CAT VARC Questions PDF [Most Important with Answers]

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CAT VARC Questions
CAT VARC Questions

VARC is of the three sections in the CAT Exam. It is one of the most important sections.  You can check out these  CAT VARC Questions from CAT previous year papers. In this article, we will look into some very important VARC questions PDF(with solutions) for CAT. You can also download these VARC problems with detailed solutions, which also include some tricks to solve these questions. These questions include a mix of CAT RC and VA questions.

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Instructions

To summarize the Classic Maya collapse, we can tentatively identify five strands. I acknowledge, however, that Maya archaeologists still disagree vigorously among themselves in part, because the different strands evidently varied in importance among different parts of the Maya realm; because detailed archaeological studies are available for only some Maya sites; and because it remains puzzling why most of the Maya heartland remained nearly empty of population and failed to recover after the collapse and after re-growth of forests.

With those caveats, it appears to me that one strand consisted of population growth outstripping available resources: a dilemma similar to the one foreseen by Thomas Malthus in 1798 and being played out today in Rwanda, Haiti and elsewhere. As the archaeologist David Webster succinctly puts it, “Too many farmers grew too many crops on too much of landscape.” Compounding that mismatch between population and resources was the second strand: the effects of deforestation and hillside erosion, which caused a decrease in the amount of useable farmland at a time when more rather than less farmland was needed, and possibly exacerbated by an anthropogenic drought resulting from deforestation, by soil nutrient depletion and other soil problems, and by the struggle to prevent bracken ferns from overrunning the fields.

The third strand consisted of increased fighting, as more and more people fought over fewer resources. Maya warfare, already endemic, peaked just before the collapse. That is not surprising when one reflects that at least five million people, perhaps many more, were crammed into an area smaller than the US state of Colorado (104,000 square miles). That warfare would have decreased further the amount of land available for agriculture, by creating no-man’s lands between principalities where it was now unsafe to farm. Bringing matters to a head was the strand of climate change. The drought at the time of the Classic collapse was not the first drought that the Maya had lived through, but it was the most severe. At the time of previous droughts, there were still uninhabited parts of the Maya landscape, and people at a site affected by drought could save themselves by moving to another site. However, by the time of the Classic collapse the landscape was now full, there was no useful unoccupied land in the vicinity on which to begin anew, and the whole population could not be accommodated in the few areas that continued to have reliable water supplies.

As our fifth strand, we have to wonder why the kings and nobles failed to recognize and solve these seemingly obvious problems undermining their society. Their attention was evidently focused on their short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with each other, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all those activities. Like most leaders throughout human history, the Maya kings and nobles did not heed long-term problems, insofar as they perceived them.

Finally, while we still have some other past societies to consider before we switch our attention to the modern world, we must already be struck by some parallels between the Maya and the past societies. As on Mangareva, the Maya environmental and population problems led to increasing warfare and civil strife. Similarly, on Easter Island and at Chaco Canyon, the Maya peak population numbers were followed swiftly by political and social collapse. Paralleling the eventual extension of agriculture from Easter Island’s coastal lowlands to its uplands, and from the Mimbres floodplain to the hills, Copan’s inhabitants also expanded from the floodplain to the more fragile hill slopes, leaving them with a larger population to feed when the agricultural boom in the hills went bust. Like Easter Island chiefs erecting ever larger statues, eventually crowned by pukao, and like Anasazi elite treating themselves to necklaces of 2,000 turquoise beads, Maya kings sought to outdo each other with more and more impressive temples, covered with thicker and thicker plaster — reminiscent in turn of the extravagant conspicuous consumption by modern American CEOs. The passivity of Easter chiefs and Maya kings in the face of the real big threats to their societies completes our list of disquieting parallels.

Question 1: According to the author, why is it difficult to explain the reasons for Maya collapse?

a) Copan inhabitants destroyed all records of that period.

b) The constant deforestation and hillside erosion have wiped out all traces of the Maya kingdom.

c) Archaeological sites of Mayas do not provide any consistent evidence.

d) It has not been possible to ascertain which of the factors best explains why the Maya civilization collapsed.

e) At least five million people were crammed into a small area.

1) Answer (D)

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Solution:

Refer the 1st para “To summarize the Classic Maya collapse, we can tentatively identify five strands. I acknowledge, however,that Maya archaeologists still disagree vigorously among themselves in part, because the different strands evidently varied in importance among different parts of the Maya realm; because detailed archaeological studies are available for only some Maya sites; and because it remains puzzling why most of the Maya heartland remained nearly empty of population and failed to recover after the collapse and after re-growth of forests.”
This makes option D correct.

Question 2: Which factor has not been cited as one of the factors causing the collapse of Maya society?

a) Environmental degradation due to excess population

b) Social collapse due to excess population

c) Increased warfare among Maya people

d) Climate change

e) Obsession of Maya population with their own short-term concerns

2) Answer (E)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the given lines “As our fifth strand, we have to wonder why the kings and nobles failed to recognize and solve these
seemingly obvious problems undermining their society. Their attention was evidently focused on their
short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with each
other, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all those activities.”
The Maya population was not obsessed with the short term concerns.But its rulers were obsessed with the short term concerns.

Instructions

Right through history, imperial powers have clung to their possessions to death. Why, then, did Britain in 1947 give up the jewel in its crown, India? For many reasons. The independence struggle exposed the hollowness of the white man’s burden. Provincial self-rule since 1935 paved the way for full self-rule. Churchill resisted independence, but the Labour government of Atlee was anti-imperialist by ideology. Finally, the Royal Indian Navy mutiny in 1946 raised fears of a second Sepoy mutiny, and convinced British waverers that it was safer to withdraw gracefully. But politico-military explanations are not enough. The basis of empire was always money. The end of empire had much to do with the fact that British imperialism had ceased to be profitable. World War II left Britain victorious but deeply indebted, needing Marshall Aid and loans from the World Bank. This constituted a strong financial case for ending the no-longer profitable empire.

