are important because telecom operators, being the gatekeepers, ______________________________ Practices like blocking, slowing down or throttling, and preferential treatment of certain content over others are ways in which an operator can game the network to influence consumer behaviour.
to ensure implementation of net neutralityhave the power to differentiate on the basis of content.to identify all the key areas of concerns and opportunities for growthto rationalise government taxes and levies for the sectorNone of theseOption B
- The latest annual ranking of States on ‘ease of doing business’ tells us that ______________________________ While Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have grabbed the first two slots, it is notable that Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are in the first 10, their incremental reforms bettering States such as Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. If this impetus translates into a certain equalisation of investment across regions, it may mitigate existing regional inequalities.
there’s a long way to go before India and its States can be considered well-governed, but not unnecessarily regulatedthe rankings have this time been prepared after incorporating feedback from industrythe economically backward States are keen to catch up with the industrialised western and southern States.it is not clear whether the top-ranked States have attracted domestic investment or FDI flowsNone of theseOption C
- The Centre has invited a barrage of criticism, some of them valid, after placing in the public domain the Higher Education Commission of India (Repeal of University Grants Commission Act) Bill 2018. A fundamental feature of the proposed HECI, as opposed to the UGC, is that ______________________________ . The rest of the draft Bill promises both “autonomy” and a resolve to enforce standards for teaching and research. It makes sense to divest the regulator of the role of providing funds.
it will focus only on enforcement of standards and not disburse grants; the latter role will be vested with the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD).it will crack down on substandard institutions nor utilise the funds allocated to it in the absence of norms on how funds should be distributed to universitiesreduced role of academicians in the HECIit has failed in enforcing standards or acting as the independent body it was envisaged to beNone of theseOption A
- The Securities Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) private ‘advisory’ to ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, asking the asset manager to refund ₹240 crore plus interest to investors in its schemes, flags hitherto hidden governance issues for mutual fund (MF) investors. The issue pertains to ICICI Pru MF’s decision to invest ₹640 crore in the recent IPO of ICICI Securities. The regulator’s contention is that ______________________________ The stock has since dropped 40 per cent below its offer price.
to make only half-yearly disclosures of such deals, post facto.the fund house has effectively engaged in an act of bailing out its sister firm when its IPO was in danger of floundering.the IPO would have failed to go through.to ask the fund house to make refunds, it has taken refuge in a private ‘advisory’ to ICICI Pru MF instead of passing a public order to this effect.None of theseOption B
- Project ‘Sashakt’ — the Sunil Mehta-led committee’s five-point plan on bad loan resolution — offers little by way of any actionable plan to tackle the issues at hand. The committee’s five-pronged strategy is nothing but a shoddy attempt to politicise cleaning up of banks’ balance sheet and state the obvious, ______________________________ For instance, the bank-led resolution approach suggested for loans of ₹50-500 crore, is nothing new. The lead bank — in a consortium lending — preparing a resolution plan, to be approved by 66 per cent of the lenders (by value) is only a mere tweak at best, to the earlier JLF (the joint lenders’ forum) structure that failed miserably.
instead of mechanically rubber-stamping all of the asset managers’ decisions.with index names alone excluded from these curbs.while there are obvious conflicts of interest to a MF investing in group entitiesafter the initial intent of setting up an asset reconstruction company to take over bad loans ran aground.None of theseOption D
- When it comes to adopting digitisation and online platforms Indian users are among the top consumers globally. The growth in consumption of video and online content has been growing exponentially over the last two years. The tectonic shift from an analogue world to a digital future is visible across all aspects of life. ______________________________ But until recently mobile operators were adopting a piecemeal approach in establishing a high speed broadband infrastructure. The scenario changed in 2016 after Reliance Jio launched its 4G services at price points that were drastically lower than the prevailing tariffs.
This will also further disrupt consumer behaviour as bandwidth guzzling services will now become a reality.However, with only 400 million users having access to broadband, we are still scratching the surface when it comes to data usage.At the centre of this transition to a digital world is the availability of a reliable and affordable data network.The large incumbent operators, despite being in operation for over two decades, have optical fibre network.None of theseOption C
- From the moment Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal hailed the Supreme Court’s judgement on the powers conferred on the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory ______________________________ it was clear that the judicial reiteration of the Constitutional Scheme would be just another footnote in the fierce power struggle raging between the BJP-led Centre and AAP-led Delhi government.
as an approval of his supremacy over executive authority,as a Union Territory under the Centre,as underlined that the Lieutenant Governor is not just bound by the “aid and advice” of the Council of Ministers,as “every matter”, it would lead to the President assuming administration of every aspect of Delhi’s affairs which is a negation of the Constitutional Scheme for the city-state.None of theseOption A
- With possibly an eye on 2019, the Centre has stuck to its Budget promise of fixing kharif support prices at 50 per cent or more over the cost of production, which includes family labour but not rent. In the case of bajra, tur, urad and cotton, the increase awarded is 97 per cent, 65 per cent, 63 per cent and 59 per cent, respectively, over cost. The Centre’s focus on increasing pulses output and reducing dependency on imports is laudable. It is just as well ______________________________ as well as the nutrient intake of all consumers.
that only 13.5 per cent of paddy farmers sell their produce to a procurement body.that high MSPs in such situations only end up fuelling inflationary expectations, with hefty gains accruing to intermediaries.that minimum support price (MSP) increases may not help in fulfilling these ends, in the absence of a robust procurement infrastructure.that it has sought to push millets cultivation as well, a move that will benefit both dryland farmersNone of theseOption D
- Should the Employees’ Provident Fund function as a flexible market-linked vehicle for white collar employees to build a generous retirement kitty? Or should it be a closed-end contributory fund that guarantees a minimum social security net to those at the lower rungs of the income ladder? The Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) ______________________________ Recent tweaks to its design by its Board of Trustees suggest that it is tying itself into knots, trying to meet these conflicting objectives.
is likely to be cheered by the more affluent membersnow veer in the opposite direction.seems to be quite confused on this score.may do serious harm to the social security of lower-income employeesNone of theseOption C
- The move to end an important support extended to Indian shipping for close to two decades on carrying cargo bought and sold by state-run firms is likely ______________________________ The Centre is set to pull the plug on the right of first refusal (RoFR) given to domestic shipping companies which allows them to match the lowest tariff quoted by a foreign line in a tender and take the contract. While the logic behind the Centre’s thinking is not clear, it is perhaps the clearest indication yet that shipping, ironically led by a go-getter minister Nitin Gadkari, has no role to play in the government’s scheme of things.
to boost their respective shipping industries by strictly enforcing cabotage — the sovereign right of a country — provisions.to boost local manufacturing and is promoting the ambitious Sagarmala programme for port-led industrialisation.to take the wind out of the sails of local fleet owners.to carry exim transshipment containers and empty containers for re-positioning along the coast.None of theseOption C