This grammar section explains English Grammar in a clear and simple way. There are example sentences to show how the language is used. NCERT Solutions for Class 12 English will help you to write better answers in your Class 12 exams. Because the Solutions are solved by subject matter experts. https://ncertmcq.com/unseen-passage-for-class-12-descriptive/

## Unseen Passage for Class 12 Descriptive With Answers pdf 2020

♦ Solved Passages:

I. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow. (12 marks)

1. Stress is not a novel phenomenon. In fact, the word stress was first used in the fifteenth century. Since the turn of the twentieth century, however, the social consciousness of life’s stress has risen dramatically. Stress and anxiety have become common terms.

2. Environment provides human beings with certain harsh incentives and demands, which as long as their intensity and frequency are within the limits of human tolerance, can stimulate their motivation and enhance their productivity. However, when these environmental demands become excessive it leads to stress.

3. Hans Selye, who first began piecing together the puzzle of human stress, holds that it is immaterial whether the agent or situation we face is pleasant or unpleasant; all that counts is the intensity of the demand for readjustment or adaptation. Stress is the body’s response to external changes that place demands upon us, both physically and mentally. Stress is neutral, in itself it has no connotation; it is neither positive nor negative. There really is no such thing as plain ‘stress’; stress is actually classified into one of two types of stress: eustress or distress.

4. Hans Selye, came up with this theory of distress versus eustress in 1975 when he published his theory. Eustress, the good stress, can sometimes be beneficial; sharpening our senses and providing the adrenaline rush needed to conquer deadlines and multi-tasking. Distress occurs when an individual cannot adapt to stress. It is the harmful stress that can, even in short bursts, depress your immune system, cause weight gain. Over a period of time it can lead to brain neurons dying from atrophy; it puts one at a greater risk for a range of medical conditions including blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

5. Eu, a Greek prefix for “healthy’, is used in the same sense in the word ‘euphoria’. Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress – stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth. Eustress can be defined as pleasant or positive stress. In fact, eustress or controlled stress may sometimes be encouraged as it gives us our competitive edge during performance-related activities. Any performance-related activity, a sports-related game or even a job interview has an optimal amount of stress that can prove to be beneficial. Positive stress lends focus and provides the ability to think quickly, clearly and effectively express your thoughts. We should invite and cultivate as much eustress in our lives as we can tolerate. Eustress makes us grow, it makes us stronger, and it makes us better people. Whether it’s physical or mental, eustress is resistance training for our lives! Eustress is lifting weights at. the gym to build your muscles. Eustress is riding a roller coaster or watching an enjoyable horror flick. Eustress is a challenging work project that you enjoy using your creative abilities to solve.

6. Often the main problem with distress is that you don’t know when it’s going to end. To turn distressed into eustress we can try thinking of the stresses as temporary. One of the best ways to convert distress into eustress is to not try to do a million things at one time, take a big goal and cut it into small pieces, that way you can work more productively and efficiently.

7. Another way to convert your negative experiences into positive experiences is by reframing your stress sensation, for example, if you are anxious about a certain situation reframe it as if it was excitement.

8. Next time you’re feeling stressed because you’re sitting in traffic, or you’re running late, or your exams are round the corner – notice the feelings and thoughts that arise within yourself. Be aware of your breath, your heart rate, your emotions, your thoughts…and when you feel your heart start to pound, when you notice you are breathing rapidly and more shallow, when you feel your emotions are in a fight or flight state – realize that you are NOT in a life or death situation, you are NOT running for your life from a lion! Simple awareness can dissolve the association we make between distress and ourselves.

9. Create processes to filter out the distress from your life, while creating environments that foster helpful eustress. By saying YES to eustress and NO to distress, we allow the positive stressors into our lives that provide healthy resistance and facilitate our growth, while keeping out the harmful garbage that does nothing but damage us!

1.1 Choose the correct option.

(a) Eu is a ………………………….. prefix.
i. Greek
ii. Latin
iii. French

(b) Hans Selye, came up with his theory of distress versus eustress in …………………………. .
i. 1970
ii. 1975
iii. 1980

(a) When was the word stress first used?
(b) Who was the first person to begin piecing together the puzzle of human stress?
(c) What are the two types of stress called?
(d) Name two harmful short term effects of stress.
(e) What are the harmful medical conditions that can develop from long – term exposure to stress?
(f) What is often the main problem with distress?

1.3 Pick out the words from the passage which mean the same as the following.
(a) inducements (para 2)
(b) sieve (para 9)

1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow.

1. Stress is not a novel phenomenon. In fact, the word stress was first used in the fifteenth century. Since the turn of the twentieth century, however, social consciousness of life’s stress has risen dramatically. Stress and anxiety have become common terms.

2. Environment provides human beings with certain harsh incentives and demands, which as long as their intensity and frequency are within the limits of human tolerance, can stimulate their motivation and enhance their productivity. However, when these environmental demands become excessive it leads to stress.

3. Hans Selye, who first began piecing together the puzzle of human stress, holds that it is immaterial whether the agent or situation we face is pleasant or unpleasant; all that counts is the intensity of the demand for readjustment or adaptation. Stress is the body’s response to external changes that place demands upon us, both physically and mentally. Stress is neutral, in itself it has no connotation; it is neither positive nor negative. There really is no such thing as plain ‘stress’; stress is actually classified into one of two types of stress: eustress or distress.

4. Hans Selye, came up with this theory of distress versus eustress in 1975 when he published his theory. Eustress, the good stress, can sometimes be beneficial; sharpening our senses and providing the adrenaline rush needed to conquer deadlines and multi-tasking. Distress occurs when an individual cannot adapt to stress. It is the harmful stress that can, even in short bursts, depress your immune system, cause weight gain. Over a period of time it can lead to brain neurons dying from atrophy; it puts one at a greater risk for a range of medical conditions including blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease.

5. Eu, a Greek prefix for “healthy’, is used in the same sense in the word ‘euphoria’. Role models who push us to exceed our limits, physical training that removes our spare tires, and risks that expand our sphere of comfortable action are all examples of eustress – stress that is healthful and the stimulus for growth. Eustress can be defined as pleasant or positive stress. In fact, eustress or controlled stress may sometimes be encouraged as it gives us our competitive edge during performance-related activities. Any performance-related activity, a sports-related game or even a job interview has an optimal amount of stress that can prove to be beneficial. Positive stress lends focus and provides the ability to think quickly, clearly and effectively express your thoughts. We should invite and cultivate as much eustress in our lives as we can tolerate. Eustress makes us grow, it makes us stronger, and it makes us better people. Whether it’s physical or mental, eustress is resistance training for our lives! Eustress is lifting weights at. the gym to build your muscles. Eustress is riding a roller coaster or watching an enjoyable horror flick. Eustress is a challenging work project that you enjoy using your creative abilities to solve.

6. Often the main problem with distress is that you don’t know when it’s going to end. To turn distressed into eustress we can try thinking of the stresses as temporary. One of the best ways to convert distress into eustress is to not try to do a million things at one time, take a big goal and cut it into small pieces, that way you can work more productively and efficiently.

7. Another way to convert your negative experiences into positive experiences is by reframing your stress sensation, for example, if you are anxious about a certain situation reframe it as if it was excitement.

8. Next time you’re feeling stressed because you’re sitting in traffic, or you’re running late, or your exams are round the corner – notice the feelings and thoughts that arise within yourself. Be aware of your breath, your heart rate, your emotions, your thoughts…and when you feel your heart start to pound, when you notice you are breathing rapidly and more shallow, when you feel your emotions are in a fight or flight state – realize that you are NOT in a life or death situation, you are NOT running for your life from a lion! Simple awareness can dissolve the association we make between distress and ourselves.

9. Create processes to filter out the distress from your life, while creating environments that foster helpful eustress. By saying YES to eustress and NO to distress, we allow the positive stressors into our lives that provide healthy resistance and facilitate our growth, while keeping out the harmful garbage that does nothing but damage us!

1.1 Choose the correct option.

(a) Eu is a ………………………….. prefix.
i. Greek
ii. Latin
iii. French

(b) Hans Selye, came up with his theory of distress versus eustress in …………………………. .
i. 1970
ii. 1975
iii. 1980

(a) When was the word stress first used?
(b) Who was the first person to begin piecing together the puzzle of human stress?
(c) What are the two types of stress called?
(d) Name two harmful short term effects of stress.
(e) What are the harmful medical conditions that can develop from long – term exposure to stress?
(f) What is often the main problem with distress?

1.3 Pick out the words from the passage which mean the same as the following.
(a) inducements (para 2)
(b) sieve (para 9)

II. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. I recently had submitted an article ‘Reforming our Education System’ wherein the need for our educational system to shift its focus from insisting upon remembering to emphasising or understanding was stressed upon.

2. This article brought back the memory of an interesting conversation between my daughter and myself in the recent times, wherein I had learnt that Economics and Physics were a few of the most difficult subjects for her as she had to mug up the answers. Though I offered to help her out with the immediate problem on hand, 1 learnt subsequently that many a time it pays to mug up the answer properly, because the teachers find it easier to evaluate that way. It seems, the more deviation there is from the way the sentences are framed in the textbook, the more risk one runs of losing marks.

3. This reminded me of a training session I had attended at work, where we were required to carry out an exercise of joining the dots that were drawn in rows of three without lifting the pen and without crossing the trodden path more than once. Though the exercise seemed quite simple, almost 95 per cent of us failed to achieve the required result, no matter how hard we tried. The instructor then informed us cheerily that it happened all the time because the dots that appeared to fit into a box like formation do not allow us to think out of the box. That was when I realised that all of us carry these imaginary boxes in our minds. Thanks to our stereotyped upbringing that forces our thinking to conform to a set of pattern.

4. “What is the harm in conforming as long as it is towards setting up a good practice?”, someone might want to ask. Perhaps, no harm done to others but to the person being confined to “think by rote” may mean being deprived of rising to the heights he/she is capable of rising to, even without the person being aware of the same.

5. If we instil too much fear of failure in the children right from the young age, the urge to conform and play safe, starts stifling the creative urge which dares to explore, make a mistake and explore again. As we know, most of the great inventions were initially considered to be most outrageous and highly impractical. It is because the people inventing the same were not bothered about being ridiculed and brave enough to think of the unthinkable that these inventions came into being.

6. For many children, studies are the most boring aspect of their lives. Learning, instead of fun is being considered the most mundane and avoidable activity. Thanks to the propagators of an educational system which is more information- oriented than knowledge-oriented. Too much of syllabus, too many students per teacher, lack of enough hands-on exercises, teaching as a routine with the aim of completing the syllabus in time rather than with the goal of imparting knowledge, the curriculum more often than not designed keeping in view the most intelligent student rather than the average student are the important factors in this regard. Peer pressure, high expectations of the parents in an extremely competitive environment, the multitude of distractions in an era of technological revolution are adding further to the burden on the young minds.

7. For a change, can we have some English/Hindi poems ickle, tickle and pickle the young minds and send them on a wild goose chase for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Can we have lessons in History that make the child feel proud of his heritage, instead of asking him to mug up the years of the events? Can physics and chemistry lessons be taught more in the laboratories than in the classrooms? Can a system be devised so as to make the educational excursions compulsory for schools, so that visits to historical/botanical places are ensured without fail? Can the educational institutes start off inter-school projects on the internet, the way the schools in abroad do, so as to encourage the child to explore on her own and sum up her/his findings in the form of a report?

8. Finally, can we make the wonder of the childhood lost and get carried forward into the adulthood, instead of forcing pre-mature adulthood on children? I, for one, have realised that it is worth doing so, hence, I have asked my child to go ahead by choosing to write the answers on her own, in her own language by giving vent to her most fanciful imagination! (Source: The Hindu)

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by
choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

Question (i)
What were the difficult subjects for the writer’s daughter?
(a) Biology and Chemistry
(b) Economics and Physics
(c) Political Science and English
(d) History and Maths
(b) Economics and Physics

Question (ii)
Why does it pay to mug up answers?
(a) Because teachers find it easy to evaluate
(b) Because students find it easy to write
(c) Because teachers find it easy to teach
(d) Because students find it easy to remember
(a) Because teachers find it easy to evaluate

Question (iii)
What stifles the creative urge in children?
(a) The urge to be always right
(b) The urge to do well in everything
(c) The urge to conform and play safe
(d) The urge to take risks
(c) The urge to conform and play safe

Question (iv)
How is learning considered now?
(a) An interesting activity
(b) A mundane and avoidable activity
(c) A fun-filled activity
(d) An interesting but avoidable activity
(b) A mundane and avoidable activity

Question (v)
What is adding further to the burden on the young minds?
(a) Knowledge-oriented educational system
(b) High expectations of the parents
(c) Lack of hands-on exercises
(b) High expectations of the parents

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

Question (i)
What does the article “Reforming our Education System” emphasise upon?
It emphasised the need for shifting education from remembering to understanding.

Question (ii)
What exercise was the writer given in her training session?
They had to join dots that were drawn in rows of three without lifting the pen and without going through the same path.

