CAT 2023 Slot 1 Question Paper


The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose the best answer for each question.

For early postcolonial literature, the world of the novel was often the nation. Postcolonial novels were usually [concerned with] national questions. Sometimes the whole story of the novel was taken as an allegory of the nation, whether India or Tanzania. This was important for supporting anti-colonial nationalism, but could also be limiting - land-focused and inward-looking.

My new book “Writing Ocean Worlds” explores another kind of world of the novel: not the village or nation, but the Indian Ocean world. The book describes a set of novels in which the Indian Ocean is at the centre of the story. It focuses on the novelists Amitav Ghosh, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Lindsey Collen and Joseph Conrad [who have] centred the Indian Ocean world in the majority of their novels. . . . Their work reveals a world that is outward-looking - full of movement, border-crossing and south-south interconnection. They are all very different - from colonially inclined (Conrad) to radically anti-capitalist (Collen), but together draw on and shape a wider sense of Indian Ocean space through themes, images, metaphors and language. This has the effect of remapping the world in the reader’s mind, as centred in the interconnected global south. . . .

The Indian Ocean world is a term used to describe the very long-lasting connections among the coasts of East Africa, the Arab coasts, and South and East Asia. These connections were made possible by the geography of the Indian Ocean. For much of history, travel by sea was much easier than by land, which meant that port cities very far apart were often more easily connected to each other than to much closer inland cities. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that what we now call globalisation first appeared in the Indian Ocean. This is the interconnected oceanic world referenced and produced by the novels in my book. . . .

For their part Ghosh, Gurnah, Collen and even Conrad reference a different set of histories and geographies than the ones most commonly found in fiction in English. Those [commonly found ones] are mostly centred in Europe or the US, assume a background of Christianity and whiteness, and mention places like Paris and New York. The novels in [my] book highlight instead a largely Islamic space, feature characters of colour and centralise the ports of Malindi, Mombasa, Aden, Java and Bombay. . . . It is a densely imagined, richly sensory image of a southern cosmopolitan culture which provides for an enlarged sense of place in the world.

This remapping is particularly powerful for the representation of Africa. In the fiction, sailors and travellers are not all European. . . . African, as well as Indian and Arab characters, are traders, nakhodas (dhow ship captains), runaways, villains, missionaries and activists. This does not mean that Indian Ocean Africa is romanticised. Migration is often a matter of force; travel is portrayed as abandonment rather than adventure, freedoms are kept from women and slavery is rife. What it does mean is that the African part of the Indian Ocean world plays an active role in its long, rich history and therefore in that of the wider world.

Question 1

Which one of the following statements is not true about migration in the Indian Ocean world?

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Question 2

On the basis of the nature of the relationship between the items in each pair below, choose the odd pair out:

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Question 3

All of the following statements, if true, would weaken the passage’s claim about the relationship between mainstream English-language fiction and Indian Ocean novels EXCEPT:

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Question 4

All of the following claims contribute to the “remapping” discussed by the passage,

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The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose the best answer for each question.

Many human phenomena and characteristics - such as behaviors, beliefs, economies, genes, incomes, life expectancies, and other things - are influenced both by geographic factors and by non-geographic factors. Geographic factors mean physical and biological factors tied to geographic location, including climate, the distributions of wild plant and animal species, soils, and topography. Non-geographic factors include those factors subsumed under the term culture, other factors subsumed under the term history, and decisions by individual people. . . .

[T]he differences between the current economies of North and South Korea . . . cannot be attributed to the modest environmental differences between [them] . . . They are instead due entirely to the different [government] policies . . . At the opposite extreme, the Inuit and other traditional peoples living north of the Arctic Circle developed warm fur clothes but no agriculture, while equatorial lowland peoples around the world never developed warm fur clothes but often did develop agriculture. The explanation is straightforwardly geographic, rather than a cultural or historical quirk unrelated to geography. . . . Aboriginal Australia remained the sole continent occupied only by hunter/gatherers and with no indigenous farming or herding . . . [Here the] explanation is biogeographic: the Australian continent has no domesticable native animal species and few domesticable native plant species. Instead, the crops and domestic animals that now make Australia a food and wool exporter are all non-native (mainly Eurasian) species such as sheep, wheat, and grapes, brought to Australia by overseas colonists.

