Reading Comprehension CBSE Class 12 Passages, Exercises, Worksheets
Step 1: Skim once as rapidly as possible to determine the main idea before you look at the questions. Do not worry about words you do not know at this stage.
Step 2: Underline the words that you do not understand to facilitate a complete understanding of the passage. This will enable you to solve the vocabulary questions quicker.
Step 3: Look through the words carefully. You are advised to maintain the order in which the questions appear in the test paper. Read intensively the portion relevant to the answer.
Step 4; Concentrate on the vocabulary items and puzzle out from the context the meanings of those words you do not know.
♦ Ideas To Follow While Skimming
- Read the title of the passage/ poem very carefully, if given. Determine what clues it gives you about the passage/poem.
- Watch for keywords like causes, results, effects etc. Do not overlook signal words such as those suggesting controversy (e.g., versus, pros and cons), which indicate that the author is intending to present both sides of an argument.
- Concentrate on the main ideas and ignore details. Most passages require at least two readings. Before writing the answer, check the questions again to be sure you have understood them.
♦ Guidelines To Attempt Comprehension Passage
- First of all, read the passage quickly study the questions given at the end of your passage.
- Start your second reading of the passage. This reading should be thorough. Underline key sentences or words related to the given questions.
- An alternate method could be to go through the questions first, which gives a rough idea about the content or subject of the passage. It becomes easier to underline the keywords while going through the passage and will help to reach the answers faster.
- While answering the questions, try not to give vague or general answers; be specific; sometimes students use one general description when four or five points have to be made. Avoid general answers.
- Write in short, simple sentences unless required to do otherwise.
- Do not repeat yourself. This is a waste of time. Avoid using slang. Do not use vague words when a precise one will do.
- Make sure that you use your own words as far as possible. This means that you must summarise and’ interpret information; never copy whole ‘chunks’ from the passage.
- When answering factual questions, i.e., questions that involve words like ‘what7, ‘when’, ‘how’ and ‘why’, do not include information not given in the passage. While answering the ‘why’ question, you may begin your answer with ‘This is because of a similar phrase.
- While answering vocabulary questions, determine the part of speech of the word. Your answer should have the same part of speech. ,
♦ Previous Years’ CBSE Examination Questions
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2010)
1. Today’s woman is a highly self-directed person, alive to the sense of her dignity and the importance of her functions in the private domestic domain and the public domain of the world of work. Women are rational in approach, careful in handling situations and want to do things as best as possible. The Fourth World Conference of Women held in Beijing in September 1995 had emphasized that no enduring solution of society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems could be found without the participation and empowerment of the women. The 1995 World Summit for Social Development had also emphasised the pivotal role of women in eradicating poverty and mending the social fabric.
2. The Constitution of India had conferred on women equal rights and opportunities political, social, educational and of employment with men. Because of oppressive traditions, superstitions, exploitation and corruption, a majority of women are not allowed to enjoy the rights and opportunities, bestowed on them. One of the major reasons for this state of affairs is the lack of literacy and awareness among women. Education is the main instrument through which we can narrow down the prevailing inequality and accelerate the process of economic and political change in the status of women.
3. The role of women in a society is very important. Women’s education is the key to a better life in the future. A recent World Bank study says that educating girls is not a charity, it is good economics and if developing nations are to eradicate poverty, they must educate the girls. The report says that the economic and social returns on investment in education of the girls considerably affect the human development index of the nation. Society would progress only if the status of women is respected and the presence of an educated woman in the family would ensure education of the family itself. Education and empowerment of women are closely related.
4. Women’s education has not received due care and attention from the planners and policymakers. The National Commission for Women has rightly pointed out that even after 50 years of independence, women continue to be treated as the single largest group of backward citizens of India. The role of women in overall development has not been fully understood nor has it been given its full weight in the struggle to eliminate poverty, hunger, injustice and inequality at the national level. Even when we are at the threshold of the 21st century, our society still discriminates against women in matters of their rights and privileges and prevents them from participating in the process of national and societal progress.
Various Committees and Commissions have been constituted before and after the independence to evaluate the progress in women’s education and to suggest ways and means to enhance the status of women. The female literacy rate has gone up in the 20th century from 0.6 per cent in 1901 to 39.29 per cent in 1991 but India still possesses the largest number of illiterate women in the world. The female literacy index for the year 1991 shows that there are eight States which fall below the national average. The most populous States of the country, UP, MP, Bihar and Rajasthan fall in the category of most backward States as far as female literacy is concerned.
5. The prevailing cultural norms of gender behaviour and the perceived domestic and reproductive roles of women tend to affect the education of girls. Negative attitude towards sending girls to schools, restrictions on their mobility, early marriage, poverty and illiteracy of parents affect the girl’s participation in education.
6. Women’s political empowerment got a big boost with the Panchayati Raj Act of 1993 which gave them 30 per cent reservation in Village Panchayats, Block Samities and Zila Parishads throughout the country. The National Commission for Women was also set up in 1992 to act as a lobby for women’s issues.
7. The educational system is the only institution which can counteract the deep foundations of inequality of sexes that are built in the minds of people through the socialization process. Education is the most important instrument of human resource development. Educational system should be used to revolutionize the traditional attitudes and inculcate new values of equality.
(i) Mention any two attributes of a modern woman. 2
(ii) Why are women’s participation and empowerment considered necessary? 2
(iii) Which factors adversely affect the education of girls? 2
(iv) What benefits did the women get with the enactment of the Panchayati Raj Act of 1993? 2
(v) By what process can we remove the sense of inequality of sexes from the minds of the people? 1
(i) The modem woman of today is a highly self-dependent person alive to the sense of her dignity. She is rational in her approach and handles situations carefully.
(ii) At the Fourth World Conference of Women held in Beijing, it was emphasized that without women’s participation and empowerment no enduring solution to society’s most threatening social, economic and political problems could be found. Also women’s empowerment is extremely important in eradicating poverty and mending the social fabric.
(iii) The prevailing cultural norms of gender behaviour and the perceived domestic and reproductive roles of women tend to adversely affect the education of girls. Restrictions on the mobility of girls, early marriage of girls, poverty and illiteracy of parents affect the girl’s participation in education.
(iv) Women’s political empowerment got a major boost with the Panchayati Raj Act of 1993 which gave them 30 per cent reservation in Village Panchayats, Block Samities and Zila Parishads throughout the country.
(v) The sense of inequality of sexes can be removed from the minds of the people only through the process of education.
(b) Pick out words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following: 1×3=3
(i) cruel and unfair (para 2)
(ii) remove (para 3)
(iii) full of people (para 4)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2011)
1. For many years now the Governments have been promising the eradication of child labour in hazardous industries in India. But the truth is that despite all the rhetoric no Government so far has succeeded in eradicating this evil, nor has any been able to ensure compulsory primary education for every Indian child. Between 60 and 100 million children are still at work instead of going to school, and around 10 million are working in hazardous industries. India has the biggest child population of 380 million in the world; plus the largest number of children who are forced to earn a living.
2. We have many laws that ban child labour in hazardous industries. According to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act 1986, the employment of children below the age of 14 in hazardous occupations has been strictly banned. But each state has different rules regarding the minimum age of employment. This makes the implementation of these laws difficult.
3. Also, there is no ban on child labour in nonhazardous occupations. The act applies to the organised or factory sector and not the unorganized or informal sector where most children find employment as cleaners, servants, porters, waiters, among other forms of unskilled work. Thus, child labour continues because the implementation of the existing law is lax.
4. There are industries, which have a special demand for child labour because of their nimble fingers, high level of concentration and capacity to work hard at abysmally low wages. The carpet industry in U.P. and Kashmir employs children to make hand-knotted carpets. There are 80,000 child workers in Jammu & Kashmir alone. In Kashmir because of the political unrest, children are forced to work while many schools are shut. Industries like gem cutting and polishing, pottery and glass want to remain competitive by employing children.
5. The truth is that it is poverty which is pushing children into the brutish labour market. We have 260 million people below the poverty line in India, a large number of them are women. Poor and especially woman-headed families have no option but to push their little ones in this hard life in hostile conditions, with no human or labour rights.
