INFOSYS READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS WITH SOLUTIONS

Sixty years ago, on the evening of August 14, 1947, a few hours before Britain’s Indian Empire was formally divided into the nation-states of India and Pakistan, Lord Louis Mountbatten and his wife, Edwina, sat down in the viceregal mansion in New Delhi to watch the latest Bob Hope movie, “My Favorite Brunette.” Large parts of the subcontinent were descending into chaos, as the implications of partitioning the Indian Empire along religious lines became clear to the millions of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs caught on the wrong side of the border. In the next few months, some twelve million people would be uprooted and as many as a million murdered. But on that night in mid-August the bloodbath—and the fuller consequences of hasty imperial retreat—still lay in the future, and the Mountbattens probably felt they had earned their evening’s entertainment. Mountbatten, the last viceroy of India, had arrived in New Delhi in March , 1947, charged with an almost impossible task. Irrevocably enfeebled by the Second World War, the British belatedly realized that they had to leave the subcontinent, which had spiraled out of their control through the nineteen-forties. But plans for brisk disengagement ignored messy realities on the ground. Mountbatten had a clear remit to transfer power to the Indians within fifteen months. Leaving India to God, or anarchy, as Mohandas Gandhi, the foremost Indian leader, exhorted, wasn’t a political option, however tempting. Mountbatten had to work hard to figure out how and to whom power was to be transferred. The dominant political party, the Congress Party, took inspiration from Gandhi in claiming to be a secular organization, representing all four hundred million Indians. But many Muslim politicians saw it as a party of upper-caste Hindus and demanded a separate homeland for their hundred million co-religionists, who were intermingled with non-Muslim populations across the subcontinent’s villages, towns, and cities. Eventually, as in Palestine, the British saw partition along religious lines as the quickest way to the exit. But sectarian riots in Punjab and Bengal dimmed hopes for a quick and dignified British withdrawl, and boded ill for India’s assumption of power. Not surprisingly, there were some notable absences at the Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi on August 15th. Gandhi, denouncing freedom from imperial rule as a “wooden loaf,” had remained in Calcutta, trying, with the force of his moral authority, to stop Hindus and Muslims from killing each other. His great rival Mohammed Ali Jinnah, who had fought bitterly for a separate homeland for Indian Muslims, was in Karachi, trying to hold together the precarious nation-state of Pakistan. Nevertheless, the significance of the occasion was not lost on many. While the Mountbattens were sitting down to their Bob Hope movie, India’s constituent assembly was convening in New Delhi. The moment demanded grandiloquence, and Jawaharlal Nehru, Gandhi’s closest disciple and soon to be India’s first Prime Minister, provided it. “Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny,” he said. “At the stroke of the midnight hour, while the world sleeps, India will awaken to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new , when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.” Posterity has enshrined this speech, as Nehru clearly intended. But today his quaint phrase “tryst with destiny” resonates ominously, so enduring has been the political and psychological scars of partition. The souls of the two new nation-states immediately found utterance in brutal enmity. In Punjab, armed vigilante groups, organized along religious lines and incited by local politicians, murdered countless people, abducting and raping thousands of women. Soon, India and Pakistan were fighting a war—the first of three—over the disputed territory of Kashmir. Gandhi, reduced to despair by the seemingly endless cycle of retaliatory mass murders and displacement, was shot dead in Januar, 1948, by a Hindu extremist who believed that the father of the Indian nation was too soft on Muslims. Jinnah, racked with tuberculosis and overwork, died a few months later, his dream of a secular Pakistan apparently buried with him. Many of the seeds of postcolonial disorder in South Asia were sown much earlier, in two centuries of direct and indirect British rule, but, as book after book has demonstrated, nothing in the complex tragedy of partition was inevitable. In “Indian Summer” (Henry Holt; $30), Alex von Tunzelmann pays particular attention to how negotiations were shaped by an interplay of personalities. Von Tunzelmann goes on a bit too much about the Mountbattens’ open marriage and their connections to various British royals, toffs, and fops, but her account, unlike those of some of her fellow British historians, isn’t filtered by nostalgia. She summarizes bluntly the economic record of the British overlords, who, though never as rapacious and destructive as the Belgians in the Congo, damaged agriculture and retarded industrial growth in India through a blind faith in the “invisible hand” that supposedly regulated markets. Von Tunzelmann echoes Edmund Burke’s denunciation of the East India Company when she terms the empire’s corporate forerunner a “beast” whose “the only object was money”; and she reminds readers that, in 1877, the year that Queen Victoria officially became Empress of India, a famine in the south killed five million people even as the Queen’s viceroy remained adamant that famine relief was a misguided policy. Politically, too, British rule in India was deeply conservative, limiting Indian access to higher education, industry, and the civil service. Writing in the New York Tribune in the mid-nineteenth century, Karl Marx predicted that British colonials would prove to be the “unconscious tool” of a “social revolution” in a subcontinent stagnating under “Oriental despotism.” As it turned out, the British, while restricting an educated middle class, empowered a multitude of petty Oriental despots. (In 1947, there were five hundred and sixty-five of these feudatories, often called maharajas, running states as large as Belgium and as small as Central Park.)