Question (iii)
What are the “imaginary boxes” referred in the passage?
These are the ways of thinking that we cannot change.

Question (iv)
What is the harm that may occur if a person is taught to always think by rote?
There is the likelihood that such a person may never rise in his ability to think.

Question (v)
List the factors that have made learning a very boring process.
Too much syllabus; too many students per teacher; no hands-on exercise; curriculum designed for the bright child only.

Question (vi)
Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘to behave according to the usual standards of behaviour which is accepted by the society’.
conform

Question (vii)
Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘very ordinary and therefore not interesting’.
mundane

III. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. Many of us believe that ‘small’ means ‘insignificant’. We believe that small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives. We think that it is only the big things, the big actions and the big decisions that really count. But when you look at the lives of all great people, you will see that they built their character through small decisions, small choices and small actions that they performed every day.

They transformed their lives through a step-by-step or day-by-day approach. They nurtured and nourished their good habits and chipped away at their bad habits, one step at a time. It was their small day-to-day decisions that added up to make tremendous difference in the long run. Indeed, in matters of personal growth and character-building, there is no such thing as an overnight success.

2. Growth always occurs through a sequential series of stages. There is an organic process to growth. When we look at children growing up, we can see this process at work: the child first learns to crawl, then to stand and walk, and finally to run. The same is true in the natural world. The soil must first be tilled, and then the seed must be sowed. Next, it must be nurtured with enough water and sunlight, and only then it will grow, bear fruit and finally ripen, and be ready to eat.

3. Gandhi understood this organic process and used this universal law of nature to his benefit. Gandhi grew in small ways, in his day-to-day affairs. He did not wake up one day and find himself to be the “Mahatma”. In fact, there was nothing much in his early life that showed signs of greatness. But from his mid-twenties, he deliberately and consistently attempted to change himself, reform himself and grow in some small way every day. Day-by-day, hour-by-hour, he risked failure, experimented and learnt from the mistakes. In small and large situations alike, he took up rather than avoid responsibility.

4. People have always marvelled at the effortless way in which Gandhi could accomplish the most difficult tasks. He displayed great deal of self-mastery and discipline which was amazing. These things did not come easily to him. Years of practice and disciplined training went into making his success possible. Very few saw his struggles, fears, doubts and anxieties, or his inner efforts to overcome them. They saw the victory but not the struggle.

5. This is a common factor in the lives of all great people: they exercised their freedoms and choices in small ways that made great impact on their lives and their environment. Each of their small decisions and actions, added up to have a profound impact in the long run. By understanding this principle, we can move forward, with confidence, in the direction of our dreams. Often, when our “ideal goal” looks too far from us, we become easily discouraged, disheartened and pessimistic. However, when we choose to grow in small ways, taking small steps one at a time, it becomes easy to achieve the goal. [CBSE Sample Paper 2015]

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

Question (i)
What do many of us believe?
(a) Small choices and small actions are performed every day
(b) There is no such thing as an overnight success
(c) Small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives
(d) ‘Small’ means ‘significant’
(c) Small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives

Question (ii)
What does the writer mean by saying ‘chipped away at their bad habits’?
(d) Did not like bad habits

Question (iii)
Which of the following statement is true in the context of the third paragraph?
(a) Gandhi became great overnight.
(b) Gandhi showed signs of greatness in childhood itself.
(c) Every day, Gandhi made efforts to change himself in some small way.
(c) Every day, Gandhi made efforts to change himself in some small way.

Question (iv)
Why have people always marvelled Gandhi?
(a) For his effortless way to accomplish difficult tasks
(b) For his great deal of self-mastery and discipline
(c) For his fears, doubts and anxieties
(d) For his struggle
(a) For his effortless way to accomplish difficult tasks

Question (v)
What do great people do to transform their lives?
(a) They approach life on a day-by-day basis.
(b) They build character in small ways.
(c) They believe in performing everyday.
(d) All of these
(b) They build character in small ways.

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

Question (i)
What is “organic process of growth”?
They have an impact gradually. Slowly good habits are nurtured and bad habits
are given up.

Question (ii)
What, according to the writer, is the ‘universal law of nature’?
Growth of a child is an example of an organic process. The child first learns to crawl, then to stand and walk and finally to run.

Question (iii)
How did Gandhi accomplish the most difficult tasks effortlessly?
According to the author, the ‘universal law of nature’ is that growth is gradual.

Question (iv)
Which part of Gandhi’s life is not seen by most people?
Gandhiji accomplished the most difficult tasks effortlessly by practice, self-mastery, and discipline. He worked on small things and learnt from his mistakes.

Question (v)
How can we achieve our ‘ideal goals’?
Gandhi’s struggles, fears, doubts and anxieties, or his inner efforts to overcome them were not seen by most people.

Question (vi)
Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘intentionally’ or ‘purposely’.
deliberately

Question (vii)
Find a word from the passage (para-5) which means ‘of deep significance’.
profound

IV. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. One of the greatest sailing adventures of the past 25 years was the conquest of the Northwest Passage, powered by sail, human muscle, and determination. In 100 days, over three summers (1986-88), Jeff Maclnnis and Mike Beedell accomplished the first wind-powered crossing of the Northwest Passage.

2. In Jeff Maclnnis’s words…Our third season. We weave our way through the labyrinth of ice, and in the distance, we hear an unmistakable sound. A mighty bowhead whale is nearby, and its rhythmic breaths fill us with awe. Finally, we see it relaxed on the surface, its blowhole quivering like a volcanic cone, but it senses our presence and quickly sounds. We are very disappointed. We had only good intentions – to revel in its beautiful immensity and to feel its power. Mike thinks how foolish it would be for this mighty beast to put any faith in us. After all, we are .members of the species that had almost sent the bowhead into extinction with our greed for whale oil and bone. It is estimated that around 38,000 bowheads were killed off eastern Baffin Island in the 1800s; today, there are about 200 left.

3. The fascinating and sometimes the terrifying wildlife keeps us entertained during our explorations. Bearded harp and ring seals greet us daily. The profusion of birdlife is awesome; at times, we see and smell hundreds and thousands of thick¬billed murres clinging to their cliffside nests. Our charts show that we are on the edge of a huge shoal where the frigid ocean currents upswell and mix nutrients that provide a feast for the food chain. At times, these animals scare the living daylights out of us. They have a knack of sneaking up behind us and then shooting out of the water and belly, flopping for maximum noise and splash. A horrendous splash coming from behind has a heart-stopping effect in polar bear country.

4. We have many encounters with the “Lords of the Arctic”, but we are always cautious, observant, and ever so respectful that we are in their domain. In some regions, the land is totally devoid of life, while in others, the pulse of life takes our breath away. Such is the paradox of the Arctic. Its wastelands flow into oasis that are found nowhere else on the face of the earth. Many times we find ancient signs of Inuit people who lived here, superbly attuned to the land. We feel great respect for them as this landscape is a challenge at every moment.

5. We face a 35-mile open water passage across Prince Regent Inlet on Baffin Island that will take us to our ultimate goal – Pond Inlet on the Baffin Bay. The breakers look huge from the water’s edge. Leaning into the hulls, like bobsledders at the starting gate, we push as hard as we can down the gravel beach to the sea. We catch the water and keep pushing, until we have plunged waist-deep, then drag ourselves aboard. Immediately, we begin paddling with every ounce of effort. Sweat pours off our bodies. Ahead of us, looming gray-white through the fog, we see a massive iceberg riding the current like the ghost of a battleship. There is no wind to fill our sails and steady the boat, and the chaotic motion soon brings sea-sickness. Slowly, the wind begins to build. Prince Regent Inlet now looks ominous with wind and waves. The frigid ocean hits us in the face and chills us to the bone.

6. We were on the fine edge. Everything at the Arctic that had taught us over the last 90 days was now being tested. We funneled all that knowledge, skill, teamwork, and spirit into this momentous crossing… If we went over in these seas, we could not get the boat back up. Suddenly, the wind speed plummeted to zero as quickly as it had begun…. Now, we were being pushed by the convulsing waves toward sheer 2,000 -foot cliffs. Two paddles were our only power. Sailing past glacier-capped mountains, we approached the end of our journey. At 5:08 in the morning of our hundredth day, speeding into Baffin Bay, the spray from our twin hulls makes rainbows in the sun as we complete the first sail-powered voyage through the Northwest Passage.

7. We have journeyed through these waters on their terms, moved by the wind, waves, and current. The environment has always been in control of our destiny; we have only tried to respond in the best possible way. We’ve been awake for nearly 23 hours, but we cannot sleep. The joy and excitement are too great. Our Hobie Cat rests on the rocky beach, the wind whistling in her rigging, her bright yellow hulls radiant in the morning sunlight. She embodies the watchword for survival in the Arctic adaptability. [CBSE Sample Paper 2016]

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

Question (i)
(a) Author’s sailing adventure through the Northwest Passage
(b) Flora and fauna of the Arctic
(c) Survival skills needed while sailing
(d) Saving of the Arctic
(d) Saving of the Arctic

Question (ii)
Why were bowhead whales killed for?
(a) Whale oil and bone
(c) Flesh and bone
(d) None of these
(a) Whale oil and bone

Question (iii)
What does “Lords of the Arctic” refer to?
(a) Windbreakers
(b) Icebergs
(c) Polar bears
(d) Inuits
(c) Polar bears

Question (iv)
What is the name of the author’s sailing vessel?
(a) Prince Regent
(b) Hobie Cat
(c) Perception
(d) Arctic
(b) Hobie Cat

Question (v)
What does ‘we were on the fine edge’ refer to?
(a) The Prince Regent Inlet
(b) The ominous sail
(c) The frigid ocean
(d) Their expedition
(b) The ominous sail

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7marks)

Question (i)
Why does the author feel disappointed when the bowhead whale disappeared into the ocean?
The author senses the presence of the author and his friend and quickly sounds, j They are disappointed because they only had good intentions. They are sad to know the whale doesn’t trust humans.

Question (ii)
How does his sailing partner rationalise it?
Mike thinks how foolish it would be for this mighty beast to put any faith in them. After all, they are members of the species that had almost sent the bowhead into extinction with the greed for whale oil and bone.

Question (iii)
What reason does the author give for the thriving wildlife in the Arctic?
According to the author, on the edge of a huge shoal, the frigid ocean currents upswell and mix nutrients that provide a feast for the food chain. This would lead to thriving wildlife in the Arctic.

Question (iv)
What is the paradox of the Arctic?
In some regions, the land is totally devoid of life, while in others, the pulse of life takes our breath away. Its wastelands flow into an oasis that is found nowhere else on the face of the earth.

Question (v)
How did certain skills help the author and his partner survive the adventure?
Knowledge, skill, teamwork, and spirit helped the author and his partner to survive the adventure.

Question (vi)
Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘an area of territory owned or controlled’.
domain

Question (vii)
Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘the act of arranging dishonestly for the result of something’.
rigging

V. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow. (12 marks)

1. With the recent increase in the price of petrol, any alternative source of fuel would be readily accepted by the people. It is also a fact that people are increasingly becoming conscious of the environmental hazards accompanying the use of non – renewable sources of energy such as petroleum. Several steps have been taken by different countries to promote affordable energy supplies, enhance public health, economic well–being, and environmental quality. One such step includes the development of alternative fuels which can be used in vehicles. Such vehicles that run on fuels other than the traditional petroleum or diesel are called alternate fuel vehicles.

2. Alternative fuels include biodiesel, compressed natural gas, ethanol, hydrogen, and liquefied petroleum gas. Some of these can be produced within the country which would eventually reduce our dependence on imported oil while some of the others are derived from renewable sources. But these cause less pollution than petrol or diesel.

3. Biodiesel can be produced domestically and it is a renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease for use in diesel vehicles. Though biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of petroleum diesel, it is a cleaner burning alternative. The advantage of using biodiesel in place of petroleum or diesel is that it reduces emissions. It is safe, biodegradable, and produces fewer air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.

4. Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from corn and other plant materials. The use of ethanol is widespread especially in countries such as the United States of America. The use of ethanol too can reduce our dependence upon foreign oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

5. Hydrogen is also an emission-free alternative fuel that can be produced from diverse domestic energy sources. Research is underway to make hydrogen vehicles suitable for widespread use. Following the development of a new technology which allows the natural gas to be stored in a cheap and practical way, hydrogen fuel could be set to become a viable environmentally friendly alternative to petrol. This technology utilizes materials that soak up hydrogen like a sponge and then compresses them in tiny plastic beads which in turn behave like a liquid. Hydrogen is being aggressively explored as a fuel for passenger vehicles. It can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines. It is an environmentally friendly fuel that has the potential to dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil since it can be produced domestically from several sources. It is also environmentally friendly since hydrogen produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells.

6. Natural gas is a domestically produced gaseous fuel that is easily available. This clean-burning alternative fuel can be used in vehicles as either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). It is gradually becoming the popular choice of fuel since it is cleaner, hotter, and brighter than other fuels.

7. Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or autogas, has been used worldwide as a vehicle fuel for decades. It is stored as a liquid. LPG – fuelled vehicles produce fewer toxic and smog-forming air pollutants. LPG is usually less expensive than petroleum, and most of the LPG used can be produced from domestic sources.

5.1 Choose the correct option.

(a) The word “hazards’, in paragraph 1, means ……..
i. threats
ii. sources
iii. none of the above

(b) A ………………………….. substance or chemical can be changed to a harmless natural state by the action of bacteria, and will therefore not damage the environment.
i. greenhouse
ii. biodiesel

(a) Why would people welcome any alternative source of fuel other than petrol?
(b) Give some examples of alternative fuels.
(c) What is the advantage of using biodiesel in place of petroleum?
(d) What is ethanol?
(e) Why does the author feel that hydrogen fuel could be set to become a viable environmentally friendly alternative to petrol?
(f) Why is natural gas gaining popularity?

5.3 Pick out the words from the passage which mean the opposite of the following.

(a) inflated (para 6)
(b) hostile (para 5)

♦ Unsolved Passages:

I. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. It was the year 2020. My nephew, Karthik, who had come to spend his summer vacation with me, was watching TV. He was thirteen and just like any adolescent of his age, was full of questions. After a busy day at work, all I wanted was to rest. The moment I saw Karthik, I knew he was, as always, bustling with curiosity, and I knew that now there will be no rest.

2. As it was raining, I made tea, sandwiches and pakoras for us. I sat down to talk to him about his studies. He made a quick reply about them going well and brushed aside the rest of the questions. He was more interested in something else. It was the news flash: India celebrates fifth anniversary of its successful mission to Mars. I knew now what his questions will be. Since I was working on something related to India’s mission to Mars at my office, I knew I could satisfy his curiosity. He wanted to know all about Mangalyaan, formally known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

