Model Questions for UPSC PRE CSAT PAPER SET - 15

Model Questions for UPSC PRE CSAT PAPER SET - 15

Passage - 1

After President George W. Bush signed the United States-India Nuclear Cooperation Bill, he called up Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tell him how pleased he was at this development. While welcoming this event, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to tell the President that there remained areas of concern that needed to be addressed during the negotiation of the bilateral agreement (called the 123 agreement, after the relevant clause number in the US Atomic Energy Act, 1954). The US has entered into some twenty-five 123 agreements with various countries, including the one concerning Tarapur. The Tarapur agreement concluded in 1963 was unique in that it guaranteed supplies of enriched uranium fuel from the US for running the Tarapur reactors for their entire life. However, after 1978 the US did not supply fuel saying its domestic legislation (under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act) prevented it from doing so. India argued that Tarapur was an inter-governmental agreement and hence it had to be honoured by the US. But to no avail. However, later the US allowed France to supply fuel to India. Subsequently, the USSR (now Russia) and even China supplied fuel for Tarapur. The lesson from the Tarapur episode is that US breached with impunity even a cast-iron guarantee it had furnished. Considerable bitterness grew between the US and India and extended to many other areas beyond the nuclear one. When India agreed, reluctantly, in March 2006 to put imported reactors under “safeguards in perpetuity”, the US consented to the Indian insistence on assurances of fuel supply. This meant India could build up a stockpile of fuel to tide over disruption in supply and the US would agree to work with other countries, namely Russia, France, and Britain, to arrange alternate supplies. The US legislation, based on the Hyde Bill, forbids India building up a stockpile of nuclear fuel. It also obligates the US administration to work with other Nuclear Supplier Group countries to get them to suspend supplies to India, if the US has done so under some provision of the Hyde Bill. It is not evident how the US can address the legitimate concerns of India on continued fuel supply, given the boundaries set by the Hyde Bill. With regard to future nuclear tests, the Prime Minister has said, India is only committed to a voluntary moratorium. A moratorium is only a temporary holding off of an activity, conditioned by specific circumstances that obtained at the time when such a declaration was made. It cannot be construed as a permanent ban. The Hyde Bill has sought to make the moratorium into a permanent ban. However, there is no such restraint imposed on the US, China, Pakistan or any other country. In bringing up this issue, I do not wish to suggest that, I favour a resumption of tests by India. But India cannot prevent other countries from carrying out tests. It is, therefore, unacceptable that India forfeits its right to test for all time to come under the agreement with the US. Even if the 123 agreement is silent on the issue, Indian negotiators must put this issue on the table. The Hyde Bill calls for suspension of all cooperation and fuel supplies and even calls for return of all equipment and materials supplied earlier in the event of a test. It baffles one how India can return reactor installations that might have been operated a few years, were such a contingency to arise in future. The differences over the definition of “full civilian nuclear cooperation” have been discussed in the media. The Indian understanding was that reprocessing of spent fuel, enrichment of uranium, and production of heavy water also formed part of the term “full civilian nuclear cooperation.” In the congressional debate, it has been noted that these were construed by the US to be in the nature of military activities and not civilian. India’s future plans for Thorium utilisation for civil nuclear power depend crucially on reprocessing. Similarly, civil nuclear power units using natural uranium require heavy water as reactor coolant and moderator. Equally, if India were to embark on a sizeable light water reactor programme, it may like to have control on supply of enriched uranium for economic and supply security reasons. India has technologies of its own in these areas and will develop them further in the years ahead. If the Indo-US agreement moves ahead in the manner its sponsors have speculated, in a few decades from now some 90 per cent of the nuclear installations in India would be open to International Atomic Energy Agency inspections. In that scenario, how can India reconcile to the embargo from nuclear advanced countries on the export of enrichment, reprocessing, and heavy water technologies? Even if the issue were to be papered over now, it will then look from India’s point of view to have been a very bad bargain.

