Reading Comprehension - Practice Papers 1

 CBSE Class 11 English Core

Reading Comprehension


  1. Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow it (1x8 = 8 Marks)
    In 3000 years of our history people from all over the world have come and invaded us, captured our lands, conquered our minds. From Alexander onwards, The Greeks, the Turks, the Moguls, the Portuguese, the British, the French, the Dutch, all of them came and looted us, took over what was ours. Yet we have not done this to any other nation. We have not conquered anyone. We have not grabbed their land, their culture, their history and tried to enforce our way of life on them. Why? Because we respect the freedom of others.
    That is why my first vision is that of FREEDOM. I believe that India got its first vision of this in 1857, when we started the war of independence. It is this freedom that we must protect and nurture and build on. If we are not free, no one will respect us.
    My second vision for India is DEVELOPMENT. For fifty years we have been a developing nation. It is time we see ourselves as a developed nation.
    I have a THIRD vision. India must stand up to the world. Because I believe that unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. Only strength respects strength. We must be strong not only as a military power but also as an economic power. Both must go hand­in­hand.
    My good fortune was to have worked with three great minds. Dr. Vikram Sarabhai of the Dept. of space, Professor Satish Dhawan, who succeeded him and Dr. Brahm Prakash, father of nuclear material. I was lucky to have worked with all three of them closely and consider this the great opportunity of my life.
    Here I am reminded an instance – One day an orthopedic surgeon from Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences visited my laboratory. He lifted the material and found it so light that he took me to his hospital and showed me his patients. There were these little girls and boys with heavy metallic calipers weighing over three kg. each, dragging their feet around. He said to me: Please remove the pain of my patients. In three weeks, we made these Floor reaction Orthosis 300 gram calipers and took them to the orthopaedic centre. The children didn't believe their eyes. From dragging around a three kg. load on their legs, they could now move around! Their parents had tears in their eyes. That was a bliss to me.

    I have a question :

    Why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?

    Another question :

    Why are we, as a nation so obsessed with foreign things? We want foreign TV’s we want foreign shirts. We want foreign technology. Why this obsession with everything imported? Don’t we realise that self­respect comes with self­ reliance?

    I was in Hyderabad giving this lecture, when a 14­year old girl asked me for my autograph. I asked her what her goal in life is: She replied: ‘I want to live in a developed India.’ For her, you, I will have to build this developed India. You must proclaim. As an aside from yours truly: India is not an under­ developed nation, it is a highly developed nation in an advanced state of decay! (A.P.J. Abdul Kalam).

  1. A Pick out the correct option :
    1. India has been plundered by :
      1. the Greeks and the Portuguese
      2. the French and the Dutch
      3. the British iv) all of the above.
    2. How long did it take to make Orthosis 300 gm callipers?
      1. One week
      2. two weeks
      3. three weeks
      4. four weeks
  2. Answer the following questions in reference to the above passage.
    1. What does Kalam want us to protect and nurture?
    2. Why must India stand up to the world?
    3. The great scientists who inspired A.P.J. Abdul Kalam are
      (i) ___________ (ii) ___________ and (iii) ____________
    4. Why do we need to give up our obsession with foreign things?
    5. Find the synonym of ‘Nurse’.
    6. Find the antonym of ‘withhold’.

