ISS - Indian Statistical Service General English Previous Year Paper (1998)
1. Write an essay on any ONE of the following topics in about 150 words:
(a) We should cooperate with the environment and not exploit it
(b) Tourism in India : Problems and Prospects
(c) English as an Indian language
(d) To what extent has our economy been liberalized?
(e) The value of leisure
2. Write a precise of the following passage in about 250 words, as far as possible, in your own words.
State also the exact number of wards used in your precise. 50
(Note: The precise must be written on the special sheets provided for the purpose and these sheets
should be fastened securely inside the answer book.)
When I was in Paris preparing these lectures I went one Sunday afternoon to the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. As I looked up at the tremendous vertical lines of the
nave I found that there were tears in my eyes. Why it is that one is sometimes moved in this way by a great church? When I left Notre-Dame
I walked around the outside and looked at the mountain to stone, supported by its flying buttresses
then, sitting in the sun, I speculated on this extraordinary human habit of making
great buildings. As a biologist I naturally considered, first, what may be its significance for human survival, and,
secondly, why do such works move us in this way. I have been maintaining in the lectures that a special characteristic of modern man is the faculty of
communication between individuals. I believe that it is possible to show that the symbols of society,
such as churches, form a link in the process of ensuring communication. They play an essential pert
in establishing the rules of brain action that make cooperation possible. Our emotion when faced
with them confirms the important of communication in our lives. The symbol gives a
sudden powerful reminder of our dependence upon others and elicits one of our earliest responses-crying. I
want now to try to use these ideas to help in tracing the development of communication, both in the
history of the race and in each individual person. In doing so I shall suggest one of the main reasons
why these symbols of religion become the most important features of our lives.
The great new societies that grew up with the development of irrigation and other special forms of
agriculture came to use some striking new means for keeping individuals together. By study of the
remains left by these early civilizations, and by comparison with the modern man, we can make a
plausible reconstruction of how this came about. The methods the emerged were based on a
continuation of the ways of brain action used by mammals for millions of years already. To find
out what these methods were. Let us look at two of the characteristic actions of social man.
First, there is a tendency for large numbers to assemble together in one place. There is evidence of
this from earliest times to he great crowds that gather today for rallies, congresses, processions,
football matches and many other events. Secondly, much effort is spent in building great structures
within or around which these assemblies take place. The largest and most durable buildings that
men make are not generally used for the daily business of life, but are symbolic or religious. It is curious
that biologists have paid so little attention to these two peculiar human characteristics. In no other
animal is the habit of assembly quite so well developed as it is in man. The biological significance of
the habit is that by it the brain associations necessary for communication are formed. Some of the
earliest of these assemblies occurred at prominent hills of suitable shape, on and
around which large numbers of people came together. One of the clearest pieces of evidence that we have about early
social man is that he soon began to build large artificial hills. Objects nearly as big as anything that
we build now were the product of some of early agricultural communities, nearly 10,000 years
ago. Such large objects are found all over the world-an English example is Silbury Hill in Wiltshire.
I suggest that the value of building these objects was that they and their names were the signs by
which men were trained to react to each other in such a way as to make society possible. At first, this
must have been learned by all coming together at one place. Ritual feasting at such assemblies would
indicate the satisfaction to be derived from association. Perhaps sacrificial ceremonies indicated the
dangers of separation from the community-for this purpose; human sacrifice is no doubt
best of all. Such ceremonies are occasions of training of the brains of the members of the community, so that
they shall continue to react correctly, and hence get a living by cooperation and communication.
Mankind has gone on assembling and building assembly places ever since. It is assuredly one of
those features that the biologist should notice about him, that he tends to come together at intervals in
huge swarms, Generally he puts on his finest clothes for the occasion and watches
some display, whose symbolism often involves a struggle in which someone is victorious over someone else.
3. Write a letter to a foreign pen pal describing a musical evening you attended last week.
(Sign yourself X, Do not give your name or roll number or place of residence or that of the
Draft a note spelling out your views on the nuclear tests conducted by India.
4. Use any five of the following idiomatic expressions in meaningful sentences:
5 × 2 = 10
(a) to fall that
(b) in the teeth of
(c) a fish out of water
(d) to bury the hatchet
(e) in full swing
(f) a hue and cry
(g) by and large
(h) below the mark
(i) a black sheap
(j) at hand
5. (a) Do as directed in each one of the following: 5×2 = 10
(i) If you do not hurry, you will miss the bus. (Rewrite using ‘unless.)
(ii) Your silence proves that you are guilty. (Change into a simple sentence.)
(iii) The man is so tall that he can reach the ceiling. (Rewrite using ‘enough’.)
(iv) Govind is blind ………… one eye. (Fill in the blank with the correct preposition.)
(v) The visitor said,’ Could I have a cup of tea?’ (Change this into reported speech.)
(b) Correct any ten of the following sentences : (10 ×1=10)
(i) The wages of sin are death.
(ii) One of your friends is waiting outside.
(iii) This officer is not used to take bribes.
(iv) Columbus had discovered America.
(v) If you will heat butter, it will melt.
(vi) The patient died before the doctor arrived.
(vii) Suresh as well as his colleagues is guilty.
(viii) May I take your leave now?
(ix) To go or stay is entirely your own choice.
(x) The child has been sick for three months now.
(xi) Only by chance he saw her on the way.
(xii) The weather is fairly better today.
(xiii) Samsher is as smart as his brother
(xiv) Everybody praised the leader, didn’t he?
(xv) We must be true to our words