English Language Practice Questions for IBPS PO Mains – Set 5

Mentor for Bank Exams
English Language Practice Questions for IBPS PO Mains – Set 5
Directions (1 – 10): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
China, the United States, and Germany are currently among the most 15 globally competitive manufacturing countries in the world. But in the next five years, according to a survey of industry CEOs carried out by Deloitte, the MITI-V of Malaysia, India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam are set to enter the top 15 most competitive manufacturing countries. They are the “new China,” the top economies for low-cost manufacturing (i.e., labour intensive commodity type products like apparel, toys, textiles and basic consumer electronics). Manufacturing goods in China is now only 4 percent cheaper than in the United States, in large part because labour costs in China have increased by 80 percent since 2010. It is in response to this that China, backed by billions of dollars in investment from its government, has vigorously moved into higher value manufacturing.
Manufacturing experts see a variety of areas as important for low-cost manufacturing competitiveness: young populations, low labor costs, a supportive policy environment, good quality infrastructure, availability of engineers, a minimum level of education for all workers, economic growth and a large internal consumer market. The different economies all have their distinct advantages and disadvantages but China’s equally giant neighbor to the west stands out from the crowd. “My opinion is that India has the potential to be the next hub for low-cost manufacturing,” says Zhang. He sees India as being the next center for electronics assembly. He points to Chinese consumer appliances giant Huawei, which in September announced that it would manufacture three million smartphones a year in India, and Foxconn, the Apple supplier, which is opening a $10 billion iPhone manufacturing plant in India. In particular, India’s strengths are its mixture of high- and low-skilled labor and the potential to sell to its huge market of 1.2 billion consumers. Although much of the population is poor, their incomes are rising. In India there is growing number of graduated population. This is very important. You still require manufacturing engineers; you also need design engineers. You need supervisors. They compare very nicely to other countries in the MITI-V,” says Zhang.
India’s policy environment is also becoming much more supportive of manufacturing. The Indian government launched the “Make in India” campaign in 2014, which aims to increase the level of manufacturing in the country. The government has achieved some success – India overtook China in 2015 as the country receiving the most foreign direct investment globally and companies have reported improving administrative efficiency at the federal level. Despite all these positives, India has many problems. In order to have a flourishing manufacturing base, workers need to be able to at least read and write to operate machinery. India scores low on general skills attainment, ranking 105th in the world according to the UN’s Human Capital Index 2016, lower than any other MITI-V nation. India’s infrastructure is woeful, in particular transport and energy supply, where it ranks lower than most other emerging economies. Government inefficiency is also a major stumbling block – delays in land acquisition and environmental clearances have stalled more than 270 projects across the country. Nevertheless, India’s huge market, low costs, and positive noises from the government make it unavoidable for any manufacturer looking to produce bulk commodity products. According to Drew Rodriguez, there are major signals, such as “graduation rates, government and regulatory nods,” that may cement India’s position as the next low-cost manufacturing hub. A senior engineer at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, the largest home appliances manufacturer in Europe and a major investor across Asia, who works closely with low-cost Chinese manufacturers, also agrees: “India is the future. Infrastructure is not so good but they have so many people,” he says. However, he has also seen Chinese companies moving into Vietnam due to its very stable political environment. Indeed, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam all have their own benefits and some similarities with India.
“The fundamental risks of the global south are not there,” says Dr. Carlo Bonura, region head of Southeast Asia at political risk consultancy Oxford Analytica, referring to the Southeast Asian nations of the MITI-V. There are few risks of expropriation of assets or labour risks, for example. According to Bonura, “This is a region where all the major regimes, regardless if they’re democracies or autocratic, they recognize [the] importance of sequestering political instability from economic stability.” This contrasts with India, which before current Prime Minister Narendra Modi was well known among international investors for being unwelcoming to foreign businesses. Both Bonura and Zhang see Thailand and Malaysia as more focused on high- and medium-tech manufacturing rather than being the next centers of low-cost manufacturing. Thailand has strong automotive, electronics, food, and chemicals industries, while Malaysia has strong chemicals, machinery, and rubber processing industries. This is borne out in the relative prosperity of the MITI-V countries as Malaysia and Thailand are by far the richest of the group.
That leaves Indonesia and Vietnam. “I hear from a lot of companies that they are moving to Vietnam…wages are half that of China,” says the senior engineer at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, who also thinks that Vietnam’s very stable political environment is advantageous. Vietnam also has better infrastructure than Indonesia and the advantage of being close to China. “The problem for Indonesia is the state’s capacity to implement industrial strategy; the state is highly decentralized and there are huge infrastructure issues. You don’t have these challenges in Vietnam; Vietnam is also a smaller country,” says Bonura. Yet Vietnam’s population of 95 million is smaller than Indonesia’s population of over 255 million and therefore represents a smaller potential consumer market — and neither country compares to India’s huge population.It seems clear therefore that India is the manufacturing industry’s pick as the mightiest of the MITI-V for low-cost manufacturing. Indeed, Delloite’s report already has India as the 11th most competitive manufacturing country globally, thereby piercing the top 15 earlier than any of the other MITI-V countries.