3. So, I started telling him all about it. India’s mission to Mars was conceived in 2010 and launched in 2013. MOM successfully injected into Mars’ orbit on September 24, 2014. I told him how it was in fact the first time that any country had made it to the Martian orbit in the very first attempt (NASA took two attempts to get so far; the Soviet Union, three). The main purpose was to map the red planet’s surface and for a better analysis of Martian atmosphere. I thought I had told him the basics and there would not be too many questions now. But he was all ready with the next question, “Why are they calling it a budget player?” “Simply because it cost only $74 million, a fraction of the$ 671 million cost of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program. In fact, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that India has spent less to reach Mars than Hollywood producers spent on the movie ‘Gravity’, which costed $100 million to make.” 4. “But how did this happen, how did India manage to hold costs down?” asked Karthik. I told him that India relied on technologies that it had used before and kept the size of the payload small, around 15 kilograms. Realising that the word payload might be tough for him to understand, I told him that it was infact the load carried by a vehicle exclusive of what is necessary for its operation. I also told him that India saved on fuel by using a smaller rocket to put its spacecraft into earth’s orbit first, to gain enough momentum to slingshot it towards Mars. Grinning, Karthik asked me, “So Aunty, what is special about MOM?” 5. “Well, it weighs around 1,337 kg and is about the size of a car. According to Professor Jitendra Goswami, the director of the institute and the man behind the discovery, the payload is tiny, just 14.5 kg (32 lbs), small enough to take on as cabin baggage.” 6. I sat there thinking about the controversies that MOM had to go through. Critics had pointed out that MOM and India’s investment in space did not seem to make sense when almost 30 per cent of India’s population live below the poverty line. Economist Jean Dreze once said about the mission, “It seems to be a part of the India’s elite delusional quest for superpower status”. But then I remembered the words of the chairman of ISRO about how ISRO’s budget represents only one per cent of the national budget and from that, the expenditure for MOM exploration was only seven per cent. 7. Thinking back on our conversation, I began to think whether Karthik had understood all the big terms and concepts that I used. I asked him, “So did you understand everything that I was talking about?” 8. “Well, not everything, but enough to know that India has succeeded where most of the others had failed”. 9. When all the food was over and Karthik had still not moved to wash his hands, I looked at him. He was sitting there, clearly dreaming. Upon prodding, he said, “Well, I was thinking, how great it would be to become an astronaut. I can move around in space, meet aliens, maybe make a new house there. It would be fun to have a picnic there. We can, in fact, promote it as a tourist place. We can also have a short stoppage at the moon and some other planets. Do you think we can take a contract for arranging all this? What do you say, Aunty?” 10. What could I say; I smiled and wished that his dreams would come true. Both of us sat there with the television running and dozing off. He lost in his dreams of going to Mars, and me, Karthik told me later, snoring. A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) When was MOM launched? (a) 2010 (b) 2011 (c) 2013 (d) 2014 (ii) How many attempts did NASA make to reach Mars? (a) Two (b) Three (c) Four (d) One (iii) What was the size of the payload? (a) 15 kg (b) 14 kg (c) 16 kg (d) 17 kg (iv) What was the other name of MOM? (a) Mangalyaan (b) Mars Orbit Mission (c) Mangalgrehyaan (d) Shubhyaan (v) What was the cost of Mangalyaan? (a)$ 84 million
(b) $108 million (c)$ 74 million
(d) $100 million B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) Why did the narrator feel that she could satisfy Karthik’s curiosity? (ii) What was the main purpose of MOM? (iii) Why is MOM called a budget player in the passage? (iv) How did India manage to keep the cost low for the mission? (v) What are the special features of MOM? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘the total amount of money spent’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-10) which means ‘sleeping’. B. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. Gone are the days when going to school was like any other ritual. Elders in the house would fix a specific day as shubh muhurat for going to school and puja would be performed before a child was put to a school, then called pathshala. The child would then seek the blessings of his elders and his teacher (called guru) to complete his education and to come out with flying colours. Guru, the teacher, would always treat his pupil like his own child and teach him till he was completely satisfied with his or her performance. 2. But it seems now that over a period of time, the whole concept of education has changed. Now, getting a child into a school is a billion-dollar question and a real nightmare experience for the parents. The moment a toddler starts spreading his wings, the parents start worrying about his admission, which school they should send him to, or which school they can afford. They are even ready to spend more than what their pocket allows; after all it is the future of their child—the poor child who does not even know how to talk properly! 3. Our public schools are always in the limelight with the onset of the admission season. They are set with their colourful advertisements for admission to various classes. After all the admission procedures are over, one would start expecting a call letter. The moment a call letter is received, mothers have a tough time in making their small children sit and teach them to remember certain things which would open the door for their future (getting into a particular school). The child who hardly knows anything has to follow his mother so that she could make him scribble a few things on paper. They have to go through this exercise to make a name. 4. Then comes the due day for the mind-boggling exercise-the interview. Parents start swinging between dos and don’ts, whether their child will make it or not. The moment you enter the school, you find beautifully dressed young kids with their parents huddled together to try their luck. For children, it is exactly the same situation as we elders face when we are told to attend a party where no one is known to us and where we simply find ourselves in a precarious situation as to what and what not to do. When we, the grown-ups cannot adjust to such gatherings, how do we expect our small children to be free in such an atmosphere? It is a real trauma for a child, who saw an unfamiliar face, starts crying, and that eventually becomes his negative point for his admission. He might be knowing what all he is expected to answer in such an interview but fails in his preliminary round. Is this a real test of his capability? Is this what determines his eligibility for admission? 5. Anyway, children are taken in batches followed by their anxious parents. God knows what the child is being asked to do. The parents are asked questions about their education, job, since when they are residing in the city, etc. 6. In another school, I talked to a parent who couldn’t get her daughter admitted because she had not put her in some preparatory school. This became a negative point for her daughter’s admission. Is it mandatory for parents to send their children to preparatory schools who have just learned how to stretch their limbs and can murmur a few words which most of the people are unable to understand? 7. Minister for Health and Primary Education, Delhi Government, amicably suggested that it is the moral duty of parents to give not only bookish knowledge to their children but an environment where they can be nurtured to learn about their own culture and heritage by any mode (be it dance, art, painting, music, etc.) depending upon the child’s talent. He further laid emphasis on the fact that our duty doesn’t end by sending children to schools at early dawn, collecting them and sending them to tuitions and finally making them sit in front of the so-called idiot box. The child has to be mentally and morally educated besides being physically educated. His words were really a take-home lesson for every sensible parent. 8. But to some extent, I do blame parents because it is their eagerness to put their child in a reputed school. Parents do have a lot of pressure from different walks of life but should not presume that once the child goes to a popular school, the problem is solved. The parents should give quality time to their children and make sure that their children can do their best, even if they are not admitted to these popular schools. A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) As soon as a toddler starts walking, what are his parents worried about? (a) His future (b) His health (c) His admission (d) His growth (ii) After all the admission procedures are over, what would one expect? (a) Money for the admission (b) Immediate admission (c) Good education (d) Immediate classes (iii) What comes into the limelight at the onset of the admission season? (a) The child (b) Public schools (c) Parents (d) The stationery shops (iv) What is the mind-boggling exercise where parents start swinging between dos and don’ts? (a) Admission (b) Interview (c) Raising a child (d) Searching for the best school (v) What is the most important thing that parents should give to their child? (a) Good food (b) Good clothes (c) Quality education (d) Quality time B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) In what respect is going to school today different from what it used to be in the olden days? (ii) What is the plight of the parents and that of children before the schooling begins? (iii) In spite of the coaching done by the parents, children fail to perform well. Why? (iv) “It is exactly the same situation we elders face…” Explain. (v) Why do the parents want their children to be put in a popular school? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘to write or draw something quickly or carelessly’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘fit to be chosen’. III. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. If you enjoy watching crime shows on TV, you know that fingerprints play a major role in identifying people. But, you might be surprised to find out that using fingerprints for identification is not a new science. In fact, it is very old – dating back at least as far as 1885-1913 B.C.E. In Babylon, when people agreed to a business contract, they pressed their fingerprints into the clay in which the contract was written. Thumbprints have also been found on clay seals from ancient China. 2. In 14th century Persia, which is now Iran, a government doctor recognised that all fingerprints are different. In 1684, a British doctor, Nehemiah Grew, spoke about the ridged surfaces of the fingers. In 1686, a professor of anatomy (the study of the structure of the human body) named Marcello Malpighi, wrote about the ridges and loops in fingerprints. Malpighi’s work was considered so important that a layer of skin found on the fingertips was named after him. This layer of skin is called the Malpighian layer. Although scientists had studied fingerprints, the value (ii) Who wrote about fingerprints in 1686? (a) Henry Faulds (b) Charles Darwin (c) Nehemiah Grew (d) Sir William James Herschel (iii) Who uses a variation of the Galton-Henry system? (a) FBI (b) Japanese Hospital (c) Henry Faulds (d) the United States (iv) Where was the use of fingerprinting in identification originated? (a) Britain (b) China (c) India (d) Iran (v) Why are fingerprints checked in a classified job? (a) Because they may not discuss your work (b) Because they work only with fingerprints (c) Because they work with automated systems (d) To be sure of any criminal background B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) How were fingerprints used in ancient times? (ii) Define anatomy. (iii) What is Malpighian layer? (iv) Why did Sir William James Herschel ask people to put their handprints on contracts? (v) How long does it take the IAFIS to find someone’s fingerprints? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-1) which means ‘to recognise someone or something’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘to invent a plan or system’. IV. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. It’s a common refrain: Youngsters today are becoming westernised. Parents lament that if they ask their kids to accompany them to the temple, they pull a long face. But all these may just be nothing other than popular perceptions. A survey conducted by hindustantimes.com shows that 68 percent of youth today believe in a higher power, 43 percent visit the temple every day and around 60 percent admit that going to the temple gives them mental satisfaction. They want to show their devotion to God. 2. The survey also shows that rather than making them superstitious, a faith in a higher being, visiting temples, and wearing religious symbols, such as a Kada or a sacred thread gives them a sense of strength. 3. Clinical psychologist, Seema Sharma says, “In this stress-ridden life of ours, we need to fall back on something for which we have to be sure that it is more powerful than us. Developing faith in anyone’s relevant thing in our life is mandatory. Psychological anarchy is prevented if we have something on which we can put our trust.” 4. It was a decade or so back that a trendy youngster would consider it middle-class to admit that they kept fasts and visited the temple. It was in vogue to sneer at the temple-going variety, though the snob brigade might be doing it themselves. 5. But not now. Things have changed. “Children have become more logical. They believe in God but only as far as they find any logic in this because they have started analysing the situation. They are open to any kind of discussion, so they don’t shy away to be ritualistic as a few years back they were”, says Madhu Kansal, the Principal of Delhi International School. 6. They wear their kadas, and cross with confidence and don’t hide it inside their tees, though around 45 percent will not wear religious prints because they feel it is demeaning to their religion and 36 percent will not use religious tones as ringtones for their mobile phones. Their logic: “Why display?” 7. Conservative it may sound but a huge difference in the attitude of today’s youth towards God is visible. Calling God nicknames would be unthinkable for the older generation who hold the entity in awe and fear. Not so with the youth today. They seem to blend their orthodox beliefs with a fun quotient perfectly, in their relationship with God. For them: God is “cool”. 8. Senior BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj says, “Youngsters are not hypocrites. They don’t believe in displaying but believe in truth. They are ready to face anything and have a friendly relationship with God. They have given nicknames to their favourite Gods, such as Roly Poly for Lord Ganesh and Hanu for Hanuman. Gods are their buddies.” 9. What also emerges from the survey is that many visit temples and observe rituals because their family insists. Says Pinky Nigam, a student of Hindu college, “Family plays a crucial role and perhaps is one of the most significant determinants of a child’s religious discourse.” 10. Aishwarya Sakhuja agrees, “Yes, you will see me with a dupatta on my head in a puja but that’s all about it. I do it to keep my family happy.” 11. Sociologist D.L. Seth, a member of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies says, “Life is becoming uncertain. People want some mental peace, there is a higher sense of insecurity, and being ritualistic is not really attached to being superstitious. It is not necessary that a ritualistic person may be superstitious and a superstitious person may be ritualistic.” 12. That seems to be the blend then, spiritual but realistic. Kuchipudi dancer, Raja Reddy, talking of his own children, says, “My children want to know everything about our religious rites; they know Kuchipudi but choreograph western compositions.” 13. Life today is fast, furious, and fickle, but Gen-X seems to have found the formula to fight back: Blend your religious faith with practical sense, draw strength and solace from it but don’t foster blind faith. Practise rituals, if it makes your family happy. You can do this much for them even if you do not believe in it. 14. Anura Jain, 18, sums it up, “There is God, but he just can’t give everything to 10 million people!” A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) What percentage of youth believes in a higher power? (a) 68% (b) 60% (c) 45% (d) 36% (ii) What gives a sense of strength to the youngsters? (a) Visiting Temples (b) Wearing religious symbols (c) Making them superstitious (d) None of these (iii) Why will 45 % of youngsters not wear religious prints? (a) Because they feel that it is just a display (b) Because they feel that it is demeaning (c) Because they feel that it is funny (d) Because they feel that it is less trendy (iv) Who holds a fun quotient with God? (a) Elder generation (b) Younger generation (c) Small children (d) Everyone (v) What is the most significant determinant of a child’s religious discourse? (a) Friends (b) Family (c) Relatives (d) Environment B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) What does the author mean by, ‘All these may just be little other than popular perceptions’? (ii) What does the survey conducted by hindustantimes.com reveal about youngster’s belief in God? (iii) Compare the scenario of the youngster’s belief a decade back with that of the present time. (iv) What do certain youngsters do in order to avoid making a display of their religious beliefs? (v) What are the certain things that youngsters do to support their view of god is cool’? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘modern and influenced by the most recent fashions or idea’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘a feeling of great respect mixed with fear’. V. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. We hear the word ‘smart cities’ often these days. So what is it? Is it a city where everyone is smart or where only smart people are allowed? Or is it a futuristic city upon entry of which people will become smart? 2. It is, however, something entirely different. Just to give you an idea-Think of sensors monitoring water levels, energy usage, traffic flows, and security cameras, and sending that data directly to city administrators. Or applications that help residents navigate traffic, report potholes and vote. Or trash collection that’s totally automated. This is what a ‘smart city’ will have. In fact, the term generally refers to cities using information technology to solve urban problems. It is also used to enhance performance and well-being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. It will help in confronting overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, resource constraints, inadequate infrastructure, and the need for continuing economic growth. It will also have reduced crime, safer streets, and neighbourhood. In all, there will be a general improvement in the quality of life. 3. The key ‘smart’ sectors include transport, energy, healthcare, water and waste. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple ‘transactional’ relationship with its citizens. It engages effectively with local people in local governance and the decision by use of open innovation processes and e-participation with emphasis placed on citizen participation and co-design. It makes good use of the creative industries, supported by a strong knowledge and social networks, voluntary organisations in a low-crime setting to achieve these aims. 4. The terms ‘intelligent city’ and ‘digital city’ are also used interchangeably with the smart cities. 5. You may wonder, why there is a sudden interest in smart cities. It is due to major challenges, including climate change, economic restructuring, the move to online retail and entertainment, ageing populations, and pressures on public finances. 6. So, how does it work? The Smart Cities Council, an industry-backed outfit that advocates the concept in India, describes them as cities that control data gathered from smart sensors through a smart grid to create a city that is liveable, workable, and sustainable. According to the Smart Cities Council, all the data that is collected from sensors – electricity, gas, water, traffic, and other government analytics – is carefully compiled and integrated into a smart grid and then fed into computers that can focus on making the city as efficient as possible. 7. This allows authorities to have real-time information about the city around them, and allows computers to attempt “perfect operations”, such as balancing supply and demand on electricity networks, synchronising traffic signals for peak usage, and optimising energy networks. India is urbanising at an unprecedented rate, so much that estimates suggest that nearly 600 million Indians will be living in cities by 2030, up from 290 million as reported in the 2001 census. A McKinsey Global Institute study estimated that cities would generate 70% new jobs by 2030, produce more than 70% of the Indian gross domestic product and drive a fourfold increase in per capita income across the country. 8. The concept of ‘smart cities’ as satellite towns of larger ones was enunciated in last month’s budget by the new NDA government which has allocated a sum of ? 7,060 crores for the plan. In his budget speech, Jaitley mentioned about exactly why the government believes the need for spending money on 100 smart cities. He claimed that “unless new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, the existing cities would soon become unliveable.” According to the urban development ministry, the focus will not be just 100 cities, but all urban areas across the country 100 cities, however, remain a tentative figure, with much still to be pinned down. The budget speech only officially identified cities along with the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Master Plan, which covers seven states. Although they weren’t named in the budget, seven cities have also been named along the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor, some of which would overlap with the Amritsar-Kolkata plan. Officially, the budget only pointed out three cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor: Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, and Tumkur in Karnataka. 9. The secretary, Sudhir Krishna has asked the National Institute of Urban Affairs to work on the smart city project, based on a framework that covers overall smartness and sustainability. For now, the focus will be on a much smaller number of cities in states where conditions are amenable before. The government even attempts to look at expanding to cover 100 urban areas. 10. 70 crore per city will clearly not be enough, and even if more is added, it’s unlikely that the government will have resources to pay for the cities. The government announced that it was relaxing norms for foreign direct investment to make it easier for outside companies to invest in smart cities. In addition, India has spoken to France, Japan, and Singapore about collaborating on the projects. A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) What are the key to ‘smart’ sectors? (a) Transport and energy (b) Healthcare and water (c) Energy and waste (d) All of these (ii) How do smart cities engage with local people? (a) By e-participation (b) By open-innovation (c) Both (a) and (b) (d) By meeting people regularly (iii) Who estimated that cities would generate 70% new jobs by 2030? (a) Smart Cities Council (b) Global Institute (c) Smart Sectors (d) City Administrators (iv) What does the McKinsey Global Institute study suggest about India’s GDP in the future? (a) It will increase more than 70% (b) It will decrease more than 70% (c) It will decrease more than 60% (d) It will increase more than 50% (v) How many states does the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Master Plan cover? (a) Six (b) Five (c) Eight (d) Seven B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) What are ‘smart cities’? (ii) What does the author mean by, ‘India is urbanising at an unprecedented rate’? (iii) Why is there a sudden interest in smart cities? (iv) Why does the government feel that there is a need for spending money on 100 smart cities? (v) How is the government generating resources for the formation of smart cities? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘use of any new idea or method’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-8) which means ‘to provide with a place to live’. VI. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. Till as late as the 1960s, we believed that one of the major differences between us and the rest of the animal kingdom was our ability to make and use tools. But then, our egos suffered a devastating blow: in the jungles of Gombe in Africa, Jane Goodall observed a chimpanzee pluck and trim a stem of grass and insert it into a termite mound. The furious termites climbed up the stem only to be happily eaten up by the chimp. The chimp kept repeating the process. He had, in fact, fashioned his own fishing rod and gone fishing for termites. We were not alone! And that was not all. Chimps were also observed using rocks to bash open hard shells and fruits (which other monkeys also do), to throw them at their enemies and wave sticks around. Even worse, adolescent females, especially, were seen sharpening sticks with their teeth and thrusting these like spears into hollows where bush-babies were hiding I fear and then checked the spear tips for blood! Chimps were also seen chewing up leaves and using these like sponges to suck up water from the waterholes to enable them to drink. 2. The gorillas and orangutans were not far behind. In 2005, a western lowland gorilla (a lady, this time) was observed picking up a stick and using it to check the depth of a pool she wanted to cross. Then, she used it as a walking stick. Orangutans (as well as chimpanzees) have been observed using broad leaves as umbrellas during downpours – and orangutans that are accustomed to our company (never a good influence) imitate the way we wash clothes by the riverbank or use a saw to cut wood. 3. Elephants designed fly-whisks and backscratchers from branches and used strips of chewed up bark to plug small waterholes (which they had dug) to prevent the water from evaporating. Dada bulls would heave heavy logs or rocks at electric fences to short-circuit or simple destroy them. 4. Bottle-nosed dolphins have been known to cover their long noses with sponges or shells before combing the seabed for tidbits (There are many spiny creatures and sharp rocks that could otherwise injure them). 5. Crows are thought to be the smartest amongst birds and the new Caledonian crow is considered to be the Einstein among crows. Crows have been known to do the dropping-of-pebbles-in-a-pitcher of water stunt, as described in Aesop’s Fables. The American alligator has been known to arrange twigs on its head – to lure nest-building birds to come and pick them up. When they do, well, lunch is served for the alligator! 6. For long, we have exploited the poor silkworm, boiling its cocoons alive to make one of the most exquisite clothing materials known so far. But the real pros in silk production are hold your breath spiders. What caterpillars of moths and butterflies do with their mouthparts (like a magician releasing ribbons from his/ her mouth), spiders do it from the lower part of their bodies. But try as we may, we still haven’t cracked the code of how to synthesise spider silk, which can be used for everything from producing gunsights and sutures to light bulletproof jackets and seat belts. 7. What if spiders sold their silk? Imagine walking into a silk emporium run by arachnids, you would be greeted by a sales-spider: charming, young Ms/Mr Hairy legs, who would appraise you out of her/his eight or so eyes. “Welcome, welcome!” She/He would gush scanning you top-down, rubbing its hairy legs together in delight. “We have some of the finest, softest cradle silk you would ever want for your happy events. Wrapped up in it, your babies will be warm, safe, and dry as they wait to hatch. It’s super-absorbent, too, and a nappy rash will not be a problem! 8. So yes, animals use tools, but we needn’t worry. None of them have, as yet, discovered how to make fire. Though our very own black kite will with its goonda friends – spread a wildfire by dropping burning twigs in unburned areas so they can snap up even more fleeing insects and rodents. But yes, these so-called tools are primitive. 