IAS Exam Papers-Main -English 1998

English - 1998 (Main) (Compulsory) Time Allowed : Three Hours                Maximum Marks : 300

Q. 1. Write an essay in about 300 words on- any one of the following :
(a) The Limits of Science
(b) Our Intellectuals
(c) Have We Lost the Direction ?
(d) Computers in Everyday Life
(e) Below the Poverty Line

Q. 2. Read this passage carefully and answer the questions set at the end

We think of the moon as only a stone, a stone gone cold. An airless, waterless stone and the prophetic image of our own earth when, some few million years from now, the senescent sun shall have lost its present fostering power . .... And so on. This passage could easily be prolonged - a Study in Purple. But I forbear. Let every reader lay on as much of the royal rhetorical colour as he finds to his taste. Anyhow, purple or no purple, there the stone is - stony. You cannot think about it for long without finding yourself invaded by one or other of several sentiments. These sentiments belong to one or other of two contrasted and complementary groups. The name of the first family is Sentiments of Human Insignificance, of the second, Sentiments of Human Greatness. Meditating on that derelict stone afloat there in the abyss, you may feel a worm,. abject and futile in the face of wholly incomprehensible immensities. 'The silence of those infinite spaces frightens. me.' You may feel as Pascal felt. Or, alternatively, you may feel as M. Paul Valery has said: `The silence of those infinite spaces does not frighten me.' For the spectacle of that moon need not necessarily make you feel like a worm. It may, on the contrary, cause you to rejoice exultantly in your manhood. There floats the stone, the nearest and most familiar symbol of all the astronomical horrors: but the astronomers who discovered those horrors of space and time were men. The universe throws down a challenge to the human spirit; in spite of his insignificance and abjection, man has taken it up. The stone glares down at us out of the black boundlessness. But the fact that we know it justifies us in feeling a certain human pride. We have a right to our moods of sober exultation.

(a) How does the writer describe the moon ?
(b) Do you think that the image of the moon revealed here is prophetic ? Why ?
(c) What kind of two contrasted and complementary sentiments does the moon evoke ?
(d) What does the author try to suggest about the place of man in the universe ?
(e) Give the central idea of the passage.

Q. 3. Write a precis of the passage given below in your own words, not exceeding 160, on the special sheets provided. The precis sheets should be fastened securely inside the answer book. State the number of words used by you in the precis.

Three Hours Maximum Marks : 300

Candidates should attempt all questions.
The number of marks carried by each question is indicated at the end of the question.
Answers must be written in English.

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 ................. .
/ 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.

N.B. : Marks will be deducted if your precis is much longer or shorter than the prescribed length. 75

I speak of peace because of the new face of war. Total war makes no sense in an age when great powers can maintain large and relatively invulnerable nuclear forces and refuse to surrender without resort to those forces. It makes no sense in an age when a single nuclear weapon contains almost ten times the explosive force delivered by all of the Allied air forces in the Second World War. It makes no sense in an age when the deadly poisons produced by a nuclear exchange would be carried by the wind and water and soil and seed to the far corners of the globe and to generations yet unborn.

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them is essential to keeping the peace. But surely the acquisition of such idle stockpiles, which can only destroy and never create, is not the only, much less the most efficient, means of assuring peace.

I speak of peace, therefore, as the necessary rational end of rational men. I realize that the pursuit of peace is not as dramatic as the pursuit of war, and frequently the words of the pursuer fall on deaf ears. But we have no more urgent task.

Some say that it is useless to speak of world peace or world law or world disarmament, and that it will be useless until the leaders of those nations, perceived to be hostile by us, adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must re-examine our own attitude, as individuals and as a nation, for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward, by examining his own attitude toward the possibilities of peace.

First, let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable, that mankind is doomed, that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

Our problems are man-made: therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man's reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable and we believe they can do it again.

Let us focus on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace, no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process, a way of solving problems.

With such a peace there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbour; it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbours.

So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all peoples to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly toward it.

Q. 4. (a) Fill in the blanks with the appropriate forms of words given below :                  10
deter,  increase,  ardour,  resolve,  courage,  divide,  prestige,  commend,  pious,  invoke
(i) Paradise Lost opens with an ................... of the divine.
(ii) When is your next .................. due ?
(iii) One must have a firm ................... to achieve one's goal.
(iv) Unless we are .................. we can never face obstacles.
(v) Will our nuclear explosions have quite a .................. effect ?
(vi) United we stand, .................. we fall.
(vii) The programme of rehabilitation is ...................... .
(viii) Without .................. religious pursuit has hardly any meaning.
(x) In Gandhian era the people of our country had .................. spirit of patriotism.
(x) This school is a very .................... institution.

(b) Use the following words in your own sentences, each both as a noun and a verb :     10
practice;    question;    complement;    substitute;    crop.

(c) Rewrite the following sentences as directed (i) "Help me Cassius, or l die," cried Caesar.
(Turn it into the indirect form.)
(ii) John in brighter than all other students in his class.
(Change into the positive degree.)
(iii) You cannot see him, for it is not easy to reach him.
(Give one word for the words in bold italics.)
(iv) She would not go home during the holidays
(Use a question tag.)
(v) If you do not work hard, you cannot succeed.
(Use 'unless'.)

Q. 5. (a) Correct the following sentences
(i) It is an unique privilege to welcome our guests.
(ii) A herd of cattles were grazing in the farm.
(iii) If you would have studied hard, you should have passed.
(iv) One of my friend is a good poet.
(v) Either his parents or Pheroze is going to come today.
(vi) When you are going to London to meet with your friends there ?
(vii) For heaven's sake, please don't ask me that why am I not coming ?
(viii) I cannot be able to play cricket this evening.
(ix) You are the teacher here, isn't it ?
(x) Shakespeare, the playwright and the poet born in Stratford-upon-Avon.

(b) Fill in the blanks choosing the appropriate words put within the brackets :                10
(i) He ............... his past statement in the course of his speech.
(avert, advert)
(ii) In their response to the call they are ..................... .
(invert, inert)
(iii) There is no ................... to the gift he received.
(illusion, allusion)
(iv) ................... distillation is an offence.
(Elicit, Illicit)
(v) He had no ....................... to any help.
(recourse, resource)
(vi) He is certainly not honest; he is always .................... .
(hypercritical, hypocritical)
(vii) Smoking is ................... here.
(proscribed, prescribed)
(viii) Kishore sends his .......................... to you.
(compliments, complements)
(ix) We must not cast any ................. at him, for he is innocent.
(aspiration, aspersion)
(x) The students' attitude to their teacher is not ................... .
(deferential, differential)

(c) Use the following phrases in your own sentences bringing out the meaning :               5
(i) Out of tune
(ii) To put one's foot down
(iii) At sixes and sevens
(iv) Through thick and thin
(v) To put something up


Candidates should attempt all questions.
The number of marks carried by each question is indicated at the end of the question.
Answers must be written in English.

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