6. There is a lobby which argues that there is nothing wrong with children working as long as the environment for work is conducive to learning new skills but studies have shown that the children are made to do boring, repetitive and tedious jobs and are not taught new skills as they grow older. In these hellholes like the sweet shops of the old, there is no hope.
7. Children working in hazardous industries are prone to debilitating diseases which can cripple them for life. By sitting in cramped, damp and unhygienic spaces, their limbs become deformed for life. Inside matchstick, fireworks and glass industries they are victims of bronchial diseases and T.B. Their mental and physical development is permanently impaired by long hours of work. Once trapped, they can’t get out of this vicious circle of poverty. They remain uneducated and powerless. Finally, in later years, they too are compelled to send their own children to work. Child labour perpetuates its own nightmare.
8. If at all the Government was serious about granting children their rights, an intensive effort ought to have been made to implement the Supreme Court’s Directive of 1997 which laid down punitive action against employers of child labour. Only compulsory primary education can eliminate child labour.
9. Surely, if 380 million children are given a better life and elementary education, India’s human capital would be greatly enhanced. But that needs, as former President Abdul Kalam says, “a Second
(i) On which two counts has the Government not succeeded so far in respect of children? 2
(ii) What makes the implementation of child labour law difficult? 2
(iii) Why do industries prefer child labour?
(iv) What are the adverse effects of hazardous industries on children? Given any two. 2
(v) What does the Supreme Court’s Directive of 1997 provide? 1
(i) In respect to children the Government has not yet succeeded in eradication of child labour in hazardous industries and ensuring compulsory primary education.
(ii) Implementation of child labour becomes difficult because each state has different rules regarding the minimum age of employment and there is no ban on child labour in the nonhazardous occupations.
(iii) Industries prefer child labour because children have a capacity to work hard, a high level of concentration and can be employed at low wages.
(iv) Children working in hazardous industries are prone to debilitating diseases which can cripple them for life. By sitting in cramped, damp and unhygienic spaces their limbs too become deformed for life. In matchstick, fireworks and glass industries, children become victims of bronchial diseases and T.B.
(v) The Supreme Court’s Directive of 1997 provides punitive action against employers of child labour.
(b) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:
(i) risky/dangerous (para 1)
(ii) very unfriendly (para 5)
(iii) intended as punishment (para 8)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2012)
1. While there is no denying that the world loves a winner, it is important that you recognize the signs, of stress in your behaviour and be healthy enough to enjoy your success. Stress can strike anytime, in a fashion that may leave you unaware of its presence in your life. While a certain amount of pressure is necessary for performance, it is important to be able to recognize your individual limit. For instance, there are some individuals who accept competition in a healthy fashion. There are others who collapse into weeping wrecks before an exam or on comparing marks sheets and finding that their friend has scored better.
2. Stress is a body reaction to any demands or changes in its internal and external environment. Whenever there is a change in the external environment such as temperature, pollutants, humidity and working conditions, it leads to stress. In these days of competition when a person makes up his mind to surpass what has been achieved by others, leading to an imbalance between demands and resources, it causes psychosocial stress. It is a part and parcel of everyday life.
3. Stress has a different meaning, depending on the stage of life you are in. The loss of a toy or a reprimand from the parents might create a stress shock in a child. An adolescent who fails an examination may feel as if everything has been lost and life has no further meaning. In an adult the loss of his or her companion, job or professional failure may appear as if there is nothing more to be achieved.
4. Such signs appear in the attitude and behaviour of the individual, as muscle tension in various parts of the body, palpitation and high blood pressure, indigestion and hyperacidity. Ultimately the result is self-destructive behaviour such as eating and drinking too much, smoking excessively, relying on tranquilisers. There are other signs of stress such as trembling, shaking, nervous blinking, dryness of throat and mouth and difficulty in swallowing.
5. The professional under stress behaves as if he is a perfectionist. It leads to depression, lethargy and weakness. Periodic mood shifts also indicate the stress status of the students, executives and professionals.
6. In a study sponsored by World Health Organization and carried out by Harvard School of Public Health, the global burden of diseases and injury indicated that stress diseases and accidents are going to be the major killers in 2020.
7. The heart disease and depression both stress diseases are going to rank first and second in 2020. Road traffic accidents are going to be the third-largest killers. These accidents are also an indicator of psychosocial stress in a fast-moving society. Other stress diseases like ulcers, hypertension and sleeplessness have assumed epidemic proportions in modern societies.
8. A person under stress reacts in different ways and the common ones are flight, fight and flee depending upon the nature of the stress and capabilities of the person. The three responses can be elegantly chosen to cope with the stress so that stress does not damage the system and become distressed.
9. When stress crosses the limit, peculiar to an individual, it lowers his performance capacity. Frequent crossings of the limit may result in chronic fatigue in which a person feels lethargic, disinterested and is not easily motivated to achieve anything. This may make the person mentally undecided, confused and accident-prone as well. Sudden exposure of unnerving stress may also result in a loss of memory. Diet, massage, food supplements, herbal medicines, hobbies, relaxation techniques and dance movements are excellent stress busters.
(i) What is stress? What factors lead to stress? 2
(ii) What are the signs by which a person can know that he is under stress? 2
(iii) What are the different diseases a person gets due to stress? 2
(iv) Give any two examples of stress busters. 1
(v) How does a person react under stress? 2
(i) Stress is a body reaction to any demands or changes in its external and internal environment. A change in the external environments such as temperature, pollutants, humidity and working conditions lead to stress.
(ii) Certain signs appear in the attitude and behaviour of an individual under stress. These include muscle tension in various body parts, palpitation, high blood pressure, indigestion and hyperacidity. Other stress-related signs are trembling, shaking, nervous blinking, dryness of throat and mouth and difficulty in swallowing.
(iii) Heart disease and depression are the two major stress-related diseases. Other stress diseases include ulcers, hypertension and sleeplessness.
(iv) Herbal medicines and relaxation techniques are two examples of stress busters.
(v) A person under stress reacts in different ways, the most common ones being flight, fight and flee depending upon the nature of the stress and capabilities of a person.
(b) Which words in the above passage mean the same as the following?
(i) Fall down (para 1)
(ii) rebuke (para 3)
(iii) inactive (para 9)
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2013)
1. Air pollution is an issue which concerns us all alike. One can willingly choose or reject a food, a drink or a life comfort, but unfortunately there is little choice for the air we breathe. All, what is there in the air is inhaled by one and all living in those surroundings.
2. Air pollutant is defined as a substance which is present while normally it is not there or present in an amount exceeding the normal concentrations. It could either be gaseous or a particulate matter. The important and harmful polluting gases are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone and oxides of sulphur and nitrogen. The common particulate pollutants are the dusts of various inorganic or organic origins. Although we often talk of the outdoor air pollution caused by industrial and vehicular exhausts, the indoor pollution may prove to be as or a more important cause of health problems.
3. Recognition of air pollution is relatively recent. It is not uncommon to experience a feeling of ‘suffocation’ in a closed environment. It is often ascribed to the lack of oxygen. Fortunately, however, the composition of air is remarkably constant all over the world. There is about 79 per cent nitrogen and 21 per cent oxygen in the air the other gases forming a very small fraction. It is true that carbon dioxide exhaled out of lungs may accumulate in a closed and overcrowded place. But such an increase is usually small and temporary unless the room is really airtight. Exposure to poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide may occur in a closed room, heated by burning cctal inside. This may also prove to be fatal.
4. What is more common in a poorly ventilated home is a vague constellation of symptoms described as the sickbuilding syndrome. It is characterized by a general feeling of malaise, headache, diiiiness and irritation of mucous membranes. It may also be accompanied by nausea, itching, aches, pains and depression. Sick building syndrome is getting commoner in big cities with the small houses, which are generally overfurnished. Some of the important pollutants whose indoor concentrations exceed those of the outdoors include gases such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and organic substances like spores, formaldehydes, hydrocarbon aerosols and allergens. The sources are attributed to a variety of construction materials, insulations, furnishings, adhesives, cosmetics, house dusts, fungi and other indoor products.
5. Byproducts of fuel combustion are important in houses with indoor kitchens. It is not only the burning of dried dung and fuel wood which is responsible, but also kerosene and liquid petroleum gas. Oxides of both nitrogen and sulphur are released from their combustion.