Yet for all the talk of the MITI-V countries taking over China as workshops of the world, a nagging fear will haunt regulators of India and other MITI-V countries. With robots becoming ever more sophisticated, analysts are predicting manufacturing will employ far less people in the future. Martin Ford’s bestselling 2016 book, The Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of Mass Unemployment paints a bleak picture of whole swathes of professional sector jobs, let alone low-cost manufacturing, being automated. Commentators and policymakers in India in particular seem downbeat on India conjuring up a jobs boom like China experienced during its rapid growth. Should they be so worried? Zhang and Drew Rodriguez do not think so. “The MITI-V are still going to be very competitive for the next decade plus,” says Drew Rodriguez. Zhang is not pessimistic either: “I am the opposite. There are different schools of thought… From my research, I don’t see it. Maybe we will be less dependent on human labour. But there is no way this will eliminate the need for people in the next 15-20 years. We are entering high speed growth for robotics but in 2014 global density for robotics was still very low at 66 per 10,000 employees, 36 in China, 57 in Thailand, and close to none in India.” Other roadblocks lie in wait for the MITI-V, such as the threat of protectionism, which is all the more real after U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for tarifis on Chinese imports and threats to companies moving jobs away from the United States. But this does not seem to be dampening the prospects of the MITI-V just yet. “Every month, every year, the world is a more connected place,” says Drew Rodriguez. All of the MITI-V have their own distinct advantages but India’s huge internal market and low labor costs give it the edge. However, this is not to say that other MITI-V countries will not also become “new China” hubs for low-cost manufacturing. This will be the case regardless of the threat from robots or protectionism. “I haven’t seen anything in the recent shift that would lead me to change my impression of the competitiveness of the MITI-V,” adds Drew Rodriguez.
1. How according to the author China has become the second largest economy after U.S.?
a) Due to large number of exports and low imports.
b) As it has got a new generation population, a fragile policy environment, good quality infrastructure.
c) China has moved into high tech manufacturing as its yearly average manufacturing costs have increased.
d) It has grown in the fields like: Education for management, economic growth and a trifiing internal consumer market.
e) Both (B) and (C) are true
2. According to the passage, how India can be considered as the mightiest among other four countries (MITI-V)?
(i) Foreign investors are showing great interest in establishing their manufacturing plants in India like iPhone etc.
(ii) India has a large base of well-educated graduates and a huge market of consumers.
(iii) India has strong automotive, electronics, food, and chemicals industries.
a) Only (ii) is correct
b) Only (i) is correct
c) Both (ii) and (iii) are correct
d) Both (i) and (ii) are correct
e) All are correct
3. Which of the following is not true in context of the passage?
a) Commentators and policymakers in India in particular seem downbeat on India conjuring up a jobs boom like China experienced during its rapid growth.
b) Thailand has strong chemicals, machinery, and rubber processing industries.
c) India’s huge market, low costs, and positive noises from the government make it unavoidable for any manufacturer looking to produce bulk commodity products.
d) Zhang sees India as being the next center for electronics assembly.
e) All are true.
4. According to the paragraph, what challenges India face in the manufacturing sector?
(i) India scores low on general skills attainment as workers do not have that much idea on how to operate machinery.
(ii) Foreign Direct Investment makes a negligible impact towards the growth of this sector.
(iii) There is a lack of proper policy making and its implementation by the government.
a) Only (i) is true
b) Only (ii) is true
c) Only (iii) is true
d) Both (i) and (iii) are true
e) None of the above is true
5. According to the passage, what fear will stalk policy makers in India and other countries?
a) The practice of shielding a country's domestic industries from foreign competition by taxing imports.
b) Lack of skills of labor force towards the use of machinery used in manufacturing.
c) Rising use of robots in manufacturing sector thereby reducing the man power in future.
d) Political instability in MITI-V countries that might affect their growth in future.
e) Both (A) and (C) are true.
6. Choose the word which is the same in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage. PROTECTIONISM
a) Submission
b) Salvation
c) Import barrier
d) Insecurity
e) Door cover
7. Choose the word which is the same in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage. EXPROPRIATION
a) Declaration
b) Confiscation
c) Possession
d) Malfeasance
e) Configuration
8. Choose the word which is opposite in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage. DECENTRALIZE
a) Propagate
b) Apportion
c) Regionalize
d) Broadcast
e) coalesce
Directions (9 – 15): Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.