1. What was the uniqueness of the Tarapur agreement that was concluded in 1963?

(a) It guaranteed supplies of enriched uranium fuel from the US for running the Tarapur reactors for entire life
(b) It prevented other countries from carrying out nuclear tests
(c) It addresses the legitimate concerns of India on fuel supply
(d) All of the above

2. Which of the following countries supplied fuel for Tarapur?

(a) France
(b) USA
(c) USSR and France
(d) France, USSR and China

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Passage - 2

Not even a three-day brainstorming session among top psychologists at the Chinese University could unravel one of the world’s greatest puzzles - how the Chinese mind ticks. Michael Bond had reason to pace the pavement of the Chinese University campus last week. The psychologist who coordinated and moderated a three-day seminar on Chinese psychology and most of the participants came a long way to knock heads. “If a bomb hits this building,” muttered Bond, half-seriously, “it would wipe out the whole discipline.” But the only thing that went off in the Cho Yiu Conference Hall of Chinese University was the picking of brains, the pouring out of brains and a refrain from an on-going mantra: “more work needs to be done” or “we don’t know”. Each of the 36 participants was allowed 30 minutes plus use of an overhead projector to condense years of research into data and theories. Their content spilled over from 20 areas of Chinese behaviour, including reading, learning styles, psychopathology, social interaction, personality and modernisation. An over-riding question for observers, however, was: why, in this group of 21 Chinese and 15 non-Chinese, weren’t there more professionals from mainland China presenting research on the indigenous people? Michael Philips, a psychiatrist who works in Hubei Province, explained: “The Cultural Revolution silenced and froze the research,” said the Canadian-born doctor who has lived and worked in China for more than 10 years. “And 12 years later, research is under way but it is too early to have anything yet. Besides, most of the models being used are from the West anyway.” In such a specialised field, how can non-Chinese academics do research without possessing fluency in Chinese? Those who cannot read, write or speak the language usually team up with Chinese colleagues. “In 10 years, we won’t be able to do this. It’s a money thing,” said William Gabrenya of Florida Institute of Technology, who described himself as an illiterate Gweilo who lacks fluency in ‘Chinese. He said that 93 per cent of the non-Chinese authors in his field cannot read Chinese. Dr Gabrenya raised questions such as: why is research dependent on university students, why is research done on Chinese people in coastal cities (Singapore, Taiwan, Shanghai and Hong Kong) but not inland? “Chinese psychology is too Confucian, too neat. He’s been dead a long time. How about the guy on a motorcycle in Taipei?”, Dr. Gabrenya said, urging that research have a more contemporary outlook.
The academics came from Israel, Sweden, Taiwan, Singapore, United States, British Columbia and, of course, Hong Kong. Many of the visual aids they used by way of illustration contained eye-squinting type and cobweb-like graphs. One speaker, a sociologist from Illinois, even warned her colleagues that she would not give anyone enough time to digest the long, skinny columns of numbers. Is Chinese intelligence different from Western? For half of the audience who are illiterate in Chinese, Professor Jimmy Chan of HKU examined each of the Chinese characters for “intelligence”. Phrases such as “a mind as fast as an arrow” and connections between strokes for sun and the moon were made. After his 25-minute speech, Chan and the group lamented that using Western tests are the only measure available to psychologists, who are starving for indigenous studies of Chinese by Chinese. How do Chinese children learn? David Kember of Hong Kong Polytechnic University zeroed in on deep learning versus surface. Deep is when the student is sincerely interested for his own reasons. Surface is memorising and spitting out facts. It doesn’t nurture any deep understanding. If the language of instruction happens to be the children’s second language, students in Hong Kong have all sorts of challenges with English-speaking teachers from Australia, Britain and America with accents and colloquialisms. Do Westerners have more self-esteem than Chinese? Dr Leung Kwok, chairman of the psychology department of Chinese University, points his finger at belief systems: the collectivist mind set often stereotypes Chinese unfairly. The philosophy of “Yuen” (a concept used to explain good and bad events which are pre-determined and out of the individual’s control) does not foster a positive self-concept. Neither do collectivist beliefs, such as sacrifice for the group, compromise and importance of using connections. “If a Chinese loses or fails, he has a stronger sense of responsibility. He tends to blame it on himself. A non-Chinese from the West may blame it on forces outside himself,” Dr Leung said. By the end of the three-day session, there were as many questions raised as answered. It was agreed there was room for further research. To the layman, so much of the discussion was foreign and riddled with jargon and on-going references to studies and researchers. The work of the participants will resurface in a forthcoming Handbook of Chinese Psychology, which will be edited by Dr Bond and published by Oxford University Press.

