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Reading Comprehension for Senior Students

 Let me present the reading comprehension test I gave to my 12th graders recently. 

1.       Read the passage and answer the questions that follow.                      1x10 = 10

1.    On 1 Oct, India launched 5G services. It was a low-key affair even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi was launching it. Natural, perhaps, since it came after 70-odd countries had deployed it in close to 2000 cities since 2019 when South Korea kicked off the new era of connectivity.

2.    Attempts to get 5G going in India have been botched by muddled policies. The biggest bottleneck was the high reserve prices for airwave sales. The 700-megahertz band, which is needed for 5G technology, was priced so high that it did not receive any bids in the March auction and even in the recent auction, only one company, market leader Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio, has been able to cough up the asking price despite a scaling down of rates by the government. Telecom companies are bleeding after the cutthroat tariff war unleashed by Reliance Jio. Most operators have gone bankrupt and quit or have gone in for mergers. Then, of course, there is the problem of poor infrastructure; India simply does not have adequate fibre network.

3.    What is 5G and why are countries racing to have it? 5G is the fifth-generation mobile network, the latest global wireless standard which is not just about multi-gigabit speeds. It offers a new kind of network that can connect virtually everyone and everything together – from mobile phones and other devices to objects and machines. The massive network capacity it can usher in means there will be more reliability and almost no gap time between sending and receiving data. All this is not possible with 4G, which is the highest-speed network available in the country. And while the Modi government was sorting out the policy tangles here, a clutch of global companies, mostly Chinese, have captured the intellectual property rights on 5G and even 6G, which is still a decade away. There is a tough battle out there for supremacy in the new-era networks, and India has not made even a nick on the global patent landscape.

4.    Why do intellectual property rights on the new generation networks matter? Experts say the next industrial revolution will see increasing technological convergence as connectivity is integrated into mechanical products, such as automobiles, which appears to be the industry that is most talked about in this context. Right now, the connectivity modules in cars may not be significant, but those who are looking ahead believe that the connected vehicles of the future will transform the way we look at transportation as a whole. Gradually, 5G technology will also have an impact across industry verticals which use smart technology and also encompass everything from smart homes to smart medical devices. That is the future being outlined for us by tech wizards.

a)    Why was the launching of the 5G services in India a low-key affair though the Prime Minister himself did the launching?                                                      

b)    Which of the following is NOT a factor that contributed to the delay in launching the 5G services in India?

i.               disorganised policies

ii.             forbidding prices

iii.           Chinese competition

iv.            poor infrastructure

c)    Which Indian telecom company may be described as a shark that swallowed many others?

d)    Choose the statements that are TRUE.

     1.    India is one of the first countries in the world to launch 5G services.
2.    5G can connect your mobile phone with almost any other object.
3.    5G is all about multi-gigabit speeds.
5G will revolutionise medical science.

(i)            1 & 2       (ii) 3 & 4       (iii) 1 & 3     (iv) 2 & 4

e)    Which industry is the most talked about in the context of the 5G technology?

f)     Find a phrase in para 4 which means ‘a group of companies that focus on a shared niche or specialised market’.

g)    A ‘smart home’ in the context of this passage is one:

            (i)            where interpersonal relationships are ideal.
(ii)          which is linked to a smart technology like 5G.
(iii)         which is linked to a smart hospital.
which has a smart car.

h)    Which country has been aggressively acquisitive about the intellectual property rights on 5G and 6G?

i)     Choose the most suitable words to replace ‘low-key’ in para 1.

