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English Language – NDA Previous Year Papers Topicwise- 2006 Onwards

Chapter 1 Reading Comprehension (NDA Previous Papers)

PASSAGE-1 Today, India looks to be on course to join the league of developed nations. It is beginning to establish a reputation not just as the technology nerve-centre and back-office to the world, but also as its production centre. India’s secularism and democracy serve as a role model to other developing countries. There is great pride in an India that easily integrates with a global economy, yet maintains a unique cultural identity. But what is breathtaking is India’s youth. For despite an ancient civilization that traces itself to the very dawn of human habitation, India is among the youngest countries in the world. More than half the country is under 25 years of age and more than a third is under 15 years of age. Brought up in the shadow of the rise of India’s service industry boom, this group feels it can be at least as good if not better than anyone else in the world. This confidence has them demonstrating a great propensity to consume, throwing away ageing ideas of asceticism and thrift. The economic activity created by this combination of a growing labour pool and rising consumption demand is enough to propel India to double-digit economic growth for decades. This opportunity also represents the greatest threat to India’s future. If the youth of India are not properly educated and if there are not enough jobs created, India will have forever lost its opportunity. India’s Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industries are engines of job creation, but they still account for only 0.2 per cent of India’s employment. The country has no choice but to dramatically industrialise and inflate its economy. According to a recent survey, more than half of India’s unemployed within the next decade could be its educated youth.
Q1. Consider the following statements :
1. India’s rich cultural heritage prevents India from surging ahead to become an active partner in the global economy.
Ans: (b)
[NDA Previous Paper 2006-I]


Q2. By and large, India’s youth still believe in a thrifty lifestyle. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (d)
DIRECTIONS : In this Section you have a short passage. After this passage, you will find four questions based on the passage. First, read the passage and then answer the questions based on it. You are required to select your answers based on the contents of the passage and opinion of the author only. Examples ‘I’ and ‘J’ are solved for you.
PASSAGE In our approach to life be it pragmatic or otherwise, a basic fact that confronts us squarely and unmistakably is the desire for peace, security and happiness. Different forms of life at different levels of existence make up the teeming denizens of this earth of ours. And, no matter whether they belong to higher groups such as human beings or to the lower groups such as animals, all beings primarly seek peace, comfort and security. Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to a man. Even the lowliest insect strives for protection against dangers that threaten its life. Just as each one of us wants to live and note to die, so do all other creatures.
I. Tha author’s main point is that
(a) different forms of life are found on earth
(b) different levels of existence are possible in nature
(c) peace and security are the chief goals of all living beings
(d) even the weakest creatur struggles to preserve its life
J. Which one of the following assumptions or steps is essential in developing the author’s position?
(a) All forms of life have a single overriding goal
(b) The will to survive of a creature is identified with a desire for peace
(c) All beings are divided into higher and lower gorups
(d) A parallel is drawn between happiness and life, and pain and death Explanation :
I. The idea which represents the author’s main point is “peace and security are the chief goals of all living beings”, which is response (c). So (c) is the correct answer.
J. The best assumption underlying the passage is “ The will to sruvive of a creature is identified with a desire for peace”, which is response(b). So (b) is the correct answer.
Q2. What is the approximate number of people in India who are in the age group 15-25 years?
(a) 500 million (b) 350 million
(c) 210 million (d) 180 million
Ans: (d)
Q3. In the recent past, which sector has witnessed a phenomenal growth?
(a) Heavy industry (b) Service industry
(c) Petrochemical industry (d) Textile industry
Ans: (b)
Q4. Consider the following statements :
1. Rising consumption demand will retard economic growth.
2. India’s youth are its greatest opportunity as well as threat. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (b)
Q5. Consider the following statements :
1. Information Technology sector provides a relatively large proportion of jobs in India.
2. In the coming decade only uneducated youth will remain deprived of employment opportunity. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only (b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (d)
PASSAGE-2 The US Senate’s approval of an immigration Bill has been welcomed in India as well as in the IT industry in America because of the proposal of double H1-B visas for skilled foreign workers. However, the more important bit in the legislation, if approved by the House of Representatives, is the lifeline to millions of illegal immigrants in the US. Some of the key proposals in the Bill include allowing illegal immigrants, who have been in America for five years, to become legal residents by paying a certain amount in fines and back taxes. Those who have been in the country between two and five years can go to a point of entry at the US border and file an application. There is also a provision for creating a guest worker programme especially meant for farm workers. These are welcome moves to recognise the huge presence—according to some estimates 12 to 15 million — of illegal immigrants in the US and legitimising their existence. But it must be understood that the US is not considering this legislation out of a sense of altruism. The truth is that the bulk of immigrants are doing jobs that Americans simply don’t want to do. They are employed in jobs that pay minimum wages and entail long working hours. But giving illegal immigrants the opportunity to become legal residents will at least ensure that they are not exploited by employers and that they are covered by social security benefits. American legislators, however need to go beyond this. They must recognise that the US needs trained people in various fields, particularly in schools and hospitals. India with its vast population of educated youth is a natural source of such personnel. Instead of just targeting India for its best brains, The US should open up its labour market for more school teachers, nurses and technicians from India. Compared to Mexicans, the largest component of immigrants to the US, Indians have a natural advantage in that they know English. They would also be willing to work in America’s inner cities and other supposedly ‘hardship’ stations. Along with nuclear deals and technology transfer, the two largest English-speaking democracies must realise that they could mutually benefit from bilateral employment agreements. India, with its one-billion plus and growing population, has the potential of supplying First World nations with declining birth rates much-needed labour. Based on the passage given above, answer to the questions which follow :
Q6. Consider the following statements :
1. Besides for high technology areas, India can be an effective source of manpower in the health and education sectors of the United States of America.
2. Only those illegal immigrants can file an application for getting status of legal residents who have stayed in the US for over five years. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (d)
[NDA Previous Paper 2006-II]