6. Smoking of tobacco in the closed environment is an important source of indoor pollution. It may not be high quaniiiatively, but signiiicantly hazardous for health. It is because of the fact that there are over 3,000 chemical consiiiuents in tobacco smoke, which have been identiiied. These are harmful for human health.
7. Microorganisms and allergens are of special signiiicance in the causation and spread of diseases. Most of the infective illnesses may involve more persons of a family living in common indoor environment. These include viral and bacterial diseases like tuberculosis.
8. Besides infections, allergic and hypersensitivity disorders are spreading fast. Although asthma is the most common form of respiratory allergic disorders, pneumonias are not uncommon, but more persistent and serious. These are attributed to exposures to allergens from various fungi, moulds, hay and other organic materials. Indoor air ventilation systems, coolers, airconditioners, dampness, decay, pet animals, production or handling of the causative items are responsible for these hypersensitivitydiseases.
9. Obviously, the spectrum of pollution is very wide and our options are limited. Indoor pollution may be handled relatively easily by an individual. Moreover, the good work must start from one’s own house. (Extracted from The Tribune)
(i) What is an air pollutant? 1
(ii) In what forms are the air pollutants present? 2
(iii) Why do we feel suffocated in a closed environment? 1
(iv) What is sick building syndrome? How is it increasing? 2
(v) How is indoor smoking very hazardous? 1
(vi) How can one overcome the dangers of indoor air pollution? 2
(i) An air pollutant is a substance which is present while normally it is not there in an amount exceeding the normal , concentrations.
(ii) Air pollutants are present as gaseous or particulate matter. The harmful polluting gases are carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, ozone and oxides of sulphur and nitrogen. The common particulate pollutants are the dusts of various inorganic or organic origins.
(iii) We often feel suffocated in a closed environment due to the lack of oxygen.
(iv) Sick building syndrome is a vague constellation of symptoms in a poorly ventilated room. Sick building syndrome is characterised by a general feeling of malaise, headache, diiiiness and irritation of mucous membranes. It may also be accompanied by nausea, itching, aches, pains and depression. This syndrome is increasing in big cities which have an increasing number of small houses which are generally overfurnished.
(v) Indoor smoking is very hazardous because over 3,000 chemical consiiiuents are present in tobacco smoke and these are harmful for human health.
(vi) The dangers of indoor pollution can be avoided through well ventilated houses and improving greenery around houses. Also, it can be avoided by not smoking tobacco inside houses and by not burning coal inside closed rooms.
(b) Find the words from the above passage which mean the same as the following: 3
(i) giddiness (para 4)
(ii) constant (para 8)
(iii) humidity (para 8)
Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2014)
1. Too many parents these days can’t say no. As a result, they find themselves raising ‘children’ who respond greedily to the advertisements aimed right at them. Even getting what they want doesn’t satisfy some kids; they only want more. Now, a growing number of psychologists, educators and parents think it’s time to stop the madness and start teaching kids about what’s really important: values like hard work, contentment, honesty and compassion. The struggle to set limits has never been tougherand the stakes have never been higher. One recent study of adults who were overindulged as children, paints a discouraging picture of their future: when given too much too soon, they grow up to be adults who have difficulty coping with life’s disappointments. They also have distorted sense of eniiilement that gets in the way of success in the work place and in relationships.
2. Psychologists say that parents who overindulge their kids, set them up to be more vulnerable to future anxiety and depression. Today’s parents themselves raised on values of thrift and selfsacriiice, grew up in a culture where no was a household word. Today’s kids want much more, partly because there is so much more to want. The oldest members of this generation were bom in the late 1980s, just as PCs and video games were making their assault on the family room. They think of MP3 players and flat screen TV as essential utilities, and they have developed strategies to get them. One survey of teenagers found that when they crave for something new, most expect to ask nine times before their parents give in. By every measure, parents are shelling out record amounts. In the heat of this buying blitz, even parents who desperately need to say no find themselves reaching for their credit cards.
3. Today’s parents aren’t equipped to deal with the problem. Many of them, raised in the 1960s and ’70s, swore they’d act differently from their parents and have closer relationships with their own children. Many even wear the same designer clothes as their kids and listen to the same music. And they work more hours; at the end of a long week, it’s tempting to buy peace with ‘yes’ and not mar precious family time with conflict. Anxiety about future is another factor. How do well intentioned parents say no to all the sports gear and arts and language lessons they believe will help their kids thrive in an increasingly compeiiiive world? Experts agree : too much love won’t spoil a child. Too few limits will.
4. What parents need to find, is a balance between the advantages of an affluent society and the critical life lessons that come from waiting, saving and working hard to achieve goals. That search for balance has to start early. Children need limits on their behaviour because they feel better and more secure when they live within a secured structure. Older children learn selfcontrol by watching how others, especially parents act. Learning how to overcome challenges is essential to becoming a successful adult. Few parents ask kids to do chores. They think their kids are already overburdened by social and academic pressures. Every individual can be of service to others, and life has meaning beyond one’s own immediate happiness. That means parents eager to teach values have to take a long, hard look at their own.
(a) Answer the following:
(i) What values do parents and teachers want children to learn? 2
(ii) What are the results of giving the children too much too soon? 2
(iii) Why do today’s children want more? 1
(iv) What is the balance which the parents need to have in today’s world? 2
(v) What is the necessity to set limits for children? 2
(i) Parents and teachers want children to learn values like hard work, contentment, honesty and compassion.
(ii) When children are given too much too soon, they grow up to be adults who have difficulty coping with life’s disappointments. They also have distorted sense of eniiilement that gets in the way of success in the work place and in relationships.
(iii) Today’s children want more, partly because there is so much more to want.
(iv) The balance that parents need to have in today’s world is between the advantages of an affluent society and the critical life lessons that come from waiting, saving and working hard to achieve goals.
(v) It is necessary to set limits on the behaviour of children because they feel better and more secure when they live within a secured structure.
(b) Pick out words from the passage that mean the same as the following: 3
(i) a feeling of satisfaction (para 1)
(ii) valuable (para 3)
(iii) important (para 4)
(i) a feeling of satisfaction contentment
(ii) valuable precious
(iii) important essential/critical
Read the passage carefully: (Delhi, Comptt. Delhi, Comptt. All India 2015)
1. For four days, I walked through the narrow lanes of the old city, enjoying the romance of being in a city where history still livesin its cobblestone streets and in its people riding asses, carrying vine leaves and palm as they once did during the time of Christ.
2. This is Jerusalem, home to the sacred sites of Christianity, Islam and Judaism. This is the place that houses the church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where Jesus was finally laid to rest. This is also the site of Christ’s cruciiixion, burial and resurrection.
3. Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine at the site of an earlier temple to Aphrodite, it is the most venerated Christian shrine in the world. And justiiiably so. Here, within the church, are the last five stations of the cross, the 10th station where Jesus was stripped of his clothes, the 11th where he was nailed to the cross, the 12th where he died on the cross, the 13th where the body was removed from the cross, and the 14th, his tomb.
4. For all this weighty tradition, the approach and entrance to the church is nondescript. You have to ask for directions. Even to the devout Christian pilgrims walking along the Via Dolorosathe Way of Sorrowsfirst nine stations look clueless. Then a courtyard appears, hemmed in by other buildings and a doorway to one side. This leads to a vast area of huge stone architecture.
5. Immediately inside the entrance is your first stop. It’s the stone of anointing: this is the place, according to Greek tradition, where Christ was removed from the cross. The Roman Catholics, however, believe it to be the spot where Jesus’ body was prepared for burial by Joseph.
6. What happened next? Jesus was buried. He was taken to a place outside the city of Jerusalem where other graves existed and there, he was buried in a cave. However, all that is long gone, destroyed by
continued attacks and rebuilding; what remains is the massiveand impressiveRotunda (a round building with a dome) that Emperor Constantine built. Under this, and right in the centre of the Rotunda, is the structure that contains the Holy Sepulchre.
7. “How do you know that this is Jesus’ tomb?” I asked one of the pilgrims standing next to me. He was clueless, more interested, like the rest of them, in the novelty of it all and in photographing it, than in its history or tradition.