Around the turn of the century; and interesting trend was slowly becoming prominent in retailing across the globe. Department stores were slowly becoming prominent in retailing across the globe. Department stores were slowly becoming less and less popular with customers. Large department stores offered a wide range of product categories - from apparel, luggage, toys, crockery, to home furnishing - as well as owned and managed the stock of products they sold inside the store and from their warehouses. Industry analysts started questioning whether this could still be the ideal retail model, and whether the changing retail environment marked the end of large department stores as we knew them.
On one side there were the stores that focused on a particular category - electronics, toys, women’s wear or home appliances. Over the years, these had evolved into giant superstores and had become very popular with customers who went shopping for a particular product. On the other hand, there were discounters, hypermarkets and wholesale clubs that served the new age shoppers found their ambiance to be formal and boring.
To keep pace with these trends, some department stores were steadily reinventing themselves. The most prominent among them was UK based Selfridge’s chain. In 2003, Selfridges launched a new store in Birmingham, England that completely reinvented the idea of the department store. Brands competed with each other within the store but there was no hierarchy of goods: watches competed with perfume and luggage with fashion. In addition the store organized various show stunts and performances through the day and called it, ‘shopping entertainment.’ Similar stores had come up in various parts of Southeast Asia, Japan and Europe. For customers, these new-age department stores seemed like a mall, just that they didn’t have the walls that separate the different stores within a mall.
While this trend was becoming more and more apparent abroad, within India too, certain consumer patterns were emerging. Our experience showed that a customer visiting a mall typically walks into four or five stores. That includes a large store and a few smaller brand showrooms. After that fatigue sets in and he or she is unwilling to walk into any more stores at the mall. So we asked ourselves, what would happen if we removed the walls between the different stores in a mall? In that case, a customer would be exposed to multiple brands at the same time, without the necessity of walking in and out of different stores. And along with shopping we could also provide her with other entertainment options.
Within the company itself there was a renewed confidence and an urge to play a larger role in shaping the modern retailing space in India. We had completed more than six years in retailing. With Big Bazaar we had tried and tested our skills at ering a wide range of categories while Pantaloons was firmly positioned in the lifestyle segment. We could now create shopping and entertainment landmarks in the cities in which we had already established a strong presence.
These three insights - the metamorphosis of department stores into developed markets; customer fatigue at the existing shopping malls in India; and the need to create destination malls in Indian cities – formed the genesis of the next format we started working on, Central. The objective was to create a retail format that was must larger and totally different from what India had seen till then. It would offer everything - from multiple brands for shopping, to restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment options and gaming zones - all under one roof. If we were able to deliver on these two fronts, we could attract customers from every part of the city and make it the city’s prime shopping destination.
There were a couple of other issues that the Central model addressed quite well. Pantaloons outlets had limited space. We were positioning it as a fashion destination and their business model was based on selling mostly brands that we owned, or what are called private labels. However, with its increasing popularity; we were being approached by multiple foreign and Indian brands to stock these at Pantaloons. Central, being far bigger in size allowed us to open up a lot of space for other brands paid us a certain percentage of their sales in the mall as commission. Based on the performance of these brands, we could decide on which to keep and which to discard.
The first Central mall was launched in Bangalore in May 2004. Measuring 1,20,000 square feet, it was spread over six floors and housed over three husband brands in categories like apparel, footwear, accessories, home furnishing, music and books. In addition we had coffee shops, food courts, a Food Bazaar, restaurants, pubs and discotheques. A customer could also book tickets for movies and concerts, book travel tickets and make bill payments.
9. Which of the following statement is true?
a) The Central mall in Hyderabad in 2004 occupies more than 2,40,000 square meter in area and currently considered as one of the largest retail destinations in the country with a generated annual retail turnover of around Rs. 200 crore.
b) It has been observed during the last decade that the hypermarkets are slowing, failing to retain consumers in competition with the department stores.
c) The market analysis convinced the company referred in the text that the time is rope to introduce now shopping and entertainment landmarks in cities, where they already enjoy some market presence.
d) While the consumers were able to look for a certain category of products at length in the specialty stores, wholesale clubs allowed them to purchase a number of products at a cheap and negotiable rate.
e) None of the above
10. Which of the following statement is false?
a) The recent consumer response towards department stores led to the quest for a new business Model which may replace it in the coming days.
b) Since inauguration the Central Square outside the mall in Hyderabad has been used for various purposes so far including, art exhibitions, cultural shows, product launches etc.
c) When the company mentioned in the passage decided to capitalize on the emerging changes in consumer mindset on the retail sales, they already had an experience of nearly six years of operating in this market segment.
d) The changing structural framework of the new type of malls became very popular in various European and Southeast Asian countries, owing to their boundary-less arrangement of products, coupled with shopping entertainment options.
e) None of the above
11. Which of the following terms has not been mentioned in the above passage?
a) Department Stores
b) Hypermarkets
c) Wholesale Clubs
d) Super-speciality stores
e) All are mentioned.
