PGDBA 2019


Read the passage below and choose the most appropriate answer for the questions that follow.
Passage I
     One pictured a woman holding an hourglass next to the words: "Beauty has no age limit. Fertility does." Another portrayed a pair of baby shoes wrapped in a ribbon of the Italian flag. Yet another showed a man holding a half-burned cigarette: "Don't let your sperm go up in smoke" it read.
     Were they part of a government effort to promote "Fertility Day" on Sept. 22? A campaign intended to encourage Italians to have more babies. Instead, the ads set off a furore were denounced as being offensive, and within days were withdraw. What they did succeed in doing, however, was to ignite a deeper and lasting debate about why it is that Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in the world, and what can be done about it.

     The problem is not a lack of desire to have children, critics of the campaign say, but rather the lack of meaningful support provided by the government and many employers in a country where the family remains the primary source of child care. Many working women, without an extended family to care for a child, face a dilemma, as private child care is expensive. Some also worry that their job security may be undermined by missing workdays because of child care issues. Many companies do not offer flexible hours for working mothers.

     Not surprisingly, Italy's long slowdown in childbirth has coincided with its recent economic slump. But Italian families have been shrinking for decades. In 2015, 488,000 babies were born in Italy, the fewest since the country first unified in 1861. It has one of the lowest birthrates in Europe, with 1.37 children per woman, compared with a European average of 1.6, according to Eurostat figures. By contrast, in France, the economy has been flat, too, but a family-oriented system provides a far more generous social safety net that includes daycare and subsidies for families to have children. There, women have two children each on average. 

     The Ministry of Health began the fertility campaign on Aug. 31 with a group of online advertisements and a hashtag on Twitter. The goal was to publicize a series of public meetings on Fertility Day and encourage Italians to have more children. Even Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, whose own health minister started the campaign distanced himself from the ads in a radio interview. Under Mr Renzi, Italy's government has paid families with a so-called baby bonus of 80 to 160 euros, or about $90 to $180, for low- and middle-income households. And it has approved labour laws giving more flexibility on parental leave. 

     But Italy allocates only 1 per cent of its gross domestic product to social protection benefits — half the European average. One child out of three here is at risk of relative poverty.Italy's health minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, responding on Facebook, wrote that the Fertility Day, the campaign was not a "call to reproduction" but a day to discuss "the fertility issues that 15 per cent of Italians deal with." She promptly cancelled the campaign. "I am saddened that the launch of the advertising campaign misled many people," Ms.Lorenzine said. "I withdrew it to change it."

Question 41

Which one of the following sentences is inaccurate based on all the facts detailed in  the passage?

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Question 42

According to the passage, what is the key reason for Italy's low fertility rate?

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Question 43

Which of the following words best captures Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's reaction to the fertility campaign?

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Question 44

Based on the passage, which of the following measures will not have a meaningful impact on Italy's fertility rate even if the government worked hard to implement them?

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Question 45

The passage mentions that the idea of "Fertility Day" was "denounced as being offensive" According to the campaign. what exactly did the Italians find "offensive"?

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Read the passage below and choose the most appropriate answer for the questions that follow.
Passage II
          The 'trolley problem' used to be an obscure question in philosophical ethics. It runs as follows: a trolley, or a train, is speeding down a track towards a junction. Some moustache-twirling evildoer has tied five people to the track ahead and another person to the branch line. You are standing next to a lever that controls the junction. Do nothing, and the five people will be killed. Pull the lever, and only one person dies. What is the ethical course of action?

          The excitement around self-driving cars, though, has made the problem famous. A truly self-driving car, after all, will have to be given ethical instructions of some sort by its human programmers. That has led to a miniature boom for the world's small band of professional ethicists, who suddenly find themselves in hot demand.

          In a paper just published in Nature, a team of psychologists and computer scientists describe a different approach. Rather than asking said a small band of philosophers for their thoughts, this team, led by Edmond Awad of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), decided instead to ask the general public. They created the "Moral Machine", a website which presents visitors with a series of choices about whom to save and whom to kill. In one, for instance, a self-driving car experiences brake an ahead of a pedestrian crossing. If it carries on in a straight line, a man, a woman and two homeless people of unspecified sex will be run down. If it serves, the death count will be the same, but the victims will be two women and two male business executives. What should the car do? 

          The strongest preferences, expressed by respondents from all over the world, were for saving human lives over animal ones, preferring to save many rather than few and prioritising children over the old. There were weaker preferences for saving women over men, pedestrians over passengers in the car and for taking action rather than doing nothing. Criminals were seen as literally sub-human ranking below dogs in the public's priority list, above cats.

          Preferences differed between countries. The preference for saving women, for instance, was stronger in places with higher levels of gender equality. The researchers found that the world's countries clustered into three broad categories, which they dubbed "western" covering North America and the Christian cultural countries of Europe, "Eastern", including the Middle East, India and China and "Southern" Latin America and many of France's Former colonial possessions. Countries in the Eastern cluster, for instance, showed a weaker preference for sparing the young over the elderly, while the preference for humans over animals was less pronounced in southern nations. Self-driving cars, it seems, may need the ability to download new moralities when they cross national borders.

Question 46

Among the following, who would be the equivalent of the person pulling the lever in the 'trolley problem'?

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Question 47

The statement "self-driving cars...may need the ability to download new moralities when they cross national borders" implies that,

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Question 48

Which of the following references in driverless-car navigation software is likely to get acceptance from the largest number of countries?

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Question 49

Regulatory approval of which of the following preferences of car-navigation software is likely to face most uncertainty in a 'Southern' country with high levels of gender in-equality?

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Question 50

Which of the following, if achieved, might solve the ethical dilemmas faced by those designing navigation software for driverless cars?

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