Passage : 2

  1. Read the passage given below and answer the question that follow it. (1x8 = 8 Marks)
    Much of India’s law­making process has been outside the scrutiny of ordinary people. They are not framed by legislators or even senior bureaucrats but are often drafts prepared by babus. Sometimes, powerful business interests influence these laws (like the Special Economic Zone Act) and then they are passed in Parliament with little or no discussion. Sometimes, a popular public demand enters the discourse of a political party and takes the shape of policy and legislation. However, the desire of citizens to participate in the framing of law and policy has intensified over the years, and their voice needs to be included in democratic decision ­ making.
    With growing interest in governance, citizens may suggest policy and legislation and such deliberations will only strengthen constitutional processes. Actual consultation on draft legislation and policy require detailed discussion of the principles, framework and formulation of specifics. These consultations will provoke multiple views and it is important for the institutional framework to assimilate and consider them.
    Any group placing its views in the public domain cannot claim total representation. There will be criticism and those need to be resolved. However, assemblies of people can only support the need for legislation. Surveys and votes by raisng hands are important to register support for the general idea but cannot be the basis for detailed drafting of a law and its constituent parts.
    The principles and framwork of any legislation must be debated and the erroneous conclusion that any difference of opinion is tantamount to mala fide intent needs to be questioned. It is in any case only of peripheral importance, as the issues themselves need to be addressed. This applies to laws made both by the formal and informal structures.
    Many democracies in the world already have started placing policy and draft laws in the public domain before they are sent to the government, cabinet and then Parliament. The deliberative consultative process is for everyone but focuses more on people who are most affected by the legislation. The policy and the sharing of frameworks are followed by a draft of the bill itself. All this is done within a timeframe. The nascent process of participation of citizens in shaping legislation in the last two decades will find systemic space and democratic credibility.
    Today, lokpal has become a phrase, a concept and almost a passion. But that apart, the unpackaging of the concept and the understanding of the Bill, and its legal and administrative mechanisms are restricted to a few civil society and government groups. It is time for the interested groups to build a constituency of concerned people who will steer democracy in consonance with constitutional rights. What we need is a well argued critique of the way we want change.
    People must have the space to mobilise and protest ­ it is a constitutional right. But different processes need different platforms. The argument against corruption will stand or fall, not on the volume of our protest alone, but on the rigour of our proposals.
    What we need is a transparent pre­legislative process within the democratic framework. It is important that the pre­legislative process is evolved and shaped in a synergetic manner. If it is properly institutionalised, it will not impinge on executive or legislative privilege. There should be a response to citizens’ desire to participate in framing legislation by creating platforms for institutionalised participation to deepen democratic processes.
  1. Pick out the correct option.
    1. The author strongly supports the stand that any legislation must be subjected to wide :–
      1. publicity
      2. superman’s supervision
      3. public debate
      4. scathing criticisim
    2. India’s law making process is generally not within the purview of :–
      1. judiciary’s review
      2. public scrutiny
      3. politician’s power
      4. parliament’s power
  2. Answer the following question
    1. Describe the term ‘Civil Society’.
    2. What are the two ways to register support for drafting a law?
    3. How does public participation affect government?
    4. How can we fight corruption in an organised manner?
    5. Look for words similar in meaning to :–
      1. law making
      2. limited

