Please refer to Unseen Passage for Class 10 with Answers provided below. Unseen passages and Comprehensions are really important in Class 10 English exams. Students are expected to read through the entire passage and then answer various MCQ questions. We have provided here the best collection of Class 10 Unseen Passages with solves questions which the students can use to practice on a daily basis to get better marks in Class 10 English exams.
Class 10 English Comprehensions with Answers
Unseen Passage: As ‘Dirty’ Factories Thrive, Toxins Spread Across
Industrial pollution is not restricted to the peripheries but is silently causing damage inside the city. On the Edge, a study by an NGO, has identified 18 potential pollution hotspots in the capital. Unsafe, and often unorganized, methods of e-waste dismantling, dyeing, lead acid battery recycling, cathode-ray tube (CRT) dismantling and other processes have given rise to health and environmental concerns, says the Toxics Link study. Delhi has more than 1.2 lakh industries and 29 industrial estates, necessitating a watch over acid and lead fumes, as well as groundwater and air pollution. The researchers assessed 51 industrial areas on five parameters–industrial processes, chemicals used, emissions, disposal technique and occupational health hazard.
They found that 18 of them were flouting the norms. Prem Nagar in Mandoli houses 110 lead acid battery recycling units. There is no understanding of pollution control, claims the report. “Most units in this area rely on coal-to-fuel crude furnaces and recover lead in a crude manner. While recycling, battery acid is dumped on the ground, waste pile or into a waterbody. As lead plates are melted, lead ash settles in the surroundings, collects on clothing or is inhaled by workers,” it says.A large amount of waste at Seelampur, where e- aste is recycled, comes from the US and Europe. Workshops emit lead fumes and the melted lead solder often finds its way to nearby drains. “The working conditions are appalling with poorly ventilated rooms and no safety measures,” says the report about Moti Nagar, which recycles CFL devices. The landfills at Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla are responsible for toxic leachate contamination of air and groundwater.
The Najafgarh drain basin, which includes Wazirpur, Naraina, Anand Parbat and Okhla industrial areas, is the largest surface drain joining Yamuna and contributes to over 50% of the wastewater discharged into the river. Wazirpur is one of the worst managed areas with 1,200 small units, a majority of which are involved in steel pickling. The report also highlights the need to address toxic smoke and dust from open dumping, burning and spilling of chemicals. “In 2011, MCD was supposed to close down around 22,000 units, but not much seems to have been done”, said Satish Sinha of Toxics Link.
Questions & Answers
Questions. Is industrial pollution restricted to the peripheries in Delhi?
Ans. No, the industrial pollution has gone down deeper into the city of Delhi.
Questions. How many potential pollution hotspots have been identified by an NGO?
Ans. An NGO has identified 18 potential pollution hotspots in the capital.
Questions. Name three things that have given rise to health and environmental concerns.
Ans. Unsafe methods of the e-waste dismantling, dyeing and lead acid battery recycling have given rise to health and environmental concerns.
Questions. What were the parameters of industrial areas assessed by the researchers?
Ans. The researchers assessed 51 industrial areas on the given parameters — industrial processes, chemicals used, emissions, disposal technique and occupational health hazard.
Questions. Where does a large amount of waste at Seelampur come from?
Ans. A large amount of waste at Seelampur where e-waste is recycled, comes from the US and Europe.
Questions. What harm do the landfills at Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla do to the environment?
Ans. The landfills at Ghazipur, Bhalswa and Okhla contaminate air and ground water making it toxic.
Questions. Name the problems that should be addressed immediately as recommended by the report.
Ans. The report highlighted the need to address toxic smoke and dust from open dumping, burning and spilling of chemicals.
Questions. What contributes to 50% of the wastewater discharged into the river?
Ans. The Najafgarh drain and the industrial areas contribute to over 50% of the wastewater discharged into the river.
Unseen Passage: US Pips Russia As Top Arms Supplier To India
The US has overtaken Russia as the largest arms supplier to India in the last three years. But in terms of overall numbers, Russia still remains the biggest weapons exporter to India, having notched military sales worth
over $40 billion since the first MiG-21 jets and T-55 tanks in the 1960s to the present-day Sukhoi-30MKI fighters and T-90S main-battle tanks. Russia, of course, is now running scared of the aggressive inroads being made by
the US into the money-spinning Indian arms market, as if the continuing challenge from France and Israel was not enough. India, incidentally, has even turned to Israel to upgrade some of its Russian-origin equipment.
With IAF having inducted over 200 of the 272 Sukhoi-30MKI fighters ordered for over $12 billion, Russia is eager to quickly seal the final R&D contract with India to jointly develop the stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft. If India indeed moves to induct over 200 such “swing-role” stealth fighters in the next decade, it will spend close to $35 billion on them.