Question 1.From the passage, what can we conclude about the view of the author about Lord Mountbatten?
A.Appreciative
B.Sarcastic
C.Neutral
D.Speculative
Ans:b

Question 2.What is the author likely to agree to as the reason for the chaos in the sub-continent in 1947?
A.Because Gandhi was assassinated
B.Because the British left the sub-continent in haste.
C.Because the Hindus and Muslims could not live in peace.
D.Because Lord Mountbatten was watching a movie on 14th August 1947.
Ans:b

Question 3.What could possibly “grandiloquence” mean as inferred from the context in which it has been used in the passage?

Option 1 : Option 2 : Option 3 : Option 4 :
A.Grand Party
B.Celebrations
C.Lofty speech
D.Destiny
Ans:c

Question 4.What is the author primarily talking about in the article?
A.Mountbatten’s association with India.
B.Nehru’s speech
C.Gandhi’s assassination
D.The aftermath of the partition.
Ans:d

Question 5.In the view of the author, What does the Nehru’s phrase “tryst with destiny” symbolize today?
A.A celebration of Indian Independence
B.An inspirational quote
C.A reminder of Gandhi’s assassination
D.A symbol of the ills of the partition
Ans:d

Question 6.The author persists on talking about the ” Bob Hope movie” in the article. Why?
A.Because the movie was a classic of 1947
B.He thinks it caused the partition of the sub-continent.
C.He uses it to show the apathy of the Britishers towards the sub-continent
D.It was Mountbatten’s favorite movie.
Ans:c

Question 7.What does the author imply about the future of Pakistan?
A.It becomes a secular country.
B.It becomes unsecular.
C.It is unprosperous.
D.It becomes a rogue state.
Ans:b

Question 8.Why was Gandhi assassinated?
A.Because he was favoring the Muslims.
B.His assassin thought he was partial to the Muslims.
C.He got killed in the violence after partition.
D.None of these
Ans:b

Set 2

Directions for Questions 1-5: Read the passage and answer the questions that follow on the basis of the information provided in the passage.

It all started at the beginning of fifth grade. At first, Sarah wasn’t really sure what was happening. In class, she had to squint to see the blackboard clearly. She had to do the same thing when she read street signs, or when she watched a movie. As the fuzziness got worse, she became more and more worried. It was important for her to see the notes and homework assignments the teacher put on the board.

It wasn’t long before Sarah found herself squinting all the time, but she didn’t want anyone to know that she was having a problem seeing. In class, she asked for a desk that was closer to the blackboard. One day, her teacher said, “Sarah, are you all right? I’ve noticed you squinting a lot. Are you having trouble seeing the board?”

Sarah shook her head. “I’m fine, Mrs.Cruz,” she said, but she knew she couldn’t pretend much longer.

At home, she had to sit closer and closer to the television in order to see the picture. Her mother noticed her squinting as she watched her favourite shows, and she began to get suspicious.

“Tomorrow I’m calling the eye doctor to set up an appointment for you,” she said firmly. Sarah protested, but her mother’s mind was made up.

