Bank PO Exam

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

Delays of several months in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) wage payments and worksites where labourers have lost all hope of being paid at all have become the norm in many States. How are workers who exist on the margins of subsistence supposed to feed their families ? Under the scheme, workers must be paid within 15 days, failing which they are entitled to compensation under the Payment of Wages Act-upto Rs. 3,000/- per aggrieved worker. In reality, compensation is received in only a few isolated instances.

It is often argued by officials that the main reason for the delay is the inability of banks and post offices to handle mass payments of NREGS wages. Though there is a grain of truth in this, as a diagnosis it is misleading. The ‘jam’ in the banking system has been the result of the hasty switch to bank payments imposed by the Central Government against the recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council which advocated a gradual transition starting with villages relatively close to the nearest bank.

However delays are not confined solely to the banking system. Operational hurdles include implementing agencies taking more than fifteen days to issue payment orders, viewing of work measurement as a cumbersome process resulting in procrastination by the engineering staff and non-maintenance of muster rolls and job cards etc. But behind these delays lies a deeper and deliberate ‘backlash’ against the NREGS. With bank payments making it much harder to embezzle NREGS funds, the programme is seen as a headache by many government functionaries–the workload has remained without the ‘inducements’. Slowing down wage payments is a convenient way of sabotaging the scheme because workers will desert NREGS worksites.

The common sense solution advocated by the government is to adopt the business correspondent model wherein bank agents will go to villages to make cash payments and duly record them on handheld electronic devices. This solution is based on the wrong diagnosis that distance separating villages from banks is the main issue. In order to accelerate payments, clear timelines for every step of the payment process should be incorporated into the system as Programme Officers often have no data on delays and cannot exert due pressure to remedy the situation. Workers are both clueless and powerless with no provision for them to air their grievances and seek redress. In drought affected areas the system of piece rate work can be dispensed with, where work measurement is not completed within a week and wages may be paid on the basis of attendance. Buffer funds can be provided to gram panchayats and post offices to avoid bottlenecks in the flow of funds. Partial advances could also be considered provided wage payments are meticulously tracked. But failure to recognise problems and unwillingness to remedy them will remain major threats to the NREGS.

1. What impact have late wage payments had on NREGS workers ?
(A) They cannot obtain employment till their dues are cleared
(B) They have benefited from the compensation awarded to them
(C) They have been unable to provide for their families
(D) They have been ostracised by their families who depend on them for sustenance
(E) None of these
Ans : (C)

2. Which of the following factors has not been responsible for untimely payment of NREGS wages ?
(A) Communication delays between agencies implementing the scheme
(B) Improper record keeping
(C) Behind schedule release of payments by banks
(D) Drought conditions prevalent in the country
(E) Delays in work measurement
Ans : (D)

3. What has the outcome of disbursing NREGS wages through banks been ?
(A) Theft of funds by administration officials responsible for the scheme has reduced
(B) Increased workload for local government officials
(C) Protests by workers who have to travel long distances to the nearest bank to claim their wages
(D) Time consuming formalities have to be completed by workers
(E) None of these
Ans : (D)

4. According to the passage, which of the following has/have been the consequence(s) of delayed wage payments ?
(1) Compensation to victimised workers has amounted to crores.
(2) Banks will no longer be entrusted with remitting wages.
(3) Regulations to ensure punctual wage payments have come into force.
(A) None
(B) Only (1)
(C) Only (1) and (3)
(D) Only (1) and (2)
(E) Only (2) and (3)
Ans : (C)

5. To which of the following has the author attributed the delay in wage payments ?
(A) Embezzlement of funds by corrupt bank staff.
(B) Lack of monitoring by the Central Employment Guarantee Council
(C) An attempt to derail the NREGS by vested interests
(D) Overworked bank staff deliberately delay payments to protest against extra work
(E) Engineers’ efforts to wreck the NREGS because of low wages
Ans : (E)

6. which of the following is NOT true in the context of the passage ?
(1) Workers are reluctant to open bank accounts as branches are not conveniently located.
(2) Local officials often delay wage payments in drought prone areas to benefit workers.
(3) The Government has not implemented every recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council.
(A) Only (2)
(B) Only (1) and (2)
(C) Only (2) and (3)
(D) All (1), (2) and (3)
(E) None of these
Ans : (D)

7. Which of the following can be considered a deficiency in the NREGS ?
(A) Lack of co-ordination among Programme Officers
(B) Local officials are unaware of correct operational procedures
(C) Workers have no means of obtaining redressal for untimely wage payments
(D) Disbursing wages through banks instead of readily accessible post offices
(E) The Central Employment Guarantee Council is reluctant to award compensation to workers
Ans : (A)