But that is in the future. On Tuesday, in a written reply to Rajya Sabha, defence minister Arun Jaitley said India spent Rs 83,458 crore on importing weapons over the last three years. The US stood first in this list with Rs 32,615 crore, followed by Russia (Rs 25,364 crore), France (Rs 12,047 crore) and Israel (Rs 3,389 crore). The US has bagged Indian defence deals worth almost $10 billion since 2007-2008.
The deals include ones for 12 C-130J ‘Super Hercules’ aircraft ($2 billion), eight P-8I long-range maritime patrol aircraft ($2.1 billion) and 10 C-17 Globemaster-III giant strategic airlift aircraft ($4.1 billion), as earlier reported by TOI. India is also now close to inking another two deals with the US, worth over $2.5 billion, for 22 Apache attack helicopters and 15 Chinook heavy-lift choppers. Both these helicopters outgunned their Russian rivals, Mi-28 Havocs and Mi-26s, in the sweepstakes.
The Apache deal will get bigger in the coming years since the Army also wants 39 such attack helicopters after IAF inducts the first 22. US defence secretary Chuck Hagel also made a renewed pitch for co-production of another dozen arms projects during his visit here last week. They range from Javelin anti-tank guided missiles, MH-60 Romeo multi-role helicopters, “big data” and cyber-security to magnetic catapults for aircraft carriers, spy drones, mine-scattering systems and 127mm warship guns.
India has consciously tried to diversify its arms imports since the 1999 Kargil conflict due to Russia’s propensity to not adhere to delivery schedules, jack up costs midway through execution of contracts, create hurdles in transfer of technology and unreliable spares supply. The long-delayed delivery of aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) as well as the huge jump in its refit cost to $2.33 billion was just the most prominent example of it.
Questions & Answer
Questions. How has the Us overtaken Russia?
Ans. The US has overtaken Russia in the supply of arms to India.
Questions. Why is Russia scared?
Ans. Russia is scared of the aggressive inroads made by the US in sales of arms to India.
Questions. Why has India turned to Israel?
Ans. India has turned to Israel to upgrade some of its Russian-origin equipments.
Questions. How much money will India invest to develop the stealth fifth generation fighters in the next decade?
Ans. India will spend close to $ 35 billion in the purchase of 200 stealth fighters in the next decade.
Questions. Name four countries that have topped in the sales of weapons to India.
Ans. The US, Russia, France and Israel are the four countries that have topped in the sales of weapons to India.
Questions. What did the US defence secretary say about arms project in India?
Ans. US defence secretary made a renewed pitch for co-production of arms in another dozen projects.
Questions. Why is India consciously trying to diversify its arms imports?
Ans. India is consciously trying to diversify its arms imports as it doesn’t want to depend on any one country, mainly Russia, in this regard.
Questions. What is INS Vikramaditya?
Ans. INS Vikramaditya is an aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy.
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:
Driving etiquette is a civilized driving behavior, comprising observance of rules and propriety. Certain statutory obligations have to be observed. While driving a vehicle, it is absolutely essential that all documents connected with the ownership of the vehicle, driving license, pollution – free certificate in original etc. are kept in the car. They have to be produced on demand by the competent authority. When a person driving a vehicle is still a learner, an ‘L’ broad should be prominently displayed.
To caution pedestrians or a slow moving vehicle in front of us, sounding the horn is essential. We are bound to do it legally as well but we should not honk unnecessarily, creating sound pollution.
Basic human dignity is more important than strict observance of rules. At crossroads, those who come from our right always have precedence. We should give hand signals for those who follow us, particularly when we slow down, take a sudden turn or overtake a vehicle. Never overtake a vehicle from the wrong side even if there is space. When another driver makes a mistake, try to correct him if time permits, instead of abusing him or threatening him with dire consequences. When you make a mistake, admit it gracefully and apologize for it if possible. When we cause an accident, instead of escaping we should find out from the victim whether we caused any injury and whether any medical assistance is required. If necessary, we should take the injured person to the hospital and inform the police.
The sign of good driving is to create a feeling of safety among other passengers. Abrupt braking, smoking or speaking over the mobile phone makes them insecure. Drunken driving is illegal and immoral. Under the influence of liquor the driver does not know what he is doing. When you stop at a traffic signal, stop the engine as otherwise it leads to atmospheric pollution.
Powerful lights cause harm to those who come from the opposite side. Dipping and dimming lights should be a habit with us. Similarly, playing the music system at high volume is irritating to others. We must be sensitive to others’ needs. Keeping to our lane is not only convenient and safe for us but is also a legal compulsion. Finally, politeness on the roads does not cost us anything, it only makes driving a pleasure. So let us all be polite even as we observe the rules of the road.
