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Reading Comprehension (1-10) | CSAT Preparation - UPSC PDF Download

Directions: Read the following passages and answer the items that follow each passage. Your answers to these items should be based on the passages only.

Passage – 1
The balance of pursuing market opportunities while maintaining accountability and ethical integrity has proved a defining challenge for business enterprises since the arrival of the joint-stock company in the early years of industrialism. The accountability and responsibility of business enterprises are constantly subject to question. The manifest failures of corporate governance and business ethics in the global financial crisis have increased the urgency of the search for a better ethical framework and management for business. In recent years, a substantial increase in the range, significance, and impact of corporate social and environmental initiatives suggests the growing materiality of a more ethically informed approach.

Q1: Based on the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:
1. The present processes of corporate governance and business ethics are now outdated.
2. Before industrialism, maintaining accountability and ethical integrity was not a challenge.
Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: 
(a)
Sol: Assumption 1 is correct. The given assumption is correct, as it is based on the following lines from the passage - “The manifest failures of corporate governance and business ethics in the global financial crisis have increased the urgency of the search for a better ethical framework and governance for business.”
Assumption 2 is incorrect. The passage does not mention anything related to accountability before industrialism. Hence, this assumption is beyond the scope of the passage.


Q2: According to the author,
(a) Poor accountability mechanism in corporate governance erodes the trust of the people.
(b) With time, corporate governance and business ethics have grown to be more ethical.
(c) Without ethics, corporate governance is devoid of accountability and responsibility.
(d) Financial crisis is the real test of any approach to corporate governance or business ethics.
Ans: 
(b)
Sol: Option (a) is incorrect. The context of the trust of the people and its link with accountability is not a part of the passage and is, therefore, not correct. This option is beyond the scope of the passage.
Option (b) is correct. The central theme of the passage is the increasing need for ethics in business since the time of industrialism. The lines, “The balance of pursuing market opportunities while maintaining accountability and ethical integrity has proved a defining challenge for business enterprises since the arrival of the joint-stock company in the early years of industrialism” and “A substantial increase in the range, significance, and impact of corporate social and environmental initiatives in recent years suggests the growing materiality of a more ethically informed approach” reflect the same. Hence, as per the passage, the given option is correct.
Option (c) is incorrect. This option states a relationship between ethics, accountability and responsibility in corporate governance. However, the passage does not state so explicitly. So, this option is not correct as per the information given in the passage.
Option (d) is incorrect. The given option is not correct, because the fact that financial crisis is the “real test” of any approach to corporate governance or business ethics has not been stated in the passage. 


Passage – 2
Since the Census enumeration can only begin a few months after administrative boundaries are frozen and as general elections are scheduled early next year, the possibility of a Census in 2023 is ruled out. Also, the Census enumeration will be preceded by house-listing enumeration where the exercise for the National Population Register (NPR) is to be held.
Earlier, the deadline for jurisdictional changes was June 30, 2023, and before that, December 31, 2022. In May, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the government is planning to bring a bill in Parliament to link data related to birth and death with electoral rolls and the overall development process. Shah had said the census is a process that may form the basis of the development agenda.
Digital, complete, and accurate census figures will have multi-dimensional benefits, he said, adding planning based on the census data ensures development reaches the poorest of the poor. If the birth and death certificate data are preserved specially, development works can be planned properly. A bill to link the death and birth register with electoral rolls will be introduced in Parliament.

Q1: Which of the following statements can be inferred from the above passage?
1. Census will be held in 2024.
2. Fruits of development may reach the most impoverished people through the census exercise.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: 
(b)
Sol: Statement 1 is not correct. The passage does not mention that the Census will be held in 2024. Rather, it just says that the Census will not be conducted in 2023. It does not give any timeline regarding the census. Hence, it is not a correct statement.
Statement 2 is correct. The passage says that - “the census is a process that may form the basis of the development agenda. Digital, complete, and accurate census figures will have multi-dimensional benefits, he said, adding planning based on the census data ensures development reaches the poorest of the poor”.
It can be inferred from this that census may help in ensuring that fruits of development reach the last mile. Hence, it is a correct statement.


