Directions (1-5): In each of the following questions, a paragraph with a blank is given. From the five choices given below, select the sentence which can go into the blank to make the paragraph logically coherent.
1. In Pakistan where television faces censorship and the print media is under pressure, social media platforms are a thriving space where people express views without fear. Whoever is behind the disappearances is targeting such free debates. (…………………………………). Some commentators have already implicated the state, citing the pattern in the disappearances and the military’s track record in dealing with dissent. The Interior Minister has said the government “is not in the business of disappearing people”, but he has the responsibility to find out what happened to the activists. For decades Pakistan tolerated a culture of violence within its society for political and strategic benefits, but this has backfired. Liberal space is shrinking in the wake of challenges from the extremists that benefited from the state’s tolerance of violence. The government has to take bold measures to check these groups and promote free and fearless thinking if it wants the already vulnerable democratic dynamics to survive.
(a) Pakistani state will have to suppress voices being raised over social platforms.
(b) Social awakening should be confined by the Pakistani state.
(c) Pakistan must be taken to task by the UN for its attempt to raising dissenting voices.
(d) Terror outfits must be curbed by their bosses so as to ward off the American new dispensation.
(e) This should be a wake-up call to the Pakistani state.
2. The importance of welfare support for small and marginal farmers cannot be overstated, given the vagaries of the monsoon. More than a decade ago, the National Commission on Farmers pointed out that successive droughts, illness, high expenditure on social obligations and asset loss push farmers to the brink. Yet, not much has changed in the management of drought from the low-budget practices of the colonial era, as the Swaraj Abhiyan case in the Supreme Court last year revealed. (………………………). The Centre has to ensure that the Drought Management Manual is updated to reflect farmers’ concerns, chiefly, giving weightage to the amount of rainfall deficit and declaring a drought without delay. In Tamil Nadu, excessive reliance on water-intensive rice cultivation, and lower priority for hardy millets have raised the risk for many farmers. Active recharging of groundwater and harvesting of surface water are vital to meet the challenges.
(a) The Centre should establish state-consultation policy at the earliest.
(b) No more time can be lost in making the administrative system for agriculture responsive to today’s needs.
(c) The concerned state should consult the Centre promptly ensuring accelerated justice to stressed farmers.
(d) Time management in the governmental schemes must be prioritised as soon as possible.
(e) The further delay in reaching out to farmers through welfare schemes must be shunned on part of both the governments.
3. (………………………………….). Their purport is to describe relationships in the best possible terms. Nevertheless, India’s decisions over the past two decades to upgrade more than 30 of its bilateral relationships to strategic partnerships is excessive. While there may be many ways to parse the term, its usage in international diplomacy is fairly clear: it defines a bilateral relationship more important than others, but stops short of an actual alliance. The term “strategic” further implies a future convergence of interests in areas that are vital: security, defence and investment.
(a) Bilateral relations coast on diplomatic niceties and joint statements invariably use flowery language.
(b) Bilateral relations need to be manipulated in the softest terms possible as they tend to be rhetorical.
(c) The strategic relation between countries takes an ugly tern when it is depended on heavily.
(d) Impropriety in bilateral relations is misused by other countries establishing thaw with that country.
(e) Rhetorical use of languages does not allow heads of the countries to use vernaculars in bilateral deals.
4. India’s latest strategic partnership signed with the east African country of Rwanda, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Rwandan President Paul Kagame in Gandhinagar this week, warrants further study. Rwanda is a land-locked country with 90 per cent of its population engaged in subsistence agriculture. It is also still recovering from the mass murder of large sections of its Hutu population in 1994, though the country has registered remarkable progress and growth in the last few years. While it may therefore be an important destination for India’s development assistance, it is difficult to see how it qualifies as a “strategic partner”, particularly given that India is yet to set up a full diplomatic mission in the country; the last time (………………………………). Given all of this, it would seem that the government’s move was more about window-dressing the relationship than imbuing it with any meaningful substance.
(a) Even the incumbent Modi government seems to be touching its charms in improving the thaw with this.
(b) The previous governments have been ludicrous in pursuing their relations with Rwanda.
(c) New Delhi’s excessive effort to improve the thaw with Rwanda will expose it to historic failure.
(d) New Delhi even sent a delegation to Kigali was in 2012.
(e) Failure to improve bilateral relations with Rwanda this time will scarcely provide such an opportunity.
5. The first signs that sex ratios might be returning to normal appeared after the last round of censuses. The sex ratio among China’s children, which had risen steadily for decades, did not budge between 2000 and 2010. (………………………………). But more girls were counted in the states where sex selection had been most common, such as Haryana and Punjab.
(a) The West feels compelled to increase sex ratio as the dependent affect the economy badly.
(b) Other Asian countries also need to follow suit of China.
(c) In India, the excess of boys over girls worsened slightly between 2001 and 2011.
(d) India will definitely have to follow in the footsteps China has marked.
(e) In China sex selection which had been made punishable offence will be rendered legal.

  1. ANSWER:   1. e 2. b 3. a 4. d 5. c 

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