9. But then, do animals really need sophisticated tools to get what they want? Cheetahs accelerate faster than Ferraris, pit vipers have heat-seeking sensors, eagles can locate a rabbit in a field from kilometres away, sharks smell a drop of blood in a whole ruddy ocean, bats use sonar, birds, and bees see ultraviolet light, a falcon can dive at 320 kmph, snakes have a cocktail of venom that can bleed, paralyse or liquefy you to death, spiders’ silk still has us in a tizzy, chameleons and octopuses wear invisibility cloaks, and migratory birds have built-in navigation system – the list is endless! 10. We had the best brains and so we’re able to design miraculous tools. But look where we have ended up: we’ve gassed up the earth’s air, poisoned the water, and have stocked enough weaponry to destroy ourselves a million times over. So really, who is the monkey with the wrench? [CBSE 2019 SET-IT] A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) What does it indicate when chimps make their own fishing rods? (a) That animals and man have similar interests (b) That monkeys also go fishing (c) That animals like to imitate man (d) That man is an animal who likes to fish (ii) How do we know that chimps are intelligent? (a) They try and ape man (b) They use their brains to find solution to problems (c) They kill bush-babies (d) They love to eat termites (iii) Why do orangutans use big leaves during downpour? (a) Because they like big leaves when it starts to rain (b) Because they do not like heavy rain (c) Because they want to wet the leaves (d) Because the leaves can keep the rain off their bodies (iv) Why might the black kite start a fire? (a) Because it is a firebird (b) Because it is hungry and looking for food (c) Because it likes to watch fleeing animals (d) Because it eats only cooked meat (v) Why do big male elephants throw logs at electric fences? (a) Because they want to be free (b) Because they are great throwers (c) Because they enjoy the sparks thus caused (d) Because they are very strong animals B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) (i) Why are animals considered as intelligent as humans? (ii) What strategy do chimps use to open hard shells and fruits? (iii) What do elephants do to prevent water from evaporating? (iv) Give an example from the passage that proves the crow to be an intelligent bird. (v) How does a black kite spread wildfire? (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘misused’. (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘welcomed’. ♦ Solved Passages: I. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. New Year is the time for resolution. Mentally, at least most of us could compile formidable lists of ‘dos and don’ts’. The same old favourites recur year in and year out with monotonous regularity. We resolve to get up early each morning, eat healthy food, exercise, be nice to people whom we don’t like, and find more time for our parents. Past experience has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. If we remain deep-rooted liars, it is only because we have so often experienced the frustration that results from failure. 2. Most of us fail in our efforts at self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. We also make the fundamental error of announcing our resolution to everybody, so that we look even more foolish when we slip back into our bad old ways. Aware of these pitfalls, this year I attempted to keep my resolutions to myself. I limited myself to two modest ambitions, to do physical exercise every morning and to read more in the evening. An overnight party on New Year’s Eve provided me with a good excuse for not carrying out either of these new resolutions on the first day of the year, but on the second, I applied myself diligently to the task. 3. The daily exercise lasted only eleven minutes and I proposed to do them early in the morning before anyone had got up. The self-discipline required to drag myself out of bed eleven minutes earlier than usual was considerable. Nevertheless, I managed to creep down into the living room for two days before anyone found me out. After jumping about in the carpet and twisting the human frame into uncomfortable positions, I sat down at the breakfast table in an exhausted condition. It was this that betrayed me. The next morning, the whole family trooped in to watch the performance. That was really unsettling, but I fended off the taunts and jibes of the whole family good-humouredly and soon everybody got used to the idea. However, my enthusiasm waned. The time I spent at exercises gradually diminished. Little by little, the eleven minutes fell to zero. By January 10, I was back to where I had started from. I argued that if I spent less time exhausting myself at exercises in the morning, I would keep my mind fresh for reading when I got home from work. Resisting the hypnotising effect of television, I sat in my room for a few evenings with my eyes glued to a book. One night, however, feeling cold and lonely, I went downstairs and sat in front of the television pretending to read. That proved to be my undoing, for I soon got back to the old bad habit of dozing off in front of the screen. I still haven’t given up my resolution to do more reading. In fact, I have just bought a book entitled ‘How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute’. Perhaps, it will solve my problem, but I just have not had time to read it. A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) Question (i) What were the writer’s resolutions? (a) Physical exercise in the morning (b) Read more in the evening (c) Both (a) and (b) (d) Not to make more resolutions Answer: (c) Both (a) and (b) Question (ii) How much time did the daily exercise last initially? (a) 10 minutes (b) 11 minutes (c) 5 minutes (d) 8 minutes Answer: (b) 11 minutes Question (iii) How many days did the writer continue his resolution? (a) 8 days (b) 9 days (c) 10 days (d) 7 days Answer: (b) 9 days Question (iv) What did the writer do one night, when he was feeling cold and lonely? (a) Sat in front of the TV pretending to read (b) Completed an entire book (c) Went for a walk (d) Gave up the idea of reading Answer: (a) Sat in front of the TV pretending to read Question (v) Which book did the writer buy? (a) How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute (b) How to be a Good Reader (c) How to be Firm on your Resolutions (d) The Importance of Exercising Answer: (a) How to Read a Thousand Words a Minute B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) Question (i) According to the writer, what has past experience of New Year’s resolutions taught us? Answer: The past experience of New Year’s resolutions has taught us that certain accomplishments are beyond attainment. Question (ii) According to the writer, why do most of us fail in our efforts for self-improvement? Answer: Most of us fail in our efforts for self-improvement because our schemes are too ambitious and we never have time to carry them out. Question (iii) Why is it a big mistake to announce our resolution to everybody? Answer: It is a big mistake to announce our resolution to everybody because when we do not accomplish what we had resolved, we look even more foolish. Question (iv) Why did the writer not carry out his resolution on New Year’s Day? Answer: An overnight party on New Year’s Eve provided the writer with a good excuse for not carrying out either of his new resolutions on the first day of the year. Question (v) “I fended off the taunts and jibes…”. Whose taunts and jibes is the writer talking about? Why was he being taunted? Answer: (a) The same old favourites occur with monotonous regularity. (b) We never have time to carry them out. Question (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-1) which means ‘not changing and therefore boring’. Answer: monotonous Question (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘to become weaker in strength or influence’. Answer: weave II. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. I recently had submitted an article ‘Reforming our Education System’ wherein the need for our educational system to shift its focus from insisting upon remembering to emphasizing or understanding was stressed upon. 2. This article brought back the memory of an interesting conversation between my daughter and myself in the recent times, wherein I had learnt that Economics and Physics were a few of the most difficult subjects for her as she had to mug up the answers. Though I offered to help her out with the immediate problem on hand, 1 learnt subsequently that many a time it pays to mug up the answer properly, because the teachers find it easier to evaluate that way. It seems, the more deviation there is from the way the sentences are framed in the textbook, the more risk one runs of losing marks. 3. This reminded me of a training session I had attended at work, where we were required to carry out an exercise of joining the dots that were drawn in rows of three without lifting the pen and without crossing the trodden path more than once. Though the exercise seemed quite simple, almost 95 per cent of us failed to achieve the required result, no matter how hard we tried. The instructor then informed us cheerily that it happened all the time because the dots that appeared to fit into a box like formation do not allow us to think out of the box. That was when I realised that all of us carry these imaginary boxes in our minds. Thanks to our stereotyped upbringing that forces our thinking to conform to a set of pattern. 4. “What is the harm in conforming as long as it is towards setting up a good practice?”, someone might want to ask. Perhaps, no harm done to others but to the person being confined to “think by rote” may mean being deprived of rising to the heights he/she is capable of rising to, even without the person being aware of the same. 5. If we instil too much fear of failure in the children right from the young age, the urge to conform and play safe, starts stifling the creative urge which dares to explore, make a mistake and explore again. As we know, most of the great inventions were initially considered to be most outrageous and highly impractical. It is because the people inventing the same were not bothered about being ridiculed and brave enough to think of the unthinkable that these inventions came into being. 6. For many children, studies are the most boring aspect of their lives. Learning, instead of fun is being considered the most mundane and avoidable activity. Thanks to the propagators of an educational system which is more information-oriented than knowledge-oriented. Too much of a syllabus, too many students per teacher, lack of enough hands-on exercises, teaching as a routine with the aim of completing the syllabus in time rather than with the goal of imparting knowledge, the curriculum more often than not designed keeping in view the most intelligent student rather than the average student are the important factors in this regard. Peer pressure, high expectations of the parents in an extremely competitive environment, the multitude of distractions in an era of the technological revolution are adding further to the burden on the young minds. 7. For a change, can we have some English/Hindi poems ickle, tickle, and pickle the young minds and send them on a wild goose chase for the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? Can we have lessons in History that make the child feel proud of his heritage, instead of asking him to mug up the years of the events? Can physics and chemistry lessons be taught more in the laboratories than in the classrooms? Can a system be devised so as to make the educational excursions compulsory for schools, so that visits to historical/botanical places are ensured without fail? Can the educational institutes start off inter-school projects on the internet, the way the schools abroad do, so as to encourage the child to explore on her own and sum up her/his findings in the form of a report? 8. Finally, can we make the wonder of the childhood lost and get carried forward into adulthood, instead of forcing pre-mature adulthood on children? I, for one, have realised that it is worth doing so, hence, I have asked my child to go ahead by choosing to write the answers on her own, in her own language by giving vent to her most fanciful imagination! (Source: The Hindu) A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) Question (i) What were the difficult subjects for the writer’s daughter? (a) Biology and Chemistry (b) Economics and Physics (c) Political Science and English (d) History and Maths Answer: (b) Economics and Physics Question (ii) Why does it pay to mug up answers? (a) Because teachers find it easy to evaluate (b) Because students find it easy to write (c) Because teachers find it easy to teach (d) Because students find it easy to remember Answer: (a) Because teachers find it easy to evaluate Question (iii) What stifles the creative urge in children? (a) The urge to be always right (b) The urge to do well in everything (c) The urge to conform and play safe (d) The urge to take risks Answer: (c) The urge to conform and play safe Question (iv) How is learning considered now? (a) An interesting activity (b) A mundane and avoidable activity (c) A fun-filled activity (d) An interesting but avoidable activity Answer: (b) A mundane and avoidable activity Question (v) What is adding further to the burden on the young minds? (a) Knowledge-oriented educational system (b) High expectations of the parents (c) Lack of hands-on exercises (d) Learning instead of fun Answer: (b) High expectations of the parents B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) Question (i) What does the article “Reforming our Education System” emphasise upon? Answer: It emphasised the need for shifting education from remembering to understanding. Question (ii) What exercise was the writer given in her training session? Answer: They had to join dots that were drawn in rows of three without lifting the pen and without going through the same path. Question (iii) What are the “imaginary boxes” referred in the passage? Answer: These are the ways of thinking that we cannot change. Question (iv) What is the harm that may occur if a person is taught to always think by rote? Answer: There is the likelihood that such a person may never rise in his ability to think. Question (v) List the factors that have made learning a very boring process. Answer: Too much syllabus; too many students per teacher; no hands-on exercise; curriculum designed for the bright child only. Question (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘to behave according to the usual standards of behaviour which is accepted by the society’. Answer: conform Question (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘very ordinary and therefore not interesting’. Answer: mundane III. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. Many of us believe that ‘small’ means ‘insignificant’. We believe that small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives. We think that it is only the big things, the big actions and the big decisions that really count. But when you look at the lives of all great people, you will see that they built their character through small decisions, small choices and small actions that they performed every day. They transformed their lives through a step-by-step or day-by-day approach. They nurtured and nourished their good habits and chipped away at their bad habits, one step at a time. It was their small day-to-day decisions that added up to make tremendous difference in the long run. Indeed, in matters of personal growth and character-building, there is no such thing as an overnight success. 2. Growth always occurs through a sequential series of stages. There is an organic process to growth. When we look at children growing up, we can see this process at work: the child first learns to crawl, then to stand and walk, and finally to run. The same is true in the natural world. The soil must first be tilled, and then the seed must be sowed. Next, it must be nurtured with enough water and sunlight, and only then it will grow, bear fruit and finally ripen, and be ready to eat. 3. Gandhi understood this organic process and used this universal law of nature to his benefit. Gandhi grew in small ways, in his day-to-day affairs. He did not wake up one day and find himself to be the “Mahatma”. In fact, there was nothing much in his early life that showed signs of greatness. But from his mid-twenties, he deliberately and consistently attempted to change himself, reform himself and grow in some small way every day. Day-by-day, hour-by-hour, he risked failure, experimented and learnt from the mistakes. In small and large situations alike, he took up rather than avoid responsibility. 4. People have always marvelled at the effortless way in which Gandhi could accomplish the most difficult tasks. He displayed great deal of self-mastery and discipline which was amazing. These things did not come easily to him. Years of practice and disciplined training went into making his success possible. Very few saw his struggles, fears, doubts and anxieties, or his inner efforts to overcome them. They saw the victory but not the struggle. 5. This is a common factor in the lives of all great people: they exercised their freedoms and choices in small ways that made great impact on their lives and their environment. Each of their small decisions and actions, added up to have a profound impact in the long run. By understanding this principle, we can move forward, with confidence, in the direction of our dreams. Often, when our “ideal goal” looks too far from us, we become easily discouraged, disheartened and pessimistic. However, when we choose to grow in small ways, taking small steps one at a time, it becomes easy to achieve the goal. [CBSE Sample Paper 2015] A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) Question (i) What do many of us believe? (a) Small choices and small actions are performed every day (b) There is no such thing as an overnight success (c) Small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives (d) ‘Small’ means ‘significant’ Answer: (c) Small actions and choices do not have much impact on our lives Question (ii) What does the writer mean by saying ‘chipped away at their bad habits’? (a) Steadily gave up bad habits (b) Slowly produced bad habits (c) Gradually criticised bad habits (d) Did not like bad habits Answer: (a) Steadily gave up bad habits Question (iii) Which of the following statement is true in the context of the third paragraph? (a) Gandhi became great overnight. (b) Gandhi showed signs of greatness in childhood itself. (c) Every day, Gandhi made efforts to change himself in some small way. (d) Gandhi never made mistakes. Answer: (c) Every day, Gandhi made efforts to change himself in some small way. Question (iv) Why have people always marvelled Gandhi? (a) For his effortless way to accomplish difficult tasks (b) For his great deal of self-mastery and discipline (c) For his fears, doubts and anxieties (d) For his struggle Answer: (a) For his effortless way to accomplish difficult tasks Question (v) What do great people do to transform their lives? (a) They approach life on a day-by-day basis. (b) They build character in small ways. (c) They believe in performing everyday. (d) All of these Answer: (b) They build character in small ways. B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks) Question (i) What is “organic process of growth”? Answer: They have an impact gradually. Slowly good habits are nurtured and bad habits are given up. Question (ii) What, according to the writer, is the ‘universal law of nature’? Answer: Growth of a child is an example of an organic process. The child first learns to crawl, then to stand and walk and finally to run. Question (iii) How did Gandhi accomplish the most difficult tasks effortlessly? Answer: According to the author, the ‘universal law of nature’ is that growth is gradual. Question (iv) Which part of Gandhi’s life is not seen by most people? Answer: Gandhiji accomplished the most difficult tasks effordessly by practice, self-mastery and discipline. He worked on small things and learnt from his mistakes. Question (v) How can we achieve our ‘ideal goals’? Answer: Gandhi’s struggles, fears, doubts and anxieties, or his inner efforts to overcome them were not seen by most people. Question (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘intentionally’ or ‘purposely’. Answer: deliberately Question (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-5) which means ‘of deep significance’. Answer: profound IV. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. One of the greatest sailing adventures of the past 25 years was the conquest of the Northwest Passage, powered by sail, human muscle, and determination. In 100 days, over three summers (1986-88), Jeff Maclnnis and Mike Beedell accomplished the first wind-powered crossing of the Northwest Passage. 2. In Jeff Maclnnis’s words…Our third season. We weave our way through the labyrinth of ice, and in the distance, we hear an unmistakable sound. A mighty bowhead whale is nearby, and its rhythmic breaths fill us with awe. Finally, we see it relaxed on the surface, its blowhole quivering like a volcanic cone, but it senses our presence and quickly sounds. We are very disappointed. We had only good intentions – to revel in its beautiful immensity and to feel its power. Mike thinks how foolish it would be for this mighty beast to put any faith in us. After all, we are .members of the species that had almost sent the bowhead into extinction with our greed for whale oil and bone. It is estimated that around 38,000 bowheads were killed off eastern Baffin Island in the 1800s; today, there are about 200 left. 3. The fascinating and sometimes the terrifying wildlife keeps us entertained during our explorations. Bearded harp and ring seals greet us daily. The profusion of bird life is awesome; at times, we see and smell hundreds and thousands of thick¬billed murres clinging to their cliffside nests. Our charts show that we are on the edge of a huge shoal where the frigid ocean currents upswell and mix nutrients that provide a feast for the food chain. At times, these animals scare the living daylights out of us. They have a knack of sneaking up behind us and then shooting out of the water and belly, flopping for maximum noise and splash. A horrendous splash coming from behind has a heart-stopping effect in polar bear country. 4. We have many encounters with the “Lords of the Arctic”, but we are always cautious, observant, and ever so respectful that we are in their domain. In some regions, the land is totally devoid of life, while in others, the pulse of life takes our breath away. Such is the paradox of the Arctic. Its wastelands flow into oasis that are found nowhere else on the face of the earth. Many times we find ancient signs of Inuit people who lived here, superbly attuned to the land. We feel great respect for them as this landscape is a challenge at every moment. 5. We face a 35 mile open water passage across Prince Regent Inlet on Baffin Island that will take us to our ultimate goal – Pond Inlet on Baffin Bay. The breakers look huge from the water’s edge. Leaning into the hulls, like bobsledders at the starting gate, we push as hard as we can down the gravel beach to the sea. We catch the water and keep pushing, until we have plunged waist deep, then drag ourselves aboard. Immediately, we begin paddling with every ounce of effort. Sweat pours off our bodies. Ahead of us, looming gray-white through the fog, we see a massive iceberg riding the current like the ghost of a battleship. There is no wind to fill our sails and steady the boat, and the chaotic motion soon brings sea-sickness. Slowly, the wind begins to build. Prince Regent Inlet now looks ominous with wind and waves. The frigid ocean hits us in the face and chills us to the bone. 6. We were on the fine edge. Everything at the Arctic that had taught us over the last 90 days was now being tested. We funneled all that knowledge, skill, teamwork, and spirit into this momentous crossing… If we went over in these seas, we could not get the boat back up. Suddenly, the wind speed plummeted to zero as quickly as it had begun…. Now, we were being pushed by the convulsing waves toward sheer 2,000 -foot cliffs. Two paddles were our only power. Sailing past glacier capped mountains, we approached the end of our journey. At 5:08 in the morning of our hundredth day, speeding into Baffin Bay, the spray from our twin hulls makes rainbows in the sun as we complete the first sail powered voyage through the Northwest Passage. 7. We have journeyed through these waters on their terms, moved by the wind, waves and current. The environment has always been in control of our destiny; we have only tried to respond in the best possible way. We’ve been awake for nearly 23 hours, but we cannot sleep. The joy and excitement are too great. Our Hobie Cat rests on the rocky beach, the wind whistling in her rigging, her bright yellow hulls radiant in the morning sunlight. She embodies the watchword for survival in the Arctic adaptability. [CBSE Sample Paper 2016] A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) Question (i) What is the passage about? (a) Author’s sailing adventure through the Northwest Passage (b) Flora and fauna of the Arctic (c) Survival skills needed while sailing (d) Saving of the Arctic Answer: (d) Saving of the Arctic Question (ii) Why were bowhead whales killed for? (a) Whale oil and bone (b) Head and tail (c) Flesh and bone (d) None of these Answer: (a) Whale oil and bone Question (iii) What does “Lords of the Arctic” refer to? (a) Wind breakers (b) Icebergs (c) Polar bears (d) Inuits Answer: (c) Polar bears Question (iv) What is the name of the author’s sailing vessel? (a) Prince Regent (b) Hobie Cat (c) Perception (d) Arctic Answer: (b) Hobie Cat Question (v) What does ‘we were on the fine edge’ refer to? (a) The Prince Regent Inlet (b) The ominous sail (c) The frigid ocean (d) Their expedition Answer: (b) The ominous sail B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7marks) Question (i) Why does the author feel disappointed when the bowhead whale disappeared into the ocean? Answer: The author senses the presence of the author and his friend and quickly sounds, j They are disappointed because they only had good intentions. They are sad to know the whale doesn’t trust humans. Question (ii) How does his sailing partner rationalise it? Answer: Mike thinks how foolish it would be for this mighty beast to put any faith in them. After all, they are members of the species that had almost sent the bowhead into extinction with the greed for whale oil and bone. Question (iii) What reason does the author give for the thriving wildlife in the Arctic? Answer: According to the author, on the edge of a huge shoal, the frigid ocean currents upswell and mix nutrients that provide a feast for the food chain. This would lead to a thriving wildlife in the Arctic. Question (iv) What is the paradox of the Arctic? Answer: In some regions, the land is totally devoid of life, while in others, the pulse of life takes our breath away. Its wastelands flow into oasis that are found nowhere else on the face of the earth. Question (v) How did certain skills help the author and his partner survive the adventure? Answer: Knowledge, skill, teamwork, and spirit helped the author and his partner to survive the adventure. Question (vi) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘an area of territory owned or controlled’. Answer: domain Question (vii) Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘the act of arranging dishonestly for the result of something’. Answer: rigging V. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks) 1. I was in Hyderabad, giving a lecture, when a 14-year-old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life was. She replied, “I want to live in a developed India.” For her, you and I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim: India is not an underdeveloped nation; it is a highly-developed nation. 2. Allow me to come back with vengeance. Got ten minutes for your country? YOU say that our government is inefficient. YOU say that our laws are too old. YOU say that the municipality does not pick up the garbage. YOU say that the phones don’t work, the railways are a joke, the airline is the worst in the world and mails never reach their destinations. YOU say that our country has been fed to the dogs and is the absolute pit. YOU say, say and say. 3. What do YOU do about it? Take a person on his way to Singapore. Give him a name – YOURS. Give him a face – YOURS. YOU walk out of the airport and you are at your international best. In Singapore, you don’t throw cigarette butts on the roads or eat in the stores. YOU are as proud of their Underground Links as they are. You pay$ 5 (approx. 60) to drive through Orchard Road (equivalent of Mahim Causeway or Pedder Road) between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

