SBI Clerk Prelims 2021 English Language Questions (Day-20)

Dear Aspirants, Our IBPS Guide team is providing a new series of English Language Questions for SBI Clerk Prelims 2021 so the aspirants can practice it on a daily basis. These questions are framed by our skilled experts after understanding your needs thoroughly. Aspirants can practice these new series questions daily to familiarize with the exact exam pattern and make your preparation effective.

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Reading comprehension

Directions (1-5): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.

With nearly a dozen countries in Europe and elsewhere temporarily banning travel from the U.K. after a new variant of the novel coronavirus was found to be causing an increased number of new cases there, India too has followed suit flights, with some exceptions, have been temporarily suspended from Tuesday night till December 31. On Saturday, the U.K. imposed strict restrictions in greater London and much of southeast England. The variant VUI 202012/01 has 23 mutations in all. Though a few of these are seen in the region of the virus that binds to the human receptor, a single mutation N501Y has been found to increase the binding affinity, making the variant more transmissible. On December 20, the COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium, which identified the variant on September 20, said the variant has been “growing in frequency” since November 2020 and is “responsible for an increasing proportion of SARS-CoV-2 cases in the UK”. Based on modelling, it has been found to be 70% more transmissible but this is yet to be confirmed in lab experiments. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says that in a preliminary study, the variant has the potential to increase by over 0.4 the number of people a person can infect. There is no evidence as yet that it can cause any change in disease severity or increase the risk of reinfection.

Though the N501Y and other mutations are found in the spike protein region of the virus, it is unlikely that the mutations would make the two COVID vaccines that have secured emergency use approval and the ones in final stages of testing less effective. This is because vaccines produce antibodies against many regions of the spike protein, and there is also the T-cell immunity that would come into play to clear the virus. However, __________________________________________________________________________________. The emergence of the new variant underlines the compulsion to undertake surveillance following vaccination to track vaccine effectiveness and to look for the appearance of vaccine-escape mutants. SARS-CoV-2 being an RNA virus tends to have a higher mutation rate, but the presence of 23 mutations strongly suggests that the variant has not emerged through gradual accumulation of mutations. According to COG-UK, it is probably due to prolonged infection in a single patient, potentially with reduced immunocompetence. While a few cases caused by the new variant have been reported, the extent of international spread is unknown. Since far fewer SARS-CoV-2 genomes are sequenced at regular intervals in India, it is unclear if the variant is already present here. The emergence of the new variant with increased transmissibility is one more reason why non-pharmaceutical intervention should be strictly adhered to.


1) Which if the following are correct as per the passage?

(I) Coronavirus’ new strain is more violent and it has remained here since 2019

(II) The recent mutation of the virus, found at London has been well established by the lab experiments and vaccines are underway

(III) The scientists and epidemiologists have yet not figured out the severity and futility of the new mutation of COVID-19

A.Only (I)

B.Only (II)

C.Only (III)

D.Both (I) and (II)

E.Both (II) and (III)


2) According to the passage, the new strain N501Y does not pose any threat to the vaccine efficacy, why?

A.The two mutations in the spike protein are a natural and evolutionary process as hypothesized by Charles Darwin

B.The spike protein might have mutated but the antibodies created by the vaccines stay in place

C.Human body already possess T-cell immunity which is enhanced by the vaccine and steer the virus clear

D.Only (a) and (b)

E.Only (b) and (c)


3) Which of the following arguments can fill in the blank (______) both contextually and grammatically?

A.the WHO is still studying the mutations of the virus and its trans-continental and trans-border travel

B.the globalisation will render it very difficult to control mutations as this is still an evolving study

C.the governments are still un-sure about the mass roll out of vaccine as they lack some basic infrastructure

D.the scientists are still understanding the virus curve and mass social gathering needs to be avoided

E.as the virus accumulates more mutations, there is a possibility that vaccines might require minor tweaking


4) In our question, the preceding line is about vaccine efficacy (meaning effectiveness) hence, the option CONTRADICTING the mentioned fact is found only in (e).What does the author infer when he/she says- “ The emergence of the new variant with increased transmissibility is one more reason why non-pharmaceutical intervention should be strictly adhered to”?

A.Vaccine development is a long term and time-consuming task, till then the social distancing norms should not be taken lightly

B.Proper medical intervention is needed, with a feasible infrastructure but we should remember prevention is better than the cure

C.Every citizen globally should be penalized for breaking social distancing norms and masking habits

D.The author’s inference cannot be easily drawn as the passage does not mention non-pharmaceutical intervention

E.None of the above


5) What is the nearest antonym of the word mentioned in bold in the passage?

A.unspectacular

B.slow

C.imperceptible

D.progressive

E.Abrupt


Reading comprehension

Directions (6-10): Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow.

During the pandemic, we came to rely on various individuals to address our daily needs, even as more and more services went online. This transformation is underway in governance. During this time, eGovernments Foundation (eGov) and Aapti Institute came together to explore how digitally excluded communities engage with governance and learnt that even in ‘Digital India’, humans are significant in brokering trust between governments and citizens. These intermediaries often worked without any formal backing and role.

However, this reality was not considered in the design of most e-governance programmes. Only a few States have built a cadre of individuals for last mile governance. Andhra Pradesh, for instance, rolled out a ward secretariat programme with over 16,000 ward secretaries and volunteers for delivering government services at citizens’ doorstep.

Intermediaries help citizens overcome barriers to awareness (of availability of digital services and rights from the state) and ability, which includes the ability to navigate these solutions with trust. These barriers are worse for citizens who are marginalised, with the poor, women, the elderly, and caste and gender minorities being additionally disadvantaged. Intermediaries support individuals by placing complaints, directing them to the right authorities, and following up. In the words of one of the respondents, “these people help us see the government”.

