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English Questions for IBPS PO Exam Set- 52

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The chaos and cacophony of elections is the surest sign of a vibrant democracy. What role do opinion and exit polls play in this democratic process? A non-partisan debate on this issue must underscore the qualitative difference between opinion polls and exit polls and the differing impact each has on the democratic process. Opinion polls are sample surveys,reporting statistical results of potential future behaviour by voters who answer certain questions. An opinion poll is always conducted before a voter has exercised his franchise, usually several days or weeks before voting. It usually asks more than one question. An exit poll is conducted upon a voter who has already voted. It involves no questions and seeks to report how a voter has voted.
Keeping this difference in mind, there are several reasons for banning exit polls and an arguable, though weaker, case for banning opinion polls. Democracy is the bedrock of our nation and of the Constitution. A republican secular democratic nation has been held by the apex court to be part of the basic structure of the Constitution. Free and fair elections have also been held judicially to be part of this basic structure. This means free and fair polls are an unamendable, inalienable feature of our Constitution.
In turn, free and fair elections necessitate a level playing field where the contestants and voters are not subjected to unfair external influences which vitiate the process of elections. The Representation of People Act (RPA) and the Model Code of Conduct, along with several other rules, are all designed to ensure this essential fairness in the electoral process.
In a multi-phased electoral contest — and the exit polls ban argument is relevant only in multi-phased polls — the exit poll results of a prior poll have a direct impact on the next poll. For example, the present polls are scheduled for April 20, 26, May 5 and 10. An exit poll publication for April 20 suggesting heavy voting for Party A is bound to create an overall ambience of victory in favour of that party. Such predeclaration of exit poll results often leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Party A may have strong support in the April 20 polls but may normally be a miserable loser in all the next three phases. However, an ambience in its favour qua the April 20 polls may generate a ‘herd instinct’ or ‘bandwagon effect’ amid voters to follow the likely ‘winner’ of the first phase.
This may itself not be pernicious if the April 20 exit poll results reflected the complete reality. But exit poll results are based on fractional samples, generalising from ‘miniaturised reality’. Since they do not even claim to represent the whole truth, their impact on future polls is bound to distort the electoral process. Vitiation of democracy and violation of the basic structure is a likely consequence.
Opinion polls are worse because they generalise not from actual behaviour but from presumed and predicted behaviour. The fractional size of the sample (e.g. 40,000 in an Indian electorate of 60 crore) underlines its inherent inadequacy. Many surveys thrive on much smaller sample sizes! Second, the sample can’t be truly representative, especially in a humungous and heterogeneous society like India. Third, opinion polls are conducted well before the polls and their remoteness in time affects their predictive utility. Several recent polls have quoted widely divergent figures and this reflects their untenability. Nevertheless, they inexorably influence the voter and create an uneven playing field.

1. What does the author mean when he says that “chaos and cacophony of elections is the surest sign of a vibrant
democracy”?
1) A lively and active democracy is known by its election-generated difference of opinions and sounds,disorder and confusion etc.
2) A vibrant democracy cannot be identified without the mismanagement of elections.
3) A democracy is active only when it controls the chaos and cacophony during elections.
4) In a vibrant democracy elections can in no way be held in order and peace.
5) None of these

1)

2. Which of the following best describes the ‘opinion poll’?
1) Opinion poll is something that shapes the direction of the election.
2) Opinion poll is an exercise that gives the results of an election beforehand in a real way.
3) Opinion poll is an exercise that seeks to know the mood and choice of a voter before polls.
4) Opinion poll is something that runs parallel to the electoral process determining the future government.
5) None of these

3)

3. How can we have free and fair polls in our democracy?
1) by holding elections in a single phase
2) by denying tickets to criminals
3) by giving the judiciary a free hand to monitor the process
4) by giving the voters enough options to choose from
5) None of these

5)

4. In what condition would the talk of banning exit polls be meaningless?
1) if opinion polls are not banned
2) if elections are held in a single phase
3) if we have to maintain freedom of speech
4) if it does not hinder the election process
5) None of these

2)

5. Which of the following is ‘true’ in the context of the passage?
1) Opinion poll is a post-poll exercise.
2) Exit poll is a pre-poll exercise.
3) Opinion and exit polls influence the outcome of election results.
4) Opinion polls always benefit the ruling party.
5) None of these

3)

6. According to the author, opinion polls are more harmful than exit polls because
1) opinion polls influence the voter directly whereas exit polls remain silent.
2) opinion polls are conducted on a bigger scale as compared to exit polls.
3) opinion polls influences illiterate voters whereas exit polls remain silent.
4) opinion polls are based on assumption whereas exit polls are based on reality.
5) None of these

4)

7. What is the central message behind this passage?
1) Opinion polls and exit polls are based on freedom of speech, so, rather than banning them, they should be monitored.
2) Opinion polls should be conducted in a free and fair manner.
3) Opinion polls and exit polls must be banned to ensure free and fair elections.
4) Exit polls must be banned first as opinion polls are not that harmful for our democracy.
5) None of these

3)

Directions (Q. 8-10): Choose the word which is the same in meaning as the word given in bold as used in the passage.
8. PROPHECY
1) prediction
2) proclamation
3) judgement
4) probity
5) declaration

1) prediction

9. PERNICIOUS
1) peculiar
2) abnormal
3) intentional
4) irritating
5) mischievous

5) mischievous

10. INEXORABLY
1) extremely
2) inevitably
3) basically
4) positively
5) sternly

5) sternly


Directions (Q. 11-13): Choose the word which is the opposite in meaning of the word given in bold as used in the passage.
11. INALIENABLE
1) distinct
2) remote
3) indirect
4) transferable
5) subsidiary
4) transferable

12. VITIATE
1) embolden
2) enforce
3) balance
4) sharpen
5) validate

5) validate

13. FRACTIONAL
1) bold
2) complete
3) influential
4) diverse
5) varied

2) complete