Three days later, Sarah had new glasses and instructions from her doctor to wear them all the time. Sarah frowned in the car the whole way home. “All of the kids at school will think I’m a nerd,” she said. Her mother smiled and shook her head. “You look just as beautiful with those glasses on as you do without them,” she said. But Sarah didn’t believe her. The next day, Sarah kept the glasses in her pocket as she walked into the schoolyard. She avoided her friends and stood alone, feeling miserable. Suddenly, she heard her friend Theresa shout. Sarah ran over to the other girls. “What’s wrong?” she asked. “My silver ring is gone!” Theresa cried. “My sister sent it to me from California. It’s very special and I can’t lose it!”

Sarah could tell that Theresa was very upset. They all looked for the ring in the grassy area of the playground.

Sarah realized that she could search better if she could see better. She took the glasses out of her pocket and put them on. The objects and people around her came into sharp focus. She caught her breath. Everything looked so different! So clear! She looked down at the ground and a glimmer of silver caught her eye. It was the ring. “Here it is,” she shouted. “I’ve found it!” She handed it to Theresa, and Theresa slipped the ring back on her finger.

“Thanks Sarah,” she said. “I never thought we’d find it.” She paused. “Hey, I didn’t know you wore glasses. They look great!” Sarah had forgotten that she was wearing the new glasses. “Thanks,” she replied shyly. As they walked back toward the school building, two more girls from her class complimented her glasses. Sarah smiled. “Maybe wearing glasses won’t be so bad after all,” she thought.

1. Before Sarah got glasses she
A) Thought having glasses wouldn’t be so bad.
B) Wasn’t able to see the blackboard clearly.
C) Found Theresa’s missing ring.
D) Sat far away from the television
Ans: B

2. Based on the end of the story, what do you think Sarah will do next?
A) She won’t tell her friends that she needs to wear glasses.
B) She will keep her glasses in her pocket where no one can see them.
C) She will wear her glasses all the time.
D) She will wear her glasses only when she is with her family.
Ans: C

3. Read this sentence from the story ‘Her mother noticed her squinting as she watched her favourite shows, and she began to get suspicious’. What is an antonym for the word suspicious?
A) Doubtful
B) Guilty
C) Innocent
D) Trusting
Ans: D

4. Which statement does best describe Sarah?
A) She is willing to overcome her fears in order to help her friends.
B) She doesn’t care how well she does in school.
C) She cares more about herself than her friends.
D) She doesn’t worry about what other people think of her.
Ans: A

5. Read this sentence from the story. ‘In class, she had to squint to see the blackboard clearly’. What does squint mean?
A) to look with eyes partly closed
B) to move closer
C) to try hard
D) to concentrate
Ans: D

Set 3

Directions 1 – 5: Read the following passage below and answer the questions that follow on the basis of what is stated/ implied in that passage.

A microwave oven is a kitchen appliance employing microwave radiation primarily to cook or heat food. Microwave ovens have revolutionized cooking since their use became widespread in the 1970s.

Cooking food with microwaves was discovered by Percy Spencer while building magnetrons for radar sets at Raytheon. He was working on an active radar set when he noticed a strange sensation and saw that a peanut candy bar he had in his pocket started to melt. Although he was not the first to notice this phenomenon, as the holder of 120 patents, Spencer was no stranger to discovery and experiment and realized what was happening. The radar had melted his candy bar with microwaves. The first food to be deliberately cooked with microwaves was popcorn, and the second was an egg (which exploded in the face of one of the experimenters). In North America, microwave popcorn is now one of the most commonly cooked items in microwave ovens, virtually to the exclusion of other home cooking methods such as hot air and oil popping. Most microwaves sold in North America today have a specific “popcorn button” which is solely used to cook premeasured packages of popcorn, ostensibly to make it easier for consumers to microwave popcorn without worrying about burning it or leaving a lot of kernels unpopped. The standard time for the “popcorn” setting on most microwaves is about three minutes.

On 8 October 1945 Raytheon filed a patent for Spencer’s microwave cooking process and in 1947; the company built the first microwave oven, the Radarange. It was almost 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 750 pounds (340 kg). It was water-cooled and produced 3000 watts, about three times the amount of radiation produced by microwave ovens today. An early commercial model introduced in 1954 generated 1600 watts and sold for $2,000 to $3,000. Raytheon licensed its technology to the Tappan Stove company in 1952. They tried to market a large, 220 volt, wall unit as a home microwave oven in 1955 for a price of $1,295, but it did not sell well. In 1965 Raytheon acquired Amana, which introduced the first popular home model, the countertop Radarange in 1967 at a price point of $495.