Passage : 3

  1. Read the passage given below and answer the question that follow : (1x8 = 8)
    Soon after 1999 fire in Shahjahanabad, orders came for the chemical traders to move out to Holambi Kalan, near Narela Industrial Area on the city’s northwestern periphery. In 2006, even the paper merchants of Chawri Bazaar got an ultimatum to relocate to Ghazipur due to fire safety concerns. But so far, not a single chemical or paper trader has moved out of the tiderbox that is Old Delhi.
    Why? Traders say the conditions at the new sites are not conducive for business. For instance, paper merchants say, the Integrated Freight complex (IFC), Ghazipur, where they are supposed to move has poor infrastructure and inadequate security. So, five years after Delhi Development Authority allotted plots to 621 traders, they continue to operate out of Chawri Bazaar and only 250­odd have started construction in Ghazipur.
    Chemical traders, too, are resisting relocation to Holambi Kalan for similar reasons. “The place is a jungle. There are no roads, streetlights, water pipelines, sewerage and security. Most of us don’t even know which piece of land belongs to us. Land has been transferred only on paper,” said Shyam Sunder Gupta, general secretary, Chemical Market Association. So far, plots have been allotted to 639 of the 883 chemical traders found eligible in the 1999 survey.
    For traders who feel secure amidst old associates and the tightly packed warrens of these old markets, a move to the spacious new sites seems fraught with risk. “Traders keep lakhs of rupees with them. At least nobody can rob us of our hard earned money here,” said Pradeep, a, chemical merchant. “There are no arrangements for security (at the new sites). In our warehouses, we have goods worth lakhs of rupees. How can we leave them there,” said Prem Prakash, who paid Rs 16 lakh for a 98sqm plot in Ghazipur.
    Batting for the traders, area MP and human resource development minister, Kapil Sibal, said it is unfair to ask traders to move to the outskirts without providing them facilities. “The matter “has been pending for a long time. I have asked ­ the Union urban development minister to expedite the process so that the area (Walled City) can be decongested and redeveloped. We can’t ask people to move to an area where basic amenities are missing,” said Sibal.
    Not with standing orders of the government and the high court to move wholesale trades out of the old city, the number of establishments has only increased over the years. According to a conservative estimate, paper merchants have increased by 15­20 %, and chemical merchants by 20­ 30% since the relocation orders were issued. “The number of paper traders has increased considerably since 2006. DDA is yet to provide plots to nearly 300­odd traders. What will happen to the new traders?” said Mahesh Shah, president of Paper Merchants’ Association. Chemical traders, too, have similar concerns. “They have allotted plots based on a survey done in 1999­2000. The market has grown a lot in the last 11 years,” said Gupta. As per Master Plan of Delhi ­2021, Municipal Corporation of Delhi is responsible for stopping expansion of wholesale markets and commercial activity in Shahjahanabad, but MCD officials themselves admit there is rampant commercialization in the area.
  1. Pick out the correct option.
    1. After Shahjahanabad’s 1999 fire disaster the chemical traders where ordered to
      1. close down their units
      2. compensate the victims and their families
      3. shift to Holambi Kalan near Narela
      4. upgrade their fire fighting systems.
    2. The local MP also believes that it would be difficult for traders to move to new sites unless :–
      1. customers are made available to them.
      2. facilities are provided at these sites.
      3. govt. pays the traders enought compensation.
      4. traders get accustomed to new locations.
  2. Answer the following questions :–
    1. Why are paper merchants not finding the new sites conducive for business?
    2. What are the allegations made by chemical traders?
    3. How can the area of walled city be improved according to the needs of traders?
    4. According to the 2021 master plan, MCD is responsible for ______. (g) find synonyms of :–
      1. boundary
      2. insufficient

