Reading Comprehension Practice Questions | IBPS Clerk | IBPS PO | IBPS RRB

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Reading Comprehension Practice Questions for IBPS Clerk,  IBPS PO, IBPS RRB
Directions (1 – 10): Read the passage carefully and answer the questions that follow. Certain words are printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions. 
India lags behind Asian markets like China and Hong Kong on certain board gender diversity parameters, despite the best of efforts to bring more women on boards of companies. An Egon Zehnder (EZ) report 2016 reveals that India's numbers are lower when it comes to new women board member appointments, women executive directors and women CFOs. From India, 40 companies across industries were included in the analysis, which examined the boards of the largest companies across 44 countries globally. The analysis considered data from 1,491 companies from all over the world. In 2016, new women board member appointments in India stood at 11% of total hires in 2016, as against 14.5% for new male directors. This is lower than the global overall average of 17% women. 
While the compulsion of maintaining one woman director on every listed company board by SEBI could have helped more women get board positions, the EZ report shows that not many women directors in India have management responsibilities. In India, only nine women were executive directors (EDs) in 2016, as against 124 men EDs. The percentage of women EDs in India was just 6.8%. Women non-executive directors (NEDs), on the other hand, were 46 as against 272 men NEDs. The percentage of women NEDs is, thus, higher at 14.5%. 
Pallavi Kathuria, co-leader of diversity and inclusion practice at EZ, said, "Despite social and economic progress in other areas of the business world, diversity at the leadership level, particularly in the boardroom, has not kept pace. Data from the global board diversity analysis and EZ's experiences have shown that, as women start making their voice heard and encourage the development of other women leaders, it is likely that companies will continue increasing female presence on boards." 
Falguni Nayar, founder & CEO, Nykaa, who is on the boards of a few, companies in India, said, "My personal experience is that hard work achieves anything. I've always maintained that I've never had any experience of a glass ceiling. To get to where they want to be, women need to lean in. We need to develop abilities to be able to take on the dual responsibilities of career and home. In most cases, this involves increasing risk appetite and pushing oneself forward."Nayar said men are comfortable with being on several boards, while women were more conservative in making themselves available for such positions. "However, while the average age of a board would be 55-plus, we are seeing several younger women coming on boards. The attitude is certainly changing. Of course, besides women themselves stepping up, companies need to look at bringing women on boards more for their expertise and not soft skills. Headhunters also play an important role in expanding the net," said Nayar. 
According to the EZ report, India was better than China and Hong Kong on the number of women CEOs. In India, there were four women CEOsas against 36 male CEOs, taking the women percentage to 11.1%. This was the highest in Asia. In China, the percentage of women CEOs was 4.7%, while in Hong Kong, it was 3.6%. Among CFOs, however, India is far behind at 5.1% of women as CFOs. China had a larger percentage of women CFOs at 30.6%, while in Hong Kong, the percentage was 15.2%. "A CFOs job is harder than that of a CEO. CFOs form the backbone of a company. While there may not be many women CFOs today, we are seeing bright talent at the next levels. Hopefully, the situation would change going forward," said Nayar. 
A recent Grant Thornton study showed that companies with diverse boards have a higher return on assets than male-only boards as a larger pool of potential directorial talent would be trapped and the make-up of boards would come closer to that of society as a whole. Women take their non-executive director roles more seriously and preparing more conscientiously for meetings. Women are likely to be better than male board members with similar backgrounds and education because they are not afraid of asking the awkward questions which lead to the better decisions. While getting women on boards as a measure of fairness, equality of opportunity and social justice, such inclusion must be justified to ensure better corporate performance. Due to the existence of impact of the glass ceiling, women are very less on senior positions especially director on companies’ boards in India. Mere introduction of legislation is not sufficient for the empowerment of women; companies should understand the benefits of gender diversity on their boards.
1. What is the theme of the passage?
A) Egon Zehnder (EZ) report 2016
B) Women empowerment
C) India lags in board gender diversity
D) Gender diversity in companies
E) India’s gender diversity in companies
2. Which of the following words is a synonym of the word ‘Backbone’ as used in the passage?
A) Spine
B) Vertebral Column
C) Timidity
D) Foundation
E) Firmness
3. What are the reasons mentioned in the passage for India not having gender diversity on boards?
A) Not many Women directors in India have management responsibilities.
B) Companies are not bringing women at boards because of their soft-skills.