Passage – 3
Scientists on Thursday said they have found evidence to suggest that the universe is replete with low-frequency gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of space-time that are created by huge objects moving around, colliding, and merging with each other, and predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity more than 100 years ago. The researchers have also contended that these waves create a cosmic background hum, which they could “hear”, that permeates outer space. “It’s really the first time that we have evidence of just this largescale motion of everything in the universe,” said Maura McLaughlin, co-director of NANOGrav, one of the research teams in the international collaboration that published the results in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, the Associated Press reported. Gravitational waves were first detected in 2015 using an experiment, involving Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) detectors. But those waves were of high frequency, believed to be produced by the merger of two relatively small black holes that took place about 1.3 billion years ago. All the subsequent detections after that were also of high-frequency waves. This, however, has changed now. In a bid to discover low-frequency gravitational waves, scientists used an entirely different technology compared to the one used eight years ago, as per different studies that were carried out by radio astronomers representing five different international teams including the Indian Pulsar Timing Array (InPTA).

Q1: Which of the following statements can be inferred from the above passage? 
1. More pieces of evidence supporting Einstein's General Theory of Relativity have been found now. 
2. Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) detectors were earlier probably more useful in detecting high-frequency gravitational waves. 
Select the correct answer using the codes given below. 
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 only 
(c) Both 1 and 2 
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (c)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct. The passage clearly states that “low-frequency gravitational waves – ripples in the fabric of space-time that are created by huge objects moving around, colliding, and merging, and predicted by Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity more than 100 years ago.” Hence, it is a correct statement.
Statement 2 is correct. The passage mentions that “Gravitational waves were first detected in 2015 using an experiment, involving Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) detectors. But those waves were of high frequency”. The passage further says that “In a bid to discover low-frequency gravitational waves, scientists used an entirely different technology compared to the one used eight years ago”. Therefore, it can be inferred that LIGO technology was earlier probably more useful in detecting high-frequency gravitational waves. Hence, it is a correct statement.


Q2: Consider the following statements.
1. Gravitational waves are produced by the collision of massive objects in space.
2. The first gravitational waves detected were about a billion years old.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans:
(c)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct: The gravitational waves are produced by the collision of massive objects in space. The passage says that “ripples in the fabric of space-time that are created by huge objects moving around, colliding, and merging”. Hence, it is a correct statement.
Statement 2 is correct: In 2015, an experiment utilizing LIGO detectors made the first observation of gravitational waves, thought to have been created around 1.3 billion years ago. The passage mentions that “Gravitational waves were first detected in 2015 using an experiment, involving Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory (LIGO) detectors. But those waves were of high frequency, believed to be produced by the merger of two relatively small black holes that took place about 1.3 billion years ago”. Hence, it is a correct statement.


Passage – 4
Unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) were responsible for 395,000 deaths among children under five years of age, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO). This includes 273,000 deaths from diarrhea and 112,000 deaths from acute respiratory infections. These diseases are the two leading infectious causes of death in children under five years of age in the world. The report, Burden of disease attributable to unsafe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene: 2019 update, showed that half of the world’s population still does not have adequate access to drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, which caused the death of at least 1.4 million people and 74 million disability-adjusted life years (DALY) in 2019. Globally, 771 million people lack access to safe water and 1.7 billion people don’t have a toilet. The WHO report is based on the estimates of the burden of diseases attributable to unsafe WASH — namely diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, undernutrition, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH). Soil-transmitted helminthiases are transmitted by eggs in human feces, which in turn contaminate soil in areas where sanitation is poor. STHs affect an estimated 1.5 billion people or 24 percent of the world’s population. The WAS Hattri but able burden of disease from STHs was estimated for 132 low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) only, as this is where these infections are most prevalent.

