(Download) CAPF (AC) Exam, 2010 Paper - "Essay, Precis
Writing & Comprehension"
Exam Name: CAPF (AC)
Subject: Essay, Precis Writing & Comprehension
1. Write an essay, in about 600 words, on any one of the four topics given
(a) Soft-skills' training for our security forces.
(b) International cooperation on terror issues - a myth or reality ?
(c) Pluralism in practice in our society.
(d) The development ys. displacement' debate.
2. Write a precis of each of the following passages (A) and (B) in your
own words, reducing each to about one-third of its original length and
suggesting an appropriate title for it. Write these (A) and (B) precis
separately on the special precis sheets provided for the purpose, and then
carefully fasten these sheets inside the answer book.
Note : Marks may not be awarded if the precis is not written on the
special precis sheets provided.
(A) Our society is built with money for mortar : money is present in every
joint of circumstance, since in society it is by that alone that men continue to
live and only through that they can reach or affect one another. Money gives us
food, shelter and privacy; it permits us to be clean in person, opens for us the
doors of the theatre, gains us books for study or pleasure, enables us to help
others in distress and puts us above necessity so that we can choose the best of
life. If we have scruples, it gives us an opportunity to be honest; if we have
any bright designs here, it is what will smooth the way to their accomplishment.
Penury is the worst slavery and will soon lead to death. But money is only a
means; it presupposes a man to use it. The rich man can go where he pleases, but
perhaps pleases himself nowhere. He can buy a library or visit the whole world,
but has neither patience to read nor intelligence to see. The table may be
loaded and the appetite wanting. He may have gained the world and lost himself,
and with all his wealth around him in a great house, he may live as blank a life
as any tattered scare-crow. Therefore, it is always a sound policy to cultivate
an interest than to amass wealth, for the money will soon be spent, or perhaps
you may feel no joy in spending it, but interest remains imperishable and ever
(B) Military leaders have frequently been tempted to aspire to political
leadership and have frequently succumbed to temptation. Yet the whole training
and experience of the soldier makes him less rather than more fitted to be a
politician. The soldier is trained to take action down certain well-defined
lines, and has in his hand a military machine which responds immediately and
with precision to his touch; the government machine is much less precise and
exact than the military, and is not rapid in action even in highly skilled
political hands. The politician is trained in weighing up the conflicting
interests of his supporters and usually has to compromise; in war if a commander
compromises on essentials, he fails. Furthermore, the time factor forces the
commander in the field to adopt the best expedient in time available, which is
usually short. The politician, on the other hand, is seldom forced to give an
immediate decision; rather he delays in order to find the right and accurate
answer, and he avoids any temporary expedient. The one has to seize time by the
forelock and adopt the best expedient; the other can procrastinate in order to
ensure that what he does is absolutely right. In fact, the qualities required by
a soldier and by a politician are almost at opposite poles, and few men in
history have possessed both kinds of qualities. There have not been many
soldiers who have also made good politicians, nor many politicians who have
proved to be great soldiers.
3. Study the following passage carefully and then answer the questions
that follow, accurately and precisely :
The age-old issues of ‘pure' versus 'applied' knowledge can be stated as
follows : should the scientist shut himself up in the ivory tower of pure
theory, or should he plunge into the contemporary scene, either by enlisting his
abilities in the service of industry or through personal participation in the
turmoils of political and social action.
For the public at large, freedom is a valued prize, but for the scientist it
represents an indispensable prerequisite for the progress. of his labours; and a
vital aspect of this freedom is his right to determine for himself the precise
character of his personal vocation, He must be free to choose between the role
of a pure scientist and that of industrial investigator, or scientist combined
with politician, artist or philosopher. Nevertheless, liberty, like any other
right, is at once limited and enriched by duty, and the scope of these
obligations will be further outlined in the course of the following remark.
Moreover, among the various roles which the scientist can occupy, some may
legitimately be allotted a higher status than others. Thus, although one is
seldom confronted with the choice, it may fairly be said that heroism is
generally preferable to mere indifference.
Many scientists would favour an attitude of strict neutrality, which certain
French thinkers in particular consider to be a logical extension of the
principle of impartiality in scientific investigation. They would contend that
scientific work should engage all the energies of those who devote themselves to
it, and that scientists have no right to curtail the time devoted to science, in
the interest of other activities. The benefits which humanity has derived from
the direct and indirect results of scientific investigation far surpass any
possible achievement on the part of a single individual who devotes himself to
public causes. It is better to exert oneself in furthering the progress of
researches which will lighten the labour of millions than to improve the world
through the work of one individual. The leisure hours of the scientist cannot be
squandered without prejudicing the working of the sub-conscious mind, whose
never-ceasing activity is reflected in the complete inability of great minds to
concentrate on the petty details of their day-to-day existence. Truth demands a
single-minded devotion; without it the calm serenity required for scientific
work is fatally diminished, while the output of the investigator becomes
superficial and the results of his labour are distorted by preoccupation with
In opposition to this doctrine of strict detachment we have the view that the
scientist should apply his gifts to the issues of the day. Here we are told that
scientist who remains isolated in his laboratory has lost all contact with
reality and is engaging in the construction of systems which are bound to remain
entirely fictitious. Why spend one's time in contemplating remote spheres or in
historical reflections on the dim and distant past, while ignoring the whole
range of reality in which we live and the whole framework of contemporary
political issues ?
The scientist has, according to this view, no right to choose the subject of
his researches entirely according to his own aesthetic likings; he owes
everything to the community around him, where a multitude of less fortunate
beings are engaged in raising from their meagre · resources the means to support
him in his studies and to pay for his laboratories and his leisure hours. He
should be working for the good of mankind and devoting his leisure to becoming
better informed on the issues which vitally concern his fellowmen. He should be
their guide and their protagonist against injustice and the great scourges of
mankind : pain, sickness, ignorance, war and poverty. And when the creations of
science threaten 'to be the means of destruction – as in the case of the nuclear
bomb, or bacteriological warfare, or poison gas – the scientist must face the
burden of his responsibility and not be content to evade it by the mere plea
that these developments were not of his volition. Both these opposing views
neglect one essential fact that the scientist is not in any position to ask
himself whether he would enter the critical issues of his day.
Questions : (Answer in your own words.)
(i) What is the real meaning of freedom for a scientist?
(ii) What is meant by the statement, "liberty... is at once limited and enriched
by duty" ?
(iii) What do some French thinkers argue with regard to scientists' freedom in
the field of scientific research?
(iv) Why do great scientists not think about their individual affairs of a
routine type ? :
(v) What, according to the scientists favouring an attitude of strict
neutrality, kills the calm of mind which is needed for work in the field of
(vi) What is the opinion of the people who do not accept the principle of strict
detachment of the scientist ? Why ?
(vii) Why is there opposition to the study of the astronomical mysteries and the
vague and remote periods of ancient history ?
(viii) What, according to the second group of thinkers, should be the guiding
principle for the scientists in choosing subjects of their research?
(ix) How are the fields of 'pure' and 'applied sciences different ?
(x) Against which afflictions and evils should the‘applied scientist help human
beings in their struggle ?