ISS - Indian Statistical Service General English Previous Year Paper (2001)
1. Write an essay on one of the following topics in about 1000-1200 words: 40
(a) India’s role in combating international terrorism
(b) Discipline is the rare fire that transforms talent into genius
(c) Advertisement pollution
(d) The God I would like to believe in
(e) Secularism and education
(f) The nexus between politicians, criminals and bureaucrats
2. Write a precise of the following passage in about 200 words, using your own words as far as possible. Please state 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.)
During the French Revolution, when the Reign of Terror came to an end, t was found that no one was left alive among the politicians except prudent cowards who had changed their opinions quickly enough to keep their heads on their shoulders. The result was twenty years of military glory, because there was no one left among he politicians with sufficient courage to keep the generals in order. The French Revolution was an exceptional time, but wherever organization exists cowardice will be found more advantageous than courage. Of the men at the head of businesses, schools, lunatic asylums, and the like nine out of ten will prefer the supple lickspittle to the outspoken man of independent judgment. In politics it is necessary to profess the party programme and flatter the leaders; in the navy it is necessary to profess antiquated views on naval strategy; in the army it is necessary to maintain a medieval outlook on everything; in journalism wage slaves have to use their brains to give expression to the opinions of millionaires; in education professors lose their jobs if they do not respect the prejudices of the illiterate.
The result of this state of affairs is that in practically every walk of life the men who come to the top have served a long apprenticeship in cowardice, while the honest and courageous have to be sought for in workhouses and prisons. Is this regrettable?
The modern world, owing to industrialism, requires social cooperation more than it was required in any earlier stage in the world’s history. Now there are three reasons for which you may co-operate with a man because you love him, because you fear him, or because you hope to share the swag. These three motives are of differing importance in different regions of human co-operation: the first governs procreation, and the third governs politics. But the ordinary everyday business of government, whether in the state or in any other social institution, depends upon fear. A collection of fearless men would be ungovernable. The Vikings were men whom the king of Norway found ungovernable; they left Norway because they would not submit themselves to his sway. After a few centuries of adventure, they became peasants in the frozen valleys of Iceland.
Consider, as a contrast, the great Duke of Marlborough. He secured the first steps in his career by causing his sister to become the mistress of James II. His great days were due to the passionate friendship between his wife and Queen Anne. Whenever he fought the French he beat them but he was always ready to refrain from fighting if the king of France made it worth his while. He left a great name, and a great fortune, and his descendants to this day are patterns for patriots. The arts of success have changed little since his day, in spite of the nominal advent of democracy. Now, as in the past, if you wish for success you should be insinuating and pusillanimous rather than bold and self-reliant.
To those, therefore, whose ambition is to die in the odour of sanctity, respected by bank managers, and admired by friends and neighbours and universally regarded as models of what a citizen should be, my advice is don’t express your opinions but those of your boss : don’t endeavour to realize ends which you yourself think good, but pursue rather those aimed at by some organization supported by millionaires; in your private friendships select influential men if you can, or failing that, men whom you judge likely to be influential. Do this, and you will win the good opinion of all the best elements in the community.
This is sound advice, but, for my part, I would sooner die than follow it.
3. Write a single paragraph, in about 200 words, on one of the following topics : 10
(a) The mind by itself can make a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven
(b) When injustice rules, truth is the first casualty
(c) City by night
(d) Scene at an international airport on learning that a plane has been hijacked
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 sentence : 10
5. Supply the correct forms of verbs given in parentheses in the following passage. Please write correct verb form in your answer book against numbers given in parentheses; do not reproduce the entire passage : 10
Perhaps, the greatest single force in modern poetry, Thomas Stearns Eliot (I born) in St. Louis, Missouri in 1888. He (ii educate) at Harvard and Sorbonne. In his magnus opus, The Waste Land he (iii weave) the myth of the Fisher King and the Legend of the Grail and archetypal patterns like death in life, journey, quest and the fatal woman into the fabric of his poem. Eliot’s style (iv be) highly allusive, and there (v be) thirty four known allusions in The Wast Land. As a playwright he (vi revive) the ancient verse form of the Greeks and (vii give) it a contemporary setting. Heir to Matthew Arnold in criticism he (viii break) fresh ground by (ix widen) both the functions and frontiers of criticism. He (x die) in 1965.
6. Correct the following sentences without changing their meaning. Please do not make unnecessary changes in the sentences : 10
(a) I am not rememberin no where I left the book.
(b) Sachin Tendulkar is too good cricketer.
(c) Brian Lara is one of the finest batsmen in the world.
(d) I prefer tea than coffee.
(e) Us Indians have much to be proud of.
(f) No sooner the Principal entered the classroom the students stood up.
(g) I have seen the Taj in 1980.
(h) When the pilot landed, he noticed that one of the wings was damaged.
(i) They have lost the match, isn’t it?
(j) I consider him as a fool.