Q1: Which of the following best reflects the most crucial message conveyed by the author of the passage?
(a) Lack of safe drinking water and sanitation is a major problem in many countries.
(b) Globally, illnesses brought on by contaminated water are on the rise.
(c) Children under 5 are most susceptible to diseases caused by contaminated water.
(d) Africa is the most susceptible continent to waterborne diseases.
Ans:
(a)
Sol: Option (a) is correct: The passage in the first line itself mentions the huge number of deaths caused by unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation. Further, the passage narrates the diseases caused by contaminated water, globally. The passage says that “Globally, 771 million people lack access to safe water and 1.7 billion people don’t have a toilet. The WHO report is based on the estimates of the burden of diseases attributable to unsafe WASH”. This is the reflection of the central theme of the passage. Hence, it is the correct option.
Option (b) is not correct: The passage has not compared the data across multiple years. So, we cannot say for certain if such diseases are on the rise or on the way down. Moreover, it is not a part of the crucial message that the author wants to convey – it is a supporting argument. The issues of sanitation and hygiene have also not been covered by this option. Hence, it is not a correct option.


Passage – 5
The commodification of reality and the manufacture of demand have had serious implications for the construction of human beings in the present day, where, to quote philosopher Herbert Marcuse, "people recognize themselves in their commodities". The capitalist system, dependent on a logic of never-ending growth from its earliest inception, confronted the plenty it created in its home states, especially the US, as a threat to its very existence. It would not do if people were content because they felt they had enough. However, over the course of the 20th Century, capitalism preserved its momentum by molding the ordinary person into a consumer with an unquenchable thirst for its "wonderful stuff".

Q1: Which one of the following statements best reflects the underlying message of the passage?
(a) The unquenchable thirst of humans for the “wonderful stuff” is a hindrance to their happiness.
(b) Due to the problem of plenty, consumerism should not be a model for the growth of any country.
(c) The disadvantages of consumerism outweigh its benefits, especially in the case of the US.
(d) Capitalist model of growth is centered on the philosophy of consumerism by transforming ordinary people into perpetual consumers.
Ans: 
(d)
Sol: Option (a) is incorrect. The passage does not link the concepts of unquenchable thirst and human happiness. Therefore, to conclude that an unquenchable thirst is a hindrance to happiness would not be correct.
Option (b) is incorrect. The line “The capitalist system, dependent on a logic of never-ending growth from its earliest inception, confronted the plenty it created in its home states, especially the US, as a threat to its very existence” only shows that the US faced the issue of plenty due to the capitalist model of growth. However, to conclude that consumerism model should not be adopted by any country is an extreme statement and is not based on the information given in the passage. Therefore, this option is not correct.
Option (c) is incorrect. The passage majorly mentions the disadvantages of consumerism and hardly mentions any benefits. So, to state that disadvantages outweigh benefits is not correct in the absence of such a comparison. Hence, this option is not correct.
Option (d) is correct. The passage critically discusses the implications of the “commodification of reality” and the “manufacture of demand” in the context of the capitalist system. It highlights how capitalism relies on a logic of never-ending growth and confronts the plenty it creates as a threat to its existence. The passage emphasizes how capitalism has shaped the “ordinary person into a consumer with an unquenchable thirst for material possessions”. Therefore, the underlying tone of the passage aligns with statement (d), as it acknowledges the focus on consumerism within the capitalist model of growth and its impact on transforming individuals into perpetual consumers.


Passage – 6
Agricultural methods often vary widely around the world, depending on climate, terrain, traditions, and available technology. Low-technology farming involves permanent crops: food grown on land that is not replanted after each harvest. Citrus trees and coffee plants are examples of permanent crops. Higher technology farming involves crop rotation, which requires knowledge of farmable land. Scholars and engineers use crop rotation and irrigation to plant crops according to the season, type of soil, and amount of water needed. In coastal West Africa, farmers, usually women, plant corn soon after the first rains of the growing season. They often use an ancient method of clearing called slash-and-burn. First, the farmer cuts all the brush in her plot. When this vegetation dries, she sets fire to it. The heat from the fire makes the soil easy to turn, and the burned vegetation fertilizes it. The farmer then sows kernels of corn saved from the previous year’s harvest.

