ISS - Indian Statistical Service General English Previous Year Paper (1999)
1. Write an essay on ONE of the following topics in about
1200 words : 40
(a) The purpose of human life is to serve
(b) Great men discuss ideas, averse men discuss events, and small men discuss
(c) India fifty years from now
(d) The spirit of adventure
(e) Noise pollution
(f) Education as a tool for national development
2. Write a precise of the following passage in 200 words, using your own
words as far as possible. Please state the number of words used in your precise
(Note: The precise must be written only on the special sheets provided for the
purpose and these sheets should be fastened securely inside the answer book).
Each society creates its own type of personality by its way of bringing up
children in the family, by its system of education, by its effective values
(that is, those values that are rewarded rather than only preached). It creates
the type of “Social character” which is needed for its proper functioning.
It forms men who want to do what they have to do. What kind of men does our
large-scale, bureaucratized industrialism need?
It needs men who cooperate smoothly in large groups, who want
to consume more and more, and whose tastes are standardized and can be easily
influenced and anticipated l needs men who feel free and independent, yet who
are to be commanded, to do what is expected, to fit into the social machine
without friction; men who can be guided without force, led without leaders,
prompted without an aim except the aim to be on the move, to function, to go
ahead Modern industrialism has succeeded in producing this kind of man. He is
the “alienated” man. He is alienated in the sense that his actions and his
own forces have become estranged from him; they stand above him and against him,
and rule him rather than being ruled by him. His life forces have been
transformed into things and institutions, and these things and institutions have
They are something apart from him, which he worships and to
which he submits. Alienated man bows down before the works of his own hands. He
experiences himself not as the active bearer of his own forces and riches but as
an impoverished “thing” dependent on other things outside of himself. He is
the prisoner of the very economic and political circumstances which he has
Since our economic organization is based on continuous and
ever-increasing consumption (think of the threat to our economy if people did
not buy a new car until their old one was really obsolete), contemporary
industrial man is encouraged to be consumption-crazy. Without any real
enjoyment, he “takes in” drink, food, cigarettes, sights, lectures, books,
movies, television, any new kind of gadget. The world has become one great
maternal breast, and man has become the eternal suckling, forever expectant,
In general, our society is becoming one of giant enterprises
directed by a bureaucracy in which man becomes a small, well-oiled cog in the
machinery. The oiling is done with higher wages, fringes benefits,
well-ventilated factories and pipe music, and by psychologists and “human
relations” experts; yet all this oiling does, not alter the fact that man has
become powerless, that he does not wholeheartedly participate in his work and
that he is bored with it. In fact, the blue and the whitecollar workers have
become economic puppets who dance to the tune of automated machines and
The worker and employee are anxious, not only because they
might find themselves out of a job (and with installment payments due); they are
anxious also because they are unable to acquire any real satisfaction or
interest in life. They live and die without ever having confronted the
fundamental realities of human existence as emotionally and intellectually
productive authentic and independent human beings.
The man whose life is centered around producing, selling and
consuming commodities transforms himself into a commodity. He becomes
increasingly attracted to that which is man-made and mechanical, rather than to
that which is natural and organic. Many men today are more interested in
sports-cars than in women; or they experience women as a car which one can cause
to rece by pushing the right button. Altogether that they expect happiness, is a
matter of finding the right button, not the result of a productive, rich life, a
life which requires making an effort and taking risks. But while it is
impossible to find the button for happiness, the majority is satisfied with
pushing the buttons of cameras, radios, television sets, and watching science
friction becoming reality.
3. Write a single paragraph, in 200 words, on ONE of the
following topics: 10
(a) Happiness is a state of mind
(b) Risk-taking is inherently failure-prone
(c) Whom do the politicians really serve?
(d) Scene at a railway platform after the departure of a train
4. Use the following words in sentences so as to bring out their meaning
clearly and unambiguously: 10
(e) book (as verb)
5. Supply the correct forms of verbs given in parentheses in the following
passage. Please write correct verb forms in your answer book against numbers
given in parentheses; do not reproduce the entire passage : 10
Life (i be) full of surprises, people say, and they (ii be) right. When I (iii
arrive) in India last year, I (iv be) a bachelor. I (v fly) into the airport
without a care in the world. My family back home (vi give) me all sorts of
advice, which I was determined to forget. In the terminal I (vii have) to wait
around for my baggage, which consisted of an oversize trunk, a couple of
suitcases, and three small bags. White (viii wait), a beautiful blond young girl
walked by. I was so (ix take) by her that I (x tip) over another woman.
6. Correct the following sentences without changing their
meaning. Please do not make unnecessary changes in the sentences : 10
(a) He did nothing but laughed.
(b) Vimla talks a lot, isn’t it?
(c) I shall help you after three-four days.
(d) Old habits die hardly.
(e) When only five years old, my grandmother died.
(f) A busy person has a little time to spare.
(g) Milk is more preferable than tea.
(h) Dr. Sharma has gone to Lucknow last week.
(i) The economist will discuss about the unemployment problem.
(j) I ordered for lunch.