SBI Clerk Mains English (Day-71)

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Reading comprehension

Directions (1-10) Read the given passage carefully and answer the questions that follow.

The steep penalties for violation of road rules that came into force on September 1 under the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019 have produced a backlash, with several State governments opting to reduce the quantum of fines, or even to reject the new provisions. Gujarat has announced a substantial reduction in the fines, West Bengal has refused to adopt the higher penalties, Karnataka and Kerala are studying the prospects to make the provisions less stringent, and others are proceeding with caution.

Motorists have reacted with outrage at the imposition of fines by the police, obviously upset at State governments pursuing enforcement without upgrading road infrastructure and making administrative arrangements for issue of transport documents. Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari has reiterated that it is left to the States to choose the quantum of fines, since it is their responsibility to bring about deterrence and protect the lives of citizens. Mr. Gadkari’s argument is valid, and the intent behind amending the Motor Vehicles Act cannot be faulted. After all, India has some of the deadliest roads in the world, and 1,47,913 people died in road accidents only during 2017. The question that has arisen is whether enhanced fines can radically change this record when other determinants, beginning with administrative reform, remain untouched.

The core of reform lies in Section 198(A) of the amended law, which requires any designated authority, contractor, consultant or concessionaire responsible for design or construction or maintenance of the safety standards of the road to meet those laid down by the Central government. This provision, which prescribes a penalty for a violation leading to death or disability, can be enforced through litigation by road users in all States. Since the standards are laid down, compliance should be ensured without waiting for a road accident to prove it. Until infrastructure meets legal requirements, fines and enforcement action are naturally liable to be challenged in courts; the condition of roads, traffic signals, signage and cautionary markings which affect motorists, cyclists and pedestrians, would all fall within its ambit. State governments also cannot escape responsibility for failing to reform their Regional Transport Authorities, since these offices are generally steeped in corruption. The Transport Ministry could well have made electronic delivery of RTO services mandatory, something that a lapsed UPA-era Bill promised. It should act on this now. Ultimately, ending the culture of impunity that allows government vehicles and VIPs to ignore road rules will encourage the average citizen to follow them. Mr. Gadkari should lose no time in forming the National Road Safety Board to recommend important changes to infrastructure and to enable professional accident investigation.

1) Assuming for a particular violation, earlier fine was Rs 100 and now it has been increased to Rs 1000.

Keeping the above instance in the mind, mark the option which is definitely true.

a) In Gujarat, the fine is still Rs 100 for the violation.

b) In Kerala, the fine is Rs. 1000 for the violation.

c) In West Bengal the fine is Rs. 100 for the violation

d) In Rajasthan, the fine is Rs. 1000 for the violation

e) None of these

2) What, according to the author, is the reason behind many drivers taking exception to the steep increase in penalties?

a) They themselves violate various rules and hence have to pay higher fine.

b) They believe it will be misused by traffic police to abuse general public and lead to more corruption.

c) They believe these penalties will have no effect on violations but only be an financial burden on them

d) They think government should be more responsible before imposing such penalties on violators.

e) None of these

3) According to the author, which of the following measures has the potential to make roads less deadly?

I) Improving road infrastructure

II) Penalising government vehicles and VIPs for violating traffic rules

III) Increasing the outlay for infrastructure

a) I only

b) II only

c) Both I & II

d) III only

e) None of these

4) According to passage, which of the following options has information about traffic fines that can prove to be vulnerable to being challenged in court

a) These fines are irrational

b) These fines are not imposed through constitutional means

c) They come under state matter not under center

d) The government has not fulfilled the set standard of road safety compliance

e) None of these

5) If states are put under compulsion to follow the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2019, then which of the following statements will have the potential to be undoubtedly exact?

a) All states will have same penalties for varied violations

b) These fines and enforcement action will not be liable to be challenged in courts

c) Designated authority responsible for construction of the road will be liable for penalty for a violation leading to death or disability

d) Both a & b

e) None of these

6) Which of the following is the meaning of violation?

a) concern

b) abide

c) correlate

d) unfollow

e) None of the above

7) Which of the following is the meaning of upgrading?

a) abasement

b) enhance

c) demotion

d) lowering

e) None of the above

8) Which of the following is the meaning of radically?

a) moderate

b) fulfill

c) average

d) barely

e) None of the above

9) Which of the following is the opposite of cautionary ?

a) alarming

b) terrifying

c) unthreatening

d) warning

e) None of the above

10) Which of the following is the opposite of steeped?

a) immerse

b) submerge

c) drench

d) dehydrate

e) None of the above

Answers :

Directions (1-10) :

1) Answer: C

It is given that earlier fine was Rs. 100 and it is increased to Rs. 1000 now. In the first para of the comprehension, it is mentioned that Gujarat has announced substantial reduction in the fines. Option A cannot be correct as in Gujarat, the fine cannot be Rs. 100 as there must be reduction of fines in that state. Thus, A contradicts the very statement made above. The amount of fine in Kerala cannot be figured out as Kerala is still studying the prospects of law, and therefore, nothing can be said with certainty. B is wrong for this reason. No information is provided with respect to position of fines in Rajasthan, and hence, D is also wrong. The fine in West Bengal will remain the same Rs. 100, because it is stated in the first para itself that West Bengal has refused to adopt the higher penalties. Hence, C is the right answer.

2) Answer: D

As per the para 2, it is mentioned that motorists are upset with the fact that

government has imposed fines without upgrading road infrastructure. Further, in the third para of the passage, it is clearly stated that the fines

and regulations would be challenged in courts until infrastructural

requirements are met. Hence, D is the most suitable answer based on the

above information.

3) Answer: C

In the third para, it is evident that the author believes that compliance of the road safety standards must be made in order to make the roads safe, which is given in statement-I of the question, hence, it is right. Further, in the last paras, it is made clear that if VIPs are treated at par with ordinary persons and are charged for road violations equally, the same shall serve as encouragement. Hence, the statement-II in question is also correct. Since both the statements are right, C is the right answer.

4) Answer: D

It is explicit from the para three, that the fines and regulations would be challenged in court until statutory requirements of safety, etc. are not met. Hence, D is right.

5) Answer: E

If the states are forced to follow the law passed, then statement in option A will be wrong as it provides same penalties for varied violations which is contradictory as the law will be uniformly applicable on all states without any

variation or discretion, and therefore, must provide same penalties only for

same or similar violations and not for different or varied ones as otherwise

given in option A. Thus, A is wrong. Further, B is wrong as there is no

connection between the fines being challenged in court and compulsion for

states to follow the same law, in fact, if the states follow the same law, there

can be more litigation in courts against the imposition of said rules and

regulations. Thus, B is also wrong. In option C, it is stated that authorities

responsible for construction will be responsible for any damage. This is

incomplete and vague in itself, as not just an authority responsible for

construction will be liable, but there are several other authorities that are being made liable for fault at their part as is clearly given in first four lines of para three. Hence, C is also wrong. The answer should, therefore, be E; none of the above.

6) Answer: D

Violation – the action of violating someone or something.

7) Answer: B

upgrading – raise (something) to a higher standard, in particular improve (equipment or machinery) by adding or replacing components.

8) Answer: B

Radically – in a thorough or fundamental way; completely.

9) Answer: C

Cautionary –  serving as a warning.

10) Answer: D

steeped  – surround or fill with a quality or influence.

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