8. What solution has the author suggested to expedite NREGS wage payments ?
(A) Empower the Central Employment Guarantee Council to monitor the NREGS
(B) Implement payment of wages in cash at all worksites
(C) Restrict the amount of funds to local government bodies in order to curb frauds
(D) Provide attendance records to workers so that they have proof to claim their wages
(E) None of these
Ans : (B)

9. What is the author’s view about the government’s solution to the problem of delayed wage payments ?
(A) He agrees with it as workers will not have to bear the expense of travelling long distances to claim their wages
(B) He is not in favour of it as funds can be misappropriated by agents
(C) He welcomes it as the time consuming work measurement process will be done away with
(D) He feels it does not address the core issues plaguing the scheme
(E) He feels it will ensure flawless implementation of the scheme
Ans : (A)

10. Which of the following can be said about the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme ?
(1) Skilled engineers are not compensated under this scheme.
(2) The scheme should be implemented only in famine prone areas.
(3) Employers have not complied with all the requirements of the scheme.
(A) Only (1)
(B) Only (3)
(C) Only (2) and(3)
(D) Only (1) and (2)
(E) None of these
Ans : (B)

Directions—(Q. 11–13) Choose the word which is MOST SIMILAR in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

11. Isolated
(A) Lonely
(B) Separated
(C) Detached
(D) Hidden
(E) Rare
Ans : (E)

12. Confined
(A) Locked
(B) Restricted
(C) Detained
(D) Captured
(E) Imprisoned
Ans : (B)

13. Desert
(A) Betray
(B) Escape
(C) Barren
(D) Abandon
(E) Vacant
Ans : (D)

Directions—(Q. 14–15) Choose the word which is MOST OPPOSITE in MEANING to the word printed in bold as used in the passage.

14. Convenient
(A) Troublesome
(B) Annoying
(C) Appropriate
(D) Easy
(E) Distant
Ans : (A)

15. Deliberate
(A) Unsteady
(B) Abrupt
(C) Mistake
(D) Chosen
(E) Accidental
Ans : (E)

Directions—(Q. 16–20) Which of the phrases (A), (B), (C) and (D) given below should replace the phrase given in bold in the following sentence to make the sentence meaningful and grammatically correct. If the sentence is correct as it is and ‘No correction is required’, mark (E) as the answer.

16. Unless the government monitored the loan waiver scheme well, it is likely to be a success.
(A) For the government to monitor
(B) Unless the government monitors
(C) Though the government monitored
(D) If the government monitors
(E) No correction required
Ans : (D)

17. The main objective of hiring this consultant is in assessing that this data can be computerised.
(A) assessing that
(B) an assessment of
(C) to assess how
(D) for assessing that when
(E) No correction required
Ans : (C)

18. The designs finally ready and we shall submit them for approval tomorrow, well before the specified deadline.
(A) Designs finally will be
(B) Designs are finally
(C) Final designs
(D) Designing finally
(E) No correction required.
Ans : (B)

19. Most irrigation projects have delayed due to lack of adequate government funding.
(A) have been delayed from
(B) will be delayed for
(C) were delaying due to
(D) are delayed because of
(E) No correction required
Ans : (D)

20. Many Indian companies import components from China as they are cheap compared to those manufactured locally.
(A) as they are cheap as
(B) because it is cheaper
(C) since these are cheaper
(D) which is cheap
(E) No correction required
Ans : (C)

Directions—(Q. 21–25) In each question below a sentence with four words printed in bold type is given. These are lettered as (A), (B), (C) and (D). One of these four words printed in bold may be either wrongly spelt or inappropriate in the context of the sentence. Find out the word which is wrongly spelt or inappropriate, if any. The letter of that word is your answer. If all the words printed in bold are correctly spelt and also appropriate in the context of the sentence, mark (E) i.e., ‘All correct’ as your answer.

21. Your marketing strategy (A) should be devised (B) dependent (C) on the kind of business you own. (D) All correct (E)
Ans : (C)

22. The file contents (A) a revised (B) estimate (C) of the banking industry’s manpower requirements (D) for the next year. All correct (E)
Ans : (A)

23. To better understand the challenges (A) of starting a new venture (B) he read (C) up extensively. (D) All correct (E)
Ans : (A)

24. Since our financial resources (A) are limitless (B) we cannot afford (C) this alternative. (D) All correct (E)
Ans : (B)

25. His main reasoning (A) for applying (B) for this promotion is the possibility (C) of an overseas posting. (D) All correct (E)
Ans : (A)

Directions—(Q. 26–30) Rearrange the following six sentences 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the proper sequence to form a meaningful paragraph; then answer the questions given below them—
1. Voluntary measures such as codes of conduct have failed to address these issues and deliver change.
2. However they can also cause serious problems with their irresponsible behaviour.
3. Companies are a powerful force for good.
4. There are several instances of companies undermining worker’s rights and damaging the environment.
5. The Comapnies Bill 2009 is thus a means to address issues of corporate governance and ensure companies are accountable for the financial performance and social impact.
6. They provide jobs, boost economies and aid social and environmental development.