Empire building is expensive. The US is spending one billion dollars a day in operations in Iraq that fall well short of full scale imperialism. Through the centuries, empire building was costly, yet constantly undertaken because it promised high returns. The investment was in armies and conquest. The returns came through plunder and taxes from the conquered.

No immorality was attached to imperial loot and plunder. The biggest conquerors were typically revered (hence titles like Alexander the Great, Akbar the Great, and Peter the Great). The bigger and richer the empire, the more the plunderer was admired. This mindset gradually changed with the rise of new ideas about equality and governing for the public good, ideas that culminated in the French and American revolutions.

Robert Clive was impeached for making a little money on the side, and so was Warren Hastings. The white man’s burden came up as a new moral rationale for conquest. It was supposedly for the good of the conquered. This led to much muddled hypocrisy. On the one hand, the empire needed to be profitable. On the other hand, the white man’s burden made brazen loot impossible.

An additional factor deterring loot was the 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. Though crushed, it reminded the British vividly that they were a tiny ethnic group who could not rule a gigantic subcontinent without the support of important locals. After 1857, the British stopped annexing one princely state after another, and instead treated the princes as allies. Land revenue was fixed in absolute terms, partly to prevent local unrest and partly to promote the notion of the white man’s burden. The empire proclaimed itself to be a protector of the Indian peasant against exploitation by Indian elites. This was denounced as hypocrisy by nationalists like Dadabhoy Naoroji in the 19th century, who complained that land taxes led to an enormous drain from India to Britain. Objective calculations by historians like Angus Maddison suggest a drain of perhaps 1.6 percent of Indian Gross National Product in the 19th century. But land revenue was more or less fixed by the Raj in absolute terms, and so its real value diminished rapidly with inflation in the 20th century. By World War II, India had ceased to be a profit center for the British Empire.

Historically, conquered nations paid taxes to finance fresh wars of the conqueror. India itself was asked to pay a large sum at the end of World War I to help repair Britain’s finances. But, as shown by historian Indivar Kamtekar, the independence movement led by Gandhiji changed the political landscape, and made mass taxation of India increasingly difficult. By World War II, this had become politically impossible. Far from taxing India to pay for World War II, Britain actually began paying India for its contribution of men and goods. Troops from white dominions like Australia; Canada and New Zealand were paid for entirely by these countries, but Indian costs were shared by the British government. Britain paid in the form of nonconvertible sterling balances, which mounted swiftly. The conqueror was paying the conquered, undercutting the profitability on which all empire is founded. Churchill opposed this, and wanted to tax India rather than owe it money. But he was overruled by Indian hands who said India would resist payment, and paralyze the war effort. Leo Amery, Secretary of State for India, said that when you are driving in a taxi to the station to catch a life-or-death train, you do not loudly announce that you have doubts whether to pay the fare. Thus, World War II converted India from a debtor to a creditor with over one billion pounds in sterling balances. Britain, meanwhile, became the biggest debtor in the world. It’s not worth ruling over people you are afraid to tax.

Question 3: Why didn’t Britain tax India to finance its World War II efforts?

a) Australia, Canada and New Zealand had offered to pay for Indian troops.

b) India has already paid a sufficiently large sum during World War I.

c) It was afraid that if India refused to pay, Britain’s war efforts would be jeopardized.

d) The British empire was built on the premise that the conqueror pays the conquered.

3) Answer (C)

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Solution:

Consider the following lines from the passage: “But he was overruled by Indian hands who said India would resist payment and paralyse the war effort”. From this, we can understand the reason why the British didn’t tax India to finance its war efforts. It was afraid that if India refused to pay, Britain’s war efforts would be jeopardized. Option c) is the correct answer.

Question 4: What was the main lesson the British learned from the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.

a) That the local princes were allies, not foes.

b) That the land revenue from India would decline dramatically.

c) That the British were a small ethnic group.

d) That India would be increasingly difficult to rule.

4) Answer (C)

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Solution:

Refer to the 5th paragraph. It says “Though crushed, it reminded the British vividly that they were a tiny ethnic group who could not rule a gigantic subcontinent without the support of the important locals”. From this, we can understand that the main lesson that the British learnt from the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 was that they were a small ethnic group. Option c) is the correct answer.

Question 5: Which of the following best captures the meaning of the ‘white man’s burden’, as it is used by the author?

a) The British claim to a civilizing mission directed at ensuring the good of the natives.

b) The inspiration for the French and American revolutions.

c) The resource drain that had to be borne by the home country’s white population.

d) An imperative that made open looting of resources impossible.

5) Answer (A)

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Solution:

White man’s burden refers to the claim made by the British that the natives of the conquered countries were in need of the ‘good’ provided by them. This was a justification for their conquests. Option a) captures this idea succinctly.

Question 6: Which one of the following best expresses the main purpose of the author?

a) To present the various reasons that can lead to the collapse of an empire and the granting of independence of the subjects of an empire.

b) To point out the critical role played by the ‘white man’s burden’ in making a colonizing power give up its claims to native possessions.

c) To highlight the contradictory impulse underpinning empire building which is a costly business but very attractive at the same time.

d) To illustrate how erosion of the financial basis of an empire supports the granting of independence to an empire’s constituents.

6) Answer (D)

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Solution:

Throughout the passage, the author talks about the various financial reasons for conquest and explains how the British were forced to grant independence when their returns from India diminished after the war. The main idea of the passage is to illustrate how the erosion of the financial basis of an empire supports the granting of independence to an empire’s constituents. Option d) is the correct answer.

Instructions

The controversy over genetically modified food continues unabated in the West. Genetic modification (GM) is the science by which the genetic material of a plant is altered, perhaps to make it more resistant to pests or killer weeds, or to enhance its nutritional value. Many food biotechnologists claim that GM will be a major contribution of science to mankind in the 21st century. On the other hand, large numbers of opponents, mainly in Europe, claim that the benefits of GM are a myth propagated by multinational corporations to increase their profits, that they pose a health hazard, and have therefore called for government to ban the sale of genetically-modified food.

