Licchavi Lyceum


Licchavi Lyceum

how to solve passage

UPSC Prelims CSAT Paper has questions on Passage. In general you will be asked two types of questions:

  1. What is the assumption of the passage?
  2. What is the key message of the passage?

Please bear in mind that whenever assumption of the passage has been asked, you have to answer ‘WHY‘ the passage has been drafted. Why the author has drafted the passage the way he has drafted?

When you are asked about the main message/ inference of the passage, just answer ‘WHAT‘ has been written in the passage explicitly and implicitly.

Another important aspect to solve the passage based question is that once you have read the passage, frame a title/heading of the passage without looking at the four options. The ‘Assumption’ or the inference will be very close to the title/ heading framed.

  1. The assumption will never be explicitly mentioned ion the passage itself.
  2. The assumption will be little philosophical in nature.
  3. The assumption will not be the fact or figure given in the message.
  4. You will have to read the basic cause of concern the author has.
  5. And last but not the least, in case you are stuck between two options, eliminate one with extreme words like Never, Always, Must etc.

Please bear in mind following points if the key message of the passage has been asked:

  1. The key message is not the data, facts or figures mentioned in the passage.
  2. The key message may be some proposal, some solution, some future concern i.e. some philosophy will be involved here as well.

Follow the procedure adopted to solve the questions given below. Questions have been taken from UPSC Past year papers.


Private investment in general is volatile. Foreign private investment is more volatile because the available investment avenues are significantly greater (i.e., the entire world). Therefore, the responsibility of providing employment cannot be left to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The current FDI inflows are (volatile over time and across sectors and regions, which is a necessary consequence of their search for the highest returns. The adverse consequences are unstable employment and an accentuation of income and regional inequalities. A probable positive consequence of foreign investment is the inflow of new technology and its subsequent diffusion. However, the technology diffusion is not at all certain because the existing state of physical and human capital in India may prove inadequate for the diffusion. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 11 With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Relying on foreign investment in the long run is not an economically sound policy.
  2. Policies must be undertaken to reduce volatility in foreign private investment.
  3. Policies must be undertaken to strengthen domestic private investment.
  4. Public investment should be given priority over private investment.
  5. Substantial public investment in education and health should be undertaken.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?
(a) 1, 2 and 4
(b) 1, 3 and 5
(c) 2, 4 and 5
(d) 3 only

Answer: b

Can you give a heading to the passage?

For me, it is, Volatile nature of FDI and it’s effect on domestic economy.

UPSC has introduced passage with the options of ‘assumptions’ from the Prelims Paper of 2019.

In order to solve such questions, you have to answer ‘why’ the passage has been written.

S1: From the first two opening statements, it is clear that the author is quite anxious about the volatile nature of the FDI. He clearly disapproves the reliance on it for economic prosperity of the region. Hence, S1 is the right assumption.

S2: The author agree that FDI inflows are volatile which is a necessary consequence of their search for the highest returns.

So, can the government change such volatility?

No, it can’t! Hence, bringing policies to regulate such funds will have very limited impact. S2 is not the correct assumption.

S3: The prime concern of the author is the volatility of the fund and the private investment less volatile compared to FDI. Hence, private investment needs to be promoted. S is correct assumption.

S4: No, not at all. Author has nowhere mentioned such requirements. S4 is not the right assumption.

S5: Just refer the last statement of the paragraph, it stresses the requirement of uplifting the human capital to absorb the emerging technology. S5 is correct.


Many opportunities to harness the highly skewed, seasonal and spatial distribution of monsoon flows, which occur in a four-month period from June to September annually, have been lost. Since these few months account for most of the rainfall and consequent freshwater availability, the need for holding rainwater in reservoirs, for subsequently releasing it for use over the year, is a necessity nobody can afford to overlook. Climate change will continue to affect weather conditions and create water shortages and excesses. While millions suffer from droughts and floods, waters in the country’s many rivers flow unutilized, and are discharged into the sea every year. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q.12 With reference to the above passage, which of the following could be the most rational and practical implications for India?

