Reading Comprehension — Understanding the Main idea contained in the Paragraph by providing answers to questions based on the paragraph

Reading Comprehension — Understanding the Main idea contained in the Paragraph by providing answers to questions following the paragraph.

With a view to examine or test the ability or understanding of the candidate on a given topic, a paragraph is given in a question and  it is followed by a number of questions to be replied. Some of these questions are of general nature and others of specific one about what is stated in the paragraph. One or two questions also relate to antonyms and meanings of some words used in the paragraph.There is a question about conversion of words from one part of speech to other. For this, is required a fair good knowledge of word power, grammar and ability to understand what is given in the paragraph. There is a  need to read between the lines to pick up the meaning of what is stated. This can be possible by linking various points of idea and understanding the underlying motive of the author behind these. In addition to these all, time factor too is to be kept in mind.

Here is an exercise of paragraph  with answers  for practice.  


Directions  ( Q. No. 1 -10 ) : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions. Certain words/phrases are given in bold to help you locate them while answering some of the questions.

Education reforms have been talked about many a time but they have not taken off. Till they do, the country will continue to mount a horrible hoax on its young people. If youth is the future of the country, the army of unemployables with declining job opportunities does not bode a very good future.

Dismal is the state of our universities and institutes of higher learning. A student enters such an institute with high hopes, spends time and money only to be ejected as an unemployable candidate.

The figures are unexceptional: according to a national survey of 650 engineering colleges in India by Aspiring Minds, more than 80 per cent of engineers in India were said to be unemployable in 2015. Another survey of management graduates, excluding those from the top 20 schools, conducted by ASSOCHAM in 2016 shows that only 7 per cent turn out to be employable. Except for the top-ranked business schools, only a few of the 5,500 management institutes seem to provide quality management education that helps their graduates become employable. Most get jobs earning less than Rs 10,000 a month, if at all they find placements. It can be argued that the 20 per cent engineering graduates and 7 per cent management students who do find good jobs could do so because of their school education or family connections. This shows the stark reality of Indian higher education.

Institutes of higher learning exist in the public as well as the private sector. The government universities and institutes are run by well-established professors with their own turfs. Nepotism, politics, strikes are rife. In recent times another problem has been added to their woes — a paucity of funds. It was widely reported recently in the newspapers, for instance, that the venerable Panjab University in Chandigarh may have to shut down if the Centre did not provide funds, according to its Vice Chancellor. With such culture of uncertainty, it is hardly a wonder that government institutes get to do any quality teaching at all.

About private universities and institutes, the less said the better. Without doing any demand assessment, the regulators, All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Ministry of Human Resource Development have given permissions left and right to start such institutes. As a result, businessmen and politicians of all shades have entered the education business, with scant regard to quality and with the sole intention of making a quick buck. Ironically, they are all registered as “non-profit” entities, though they are anything but that. The lifestyles of the owners belie any claim of these non-profit centres. Engineering colleges are today run by people who know nothing about engineering and management institutes are being run by people who know nothing about management. Teaching cost is kept least by hiring fresh graduates, in many cases from the senior classes.

But private institutes suffer from another acute malady: In a bid to collect numbers, they treat their students as their customers. Teachers are mere service providers. In such a scenario, the drill, practice and reading that is essential in higher education, goes for a toss. Private universities and institutes gain marketing traction by inviting local pop stars, organising fashion shows and other such events, to attract students. It is hardly a wonder that private universities sell themselves to students by advertising huge tracts of land and “world-class facilities,” none of which relate to education. Shopping areas, malls, cinemas and restaurants are brought in: the idea is to keep students occupied for some years before they can be packed off by placing a degree in their hands — printed by the university or institute itself. High marks are awarded to show good results, never mind the employability status of the students.

An area of academic excellence is research, measured by the papers published by faculty members. There is a focus on quantity. A large number of “online journals” have sprung up to provide quantity, and they publish any trash provided you pay for it. Universities and institutes are frequently hit by plagiarism charges. In private institutes and universities, teachers are made to do clerical work and to man call centers for admissions, leaving little time for research. It is hardly surprising that despite a plethora of universities and institutes very little research published in India makes it to the international arena. Despite tall claims seen in the ads of universities, not one in the country can rank among Harvard or Oxford.