In the 1960s, Litton bought Studebaker’s Franklin Manufacturing assets, which had been manufacturing magnetrons and building and selling microwave ovens similar to the Radarange. Litton then developed a new configuration of the microwave, the short, wide shape that is now common. The magnetron feed was also unique. This resulted in an oven that could survive a no-load condition indefinitely. The new oven was shown at a trade show in Chicago and helped begin a rapid growth of the market for home microwave ovens. Sales figures of 40,000 units for the US industry in 1970 grew to one million by 1975. Market penetration in Japan, which had learned to build less expensive units by re-engineering a cheaper magnetron, was more rapid.

A number of other companies joined in the market, and for a time most systems were built by defence contractors, who were the most familiar with the magnetron. Litton was particularly well known in the restaurant business. By the late 1970s, the technology had improved to the point where prices were falling rapidly. Formerly found only in large industrial applications, “microwaves” were increasingly becoming a standard fixture of most kitchens. The rapidly falling price of microprocessors also helped by adding electronic controls to make the ovens easier to use. By the late 1980s, they were almost universal, and current estimates hold that nearly 95% of American households have a microwave.

A microwave oven works by passing microwave radiation, usually at a frequency of 2450 MHz (a wavelength of 12.24 cm), through the food. Water, fat, and sugar molecules in the food absorb energy from the microwave beam in a process called dielectric heating. Most molecules are electric dipoles, meaning that they have a positive charge at one end and a negative charge at the other, and therefore vibrate as they try to align themselves with the alternating electric field induced by the microwave beam. This molecular movement creates heat. Microwave heating is most efficient on liquid water, and much less so on fats, sugars, and frozen water. Microwave heating is sometimes incorrectly explained as the resonance of water molecules, which only occurs at much higher frequencies, in the tens of gigahertz.

Most microwave ovens allow the user to choose between several power levels, including one or more defrosting levels. In most ovens, however, there is no change in the intensity of the microwave radiation; instead, the magnetron is turned on and off in cycles of several seconds at a time. This can actually be observed when microwaving airy foods like Krembos (An Israeli confection): it blows up during heating phases, while it deflates when the magnetron is turned off.

The cooking chamber itself is a Faraday cage enclosure which prevents the microwaves from escaping into the environment. The oven door is usually a glass panel for easy viewing but has a layer of conductive mesh to maintain the shielding. Because the size of the perforations in the mesh is much less than the wavelength of 12 cm, the microwave radiation can not pass through the door, while visible light (with a much shorter wavelength) can.

Professional chefs generally find microwave ovens to be of limited usefulness. On the other hand, people who are lacking in free time, or not comfortable with their cooking skills, can use microwave ovens to reheat stored food (including commercially available pre-cooked frozen dishes) in only a few minutes.

1. The central theme of the passage is
A) The Technique of Microwave Cooking.
B) Microwave Technology in Ovens.
C) Commercial Microwave Ovens and its Uses.
D) The Discovery, Development, and Uses of Microwave Ovens.
Ans: D

2. According to the passage, it can be inferred that
A) the microwave revolution became widespread in the 1970s.
B) the microwave technique of cooking was more of an ‘accidental discovery’.
C) Spencer holds the highest number of technology patents.
D) popcorn is the most popular snack in America.
Ans: B

3. According to the passage:
A) In most ovens, the intensity of the microwave radiation cannot be altered.
B) Fats and sugars are best cooked by microwave ovens.
C) Microwave heating is the vibration of water molecules.
D) None of these
Ans: A

4. According to the passage
A) Amana’s countertop Radarange priced at $495 was the most popular model.
B) hot air and oil popping methods of cooking popcorn is still used.
C) microwave ovens were fitted with easy-to-use electronic controls due to the availability of cheaper microprocessors.
D) Japan manufactures the highest number of microwave ovens.
Ans: C

5. Litton’s new microwave oven
A) resembled the one that is used commonly now.
B) had a unique magnetron feed.
C) could work on the no-load condition indefinitely.
D) All of the above.
Ans: D

Set 4

Directions 1 – 5: Read the following passage below and answer the questions that follow on the basis of what is stated/ implied in that passage.