On the basis of your reading of the passage, answer the following questions in about 30-40 words each
Question. What is driving etiquette?
Ans. Driving etiquette is a civilized vehicle driving behavior comprising observance of rules and propriety. Certain statutory obligations need to be observed while driving a vehicle,
Question. Write some examples of etiquette to be followed while driving.
Ans. Some etiquette to be followed while driving are –
(a) At crossroads, those who come from our right should always have precedence.
(b) We should give hand signals for those who follow us, particularly when we slow down, take a sudden turn or overtake a vehicle.
(c) When another driver makes a mistake, try to correct him if time permits, instead of abusing him.
Question. What is the sign of good driving?
Ans. The sign of good driving is to create a feeling of safety among the other passengers. Abrupt braking, smoking or speaking over the mobile phone makes them insecure.
Question. Which documents should be kept in the vehicle while driving?
Ans. While driving a vehicle, the important documents to be kept inside are your driving license, pollution free certificate in original and any other documents connected with the ownership of the vehicle.
Tick the correct option:
Questions. Find a word from para 1 which is a synonym of ‘protocol’.
Questions. Find a word from the passage which is synonym of ‘mandatory’.
Questions. Find a word from para 1 which is the synonym of ‘concerned’.
Questions. Find a word from the passage which means ‘sudden and unexpected’.
Unseen Passage: Skilling India: The Way Ahead
India has over 35,000 institutions of higher education, a number that is one of the largest in the world.The central and state universities together still comprise a substantial percentage of them. However, over the next decade or two, this is likely to shift towards private institutions as more and more Indians decide to get higher education. India today is a rapidly changing country, which is markedly different from what it was 20 years ago when it started on a new path to liberalisation. With a large number of companies in the other hemisphere outsourcing jobs to India, the country has virtually become the world’s back-office.
This has also spurred the demand for quality graduates in multiple disciplines. With the number of middle class Indians swelling, the requirements of careers changing and a new breed of young Indians leading the clamour for world-class education at home, India’s education sector is also changing rapidly. The Gross Enrolment Ratio or GER in higher education in India is still a little less than 15 per cent.
This too varies from region to region. With 60 per cent of this huge population under the age of 25, the demand for higher education is set to grow. The government is responding to these requirements by establishing more AIIMS and IITS across states, but given the state’s limited resources, there remains a certain limit to government’s spending on education. In these circumstances, the rapidly increasing demands of Indians on the education front can be met only when the private sector invests heavily in the field.
And this is something it is already doing. According to a McKinsey report on Indian demography, 590 million people will live in Indian cities by 2030, almost twice the current US population. There will be 91 million urban homes by 2030 in India, as against 20 million today. A large number of rural residents would be shifting base to urban centers, giving up their age-old family profession of farming and cultivation in favour of new avenues for their children. These create a never-before seen demand for higher education in India. This is where the role of the private sector will and is proving to be crucial. It is not just the numbers that are increasing.
Another major shift is in the demand for quality. More globally-exposed Indians are today asking why a greater number of Indian educational institutions cannot provide world-class education, comparable to prestigious foreign institutions Consequently, not only are more and more private universities and colleges emerging everywhere, but also there is an increasing consciousness among ‘education providers’ that quality education is what the young Indians are looking for. Private universities are also breaking new paradigms in education by offering wide options of learning to students and developing new mechanisms of learning.
The teaching techniques and the quality of learning have also been transformed. Indian institutions today are also working to cater to a growing international clientele of students that are looking for new pastures to get an education. Some prestigious institutions today also attract foreign students to the country, with their state-of-the-art infrastructure and world-class education. It is time the government recognises the role of private sector education in building a sound future for India.
Questions & Answer
Questions. Does India have a high number of institutions of higher education?
Ans. Yes, India has over 35,000 institutions of higher education.
Questions. Where will more and more Indians decide to get higher education in the coming decades?
Ans. In the coming decades more and more Indians will look towards private institutions for higher education.
Questions. How has India virtually become the world’s back office?
Ans. India has virtually become the world’s back office as foreign companies are outsourcing jobs to India.
Questions. What are the requirements of careers changing in India?
Ans. With the number of educated middle class Indians swelling, the requirements of careers are changing in India.
Questions. How is the government responding to the requirements of higher education?
Ans. The government is responding to the requirements of higher education by establishing more AIIMS and IITs across states.
Questions. What will be the condition of Indian cities by 2030?
Ans. By 2030, almost 590 million people will live in cities in India, almost twice the current population of the United States of America.
Questions. What is the thing in higher education that the young Indians are looking for?
Ans. Young Indians are looking for the quality education or the world-class education in India.
Questions. What role can the private sector education play in the future?
Ans. The private sector education can play a leading role in building a sound future of India.