The anti-GM campaign has been quite effective in Europe, with several European Union member countries imposing a virtual ban for five years over genetically-modified food imports. Since the genetically-modified food industry is particularly strong in the United States of America, the controversy also constitutes another chapter in the US-Europe skirmishes which have become particularly acerbic after the US invasion of Iraq.

To a large extent, the GM controversy has been ignored in the Indian media, although Indian biotechnologists have been quite active in GM research. Several groups of Indian biotechnologists have been working on various issues connected with crops grown in India. One concrete achievement which has recently figured in the news is that of a team led by the former vice-chancellor of Jawaharlal Nehru university, Asis Datta — it has successfully added an extra gene to potatoes to enhance the protein content of the tuber by at least 30 percent. It is quite likely that the GM controversy will soon hit the headlines in India since a spokesperson of the Indian Central government has recently announced that the government may use the protato in its midday meal programme for schools as early as next year.

Why should “scientific progress”, with huge potential benefits to the poor and malnourished, be so controversial? The anti-GM lobby contends that pernicious propaganda has vastly exaggerated the benefits of GM and completely evaded the costs which will have to be incurred if the genetically-modified food industry is allowed to grow unchecked. In particular, they allude to different types of costs.

This group contends that the most important potential cost is that the widespread distribution and growth of genetically-modified food will enable the corporate world (alias the multinational corporations – MNCs) to completely capture the food chain. A “small” group of biotech companies will patent the transferred genes as well as the technology associated with them. They will then buy up the competing seed merchants and seed-breeding centers, thereby controlling the production of food at every possible level. Independent farmers, big and small, will be completely wiped out of the food industry. At best, they will be reduced to the status of being subcontractors.

This line of argument goes on to claim that the control of the food chain will be disastrous for the poor since the MNCs, guided by the profit motive, will only focus on the high-value food items demanded by the affluent. Thus, in the long run, the production of basic staples which constitute the food basket of the poor will taper off. However, this vastly overestimates the power of the MNCs. Even if the research promoted by them does focus on the high-value food items, much of biotechnology research is also funded by governments in both developing and developed countries. Indeed, the protato is a by-product of this type of research. If the protato passes the field trials, there is no reason to believe that it cannot be marketed in the global potato market. And this type of success story can be repeated with other basic food items.

The second type of cost associated with the genetically modified food industry is environmental damage. The most common type of “genetic engineering” involved gene modification in plants designed to make them resistant to applications of weed-killers. This then enables farmers to use massive dosages of weedkillers so as to destroy or wipe out all competing varieties of plants in their field. However, some weeds through genetically-modified pollen contamination may acquire resistance to a variety of weed-killers. The only way to destroy these weeds is through the use of ever-stronger herbicides which are poisonous and linger on in the environment.

Question 7: The author doubts the anti-GM lobby’s contention that MNC control of the food chain will be disastrous for the poor because

a) MNCs will focus on high-value food items.

b) MNCs are driven by the motive of profit maximization.

c) MNCs are not the only group of actors in genetically-modified food research.

d) Economic development will help the poor buy MNC-produced food.

7) Answer (C)

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Solution:

By the line “Even if the research promoted by them ………………. in both developing and developed countries”, we can say that not only MNCs but also governments are involved in the research development.

So, MNCs are not the only group actors that are involved in genetically modified food research.

Hence, option C is the answer.

Question 8: Using the clues in the passage, which of the following countries would you expect to be in the forefront of the anti-GM campaign?

a) USA and Spain.

b) India and Iraq.

c) Germany and France.

d) Australia and New Zealand.

8) Answer (C)

View Video Solution

Solution:

According to the passage, European nations are anti GM. So, among the given options we must select those countries that are present in Europe.

USA is not in Europe => option A is wrong.

India is not in Europe => option B is wrong.

Australia is not in Europe => option D is wrong.

Both Germany and France are in Europe => option C is the answer.

Question 9: Genetic modification makes plants more resistant to killer weeds. However, this can lead to environmental damage by

a) wiping out competing varieties of plants which now fall prey to killer weeds.

b) forcing application of stronger herbicides to kill weeds which have become resistant to weak herbicides.

c) forcing application of stronger herbicides to keep the competing plants weed-free.

d) not allowing growth of any weeds, thus reducing soil fertility.

9) Answer (B)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the last lines of the passage:”However, some weeds through genetically-modified pollen contamination may acquire resistance to a variety of weed-killers. The only way to destroy these weeds is through the use of ever-stronger herbicides which are poisonous and linger on in the environment.” This line indicates the point made in 2 that once the weeds acquire resistance to weak herbicides, we have to apply stronger ones to eradicate them.

Question 10: According to the passage, biotechnology research

a) is of utility only for high value food items.

b) is funded only by multinational corporations.

c) allows multinational corporations to control the food basket of the poor.

d) addresses the concerns of developed and developing countries.

10) Answer (D)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the lines made in the paragraph:”Even if the research promoted by them does focus on the high-value food items, much of biotechnology research is also funded by governments in both developing and developed countries. Indeed, the protato is a by-product of this type of research. If the protato passes the field trials, there is no reason to believe that it cannot be marketed in the global potato market. And this type of success story can be repeated with other basic food items.” Here the author wants to illustrate that biotechnology resarch helps to address the concerns of the developing countries. For this illustration, the author gives the exmaple of potatoes.

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Question 11: Which of the following about the Indian media’s coverage of scientific research does the passage seem to suggest?

a) Indian media generally covers a subject of scientific importance when its mass application is likely.

b) Indian media’s coverage of scientific research is generally dependent on MNCs interests.

c) Indian media, in partnership with the government, is actively involved in publicizing the results of scientific research.

d) Indian media only highlights scientific research which is funded by the government.

11) Answer (A)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the following lines in the passage:”It is quite likely that the GM controversy will soon hit the headlines in India since a spokesperson of the Indian Central government has recently announced that the government may use the protato in its midday meal programme for schools as early as next year. Why should “scientific progress”, with huge potential benefits to the poor and malnourished, be so controversial?” Here the author wants to highlight that the scientific progress which has a huge impact on large number of people is likely to be covered by the media.

