FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT
TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1980
ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
- Summarize the following passage, tracing the main arguments and reducing it about one-third of its present length.
The attention we give to terrorism often seems disproportionate to its real importance. Terrorism incidents make superb copy for journalists, but kill and maim fewer people than road accidents. Nor is terrorism politically effective. Empires rise and fall according to the real determinants of politics — namely overwhelming force or strong popular support — not according to a bit of mayhem caused by isolated fanatics whom one would take seriously enough to vote for it. Indeed, the very variety of incidents that might be described as “terrorism” has been such as to lead critics to suggest that no single subject for investigation exists at all. Might we not regard terrorism as a kind of minor blotch on the skin of an industrial civilization whose very heart is filled with violent dreams and aspirations. Who would call in the dermatologist when the heart itself is sick.
But popular opinion takes terrorism very seriously indeed and popular opinion is probably right. For the significance of terrorism lies not only in the grotesque nastiness of terroristic outrages but also in the moral claims they imply. Terrorism is the most dramatic exemplification of the moral fault of blind willfulness. Terrorism is a solipsistic denial of the obligation of self-control we all must recognize when we live in civilized communities.
Certainly the sovereign high road to misunderstanding terrorism is the pseudo-scientific project of attempting do discover its causes. Terrorists themselves talk of the frustrations which have supposedly necessitated their actions but to transform these facile justifications into scientific hypotheses is to succumb to the terrorists own fantasies. To kill and main people is a choice people make, and glib invocations of necessity are baseless. Other people living in the same situation see no such necessity at all. Hence there are no “causes” of terrorism; only decision to terrorize. It is a moral phenomenon and only a moral discussion can be adequate to it.
- “Had he and I but met
By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
Right many a nipperkin!
“But ranged as infantry,
And staring face to face,
I shot him as he at me
And killed him as his place.
“I shot him dead because —
Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
That’s clear enough; although.
“He thought he’d list, perhaps
Off-hand like just as I —
Was out of work had sold his traps
No other reason why
“Yes, quaint and curious was is!
You shoot a fellow down
You’d treat if met where any bar is,
Or help to half-a-crown.
(i) What thought troubles the speaker? What is his reflected opinion about his deed in wartime? Why did he feel differently during the war?
(ii) Do you think that the poem expresses an idea common to soldiers in all wars? What is that idea?
- (a) Write brief definitions of the following ten words.
(i) Munificent (ii) Rapacious (iii) Jeopardize (iv) Fatuous (v) Edify (vi) Esoteric (vii) Impasse (viii) Incongruous (ix) Docile (x) Repercussions
(b) Bring out the meaning of any FIVE of the following in appropriate sentences.
(i) Pocket the affront (ii) Thin end of the wedge (iii) Flash in the pan (iv) To keep at a respectful distance (v) At one’s beck and call (vi) Go against the grain (vii) Bring grist to the mill (viii) Upset the apple cart (ix) Hoist on one’s own petard (x) Live on the fat of the land
- (a) Below are FIVE sentences each containing a common grammatical error. Make the necessary corrections.
(i) There was a very different atmosphere in the town this morning than there was yesterday.
(ii) Every one must decide for themselves what to do about it.
(iii) I should’t be surprised if he doesn’t turn up tomorrow.
(iv) Neither Farooq or Akbar are going to the wedding lunch on Saturday.
(v) I compared his essay to Mushtaq’s and found them to be almost identical.
(b) Correct the spelling of the following TEN words.
(i) Occurrance (ii) Ecstacy (iii) Drunkeness (iv) Irrisistible (v) Supercede (vi) Embarrasing (vii) Disoppoint (viii) accasional (ix) Indespensible (x) Persevarance
- Write a brief essay on ONE of the following.
(a) “A great part of the mischief of the world arise from words”
(b) Democracy and Human Dignity
(c) The Third World
(d) Freedom of Speech
(e) “The most important thing is not to find, but to add to ourselves what we find.”
Write a short speech for a symposium on the Dilemma of Youth.