Q1: Which of the following is/are the most rational and logical inference/inferences that can be made from the passage?
1. The people of Coastal West Africa are not aware of modern-day agricultural technologies.
2. Cultivation of permanent crops is more beneficial for farmers as compared to rotational crops.
Select the correct answer from the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: 
(d)
Sol: Inference 1 is incorrect. The given inference is not correct because the passage does not confirm whether they are aware or not. The passage only mentions that, “They often use an ancient method of clearing called slash-and-burn. First, the farmer cuts all the brush in her plot.” This means that they mostly use slash-and-burn. But to infer that they are not aware of modern-day technology would not be correct.
Inference 2 is incorrect. The passage does not compare permanent crops and rotational crops in the context of benefits. So, this inference is not correct as per the information given in the passage.

Passage - 7
The main threat to maintaining progress in human development comes from the increasingly evident unsustainability of production and consumption patterns. Current production models rely heavily on fossil fuels. We now know that this is unsustainable because the resources are finite. The close link between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions needs to be served for human development to become truly sustainable. Some developed countries have begun to alleviate the worst effects by expanding recycling and investing in public transport and infrastructure. However most developing countries are hampered by the high costs and low availability of clean energy sources. Developed countries need to support developing countries' transition to sustainable human development.   (UPSC CSAT 2022)

Q1: Unsustainability in production pattern is due to which of the following?
1. Heavy dependence on fossil fuels
2. Limited availability of resources
3. Expansion of recycling
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans: 
(a)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct: The passage directly mentions, “the increasingly evident unsustainability of production and consumption patterns. Current production models rely heavily on fossil fuels.”. Therefore, heavy dependence on fossil fuels is a reason, as per the author, for the unsustainability of production patterns.
Statement 2 is correct: Again, the author directly states, “the increasingly evident unsustainability of production and consumption patterns. Current production models rely heavily on fossil fuels. We now know that this is unsustainable because the resources are finite. “. Therefore, this statement is correct as well. 
Statement 3 is incorrect: The passage states that “Some developed countries have begun to alleviate the worst effects by expanding recycling”. This means that some countries are trying to reduce the effects of unsustainable production via recycling and other methods. Therefore, recycling would reduce the unsustainability in production patterns rather than aggravate it.

Q2: Consider the following statements: Developed countries can support developing countries transition to sustainable human development by
1. making clean energy sources available at low cost
2. Provide loans for improving their public transport at nominal interest rates
3. encouraging them to change their production and consumption patterns
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans: 
(a/d)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct: The author mentions high costs and low availability of clean energy sources. Immediately after that, he states that “Developed countries need to support developing countries' transition to sustainable human development”. Therefore, the first statement is correct and it directly follows the assertion made.
Explanation for Statement 2: Whether this statement is correct or incorrect depends upon whether we opt for a narrow or broader interpretation of the passage. The passage mentions, “But most developing countries are hampered by the high costs and low availability of clean energy sources.” Therefore, it seems that the author is only focussing on issues related to high costs and low availability of clean energy sources as hindrances for developed countries in transitioning towards sustainable human development. However, (taking a broader view) the question does mention “can”- and providing loans for improving their public transport at nominal interest rates is certainly one way where developed countries can help developing countries especially to alleviate the worst effects of unsustainable development.
Explanation for Statement 3: Likewise, this statement would be incorrect if we take a narrow interpretation of the passage, as it specifically mentions high costs and low availability of clean energy sources as hindrances for developed countries in transitioning towards sustainable human development. But again, the question states “can” and encouragement (via finance etc.) to change production and consumption patterns is certainly an area where developed countries could support the developing ones.

