SBI PO 21 June 2014


Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words/phrases have been printed in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

India is rushing headlong toward economic success and modernisation, counting on high- tech industries such as information technology and biotechnology to propel the nation toprosperity. India’s recent announcement that it would no longer produce unlicensed inexpensive generic pharmaceuticals bowed to the realities of the World TradeOrganisation while at the same time challenging the domestic drug industry to compete
with the multinational firms. Unfortunately, its weak higher education sector constitutes the Achilles’ Heel of this strategy. Its systematic disinvestment in higher education inrecent years has yielded neither world-class research nor very many highly trained scholars, scientists, or managers to sustain high-tech development.
India’s main competitors especially China but also Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea — are investing in large and differentiated higher education systems. They are providingaccess to large number of students at the bottom of the academic system while at the same time building some research-based universities that are able to compete with theworld’s best institutions. The recent London Times Higher Education Supplement ranking of the world’s top 200 universities included three in China, three in Hong Kong,three in South Korea, one in Taiwan, and one in India (an Indian Institute of Technology at number 41.— the specific campus was not specified). These countries are positioningthemselves for leadership in the knowledge-based economies of the coming era. There was a time when countries could achieve economic success with cheap labour andlow-tech manufacturing. Low wages still help, but contemporary large-scale development requires a sophisticated and at least partly knowledge-based economy.India has chosen that path, but will find a major stumbling block in its university system. India has significant advantages in the 21st century knowledge race. It has a large high ereducation sector — the third largest in the world in student numbers, after China andthe United States. It uses English as a primary language of higher education and research. It has a long academic tradition. Academic freedom is respected. There are asmall number of high quality institutions, departments, and centres that can form the basis of quality sector in higher education. The fact that the States, rather than the Central Government, exercise major responsibility for higher education creates a rather cumbersome structure, but the system allows for a variety of policies and approaches. Yet the weaknesses far outweigh the strengths. India educates approximately 10 per
cent of its young people in higher education compared with more than half in the major industrialised countries and 15 per cent in China. Almost all of the world’s academic systems resemble a pyramid, with a small high quality tier at the top and a massive sector at the bottom. India has a tiny top tier. None of its universities occupies a solid position at the top. A few of the best universities have some excellent departments and centres, and there is a small number of outstanding undergraduate colleges. The University Grants Commission’s recent major support of five universities to build on their recognised strength is a step toward recognising a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence. At present, the world-class institutions are mainly limited to the
Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and perhaps a few others such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. These institutions, combined, enroll well under 1 percent of the student population. India’s colleges and universities, with just a few exceptions, have become large, under-funded, ungovernable institutions. At many of them, politics has intruded into campus life, influencing academic appointments and decisions across levels. Under-investment in
libraries, information technology, laboratories, and classrooms makes it very difficult to provide top-quality instruction or engage in cutting-edge research.The rise in the number of part-time teachers and the freeze on new full-time appointments in many places have affected morale in the academic profession. The lackof accountability means that teaching and research performance is seldom measured. The system provides few incentives to perform. Bureaucratic inertia hampers change.Student unrest and occasional faculty agitation disrupt operations. Nevertheless, with a semblance of normality, faculty administrators are. able to provide teaching, coordinate
examinations, and award degrees. Even the small top tier of higher education faces serious problems. Many IIT graduates,well trained in technology, have chosen not to contribute their skills to the burgeoning technology sector in India. Perhaps half leave the country immediately upon graduation to pursue advanced study abroad — and most do not return. A stunning 86 per cent of students in science and technology fields from India who obtain degrees in the United States do not return home immediately following their study. Another significant group, of about 30 per cent, decides to earn MBAs in India because local salaries are higher.—and are lost to science and technology.A corps of dedicated and able teachers work at the IlTs and IIMs, but the lure of jobs abroad and in the private sector make it increasingly difficult to lure the best and brightest to the academic profession.Few in India are thinking creatively about higher education. There is no field of higher education research. Those in government as well as academic leaders seem content to do the “same old thing.” Academic institutions and systems have become large and complex. They need good data, careful analysis, and creative ideas. In China, more than two-dozen higher education research centers, and several government agencies are involved in higher education policy.India has survived with an increasingly mediocre higher education system for decades.Now as India strives to compete in a globalized economy in areas that require highly trained professionals, the quality of higher education becomes increasingly important.India cannot build internationally recognized research-oriented universities overnight,but the country has the key elements in place to begin and sustain the process. India will
need to create a dozen or more universities that can compete internationally to fully participate in the new world economy. Without these universities, India is destined to remain a scientific backwater.

Question 1

Which of the following ‘statement(s) is/are correct in the context of the given
passage ?
I. India has the third largest higher education sector in the world in student
II. India is moving rapidly toward economic success and modernisation through
high tech industries such as information technology and bitechonology to make the
nation to prosperity.
III. India’s systematic disinvestment in higher education in recent years has
yielded world class research and many world class trained scholars, scientists to
sustain high-tech development.

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Question 2

Which of the following statements in regard to the information given in the passage is not true ?

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Question 3

According to the view expressed by the writer in the passage. what is a step
toward recognising a differentiated academic system and fostering excellence ?

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Question 4

In writer’s opinion which of the following reason(s) is/are responsible for poor
higher education in India ?
I. India’s colleges and universities, with some exceptions, have become large under
funded, ungovernable institutions.
II. Politics has intruded into many compuses that influences academic
appointments and decisions across levels.
III. Under investment in libraries, laboratories, IT and classrooms hinder cutting
edge research.

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Question 5

Which of the following statements is not true as per the given information in the
passage ?

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Question 6

What in your opinion should be an appropriate title of the given passage ?

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Choose the word/group of words which is most similar in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

Question 7

Achilles’ Heel

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Question 8


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Choose the word/group of words which is most opposite in meaning to the word/group of words printed in bold as used in the passage.

Question 9


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Question 10


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