8. At the start of the first century, the place was a disused quarry outside the city walls. According to the gospels, Jesus’ cruciiixion occurred ‘at a place outside the city walls with graves nearby. Archaeologists have discovered tombs from that era, so the site is compatible with the biblical period.
9. The structure at the site is a marble tomb built over the original burial chamber. It has two rooms, and you enter four at a time into the first of these, the Chapel of the Angel. Here the angel is supposed to have sat on a stone to recount Christ’s resurrection. A low door made of white marble, partly worn away by pilgrims’ hands, leads to a smaller chamber inside. This is the ‘room of the tomb’, the place where Jesus was buried.
10. We entered in a single file. On my right was a large marble slab that covered the original rock bench on which the body of Jesus was laid. A woman knelt and prayed. Her eyes were wet with tears. She pressed her face against the slab to hide them, but it only made it worse.
On the basis of your understanding of this passage answer the following questions with the help of the given options: 1×4=4
(a) How does Jerusalem still retain the charm of the ancient era?
(i) There are narrow lanes.
(ii) Roads are paved with cobblestones,
(iii) People can be seen riding asses.
(iv) All of the above.
(b) Holy Sepulchre is sacred to
(iv) Both (i) and (iii)
(c) Why does one have to constantly ask for directions to the church?
(i) Its lanes are narrow.
(ii) Entrance to the church is nondescript.
(iii) People are not tourist-friendly.
(iv) Everyone is lost in enjoying the romance of the place.
(d) Where was Jesus buried?
(i) In a cave
(ii) At a place outside the city
(iii) In the Holy Sepulchre
(iv) Both (i) and (ii)
Answer the following questions briefly: 1 x 6 = 6
(e) What is the Greek belief about the ‘stone of anointing’?
(f) Why did Emperor Constantine build the Rotunda?
(g) What is the general attitude of the pilgrims?
(h) How is the site compatible with the biblical period?
(i) Why did the pilgrims enter the ‘room of the tomb’ in a single file?
(j) Why did ‘a woman’ try to hide her tears?
(k) Find words from the passage which mean the same as 1 x 2 = 2
(i) A large grave (para 3)
(ii) Having no interesting features/dull (para 4)
(a) (iv) All of the above
(b) (i) Christianity
(c) (ii) Entrance to the church is non-descript.
(d) (iv) Both (z) and (ii)
(e) According to Greek belief the ‘stone of anointing’ is the place where Christ was removed from the cross
(f) Emperor Constantine built the Rotunda to venerate the place of burial of Jesus. He built this structure to protect the Holy Sepulchre.
(g) The pilgrims are not interested in the history or tradition of the place and the tomb where Jesus was buried. They are more interested in the novelty of it all and in photographing it.
(h) Archaeologists have discovered tombs from that era. So this is compatible with the biblical period according to which Jesus crucifixion occurred ‘at a place outside the city walls with graves nearby.
(i) The pilgrims enter the room of the tomb in a single file (line) because it has a narrow passage and a low door which leads to a smaller chamber.
(j) ‘A woman’ tried to hide her tears because she did not want anyone to see her crying. Like a true Christian, she was overwhelmed as Jesus was buried there, while others seemed unconcerned.
(k) (i) tomb (ii) nondescript
Read the passage given below: (Delhi 2015)
1. We often make all things around us the way we want them. Even during our pilgrimages we have begun to look for whatever makes our heart happy, gives comfort to our body and peace to the mind. It is as if external solutions will fulfil our needs, and we do not want to make any special efforts even in our spiritual search. Our mind is resourceful works to find shortcuts in simple and easy ways.
2. Even pilgrimages have been converted into tourism opportunities. Instead, we must, awaken our conscience and souls and understand the truth. Let us not tamper with either our own nature or that of the Supreme.
3. All our cleverness is rendered ineffective when nature does a dance of destruction. Its fury can and will wash away all imperfections. Indian culture, based on Vedic treatises; assists in human evolution, but we are now using our entire energy in distorting these traditions according to our convenience instead of making efforts to make ourselves worthy of them.
4. The irony is that humans are not even aware of the complacent attitude they have allowed themselves to sink to. Nature is everyone’s Amma and her fierce blows will sooner or later comer and force us to understand this truth. Earlier, pilgrimages to places of spiritual significance were rituals that were undertaken when people became free from their worldly duties. Even now some seekers take up this pious religious journey as a path to peace and knowledge. Anyone travelling with this attitude feels and travels with only a few essential items that his body can carry. Pilgrims traditionally travelled light, on foot, eating light, dried chickpeas and fruits, or whatever was available. Pilgrims of olden days did not feel the need to stay in special AC bedrooms, or travel by luxury cars or indulge themselves with delicious food and savouries.
5. Pilgrims traditionally moved ahead, creating a feeling of belonging towards all, conveying a message of brotherhood among all they came across whether in small caves, ashrams or local settlements. They received the blessings and congregations of yogis and mahatmas in return while conducting the dharma of their pilgrimage. A pilgrimage is like penance or sadhana to stay near nature and to experience a feeling of oneness with it, to keep the body healthy and fulfilled with the amount of food, while seeking freedom from attachments and yet remaining happy while staying away from relatives and associates.
6. This is how a pilgrimage should be rather than making it like a picnic by taking a large group along and living in comfort, packing in entertainment, and tampering with environment. What is worse is giving a boost to the ego of having had a special darshan. Now alms are distributed, charity done while they brag about their spiritual experiences!
7. We must embark on our spiritual journey by first understanding the grace and significance of a pilgrimage and following it up with the prescribed rules and rituals this is what translates into the ultimate and beautiful medium of spiritual evolution. There is no justification for tampering with nature.
8. A pilgrimage is symbolic of contemplation and meditation and acceptance and is a metaphor for the constant growth or movement and love for nature that we should hold in our hearts.
9. This is the truth! On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer the questions that follow with the help of the given options: 1 x 2 = 2
(a) How can a pilgrim keep his body healthy?
(i) By travelling light
(ii) By eating a small amount of food
(iii) By keeping free from attachments
(iv) Both (i) and (ii)
(b) How do we satisfy our ego?
(i) By having a special darshan
(ii) By distributing alms
(iii) By treating it like a picnic
(iv) Both (i) and (ii)
Answer the following as briefly as possible: 1 x 6 = 6
(c) What change has taken place in our attitude towards pilgrimages?
(d) What happens when pilgrimages are turned into picnics?
(e) Why are we complacent in our spiritual efforts?
(f) How does nature respond when we try to be clever with it?
(g) In olden days with what attitude did people go on a pilgrimage?
(h) What message does the passage convey to the pilgrims?
(i) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following: 1 x 2 = 2
(i) made/turned (para 3)
(ii) very satisfied (para 4)
(a) (iv) Both (i) and (it)
(b) (i) By having a special darshan
(c) During our pilgrimages we have begun to look for whatever makes our heart happy, gives comfort to our body and peace to the mind.
(d) When pilgrimages are turned into picnics, we travel with a large group consisting of our relatives, friends and associates. We live in comfort, pack in entertainment and tamper with the environment.
(e) We have become complacent in our spiritual efforts. We feel external solutions will fulfil our needs, and we do not want to make any special efforts in our spiritual search. We often make all things around us the way we want them.
(f) When we try to be clever with nature it does a dance of destruction and we have to face the fierce blows which will sooner or later comer us and wash away all imperfections.
(g) In olden days when people went on a pilgrimage, they created a feeling of belonging towards all, conveying a message of brotherhood among all they came across.
(h) The passage conveys the message that a pilgrimage symbolizes contemplation, meditation, acceptance growth and love for nature. The message the passage conveys to pilgrims is that we must embark on our spiritual journey by first understanding the grace and significance of a pilgrimage and following it up with prescribed rules and rituals.
(k) (i) rendered (ii) complacent
Read the passage given below: (Delhi, All India 2016)
1. Maharana Pratap ruled over Mewar only for 25 years. However, he accomplished so much grandeur during his reign that his glory surpassed the boundaries of countries and time turning him into an immortal personality. He along with his kingdom became a synonym for valour, sacrifice and patriotism. Mewar had been a leading Rajput Kingdom even before Maharana Pratap occupied the throne. Kings of Mewar, with the cooperation of their nobles and subjects, had established such traditions in the kingdom, as augmented their magnificence despite the hurdles of having a smaller area under their command and less population. There did come a few thorny occasions when the flag of the kingdom seemed sliding down. Their flag once again heaved high in the sky thanks to the gallantry and brilliance of the people of Mewar.