Intermediaries are crucial offline architectures that enable the state to do its work better. Offline intermediaries can be both political and apolitical, individuals or collectives with varying motivations to do this work. Apolitical social workers and community leaders do their work as service. Partisan political individuals see their work as constituency service to secure vote bases. Community-based organisations and NGOs see their work as allied to their core work.

Our research tells us that leaning on intermediaries can unlock the capacity of the state to serve citizens. Indeed, they are a reality of everyday life for the average Indian, and incorporating this reality in design can be impactful. For instance, the study found that intermediaries struggled with indicating that they were placing a complaint for someone else, and with communicating the impact (for example, the number of houses affected by the problem). This design approach arises from the assumption that technology is for the individual. The reality is at odds with that belief.

Various types and forms of intermediation emerge based on regional, social, cultural and economic contexts. A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work. It is crucial to think about leveraging the strengths of intermediaries. Equally, it is essential to pay attention to the varying incentives of intermediaries and not romanticise the benefits. We need to see intermediaries as crucial to the realisation of governance outcomes. In this sense, they are as fundamental to governance as delivery agents and drivers are to Swiggy and Uber. Seeing them as a natural extension of the governance model forces us to ask questions of how we can support them to serve citizens better. India has formalised intermediation in traditional markets (such as mutual funds) from which we can learn. In these areas, formal governance mechanisms, structured capacity building, widespread awareness campaigns, and process re-engineering enabled growth and usage.


6) According to the author, why do we need digital intermediaries?

A.Intermediaries are citizen-friendly, and they can take care of the most marginalised sections which often remain out of the net

B.Intermediaries are the best source to file complaints and find the authority responsible to take action

C.Intermediaries are a supplement to the State infrastructure and both work in tandem

D.All of the above (a) (b) and (c)

E.None of the above options


7) For an intermediary to succeed which of the following conditions are needed?

(I) It should be diversified in nature taking into account every faction

(II) It should limit itself from adopting a universal model of application

(III) Benefits of the intermediaries must be romanticised to build a narrative

A.Only (II)

B.Only (III)

C.Only (I)

D.Both (I) and (II)

E.All- (I), (II) and (III)


8) Which of the following words can replace “CRUCIAL” both contextually and grammatically?

A.Pivotal

B.Optimum

C.Sabotage

D.Either (a) or (b)

E.Transient


9) Why are the Intermediaries, important and crucial offline architecture?

A.Intermediaries tend to be political in nature and they try to stronghold their profits by venturing into constituencies

B.Intermediaries find themselves to be in a difficult position when it comes to bi-partisanship and end up being partial

C.Intermediaries which are apolitical and collective in nature work together with community organisations to focus on the central work

D.Both (a) and (c)

E.None of the above


10) What is the near antonym of the word given in bold?

A.Significant

B.Minor

C.Pivotal

D.Critical

E.Momentous


Answers :

1) Answer: C

Read this line- “There is no evidence as yet that it can cause any change in disease severity or increase the risk of reinfection”. Only (III) can be directly inferred from this line, other options are wrong due to misplaced facts not found in the passage.


2) Answer: E

Read this line- “This is because vaccines produce antibodies against many regions of the spike protein, and there is also the T-cell immunity that would come into play to clear the virus”. We can directly infer from this line; other options are wrong due to misplaced facts not found in the passage like Charles Darwin.


3) Answer: E

Let us understand the use of the word- HOWEVER- it is used as conjunction, and this word directly translate to- BUT.

“However” is used to contradict two facts related to a same stream or topic, “But” does not follow this principle always.


4) Answer: B

“Non-pharmaceutical” in reference to the passage means- without drug or vaccine intervention. Option (a) is theoretically correct but it does not answer the question. Option (c) is hyperbolic in nature (cannot be achieved). Hence, only (b) is correct.


5) Answer: E

Abrupt is the antonym of the word gradual. Gradual means taking place or progressing slowly or by degrees..


6) Answer: D

Read this paragraph of the passage- “Intermediaries help citizens overcome barriers to awareness (of availability of digital services and rights from the state) and ability, which includes the ability to navigate these solutions with trust. These barriers are worse for citizens who are marginalised, with the poor, women, the elderly, and caste and gender minorities being additionally disadvantaged. Intermediaries support individuals by placing complaints, directing them to the right authorities, and following up. In the words of one of the respondents, “these people help us see the government”.”

We find that option (a) and (b) are easily spotted but as for option (c)- we have to use inference- to work in tandem means to work together- hence, we can deduce that intermediaries help citizens to be aware, the task of the government


7) Answer: D

Read this line- “Equally, it is essential to pay attention to the varying incentives of intermediaries and not romanticise the benefits”. this eliminates option (III).

IMPORTANT- ROMANTICISE does not mean to be romantic- it means- not to idealise anything/anyone and treat them with imperfections.


8) Answer: A

Only PIVOTAL is the word that can replace CRUCIAL. Let us see why-

Optimum- means – best, or the most favourable (not correct contextually)

Sabotage- means- to deliberately destroy (not correct either ways)

Transient- means- not long lasting (not correct either ways)

CRUCIAL means- very important and PIVOTAL means- of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else. Hence both can be inter-changed.


9) Answer: C

Only (c) is correct, read these lines for your reference – “Intermediaries are crucial offline architectures that enable the state to do its work better. Offline intermediaries can be both political and apolitical, individuals or collectives with varying motivations to do this work. Apolitical social workers and community leaders do their work as service. Partisan political individuals see their work as constituency service to secure vote bases. Community-based organisations and NGOs see their work as allied to their core work.”


10) Answer: B

Minor is just the opposite of crucial. Crucial actually means decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something.

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