Instructions

Our propensity to look out for regularities, and to impose laws upon nature, leads to the psychological phenomenon of dogmatic thinking or, more generally, dogmatic behaviour: we expect regularities everywhere and attempt to find them even where there are none; events which do not yield to these attempts we are inclined to treat as a kind of `background noise’; and we stick to our expectations even when they are inadequate and we ought to accept defeat. This dogmatism is to some extent necessary. It is demanded by a situation which can only be dealt with by forcing our conjectures upon the world. Moreover, this dogmatism allows us to approach a good theory in stages, by way of approximations: if we accept defeat too easily, we may prevent ourselves from finding that we were very nearly right.

It is clear that this dogmatic attitude; which makes us stick to our first impressions, is indicative of a strong belief; while a critical attitude, which is ready to modify its tenets, which admits doubt and demands tests, is indicative of a weaker belief. Now according to Hume’s theory, and to the popular theory, the strength of a belief should be a product of repetition; thus it should always grow with experience, and always be greater in less primitive persons. But dogmatic thinking, an uncontrolled wish to impose regularities, a manifest pleasure in rites and in repetition as such, is characteristic of primitives and children; and increasing experience and maturity sometimes create an attitude of caution and criticism rather than of dogmatism.

My logical criticism of Hume’s psychological theory, and the considerations connected with it, may seem a little removed from the field of the philosophy of science. But the distinction between dogmatic and critical thinking, or the dogmatic and the critical attitude, brings us right back to our central problem. For the dogmatic attitude is clearly related to the tendency to verify our laws and schemata by seeking to apply them and to confirm them, even to the point of neglecting refutations, whereas the critical attitude is one of readiness to change them – to test them; to refute them; to falsify them, if possible. This suggests that we may identify the critical attitude with the scientific attitude, and the dogmatic attitude with the one which we have described as pseudo-scientific. It further suggests that genetically speaking the pseudo-scientific attitude is more primitive than, and prior to, the scientific attitude: that it is a pre-scientific attitude. And this primitivity or priority also has its logical aspect. For the critical attitude is not so much opposed to the dogmatic attitude as super-imposed upon it: criticism must be directed against existing and influential beliefs in need of critical revision – in other words, dogmatic beliefs. A critical attitude needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically.

Thus, science must begin with myths, and with the criticism of myths; neither with the collection of observations, nor with the invention of experiments, but with the critical discussion of myths, and of magical techniques and practices. The scientific tradition is distinguished from the pre-scientific tradition in having two layers. Like the latter, it passes on its theories; but it also passes on a critical attitude towards them. The theories are passed on, not as dogmas, but rather with the challenge to discuss them and improve upon them.

The critical attitude, the tradition of free discussion of theories with the aim of discovering their weak spots so that they may be improved upon, is the attitude of reasonableness, of rationality. From the point of view here developed, all laws, all theories, remain essentially tentative, or conjectural, or hypothetical, even when we feel unable to doubt them any longer. Before a theory has been refuted we can never know in what way it may have to be modified.

Question 12: In the context of science, according to the passage, the interaction of dogmatic beliefs and critical attitude can be best described as:

a) A duel between two warriors in which one has to die.

b) The effect of a chisel on a marble stone while making a sculpture.

c) The feedstock (natural gas) in fertilizer industry being transformed into fertilizers.

d) A predator killing its prey.

e) The effect of fertilizers on a sapling.

12) Answer (B)

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Solution:

It has been stated in the passage that “For the critical attitude is not so much opposed to the dogmatic attitude as super-imposed upon it: criticism must be directed against existing and influential beliefs in need of critical revision – in other words, dogmatic beliefs. A critical attitude needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically.”

From this we can infer that critical attitude is not opposed to dogmatic beliefs. Rather it uses dogmatic beliefs as raw material. Hence, we can eliminate options A, D and E.

From the passage, we can infer that the critical attitude acts on dogmatic beliefs to refine them. Hence, option B is more appropriate.

Question 13: According to the passage, the role of a dogmatic attitude of dogmatic behaviour in the development of science is

a) critical and important, as, without it, initial hypotheses or conjectures can never be made.

b) positive, as conjectures arising out of our dogmatic attitude become science.

c) negative, as it leads to pseudo-science.

d) neutral, as the development of science is essentially because of our critical attitude.

e) inferior to critical attitude, as a critical attitude leads to the attitude of reasonableness and rationality.

13) Answer (A)

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Solution:

Options C,D,E do not hold true.
Amongst option A and B,option A is more appropriate.Refer to the 3rd paragraph. It is written that
“the pseudo-scientific attitude is more primitive than, and prior to, the scientific attitude: that it is a pre-scientific attitude. And this primitivity or priority also has its logical aspect. For the critical attitude is not so much opposed to the dogmatic attitude as super-imposed upon it: criticism must be directed against existing and influential beliefs in need of critical revision — in other words, dogmatic beliefs. A critical attitude needs for its raw material, as it were, theories or beliefs which are held more or less dogmatically”.

Question 14: Dogmatic behaviour, in this passage, has been associated with primitives and children. Which of the following best describes the reason why the author compares primitives with children?

a) Primitives are people who are not educated, and hence can be compared with children,who have not yet been through school. .

b) Primitives are people who, though not modern, are as innocent as children.

c) Primitives are people without a critical attitude, just as children are.

d) Primitives are people in the early stages of human evolution; similarly, children are in the early stages of their lives.

e) Primitives are people who are not civilized enough, just as children are not. .

14) Answer (D)

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Solution:

Refer to the lines:
It further suggests that genetically speaking the pseudo-scientific attitude is more primitive than, and prior to, the scientific attitude: that it is a pre-scientific attitude. And this primitivity or priority also has its logical aspect. For the critical attitude is not so much opposed to the dogmatic attitude as super-imposed upon it.
It clearly illustates option 4.