2. The destiny of Mewar was good in the sense that barring a few kings, most of the rulers were competent and patriotic. This glorious tradition of the kingdom almost continued for 1500 years since its establishment, right from the region of Bappa Rawal. In fact only 60 years before Maharana Pratap, Rana Sanga drove the kingdom to the pinnacle of fame. His reputation went beyond Rajasthan and reached Delhi. Two generations before him, Rana Kumbha had given a new stature to the kingdom through victories and developmental work. During his reign, literature and art also progressed extraordinarily. Rana himself was inclined towards writing and his works are read with reverence even today. The ambience of his kingdom was conducive to the creation of high-quality work of art and literature. These accomplishments were the outcome of a longstanding tradition sustained by several generations.
3. The life of the people of Mewar must have been peaceful and prosperous during the long span of time; otherwise, such extraordinary accomplishment in these fields would not have been possible. This is reflected in their art and literature as well as their loving nature. They compensate for lack of admirable physique by their firm but pleasant nature. The ambience of Mewar remains lovely thanks to the cheerful and liberal character of its people.
4. One may observe astonishing pieces of workmanship not only in the forts and palaces of Mewar but also in public utility buildings. Ruins of many structures which are still standing tall in their grandeur are testimony to the fact that Mewar was not only the land of the brave but also a seat of art and culture. Amidst aggression and bloodshed, literature and art flourished and creative pursuits of literature and artists did not suffer. Imagine, how glorious the period must have been when the Vijaya Stambha which is the sample of our great ancient architecture even today, was constructed. In the same fort, Kirti Stambha is standing high, reflecting how liberal the then administration was which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out construction work. It is useless to indulge in the debate whether the Vijaya Stambha was constructed first or the Kirti Stambha. The fact is that both the capitals are standing side by side and reveal the proximity between the king and the subjects of Mewar.
5. The cycle of time does not remain the same. Whereas the reign of Rana Sanga was crucial in raising the kingdom to the acme of glory, it also proved to be his nemesis. History took a turn. The fortune of Mewarthe land of the brave, started waning. Rana tried to save the day with his acumen which was running against the stream and the glorious traditions for sometime.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer each of the questions given below with the help of options that follow: 1 x 4 = 4
(a) Maharana Pratap became immortal because:
(i) he ruled Mewar for 25 years.
(ii) he added a lot of grandeur to Mewar.
(iii) of his valour, sacrifice & patriotism.
(iv) both (ii) and (iii).
(b) Difficulties in the way of Mewar were:
(i) lack of cooperation of the nobility.
(ii) ancient traditions of the kingdom.
(iii) its small area and small population.
(iv) the poverty of the subjects.
(c) During thorny occasions:
(i) the flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered.
(ii) the flag of Mewar was hoisted high.
(iii) the people of Mewar showed gallantry.
(iv) most of the rulers heaved a sigh of relief.
(d) Mewar was lucky because:
(i) all of its rulers were competent,
(ii) most of its people were competent.
(iii) most of its rulers were competent.
(iv) only a few of its people were incompetent.
Answer the following questions briefly: 1 x 6 = 6
(e) Who is the earliest king of Mewar mentioned in the passage?
(f) What was Rana Kumbha’s contribution to the glory of Mewar?
(g) What does the writer find worth admiration in the people of Mewar?
(h) How could art and literature flourish in Mewar?
(i) How did the rulers show that they cared for their subjects?
(j) What does the erection of Vijaya Stambha and Kirti Stambha in the same fort signify?
(k) Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
(i) surprising (para 4)
(ii) evidence (para 4) 1 x 2 = 2
(a) (iv) both (ii) & (iii)
(b) (iii) its small area and small population.
(c) (i) the flag of Mewar seemed to be lowered.
(d) (ii) most of its rulers were competent.
(e) The earliest king of Mewar mentioned in the passage is Bappa Rawal.
(f) Rana Kumbha gave new stature to the kingdom through victories and developmental work. During his reign, literature and art progressed extraordinarily.
(g) The writer finds the cheerful and liberal character of the people of Mewar and their loving and pleasant nature worth admiration.
(h) Art and literature flourished in Mewar as the ambience of Rana Sanga’s Kingdom was conducive to the creation of high-quality work of art and literature. Also, the people of Mewar led peaceful and prosperous lives for a long period of time which helped art flourish. The rulers were inherently inclined towards art and culture.
(i) The rulers of Mewar created an atmosphere where cooperation existed between the nobles and subjects. The people of Mewar lived peacefully and had prosperous lives. Not just the palaces but public utility buildings built by the rulers had astonishing workmanship.
(j) The erection of Vijaya Stambha and Kirti Stambha in the same fort signifies how liberal the then administration of Mewar was which allowed people from other communities and kingdoms to come and carry out construction work. It also depicts the proximity between the king and the subjects of Mewar.
(k) (i) astonishing (ii) testimony
Read the passage given below: (Delhi 2016)
1. To ensure its perpetuity, the ground is well held by the panther both in space and in time. It enjoys a much wider distribution over the globe than its bigger cousins, and procreates sufficiently profusely to ensure its continuity for all time to come.
2. There seems to be no particular breeding season of the panther, although its sawing and caterwauling is more frequently heard during winter and summer. The gestation period is about ninety to hundred days (Whipsnade, ninety-two days). The litter normally consists of four cubs, rarely five. Of these, generally two survive and not more than one reaches maturity. I have never come across more than two cubs at the heels of the mother. Likewise, graziers in the forest have generally found only two cubs hidden away among rocks, hollows of trees, and other impossible places.
3. Panther cubs are generally in evidence in March. They are born blind. This is a provision of Nature against their drifting away from the place of safety in which they are lodged by their mother, and exposing themselves to the danger of their being devoured by hyenas, jackals, and other predators. They generally open their eyes in about three to four weeks.
4. The mother alone rears its cubs in seclusion. It keeps them out of the reach of the impulsive and impatient male. As a matter of fact the mother separates from the male soon after mating and forgets all about their tumultuous union. The story that the male often looks in to find out how the mother is progressing with her cubs has no foundation except in what we wish it should do at least.
5. The mother carries its cubs about by holding them by the scruff of their neck in its mouth. It trains them to stalk and teaches them how to deliver the bite of death to the prey. The cubs learn to treat all and sundry with suspicion at their mother’s heels. Instinctively the cubs seek seclusion, keep to cover and protect their flanks by walking along the edge of the forest.
6. I have never had an opportunity to watch mother panther train its cubs. But in Pilibhit forests, I once saw a tigress giving some lessons to its little ones. I was sitting over its kill at Mala. As the sun set, the tigress materialized in the twilight behind my machan. For about an hour, it scanned and surveyed the entire area looking and listening with the gravest concern. It even went to the road where my elephant was awaiting my signal. The mahout spotted it from a distance and drove the elephant away.
7. When darkness descended upon the scene and all was well and safe, the tigress called its cubs by emitting a low halogen. The cubs, two in number and bigger than a full-grown cat, soon responded. They came trotting up to their mother and hurried straight to the kill in indecent haste. The mother spat at them so furiously that they doubled back to its heels immediately. Thereafter, the mother and its cubs sat undercover about 50 feet (15 m) away from the kill to watch, wait, look, and listen. After about half an hour’s patient and fidget less vigil the mother seemed to say ‘paid for’. At this signal, the cubs cautiously advanced, covering their flanks, towards the kill. No longer did they make a beeline for it, as they had done before.
8. The mother sat watching its cubs eat, and mounted guard on them. She did not partake of the meal.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage complete the statements given below with the help of options that follow: 1 x 2 = 2
(a) To protect its cubs the mother panther hides them:
(i) among rocks
(ii) in the branches of the trees
(iii) behind the tree trunks
(iv) at its heels
(b) The male panther.
(i) is protective of its cubs
(ii) trains its cubs
(iii) watches the progress of the mother
(iv) is impulsive and impatient
(c) How many cubs does the mother panther rarely deliver?