It is unfortunate that policies towards education are all lopsided. The regulating agencies have failed and contributed to this mess. Instead of reforming the system, the Ministry of Human Resource Development engages itself in worthless and controversial pursuits. This leads one to the conclusion that the education system will keep getting worse. This is unfortunately a great fraud on the students and young aspirants. Poor families who see education as the road to a good life take huge loans to send their children for higher education, only to find two liabilities at the end: an unemployable graduate and a huge loan that is difficult to pay off.

(Adapted The Tribune India )


  1.  According to the passage what ails the present higher education system in India ?


i) The infrastructure in the higher education institutions is not up to the mark.

ii) The government policies about higher education in the country are faulty.

iii) The higher education costs are exorbitant and are beyond the reach of students.

iv) It does not provide quality education that helps the youth become employable.

v) It does not impart education of international  standards to students.


  1. A) i & v B) i & ii C) ii & iii  D) iv & v E) iii & iv


  1. . How under present circumstances does the writer foresee the future of higher education in India?


i) The higher education system will prosper and emerge up to standards maintained by other countries.

ii) It will continue to elude suitable job and employment opportunities for the youth.

iii) It will rise to higher levels by adopting better marketing tools and world class facilities to the students.

iv) The system will continue to be a practical hoax for students and their parents in the name of providing education to the wards.

v) The author visualizes a hope that the system will go a long way in imparting better education facilities to students.

  1. A) iii & iv B) iii & v C) ii & iii    D) ii & iv  E) i & v


  1.  What does the clause “to mount a horrible hoaxmean as used in the passage?

i) to make big losses ii) to add to bad practical jokes iii) to have a terrible dream iv) to tread a wrong path v) to bring more calamity.

  1.  What, according to the author, is wrong with running of Private Education institutions of the day ?

i) These institutions are managed by bodies comprising of incompetent personnel.

ii) These institutions lack funds for providing the required level of higher education to the students.

iii) These institutions are mostly run by non profit entities which instead make huge profits even by ignoring education requirements of students.

iv) The teaching faculty members of these institutions are not qualified enough to teach the students.

v) These institutions treat their students as customers and teachers as service providers and are not serious about providing education to students.


  1. A) i, ii & v B)ii & v   C) i, iii, v   D) ii & iii  E) i to v


5. What does the author see the role of Human Resource Development Ministry in the present higher education system of the country?


i) It provides proper guidance to these institutions by framing rules and regulations for conducting their business.

ii) It provides sufficient funds for running the business of these institutions in an appropriate manner.

iii) It follows unwanted pursuits making them a worse mess not worth meeting with aspirations of people and their wards.

iv) It makes all efforts to put in necessary inputs for raising the level of higher education.

v) It arranges a good number of competitions required to sharpen the abilities of the students to meet with the future challenges.


  1. A) iii B) ii C) iv D) i E) v
  1.  Out of the following statements which is true?

i) All the Management institutions in the country are not of the level to provide good education to students.

ii) A majority of Engineering and Management students after completion of their education immediately get their job placements.

iii) The private universities allure the students by good methods of advertising and showing off good facilities which have nothing to do with their education.

iv) All the higher education institutions establish and utilize their high political links to promote education among students.

v) The education institutes in private sector invest a lot of time and money for research work and endeavour to bring their work to international level.


  1. Out of given options choose the correct meaning of the word “plagiarism” as used in the passage.

    i) downfall ii) extortion iii) exploitation iv) imitation v) deprivation


  1.  What are the reasons listed by author in the paragraph that hinder the public higher education institutes from imparting good quality education to students?

i) A large number of public institutes recruit fresh graduates as their teaching faculty not capable of imparting education of the required standards.

ii) Political interference, favouritism and shortage of funds are hurdles in giving quality education in public institutes.

iii) Shortage of staff and the available staff not being of the required standard is the reason for substandard quality education in public institutes.

iv)Infrastructure provided in the public institutes not being of good standard is the reason for their education not being of the required level.

v) Public higher education institutes give more attention to marketing and advertising aspect rather than good education to the students.


  1.  What is the word out of given options having meaning opposite to the word “paucity”?

    i) dearth ii) abundance iii) scarcity iv) availability v) collection



10.What should be a suitable title of the passage?

i) Growing education facilities in India

ii) Education Institutes – A Profitable venture in India

iii) Prospects of Higher Education  in India

iv) Higher Education in Public and Private sector in India

v) Problems of Indian Higher Education Institutes



(ANSWERS 1. (D)  2. (D)  3. (ii)   4. (iii)  5. (iii)  6.(iii)  7. (iv)  8. (ii) 9. (ii) 10.(iv))




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