Question 15: Which of the following statements best supports the argument in the passage that a critical attitude leads to a weaker belief than a dogmatic attitude does?

a) A critical attitude implies endless questioning, and, therefore, it cannot lead to strong beliefs.

b) A critical attitude, by definition, is centered on an analysis of anomalies and “noise”.

c) A critical attitude leads to questioning everything, and in the process generates “noise” without any conviction.

d) A critical attitude is antithetical to conviction, which is required for strong beliefs.

e) A critical attitude leads to questioning and to tentative hypotheses. .

15) Answer (E)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the last 3 lines
“From the point of view here developed, all laws, all theories, remain essentially tentative, or conjectural, or hypothetical, even when we feel unable to doubt them any longer. Before a theory has been refuted we can never know in what way it may have to be modified.”
Option E clearly supports this argument.

Option A contains a distortion of “endless questioning”. A critical attitude requires questioning but not endless questioning.

Option B has not been implied anywhere in the passage.

The first part of option C is true but the second part is false. The result of a critical attitude is not noise but tested beliefs that are subject to change.

Option D has not been implied anywhere in the passage.

Question 16: According to the passage, which of the following statements best describes the difference between science and pseudo-science? :

a) Scientific theories or hypothesis are tentatively true whereas pseudo-sciences are always true.

b) Scientific laws and theories are permanent and immutable whereas pseudo-sciences are contingent on the prevalent mode of thinking in a society.

c) Science always allows the possibility of rejecting a theory or hypothesis, whereas pseudo-sciences seek to validate their ideas or theories.

d) Science focuses on anomalies and exceptions so that fundamental truths can be uncovered, whereas pseudo-sciences focus mainly on general truths.

e) Science progresses by collection of observations or by experimentation, whereas pseudo-sciences do not worry about observations and experiments.

16) Answer (C)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to these lines
“But the distinction between dogmatic and critical thinking, or the dogmatic and the critical attitude, brings us right back to our central problem. For the dogmatic attitude is clearly related to the tendency to verify our laws and schemata by seeking to apply them and to
confirm them, even to the point of neglecting refutations, whereas the critical attitude is one of readiness to change them — to test them; to refute them; to falsify them, if possible. This suggests that we may identify the critical attitude with the scientific attitude, and the dogmatic attitude with the one which we have described as pseudo-scientific.”

Option C is the main point of the above paragraph. Hence, option C is the answer.

Instructions

A game of strategy, as currently conceived in game theory, is a situation in which two or more “players” make choices among available alternatives (moves). The totality of choices determines the outcomes of the game, and it is assumed that the rank order of preferences for the outcomes is different for different players. Thus the “interests” of the players are generally in conflict. Whether these interests are diametrically opposed or only partially opposed depends on the type of game.

Psychologically, most interesting situations arise when the interests of the players are partly coincident and partly opposed, because then one can postulate not only a conflict among the players but also inner conflicts within the players. Each is torn between a tendency to cooperate, so as to promote the common interests, and a tendency to compete, so as to enhance his own individual interests.

Internal conflicts are always psychologically interesting. What we vaguely call “interesting” psychology is in very great measure the psychology of inner conflict. Inner conflict is also held to be an important component of serious literature as distinguished from less serious genres. The classical tragedy, as well as the serious novel, reveals the inner conflict of central figures. The superficial adventure story, on the other hand, depicts only external conflict; that is, the threats to the person with whom the reader (or viewer) identifies stem in these stories exclusively from external obstacles and from the adversaries who create them. On the most primitive level this sort of external conflict is psychologically empty. In the fisticuffs between the protagonists of good and evil, no psychological problems are involved or, at any rate, none are depicted in juvenile representations of conflict.

The detective story, the “adult” analogue of a juvenile adventure tale, has at times been described as a glorification of intellectualized conflict. However, a great deal of the interest in the plots of these stories is sustained by withholding the unraveling of a solution to a problem. The effort of solving the problem is in itself not a conflict if the adversary (the unknown criminal) remains passive, like Nature, whose secrets the scientist supposedly unravels by deduction. If the adversary actively puts obstacles in the detective’s path toward the solution, there is genuine conflict. But the conflict is psychologically interesting only to the extent that it contains irrational components such as a tactical error on the criminal’s part or the detective’s insight into some psychological quirk of the criminal or something of this sort. Conflict conducted in a perfectly rational manner is psychologically no more interesting than a standard Western. For example, Tic-tac-toe, played perfectly by both players, is completely devoid of psychological interest. Chess may be psychologically interesting but only to the extent that it is played not quite rationally. Played completely rationally, chess would not be different from Tic-tac-toe.

In short, a pure conflict of interest (what is called a zero-sum game) although it offers a wealth of interesting conceptual problems, is not interesting psychologically, except to the extent that its conduct departs from rational norms.

Question 17: According to the passage, internal conflicts are psychologically more interesting than external conflicts because

a) internal conflicts, rather than external conflicts, form an important component of serious literature as distinguished from less serious genres.

b) only juveniles or very few “adults” actually experience external conflict, while internal conflict is more widely prevalent in society.

c) in situations of internal conflict, individuals experience a dilemma in resolving their own preferences for different outcomes.

d) there are no threats to the reader (or viewer) in case of external conflicts.

17) Answer (C)

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Solution:

Options A ,B and D are never mentioned in any part of the passage . Options C seems to be explaining perfectly why  internal conflicts are psychologically more interesting than external conflicts.

Question 18: Which, according to the author, would qualify as interesting psychology?

a) A statistician’s dilemma over choosing the best method to solve an optimisation problem.

b) A chess player’s predicament over adopting a defensive strategy against an aggressive opponent.

c) A mountaineer’s choice of the best path to Mt. Everest from the base camp.

d) A finance manager’s quandary over the best way of raising money from the market.

18) Answer (B)

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Solution:

By adopting a defensive strategy, the chess player is co-operating with his opponent though he wants to win the game. In the beginning of the passage, it has been given that conflict of interests like these lead to interesting psychology. In the other 3 options given, there is no conflict of interest involved (Only one person is involved in all the other 3 cases).

