CAT 2021 Question Paper (Slot 2) Question 23

Question 23

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3 and 4) below, when properly sequenced would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:
1. The US has long maintained that the Northwest Passage is an international strait through which its commercial and military vessels have the right to pass without seeking Canada’s permission.
2. Canada, which officially acquired the group of islands forming the Northwest Passage in 1880, claims sovereignty over all the shipping routes through the Passage.
3. The dispute could be transitory, however, as scientists speculate that the entire Arctic Ocean will soon be ice-free in summer, so ship owners will not have to ask for permission to sail through any of the Northwest Passage routes.
4. The US and Canada have never legally settled the question of access through the Passage, but have an agreement whereby the US needs to seek Canada’s consent for any transit.

Correct Answer: 2143


A brief reading of the sentences suggests that the paragraph is about the dispute between the US and Canada over the Northwest passage.

2 is a better opening sentence than 1 as 21 forms a good introduction into the dispute. 2 mentions that Canada claims ownership over the passage, and 1 then mentions the counterclaim the US offers: the passage is an international route.

43 becomes a mandatory pair which follows 21. 4 mentions the historical development in the dispute: it has not been legally settled yet. 3 then hints about the future of this dispute: the dispute itself would vanish once the entire Arctic begins to stay ice-free in summer.

Hence, the coherent arrangement is 2143.

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