Civil Services Main Examination 2021 English (Compulsory) Paper

1. Write an essay in about 600 words on any one of the following topics:100

  1. Social Media: A Challenge to Societal Harmony
  2. The Role of NGOs in Social Change
  3. Education as a Means to Serve Humanity
  4. The Crying Need for Embracing Minimalism

2. Read the passage given below carefully and write your answers to the questions that follow in clear, correct and concise language:

Life on planet earth has been possible for millions of years largely because of certain basic services associated with the biosphere. Important among these are: Climate and radiation regulation; microbial transformations and decomposition; Biological diversity; and Opportunities for sustainable advances in biological productivity.

We now find ourselves in a state where these essential services are in jeopardy, largely as a result of human induced damage to the basic life support systems of land, water, flora, fauna and the atmosphere. Symptoms of an impending and general breakdown of the life support and ecological systems are already here. Some of these are mounting population growth; vanishing source of drinking water; vanishing forests, plants and animal biodiversity; intensifying drought and floods; loss of grazing lands; growing degradation of fertile land and desertification; deterioration of the quality of air and water; accumulation of toxic and non-biodegradable wastes in the biosphere; explosive growth of rural and urban unemployment and mushrooming of urban slums. It is the poor and the marginalized urban and rural people who are suffering most from such environmental breakdown.

The threats to climate change and radiation regulation are receiving the most prominent public attention largely because of all-pervasive nature of their potential harmful impact. "Our Common Future" the report of the World Commission of Environment and Development by the United Nations is indicative that ecologically the fates of people whether rich or poor everywhere are interwined. Recent reports on the state of the world paint a frightening picture of the rapid depletion of the world's natural resources coupled with rising social and economic problems. They reflect the widespread frustration about the inability of current approaches to solve the interlinked problems of environment and development and call for major changes in the way people think, use the finite resources of earth and programme their development. Developing countries like ours are faced with the urgent need for accelerating economic growth in a manner that the poor become the main beneficiaries and not the rich. We should also avoid proceeding on those developmental paths where environmental costs are high and the developmental activities cannot be sustained for long. The new paradigm of development should promote economic activities and life-styles based on the concept of "man with nature" and not "man against nature."

Today, we are passing through an era of global change whether it is in politics or economics. Inequity in the resource distribution and consumption between the developed and the developing nations of world has become most apparent. The earth is undergoing drastic climatic changes. The last few years have been the warmest ones ever recorded. The heat trap works differently in different latiudes and altitudes having a tremendous effect on major crops like wheat. The protective ozone layer is being slowly damaged giving rise to medical problems for human beings and affecting several plants and their yield, animals and their behavior.

Though the causes of pollution of our soils, lakes and vegetation are different, the effect is the same. Mercilessly everyday pristine wild habitats are being destroyed. Nearly half of our country is tilled for agriculture and only 11 per cent of the land area has to bear the brunt of growing population, housing, roads and factories and its "carrying capacity" is under severe stress.

The dreaded nuclear autumn or nuclear winter is a potential threat to the environment which might result in large scale habitat destruction, species extinction, air pollution, toxic chemicals, acid rain, ozone depletion etc. A nuclear non-proliferation movement with abolition of nuclear weapons, has to be spearheaded enthusiatically.

Experts have predicted that serious food shortages could occur during this decade. Such a prognosis is based on three major factors – Soil erosion; Unsustainable utilization of groundwater; and Deforestation. They are together reducing the global potential for food production by nearly 14 million tonnes each year. New technologies, including biotechnology, are unlikely to help in achieving a quantum jump in productivity improvement at least during this decade. Due to the continuing damage to the ecological foundations of stable and sustainable agriculture, land degradation and water depletion ecological access to food may become the most important food security challenge of the 21st century.

  1. According to the passage what are the factors responsible for the evolution of life on earth?15
  2. What does the author mean by environmental breakdown? What are its impacts?15
  3. What suggestions does the author offer to balance environment, development and inequity in consumption?15
  4. How is life on earth being affected by climate change as per the passage?15
  5. How is environmental breakdown related to probable food shortage?15

3. Make a précis of the following passage in about one-third of its length. Do not give a title to it. The précis should be written in your own language:75

Recent decades have witnessed an upsurge of literature on Indians settled abroad. Mainly three types of writings can be distinguished: historical, diplomatic and anthropological. The historical works provide an account of the phases of emigration of Indians and their early life situations in foreign lands. The diplomatic works read like country reports on the status and problems of Indians beyond seas. The anthropological works are in the nature of ethnographic accounts with their accent on cultural continuity and change.

Varieties of writings apart, the existing literature shares three notable features in common. One, much of it is in the form of country-specific profiles. Cross-country comparisons are few and far between. Two most of it is descriptive, with analytical ideas and imaginative hypotheses in short supply. Three, for most part, it tends to project the problem in colonial perspective.

There are broadly two ways in which the problem of Indians abroad has been looked at: the colonial and the nationalist. The colonial way maintains that Indians went abroad driven by their domestic economic compulsions, or greed or avarice; that they were 'heathens', lazy, cunning and quarrelsome; that they tended to cling tenaciously to their culture in order to make up for the loss on economic front or to cope with their status loss on the social front; that they were so carried away by their desire to grab wealth and power that they had no compunction at throwing the natives out of employment and power in the latter's own lands; and, that their difficulties in foreign countries were largely of their own making. All this is clearly indicative of the ways colonialists and their ideologues look at the problem and would have us look at it.