Question 19: According to the passage, which of the following options about the application of game theory to a conflict-of-interest situation is true?

a) Assuming that the rank order of preferences for options is different for different players.

b) Accepting that the interests of different players are often in conflict.

c) Not assuming that the interests are in complete disagreement.

d) All of the above.

19) Answer (D)

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Solution:

In the 1st paragraph, the last 3 lines indicate that the options A and B are true.
In the 2nd paragraph, the first 2 lines indicate that the option C is true.

Hence, all the above is the answer.

Question 20: The problem solving process of a scientist is different from that of a detective because

a) scientists study inanimate objects, while detectives deal with living criminals or law offenders.

b) scientists study known objects, while detectives have to deal with unknown criminals or lawoffenders.

c) scientists study phenomena that are not actively altered, while detectives deal with phenomena that have been deliberately influenced to mislead.

d) scientists study psychologically interesting phenomena, while detectives deal with “adult”analogues of juvenile adventure tales.

20) Answer (C)

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Solution:

Refer to the lines of 2nd last para.
The effort of solving the problem is in itself not a conflict if the adversary (the unknown criminal) remains passive, like Nature, whose secrets the scientist supposedly unravels by deduction. If the adversary actively puts obstacles in the detective’s path toward the solution, there is genuine conflict. But the conflict is psychologically interesting only to the extent that it contains irrational components such as a tactical error on the criminal’s part or the detective’s insight into some psychological quirk of the criminal or something of this sort. Conflict conducted in a perfectly rational manner is psychologically no more interesting than a standard Western.

Option C agrees with these lines and none of the other options does. Hence, option C is the answer.

Instructions

When I was little, children were bought two kinds of ice cream, sold from those white wagons with canopies made of silvery metal: either the two-cent cone or the four-cent ice-cream pie. The two-cent cone was very small, in fact, it could fit comfortably into a child’s hand, and it was made by taking the ice cream from its container with a special scoop and piling it on the cone. Granny always suggested I eat only a part of the cone, then throw away the pointed end, because it had been touched by the vendor’s hand (though that was the best part, nice and crunchy, and it was regularly eaten in secret, after a pretence of discarding it).

The four-cent pie was made by a special little machine, also silvery, which pressed two disks of sweet biscuit against a cylindrical section of ice cream. First, you had to thrust your tongue into the gap between the biscuits until it touched the central nucleus of ice cream; then, gradually, you ate the whole thing, the biscuit surfaces softening as they became soaked in creamy nectar. Granny had no advice to give here: in theory, the pies had been touched only by the machine; in practice, the vendor had held them in his hand while giving them to us, but it was impossible to isolate the contaminated area.

I was fascinated, however, by some of my peers, whose parents bought them not a four-cent pie but two two-cent cones. These privileged children advanced proudly with one cone in their right hand and one in their left; and expertly moving their head from side to side, they licked first one, then the other. This liturgy seemed to me so sumptuously enviable, that many times I asked to be allowed to celebrate it. In vain. My elders were inflexible: a four-cent ice, yes; but two two-cent ones, absolutely no.

As anyone can see, neither mathematics nor economy nor dietetics justified this refusal. Nor did hygiene, assuming that in due course the tips of both cones were discarded. The pathetic, and obviously mendacious, justification was that a boy concerned with turning his eyes from one cone to the other was more inclined to stumble over stones, steps, or cracks in the pavement. I dimly sensed that there was another secret justification, cruelly pedagogical, but I was unable to grasp it.

Today, citizen and victim of a consumer society, a civilization of excess and waste (which the society of the thirties was not), I realize that those dear and now departed elders were right. Two two-cent cones instead of one at four cents did not signify squandering, economically speaking, but symbolically they surely did. It was for this precise reason, that I yearned for them: because two ice creams suggested excess. And this was precisely why they were denied to me: because they looked indecent, an insult to poverty, a display of fictitious privilege, a boast of wealth. Only spoiled children ate two cones at once, those children who in fairy tales were rightly punished, as Pinocchio was when he rejected the skin and the stalk. And parents who encouraged this weakness, appropriate to little parvenus, were bringing up their children in the foolish theatre of “I’d like to but I can’t.” They were preparing them to turn up at tourist-class check-in with a fake Gucci bag bought from a street peddler on the beach at Rimini.

Nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality, in a world where the consumer civilization now wants even adults to be spoiled, and promises them always something more, from the wristwatch in the box of detergent to the bonus bangle sheathed, with the magazine it accompanies, in a plastic envelope. Like the parents of those ambidextrous gluttons I so envied, the consumer civilization pretends to give more, but actually gives, for four cents, what is worth four cents. You will throw away the old transistor radio to purchase the new one, that boasts an alarm clock as well, but some inexplicable defect in the mechanism will guarantee that the radio lasts only a year. The new cheap car will have leather seats, double side mirrors adjustable from inside, and a panelled dashboard, but it will not last nearly so long as the glorious old Fiat 500, which, even when it broke down, could be started again with a kick. The morality of the old days made Spartans of us all, while today’s morality wants all of us to be sybarites.

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Question 21: Which of the following cannot be inferred from the passage?

a) Today’s society is more extravagant than the society of the 1930s.

b) The act of eating two ice cream cones is akin to a ceremonial process.

c) Elders rightly suggested that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other was more likely to fall.

d) Despite seeming to promise more, the consumer civilization gives away exactly what the thing is worth.

e) The consumer civilization attempts to spoil children and adults alike.

21) Answer (C)

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Solution:

The reason elders gave to the children to dissuade them from buying two ice-creams was that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other, one in each hand was more likely to fall. But, as rightly guessed by the author, there is a ‘deeper’ reason for parents’ refusal to let children buy two ice-creams. Therefore, the claim that elders ‘rightly suggested that a boy turning eyes from one cone to the other was more likely to fall’ is incorrect. Option c) is the correct answer.

Question 22: The author pined for two two-cent cones instead of one four-cent pie because

a) it made dietetic sense.

b) it suggested intemperance.

c) it was more fun.

d) it had a visual appeal.

e) he was a glutton.