3. According to the passage, the author suggests that

(a) Not many people study Chinese psychology
(b) The building is in danger of attack
(c) Chinese psychology is a difficult subject to study
(d) Chinese psychology is a difficult subject to organize

4. It can be inferred from the passage that

(a) The Cultural Revolution was a productive period for Chinese psychology
(b) The Cultural Revolution was a dangerous period for Chinese psychology
(c) The Cultural Revolution was an unproductive period for Chinese psychology
(d) The Cultural Revolution was a new beginning for Chinese psychology

5. According to the passage, William Gabrenya refers to himself as an ‘illiterate Gweilo’. This suggests that

(a) He feels defensive about not speaking and reading Chinese
(b) He feels secure in his illiteracy
(c) He is representative of other Westerners active in this field
(d) He can operate perfectly well without learning Chinese

6. According to the passage, all of the following are true except

(a) the visual aids were not very easy to understand
(b) the conference attracted a very professional standard of presentation
(c) the visual aids were not very tidy
(d) the presenters were under time pressure

7. According to the passage, which of the following is not true?

(a) Chinese characters are very difficult for Westerners to master
(b) It is difficult to come to a conclusion about Western and Chinese intelligence.
(c) It is difficult to measure Chinese intelligence with Western tests
(d) More tests are required that are conducted by the Chinese for the Chinese

