Directions: In the following passage, certain words have been omitted from the paragraph. The omitted words have been replaced with words in bold, some which are incorrectly used either contextually or grammatically. You are provided with five options for each blank, out of which only one can replace the word in bold in order to make the sentence coherent and meaningul. If the word in bold is correctly used in the paragraph and no correction is required, mark option 5 as answer.
(Note : The following Cloze Test is based on the recent pattern introduced in SBI PO exam. Special emphasis has been paid on grammar while structuring this cloze test. Some answers are purely grammar based provided you have good command over it. So read the passage carefully and try to score maximum marks.)
No. of questions : 10
Par Score : 8
The idea of specialised payment banks in India has gone from red-hot to lukewarm in a mere two years. Of the 41 players who applied in August 2015, the Reserve Bank of India ……1……(conferred) in-principle licences to 11. But after bagging the coveted licences, three players dropped out of the race, with just two of the remaining announcing …….2….(petulant) launch plans. It is heartening that India Post is pushing ahead with a pan-India plan to open 650 new branches and recruit 55,000 Gramin Dak Sevaks. While India Post is certainly among the stronger contenders, it will have its task cut out in making a success of this …..3……(foray).
Payment banks were conceptualised to offer services such as remittance facilities, bill payments and distribution of basic investment products as a means to financial inclusion. However, most players who won in-principle licences cited the lack of a robust revenue model to ……4……(sustain) operations. On the revenue front, payment banks are wholly reliant on fee income as they are expressly prohibited from lending activities. The cap on deposits at Rs. 1 lakh per account and the ….5…..(pressure) that they park 75 per cent of their deposits in government securities, a far stiffer requirement than for universal banks, impose severe …..6….(recommendations) too. Revenue projections have been further hit lately on g-sec yields declining below 7 per cent, and alternative avenues such as mobile wallets and UPI apps offering low-cost or even free services.
Inspite of all these, India Post still enjoys a …..7…..(regular) edge over other players owing to its unique connect with the bottom of the pyramid, thanks to a vast network of over 1.5 lakh post offices, 89 per cent of them in rural areas. But, it cannot afford to ignore the serious competition posed by telecom players such as Bharti Airtel, who have a comparable footprint and are ……..8…..(gathering) far more capital into their rollouts. To compete with such players, India Post will have to keep an extremely tight rein on its costs and …….9……(leverage) technology, and more than an army of staff to deliver last-mile services.
If the Centre is keen to see India Post Payment Bank succeed, it first needs to offer more generous funding support as the FY18 budget allocation of Rs. 500 crore appears quite …….10…..(considerable). It should also look to supplement India Post’s fee income by routing its own payments through its network.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –2.awarded
Licenses can be awarded or given or allocated or distributed. Although, ‘allocated’ will be the second best after all the three. ‘Conferred’ is another correct word but it requires prepositon ‘on’ or ‘upon’. Ex- Padma Shri was conferred on/upon Sachin Tendulkar. Concede – admin, accept, surrender, yield etc.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –3.concrete
We need an adjective here for the noun ‘plans’. Also, notice that we are talking about 2 companies (who are willing to start Bank out of 11, who got licenses) in a positive way, hence we need positive adjective. 1 , 4 and 5 can thus be cancelled out. Between the remaining two – ‘concrete’ suits the context of the passage. ‘Invaluable plan’ – a plan whose importance cannot be measured.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –5.no correction required
Foray – a spirited attempt to become involved in a new activity or sphere. (My foray in journalism turned out to be fruitful).
Splinter – a small part broken off from a larger piece, chip, shard, needle etc. Infiltration – the action of entering or gaining access to an organization or place surreptitiously.
Notice the pharsal verb used – ‘Cut out’. Try to gauge its meaning from understanding of the sentence.
5.no correction requiredAnswer -5.no correction required
Companies lack solid (or robust) revenue model to continue operations or sustain operations. Sustain – cause to continue for an extended period or without interruption. Maraud – raid and plunder, ravage etc.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –4.mandate
Read the sentence closely again. Cap on depostits at 1 lakh and parking 75% in govt. securities – these two are the rules which banks would have to play by. They will have to abide by these two regulations/requirements. It is compulsory or mandatory for the banks. Hence option 4.
Govt is not ‘pressuring’ banks to do this, these two are rules which banks have to abide by whether govt pressures or not. ‘Pressure’ does not bring out any meaning of the sentence.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –1.constraints
If you have been reading the passage carefully, it would be easy to find answer for this particular question. In these lines, passage is talking of the difficulties faced by the banks. Constraint/Restriction/Hindrance are the correct words. (although ‘impose hindrance’ does not collocate).
Decree – command/order. Errand – a short journey undertaken in order to deliver or collect something
5.no correction requiredAnswer – 3.competitive
5.no correction requiredAnswer –4.sinking
It is important to see the preposition used, which is ‘into’. Bharti Airtel is gathering/collecting capital for its rollout. ‘Bharti Airtel is enhancing capital base for the rollout’ – on these lines (or in such a way), we can use option 1. 4 is the only option that can use preposition ‘into’.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –5.no correction required
Again, read the sentence closely. Passage talks of ‘what should Indian Post’ do to compete. We need a verb in the blank, so 1 can be eliminated. Leverage – use (something) to maximum advantage. Attune – accustom, adjust, adapt.
5.no correction requiredAnswer –2.insubstantial
Answer is hidden in the passage itself. Read the line: ‘Govt. needs to offer more generous funding’ – this implies that the current funding is not enough. Hence option 2. Options 3, 4 and 5 will be totally opposite of what we require.
Note : Do put in your score below. Detailed explanations have been provided for all the questions, but still if any query remains, scribble it down in the ‘Comments’ section and it will be resolved at the earlies.