                     1. modest      2. exuberant            3. restrained           4. tedious

                               (i) 1 & 2        (ii) 3 & 4       (iii) 1 & 3          (iv) 2 & 4

j) Find a word in para 2 which means ‘hindrance’.


      a.     5G came to India after 70-odd countries had deployed it
b.    iii. Chinese competition
c.     Reliance Jio
d.    iv. 2 & 4
e.     automobiles
f.      industry vertical
g.    ii. which is linked to a smart technology like 5G
h.    China
i.      iii. 1 & 3
j.      bottleneck     

2.       Read the passage and answer the questions that follow.                      1x10 = 10

1.    Kerala’s economic development is an extraordinary phenomenon. Normally the benefits of development trickle down to the masses only after development touches its zenith. Kerala’s economic stature was not much better than that of the national average until about 1990. But the state always stood well ahead of the others in terms of literacy, life expectancy, infant mortality, and birth rate.

2.    Even at the time of independence, Kerala’s development with respect to the above parameters was much better than that of the other states though economically the state was not in any better position. This is because the kings of Cochin and Travancore had given due importance to education and health. The post-Independence governments of the state continued to take care of these sectors. In addition to that were the land reforms. 70% of the land in the state were owned by 5% of families. This was redistributed among 60% of the state’s population. Moreover, the trade unions ensured that the labourers of the state received good wages. Today the wages of labourers in Kerala are much higher than the national average. These higher wages attract a lot of migrant labourers from other states. There are over 3,000,000 migrant labourers in Kerala most of whom are from North Indian states.

3.     There is an equal number of Keralites working abroad and they sustain the state’s economy today to a large extent. Kerala, which accounts for 2.8% of India’s population and 1.2% of its land area, contributes more than 4% of the GDP of India. The state’s per capita income is 60% higher than India’s average. The following table shows how Kerala stands superior to the country on many parameters. Note that infant mortality rate is calculated for every 1000 live births while maternal mortality refers to the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. [NA: Not Available]




















Infant mortality







Maternal mortality







Life expectancy







Sex ratio







Birth rate







Population growth







Per capita income







Source: Kerala: Another Possible World by T M Thomas Isaac

a)   a)    Statement A: Kerala always stood ahead of other sates in literacy, life expectancy and infant mortality.

Statement B: Kerala had a better economy too right from independence.

(i)       Both A and B are True and B is the cause of A.
(ii)      Both A and B are True but B is not the cause of A.
(iii)     Both A and B are False.
(iv)     A is True, B is false.

b)    Which of the following statements is True?

(i)       The kings of Cochin and Travancore were no different from their counterparts in other kingdoms of India.

(ii)      The post-independence government of Kerala did not care much for the         state’s welfare.

(iii)     The trade unions played only negative roles in Kerala.

(iv)     There are nearly as many migrant workers in Kerala as there are Keralites         working abroad.

c)    The birth rate in Kerala at the time of Independence was quite the same as the country’s average birth rate. TRUE or FALSE?

d)    When India’s average literacy rate was 77.7 what was Kerala’s?

e)    How does Kerala’s sex ratio differ significantly from the country’s?

f)     What does ‘maternal mortality’ mean?

g)    How were land reforms implemented in Kerala?

h)    What attracts a large number of migrant workers to Kerala?

i)     ‘Investment in the country’s natural resources is failing to …………… to the local population.’ Fill in the blank with a phrase from para 1.

j)     On which of the following parameters does Kerala show declining rates?

[literacy        infant mortality        life expectancy          birth rate       pci]


   a)    iv. A is True, B is false
    b)    iv. There are nearly as many migrant workers in Kerala as there are Keralites working                 abroad.
    c)    TRUE
    d)    96.2
    e)    More girls than boys
    f)     The number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births
    g)    70% of the land were owned by 5% of families. This was redistributed among 60% of the             population.
    h)    higher wages
    i)     trickle down
    j)     infant mortality & birth rate

    For more Reading passages and questions: Reading Comprehension for Senior Students


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I try to make exams rewarding in many ways.

  2. Hari OM
    ...hehe.... I was so busy working the questions I didn't realise you had provided the answers! Excellent stuff. YAM xx

    1. Last time i didn't provide answers and i was inundated with requests for the same.

  3. This took me back to my entrance exam prep days.. Great post


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