4. YOU come back to the parking lot to punch your parking ticket, if you have overstayed in a restaurant or a shopping mall, irrespective of your status or identity. In Singapore, you don’t say anything, DO YOU? YOU wouldn’t dare to eat in public during Ramadan in Dubai. YOU would not dare to go out without your head covered in Jeddah. YOU would not dare to buy an employee of the telephone exchange in London at 10 pounds (? 650) a month to “see to it that my STD and ISD calls are billed to someone else.” YOU would not dare to speed beyond 55 mph (88 kph) in Washington and then tell the traffic cop, “Do you know who I am? I am so and so’s son. Take your two bucks and get lost.” YOU wouldn’t chuck an empty coconut shell anywhere other than the garbage pail on the beaches in Australia and New Zealand. Why don’t YOU spit paan on the streets of Tokyo? Why don’t YOU use examination jockeys or buy fake certificates in Boston? We are still talking of the same YOU.

5. YOU, who can respect and conform to a foreign system in other countries but cannot in your own. YOU, who will throw papers and cigarettes on the road, the moment you touch Indian ground. If you can be an involved and appreciative citizen in an alien country, why cannot you be the same here in India. Once in an interview, the famous ex-municipal commissioner of Bombay Mr Tinaikar had a point to make, “Rich people’s dogs are walked on the streets to leave their affluent droppings all over the place,” he said. “And then the same people turn around to criticise and blame the authorities for inefficiency and dirty pavements. What do they expect the officers to do? Go down with a broom every time their dog feels the pressure in his bowels? In America, every dog owner has to clean up after his pet has done the job. Same is in Japan. Will Indian citizens do that here?” He’s right.

6. We go to the polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibility. We sit back wanting to be pampered and expect the government to do everything for us whilst our contribution is totally negative. We expect the government to clean up, but we are not going to stop chucking garbage all over the place nor are we going to stop to pick up a stray piece of paper and throw it in the bin. We expect the railways to provide clean bathrooms, but we are not going to learn the proper use of bathrooms. We want Indian Airlines and Air India to provide the best of food and toiletries, but we are not going to stop pilfering at the least opportunity. This applies even to the staff, who is known not to pass on the service to the public.

When it comes to burning social issues like those related to women, dowry, girl- child and others, we make loud protests and continue to do the reverse at home. Our excuse? “It’s the whole system which has to change, how will it matter if I alone forego my son’s rights to a dowry.” So who’s going to change the system? What does a system consist of? Very conveniently for us, it consists of our neighbours, other households, other cities, other communities and the government. But definitely not me and YOU.

7. When it comes to us, in making a positive contribution to the system, we lock ourselves along with our families into a safe cocoon and look into the distance at countries far away and wait for a Mr Clean to come along and work miracles for us with a majestic sweep of his hand, or we leave the country and run away. Like lazy cowards, hounded by our fears, we run to America to bask in their glory and praise their system. When New York becomes insecure, we run to England. When England experiences unemployment, we take the next flight out to the Gulf. When the Gulf is war struck, we demand to be rescued and brought home by the Indian government. Everybody is out to abuse and rape the country. Nobody thinks of feeding the system. Our conscience is mortgaged to money.

8. Dear Indians, the article is highly thought inductive, calls for a great deal of introspection and pricks one’s conscience too….I am echoing J. F. Kennedy’s words to his fellow Americans to relate to Indians….

9. “Ask What we Can Do for India and Do What has to be Done to Make India What America and Other Western Countries a Today”.

10. Let’s do what India needs from us.

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by
choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

Question (i)
What was the writer doing in Hyderabad?
(a) Touring with friends
(b) Giving a lecture
(c) Attending a function
(d) Organising an event
(b) Giving a lecture

Question (ii)
What was the 14-year-old girl’s goal in life?
(a) To live in a developed India
(b) To become an astronaut
(c) To become a scientist
(d) To make her country proud of her
(a) To live in a developed India

Question (iii)
What happens after choosing a government?
(a) We expect the government to do everything
(b) We forfeit all responsibilities
(c) We want to be pampered
(d) All of these
(d) All of these

Question (iv)
What does a system consist of?
(a) Our neighbours and other households
(b) The government
(c) Other cities and other communities
(d) All of us
(d) All of us

Question (v)
Where do Indians run when New York becomes insecure?
(a) England
(b) Gulf
(c) India
(d) Japan
(a) England

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

Question (i)
What are the negative remarks we make about our country?
Government is inefficient; laws too old; municipality does not pick up garbage; phones don’t work; railways a joke; airline is the worst in the world; mails don’t reach their destinations.

Question (ii)
How does an Indian behave in Singapore?
In Singapore, an Indian is at his international best; doesn’t throw cigarette butts on roads; eat in stores; pays 5 dollars to drive through Orchard Road.

Question (iii)
List two deeds an Indian would not dare to do while travelling abroad.
Indians do not dare to eat in public during Ramadan in Dubai; go out in Jedah without covering their heads; do not dare to bribe an employee of telephone exchange in London; do not dare to speed beyond 55 mph in Washington; do not chuck empty coconut shell anywhere; do not spit paan on streets.

Question (iv)
What is our attitude towards elections and social issues?
We go to polls to choose a government and after that forfeit all responsibilities expecting the government to do everything for us. For social issues, make loud protestations and continue to do the reverse at home.

Question (v)
What do you understand by the statement, “Our conscience is mortgaged to money”?
It means that we leave the country and run away to make more money; we don’t do anything to improve our country.

