Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Match up Exercise Aug 14


Read the following passage and tally the meaning of the numbered words with the meanings given in the table below.
Our inglorious meltdown at Olympics is another pointer telling us in (1)unadorned language that it's high time we disabused ourselves of the notion that we are going great guns, and if we keep firing ferociously, glory - by 2020 or whatever - is ours for the taking. The (2)abysmal lack of medals in London punctures the (3)grandiloquent narrative that seems to have completely overtaken us in our drive to project to the world that ours is an engine that is about to reach the station of superpowerdom.
We have been preparing the (4)scaffolding of this magically real narrative, of which even Marquez would be proud, for some time now. The new season of Anna Tamasha, which devolved into demagoguery and finally bowed out, was a product of the new (5)fin-de-si├Ęcle generation in India. Chabbi Biswas, brilliantly portraying the decadent landlord in Ray's Jalsaghar, captured the first; Anna, a noble-intentioned man talking high principles in these (6)venal and (7)unscrupulous times, represents the new generation. A man completely out of depth with the horrifying reality revolving around him in the form of his ambitious (8)minions and a media feasting on the immoral (9)detritus of a wicked class intent on gathering all the goodies for itself.
So much (10)tosh has been fed into his inexperienced ears by his (11)sycophants that he perhaps started fancying himself a Gandhi: do a quick fast and get that Lokpal or whatever. What else is this (12)befuddled behaviour symptomatic of but a stupid belief in an (13)asinine narrative that compels you to assume a superpower-like status. Well, someone tell Anna and his (14)cohorts that they - and the nation - have to put their nose to the grindstone, and not brownnose each other, to reach their cherished destination.
Another example of this power-puffed story plays out in what are called the corridors of power. In bewildering times such as these, when politicos get promotions for goofing up, these walkways should be called (15)labyrinths of power. Sushilkumar Shinde, who didn't become President because Pranab babu suddenly developed a great love for the gardens in Rashtrapati Bhavan, tom-tomed that the country's power grid was better because the blackout didn't last as long as it did when US went powerless a few years ago. The grandness of this tall claim shamelessly (16)deep-sixed the fact that the country suffered two blackouts on consecutive days. The sweeping superpower-type statement that Shinde made, (17)hilariously, was perhaps evidenced only by the increased number of Indians submerged in darkness on the second day of grid failure!
The Cabinet, led by a well-meaning but ineffectual Prime Minister, behaves in a la-di-da fashion the vestiges of which were seen by the world when Yuri Andropov was lording over the Soviet Union. A Russia that was fed (18)balderdash to believe it was a superpower and its (19) hapless, never-far-from-the-(20)gulag citizenry fed on grand gestures and visions of grandeur. Lack of transparency and an (21)addled attitude dealing only in (22)highfalutin (23)rant is what binds our and the now-dead Soviet (24)nomenklatura.

A) a company of companions or supporters
B) A place or situation of great suffering and hardship, likened to the atmosphere in a prison system or a forced labor camp.
C) Turn of the century
D) a temporary arrangement erected around a building for convenience of workers
E) Resembling an abyss in depth; unfathomable.
F) Foolish nonsense
G) Pompous or bombastic speech or expression.
H) Immoral; dishonest
I) Confused; perplexed
J) not decorated with something to increase its beauty or distinction
K) easily bribed or corrupted
L) Pompous or pretentious
M) a person who uses flattery to win favour from individuals wielding influence; An obsequious follower 
N) Violent or extravagant speech or writing.
O) The system of patronage to senior positions in the bureaucracy of the Soviet Union and some other Communist states, controlled by committees at various levels of the Communist Party.
P) Unfortunate, miserable
Q) Loose fragments or grains that have been worn away from rock
R) complex system of paths or tunnels in which it is easy to get lost; Maze
S) Rejected
T) In a funny manner

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Monday, July 23, 2012

Info

New True-False exercise posted at the reading club blog today July 23.
Visit: http://the-reading-club.blogspot.in/