Passage - 8
The poverty line is quite unsatisfactory when it comes to grasping the extent of poverty in India. It is not only because of its extremely narrow definition of 'who is poor' and the debatable methodology used to count the poor, but also because of a more fundamental assumption underlying it. It exclusively relies on the notion of poverty as insufficient income or insufficient purchasing power. One can better categorize it by calling it income poverty. If poverty is ultimately about deprivations affecting human well-being, then income poverty is only one aspect of it. Poverty of a life, in our view, lies not merely in the impoverished state in which the person actually lives, but also in the lack of real opportunity given by social constraints as well as personal circumstances–to choose other types of living. Even the relevance of low incomes, meagre possessions, and other aspects of what are standardly seen as economic poverty relate ultimately to their role in curtailing capabilities, i.e., their role in severely restricting the choices people have to lead variable and valued lives.  (UPSC CSAT 2022)

Q1: Why is the methodology adopted in India to count the 'poor' debatable?
(a) There is some confusion regarding what should constitute the 'poverty line'.
(b) There are wide diversities in the condition of the rural and urban poor.
(c) There is no uniform global standard for measuring income poverty.
(d) It is based on the proposition of poverty as meager income or buying capacity.
Ans: 
(d)
Sol: Option (a) is incorrect: There is no “confusion” regarding the methodology or classification- the author does not mention anything as a confusion. (S)he only states that the current methods of estimating poverty are narrow, i.e. inadequate. (S)he tries to convey that poverty goes beyond income and purchasing power- it is about restricted choices and lack of real opportunity.
Option (b) is incorrect: The assertion made in this option goes beyond the scope of the passage. In fact, there is no talk of the rural or urban poor in the passage.
Option (c) is incorrect: This option also goes beyond the scope of the passage. No line in the passage leads to the assumption that “There is no uniform global standard for measuring income poverty.”
Option (d) is correct: This is the main message being stressed by the author, who explains through the various lines of the passage that measuring poverty through the lens of income or purchasing power (buying capacity) is only a narrow way of looking at poverty. We must look at other factors that restrict choices and opportunities for individuals, income being just one part of it. Various lines in the passage indicate the same- For example, “extremely narrow definition of 'who is poor' and the debatable methodology used to count the poor, but also because of a more fundamental assumption underlying it. It exclusively relies on the notion of poverty as insufficient income or insufficient purchasing power.”

Q2: Why is income poverty only one measure of counting the 'poor'?
(a) It talks of only one kind of deprivation ignoring all others.
(b) Other deprivations in human life have nothing to do with a lack of purchasing power.
(c) Income poverty is not a permanent condition, it changes from time to time.
(d) Income poverty restricts human choices only at a point in time.
Ans: 
(a)
Sol: Option (a) is correct: This option follows from the lines, “income poverty. If poverty is ultimately about deprivations affecting human well-being, then income poverty is only one aspect of it.” The author, in the passage, later goes on to describe poverty, in the true sense, stems from a “lack of real opportunity given by social constraints as well as personal circumstances–to choose other types of living.”
Option (b) is incorrect: This option is rather extreme and goes beyond the scope of the passage. Nothing in the passage talks about the factors affecting the purchasing power of a person.
Option (c) is incorrect: This option is beyond the scope of the passage. There is no mention in the passage of income being a temporary or permanent condition.
Option (d) is incorrect as the passage does not lay out a time consideration (i.e. when does income poverty affect human choices by restricting them- whether only at a point of time or always, till such poverty exists) anywhere while suggesting how income poverty affects or restricts human choices.

Passage - 9
Natural selection cannot anticipate future environments on the Earth. Therefore, the set of existing organisms can never be fully prepared for environmental catastrophes that await life. An outcome of this is the extinction of those species which cannot overcome environmental adversity. This failure to survive, in modern terms, can be attributed to the genomes which are unable to withstand geological vagaries or biological mishaps infections, diseases, and so on). In biological evolution on the earth, the extinction of species has been a major feature. The earth may presently have up to ten million species, yet more than 90% of species that have ever lived on the earth are now extinct. Once again, the creationist doctrines fail to satisfactorily address why a divine creator will first bother to create millions of species and then allow them to perish. The Darwinian explanation for extinct life is once again simple, elegant, and at once convincing organisms go extinct as a function of environmental or biological assaults for which their inheritance deems them ill-equipped. Therefore, the so-called Darwinian theory of evolution is not a theory at all. Evolution this is a fact. The mechanism of evolution (Darwin proposed natural selection) is amply supported by scientific data. Indeed, to date no single zoological, botanical, geological, paleontological, genetic or physical evidence has refuted either of the central two main Darwinian ideas. If religion is not taken into consideration, Darwinian laws are acceptable just like the laws proposed by Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein-sets of natural laws that explain natural phenomena in the universe.  (UPSC CSAT 2022)

