FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION FOR RECRUITMENT TO POSTS IN BPS-17 UNDER THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, 1997 ENGLISH (Précis and Composition)
Time allowed: 3 hours Maximum marks: 100
Q1. Write a precis of the following passage and suggest a suitable title.
Exploration in the Arctic Circle still offers countless opportunities for fresh discoveries, but it is an adventure which is not to be undertaken lightly. As an occupation, it is more lonely and remote than anything else in the world and at any moment the traveller must be prepared to encounter hazard and difficulty which call for all his skill and enterprise. Nevertheless, such exploration with be carried as long as there are investigated areas to attract the daring and as long as the quest for knowledge inspires mankind.
Investigations have shown that the Arctic zone is rich in mineral deposits, but even if these deposits were themselves of little value, the economic importance of the Arctic would not be appreciably lessened. For it is generally agreed that “weather is made in the North”, and as the success or failure of the harvests all over the world is largely determined by the weather, it follows that agriculture and all those industrial and commercial activities dependent upon it must be considerably affected by the accuracy of the daily weather reports. Modern meteorologists regard the conditions prevailing in the Arctic as of first-rate importance in helping them to arrive at accurate results in their forecasts.
Yet quite apart from any economic or other practical considerations, there is a strange fascination about this vast unconquered region of stern northern beauty. Those who have once entered the vast polar regions like to speak of their inexpressive beauty, the charm of the yellow sun and dazzling ice pack, the everlasting snows and unmapped land where one never knows what lies ahead; it may be a gigantic glacier, which reflects a bean of sunlight over its frozen expanse or some wonderful fantastically shaped cliff which makes an unfading impression on the memory. It may even be an iceberg stately and terrifying, moving on its relentless way, for the Arctic is the birthplace of the great icebergs which threaten navigation.
Q2. Read the following passage carefully and answer any FOUR questions given at the end as briefly as possible.
Do we realize the extent to which the modern world relies for its opinions on public utterances and the Press? Do we realize how completely we are all in the power of report? Any little lie or exaggerated sentiment uttered by one with a bee in his bonnet, with a principle, or an end to serve, can, if cleverly expressed and distributed, distort the views of thousands, sometimes of millions. Any willful suppression of truth for Party or personal ends can so falsify our vision of things as to plunge us into endless cruelties and follies. Honesty of though and speech and written word is a jewel, and they who curb prejudice and seek honourably to know and speak the truth are the only true builders of a better life. But what a dull world if we can’t chatter and write irresponsibly, can’t slope over with hatred, or pursue our own ends without scruple! To be tied to the apron-strings of truth, or coiffed with the nightcap of silence, who in this age of cheap ink and oratory will submit to such a fate?
Report, I would almost say, now rules the world and holds the fate of man on the sayings of its many tongues. If the good sense of mankind cannot somehow restrain utterance and cleanse report, Democracy, so highly vaunted, will not save us; and all the glib words of promise spoken might as well have lain unuttered in the throats of orators. We are always in peril under Democracy of taking the line of least resistance and immediate material profit. The gentleman, for instance, whoever he was, who first discovered that he could sell his papers better by undercutting the standard of his rivals, and, appealing to the lower tastes of the Public under the flag of that convenient expression “what the Public wants”, made a most evil discovery. The Press is for the most part in the hands of men who know what is good and right. It can be a great agency for leveling up. But whether on the whole it is so or not, one continually hears doubted. There ought to be no room for doubt in any of our minds that the Press is on the side of the angels.
(i) Suggest an appropriate title for the passage.
(ii) Choose FIVE of the following words and give for each another word, or phrase, of similar meaning which might be used to replace the world in the passage. Sentiment, Distort, Willful, Curb, Vaunted, Glib, Material, Agency
(iii) Explain what is meant by any THREE of the following phrases as used in the passage.
With a principle of an end to serve, This age of cheap ink and oratory, Undercutting the standard, On the side of the angels.
Q3. Write a comprehensive note of approximately 250 words on ONE of the following subjects.
(i) The problem of Noise in the modern world
(ii) The motorway age
(iii) A contented mind is a blessing kind
(iv) A competitive society brings out the best in every individual
(v) The supernatural man (or woman)
Q4. Correct the following sentences.
(i) The idea of me flying is too silly to even contemplate.
(ii) He reads better than any boy in the class.
(iii) Every citizen should use their role.
(iv) I do not remember him giving me a present.
(v) Whom would you say is likely to win the fight?
(vi) Neither him nor his friend were hurt.
(vii) Passing by the damage house, a brick fell on my shoulder.
(viii) My cousin always has and always will be interested in the theatre.
(ix) The vast extent of the steppes of Central Asia is enormous.
(x) Nobody didn’t ought to lose their way so easy in a small town.
Q5. Rearrange the following in pairs of synonyms. garrulous, selfish, near, talkative, obstruct, egoistic, wealthy, impede, affluent, filch, imminent, assess, tempting, ponder, augment, enticing, meditate, increase, estimate, steal.
Q6. Explain any FIVE of the following idioms by using them into sentences.
(i) To beat the air (ii) To beggar description (iii) To bring to mind (iv) To call in question (v) To cap it all (vi) To clip one’s wings (vii) To cross the Rubicon (viii) To feel the pulse (ix) To fly in the face of (x) To rise like a phoenix from its ashes