Match up Exercise July 23


Read the following paragraph and match the highlighted words with the meaning given in the following table.
There can be no two ways of looking at the horrific violence unleashed by workers at the Manesar plant of Maruti Suzuki that resulted in the death of a manager of the company. It was ghastly and shocking and deserves to be condemned in unequivocal terms. Nothing can justify the brutal murder. It is disturbing to read reports that the manager burned to death because his legs were fractured by some workers and he could not escape the fire set off by them. Indeed, the violence of the mob was so ghastly that 33 managers are still in hospital nursing injuries inflicted on them. The police have arrested 91 workers who allegedly participated in the violence. Those found guilty should be dealt with sternly and held to account especially considering that worker violence has become all too frequent in recent times in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt that houses many automobile and ancillary companies. Indeed, in this context one needs to ask if the sad events at Maruti’s plant could have been avoided if the Haryana government had been proactive. It is clear that the labour in this region, working for different employers, is restive for varied reasons and has been so for more than the last couple of years.

  

Word

Meaning
A
unleash
1
Terrifying; Inspiring shock, revulsion, or horror
B
ghastly
2
Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty
C
proactive
3
release or vent; to free from restraint or control
D
inflict
4
Furnishing added support
E
stern
5
clearly defined or formulated
F
ancillary
6
Hard, harsh, or severe in manner or character
G
unequivocal
7
impose something unpleasant; To afflict

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Match up Exercise July 17


Read the following paragraph and match the highlighted words with the meaning given in the following table.
President Obama's concern about the Indian economy - touching, no doubt - is quite unnecessary. Are there a number of problems besetting the Indian economy at the moment? Yes; only the most naively optimistic or pig-headedly jingoistic would believe otherwise. And admittedly, these problems have international ramifications. With the globalised nature of trade and capital flows nowadays and the size and heft of the Indian economy, it could scarcely be otherwise. But at the end of the day, the maladies plaguing the Indian economy are peculiarly Indian in nature, situated in the context of Indian coalition politics and with Indian solutions. Foreign problem-solvers with their laughably reductive solutions need not apply. 

Obama paid lip service to the concept of Indian interests being paramount by stating that it was not the place of the US to tell India how to chart its economic future. But he followed it up by doing precisely that. When Obama presents the opening of various sectors of the Indian economy for foreign investment as the panacea for its woes, you can be sure that he's thinking of US interests, not Indian. With the American economy in dire straits, it would suit American investors just fine to be able to park their capital in relatively safe Indian assets. Whether that level of exposure to American capital is the best thing for the Indian economy at the moment is beside the point, of course.
 

What makes the hypocrisy truly blatant is the rhetoric Obama is churning out for domestic consumption in the US in the lead-up to the elections there. Time and again, he has criticised the practice of outsourcing; time and again, he raised the bogey of Indians stealing American jobs. Opening up the economy, it seems, is fine as long as it's a one-sided affair. But allowing Indians a stake in the American economy? Perish the thought.


Word

Meaning
A
naive
1
A disease, a disorder, or an ailment
B
jingoistic
2
characterized by or causing diminution or curtailment
C
malady
3
The practice of claiming beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess
D
reductive
4
Lacking worldly experience and understanding
E
panacea
5
Excessively patriotic
F
hypocrisy
6
the art of using speech to persuade, influence, or please
G
rhetoric
7
A remedy for all diseases, evils, or difficulties

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Match up Exercise July 12


Read the following paragraph and match the highlighted words with the meaning given in the following table.
As the Eurozone crisis rumbles on with lights going out in country after country, and the contagion looks set to spread, the question being asked is: how did a project born out of such passion and invested with so much idealism go so horribly wrong?
The short, if cynical, answer is: precisely because it was so achingly idealistic.
The unravelling of the grand European project illustrates the limits of an idea based solely on idealism. It is now widely acknowledged that the dream of creating “One Europe” united in a common pursuit of prosperity and progress (sharing not only a common market but a common currency) was simply too Utopian.
Even those who enthusiastically backed the project at the time now admit that it was inherently flawed given the vast difference in size, resources and levels of development of its member-states. It was crying out to fall apart at the first hint of crisis — as it eventually did — but at the time any criticism was attacked by its supporters as Europhobia.
Essentially, the idea was driven by Germany’s guilt over its Nazi past which still haunted its relations with the rest of Europe. Germany genuinely wanted to build a new relationship with its neighbours and to create legacy that would remind posterity not of what it once did to Europe but what it did for it.
           