In almost all the modern opinions of women, it is curious to observe how many lies have to be assumed before a case can be made. A young lady flies from England to Australia; another wins an air race; a Duchess creates a speed record in reaching India; others win motoring trophies, and now the King’s prize for marksmanship has gone to a woman. All of which is very interesting and possibly praiseworthy as means of spending one’s leisure time; and if it was left to that, even if no more were added than the perfectly plain fact that such feats could not have been achieved by their mothers and grandmothers, we would be content to doff our hats to the ladies with all courtesy and respect which courage, endurance and ability have always rightly demanded.

But it is not left to that, and considerably more is added. It is suggested, for example, that the tasks were beyond the mothers and grandmothers, nor for the very obvious reason that they had no motorcars and aeroplanes in which to amuse their leisure hours, but because women were then enslaved by the convention of natural inferiority to man. Those days, we are told, “in which women were held incapable of positive social achievements” are gone forever. It does not seem to have occurred to this critic that the very fact of being a mother or grandmother indicates a certain positive social achievement; the achievement of which, indeed, probably left little leisure for travelling airily about the hemispheres. The same critic goes on to state, with all the solemn emphasis of profound thought, that “the important thing is not that women are the same as men — that is a fallacy — but that they are just as valuable to society as men. Equality of citizenship means that there are twice as many heads to solve present-day problems as there were to solve the problems of the past. And two heads are better than one.” And the dreadful proof of the modern collapse of all that was meant by man and wife and the family council is that this sort of imbecility can be taken seriously.

The London Times, in a studied leading article, points out that the first emancipators of women (whoever they were) had no idea what lay in store for future generations. “Could they have foreseen it, they might have disarmed much opposition by pointing to the possibilities, not only of freedom but of equality and fraternity also.”

And we ask, what does it all mean? What in the name of all that is graceful and dignified does fraternity with women mean? What nonsense, or worse, is indicated by the freedom and equality of the sexes?

We mean something quite definite when we speak of a man being a little free with the ladies. What definite freedom is meant when the freedom of women is proposed? If it merely means the right to free opinions, the right to vote independently of fathers and husbands, what possible connection does it have with the freedom to fly to Australia or score bulls-eyes at Bisley? If it means, as we fear it does, freedom from responsibility of managing a home and a family, an equal right with men in business and social careers, at the expense of home and family, then such progress we can only call progressive deterioration.

And for men too, there is, according to a famous authoress, a hope of freedom. Men are beginning to revolt, we are told, against the old tribal custom of desiring fatherhood. The male is casting off the shackles of being a creator and a man. When all are sexless there will be equality. There will be no women and no men. There will be but a fraternity, free and equal. The only consoling thought is that it will endure but for one generation.

1. In Chesterton’s opinion,
A) The modern women are better because they can perform feats that were beyond the purview of their predecessors.
B) Women are not capable of significant achievement in their social lives
C) All deliberations on women’s achievements are, at best, the means of occupying one’s free time.
D) The equality that ignores family values cannot be accepted as progress in the real sense of the word.
Ans: D

2. From the tone of the passage, it can be inferred that the author,
i. does not approve of women engaging in daring and adventurous feats.
ii. is quite sceptical about the need for freedom and fraternity of both sexes.
iii. feels that, as more and more women claim equality, there are fortunately more people to help solve everyday problems.
A) i & ii B) ii & iii C) iii only D) i only
Ans: A

3. “The only consoling thought is that it will endure but for one generation.” ‘It’ in this sentence refers to
A) Man’s revolt against fatherhood.
B) Women desiring equality and fraternity.
C) The desire for freedom among women to express their opinions freely.
D) A sexless society that gives equal opportunities to both men and women.
Ans: D

4. ‘Progressive deterioration’ means
A) A steady fall in the standards and moral values of society.
B) A compromise of sexes achieved through equality and freedom.
C) A progress that ignores the essential norms of family and home.
D) A man being a little too free with women.
Ans: C

5. Which of the following statements is true, according to the passage?
A) Our mothers and grandmothers had no time to think of travelling because of family commitments.
B) Women started revolting against the inferior treatment meted out to them, in their pursuit for social recognition.
C) Men yearn for freedom from parenting even more than women do.
D) Emancipation of women can bring about good and lasting solutions to all problems.
Ans: A