22) Answer (B)

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Solution:

Consider the following sentence from the passage: “This liturgy seemed to me so…to celebrate it”. From this sentence, we can understand that the main reason why the author wanted two two-cent cones instead of one four-cent cone was because it suggested intemperance. Option b) is the correct answer.

Question 23: What does the author mean by “nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality”?

a) The moralists of yesterday have become immoral today.

b) The concept of morality has changed over the years.

c) Consumerism is amoral.

d) The risks associated with immorality have gone up.

e) The purist’s view of morality is fast becoming popular

23) Answer (B)

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Solution:

Refer to the lines of the para “Nowadays the moralist risks seeming at odds with morality, in a world where the consumer civilization now wants even adults to be spoiled, and promises them always something more, from the wristwatch in the box of detergent to the bonus bangle sheathed, with the magazine it accompanies, in a plastic envelope.”
This explains option B.

Question 24: According to the author, the justification for refusal to let him eat two cones was plausibly

a) didactic.

b) dietetic.

c) dialectic.

d) diatonic.

e) diastolic

24) Answer (A)

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Solution:

Refer to the para 4 “The pathetic, and obviously mendacious, justification was that a boy concerned with turning his eyes from one cone to the other was more inclined to stumble over stones, steps, or cracks in the pavement. I dimly sensed that there was another secret justification, cruelly pedagogical, but I was unable to grasp it.”
According to the author the justification was pedagogical, didactic comes closest to the meaning.

Instructions

Language is not a cultural artifact that we learn the way we learn to tell time or how the federal government works. Instead, it is a distinct piece of the biological makeup of our brains. Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child spontaneously, without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process information or behave intelligently. For these reasons some cognitive scientists have described language as a psychological faculty, a mental organ, a neural system, and a computational module. But I prefer the admittedly quaint term “instinct”. It conveys the idea that people know how to talk in more or less the sense that spiders know how to spin webs. Web-spinning was not invented by some unsung spider genius and does not depend on having had the right education or on having an aptitude for architecture or the construction trades. Rather, spiders spin spider webs because they have spider brains, which give them the urge to spin and the competence to succeed. Although there are differences between webs and words, I will encourage you to see language in this way, for it helps to make sense of the phenomena we will explore.

Thinking of language as an instinct inverts the popular wisdom, especially as it has been passed down in the canon of the humanities and social sciences. Language is no more a cultural invention than is upright posture. It is not a manifestation of a general capacity to use symbols: a three-year-old, we shall see, is a grammatical genius, but is quite incompetent at the visual arts, religious iconography, traffic signs, and the other staples of the semiotics curriculum. Though language is a magnificent ability unique to Homo sapiens among living species, it does not call for sequestering the study of humans from the domain of biology, for a magnificent ability unique to a particular living species is far from unique in the animal kingdom. Some kinds of bats home in on flying insects using Doppler sonar. Some kinds of migratory birds navigate thousands of miles by calibrating the positions of the constellations against the time of day and year. In nature’s talent show, we are simply a species of primate with our own act, a knack for communicating information about who did what to whom by modulating the sounds we make when we exhale.

Once you begin to look at language not as the ineffable essence of human uniqueness but as a biological adaptation to communicate information, it is no longer as tempting to see language as an insidious shaper of thought, and, we shall see, it is not. Moreover, seeing language as one of nature’s engineering marvels — an organ with “that perfection of structure and co-adaptation which justly excites our admiration,” in Darwin’s words – gives us a new respect for your ordinary Joe and the much-maligned English language (or any language). The complexity of language, from the scientist’s point of view, is part of our biological birthright; it is not something that parents teach their children or something that must be elaborated in school — as Oscar Wilde said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” A preschooler’s tacit knowledge of grammar is more sophisticated than the thickest style manual or the most state-of-the-art computer language system, and the same applies to all healthy human beings, even the notorious syntaxfracturing professional athlete and the, you know, like, inarticulate teenage skateboarder. Finally, since language is the product of a wellengineered biological instinct, we shall see that it is not the nutty barrel of monkeys that entertainercolumnists make it out to be.

Question 25: According to the passage, which of the following does not stem from popular wisdom on language?

a) Language is a cultural artifact.

b) Language is a cultural invention.

c) Language is learnt as we grow.

d) Language is unique to Homo sapiens.

e) Language is a psychological faculty.

25) Answer (E)

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Solution:

Refer to the lines “Language is a complex, specialized skill, which develops in the child spontaneously, without conscious effort or formal instruction, is deployed without awareness of its underlying logic, is qualitatively the same in every individual, and is distinct from more general abilities to process information or behave intelligently. For these reasons some cognitive scientists have described language as a psychological faculty, a mental organ, a neural system, and a computational module”

The author says that popular wisdom considers Language to be a cultural artifact or invention or something that is learnt in school or from your parents. However, this is not the case. Throughout the passage, the author makes the case for it being a “psychological faculty” or instinct. Hence, option E does not stem from popular wisdom like the other options. It instead is suggested by cognitive scientists (and the author) as a view contrary to popular wisdom.

Hence option E is correct

Question 26: Which of the following can be used to replace the “spiders know how to spin webs” analogy as used by the author?

a) A kitten learning to jump over a wall

b) Bees collecting nectar

c) A donkey carrying a load

d) A horse running a Derby

e) A pet clog protecting its owner’s property

26) Answer (B)

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Solution:

This analogy of spider suggests the inherent activities.
Only option B comes close. Rest of the qualities mentioned in other options are developed over a period of time.

Question 27: According to the passage, which of the following is unique to human beings?

a) Ability to use symbols while communicating with one another.

b) Ability to communicate with each other through voice modulation.

c) Ability to communicate information to other members of the species.

d) Ability to use sound as means of communication.

e) All of the above.

27) Answer (B)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to the last line of the para 2 “Innature’s talent show, we are simply a species of primate with our own act, a knack for communicating information about who did what to whom by modulating the sounds we make when we exhale.”

Question 28: According to the passage, complexity of language cannot be taught by parents or at school to children because

a) children instinctively know language.

b) children learn the language on their own.

c) language is not amenable to teaching.

d) children know language better than their teachers or parents.

e) children are born with the knowledge of semiotics.