Q7. Consider the following statements :
1. The number of farm workers in the US is between 12 to 15 million.
2. The types of jobs which engage the immigrants are not sought after by the Americans. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (b)
Q8. Consider the following statements :
1. One of the shortcomings of the immigration Bill is that illegal immigrants will still be deprived of is that illegal immigrants will still be deprived of social security benefits.
2. India contributes the largest number of immigrants to the United States of America. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
Q9. Consider the following statements :
1. The basic premise of the immigration Bill is a concern of the Federal Government of the United States of America for welfare of the mankind.
2. Both Mexican and Indian immigrants enjoy an advantage of good communication skills in English. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
PASSAGE-3 The art of effective presentation is the fruit of persistent efforts and practice. Your personality is reflected in your presentation. Adequate planning and preparation are essential for a successful presentation. A thorough preparation is the best antidote for nervousness. If a person is not successful in presenting his views and ideas then it will become the greatest obstacle in his career and life. People form a perception about how competent you are by how you present yourself when you stand and speak. A successful presentation can help a person in winning orders for the company he works for. Most people who work in organizations find that their effectiveness and success depend on their ability to organize their ideas and present them effectively. Delivering your message in person provides immediate feedback that helps you clarify points and answer questions. Oral presentations are often more persuasive. As far as possible, one should never read a presentation or memorize it. Then the presentation will lose flexibility and communication will suffer. The spoken word wields great power. Face-to-face interaction demands thinking and speaking. Anecdotes, quotations and humorous touches often make a presentation interesting. One may consult his notes frequently when he is making his presentation. This may create a feeling among listeners that the speaker has taken pains to prepare for the occasion. A positive response will be generated and the speaker will be heard with respect. Speaker’s enthusiasm and confidence can influence people to accept to reject an idea in a way that a written document cannot. A presentation should be persuasive and should change the audience’s attitude. The topic of the presentation must be interesting to the audience. The topic should be of interest to the speaker also otherwise he will go through the motions of making a presentation. No perfunctory approach should ever be resorted to while making a presentation. It is very important that the speaker is perceived by the audience as credible and qualified to speak about the topic. Speaker must adapt to intellectual level of the audience. Based on the passage given above, answer to the questions which follow :
Q10. Consider the following statements :
1. Persuasive skill-set is a prerequisite to an effective presentation.
2. At the end of a presentation, offering small gifts to the audience by the speaker is a good strategy. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
[NDA Previous Paper 2006-II]