  1. Inter-linking of rivers should be undertaken.
  2. A network of dams and canals should be built across the country for proper distribution of water.
  3. Farmers should be provided easy loans for digging bore wells.
  4. Usage of water for agriculture should be regulated by law.
  5. Distribution of river water among regions should be regulated by the Union Government.

Select the correct answer using the code
given below.
(a) 1 and 2
(b) 2, 4 and 5
(c) 1, 3 and 4
(d) 2, 3 and 5
Answer: a

S5: Not a correct option, author nowhere talks about the political responsibility. In fact, you should start solving the question from this option. Just eliminate option 5, and two options are gone. You are left with options (a) and (c).

S3: Will more bore wells help in tapping the monsoon water? No it will have opposite impact. So S3 is not a good option.

Now, option (c) is gone. So, we are left with option (a) only.

S1: Refer the last statement of the paragraph, to ensure better availability of water, interlinking of river is a feasible option. S1 is correct.

S2: In order to tap the flowing rainwater, building dams and canals are good options. S2 is correct.

S4: Regulating the usage of water for agriculture will lead to optimum utilization of ground water and will be helpful in ensuring the water availability but the author has nowhere mentioned the necessity of such regulation. S4 is incorrect.


People will invest in education whenever they are granted the economic freedom to fully enjoy its benefits. Again, this is for the obvious reason that the return on education increases as the level of economic freedom rises. When people, thanks to lower tax rates, are allowed to retain most of the higher income that they gain from each incremental level of education, it makes eminent sense to invest in education. On the other hand, when the government decides to tax the higher income of educated individuals at even higher rates, it makes very little sense to invest in educating oneself further. The same incentives apply to parents who decide on whether to invest in their children’s education. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q.13 With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Lower tax rates in a country invariably translate into greater investments in higher education.
  2. Investment in the education of children ensures their economic freedom.
  3. Economic freedom has a positive impact on building up human capital.
    Which of the above assumptions is/are
    (a) 1 only
    (b) 2 only
    (c) 3 only
    (d) 1, 2 and 3

Ans: (c)

S1: Focus on the word invariably, it has generalized the statement. Yes, it is true to some extent but Lower Tax Rate will not always lead to greater investment in higher education.

S2: There is no such guarantee that education ensures their economic freedom. Such assumption has nowhere been mentioned in the passage. Hence, this statement is not an assumption.

S3: The statement is nowhere present in the entire passage but the author has expressed a close association between education and economic returns associated with it. Hence, S3 is a correct assumption.


Our urban bodies cannot possibly ensure sustainable delivery of water in our cities unless financing mechanisms are put in place. Water delivery requires heavy investment in collecting it from a natural source, treating it to make it potable, and laying a distribution network of pipes for delivery to the users. It also requires investments in sewerage infrastructure and sewage treatment plants so that the sewers can carry the wastewater to these plants to ensure that no untreated sewage is discharged back into natural water bodies. If our cities were rich enough to meet the entire cost, water could be delivered free. They are not. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 14 What is the most logical and crucial message conveyed by the passage?
(a) Urban local bodies must recover costs through user charges.
(b) Urban local bodies are not efficient enough to meet the water requirements of our cities.
(c) Water shortage in our cities is a perennial problem that cannot be solved.
(d) In view of the water crisis in our cities, there is an urgent need to limit the population of cities by adopting an upper limit of population size.

Answer: b

The passage talks about the problem of water availability in our cities. It does not offer any solution. Hence, option (a) gets eliminated.

Option (c) is not correct as such apprehension has nowhere been specified in the passage.

Option (d): No, such measure has not been suggested.

Option (b): This is the message conveyed by the passage.

Q.15 With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Rich cities only can ensure sustainable delivery of water.
  2. Sustainable delivery of water in cities means much more than supplying water to households.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2
Answer: b

Easy question, S1: the author has nowhere mentioned that only rich cities can ensure the sustainable delivery of water.

S2: The second statement of the passage clearly indicates it.