(d) What may happen if the panther cubs are not born blind?
(e) Why did the mahout drive his elephant away?
(f) Why did the tigress spit at its cubs?
(g) From the narrator’s observation, what do we learn about the nature of the tigress?
(h) Why does the panther not face the risk of extinction?
(i) Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
(i) moving aimlessly (para 3)
(ii) came down/fell (para 7) 1 x 2 = 2
(a) (i) among rock
(b) (iv) is impulsive and impatient
(c) The mother panther rarely delivers five cubs.
(d) If the panther cubs are not born blind they may drift away from the place of safety in which they are lodged by their mother and expose themselves to the danger of being devoured by hyenas, jackals and other predators.
(e) The mahout did not want to disturb the tigress. Thus, on spotting the tigress the mahout drove his elephant away because he knew the presence of his elephant there would deter the tigress from summoning her cubs to devour the kill.
(f) The mother was furious with its cubs and so she spit at them to discipline and train them to come back to her heels. The mother spat at them as they hurried straight to the kill in the indecent haste without watching, waiting, looking and listening.
(g) From the narrator’s observation, we get to know the tigress was extremely concerned about the safety and wellbeing of her cubs. She was protective and caring and yet remained on guard and was vigilant.
(h) The panther does not face the risk of extinction because it enjoys a much wider distribution over the globe and procreates sufficiently profusely to ensure its continuity for all times to come.
Read the passage carefully: (Comput. Delhi 2016)
1. Can you imagine a college without walls, professors or classrooms? Educator Bunker Roy can. More than 40 years ago, Roy, now 69, founded the Barefoot College in Tilonia, Rajasthan. His school admits rural women, often grandmothers and teaches them the basics of solar engineering and freshwater technology. His efforts have yielded enormous benefits. When the women return to their homes, they are trained enough to provide their communities, some of the world’s most lonely places, with electricity and clean water. They also gain something important: a newfound self-confidence. The Barefoot model has already been used to empower women throughout Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Last year, former President, Bill Clinton presented Roy with a Clinton Global Citizen Award, which honours leaders who are solving the world’s problems in effective ways.
2. If you go all over the world, to very remote villages, you will often find only very old people and very young people. The men have already left. So two ideas were put into practice in order to make the Barefoot Model work. First it was declared that men are untrainable, restless, always ready to move, ambitious, and they all want a certificate to show for their efforts. And the moment you give one of them a certificate, he leaves the village looking for a job in the city. That is how, the simple, practical solution of training grandmothers came up. They are sympathetic, tolerant, willing to learn, and patient. All the qualities you need are there. And the second idea was not to give out certificates. Because the moment a certificate is given, a woman, like a man, will see it as a passport for leaving rural areas and going to urban areas to find a job.
3. Barefoot College follows the lifestyle of Mahatma Gandhi: Students eat, sleep, and work on the floor. They can work for 20 years or they can go home the next day. As of today, 604 women solar engineers from 1083 villages in 63 countries have been trained. The engineers have given solar power to 45,000 houses. These were done by women who had never left their homes before. They hate the idea of leaving their families and getting on a plane. When they reach India, sometimes after 19 hours of travel, they are faced with strange food, strange people, and a strange language. All the training is done in sign language. Yet in six months, they will know more about solar engineering than most university graduates. Some women face problems at home for attending college. Most of the husbands do not like their wives going to these colleges and tell them not to come back if they do so. But, on her return when she is able to help provide her village with solar electricity, her husband wants her to get back home. The respect she now has is enormous and she considers herself no less than solar engineers. Bunker Roy dreams of providing the world’s 47 least developed countries with Barefoot College trained grandmothers and solar electrify more than 1,00,000 houses.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage answer the questions that follow with the help of the given options: 1 x 2 = 2
(a) Why did the promoter of Barefoot Model decide to train grandmothers?
(i) Men do not want to be trained.
(ii) Grandmothers were patient, willing to learn and tolerant.
(iii) Men are lazy, want to make money.
(iv) Men and women are not skilled.
(b) The attitude of the husbands to their wives on their return from training is different because
(i) of the respect they gain from the villagers
(ii) they were away for a long time
(iii) they will again be looked after
(iv) they will not go back
Answer the following questions briefly:lx6=6
(c) How is Barefoot College different from other colleges?
(d) What did the women gain from the college apart from technology?
(e) Why were certificates not given out after training?
(f) What are the difficulties the women have to face during their travel and their life in Tilonia, Rajasthan?
(g) How do the women consider themselves professionally, after their training?
(h) What is the narrator’s dream about solar electrification?
Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following: 1 x 2 = 2
(i) many/great in size (para 1)
(ii) far off (para 2)
(a) (ii) Grandmothers were patient, willing to learn and tolerant.
(b) (i) of the respect they gain from the villagers.
(c) Barefoot college is a college without walls, professors or classrooms. It admits rural women, often grandmothers. Students eat, sleep and work on the floor. They can work for 20 years or they can go home the next day.
(d) Apart from technology the women gain a newfound self-confidence and are trained enough to provide their communities, some of the world’s most lonely places, with electricity and clean water.
(e) Certificates were not given out after training because the moment a certificate is given a person sees it as a passport for leaving rural areas and going to urban areas to find a job.
(f) The women hate the idea of leaving their families and getting on a plane. When they reach India, sometimes after 19 hours of travel they are faced with strange food, strange people and a strange language. Some women also face problems at home for attending the college as their husbands do not like their wives going to these colleges.
(g) After their training, the women professionally consider themselves no less than solar engineers. They are able to help provide their village with solar electricity.
(h) The narrator’s dream about solar electrification is to provide the world’s 47 least developed countries with Barefoot college-trained grandmothers and solar electrify more than 1,00,000 houses.
(i) many/great in size enormous
(j) far off remote
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Delhi, All India 2017)
1. We sit in the last row, bumped about but free of stares. The bus rolls out of the dull crossroads of the city, and we are soon in open countryside, with fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see, their heads all facing us. Where there is no water, the land reverts to desert. While still on level ground, we see in the distance the tall range of the Mount Bogda, abrupt like a shining prism laid horizontally on the desert surface. It is over 5,000 metres high, and the peaks are under permanent snow, in powerful contrast to the flat desert all around. Heaven Lake lies part of the way up this range, about 2,000 metres above sea level, at the foot of one of the higher snow-peaks.
2. As the bus climbs, the sky, brilliant before, grows overcast. I have brought nothing warm to wear: it is all down at the hotel in Urumqi. Rain begins to fall. The man behind me is eating overpoweringly smelly goat’s cheese. The bus window leaks inhospitably but reveals a beautiful view. We have passed quickly from desert through arable land to pasture, and the ground is now green with grass, the slopes dark with pine. A few cattle drink at a clear stream flowing past moss-covered stones; it is a Constable landscape. The stream changes into a white torrent, and as we climb higher I wish more and more that I had brought with me something warmer than the pair of shorts that have served me so well in the desert. The stream (which, we are told, rises in Heaven Lake) disappears, and we continue our slow ascent. About noon, we arrive at Heaven Lake and look for a place to stay at the foot, which is the resort area. We get a room in a small cottage, and I am happy to note that there are thick quilts on the beds.
3. Standing outside the cottage we survey our surroundings. Heaven Lake is long, sardine shaped and fed by snowmelt from a stream at its head. The lake is an intense blue, surrounded on all sides by green mountain walls, dotted with distant sheep. At the head of the lake, beyond the delta of the inflowing stream, is a massive snowcapped peak which dominates the vista; it is part of a series of peaks that culminate, a little out of view, in Mount Bogda itself.
4. For those who live in the resort, there is a small mess hall by the shore. We eat here sometimes, and sometimes buy food from the vendors outside, who sell kabab and naan until the last buses leave. The kababs, cooked on skewers over charcoal braziers, are particularly good; highly spiced and well done. Horse’s milk is available too from the local Kazakh herdsmen, but I decline this. I am so affected by the cold that Mr. Cao, the relaxed young man who runs the mess, lends me a spare pair of trousers, several sizes too large but more than comfortable. Once I am warm again, I feel a predinner spurt of energy dinner will be long in coming and I ask him whether the lake is good for swimming in.