Word

Meaning
A
Rumbles
1
Disintegration, undoing
B
Contagion
2
All future generations
C
Cynical
3
To move with a deep, long, rolling sound
D
Achingly
4
a gift of personal property by will
E
Unravelling
5
expressing contempt or ridicule
F
Legacy
6
In an aching manner; sorely
G
Posterity
7
Any disease easily transmitted by contact

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

INFO

New Critical Reading exercise posted at the reading club blog today July 9.
Visit: http://the-reading-club.blogspot.in/

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jumbled Paragraph July 5

Arrange the following sentences of a paragraph in proper order. 

A. Joseph Francois Dupleix who was initially appointed as Intendent of Chandernagore in 1731, sowed the seeds of colonisation.
B. He developed friendly relations with the Nawab of Bengal much to the consternation of the British.
C. For this, they locked horns with the British to assert their economic and political fortunes in India.
D. Like the British, the French decided to extend their area of influence taking advantage of mutual discord among Indian rulers.
E. The village, which hitherto was engaged in maritime commerce along with Pondicherry, got fortified by him.

1) DCAEB    2) ABDEC    3) DACBE    4) ABEDC

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cloze Test July 3, 2012


Read the paragraph carefully and then identify which word has been replaced from which blank. The list of words has been provided below.

The inclusion of the Western Ghats in the World Heritage List by UNESCO is a fitting tribute to one of the most__1__ and ecologically sensitive areas of the world. These __2__ forests and their rich biological diversity were included in the very first list of ‘global biodiversity hotspots’ drawn up by scientists at the turn of the century. Today, the Ghats are considered one of eight “hottest hotspots”. With their official listing as natural heritage, India commits itself under the UNESCO Convention to conserve,__3__ and transmit the 39 chosen sites spread across nearly 8,000 square kilometers to future generations. The challenge to protect the Western Ghats, however, is much bigger because the area of these mountains assessed by the Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel encompasses a total of 129,037 sq km. This is a vast __4__ of ecologically unique habitat, which significantly influences the Indian monsoon. The WGEEP has, in its report, treated the entire region as an ecologically sensitive zone, while __5__ that some sub-regions be treated as more sensitive and given higher levels of protection.

A)   protect               B)   recommending            C)   fragile     
D)   montane            E)   swathe

Monday, July 2, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Info

New Reading exercise posted at the reading club blog today June 29.
Visit: http://the-reading-club.blogspot.in/

Match Up Exercise June 29


Read the sentences carefully and then through contextual analysis match the usage of the highlighted word with its meaning.


Usage of highlighted word

Meaning
A
This new form blends religious and spiritual aphorisms with the rhetoric of land struggles, human rights, justice, and development for the poor. 
1
To condemn openly as being evil
B
In 1958, when we lodged our protest and subsequently when the aggression was denounced in Parliament, we were still not sure about our rights in Aksai Chin. 
2
Tumultuous; stormy
C
The book lucidly takes one through the life and tempestuous political career of Mamata Banerjee.
3
 in a clear manner
D
The book lucidly takes one through the life and tempestuous political career of Mamata Banerjee.
4
a kind of railway in which carriages are pulled uphill by cable etc.
E
Unfortunately, that morning the funicular developed a snag and the ride was cancelled.
5
A brief statement of a principle.
F
Unfortunately, that morning the funicular developed a snag and the ride was cancelled.
6
Abrupt and curt in manner or speech; blunt
G
One hopes The Hindu will continue its very useful column “This Day That Age” and not emulate those contemporaries who revel in dumbing down. 
7
to give rise to; evoke
H
Interviews with people in the know elicited some details.
8
Bitter and sharp in language or tone
I
R.K. Nehru regretted the Prime Minister's brusque rejection of China's “Note” of May 16, 1959, which spoke of the undesirability of either side facing two fronts. 
9
To take great pleasure or delight
J
Their main concern was that quiet talks should be continued, that the exchange of acrimonious notes should be reduced and that further military movements on both sides should be stopped until this question was settled.
10
An unforeseen or hidden obstacle