Q1: According to the passage, natural selection cannot anticipate future environments on the earth as
1. species not fully prepared to face the environmental changes that await them will face extinction
2. all the existing species would become extinct as their genomes would not withstand biological mishaps
3. inability of the genome to withstand environmental changes would result in extinction
4. extinction of species is a common feature
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2, 3 and 4
(c) 1, 3 and 4
(d) 1, 2 and 4
Ans:
(c)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct: According to the passage, natural selection conveys that those species which are not adapted to the environment will get extinct. The phrase, “Therefore, the set of existing organism can never be fully prepared for environmental catastrophe that await life. An outcome of this is the extinction of those species which can not overcome environmental adversity”.
Statement 2 is incorrect: The phrase “All the existing species” in this option is incorrect. The passage clearly conveys that only those species that are not able to adapt to changes in the environment will get extinct. This is inferred from the lines “the extinction of those species which cannot overcome environmental adversity. This failure to survive, in modern terms, can be attributed to the genomes which are unable to withstand geological vagaries or biological mishaps (infections, diseases and so on).” Hence this statement is incorrect.
Also, the passage states, “The earth may presently have up to ten million species, yet more than 90% of species that have ever lived on the earth are now extinct.” This means that 10% of the species that existed in earlier geological periods still survive today. Further, the passage specifies- “extinction of those species which cannot overcome environmental adversity.” Therefore, as per the author, those species that can withstand environmental adversity due to their genes will not go extinct.
Statement 3 is correct: As explained above, “This failure to survive, in modern terms, can be attributed to the genomes which are unable to withstand geological vagaries or biological mishaps (infections, diseases and so on)”.
Statement 4 is correct: The passage says that “In the biological evolution on the earth, extinction of the species has been a major feature”. Hence we can consider this to be a common feature.

Q2: The passage suggests that Darwinian theory of evolution is not a theory at all because
(a) it does not satisfy the creationist doctrine
(b) extinction is a function of environment and biological assaults
(c) there are no evidences to refute it
(d) existence of organisms is attributed to a creator
Ans:
(c)
Sol: Option (a) is incorrect: As the passage states, the creationist doctrine is not able to explain evolution. Hence there is no question of “undermining” its validity at all. Therefore, this option is incorrect.
Option (b) is incorrect: As per the author, extinction is indeed a function of environment and biological assaults as stated the in the phrase “The Darwinian explanation for extinct life is once again simple, elegant and at once convincing- organisms go extinct as a function of environmental or biological assaults for which their inheritance deems them ill-equipped. Therefore, the so-called Darwinian theory of evolution is not a theory at all”. However, this is not the reason/ does not explain why Darwinian theory is not a theory.
Option (c) is correct: The passage clearly states, “Therefore, the so-called Darwinian theory of evolution is not a theory at all. Evolution happens-this is a fact. The mechanism of evolution (Darwin proposed natural selection) is amply supported by scientific data. Indeed, to date no single zoological, botanical, geological, paleontological, genetic or physical evidence has refuted either of the central two main Darwinian ideas.” So, there is no evidence to refute it, which enhances the credibility of the Darwinian theory and establishes it as a fact. It is more of a fact or law like other natural laws. Hence this option is correct.
Option (d) is incorrect: The passage clearly establishes that the creationist doctrines fail to satisfactorily address evolution. The passage elaborate evolution based on environmental and biological mishaps. and the existence for organism is attributed to adaptation to these changes rather than to the creator. Hence this option is incorrect.