5. “Swimming ?” Mr. Cao says. “You aren’t thinking of swimming, are you?”
6. ” I thought I might,” I confess. “What’s the water like?”
7. He doesn’t answer me immediately, turning instead to examine some receipts with exaggerated interest. Mr. Cao, with great offhandedness, addresses the air. “People are often drowned here,” he says. After a pause, he continues. “When was the last one ?” This question is directed at the cook, who is preparing a tray of mantou (squat white steamed bread rolls), and who now appears, wiping his doughy hand across his forehead. “Was it the Beijing athlete ?” asks Mr. Cao.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete the statements given below with the help of the options that follow: 1 x 4 = 4
(a) One benefit of sitting in the last row of the bus was that:
(i) the narrator enjoyed the bumps.
(ii) no one stared at him
(iii) he could see the sunflowers.
(iv) he avoided the dullness of the city.
(b) The narrator was travelling to:
(i) Mount Bogda
(ii) Heaven Lake
(iii) a 2,000 m high snow peak
(c) On reaching the destination the narrator felt relieved because:
(i) he had got away from the desert
(ii) a difficult journey had come to an end
(iii) he could watch the snow peak
(iv) there were thick quilts on the beds
(d) Mount Bogda is compared to:
(i) a horizontal desert surface
(ii) a shining prism
(iii) a Constable landscape
(iv) the overcast sky
Answer the following questions briefly: 1 x 6 = 6
(e) Which two things in the bus made the narrator feel uncomfortable?
(f) What made the scene look like a Constable landscape?
(g) What did he regret as the bus climbed higher?
(h) Why did the narrator like to buy food from outside?
(i) What is ironic about the pair of trousers lent by Mr. Cao?
(j) Why did Mr. Cao not like the narrator to swim in the lake?
(k) Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
(i) sellers (para 4)
(ii) increased (para 7) 1 x 2 = 2
(a) (ii) no one started at him.
(b) (ii) Heaven lake.
(c) (iv) there were thick quilts on the bed.
(d) (ii) a shining prism.
(e) The two things that made the narrator feel uncomfortable in the bus were that the man behind him was eating overpoweringly smelly goat’s cheese and the bus window leaked inhospitably. Moreover, he had to endure a bumpy ride.
(f) The pasture green with grass, the slopes dark with pine and the sight of a few cattle drinking at a clear stream flowing past moss-covered stones made the scene look like a Constable landscape.
(g) The stream changed into a white torrent as the bus climbed higher and the narrator regretted that he had not brought something warmer than a pair of shorts with him.
(h) The narrator likes to buy kababs and naan from outside as the kababs, cooked on skewer over charcoal braziers, are rather good, highly spiced and well done.
(i) Though the pair of trousers lent by Mr. Cao was several sizes too large for the narrator but they were more than comfortable for him.
(j) Mr. Cao did not like the narrator to swim in the lake as he says many people often drowned in it.
(i) sellers vendors
(ii) increased exaggeratedly
Read the passage given below: (Delhi 2017)
1. Thackeray reached Kittur along with a small British army force and a few of his officers. He thought that the very presence of the British on the outskirts of Kittur would terrorise the rulers and people of Kittur, and that they would lay down their arms. He was quite confident that he would be able to crush the revolt in no time. He ordered that tents be erected on the eastern side for the fighting forces, and a little away on the western slopes tents be put up for the family members of the officers who had accompanied them. During the afternoon and evening of 20th October, the British soldiers were busy making arrangements for these camps.
2. On the 21st morning, Thackeray sent his political assistants to Kittur fort to obtain a written assurance from all the important officers of Kittur rendering them answerable for the security of the treasury of Kittur. They, accordingly, met Sardar Gurusiddappa and other officers of Kittur and asked them to comply with the orders of Thackeray. They did not know that the people were in a defiant mood. The commanders of Kittur dismissed the agent’s orders as no documents could be signed without sanction from Rani Chennamma.
3. Thackeray was enraged and sent for the commander of the Horse Artillery, which was about 100 strong, and ordered him to rush his artillery into the fort and capture the commanders of the Desai’s army. When the Horse Artillery stormed into the fort, Sardar Gurusiddappa, who had kept his men on full alert, promptly commanded his men to repel and chase them away. The Kittur forces made a bold front and overpowered the British soldiers.
4. In the meanwhile, the Desai’s guards had shut the gates of the fort and the British Horse Artillerymen, being completely overrun and routed, had to get out through the escape window. Rani’s soldiers chased them out of the fort, killing a few of them until they retreated to their camps on the outskirts.
5. A few of the British had found refuge in some private residences, while some were hiding in their tents. The Kittur soldiers captured about forty persons and brought them to the palace. These included twelve children and a few women from the British officers’ camp. When they were brought in the presence of the Rani, she ordered the soldiers to be imprisoned. For the women and children she had only gentleness and admonished her soldiers for taking them into custody. At her orders, these women and children were taken inside the palace and given food and shelter. Rani came down from her throne, patted the children lovingly and told them that no harm would come to them.
6. She, then, sent word through a messenger to Thackeray that the British women and children were safe and could be taken back any time. Seeing this noble gesture of the Rani, he was moved. He wanted to meet this gracious lady and talk to her. He even thought of trying to persuade her to enter into an agreement with the British to stop all hostilities in lieu of an inam (prize) of eleven villages. His offer was dismissed with a gesture of contempt. She had no wish to meet Thackeray. That night she called Sardar Gurusiddappa and other leading Sardars, and after discussing all the issues came to the conclusion that there was no point in meeting Thackeray who had come with an army to threaten Kittur into submission to British sovereignty.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete the statements given below with the help of options that follow:
(a) Thackeray was a/an
(i) British tourist
(ii) army officer
(iii) advisor to the Rani of Kittur
(iv) treasury officer
(b) British women and children came to Kittur to
(ii) enjoy life in tents
(iii) stay in the palace
(iv) give company to officers 1 x 2 = 2
Answer the following questions briefly: 1 x 6 = 6
(c) Why did Thackeray come to Kittur?
(d) Why did the Kittur officials refuse to give the desired assurance to Thackeray?
(e) What happened to the Horse Artillery?
(f) How do we know that the Rani was a noble queen?
(g) How, in your opinion, would the British women have felt after meeting the Rani?
(h) Why did the Rani refuse to meet Thackeray?
(i) Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:
(i) entered forcibly (para 3)
(ii) aggressiv^refusing to obey (para 2)
(a) (ii) army officer
(b) (iv) give company to officers
(c) Thackeray had come with an army to threaten the rulers and people of Kittur into submission to British sovereignty and to crush the revolt.
(d) The Kittur officials were in a defiant mood and declared that no document could be signed without sanction from Rani Chennamma so they refused to give the desired assurance to Thackeray.
(e) The Horse Artillery was repelled and chased away by Sardar Gurusiddappa’s men who had been kept on high alert by him. The Desai’s guards shut the gates of the fort and the British Horse Artillerymen were thus completely overrun and routed and had to get out through the escape window.
(f) The Rani was indeed a noble queen. When the forty captured persons were brought in her presence, she ordered only the soldiers to be imprisoned. For the women and children, she had only gentleness and admonished her soldiers for taking them into custody. She then ordered that they be given food and shelter. Moreover, she patted the children lovingly and told them that no harm would come to them.
(g) The British women must have felt very relieved and happy to meet the Rani who was a kind and gentle queen. They must have been overwhelmed by her noble and gracious gesture.
(h) The Rani felt there was no point in meeting Thackeray who had come with an army to threaten Kittur into submission to British sovereignty.
(i) entered forcibly stormed
(ii) aggressive/refusing to obeydefiant
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow: (Comput. Delhi, Comput. All India 2017)
The Art Of Living
1. The art of living is learnt easily by those who are positive and optimistic. From humble and simple people to great leaders in history, science or literature, we can learn a lot about the art of living, by having a peep into their lives. The daily routines of these great men not only reveal their different, maybe unique lifestyles but also help us learn certain habits and practices they followed. Here are some; read, enjoy and follow in their footsteps as it suits you.