In India, agriculture still engages about half of its workforce, and about 85 per cent of its farms are small and marginal. Compared to China and Vietnam, which have experienced fast structural and rural transformation, India’s story is of slow transformation. As a result, poverty reduction in India was at a much slower pace during 1988-2014, compared to China and Vietnam. India’s poverty reduction was slow during 1988-2005, but during 2005-2012, it accelerated dramatically—almost three times faster than during the earlier period. What did India do during this period? Research reveals that the relative price scenario changed significantly (by more than 50%) in favour of agriculture in the wake of rising global prices. This boosted private investments in agriculture by more than 50%. As a result, agri-GDP growth touched 41% during 2007-2012 as against 2.4% during 2002-2007. The net surplus of agr-itrade touched $25 billion in 2013-2014; real farm wages rose by 7% per annum. All this led to unprecedented fall in poverty. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q.16 With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

  1. Structural and rural transformation is impossible when farms are mainly small and marginal.
  2. A good price incentive can trigger investments in agriculture.
  3. India needs to build value chains for high-value agri-products like livestock and horticulture.
  4. Higher global prices of agricultural commodities are essential for India’s poverty reduction.

Which of the above assumptions are valid?
(a) 1 and 3
(b) 2 and 4
(c) 2 and 3
(d) 3 and 4
Answer: B

S1: 85 per cent of the Indian farmers comes under small and marginal category, this does not mean that the structural and rural transformation can not take place here. S1 is incorrect assumption.

S2: Private investments have increased as agricultural products attracted higher prices. This has been mentioned in the passage as well. S2 is correct.

S3: Not the correct assumption. There is no mention of horticulture or the livestock.

S4: Correct assumption, this has been the case in the period 2007-12.

Hence, only options 2 and 4 are correct assumption.

Q.17 Which one of the following statements best reflects the critical message of the passage?
(a) India should create large-scale off-farm rural employment to reduce poverty in the near future.
(b) India should create a large number of farmer producer companies.
(c) Private investment in agriculture should be given priority over public investment.
(d) Inclusive agricultural growth is key to reduce poverty in the near future.

Ans: (d)

Passage do not talk about the necessity of off the farm employment. Option (a) is incorrect.

The solution to creation farm producer company is not the solution enumerated in the passage. S2 is incorrect.

S3: NO, such comparison has not been made.

S4: Yes, this is correct. To reduce the headcount under poverty, inclusive development is the key.


In India, over the last decade or so, labour has been departing agriculture, but is only going to construction and unregistered manufacturing which are not markedly better jobs. Services, where labour tends to be most productive, are not generating the additional jobs the country needs. India will need 24 million or so jobs over the next decade. The new sector, e-commerce, can at best close only half the jobs gap. Only those sectors that drive domestic demand such as health and education can comfortably fill the other half. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q.31 Which one of the following is best implied in the passage?

(a) Strong measures need to be taken to reduce the rural to urban migration of labour.

(b) The working condition in construction and unregistered manufacturing needs to be improved.

(c) Service sector has been reducing the problem of unemployment.

(d) Increased social sector spending is imperative for large-scale job creation.

Answer: d

Option a: Author has nowhere expressed the concern of rural-urban migration of labour. 

Option b: No, it is true that the working condition is not good there but the prime focus of author is employment.

Option c:  No, Service sector is actually not producing additional jobs as expected.  

Option d: Increased social sector spending has not been stressed upon directly in the passage but, it is implied that social sector spending is imperative for large-scale job creation.


In India, the current focus on the right to privacy is based on some new realities of the digital age. A right is a substantive right only if it works in all situations, and for everyone. A right to free expression for an individual about her exploitation, for instance, is meaningless without actual availability of security that guarantees that private force cannot be used to thwart this right. The role of the State, therefore, is not just to abstain from preventing rightful free expression, but also to actively ensure that private parties are not able to block it. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 32 On the basis of the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. State should have some institutions to ensure its appropriate role in a digital society.

2. State should ensure that private parties do not violate the citizens’ right to privacy.

3. Digital economy is not compatible with the idea of not violating the citizens’ privacy.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 and 2

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3

(d) 2 only

Answer: a

S3: Eliminate this option first. Passage do not talk about such incompatibility.