Today, no scholar would be silly enough to deny that culture, history, and individual choices play a big role in many human phenomena. Scholars don’t react to cultural, historical, and individual-agent explanations by denouncing “cultural determinism,” “historical determinism,” or “individual determinism,” and then thinking no further. But many scholars do react to any explanation invoking some geographic role, by denouncing “geographic determinism” . . .

Several reasons may underlie this widespread but nonsensical view. One reason is that some geographic explanations advanced a century ago were racist, thereby causing all geographic explanations to become tainted by racist associations in the minds of many scholars other than geographers. But many genetic, historical, psychological, and anthropological explanations advanced a century ago were also racist, yet the validity of newer non-racist genetic etc. explanations is widely accepted today.

Another reason for reflex rejection of geographic explanations is that historians have a tradition, in their discipline, of stressing the role of contingency (a favorite word among historians) based on individual decisions and chance. Often that view is warranted . . . But often, too, that view is unwarranted. The development of warm fur clothes among the Inuit living north of the Arctic Circle was not because one influential Inuit leader persuaded other Inuit in 1783 to adopt warm fur clothes, for no good environmental reason.

A third reason is that geographic explanations usually depend on detailed technical facts of geography and other fields of scholarship . . . Most historians and economists don’t acquire that detailed knowledge as part of the professional training.

Question 5

All of the following are advanced by the author as reasons why non-geographers disregard geographic influences on human phenomena EXCEPT their:

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Question 6

The author criticises scholars who are not geographers for all of the following reasons EXCEPT:

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Question 7

All of the following can be inferred from the passage EXCEPT:

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Question 8

The examples of the Inuit and Aboriginal Australians are offered in the passage to show:

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The passage below is accompanied by four questions. Based on the passage, choose the best answer for each question.

RESIDENTS of Lozère, a hilly department in southern France, recite complaints familiar to many rural corners of Europe. In remote hamlets and villages, with names such as Le Bacon and Le Bacon Vieux, mayors grumble about a lack of local schools, jobs, or phone and internet connections. Farmers of grazing animals add another concern: the return of wolves. Eradicated from France last century, the predators are gradually creeping back to more forests and hillsides. “The wolf must be taken in hand,” said an aspiring parliamentarian, Francis Palombi, when pressed by voters in an election campaign early this summer. Tourists enjoy visiting a wolf park in Lozère, but farmers fret over their livestock and their livelihoods. .
. .

As early as the ninth century, the royal office of the Luparii—wolf-catchers—was created in France to tackle the predators. Those official hunters (and others) completed their job in the 1930s, when the last wolf disappeared from the mainland. Active hunting and improved technology such as rifles in the 19th century, plus the use of poison such as strychnine later on, caused the population collapse. But in the early 1990s the animals reappeared. They crossed the Alps from Italy, upsetting sheep farmers on the French side of the border. Wolves have since spread to areas such as Lozère, delighting environmentalists, who see the predators’ presence as a sign of wider ecological health. Farmers, who say the wolves cause the deaths of thousands of sheep and other grazing animals, are less cheerful. They grumble that green activists and politically correct urban types have allowed the return of an old enemy.

Various factors explain the changes of the past few decades. Rural depopulation is part of the story. In Lozère, for example, farming and a once-flourishing mining industry supported a population of over 140,000 residents in the mid-19th century. Today the department has fewer than 80,000 people, many in its towns. As humans withdraw, forests are expanding. In France, between 1990 and 2015, forest cover increased by an average of 102,000 hectares each year, as more fields were given over to trees. Now, nearly one-third of mainland France is covered by woodland of some sort. The decline of hunting as a sport also means more forests fall quiet. In the mid-to-late 20th century over 2m hunters regularly spent winter weekends tramping in woodland, seeking boars, birds and other prey. Today the Fédération Nationale des Chasseurs, the national body, claims 1.1m people hold hunting licences, though the number of active hunters is probably lower. The mostly protected status of the wolf in Europe—hunting them is now forbidden, other than when occasional culls are sanctioned by the state—plus the efforts of NGOs to track and count the animals, also contribute to the recovery of wolf populations.

As the lupine population of Europe spreads westwards, with occasional reports of wolves seen closer to urban areas, expect to hear of more clashes between farmers and those who celebrate the predators’ return. Farmers’ losses are real, but are not the only economic story. Tourist venues, such as parks where wolves are kept and the animals’ spread is discussed, also generate income and jobs in rural areas.

Question 9

Which one of the following has NOT contributed to the growing wolf population in Lozère?

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Question 10

The inhabitants of Lozère have to grapple with all of the following problems, EXCEPT:

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