Passage : 4

  1. Read the passage given below and write the options that you consider the most appropriate. (1×6=6)
    Hundreds of thousands of our qualified youngsters take off from different international airports every year for higher studies or highly lucrative jobs in the US, the UK, ,Germany, France and Australia. And most of these Indians prefer to settle down abroad, attracted by the facilities and the higher quality of life provided by these countries. We have been crying hoarse about the brain drain from India over the last five decades or more, without going in for a wellset blueprint to check the counter­productive phenomenon. Some of the public schools in our metros and our IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) and IIMs (Indian Institutes of Managernent) are providing world­class education. One might wonder that having spent a lot on infrastructure, training and other facilities and the best teaching staff, can the Government and the people of India look away as the talent, assiduously nurtured in India, is utilised by other countries for their development and excellence in different fields.
    During the decades­long debate on the brain drain, it was said that ouryoungsters leave India just because excellence is neither recognised nor rewarded­ in India. This could have been partly true at the beginning of this debate. But today, things have changed beyond recognition and talented people can reach the highest position possible if only they are prepared to work hard.
    Youngsters from India ­ Whatever be the field they are working in ­ are today suitably recognised and rewarded.
    Take the field of sports where many of the celebrities are household names ­ Sania Mirza, Narain Karthikeyan, Sachin Tendulkar, Anju Bobby George, P.T. Usha and several others. Innovation and managerial skill get recognition when Indians can vie with others in excellence from any part of the world.
    If there is one individual who has catapulted India to the number one position in milk production in the world, it’s none other than Dr. Verghese Kurien, the father of the White Revolution.. A top engineer who completed the Konkan Railway in record time, Mr. E. Sreedharan has built up the world class Delhi Metro. Mr. Amitabh Bachchan is no longer a megastar of the Indian screen only. His presentation of Kaun Banega Crorepati and other ventures have made him a living legend of global proportions. Take the story of the Ambani brothers, the Tatas, the Mittals and others who are having their footprints in different continents. We have had so many Indians who rose to the summit as Miss Universe and Miss World, but none has earned so much acclaim globally, in Bollywood, Hollywood :or the Cannes.
    Film Festival, as Ms. Aishwarya Rai. In the wake of globalisation, India has produced a galaxy of eminent entrepreneurs in IT; biotechnology, civil aviation, steel production and the like. Just mention a field and we are already in the vanguard or moving ahead at a frenetic pace. A time may come when India would be capable of reversing the so­called brain drain to India’s supreme advantage.
    And happily enough, this is already happening now. A report released by a high­tech lobbying group in the Silicon Valley in 2005 revealed that the highly­skilled Indian­born talent that once flocked to the US was returning home, “turning America’s brain drain into India’s brain gain.” Titled “Losing the Competitive Edge : The Challenge for Science and Technology in the US”, the report said that countries like India and China, through the restructuring of their economies, were dramatically increasing the skill sets of their work force, thereby posing a challenge “to the US leadership in the technology domain. “Public­private partnerships (in India)’ have invested in technical universities and communications infrastructure to create cutting edge technology parks in places like Bangalore in Karnataka. This will make India more competitive, and alluring to investors and multinational companies.” The report further said : “They are dramatically increasing the skill sets of their workforce, investing in research and development, and adopting advanced technologies, all to create wealth and spur economic growth.”
    (Source: Competition Success Review)
  1. Pick out the correct option: –
    1. Our qualified and talented youngsters go abroad for­
      1. holidaying
      2. higher study and better jobs
      3. propagating India’s greatness
      4. helping Indian students in Australia.
    2. A report from Silicon Valley states that skilled and talented Indians are
      1. coming back
      2. not interested in home coming
      3. demanding more wages
      4. turning to politics in India
  2. Answer the following questions :–
    1. What is the constitution of Dr. Verghese Kurien?
    2. Talent can reach top if ____________
    3. What does the counter productive phenomenon refer to?
    4. How is India becoming more competitive and alluring to investors and MNCs?
    5. Look for words similar in meaning to
      1. a period of ten years.
      2. zenith (1x8 = 8 Marks)

