Directions : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it.

In many countries, a combustible mixture of authoritarianism, unemployment and youth has given rise to disaffection with strongmen rulers, which has, in turn, spilled over into uprisings. Young people in these countries are far better educated than their parents were. In 1990, the average Egyptian had 4.4 years of schooling; by 2010, the figure had risen to 7.1 years. Could it be that education, by making people less willing to put up with restrictions on freedom and more willing to question authority, promotes democratisation? Ideas about the links between education, income and democracy are at the heart of what social scientists have long studied. Since then plenty of economists and political scientists have looked for statistical evidence of a causal link between education and democratisation. Many have pointed to the strong correlation that exists between levels of education and measures like the pluralism of party politics and the existence of civil liberties. The patterns are similar when income and democracy are considered. There are outliers, of course—until recently, many Arab countries managed to combine energy-based wealth and decent education with undemocratic political systems. But some deduce from the overall picture that as China and other authoritarian states get more educated and richer, their people will agitate for greater political freedom, culminating in a shift to a more democratic form of government.

This apparently reasonable intuition is shakier than it seems. Critics of the hypothesis point out that correlation is hardly causation. The general trend over the past half-century may have been towards rising living standards, a wider spread of basic education and more democracy, but it is entirely possible that this is being driven by another variable. Even if the correlation were not spurious, it would be difficult to know which way causation ran. Does more education lead to greater democracy? Or are more democratic countries better at educating their citizens? A recent NBER paper compared a group of Kenyan girls in 69 primary schools whose students were randomly selected to receive a scholarship with similar students in schools which received no such financial aid. Previous studies had shown that the scholarship programme led to higher test scores and increased the likelihood that girls enrolled in secondary school. Overall, it significantly increased the amount of education obtained. For the new study, the authors tried to see how the extra schooling had affected the political and social attitudes of the women in question. Findings suggested that education may make people more interested in improving their own fives but they may not necessarily see democracy as the way to do it. Even in established democracies, more education does not always mean either more active political participation or greater faith in democracy. Poorer and less educated people often vote in larger numbers than their more educated compatriots, who often express disdain for the messiness of democracy, yearning for the kind of government that would deal strongly with the corrupt and build highways, railway fines and bridges at a dizzying pace of authoritarian China.

Question 244

Which of the following is most similar in meaning to the word 'promotes' given in bold as used in the passage?


"Promotes" means publicising an organisation, product or venture hence, option E will be our answer.

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