C) Lack abilities to be able to take on the dual responsibilities of career and homes
D) Women are more conservative in making themselves available for such positions.
E) All of the above
4. Which of the following words is an antonym of the word ‘appetite’ as used in the passage?
A) Carving
B) Aversion
C) Lassitude
D) Tolerance
E) Premium
5. According to the EZ report 2016, in India how many women chief executive officers are there against how many male chief executive officers?
A) 4 women CEOs as against 36 male CEOs
B) 9 women CEOs as against 126 male CEOs
C) 9 women CEO as against 124 men CEOs
D) 4 women CEO as against 126 men CEOs
E) Not mentioned in the passage
6. Which of the following words is a synonym of the word ‘inclusion’ as used in the passage?
A) Exclusion
B) Omission
C) Incorporation
D) Avulsion
E) Embedded
7. Who made it mandatory for all listed companies to appoint at least one woman director on their board?
A) The companies act 1956
B) Egon Zehnder
C) New companies act 2012
D) The securities and exchange board of India
E) Not mentioned in the passage
8. Why should more women be included on the boards?
A) For higher returns
B) As they are hardworking and not afraid to ask awkward questions
C) As a measure of fairness, equality of opportunities and social justice
D) Only A and C
E) All of the above.
9. What is not true according to the information given in passage?
A) CFOs form the backbone of the company because a CFOs job is harder than that of a CEO.
B) India is better than China and Hong kong on the number of women CEOs.
C) Glass-ceiling is an unacknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.
D) If women start raising their voices and encourage other women leaders then companies will continue increasing female presence on boards.
E) There are more non-executive directors in India than executive directors.
10. What is true according to the information given in the passage?
A) Nykaa is on boards of a few companies in India.
B) If women develop abilities to be able to take on the dual responsibility of career and home that will increase too much pressure on them.
C) Women are more motivated by one’s moral sense of right and wrong during board meetings.
D) 1491 companies were analysis for the report in which 44 companies are of India and 40 countries data was taken throughout the world.
E) 2016’s new women board member appointments in the world stood at 7%.
Answers with Explanations:
1. C) The passage is about showing that India needs to catch up in gender diversity on boards as it lags behind China and Hong Kong. The passage shows a report presented by Egon Zehnder (EZ) which states the statistical information after studying and analysing the data from 44 different companies. With ever statistical information and opinion of famous position holder women, the passage is focusing towards only one goal that India needs to take steps to improve the condition so that it can enjoy the benefits of gender diversity on their boards.
2. D) Here, backbone refers to the chief support of a system and organisation. Synonym means words that have a similar meaning. Therefore, option D is apt according to the passage. Foundation means the base or underlying principal.
3. D) Nayar said men are comfortable with being on several boards, while women were more conservative in making themselves available for such positions.
4. B) Appetite means a natural desire to satisfy a humanly need. Risk appetite can be defined as the amount and type of risk that an organisation is willing to take in order to meet their strategic objectives whereas; A risk averse investor is an investor who prefers lower returns with known risks rather than higher returns with unknown risks. Aversion means a strong feeling of dislike, opposition, repugnance, or antipathy.
5. A) According to the EZ report, India was better than China and Hong Kong on the number of women CEOs. In India, there were four women CEOs as against 36 male CEOs, taking the women percentage to 11.1%.
6. C) Inclusion means the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. Therefore, Incorporation is an apt synonym of the word inclusion. Incorporation is making something part of a whole.
7. D) While the compulsion of maintaining one woman director on every listed company board by SEBI could have helped more women get board positions. SEBI stands for The securities and exchange board of India.
8. E) Option A: A recent Grant Thornton study showed that companies with diverse boards have a higher return on assets than male-only boards.
Option B: Women take their non-executive director roles more seriously and preparing more conscientiously for meetings. Women are likely to be better than male board members with similar backgrounds and education because they are not afraid of asking the awkward questions which lead to the better decisions.
Option C: While getting women on boards as a measure of fairness, equality of opportunity and social justice, such inclusion must be justified to ensure better corporate performance.
9. A) Option A is wrong as the correct statement is a CFOs job is harder than that of a CEO. CFOs form the backbone of a company. There is no link given between the two statement.
10. C) “Women take their non-executive director roles more seriously and preparing more conscientiously for meetings”, this statement means that women at NED’s position are more serious and are governed by conscience/controlled by or done according to one's inner sense of what is right or wrong.