Q11. Consider the following statements :
1. Innate stage fright of a speaker can be countered by meticulous preparation of his presentation.
2. Confidence of a speaker is generally taken by the audience as a sign of arrogance. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
Q12. Consider the following statements :
1. Topic of the presentation must be of relevant interest to the audience to induce their responses.
2. Topic of the presentation may or may not be of intimate interest to the speaker. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
Q13. Consider the following statements :
1. A speaker must memorize his talk so as to introduce more flexibility.
2. A written document is more efficacious than an oral presentation as it leaves a lasting impression on the reader. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (d)
Q14. Consider the following statements :
1. Presentations are not meant to change point of view of the audience about subject of the presentation.
2. Recounting of quotations in the presentation should be avoided as it makes the presentation appear superficial. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (d)
Q15. Consider the following statements :
1. One of the drawbacks of presentations is that they fails to provide a feedback from the audience.
2. While making a presentation one should, at times, refer to his written material. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (b)
Q16. Consider the following statements :
1. An effective presentation about the product of a company can help in increasing sales volumes.
2. Impromptu presentation can leave a more forceful impact on the audience. Which of the statement(s) given above is/are correct?
(a) Only 1 (b) Only 2
(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2
Ans: (a)
PASSAGE-4 The young are those to whom we look for future strength and for future good; and the longer we live, the more anxious we become that they who are to be the fresh recruits should be morally of right stature. Around them are peculiar temptations and trials, witching, cunning, insidious and forceful: and we are obliged to see thousands falling by the way, whose fall seems needless. They, like ourselves, are to have but one chance in life. We who are somewhat advanced in years, seeing how many perils there are round about that one chance, feel an earnest desire that every advantage should be given to those who are coming onto fill our places. We can live but once; and life is usually moulded and takes its shape very early.
Q17. Which one of the following is correct? The author looks upon the young as :
(a) handsome and healthy
(b) an embodiment of possibilities
(c) strong and hardworking
(d) a group of boys and girls who are obedient and dutiful
Ans: (b)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-I]


Q18. What does the phrase “morally of right stature” mean?
(a) Being highly educated
(b) Having a good personality
(c) Having rectitude
(d) Feeling superior to others
Ans: (c)
Q19. Which one of the following is correct? The failure of many a young men and women is
(a) well deserved (b) unwarranted
(c) fortuitous (d) sad
Ans: (b)
PASSAGE-5 There are a great many people who have all the material conditions of happiness, i.e., health, sufficient income and clout, but who nevertheless, are profoundly unhappy. In such cases it would seem as if the fault must lie with a wrong theory as to how to live. We imagine ourselves more different from the animals than we are. Animals live on impulse and are happy as long as external conditions are favourable. Your needs are more complex than those of your pets but they still have their basis in instinct. In civilised societies, this is too apt to be forgotten. People propose to themselves some paramount objective and restrain all impulses that do not minister to it. A businessman may be so anxious to grow rich that to this end he sacrifices health and private affection. When at last he has become rich, no pleasure remains to him except harrying other people by exhortations to initiate his noble example.
Q20. Which one of the following is correct? The “material conditions of happiness” do not include
(a) health (b) money
(c) power (d) hope
Ans: (d)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-I]


Q21. Which one of the following is correct? Modern man is very unhappy because he
(a) is always busy making money
(b) feels alienated from his fellow beings
(c) cannot communicate with animals
(d) suppresses his inner urges
Ans: (d)
Q22. Which one of the following is correct? The author is of the opinion that
(a) we are superior to animals
(b) animals are more impulsive than us
(c) we are really not very different from animals
(d) we have the unique ability to control our impulses
Ans: (c)
Q23. What does the phrase “do not minister to it” mean?
(a) Do not support it (b) Do not oppose it
(c) Are ignorant about it (d) Are careless about it
Ans: (a)
PASSAGE-6 The first of the political causes of war is war itself. Many wars have been fought, among other reasons, for the sake of seizing some strategically valuable piece of territory, or in order to secure a ‘natural’ frontier, that is to say, a frontier which is easy to defend and from which it is easy to launch attacks upon one’s neighbours. Purely military advantages are almost as highly praised by the rulers of nations as economic advantages. The possession of an army, navy and air force is itself a reason for going to a war. “We must use our forces now’, so runs the militarist’s argument, ‘in order that we may be in a position to use them to better effect next time.’
Q24. Why have wars been fought?
(a) To use weapons and make room for fresh purchase
(b) Because people want to show their neighbours that they are strong
(c) To capture some areas of another country which are of strategic importance
(d) To each neighbouring countries a good lesson
Ans: (c)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-I]