Passage - 3

Mobility of capita] has given an unprecedented leverage to companies not only to seek low-paid, informal wage employees across national boundaries, but the threat of capital flight can also serve to drive down wages and place large numbers of workers in insecure, irregular employment. Informalisation strategies enable employers to draw on the existing pool of labour as and when they require, without having to make a commitment to provide permanent employment or any of the employee - supporting benefits associated with permanent jobs. As far as’ the working class is concerned, Informalisation is, in fact, a double-edged sword. For not only is the employee denied the rights associated with permanent employment, but the nature of casual work essentially destroys the foundations of working class organisation. As workmen move from one employer to another, numbers are scattered, everyday interests become divergent, and individualised survival takes precedence over group or collective struggles.
Even workers who have been in sectors with a long tradition of unionisation are difficult to organise once they are removed from the arena of permanent employment. About 50,000 textile mill workers in Ahmedabad City were laid off during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The move to obtain compensation and rehabilitation for these workers floundered on the weakness of the struggle. As numbers of workers who were available for pressing their claims and taking to some kind of activism dwindled, the motivation of leaders declined and the struggle slowly frittered away. If this is the situation with workers familiar with the concept of unionisation, the task of organising vast masses of casual workers who have never been organised, is obviously much more difficult. The problem, essentially, is not only that of organising workers for struggle, but, given the transitory nature of casual employment, employers are not bound to provide insurance of any kind, and frequently, there is no fixed employer against whom workers’ claims can be pressed. In this context, the formation of the National Centre for Labour (NCL) can be seen as a landmark in the history of the working class movement in India. The NCL is an apex body of independent trade unions working in the unorganised sector of labour, registered under the Indian Trade Union Act, 1926. Through its constituent members, the NCL represents the interests of workers in construction, agriculture, fisheries, forests, marble- and granite-manufacturing, self-employed women, contract workers, anganwadi and domestic workers, as also workers in the tiny and small-scale industries. The NCL, launched in 1995, has about 6, 25,000 members spread over 10 states in India. The NCL reflects two tendencies. First, the formation of such a federation highlights that despite the problems in organising workers in the informal sector, there have, in fact, been a range of organisations which have sought to address these issues. On a collective plane, their activities represent a marked departure from the traditional way of conceptualising union activities exclusively around organised or formal sector workers. Thus, the unionisation of the hitherto unorganised sector has become inserted into the political universe as a possible and legitimate activity. Second, the formation of the NCL, to an extent, overturns the pessimistic logic that the interests of the unorganised sector - given their diverse and inchoate form - cannot be articulated from a single platform. For the NCL aims precisely, do not only provide an anchoring for these diverse organisations, but more importantly, articulate the need for institutionalised norms of welfare which can apply to the unorganised sector as a whole. It is in the context of this generalised movement that one needs to view recent efforts to bring in legislative acts which seek to create a new framework of laws and institutions addressing the needs of the unorganised sector. One of the major problems that has dogged this sector has, of course, been that of implementation. Thus, for example, while there is a stipulated minimum wage for most industries, this is frequently flouted by employers. A central objective of the NCL has been to advocate legislation to create agencies, which would mediate between the employer and the employee, to institutionalise certain guarantees of welfare and security to the employee. Thus, for example, the State-Assisted Scheme of Provident Fund for Unorganised Workers, 2000, proposed by the Labour Department of the Government of West Bengal, introduces the mechanism of a Fund which will be contributed to by the worker (wage-earner or self-employed person), employer, and the Government and to which the worker would be entitled at the age of 55 or above. By registering a worker to this programme and issuing an identity card, the initial hurdle of identifying a large mass of scattered workers is overcome, and a step is taken towards institutionalising their legitimate claims against the employers and from the State. The Karnataka Unorganised Workers (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Work) Bill, 2001, offers a more comprehensive framework for addressing the unorganised sector’s needs. It envisages the formation of a Fund and a Board in each sector. The Board, consisting of members from the Government, employers and employees, would be responsible for administering the Fund. Employers must compulsorily pay, towards the Fund, a certain fixed percentage of the wages or taxes payable by them, or a certain percentage of the cost of their project (for example, in construction projects). The concept of the Fund is designed to create the financial viability of social security for workers, and to provide a structure for employers’ contribution. Thus, workers would be insured for accident and illness, old age, and unemployment. The Board is designed to provide a mechanism to ensure the working of the Fund, and essentially, to institutionalise workers’ claims against employers through an empowered agency. In the broader context of economic liberalisation, recently proposed labour reforms seek to extend the scope of contract employment and to facilitate worker lay-off. As casualisation of labour now seems an irreversible trend, the Bills outlined above would appear to be the only way to ensure workers’ interest. To this extent, organisations, such as the NCL, which have systematically struggled to push for such legislation, are serving an invaluable historical purpose. As the Karnataka Unorganised Workers Bill awaits endorsement during the Assembly sessions being held currently, for the protagonists of the movement, this would I be a watershed, but, nevertheless only a moment in a struggle that needs to be waged at multiple points and to evolve to newer heights.

8. According to the passage, the proposed labour reforms

(a) Will provide a much needed thrust to liberalization
(b) Will encourage the practice of hiring labourers on a contract basis
(c) Have resulted in casualisation of labour
(d) Seek to extend the scope of employment and to facilitate worker retrenchment

9. According to the passage, textile mill workers could not obtain compensation because

(a) The number of workers available for pressing their claims was not adequate.
(b) They were not united
(c) Of the weakness of the struggle
(d) The motivation of the leaders was very low

10. According to the passage, the most important aspect of the NCL is that

(a) It has given a voice to the interests of workers in the unorganised sector
(b) It is an apex body of independent trade unions
(c) It has 6,25,000 members spread over 10-states in India
(d) It is the only body of its kind in India

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1 (b), 2 (a), 3 (b), 4 (a), 5 (b), 6 (b), 7 (b), 8 (a), 9 (b), 10 (a)