12. Which of the following statement is true?
a) The firm discussed here allowed various foreign and Indian garment companies to display their products in their show room on the condition that they will pay them either some rent, or a pre-decided percentage of their sales as commission.
b) Before going for the Central venture, the firm already had the experience of offering a wide range of product categories through Big Bazaar and in specialized segments through Pantaloons
c) The Central mall in Bangalore provided importance to both goods and services for business development: it displayed around two hundred brands in categories like garments, footwear, music, books etc. on one hand, and ensured eating and entertainment options, ticket-booking for movies and concerts, travel services and bill payments within its premises on the other.
d) The reasons behind losing out of the specialty stores had been multifarious, covering the traditional and unexciting environment, steep price competition from other rivals, inflexibility in operation etc.
e) None of the above
13. Which of the following statement is false?
a) In tune with the changing time, the new store created in Birmingham allowed brand competition within the store without explicit hierarchy of products, and organized various events to ensure lively amusement for the shoppers.
b) Since visiting different stores even within a mega shopping complex gets monotonous once the initial excitement is over, the exposure to multiple brands simultaneously with removal of the walls has been a consumer-friendly move.
c) The idea behind setting up a mega retail network was to make it city’s unique shopping location by ensuring exposure to multiple brands on one hand, and by making it an excellent hang-out option through setting up of entertainment and nourishment options on the other.
d) The market analysis by the company described in the passage revealed that a representative buyer to a shopping centre goes to at the most four or five stores, selecting large or small showrooms randomly.
e) None of the above
14. Choose the word/group of words which is MOST SIMILAR in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. GENESIS
a) Epilogue
b) Consummation
c) Result
d) Capper
e) Provenance
15. Choose the word/group of words which is MOST OPPOSITE in meaning to the word/ group of words printed in bold as used in the passage. FOCAL
a) Frivolous
b) Umbilical
c) Intrinsic
d) Visceral
e) Esoteric

Answers with Explanations:
1. C) Refer to the fourth and fifth sentences of the first paragraph, “Manufacturing goods in China …….. higher value manufacturing.”
Hence option (c) is true in the context of the passage
2. D) Refer to the fourth sentence of second paragraph, “My opinion….…design engineers.” Hence both options (i) and (ii) are correct.
3. B) Refer to the last lines of fourth paragraph, “Malaysia has …….. processing industries.” Hence only option (b) is not true in the context of the passage.
4. A) Refer to fourth sentence of third paragraph, “Despite all the ………. Operate machinery.” Hence only sentence (i) is true in the context of the passage
5. E) Refer to the sixth paragraph, “Yet for all the……. in the future.”
Hence sentences (a) and (c) are true in the context of the passage.
6. C) Protectionism means the policy of imposing duties or quotas on imports in order to protect home industries from overseas competition. Hence ‘ import barrier’ is the word most similar in meaning to it.
7. B) Expropriation means the action by the state or an authority of taking property from its owner for public use or benefit. Confiscation means the action of taking or seizing someone's property with authority; seizure. Hence both are similar in meanings.
8. E) Decentralize means move departments of (a large organization) away from a single administrative centre to other locations. Hence ‘coalesce’ is the word most opposite in meaning to it.
9. C) Refer the last sentence of the fifth paragraph, “We could now create shopping and entertainment landmarks in the cities in which we had already established a strong presence.” Hence only (c) is true in the context of the passage.
Option (d) is wrong because wholesale clubs did offer cheaper products; there was no hierarchy of goods yet.
10. B) Central Square is there in Bangalore. Hence option (b) is the false statement among the given options.
11. D) Refer the second paragraph. Option (a), (b) and (c) are mentioned in the above passage, only option (d) is not mentioned. Hence option (d) is the correct choice.
12. B) Refer the fifth paragraph, “With Big Bazaar we had tried and tested our skills at offering a wide range of categories while Pantaloons was firmly positioned in the lifestyle segment”. Hence option (b) is the correct choice.
13. D) Refer the second and third sentences of the fourth paragraph. (He selects one large store and three or four smaller ones). Hence option (d) is the incorrect statement in the context of the passage.
14. E) Genesis means the origin or mode of formation of something. Provenance means the beginning of something's existence; something's origin. Hence both are similar in meanings.
15. A) Focal means relating to the centre or most important part. Frivolous means not having any serious purpose or value. Hence both are opposite in meanings.