Q25. What does a ‘natural’ frontier mean?
(a) An area on the border from where you can keep watch on or attack your enemy
(b) Some place on the border of a country having beautiful natural scenery
(c) A borderline that has been naturally chosen by two neighbouring countries
(d) A sudden gift of land by nature because of sudden change in the course of a river
Ans: (a)
Q26. Which one of the following is correct? ‘Military advantages’ and ‘economic advantages’ :
(a) are the same for a country
(b) may or may not be the same but the rulers make them appear to be the same
(c) are completely different for a country
(d) go against each other
Ans: (b)
PASSAGE-7 When a bee, or an ant, beetle, moth or butterfly visits a flower for food, it simultaneously, and without knowing it, performs another vital function by carrying pollen from one plant to another. But not all flowers are visited by insects. A reliable guide to those that are, is their flamboyance. If the petals are large and colourful, if they smell sweet, it is because the plant needs to attract insects. Some plants have flowers which are graceful but not showy and therefore of no interest to insects. In this case the pollen is carried by the wind. Most flowers manufacture these minute grains called pollen which must be transferred to another flower of the same type before they can make seeds.
Q27. Which one of the following is correct? Plants that do not have showy flowers
(a) get their pollen transferred to other flowers by wind
(b) produce more pollen than others
(c) don’t reproduce easily
(d) are very few in number
Ans: (a)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-II]


Q28. Which one of the following is correct? The fact that some flowers are flamboyant implies
(a) that some plants do not need pollination
(b) that we can distinguish between flowers pollinated by insects and those that are not
(c) that flowers are more important to some plants than they are to others
(d) that bright colours are important to all flowers
Ans: (b)
Q29. Which one of the following is correct? When insects carry pollen from one flower to another
(a) they help the flowers to make seeds
(b) the flowers become colourful and smell sweet
(c) the insects find it easy to take food from the flowers
(d) they help the plants to grow beautiful flowers
Ans: (a)
Q30. Which one of the following is correct? Insects carry pollen from one flower to another
(a) deliberately (b) unconsciously
(c) reluctantly (d) with extreme care
Ans: (b)
Q31. Which one of the following is correct? Insects visit flowers because they
(a) want to carry pollen from one flower to another
(b) are attracted by the bright colours
(c) wish to obtain food
(d) are in search of a mate
Ans: (c)
PASSAGE-8 Not all sounds made by animals serve for communication, and we have only to turn to that extraordinary discovery of echo-location in bats to see a case in which the voice plays a strictly utilitarian role. To get a full appreciation of what this means we must turn first to some recent human inventions. Everyone knows that if a person shouts in the vicinity of a wall or a mountainside, an echo will come back. The further off this solid obstruction, the longer time will elapse for the return of the echo. A sound made by tapping on the hull of a ship will be reflected from the sea bottom, and by measuring the time interval between the taps and the receipt of the echoes, the depth of the sea at that point can be calculated. So was born the echo-sounding apparatus, now in general use in ships. Every solid object will reflect a sound, varying according to the size of and nature of the object. A shoal of fish will do this. So it is a comparatively simple step from locating the sea bottom to locating a shoal of fish. With experience, and with improved apparatus, it is now possible not only to locate a shoal, but to tell if it is herring, cod, or other well-known fish, by the pattern of its echo. A few years ago it was found that certain bats emit squeaks and by receiving the echoes they could locate and steer clear of obstacles or locate flying insects on which they feed. This echo-location in bats is often compared with radar, the principle of which is similar.
Q32. Which one of the following is correct? Echo-location was first discovered in
(a) bats (b) cods
(c) navigation (d) radars
Ans: (a)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-II]