Question (vi)
Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘to steal things of small value’.
pilfering

Question (vii)
Find a word from the passage (para-8) which means ‘the examination or observation’.
introspection

♦ Unsolved Passages:

I. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. It was the year 2020. My nephew, Karthik, who had come to spend his summer vacation with me, was watching TV. He was thirteen and just like any adolescent of his age, was full of questions. After a busy day at work, all I wanted was to rest. The moment I saw Karthik, I knew he was, as always, bustling with curiosity, and I knew that now there will be no rest.

2. As it was raining, I made tea, sandwiches and pakoras for us. I sat down to talk to him about his studies. He made a quick reply about them going well and brushed aside the rest of the questions. He was more interested in something else. It was the news flash: India celebrates fifth anniversary of its successful mission to Mars. I knew now what his questions will be. Since I was working on something related to India’s mission to Mars at my office, I knew I could satisfy his curiosity. He wanted to know all about Mangalyaan, formally known as the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).

3. So, I started telling him all about it. India’s mission to Mars was conceived in 2010 and launched in 2013. MOM successfully injected into Mars’ orbit on September 24, 2014. I told him how it was in fact the first time that any country had made it to the Martian orbit in the very first attempt (NASA took two attempts to get so far; the Soviet Union, three). The main purpose was to map the red planet’s surface and for a better analysis of Martian atmosphere. I thought I had told him the basics and there would not be too many questions now. But he was all ready with the next question, “Why are they calling it a budget player?” “Simply because it cost only $74 million, a fraction of the$ 671 million cost of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s latest Mars program. In fact, our Prime Minister Narendra Modi boasted that India has spent less to reach Mars than Hollywood producers spent on the movie ‘Gravity’, which costed $100 million to make.” 4. “But how did this happen, how did India manage to hold costs down?” asked Karthik. I told him that India relied on technologies that it had used before and kept the size of the payload small, around 15 kilograms. Realising that the word payload might be tough for him to understand, I told him that it was infact the load carried by a vehicle exclusive of what is necessary for its operation. I also told him that India saved on fuel by using a smaller rocket to put its spacecraft into earth’s orbit first, to gain enough momentum to slingshot it towards Mars. Grinning, Karthik asked me, “So Aunty, what is special about MOM?” 5. “Well, it weighs around 1,337 kg and is about the size of a car. According to Professor Jitendra Goswami, the director of the institute and the man behind the discovery, the payload is tiny, just 14.5 kg (32 lbs), small enough to take on as cabin baggage.” 6. I sat there thinking about the controversies that MOM had to go through. Critics had pointed out that MOM and India’s investment in space did not seem to make sense when almost 30 per cent of India’s population live below the poverty line. Economist Jean Dreze once said about the mission, “It seems to be a part of the India’s elite delusional quest for superpower status”. But then I remembered the words of the chairman of ISRO about how ISRO’s budget represents only one per cent of the national budget and from that, the expenditure for MOM exploration was only seven per cent. 7. Thinking back on our conversation, I began to think whether Karthik had understood all the big terms and concepts that I used. I asked him, “So did you understand everything that I was talking about?” 8. “Well, not everything, but enough to know that India has succeeded where most of the others had failed”. 9. When all the food was over and Karthik had still not moved to wash his hands, I looked at him. He was sitting there, clearly dreaming. Upon prodding, he said, “Well, I was thinking, how great it would be to become an astronaut. I can move around in space, meet aliens, may be make a new house there. It would be fun to have picnic there. We can, in fact, promote it as a tourist place. We can also have a short stoppage at moon and some other planets. Do you think we can take a contract for arranging all this? What do you say Aunty?” 10. What could I say; I smiled and wished that his dreams would come true. Both of us sat there with the television running and dozing off. He lost in his dreams of going to Mars, and me, Karthik told me later, snoring. A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks) (i) When was MOM launched? (a) 2010 (b) 2011 (c) 2013 (d) 2014 (ii) How many attempts did NASA make to reach Mars? (a) Two (b) Three (c) Four (d) One (iii) What was the size of the payload? (a) 15 kg (b) 14 kg (c) 16 kg (d) 17 kg (iv) What was the other name of MOM? (a) Mangalyaan (b) Mars Orbit Mission (c) Mangalgrehyaan (d) Shubhyaan (v) What was the cost of Mangalyaan? (a)$ 84 million
(b) $108 million (c)$ 74 million
(d) \$ 100 million

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) Why did the narrator feel that she could satisfy Karthik’s curiosity?
(ii) What was the main purpose of MOM?
(iii) Why is MOM called a budget player in the passage?
(iv) How did India manage to keep the cost low for the mission?
(v) What are the special features of MOM?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘the total amount of money spent’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-10) which means ‘sleeping’.

B. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. Gone are the days when going to school was like any other ritual. Elders in the house would fix a specific day as shubh muhurat for going to school and puja would be performed before a child was put to a school, then called pathshala. The child would then seek the blessings of his elders and his teacher (called guru) to complete his education and to come out with flying colours. Guru, the teacher, would always treat his pupil like his own child and teach him till he was completely satisfied with his or her performance.

2. But it seems now that over a period of time, the whole concept of education has changed. Now, getting a child into a school is a billion-dollar question and a real nightmare experience for the parents. The moment a toddler starts spreading his wings, the parents start worrying about his admission, which school they should send him to, or which school they can afford. They are even ready to spend more than what their pocket allows; after all it is the future of their child—the poor child who does not even know how to talk properly!

3. Our public schools are always in the limelight with the onset of the admission season. They are set with their colourful advertisements for admission to various classes. After all the admission procedures are over, one would start expecting a call letter. The moment a call letter is received, mothers have a tough time in making their small children sit and teach them to remember certain things which would open the door for their future (getting into a particular school). The child who hardly knows anything has to follow his mother, so that she could make him scribble a few things on paper. They have to go through this exercise to make a name.

4. Then comes the due day for the mind-boggling exercise-the interview. Parents start swinging between dos and don’ts, whether their child will make it or not. The moment you enter the school, you find beautifully dressed young kids with their parents huddled together to try their luck. For children, it is exactly the same situation as we elders face when we are told to attend a party where no one is known to us and where we simply find ourselves in a precarious situation as to what and what not to do. When we, the grown-ups cannot adjust to such gatherings, how do we expect our small children to be free in such an atmosphere? It is a real trauma for a child, who seeing an unfamiliar face, starts crying and that eventually becomes his negative point for his admission. He might be knowing what all he is expected to answer in such an interview but fails in his preliminary round. Is this a real test of his capability? Is this what determines his eligibility for admission?

5. Anyway, children are taken in batches followed by their anxious parents. God knows what the child is being asked to do. The parents are asked questions about their education, job, since when they are residing in the city, etc.

6. In another school, I talked to a parent who couldn’t get her daughter admitted because she had not put her in some preparatory school. This became a negative point for her daughter’s admission. Is it mandatory for parents to send their children to preparatory schools who have just learned how to stretch their limbs and can murmur a few words which most of the people are unable to understand?

7. Minister for Health and Primary Education, Delhi Government, amicably suggested that it is the moral duty of parents to give not only bookish knowledge to their children, but an environment where they can be nurtured to learn about their own culture and heritage by any mode (be it dance, art, painting, music, etc.) depending upon the child’s talent. He further laid emphasis on the fact that our duty doesn’t end by sending children to schools at early dawn, collecting them and sending them to tuitions and finally making them sit in front of the so-called idiot box. The child has to be mentally and morally educated besides being physically educated. His words were really a take-home lesson for every sensible parent.

8. But to some extent, I do blame parents because it is their eagerness to put their child in a reputed school. Parents do have a lot of pressure from different walks of life but should not presume that once the child goes to a popular school, the problem is solved. The parents should give quality time to their children and make sure that their children can do the best, even if they are not admitted to these popular schools.

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

(i) As soon as a toddler starts walking, what are his parents worried about?
(a) His future
(b) His health
(d) His growth

(ii) After all the admission procedures are over, what would one expect?
(c) Good education
(d) Immediate classes

(iii) What comes into the limelight at the onset of the admission season?
(a) The child
(b) Public schools
(c) Parents
(d) The stationery shops

(iv) What is the mind-boggling exercise where parents start swinging between dos and don’ts?
(b) Interview
(c) Raising a child
(d) Searching for the best school

(v) What is the most important thing that parents should give to their child?
(a) Good food
(b) Good clothes
(c) Quality education
(d) Quality time

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) In what respect is going to school today different from what it used to be in the olden days?
(ii) What is the plight of the parents and that of children before the schooling begins?
(iii) In spite of the coaching done by the parents, children fail to perform well. Why?
(iv) “It is exactly the same situation we elders face…” Explain.
(v) Why do the parents want their children to be put in a popular school?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘to write or draw something quickly or carelessly’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘fit to be chosen’.

III. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. If you enjoy watching crime shows on TV, you know that fingerprints play a major role in identifying people. But, you might be surprised to find out that using fingerprints for identification is not a new science. In fact, it is very old – dating back at least as far as 1885-1913 B.C.E. In Babylon, when people agreed to a business contract, they pressed their fingerprints into the clay in which the contract was written. Thumbprints have also been found on clay seals from ancient China.

2. In 14th century Persia, which is now Iran, a government doctor recognised that all fingerprints are different. In 1684, a British doctor, Nehemiah Grew, spoke about the ridged surfaces of the fingers. In 1686, a professor of anatomy (the study of the structure of the human body) named Marcello Malpighi, wrote about the ridges and loops in fingerprints. Malpighi’s work was considered so important that a layer of skin found on the fingertips was named after him. This layer of skin is called the Malpighian layer. Although scientists had studied fingerprints, the value

(ii) Who wrote about fingerprints in 1686?
(a) Henry Faulds
(b) Charles Darwin
(c) Nehemian Grew
(d) Sir William James Herschel

(iii) Who uses a variation of the Galton-Henry system?
(a) FBI
(b) Japanese Hospital
(c) Henry Faulds
(d) United States

(iv) Where was the use of fingerprinting in identification originated?
(a) Britain
(b) China
(c) India
(d) Iran

(v) Why are fingerprints checked in a classified job?
(a) Because they may not discuss your work
(b) Because they work only with fingerprints
(c) Because they work with automated systems
(d) To be sure of any criminal background

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) How were fingerprints used in the ancient times?
(ii) Define anatomy.
(iii) What is Malpighian layer?
(iv) Why did Sir William James Herschel ask people to put their handprints on contracts?
(v) How long does it take the IAFIS to find someone’s fingerprints?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-1) which means ‘to recognise someone or something’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘to invent a plan or system’.

IV. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. It’s a common refrain: Youngsters today are becoming westernised. Parents lament that if they ask their kids to accompany them to the temple, they pull a long face. But all these may just be nothing other than popular perceptions. A survey conducted by hindustantimes.com shows that 68 per cent of youth today believe in a higher power, 43 per cent visit the temple every day and around 60 per cent admit that going to the temple gives them mental satisfaction. They want to show their devotion to God.

2. The survey also shows that rather than making them superstitious, a faith in a higher being, visiting temples, and wearing religious symbols, such as a kada or a sacred thread gives them a sense of strength.

3. Clinical psychologist, Seema Sharma says, “In this stress-ridden life of ours, we need to fall back on something for which we have to be sure that it is more powerful than us. Developing faith on any one relevant thing in our life is mandatory. Psychological anarchy is prevented if we have something on which we can put our trust to.”

4. It was a decade or so back that a trendy youngster would consider it middle-class to admit that they kept fasts and visited the temple. It was in vogue to sneer at the temple-going variety, though the snob brigade might be doing it themselves.

5. But not now. Things have changed. “Children have become more logical. They believe in God but only as far as they find any logic in this because they have started analysing the situation. They are open to any kind of discussion, so they don’t shy away to be ritualistic as few years back they were”, says Madhu Kansal, the Principal of Delhi International School.

6. They wear their kadas, and cross with confidence and don’t hide it inside their tees, though around 45 per cent will not wear religious prints because they feel it is demeaning to their religion and 36 per cent will not use religious tones as ringtones for their mobile phones. Their logic: “Why display?”

7. Conservative it may sound but a huge difference in the attitude of today’s youth towards God is visible. Calling God nicknames would be unthinkable for the older generation who hold the entity in awe and fear. Not so with the youth today. They seem to blend their orthodox beliefs with a fun quotient perfectly, in their relationship with God. For them: God is “cool”.

8. Senior BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj says, “Youngsters are not hypocrites. They don’t believe in displaying but believe in truth. They are ready to face anything and have a friendly relationship with God. They have given nicknames to their favourite Gods, such as Roly Poly for Lord Ganesh and Hanu for Hanuman. Gods are their buddies.”

9. What also emerges from the survey is that many visit temples and observe rituals because their family insists. Says Pinky Nigam, a student of Hindu college, “Family plays a crucial role and perhaps is one of the most significant determinants of a child’s religious discourse.”

10. Aishwarya Sakhuja agrees, “Yes, you will see me with a dupatta on my head in a puja but that’s all about it. I do it to keep my family happy.”