As against this, the nationalist way contends that in most cases Indians did not go abroad on their own, but were indeed taken, taken under various arrangements as instruments of colonial domination; that they were not led by their own predatory instincts, instead they were lured and duped by colonial designs; that they did not plunder the country they went to, instead they served its development needs and worked hard to better the lot of its residents; that they were not lazy but industrious, not cunning but thrifty, not indolent but enterprising; that they had been tolerated only as long as they were prepared to play second fiddle to the natives, but once they began to assert their rights they were pushed out; and, that their difficulties in foreign lands were not of their own making, but of the making of neo-colonial powers which keep playing political games in the Third World countries.

In the study of Indians abroad it is the functionalist orientation that predominates. This is evident from the fact that the existing literature is preoccupied with the question of the cultural identity and integration, to the relative neglect of the question of class and power. It is a pity that no systematic attempt has been made to look at the problem in terms of other perspectives.

Indians are not the only people who have ventured out of their homeland in such vast numbers. Their number looks small when compared to overseas Chinese and overseas British. Their relatively lesser numbers notwithstanding, Indians form large enough numbers outside India and significant enough group in several countries to merit serious research attention as well as civil concern.

Spread over most parts of the world, Indians are found more in some regions than in others. They are concentrated in South, Southeast and Southwest Asia, in South Africa and East Africa, in Western Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Taking 1,500 as the minimum figure, overseas Indians are found in as many as 53 countries. They form a majority in at least three foreign countries: Mauritius (74 percent), Fiji (49 percent) and Guyana (53 percent). They are close to majority in Trinidad and Tobago where they are 40 percent as against 43 percent of the blacks.

In respect of their regional derivations and settlements there are noticeable some broad interesting patterns. There is a preponderance of South Indians, particularly Tamils, in South and Southeast Asia and South Africa, of East Indians in West Indies, of Punjabis and Gujaratis in Africa, Europe and North America. This is not to underestimate the presence of Indians of other regional origins in these parts of the world, but just to indicate that there are some perceptible regional linkages between the regions of origin and of settlement.(745 words)

4.(a) Rewrite the following sentences after making necessary corrections. Do not make unnecessary changes in the original sentence:1×10 = 10

  1. My sister prefers dogs than cats.
  2. I don't approve to your smoking in public.
  3. One of my student has got the prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship this year.
  4. The fresher the fruit, the best it tastes.
  5. He questioned my motif behind meeting the director.
  6. The director went and bidded goodbye to the composer.
  7. His acceptance of your fancy story indicates his credible nature.
  8. Are you invited for the office party?
  9. When I will reach home, I will let you know the details of the event.
  10. The University comprises of several Departments.

4.(b) Supply the missing words:1×5 = 5

  1. The homestay provides its guests __________ all the facilities.
  2. At last, I got rid __________ my old scooter.
  3. All my expenses were paid __________ by the office.
  4. A waiter is a person who waits __________ customers at a restaurant.
  5. The company entered __________ an agreement with the supplier.

4.(c) Use the correct forms of the verbs given in brackets:1×5 = 5

  1. My goodness, someone __________ away my phone and left his in its place by mistake. (Take)
  2. If you __________ in time, I'll leave without you. (Reach)
  3. I __________ the rules of grammar these days. (Learn)
  4. I used to have a pair of binoculars, but I __________ it yesterday because I needed money. (Pawn)
  5. The decision __________ before I joined the meeting. (Make)

4.(d)Write the antonyms of the following:1×5 = 5

  1. Guilty
  2. Impoverish
  3. Approve
  4. Eligible
  5. Scarce

5.(a) Rewrite the following sentences as directed without changing the meaning: 1×10 = 10

  1. Has anyone ever hypnotized you? (Change into passive voice)
  2. The judge said to the witness, "Were you present at the scene of crime?" (Change into indirect speech)
  3. He does not love his daughter. He does not love his wife either. (Join the sentences into one by using 'neither-nor'
  4. Much though I wanted, I could not reach her. (Rewrite the sentence using 'however')
  5. As soon as the concert ended, it began to rain. (Replace 'as soon as' with 'hardly', making other suitable changes)
  6. As the bus to the airport was late, we could not catch the plane. (Begin the sentence with- 'Had the bus … not')
  7. He was so nervous that he could not perform well in the interview. (Use 'too-to' combination)
  8. I have never kept a pet as I don't enjoy their company. (Rewrite the sentence beginning with 'since')
  9. They will enjoy the programme, __________ ? (Add a question tag)
  10. If you are going out take an umbrella as it is cloudy today. (Rewrite the sentence beginning with 'It being-')

5.(b)Use the following words to make sentences that bring out their meaning clearly. Do not change the form of the words. (No marks will be given for vague and ambiguous sentences):1×5 = 5

  1. Philanthropist
  2. Temperamental
  3. Sarcastically
  4. Devise
  5. Preclude

5.(c)Choose the appropriate word to fill in the blanks:1×5 = 5

  1. The man had a guilty __________, so he turned himself in. (conscience/conscious)
  2. I used my __________ to help my neighbour. (discretion/discrimination)
  3. The train has been __________ for an hour. (stationary/stationery)
  4. A __________ of shoppers crowded the market after the lockdown was lifted. (hoard/horde)
  5. My experiences in the alien place were __________ due to issues of food and language. (climactic/climatic)

5.(d)Use the following idioms/phrases in sentences of your own to bring out their meaning clearly:1×5 = 5

  1. Length and breadth
  2. Rank and file
  3. A thorn in the flesh
  4. Move heaven and earth
  5. Step into someone's shoes