ISS - Indian Statistical Service General English Previous Year Paper (2003)
1. Write an essay on one of the following topics in about 1000-1200 words each : 40
(a) India and her Neighbours
(b) Ethics and Politics
(c) Advantages of Information Technology
(d) Future of Sports of India
(e) Modern Fashions.
(f) Censorship of the Media
(g) My vision of an ideal world order.
2. Write an precise of the following passage in about 200 words, using your own words as far as possible. Please mention the number of words, used in your precise. 20
(Note: The precise must be written only on the special sheets provided for the purpose - one word in each block - and these sheets should be fastened securely inside the answer book)
Most of us, I suppose, are burdened with the complexity of our present-day problems. We live our day-to-day lies and face our day-to-day difficulties, but somehow that is not enough. One seeks something behind that daily round and tries to find out how one can solve the problems that afflict the world. For one whom circumstances have placed in a position of great responsibility it is particularly difficult to avoid thinking about these problems. During the last few weeks I have been going about this great country and seeing multitudes of human beings, surging masses of my countrymen and countrywomen. I have thus invariably thought of what was going to happen to these people, what they were thinking and in which direction they were going. These questions apply to us because we are in the same boat. And then I think of the multitudes in other countries. What about those vast masses of human beings? Some of us here are functioning on the political plane and presuming to decide the fate of nations. How far our decisions do affects these multitudes? Do we think of them or do we live in some upper stratosphere of diplomats and politicians and the like, exchanging notes and sometimes using harsh words against one another? In the context of this mighty world, its vast masses of human beings and the tremendous phase of transition through which we are passing, political becomes rather trivial. I have no particular light to throw on the problems that you have been discussing; rather I would like to put some of the difficulties that I have in my mind before you and I hope that when I have occasion to read some of the reports of what you have been saying to each other, perhaps, those addresses might help me to understand the methods of solving some of these problems.
Now, one of my chief difficulties is this somehow it seems to me that the modern world is getting completely out of tune with what I might call the life of the mind - I am leaving out the life of the spirit at the moment. Yet, the modern world is entirely the outcome of the life of the mind. After all, it is the human mind that has produced everything that we see around us and feel around us. Civilization is the product of the human mind and yet, strangely enough, one begins to feel that the function of the mind becomes less and less important in the modern world or, at any rate, is no longer so important as it used to be. The mind may count for a great deal in specialized domains; it does and so we make great progress in those specialized domains of life, but generally speaking, the mind as a whole counts for less and less. That is my impression. If it is a correct impression, then there is something radically wrong with the civilization that we are building or have built. The changes that are so rapidly taking place emphasize other aspects of life and somehow prevent the mind from functioning as it should and as perhaps it used to do in the earlier periods of the world’s history. If that is true, then surely it is not a good outlook for the world, because the very basis on which our civilization has grown, on which man has risen step by step to the great heights on which he stands today, the very foundation of the edifice is shaken.
In India, we are more particularly concerned about the primary necessities of life for our people. We are concerned with food for our people, with clothing, shelter and housing for our people, with education, health and so on. Unless you have these primary necessities, it seems futile to me to talk about the life of the mind or the life of the spirit. You cannot talk of God to a starving person; you must give him food. One must deal with these primary necessities, it is true. Nevertheless, even in dealing with them one has to have some kind of ideal or objective in view. If that ideal or objective, somehow, becomes less and less connected with the growth of the human mind, then there must be something wrong. do not know if what I say is true or whether you agree with it and I do not know, even if it is true, what can be done to improve it.
I am, if I may say so, a great admirer of the achievements of modern civilization, of the growth of and applications of science and of technological growth. Humanity has every reason to be proud of them and yet if these achievements lessen the capacity for future growth - and that will happen if the mind deteriorates-then surely there is something wrong about this process. It is obvious that ultimately the mind should dominate. I am not mentioning the spirit against but that comes into the picture, too. If the world suffers from mental deterioration or from moral degradation, then something goes wrong at the very root of civilization or culture. Even though that civilization may drag out for a considerable period, it grows less and less vital and ultimately tumbles down. When I look back on the periods of past history, I find certain period very outstanding. They show great achievements of the human mind, while some others do not. One finds races achieving a high level and then apparently fading away in terms of achievements. And so I wonder whether this fading away of high cultures is not happening today and producing an inner weakness in the structure of our modern civilization.
3. Write a single paragraph, in about 200 words, on one of the following topics : 10
(a) Old habits die hard;
(b) Sweets are the uses of adversity;
(c) Anger is one letter short of danger;
(d) The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
4. Use the following words in sentences so as to bring out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the word. No mark will be given for a vague or ambiguous answer : 10
(a) inquisitive (adjective)
(b) temperance (noun)
(c) retrieve (verb)
(d) specious (adjective)
(e) convalesce (verb)
5. Supply the correct forms of verbs given in parentheses in the following passage : 10
Inquiry revealed that the smuggling (1. go) on for a long time, but the actual offence detected (2. involve) a trifling sum. We went to Parsi Rustomji’s counsel who (3. persue) the papers and said, “The case (4. try) bya jury and a Natal jury will be the last (5. acquit) an Indian. But 1(6. not give up) hope.” Gandhiji (7. not know) this counsel intimately, and contrary to the counsel’s opinion, he advised Rustomji to confess his offence. Rustomji was a brave man, but his courage failed him for the moment. His name and fame were at stake. He surmised where he (8. be) if the edifice he (9. rear) with such care and labour(10. collapse).
6. Correct the following sentences without changing their meaning. Please do not make unnecessary changes in the sentences: 10
(a) The Principal thanked the manager for the trouble he had taken for collecting donations for the college building.
(b) Rice grown in Doon valley is of rich quality.
(c) Bread and butter are a standard combination.
(d) Under no circumstances the accused can escape the punishment.
(e) ‘Ram doesn’t like English movies! ‘No I do’.
(f) The admission fee has been drastically reduced with a view to enable a large section of students to take the entrance test.
(g) I saw a dead snake running across the field.
(h) The manager only chose such workers for his Company whom he could trust.
(i) The Principal was pleased that the students do not violate the college rules.
(j) Drinking fruit juice and vegetable soup is more preferable than eating junk food.