Hence, options b and c are eliminated.

S1 and S2 are explicitly mentioned in the passage.


One of the biggest ironies around water is that it comes from rivers and other wetlands. Yet it is seen as divorced from them. While water is used as a resource, public policy does not always grasp that it is a part of the natural ecosystem. Efforts at engineering water systems are thus efforts at augmenting water supply rather than strengthening the capacities of ecological systems. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 33 Which one of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the above passage?

(a) Rivers and other wetlands should be protected under Ramsar Convention.

(b) Engineering water systems should be modernized and further augmented.

(c) Wetlands need to be reinforced as more than just open sources of water.

(d) Water supply should not be free of cost so as to prevent its misuse or overuse.

Answer: C

The question asks the inference. Author is concerned about the use of modern technology to just to harness the water source rather strengthening the source of water. Hence, option c is correct.


Asset allocation is the most important investment decision we will ever make and sadly, most of us do not give that decision, the importance it deserves. We are adamant about seeking predictability with our future. We tend to think of investing in risky assets as extremely volatile and value eroding. We also dislike fluctuating returns and the loss of control of investment. We think our money is best left idle, unproductive but safe. There is no asset that is risk-free. We could lose our jobs, our homes can lose value, our banks can go bankrupt, our bonds can default, the government can collapse and companies we chose fondly may cease to exist. But we cannot live life assuming that all these extreme events are waiting to happen, and all at the same time. All these extreme forms of risks we know will not manifest at the same time. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 34 Which one of the following statements best implies the suggestion given by the author of the passage?

(a) Distribute your wealth across different kinds of assets so that your risks would be minimized.

(b) Risk-taking behaviour should be a necessary component of your personality if you want to generate wealth.

(c) While making investments, find a trustworthy asset management organization which would manage your wealth for you.

(d) You should know that investing your money is a risky business.

Answer: b

The author finds that the most of us are over conservative so far as the wealth management is concerned and stresses upon the requirement of risk taking abilities for better wealth management. Hence, correct option is b.

                                         Passage – 5

Although most of the Genetically Modified (GM) crops cultivated now are genetically engineered for a single trait, in future, crops genetically engineered for more than one trait will be the norm. Thus, biotechnology’s role in agriculture and the regulation of the same cannot be understood solely in the context of the current generation of GM crops. Instead, there is a need to take a comprehensive look, taking into account various aspects, including socio-economic impacts, so that the potential of the technology can be harnessed while minimizing negative impacts. Given the importance of biotechnology in developing varieties that can help in climate change mitigation and adaptation, not using biotechnology as a part of the climate change action plan cannot be an option. Domestic regulation of biotechnology cannot be viewed in isolation of trade policy and obligations under various international treaties and conventions. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 35 With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. Biotechnology regulation is an evolving process.

2. Participation of people is needed in policy decisions regarding biotechnology regulation.

3. Biotechnology regulation should take into account socio-economic aspects in decision-making.

4. Wider involvement of political executive in biotechnology regulation improves its effectiveness in dealing with the country’s trade policies and international obligations.

Which of the above assumptions are valid?

(a) 1, 2 and 4 only

(b) 1 and 3 only

(c) 2, 3 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: b

S4: Just start with this option. Nowhere such requirement of involvement of political executives have been made. Just cross it and three options are eliminated. You are left with option b only.

36. Which one of the following statements best implies the crux of the passage?

(a) Precautionary principle is not given importance in current debate on developing GM crops.

(b) Biotechnology is not currently used in climate change mitigation and adaptation mechanisms.

(c) Biotechnology’s role is not confined to the current priorities of developing GM crops.

(d) The negative impacts of biotechnology are not properly understood.

Answer: c

The author talks about the possible use of biotechnology as a measure to adopt and mitigate the climate change. It also talks about broadening the scope of biotechnology to develop GM crops having more than one developed qualities. Hence, correct option is c.