Passage : 5

  1. Read the passage given below and write the questions that follows. (1×8=8)
    The Universe or the Cosmos, as perceived today, consists of millions of galaxies. A galaxy is a huge congregation of stars which are held together by the forces of gravity. Most of the galaxies appear to be scattered in the space in a random manner, but there are many others which remain clustered into groups. Our own galaxy, called the Milky Way or Akash Ganga, which appears as a river of bright light flowing through the sky, belongs to a cluster of some 24 galaxies called the ‘local group’. The Milky Way is made up of over a hundred billion sparkling stars, which, though quite distant from one another, seem from the Earth as having been placed close together. The two other nearest galaxies are the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, named after the famous Portuguese navigator, Ferdinand Magellan (1480­1521), who discovered them.
    The Universe is infinite, both in time and space. Its age was formerly believed to be between, 10­15 billion years. However, in 1999, a NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope Project team determined the age of cosmos to be 12 billion years (plus or minus 10 percent). In June 2001, NASA launched the MAP (Microwave Anisotropy Probe) to study the cosmic, microwave background radiation in greater detail according to which the exact age of the universe is 13.7 billion years after the theoretical Big Bang. The human perception of the Universe has, however, been different at different times over the long span of history of civilisation. The innate human inquisitiveness and tireless pursuit of knowledge have brought about revolutionary changes about our ideas of the Universe. The Moon and the stars are no longer looked upon as heavenly bodies or the abodes of gods. Solar and lunar eclipses are no more dreaded as foretellers of natural calamities. Man’s conquest of the Moon has now blown off many a myth of the religious testaments.
    It was around 6th century BC that men started enquiring into the mysteries of the Universe in an endeavour to rationally analyse the earthly and the heavenly phenomena. They posed to themselves several questions: What is the Universe? Why do things change? Why do things move? What is life ? and so on. These questions were of far­reaching significance to the development of modern science.
    Ancient Greek astronomers and mathematicians came up with the view that the Earth was a perfect motionless sphere, surrounded by eight other crystalline spheres­the Sun, the Moon, and the five known planets, viz, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter, which revolved around the Earth on seven inner spheres. The stars were permanently fixed to the outer sphere that marked the edge of the Universe.
    Ptolemy a second century Greco Egyptian astronomer, synthesised the various data gathered by the early Greek astronomers and in his book, Almagest, presented hiss system of astronomy based on a Geocentric (Earth­-centred) Universe. He maintained that the Earth was the centre of the Universe, and the Sun and other heavenly bodies revolved around the Earth. This view of the Universe remained firmly entrenched in the minds of the people right up to the middle of the 16th century. Most men in the Middle Ages strongly adhered to the Ptolemaic system as they felt that they did, indeed, live in a physically limited, rigidly structured Universe centred around a motionless Earth. The Greeks had also estimated the visible Universe to be about 125 million miles in diameter.
    The generally accepted view of Geocentric Universe received its first real jolt with the publication of the monumental work by Copernicus (1473­1543) De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolution of Celestial Bodies). The main points­ of the Copernican system are: (i) the Sun and the stars are motionless; (ii) the Sun lies at the centre of the Universe and the stars at its circumference; (iii) the Earth rotates on its axis taking 24 hours to complete one rotation; and (iv) the Earth and the planets revolve around the Sun; whereas the Moon revolves around the Earth.
    This system of Universe, as propounded by Copernicus, was more consistent than that of Ptolemy. But its major flaw was that while it changed the centre of the Universe from the Earth to the Sun, it did not enlarge the limits of the Universe, as the Universe still remained equated with the Solar System.
    Later Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564­1642), too, with his newly invented telescope demonstrated the validity of the Copernican system through his studies of the phases of the Venus and the moons of Jupiter that the Earth did revolve around the Sun. He discovered many new stars and proved that sensory appearances could be deceptive and that it is, our own. limitations of perception and reason that place boundaries around the Universe. To be punished for telling the truth was not uncommon in the 16th century, and those who dared to do so, had to face the wrath of the Church. Indeed, Galileo had to pay the penalty for telling the truth.
    English scientist Isaac Newton (1642­1727) demonstrated that forces of gravitation linked all material bodies in an immence Universe and showed that these bodies moves in accordance with strict mathematical laws. God was still the creator, but he exercised a through mastery over mathematics and engineering.
  1. Pick out the correct option :–
    1. Stars in a congregation are held in cluster by :–
      1. Akash Ganga
      2. gravitational forces
      3. galaxies
      4. cosmos
    2. Questioning nature of man has led to the :–
      1. development of universe
      2. expansion of the Milkyway
      3. development of modern world
      4. development of modern science.
  2. Answer the following questions:–
    1. What does ‘local group’ refer to?
    2. What are the views of Greek astronomers and mathematicians about the Earth?
    3. Name the book whose publication led to change in ideas about the universe.
    4. Galileo’s telescope endorsed the system of universe as _______.
    5. Find the word similar in meaning to ‘shining’/’twinkling’.
    6. Find the word opposite in meaning to ‘loosely’. (1x8 = 8 Marks)