Q33. Which one of the following is correct? An echo will come back if you shout near
(a) solid obstruction (b) only wall
(c) only a mountainside (d) the sea
Ans: (a)
Q34. Which one of the following is correct? In the first paragraph, the writer says that bats use sound for
(a) communicating with one another
(b) communicating with animals in general
(c) some practical purpose
(d) fun
Ans: (c)
PASSAGE-9 Perhaps the best political epigram of recent years is the saying that this is the century of the common man. The coming of this century can be seen far back in the extension of the suffrage and later in the development of social legislation. For many years all men have been equal before the law, every adult man and woman has the vote. We are slowly creating economic democracy, that is, such a measure of economic freedom that poverty prevents no one from taking his part in public affairs or enjoying the facilities, educational and other which the state provides for all. It might seem that when this is achieved our work is done. In facts, it is only the beginning.
Q35. What does the term ‘epigram’ mean?
(a) A flattering remark
(b) An unsuitable remark
(c) A caustic remark
(d) A short and precise remark
Ans: (d)
[NDA Previous Paper 2007-II]


Q36. Which one of the following is correct? Extension of the suffrage indicates
(a) spread of suffering
(b) suffering of the common man
(c) right of vote for more and more people
(d) spread of crime in politics
Ans: (c)
Q37. What does ‘economic democracy’ stand for?
(a) Equal distribution of wealth
(b) Equal economic opportunity for all
(c) Application of democratic process in economic institutions
(d) Importance of money in political activities
Ans: (b)
PASSAGE-10 For more than 3 decades, I achieved great success as a lawyer, till a stroke left my right side totally paralysed. Despite the doctor’s encouragement, I was consumed by rage and self-pity. I yearned to be active again. But what could a middle-aged cripple like me do? One day, glancing at some paintings I owned, I thought suddenly, “ What about painting ? In fact, I had always wanted to paint, but had never had the time. Now, I had plenty of time. In the last 25 years, I have completed 300 paintings-one of them appeared on the cover of the Reader’s Digest. The stroke, I realize, has helped me develop a latent talent and enjoy life.
Q38. Which one of the following is the correct statement ? While in the hospital, the author was
(a) angry with himself for falling ill
(b) relieved at the successful treatment
(c) frustrated at his helpless situation
(d) resentful at being hospitalized
Ans: (c)
[NDA Previous Paper 2008-I]


Q39. Why did the author consider himself a cripple?
(a) He could not go back to work
(b) He could not longer use his right hand
(c) He could not use his time properly
(d) He could not lead an active life
Ans: (d)
Q40. Which one of the following is the correct statement? The paralytic stroke helped the author
(a) to face challenges in life successfully
(b) to realize his latent talent
(c) to learn a new hobby
(d) to earn more money
Ans: (b)
PASSAGE-11 Wesward Ho ” we shouted as the sail of our crudely constructed raft, the Kon-Tiki caught the sind. The sail quickly filled and the Kon-Tiki began to move. The six of us were off to our great adventure. As night fell, the troughs of the sea grew gradually deeper and our first duel with the elements began. Each time we heard the sudden deafening hiss of a roller close by and saw a white crest come towards us out of the darkness, we held on tight and waited for the worst. But invariably the Kon-Tiki calmly swung up her stern and rose skyward unperturbed.
Q41. What does the word ‘duel’ in the passage mean?
(a) A battle (b) A fortification
(c) A two-side contes (d) Divided in two
Ans: (a)
[NDA Previous Paper 2008-I]


Q42. Which one of the following is correct? When big waves struck the raft the six people in it
(a) started crying
(b) showed courage and patience
(c) acted in a rash manner
(d) showed passiveness
Ans: (d)
Q43. How was the Kon-Tiki’s performance on the high seas?
(a) Very shaky
(b) Extremely poor
(c) Stable and resolute
(d) Unpredicatable
Ans: (c)

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