                           Passage- 1

Bank credit to the industrial sector has started shrinking. Its decline has been a serious concern as credit growth is essential to revive investment. The problem’s origins lie in the incomplete reforms of the last 25 years. An institutional change that should have followed the 1991 reforms should have been setting up of a resolution corporation for banks. In a market economy with booms and busts, banks should be allowed to be set up and to fail. Today, we cannot shut down banks because there is no proper system to shut them down. Weak loss-making banks continue to need more capital. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 51 Which one of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the above passage?

(a) Indian banking system is not able to help the country in its economic growth.

(b) Economic reforms that started in 1991 have not helped in improving the economy to expected levels.

(c) India lacks the institutional mechanism to deal with the failure of banks.

(d) Encouraging the foreign investments in our industrial sector is a good alternative to this sector’s dependence on banks for credit.

Answer: c

The main message of the passage is the needs and measures required for helping the banks to sync itself as per changing economic situation of the country. Option c reflects the same message.


India has tremendous potential for solar energy. We all realize that we have to stop burning fossil fuels to meet our energy needs. But certain renewable resources are still going through their cost curves and learning curves to get the required amount of output. The Indian Government has strongly committed to its targets of reducing emissions by 33 per cent by 2030, and towards this it has initiated a strong push towards a gas-based economy and has also invested heavily in renewable energy. However, business houses are wary of investing too heavily in renewable energy at a time when the technology is not yet ready. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 52. Which one of the following is the most logical and rational inference that can be made from the above passage?

(a) India’s commitment to reduce emissions by 33% is unlikely to be achieved.

(b) India should import gas rather than invest in renewable resources.

(c) Getting renewable resources to market too soon may be costly.

(d) India should put in more efforts in the exploration of natural gas.

Answer: C

Let us proceed with the process of elimination.

Option a: No, author has nowhere claim such apprehension.

Option b: No, import of natural gas has not been stressed upon.

Option c: Yes, author talks about the bottlenecks in utilization of renewable sources due to lack of knowledge and high cost involved so, getting renewable resources to market too soon may be costly.

Option d: No, such necessity has not been stressed upon.

53. With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. Governments often provide inefficient and costly subsidies for technologies that may not be ready in the near future.

2. India’s commitment of reducing emissions by 33% by 2030 shall be on the basis of gas-based economy.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

S1: Passage do not discuss about the government subsidy and neither it is implicit in any of the lines.

S2: No, gas bases economy may help but it’s the renewable energy that has to contribute the most.


Genome editing is different from genome modification. Genome editing typically involves finding the part of a plant genome that could be changed to render it less vulnerable to disease, or resistant to certain herbicides, or to increase yields. Researchers use ‘molecular scissors’ to dissect the genome and repair it, which is a process that occurs naturally when plants are under attack from diseases and can throw up new mutations that enable the plant to survive future attacks. This evolutionary process can effectively be speeded up now that it is possible to examine plant genomes in detail in laboratories, and create mechanisms through which the relevant genes can be altered very precisely. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

54. With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. Genome editing does not require the transfer of genes from one plant to another.

2. Through genome editing, the chosen genes can be altered precisely in a manner akin to the natural process that helps plants to adapt to the environmental factors.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: C

S1: According to the passage, genome editing involves to dissect the genome and repair. There is no need to transfer the genes from one plant to the other.

S2: Explicitly mentioned in the passage.


Many people understand the connection between solid waste management and health in terms of the consequences of unattended heaps of dry garbage which become home for flies and other vermin. However, there is another aspect that is not well-understood, that is, what happens when unscientific solid waste management combines with poor drainage and dumping of untreated sewage into drains which are meant to carry storm water during rains. The result is choked drains which are full of stagnant water breeding mosquitoes, resulting in the spread of water-borne diseases. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

55. In the context of India, which one of the following statements best reflects the critical message of the passage?

(a) In India, the drainage networks are not separate for sewerage and storm water.

(b) Urban local bodies do not have enough resources and legislative authority to deal with the problems of waste management.

(c) Solid waste management should be integrated with the maintenance of drainage and sewerage networks.

(d) Bad management of solid waste and sewerage systems by our municipalities is the reason for drinking water shortages in our cities.