28) Answer (A)

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Solution:

Refer to the lines of the last para “The complexity of language, from the scientist’s point of view, is part of our biological birthright; it is not something that parents teach their children or something that must be elaborated in school — as Oscar Wilde said, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.”

Question 29: Which of the following best summarizes the passage?

a) Language is unique to Homo sapiens.

b) Language is neither learnt nor taught.

c) Language is not a cultural invention or artifact as it is made out.

d) Language is instinctive ability of human beings.

e) Language is use of symbols unique to human beings.

29) Answer (D)

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Solution:

Throughout the para, the author talks about the language being the instinctive ability.Moreover refer to the line of 1st para”But I prefer the admittedly quaint term “instinct”. This shows the correct option to be D

Instructions

To summarize the Classic Maya collapse, we can tentatively identify five strands. I acknowledge, however, that Maya archaeologists still disagree vigorously among themselves in part, because the different strands evidently varied in importance among different parts of the Maya realm; because detailed archaeological studies are available for only some Maya sites; and because it remains puzzling why most of the Maya heartland remained nearly empty of population and failed to recover after the collapse and after re-growth of forests.

With those caveats, it appears to me that one strand consisted of population growth outstripping available resources: a dilemma similar to the one foreseen by Thomas Malthus in 1798 and being played out today in Rwanda, Haiti and elsewhere. As the archaeologist David Webster succinctly puts it, “Too many farmers grew too many crops on too much of landscape.” Compounding that mismatch between population and resources was the second strand: the effects of deforestation and hillside erosion, which caused a decrease in the amount of useable farmland at a time when more rather than less farmland was needed, and possibly exacerbated by an anthropogenic drought resulting from deforestation, by soil nutrient depletion and other soil problems, and by the struggle to prevent bracken ferns from overrunning the fields.

The third strand consisted of increased fighting, as more and more people fought over fewer resources. Maya warfare, already endemic, peaked just before the collapse. That is not surprising when one reflects that at least five million people, perhaps many more, were crammed into an area smaller than the US state of Colorado (104,000 square miles). That warfare would have decreased further the amount of land available for agriculture, by creating no-man’s lands between principalities where it was now unsafe to farm. Bringing matters to a head was the strand of climate change. The drought at the time of the Classic collapse was not the first drought that the Maya had lived through, but it was the most severe. At the time of previous droughts, there were still uninhabited parts of the Maya landscape, and people at a site affected by drought could save themselves by moving to another site. However, by the time of the Classic collapse the landscape was now full, there was no useful unoccupied land in the vicinity on which to begin anew, and the whole population could not be accommodated in the few areas that continued to have reliable water supplies.

As our fifth strand, we have to wonder why the kings and nobles failed to recognize and solve these seemingly obvious problems undermining their society. Their attention was evidently focused on their short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with each other, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all those activities. Like most leaders throughout human history, the Maya kings and nobles did not heed long-term problems, insofar as they perceived them.

Finally, while we still have some other past societies to consider before we switch our attention to the modern world, we must already be struck by some parallels between the Maya and the past societies. As on Mangareva, the Maya environmental and population problems led to increasing warfare and civil strife. Similarly, on Easter Island and at Chaco Canyon, the Maya peak population numbers were followed swiftly by political and social collapse. Paralleling the eventual extension of agriculture from Easter Island’s coastal lowlands to its uplands, and from the Mimbres floodplain to the hills, Copan’s inhabitants also expanded from the floodplain to the more fragile hill slopes, leaving them with a larger population to feed when the agricultural boom in the hills went bust. Like Easter Island chiefs erecting ever larger statues, eventually crowned by pukao, and like Anasazi elite treating themselves to necklaces of 2,000 turquoise beads, Maya kings sought to outdo each other with more and more impressive temples, covered with thicker and thicker plaster — reminiscent in turn of the extravagant conspicuous consumption by modern American CEOs. The passivity of Easter chiefs and Maya kings in the face of the real big threats to their societies completes our list of disquieting parallels.

Question 30: According to the passage, which of the following best represents the factor that has been cited by the author in the context of Rwanda and Haiti?

a) Various ethnic groups competing for land and other resources

b) Various ethnic groups competing for limited land resources

c) Various ethnic groups fighting with each other

d) Various ethnic groups competing for political power

e) Various ethnic groups fighting for their identity

30) Answer (A)

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Solution:

Refer to the 2nd para “With those caveats, it appears to me that one strand consisted of population growth outstripping available resources: a dilemma similar to the one foreseen by Thomas Malthus in 1798 and being played out today in Rwanda, Haiti and elsewhere. As the archaeologist David Webster succinctly puts it, “Too many farmers grew too many crops on too much of landscape.”
Hence option 1.

Question 31: By an anthropogenic drought, the author means

a) a drought caused by lack of rains.

b) a drought caused due to deforestation.

c) a drought caused by failure to prevent bracken ferns from overrunning the fields.

d) a drought caused by actions of human beings.

e) a drought caused by climate changes.

31) Answer (D)

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Solution:

Anthropogenic means “caused by human factor”
So anthropogenic drought means drought caused by human beings.

Question 32: According to the passage, the drought at the time of Maya collapse had a different impact compared to the droughts earlier because

a) the Maya kings continued to be extravagant when common people were suffering.

b) it happened at the time of collapse of leadership among Mayas.

c) it happened when the Maya population had occupied all available land suited for agriculture.

d) it was followed by internecine warfare among Mayans.

e) irreversible environmental degradation led to this drought.

32) Answer (C)

View Video Solution

Solution:

Refer to these lines from the para”At the time of previous droughts, there were still uninhabited parts of the Maya landscape, and people at a site affected by drought could save themselves by moving to another site. However, by the time of the Classic collapse the landscape was now full, there was no useful unoccupied land in the vicinity on which to begin anew, and the whole population could not be accommodated in the few areas that continued to have reliable water supplies.”
It is clearly written in these line that the landscape was now full,hence option C

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