2. A private workplace always helps. Jane Austen asked that a certain squeaky hinge should never be oiled so that she always had a warning whenever someone was approaching the room where she wrote. Willliam Faulkner, lacking a lock on his study door, detached the doorknob and brought it into the room with him. Mark Twain’s family knew better than to breach his study door they would blow a horn to draw him out. Graham Green went even further, renting a secret office; only his wife knew the address and the telephone number. After all, every one of us needs a workplace where we can work on our creation uninterruptedly. Equally, we need our private space too!
3. A daily walk has always been a source of inspiration. For many artists, a regular stroll was essentially a creative inspiration. Charles Dickens famously took three hour walks every afternoon, and what he observed on them fed directly into his writing. Tchaikovsky made do with a two-hour jaunt but wouldn’t return a moment early; convinced that doing so would make him ill. Ludwig van Beethoven took lengthy strolls after lunch, carrying a pencil and paper with him in case inspiration struck.
Nineteenth-century composer Erik Satie did the same on his long hikes from Paris to the working-class suburb where he lived, stopping under streetlamps to jot down ideas that came on his journey; it’s rumoured that when those lamps were turned off during the war years, his music declined too. Many great people had a limited social life too. One of Simone de Beauvoir’s close friends puts it this way. “There were no receptions, parties. It was an uncluttered kind of life, a simplicity deliberately constructed so that she could do her work.” To Pablo, the idea of Sunday was an “at home day”.
4. The routines of these thinkers are difficult. Perhaps it is because they are so unattainable. The very idea that you can organize your time as you like is out of reach for most of us, so I’ll close with a toast to all those who worked with difficulties. Like Francine Prose, who began writing when the school bus picked up her children and stopped when it brought them back; or T.S. Eliot, who found it much easier to write once he had a day job in a bank than he had as a starving poet and even F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose early books were written in his strict schedule as a young military officer. Those days were not as interesting as the nights in Paris that came later, but they were much more productive and no doubt easier on his liver.
5. Being forced to follow someone else’s routine may irritate, but it makes it easier to stay on the path. Whenever we break that trail ourselves or take an easy path of least resistance, perhaps what’s most important is that we keep walking.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete each of the statements given below with help of the options that follow: 1 x 4 = 4
(a) The passage is about:
(i) how to practise walking
(ii) walking everyday
(iii) the life of a genius
(iv) what we can learn from the routines of geniuses
(b) The writers in the past:
(i) followed a perfect daily routine
(ii) enjoyed the difficulties of life
(iii) can teach us a lot
(iv) wrote a lot in books
(c) In their daily routines:
(i) they had unique lifestyles
(ii) they read books and enjoyed them
(iii) they did not get any privacy
(iv) they did not mind visitors
(d) Some artists resorted to walking as it was:
(i) an exercise
(ii) a creative inspiration
(iii) essential for improving their health
(iv) helpful in interaction with others
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following questions: 1×2=2
(e) What did Jane Austen like?
(f) Why do you think Graham Green hired a secret office?
(g) What was the rumour about Erik Satie’s productivity?
(h) How did her limited social life affect Simone de Beauvoir?
(i) In what way did T.S. Eliot’s day job help him to write?
(j) What makes it easier for one to stay on the path?
Find words from the passage which mean the same as each of the following:
(i) glance/look (para 1)
(ii) noisy (para 2) 1×2=2
(a) (iv) what we can learn from the routines of geniuses.
(b) (i) followed a perfect daily routine.
(c) (i) they had unique lifestyles.
(d) (ii) a creative inspiration.
(e) Jane Austen liked a private workplace. She did not want a certain squeaky hinge to be oiled so that it warned her whenever someone was approaching the room where she wrote.
(j) Graham Green hired a secret office because he needed a workplace where he could work on his creation uninterruptedly.
(g) Erik Satie used to stop under streetlamps on his long hikes from Paris to the place where he lived in the working-class suburb, and jot down ideas that came to his mind during the walk. It is rumoured that when those street lights were turned off during the war years, his music too declined.
(h) Simone de Beauvoir led a limited social life. There were no receptions or parties. It was an uncluttered kind of life, a deliberately constructed simplicity so that she could concentrate on her work.
(i) T.S. Eliot found it much easier to write once he had a day job in a bank than he could as a starving poet.
(j) Following a routine and leading an organized life may be irritating but it makes it easier for one to stay on the path.
(i) glance/look: peep
(ii) noisy: squeaky
Read the passage given below: (Comput. Delhi 2017)
1. Ammon means “fragrant spice plant” in Arabic and Hebraic and in Italian, canella means “little tube”. These are a few of the many terms given to the popular spice known as cinnamon. Dating back as far as 2800 B.C., Chinese writings describe cinnamon as an important part of the culture, so much so that over the years this spice was traded right up there with silver. Nowadays we find it in sweetened cereals, baked goods and sprinkled on various foods such as yoghurt. Yet, many do not consider its wealth of healing capabilities including the potential as a weight loss remedy.
2. Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree grown and harvested mostly in Sri Lanka but also found in Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Burma. After a cinnamon tree grows for about six to eight years it is cut down leaving a stump to allow it to grow again making it a very sustainable practice. It is then stripped from the bark, dried and packaged as sticks for export.
3. Several studies have been published regarding the weight loss properties of cinnamon which include its unique ability to be used for type 2 diabetes which is a disease often resulting from obesity. When eaten, the spice seems to slow down glucose absorption within the intestines while stimulating insulin production. This normalizes blood glucose levels which in turn can indirectly decrease weight gain.
4. “The results of study demonstrate that intake of 1, 3 or 6 g of cinnamon per day reduces serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes and suggest that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases”.
5. A study from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, called “Effect of ground cinnamon on after-meal blood glucose level in normal-weight and obese adults” found that cinnamon may be effective in moderating post-meal glucose level in normal weight and obese adults.
6. Columbia University nutritionist Tara Ostrowe comments to Reader’s Digest on the benefits of this spice: ” Cinnamon really is the new skinny food ……………………………. Scientists already credit cinnamon with helping lower blood sugar concentration and improving insulin sensitivity. When less sugar is stored as fat, this translates into more help for your body when it comes to weight loss”.
7. Talk to your doctor about adding cinnamon daily into your healthy diet and exercise program. Add it to your tea, oatmeal, fruit, toast or anything else you can think of, as a small amount will go a long way and potentially assist in your weight loss mission.
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, complete each of the statements given below with the help of options that follow: 1 x 2 = 2
(a) Cinnamon is called _______ in Hebraic.
(i) little tube
(iv) a fragrant spice plant
(b) In ‘Yet, many do not consider its wealth of healing capabilities ‘ The writer refers to the word ‘wealth’ to:
(i) the payment in silver
(ii) the cost of cinnamon
(iii) health of people
(iv) the healing power of cinnamon
On the basis of your understanding of the above passage, answer the following: 1 x 6 = 6
(c) Which country produces most of the cinnamon in the world?
(d) Pick out the phrase from the passage (para 1) which shows that cinnamon was much in demand in China.
(e) From what is cinnamon derived?
(f) How is it used today?
(g) In what way does cinnamon help people suffering from type2 diabetes?
(h) How is cinnamon helpful in weight loss?
Find words from the passage which mean the same as the following:
(i) sweet-smelling (para 1)
(ii) reaped/cultivated (para 2)
(a) (ii) Ammon
(b) (iv) the healing power of cinnamon.
(c) Sri Lanka produces most of the cinnamon in the world.
(d) Chinese writings describe cinnamon as an important part of the culture, so much so that over the years this spice was ‘traded right up there with silver’.
(e) Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of the Cinnamon tree from which it is stripped, dried and packaged as sticks.
(f) Nowadays we find cinnamon in sweetened cereals, baked goods and it is sprinkled on various foods such as yoghurt.
(g) Cinnamon helps people suffering from type 2 diabetes. It seems to slow down the glucose absorption within the intestines while stimulating insulin production. This normalizes blood glucose levels which indirectly decreases weight gain.
(h) Scientists credit cinnamon with helping lower blood sugar concentration and improving insulin sensitivity. When less sugar is stored as fat, it helps the body in terms of weight loss.
(i) sweet-smelling fragrant
(ii) reaped/cultivated harvested
Important Questions for Class 12 English