Answer: c

Here, the critical message has been asked and the critical message can never be the facts/figures/data explicitly mentioned in the passage.

Option 1: It is true that the drainage networks are not separate from the sewerage channel but it is not the message the passage is trying to give.

Option b: Fund crunch has not been discussed.

Option c: This is the most logical message that can be extracted from the passage.  

Option d: No, the accountability has not been fixed.


In Part III of the Constitution, which assures people certain fundamental rights, Article 25 proclaims that “all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion”. What people fail to notice is that this proclamation is prefixed with the words “subject to public order, morality, health and to the other provisions of this Part”, which set conditions precedent for the legal protection of religious practices of any community. The closing words of this prefatory rider in Article 25 virtually constitute a subordination clause placing other fundamental rights mentioned in Part III over and above the right to religious freedom. Among those other fundamental rights is the right to equality before law and equal protection of laws—assured at the outset and elaborated in later articles to mean, inter alia, that the State shall not deny equal protection of laws to any person or group to persons on the basis of religion alone. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

56. What is the most logical inference from the above passage?

(a) State shall not interfere with the religious affairs of the citizens.

(b) Religious freedom under the Constitution is open to State intervention.

(c) Religious freedom of the citizens is not covered under fundamental rights.

(d) Religious practices of any community are immune to State laws.

Answer: b

The central message of the passage is that the right to practice and profess religion is not above other fundamental rights and the state can impose reasonable restriction on its implementation. This is reflected in option b.


Spanish ships in the late 16th century first brought the potato tuber from South America to Europe whereby in the early 19th century, it had become a reliable backup to cereal crops, particularly in the cold, rain-soaked soils of Ireland. The Irish were soon almost wholly dependent on the potato as their staple food. And they were planting primarily one prodigious variety, the ‘Lumper’ potato, whose genetic frailty would be cruelly exposed by the fungus ‘Phytophthora infestans’. In 1845, spores of the deadly fungus began spreading across the country, destroying nearly all the Lumpers in its path. The resulting famine killed or displaced millions. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

71. Which one of the following statements best reflects the critical message of the passage?

(a) For introducing any foreign plant into a country, the soil and climate conditions of that country should be suitable.

(b) As a staple food of a country, tuber crops like potato cannot replace cereal crops.

(c) Some of the fungal infections of plants cannot be prevented or stopped from spreading across large areas.

(d) Relying on a homogeneous food source is not desirable.

Answer: d

Here, the key is understanding the essence or the key message of the passage. What we can infer from the passage is that the famine was caused by a fungal disease infecting a particular variety of potato. As the ‘Lumper’ potato was the reliable back up, people faced famine. Hence, the reliance on the single source as food was the main problem and the answer is d.


India is at once among the fastest growing global economies and home to the largest number of malnourished children in the world. There are regions where malnutrition is not the exception but the norm. And across the country, malnutrition is the cause of death for roughly half the 1.3 million children who die before their fifth birthday each year. Even those children who survive suffer permanently from the damage that has already been done to their bodies and minds from not getting enough of the right foods and nutrients. Around 44 million children under 5 are stunted. That makes it harder for them to learn in school and subsequently earn a living as adults. Their lifetime earnings potential is almost a quarter less than that of their healthy peers. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

Q. 72. With reference to the above passage, which of the following is/are the most rational and practical implication / implications?

1. India’s Public Distribution System should be monitored by the Union Government.

2. Girls should be encouraged to delay marriage and first pregnancy.

3. Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed their children immediately after birth.

4. The supply of safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to all should be ensured.

5. Authorities should ensure the vaccination as prescribed.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1, 2, 3 and 4

(b) 2, 3, 4 and 5

(c) 1 only

(d) 3 and 5 only

Answer: b

Let’s solve the question by elimination.

S1: The passage nowhere talks whether the PDS should be monitored by the State government or the central government. So, S1 is incorrect. Options b and d are gone.

S2, S3, S4, S5 all are the practical implications to solve the problem of malnutrition.