26. Which of the following should be the FIRST sentence after rearrangement ?
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
(E) 5
Ans : (C)

27. Which of the following should be the SECOND sentence after rearrangement ?
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
(E) 6
Ans : (E)

28. Which of the following should be the THIRD sentence after rearrangement ?
(A) 2
(B) 3
(C) 4
(D) 5
(E) 6
Ans : (B)

29. Which of the following should be the FIFTH sentence after rearrangement ?
(A) 1
(B) 2
(C) 3
(D) 4
(E) 5
Ans : (A)

30. Which of the following should be the LAST (SIXTH) sentence after rearrangement ?
(A) 2
(B) 3
(C) 4
(D) 5
(E) 6
Ans : (E)

Directions—(Q. 31–`40) Read each sentence to find out whether there is any grammatical error or idiomatic error in it. The error, if any, will be in one part of the sentence. The letter of that part is the answer. If there is no error, the answer is (E). (Ignore errors of punctuation, if any.)

31. Despite the merger (A) / the airline has reported (B) / sizeable losses and is unable (C) / to pay their employees. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (D)

32. We have recently began (A) / the process of recruiting (B) / insurance agents for (C) / our North-Eastern branches. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (A)

33. The company’s decision to issue (A) / bonus shares clearly indicates (B) / the management’s confident (C) / about the future. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

34. Inspite that organisations are aware (A) / of the importance of IT (B) / they often do not know (C) / how to deploy it effectively. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (D)

35. Keeping in mind that India (A) / is one of the world’s fastest (B) / growing economies many international (C) / companies are invested in India. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (D)

36. Although interlinking of rivers will (A) / help tackle drought, the government (B) / has not paid much (C) / attention to this project. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

37. The rise in prices of food items is (A) / likely the cause of inflation (B) / to exceed eight percent (C) / during the next quarter. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

38. Many people believe that (A) / the nationalisation of banks (B) / in the 1960s have proteced India (C) / from the current financial crisis. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

39. RBI in favour (A) / of amending currently (B) / policies governing operations of (C) / foreign banks in India. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

40. These recently upgraded branch offices (A) / have been fully computerised (B) / and are connected to headquarters (C) / to ensure proper monitoring. (D) No error (E)
Ans : (C)

Directions—(Q. 41–50) In the following passage there are blanks, each of which has been numbered. These numbers are printed below the passage and against each, five words are suggested, one of which fits the blank appropriately. Find out the appropriate word in each case.

The …(41)… of India as an econonmic superpower is not reflected in the …(42)… of life enjoyed by its 1.2 billion citizens according to the Human Development Index which …(43)… India very low among 182 countries. In our performance oriented world, measurement issues have taken on …(44)… importance as what we measure affects what we do. In fact the French President has established an international commission on the Measurement of Economic Performance and Social Progress owing to his …(45)… and that of others with the current state of statistical information about the economy and society.

The big question concerns …(46)… Gross Domestic Product (GDP) provides a good measure of living standards. In many cases GDP statistics seem to …(47)… that the economy is doing far better than most citizens feel it is. Moreover the focus on GDP creates conflicts-while political leaders are told to maximise it, citizens also demand that …(48)… be paid to enhancing security, reducing air, water and noise pollution all of which actually …(49)… GDP growth. Statistics are …(50)… to summarise what is going on in our complex society, it is therefore obvious that we can’t reduce everything to a single number–GDP.

41. (A) tribute
(B) pursuit
(C) perception
(D) conversion
(E) title
Ans : (E)

42. (A) loss
(B) quality
(C) spirit
(D) span
(E) joy
Ans : (B)

43. (A) counted
(B) scored
(C) qualified
(D) regard
(E) ranked
Ans : (E)

44. (A) negligible
(B) great
(C) unduly
(D) trivial
(E) considerably
Ans : (B)

45. (A) obedience
(B) confidence
(C) belief
(D) dissatisfaction
(E) compliance
Ans : (D)

46. (A) that
(B) unless
(C) because
(D) against
(E) whether
Ans : (E)

47. (A) suggest
(B) recommend
(C) think
(D) point
(E) refer
Ans : (A)

48. (A) compensation
(B) respect
(C) debt
(D) attention
(E) expense
Ans : (D)

49. (A) recover
(B) lower
(C) attain
(D) decline
(E) shrunk
Ans : (B)

50. (A) inferred
(B) difficult
(C) interpret
(D) reveal
(E) intended
Ans : (E)


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