ISS - Indian Statistical Service General English Previous Year Paper (2003)
1. Write an essay on one of the following topics in about
1000-1200 words each : 40
(a) India and her Neighbours
(b) Ethics and Politics
(c) Advantages of Information Technology
(d) Future of Sports of India
(e) Modern Fashions.
(f) Censorship of the Media
(g) My vision of an ideal world order.
2. Write an precise of the following passage in about 200 words, using your
own words as far as possible. Please mention the number of words, used in your
(Note: The precise must be written only on the special sheets provided for the
purpose - one word in each block - and these sheets should be fastened securely
inside the answer book)
Most of us, I suppose, are burdened with the complexity of
our present-day problems. We live our day-to-day lies and face our day-to-day
difficulties, but somehow that is not enough. One seeks something behind that
daily round and tries to find out how one can solve the problems that afflict
the world. For one whom circumstances have placed in a position of great
responsibility it is particularly difficult to avoid thinking about these
problems. During the last few weeks I have been going about this great country
and seeing multitudes of human beings, surging masses of my countrymen and
countrywomen. I have thus invariably thought of what was going to happen to
these people, what they were thinking and in which direction they were going.
These questions apply to us because we are in the same boat. And then I think of
the multitudes in other countries. What about those vast masses of human beings?
Some of us here are functioning on the political plane and presuming to decide
the fate of nations. How far our decisions do affects these multitudes? Do we
think of them or do we live in some upper stratosphere of diplomats and
politicians and the like, exchanging notes and sometimes using harsh words
against one another? In the context of this mighty world, its vast masses of
human beings and the tremendous phase of transition through which we are
passing, political becomes rather trivial. I have no particular light to throw
on the problems that you have been discussing; rather I would like to put some
of the difficulties that I have in my mind before you and I hope that when I
have occasion to read some of the reports of what you have been saying to each
other, perhaps, those addresses might help me to understand the methods of
solving some of these problems.
Now, one of my chief difficulties is this somehow it seems to me that the modern
world is getting completely out of tune with what I might call the life of the
mind - I am leaving out the life of the spirit at the moment. Yet, the modern
world is entirely the outcome of the life of the mind. After all, it is the
human mind that has produced everything that we see around us and feel around
us. Civilization is the product of the human mind and yet, strangely enough, one
begins to feel that the function of the mind becomes less and less important in
the modern world or, at any rate, is no longer so important as it used to be.
The mind may count for a great deal in specialized domains; it does and so we
make great progress in those specialized domains of life, but generally
speaking, the mind as a whole counts for less and less. That is my impression.
If it is a correct impression, then there is something radically wrong with the
civilization that we are building or have built. The changes that are so rapidly
taking place emphasize other aspects of life and somehow prevent the mind from
functioning as it should and as perhaps it used to do in the earlier periods of
the world’s history. If that is true, then surely it is not a good outlook for
the world, because the very basis on which our civilization has grown, on which
man has risen step by step to the great heights on which he stands today, the
very foundation of the edifice is shaken.
In India, we are more particularly concerned about the primary necessities of
life for our people. We are concerned with food for our people, with clothing,
shelter and housing for our people, with education, health and so on. Unless you
have these primary necessities, it seems futile to me to talk about the life of
the mind or the life of the spirit. You cannot talk of God to a starving person;
you must give him food. One must deal with these primary necessities, it is
true. Nevertheless, even in dealing with them one has to have some kind of ideal
or objective in view. If that ideal or objective, somehow, becomes less and less
connected with the growth of the human mind, then there must be something wrong.
do not know if what I say is true or whether you agree with it and I do not
know, even if it is true, what can be done to improve it.
I am, if I may say so, a great admirer of the achievements of modern
civilization, of the growth of and applications of science and of technological
growth. Humanity has every reason to be proud of them and yet if these
achievements lessen the capacity for future growth - and that will happen if the
mind deteriorates-then surely there is something wrong about this process. It is
obvious that ultimately the mind should dominate. I am not mentioning the spirit
against but that comes into the picture, too. If the world suffers from mental
deterioration or from moral degradation, then something goes wrong at the very
root of civilization or culture. Even though that civilization may drag out for
a considerable period, it grows less and less vital and ultimately tumbles down.
When I look back on the periods of past history, I find certain period very
outstanding. They show great achievements of the human mind, while some others
do not. One finds races achieving a high level and then apparently fading away
in terms of achievements. And so I wonder whether this fading away of high
cultures is not happening today and producing an inner weakness in the structure
of our modern civilization.
3. Write a single paragraph, in about 200 words, on one of the following
topics : 10
(a) Old habits die hard;
(b) Sweets are the uses of adversity;
(c) Anger is one letter short of danger;
(d) The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.
4. Use the following words in sentences so as to bring out their meaning
clearly. Do not change the form of the word. No mark will be given for a vague
or ambiguous answer : 10
(a) inquisitive (adjective)
(b) temperance (noun)
(c) retrieve (verb)
(d) specious (adjective)
(e) convalesce (verb)
5. Supply the correct forms of verbs given in parentheses in the following
passage : 10
Inquiry revealed that the smuggling (1. go) on for a long time, but the
actual offence detected (2. involve) a trifling sum. We went to Parsi
Rustomji’s counsel who (3. persue) the papers and said, “The case (4. try)
bya jury and a Natal jury will be the last (5. acquit) an Indian. But 1(6. not
give up) hope.” Gandhiji (7. not know) this counsel intimately, and contrary
to the counsel’s opinion, he advised Rustomji to confess his offence. Rustomji
was a brave man, but his courage failed him for the moment. His name and fame
were at stake. He surmised where he (8. be) if the edifice he (9. rear) with
such care and labour(10. collapse).
6. Correct the following sentences without changing their
meaning. Please do not make unnecessary changes in the sentences: 10
(a) The Principal thanked the manager for the trouble he had taken for
collecting donations for the college building.
(b) Rice grown in Doon valley is of rich quality.
(c) Bread and butter are a standard combination.
(d) Under no circumstances the accused can escape the punishment.
(e) ‘Ram doesn’t like English movies! ‘No I do’.
(f) The admission fee has been drastically reduced with a view to enable a large
section of students to take the entrance test.
(g) I saw a dead snake running across the field.
(h) The manager only chose such workers for his Company whom he could trust.
(i) The Principal was pleased that the students do not violate the college
(j) Drinking fruit juice and vegetable soup is more preferable than eating junk