The pulse variety ‘Pusa Arhar 16’ has the potential to be grown in the paddy-growing regions of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and eventually in all of India. Its yield (about 2000 kg/hectare) will be significantly greater than those of the existing varieties and because its size will be uniform, it will be amenable to mechanical harvesting, an attractive feature for farmers in northern India who currently use this technology for paddy. Most important, Arhar straw, unlike paddy straw, is green and can be ploughed back into the soil. In paddy straw, the problem is the high silica content, which does not allow for easy decomposition. In the case of Arhar, the farmer, even after combine harvesting, just needs to run a rotovator to cut the leftover straw into pieces, which can be ploughed back and will decompose very fast. All this is difficult with leftover paddy stalks that cannot be easily salvaged or ploughed back. Farmers, therefore, choose the easiest option of simply burning it. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

73. Which of the following are the most rational inferences that can be made from the passage?

1. Farmers’ income will be higher with pulse cultivation than with paddy cultivation.

2. Pulse cultivation causes less pollution as compared to paddy cultivation.

3. Pulse straw can be used to improve soil quality.

4. In the context of northern Indian agriculture, paddy straw has no usefulness.

5. Mechanized agriculture is the main cause for stubble burning.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 2, 3 and 5

(b) 1, 4 and 5

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 4 only

Answer: d

S1: The second line of the passage says that yield of Pusa Arhar is significantly greater than those of the existing varieties, this will augment the income of farmers. Hence, S1 is correct.

S5: The role of mechanized agriculture in stubble burning is not mentioned. Incorrect statement.

S3: Not mentioned although true as per common belief.

S2: Pulse cultivation does not cause less pollution as compared to paddy cultivation. Not mentioned anywhere in the passage.

Hence, answer is d.


In India, authorities always look to store the maximum amount of water in reservoirs during the monsoon season, which is then used for irrigation and generation of electricity during the summer months. It is an internationally accepted practice that the water level of a reservoir should be kept below a certain level before the onset of monsoon season. This is so that when monsoon rains come, there is space to store the excess rainwater and also so that water can be released in a regulated manner. But the authorities store the maximum amount of water in reservoirs even before the close of the monsoon, only to ensure greater electricity generation and irrigation. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

74. With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. High risks involved in holding maximum water in reservoirs are due to our over-dependence on hydropower projects.

2. Storage capacity of dams should not be fully used before or during monsoon season.

3. Role of dams in flood control is underestimated in India.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

S1: The passage accepts that holding the water in reservoir is an accepted norm. It is done to ensure the generation of electricity and water for irrigation. It does not talk about the risks. S1 is incorrect.

S2: it has been explicitly mentioned in the passage. S2 is correct.

S3: No, there is mention of role of dams in flood control.


Economic liberalization in India was shaped largely by the economic problems of the government than by the economic priorities of the people or by the long-term development objectives. Thus, there were limitations in conception and design which have been subsequently validated by experience. Jobless growth, persistent poverty and rising inequality have mounted as problems since economic liberalization began. And all these years later, four quiet crises confront the economy; agriculture, infrastructure, industrialization and education as constraints on the country’s future prospects. These problems must be resolved if economic growth has to be sustained and transformed into meaningful development. (UPSC Prelims 2020, Set B)

75. Which of the following is/are the most rational and logical inference / inferences that can be made from the passage?

1. It is essential to rethink and redefine the economic role of the State in the quest for development.

2. India has not made effective implementation of its policies in social sectors nor made sufficient investments in them.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: a

S1: Correct statement in the light of passage. It is implied that the government has to take the necessary steps to eradicate the shortcomings of the economic liberalization.

S2: Not a correct statement. The passage does not opine such shortcoming.

76. With reference to the above passage, the following assumptions have been made:

1. India’s economy needs to be greatly integrated with global economy so as to create large number of jobs and to sustain its growth momentum.

2. Economic liberalization would cause large economic growth which would reduce poverty and create sufficient employment in the long run.

Which of the above assumptions is/are valid?

(a) 1 only (b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 and 2 (d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: d

S1: Need of further global integration has not been discussed in the passage. Incorrect.

S2: It is not guaranteed. Incorrect statement.

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