Q3: With reference to the passage, the following assumptions have been made:
1. Only species that have the ability to overcome environmental catastrophes will survive and perpetuate.
2. More than 90% of the species on the earth are in the danger of getting extinct due to drastic changes in the environment.
3. Darwin's theory explains all the natural phenomena,
Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?
(a) 1 only
(b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans:
(a)
Sol: Statement 1 is correct: As the passage states that the extinction of a species is primarily driven by non adaptation to environmental catastrophe. It is reflected in the phrase “An outcome of this is the extinction of those species which cannot overcome environmental adversity. This failure to survive, in modern terms, can be attributed to the genomes which are unable to withstand geological vagaries or biological mishaps infections, diseases and so on)”.
Statement 2 incorrect: It is an incorrect inference as the passage does not predict the extinction probability in the future. It only provides the extinction data for the past in the phrase, “The earth may presently have up to ten million species, yet more than 90% of species that have ever lived on the earth are now extinct.”
Statement 3 incorrect: It is incorrect that Darwin’s theory explains all natural phenomena. It only explains the natural phenomena of evolution. In the passage, the author mentions the names of Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein for explaining natural laws that explain various phenomena in the universe- “Darwinian laws are acceptable just like the laws proposed by Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Einstein-sets of natural laws that explain natural phenomena in the universe.”

Passage - 10
The demographic dividend, which has begun in India and is expected to last another few decades, is a great window of opportunity. The demographic dividend is basically a swelling in the working age population, which conversely means that the relative ratio of very young and very old will, for a while, be on the decline. From the experience of Ireland and China, we know that this can be a source of energy and an engine of economic growth. The demographic dividend tends to raise a nation's savings rate since in any nation, it is the working age population that is the main saver. And since the savings rate is an important driver of growth, this should help elevate our growth rate. However, the benefits of demographic dividend depend on the quality of the working age population. And this implies bringing back the importance of education, acquisition of skills and human capital.  (UPSC CSAT 2022)

Q1: Which of the following would invariably happen in a country, when the demographic dividend has begun to operate?
1. The number of illiterate people will decrease.
2. The ratio of very old and very young will decrease for a while.
3. Population growth rate will quickly stabilize.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
Ans: 
(b)
Sol: Statement 1 incorrect: The number of illiterate people will decrease depending upon the emphasis on the same given by the government and other stakeholders. The operation of demographic dividend has no relation with it. However, it is the other way round where literacy will increase the quality of demographic dividend will increase.
Statement 2 correct: In the case of a demographic dividend, the number of young people will increase as compared to the dependents- children and old age people. Hence the ratio of very old and very young will decrease for a while as long as the demographic dividend remains. This is reflected in the lines, “The demographic dividend is basically a swelling in the working age population, which conversely means that the relative ratio of very young and very old will, for a while, be on the decline.”
Statement 3 incorrect: The passage does not discuss the relationship between demographic dividend and population growth. Directly, it can not be said that the population growth rate will quickly stabilise on the operation of the demographic dividend. The passage only discusses the following benefits associated with the demographic dividend- “From the experience of Ireland and China, we know that this can be a source of energy and an engine of economic growth. The demographic dividend tends to raise a nation's savings rate since in any nation, it is the working age population that is the main saver. And since the savings rate is an important driver of growth, this should help elevate our growth rate.”

Q2: With reference to the passage, which of the following inferences can be drawn?
1. Demographic dividend is an essential condition for a country to rapidly increase its economic growth rate.
2. Promotion of higher education is an essential condition for a country for its rapid economic growth.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans:
(d)
Sol: The word “essential”, by its dictionary definition, means “absolutely necessary; extremely important.”
Statement 1 incorrect: As per the passage, demographic dividend provides a (great) opportunity for economic growth, as is exemplified by the lines “The demographic dividend, which has begun in India and is expected to last another few decades, is a great window of opportunity.” However, this does not imply that is an “essential condition” for economic growth. That means that economic growth might be possible even if a country is not in its demographic dividend phase.
Statement 2 incorrect: The passage only talks about the importance of education (acquisition of skills and human capital). It does specify higher education as such- For example, vocational education also helps in the acquisition of skills. Hence, based on the information provided in the passage, we cannot infer that higher education is an essential condition for a country for its rapid economic growth.

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