11. Sociologist D.L. Seth, a member of Centre for the Study of Developing Societies says, “Life is becoming uncertain. People want some mental peace, there is a higher sense of insecurity, and being ritualistic is not really attached to being superstitious. It is not necessary that a ritualistic person may be superstitious and a superstitious person may be ritualistic.”

12. That seems to be the blend then, spiritual but realistic. Kuchipudi dancer, Raja Reddy, talking of his own children, says, “My children want to know everything about our religious rites; they know Kuchipudi but choreograph western compositions.”

13. Life today is fast, furious, and fickle, but Gen-X seems to have found the formula to fight back: Blend your religious faith with practical sense, draw strength and solace from it but don’t foster blind faith. Practise rituals, if it makes your family happy. You can do this much for them even if you do not believe in it.

14. Anura Jain, 18, sums it up, “There is God, but he just can’t give everything to 10 million people!”

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by
choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

(i) What percentage of youth believes in higher power?

(a) 68%
(b) 60%
(c) 45%
(d) 36%

(ii) What gives a sense of strength to the youngsters?

(a) Visiting Temples
(b) Wearing religious symbols
(c) Making them superstitious
(d) None of these

(iii) Why will 45 % youngsters not wear religious prints?

(a) Because they feel that it is just a display
(b) Because they feel that it is demeaning
(c) Because they feel that it is funny
(d) Because they feel that it is less trendy

(iv) Who holds a fun quotient with God?

(a) Elder generation
(b) Younger generation
(c) Small children
(d) Everyone

(v) What is the most significant determinant of a child’s religious discourse?

(a) Friends
(b) Family
(c) Relatives
(d) Environment

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) What does the author mean by, ‘All these may just be little other than popular perceptions’?
(ii) What does the survey conducted by hindustantimes.com reveal about youngster’s belief in God?
(iii) Compare the scenario of the youngster’s belief a decade back with that of the present time.
(iv) What do certain youngsters do in order to avoid making a display of their religious beliefs?
(v) What are the certain things that youngsters do to support their view of‘God is cool’?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-4) which means ‘modern and influenced by the most recent fashions or idea’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘a feeling of great respect mixed with fear’.

V. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. We hear the word ‘smart cities’ often these days. So what is it? Is it a city where everyone is smart or where only smart people are allowed? Or is it a futuristic city upon entry of which people will become smart?

2. It is however, something entirely different. Just to give you an idea-Think of sensors monitoring water levels, energy usage, traffic flows, and security cameras, and sending that data directly to city administrators. Or applications that help residents navigate traffic, report potholes and vote. Or trash collection that’s totally automated. This is what a ‘smart city’ will have. In fact, the term generally refers to cities using information technology to solve urban problems. It is also used to enhance performance and well-being, to reduce costs and resource consumption, and to engage more effectively and actively with its citizens. It will help in confronting overcrowding, traffic congestion, pollution, resource constraints, inadequate infrastructure, and the need for continuing economic growth. It will also have reduced crime, safer streets and neighbourhood. In all, there will be a general improvement in the quality of life.

3. The key ‘smart’ sectors include transport, energy, healthcare, water and waste. A smart city should be able to respond faster to city and global challenges than one with a simple ‘transactional’ relationship with its citizens. It engages effectively with local people in local governance and decision by use of open innovation processes and e-participation with emphasis placed on citizen participation and co-design. It makes good use of the creative industries, supported by strong knowledge and social networks, voluntary organisations in a low-crime setting to achieve these aims.

4. The terms ‘intelligent city’ and ‘digital city’ are also used interchangeably with smart city.

5. You may wonder, why there is sudden interest in smart cities. It is due to major challenges, including climate change, economic restructuring, the move to online retail and entertainment, ageing populations, and pressures on public finances.

6. So, how does it work? The Smart Cities Council, an industry-backed outfit that advocates the concept in India, describes them as cities that control data gathered from smart sensors through a smart grid to create a city that is liveable, workable and sustainable. According to the Smart Cities Council, all the data that is collected from sensors – electricity, gas, water, traffic and other government analytics – is carefully compiled and integrated into a smart grid and then fed into computers that can focus on making the city as efficient as possible.

7. This allows authorities to have real-time information about the city around them, and allows computers to attempt “perfect operations”, such as balancing supply and demand on electricity networks, synchronising traffic signals for peak usage, and optimising energy networks. India is urbanising at an unprecedented rate, so much that estimates suggest that nearly 600 million Indians will be living in cities by 2030, up from 290 million as reported in the 2001 census. A McKinsey Global Institute study estimated that cities would generate 70% new jobs by 2030, produce more than 70% of the Indian gross domestic product and drive a fourfold increase in per capita income across the country.

8. The concept of ‘smart cities’ as satellite towns of larger ones was enunciated in last month’s budget by the new NDA government which has allocated a sum of ? 7,060 crores for the plan. In his budget speech, Jaitley mentioned about exactly why the government believes the need for spending money on 100 smart cities. He claimed that “unless new cities are developed to accommodate the burgeoning number of people, the existing cities would soon become unliveable.” According to the urban development ministry, the focus will not be just 100 cities, but all urban areas across the country 100 cities, however, remain a tentative figure, with much still to be pinned down.

The budget speech only officially identified cities along the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Master Plan, which covers seven states. Although they weren’t named in the budget, seven cities have also been named along the Delhi- Mumbai Industrial Corridor, some which would overlap with the Amritsar-Kolkata plan. Officially, the budget only pointed out three cities in the Chennai-Bengaluru Industrial Corridor: Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh and Tumkur in Karnataka.

9. The secretary, Sudhir Krishna has asked the National Institute of Urban Affairs to work on the smart city project, based on a framework that covers overall smartness and sustainability. For now, the focus will be on a much smaller number of cities in states where conditions are amenable before. The government even attempts to look at expanding to cover 100 urban areas.

10. 70 crore per city will clearly not be enough, and even if more is added, it’s unlikely that the government will have resources to pay for the cities. The government announced that it was relaxing norms for foreign direct investment to make it easier for outside companies to invest in smart cities. In addition, India has spoken . to France, Japan and Singapore about collaborating on the projects.

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by
choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

(i) What are the key ‘smart’ sectors?
(a) Transport and energy
(b) Healthcare and water
(c) Energy and waste
(d) All of these

(ii) How do smart cities engage with local people?

(a) By e-participation
(b) By open-innovation
(c) Both (a) and (b)
(d) By meeting people regularly

(iii) Who estimated that cities would generate 70% new jobs by 2030?

(a) Smart Cities Council
(b) Global Institute
(c) Smart Sectors

(iv) What does the McKinsey Global Institute study suggest about India’s GDP in the future?
(a) It will increase more than 70%
(b) It will decrease more than 70%
(c) It will decrease more than 60%
(d) It will increase more than 50%

(v) How many states does the Amritsar-Kolkata Industrial Master Plan cover?
(a) Six
(b) Five
(c) Eight
(d) Seven

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) What are ‘smart cities’?
(ii) What does the author mean by, ‘India is urbanising at an unprecedented rate’?
(iii) Why is there a sudden interest in smart cities?
(iv) Why does the government feel that there is a need for spending money on 100 smart cities?
(v) How is the government generating resources for the formation of smart cities?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-3) which means ‘use of any new idea or method’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-8) which means ‘to provide with a place to live’.

VI. Read the following passage carefully. (12 marks)

1. Till as late as the 1960s, we believed that one of the major differences between us and the rest of the animal kingdom was our ability to make and use tools. But then, our egos suffered a devastating blow: in the jungles of Gombe in Africa, Jane Goodall observed a chimpanzee pluck and trim a stem of grass and insert it into a termite mound. The furious termites climbed up the stem only to be happily eaten up by the chimp. The chimp kept repeating the process. He had, in fact, fashioned his own fishing rod and gone fishing for termites.

We were not alone! And that was not all. Chimps were also observed using rocks to bash open hard shells and fruits (which other monkeys also do), to throw them at their enemies and wave sticks around. Even worse, adolescent females, especially, were seen sharpening sticks with their teeth and thrusting these like spears into hollows where bush-babies were hiding I fear and then checked the spear tips for blood! Chimps were also seen chewing up leaves and using these like sponges to suck up water from the waterholes to enable them to drink.

2. The gorillas and orangutans were not far behind. In 2005, a western lowland gorilla (a lady, this time) was observed picking up a stick and using it to check the depth of a pool she wanted to cross. Then, she used it as a walking stick. Orangutans (as well as chimpanzees) have been observed using broad leaves as umbrellas during downpours – and orangutans that are accustomed to our company (never a good influence) imitate the way we wash clothes by the riverbank or use a saw to cut wood.

3. Elephants designed fly-whisks and backscratchers from branches and used strips of chewed up bark to plug small waterholes (which they had dug) to prevent the water from evaporating. Dada bulls would heave heavy logs or rocks at electric fences to short-circuit or simple destroy them.

4. Bottle-nosed dolphins have been known to cover their long noses with sponges or shells before combing the seabed for tidbits (There are many spiny creatures and sharp rocks that could otherwise injure them).

5. Crows are thought to be the smartest amongst birds and the new Caledonian crow is considered to be the Einstein among crows. Crows have been known to do the dropping-of-pebbles-in-a-pitcher of water stunt, as described in Aesop’s Fables. The American alligator has been known to arrange twigs on its head – to lure nest-building birds to come and pick them up. When they do, well, lunch is served for the alligator!

6. For long, we have exploited the poor silkworm, boiling its cocoons alive to make one of the most exquisite clothing materials known so far. But the real pros in silk production are hold your breath spiders. What caterpillars of moths and butterflies do with their mouthparts (like a magician releasing ribbons from his/ her mouth), spiders do it from the lower part of their bodies. But try as we may, we still haven’t cracked the code of how to synthesise spider silk, which can be used for everything from producing gunsights and sutures to light bulletproof jackets and seat belts.

7. What if spiders sold their silk? Imagine walking into a silk emporium run by arachnids, you would be greeted by a sales-spider: charming, young Ms/Mr Hairy legs, who would appraise you out of her/his eight or so eyes. “Welcome, welcome!” She/He would gush scanning you top-down, rubbing its hairy legs together in delight. “We have some of the finest, softest cradle silk you would ever want for your happy events. Wrapped up in it, your babies will be warm, safe and dry as they wait to hatch. It’s super-absorbent, too, and nappy rash will not be a problem!

8. So yes, animals use tools, but we needn’t worry. None of them have, as yet, discovered how to make fire. Though our very own black kite will with its goonda friends – spread a wildfire by dropping burning twigs in unburned areas so they can snap up even more fleeing insects and rodents. But yes, these so-called tools are primitive.

9. But then, do animals really need sophisticated tools to get what they want? Cheetahs accelerate faster than Ferraris, pit vipers have heat-seeking sensors, eagles can locate a rabbit in a field from kilometres away, sharks smell a drop of blood in a whole ruddy ocean, bats use sonar, birds and bees see ultraviolet light, a falcon can dive at 320 kmph, snakes have a cocktail of venom that can bleed, paralyse or liquefy you to death, spiders’ silk still has us in a tizzy, chameleons and octopuses wear invisibility cloaks, and migratory birds have built-in navigation system – the list is endless!

10. We had the best brains and so were able to design miraculous tools. But look where we have ended up: we’ve gassed up the earth’s air, poisoned the water and have stocked enough weaponry to destroy ourselves a million times over. So really, who is the monkey with the wrench? [CBSE 2019 SET-IT]

A. On the basis of your understanding of the passage, answer the following questions by choosing the most appropriate option. (1 × 5 = 5 marks)

(i) What does it indicate when chimps make their own fishing rods?

(a) That animals and man have similar interests
(b) That monkeys also go fishing
(c) That animals like to imitate man
(d) That man is an animal who likes to fish

(ii) How do we know that chimps are intelligent?

(a) They try and ape man
(b) They use their brains to find solution to problems
(c) They kill bush-babies
(d) They love to eat termites

(iii) Why do orangutans use big leaves during downpour?

(a) Because they like big leaves when it starts to rain
(b) Because they do not like heavy rain
(c) Because they want to wet the leaves
(d) Because the leaves can keep the rain off their bodies

(iv) Why might the black kite start a fire?

(a) Because it is a fire bird
(b) Because it is hungry and looking for food
(c) Because it likes to watch fleeing animals
(d) Because it eats only cooked meat

(v) Why do big male elephants throw logs at electric fences?

(a) Because they want to be free
(b) Because they are great throwers
(c) Because they enjoy the sparks thus caused
(d) Because they are very strong animals

B. Answer the following questions briefly. (1 × 7 = 7 marks)

(i) Why are animals considered as intelligent as humans?
(ii) What strategy do chimps use to open hard shells and fruits?
(iii) What do elephants do to prevent water from evaporating?
(iv) Give an example from the passage that proves the crow to be an intelligent bird.
(v) How does a black kite spread wildfire?
(vi) Find a word from the passage (para-6) which means ‘misused’.
(vii) Find a word from the passage (para-7) which means ‘welcomed’.