Unseen Passage: 98 Countries Have Abolished Death Penalty
Written history has several mentions of capital punishment. The legal principle lex talionis — an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life — was mentioned in the 18th century BCE code of Babylonian king Hammurabi. Many ancient societies had similar
codes to justify judicial executions. The 7th century BCE’s Draconian Code of Athens, the 5th century BCE Roman Law and Kautilya’s Arthasastra, all had provisions of death sentence. These executions were done by several methods like crucifixion, drowning, beating to death, stoning, burning alive, impalement, hanging and so on.
According to Amnesty International’s 2014 report on death penalties, in 2013, at least 778 executions were reported in 22 countries, 96 more than in 2012. With at least 369 executions in the year, Iran leads the list. It is followed by Iraq (169+), Saudi Arabia (79+), USA (39) and Somalia, where at least 34 judicial executions took place. Other countries that reported more than 10 executions were Sudan and Yemen. The global executions figure does not include China which is believed to have been executed thousands of convicts. China classifies death penalty as a state secret. The report also shows that at least 1,925 people were sentenced to death in 57 countries in 2013. As of 2013, there are 23,392 death row inmates globally. The methods of execution range from beheading, hanging, lethal injection to shooting.
Amnesty International reports that as of the end of 2013, more than two-thirds of all countries have abolished death penalty in law or in practice. There are 98 countries which have abolished it for all crimes. Most of these are in Western Europe and the Americas. Seven countries, including Brazil, Chile and Kazakhstan have abolished it for ordinary crimes. In these countries, death penalty can only be given for exceptional crimes such as crime committed under military law or under exceptional circumstances. Another 35 countries are categorized as abolitionist in practice. These retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes, but there have been no executions in the past 10 years. The death sentence is retained by the legal system of 58 countries. More than half of the world’s population lives in these countries.
They say that it is possible for innocent people to get executed because of unfair and discriminatory application of the death penalty. Studies across the world have shown that in most cases the person sentenced to death is from an economically and socially backward section of society, indicating the inability to hire good lawyers to contest their cases. Many studies have suggested that there is no evidence to show that capital punishment has any effect on murder rates. It is also argued that the sentence is a denial of human rights and sends a wrong message — that killing is acceptable under certain circumstances.
Questions & Answers
Questions. What did the code of Babylonian king Hammurabi say about death penalty?
Ans. The code of Hammurabi believed in the concept — an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for life.
Questions. Name any three methods of executing the death penalty to the condemned persons.
Ans. Crucifixion, burning alive and hanging were the three main methods of executing the death penalty to the condemned persons.
Questions. How many people were executed in 2013 in different countries of the world?
Ans. According to Amnesty Internationals’ 2014 report, at least 778 people were executed in 22 countries in 2013.
Questions. Why does the Amnesty Internationals’ 2014 report not include China in it?
Ans. The Amnesty Internationals’ 2014 report doesn’t include China as it classifies death penalty as a state secret.
Questions. How many countries have abolished the death sentence?
Ans. There are 98 countries in the world which have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
Questions. How many countries retain the death sentence in their legal system?
Ans. The legal system of 58 countries still retain the death sentence for the condemned persons.
Questions. What do opponents of capital punishment say?
Ans. They argue that the death sentence is a denial of human rights to live.
Questions Is there any evidence to show that capital punishment has any effect on murder rates?
Ans. There is no concrete evidence to show that capital punishment has any appreciable effect on murder rates.
My Nation, My Prayers
So many religious and ethnic groups, so much cultural diversity… over 350 languages; more than 1600 dialects; nearly 650 different tribes. A different food habit every few kilometers… and yet, one country!
With Independence, we just didn’t become free from British rule; we regained the freedom to be what we are, to live the way we want to. And that freedom has been the hallmark of this great region.It’s not a coincidence that India has never invaded a country in her long history. It’s her unwritten mission statement to be a giver, not a taker. She gave the concept of zero to the world; the game of chess, algebra, trigonometry and calculus; she gave the world its first university, the earliest school of medicine, and she gave four religions to the world. She nurtures hundreds of mosques, churches, temples and gurdwaras, to name a few; she gave asylum to more than 300,000 refugees who fled religious and political persecution. The list is endless and unparalleled. But all this will pale in front of one gift she has given to the world: PRAYER.
Take for example the most popular Gayatri Mantra. It doesn’t invoke God for any small individual comfort. Instead, it calls out for inspiration and guidance for our intellect. No polytheism, no segregation, no discrimination. Just a genuine cry for righteousness! And that has been core of all common and popular prayers of this nation. A longing to move from untruth to truth; from darkness to light and from death to immortality is the spirit of “Asato ma sad gamaya…” Where else can we find a more inclusive wish for wellbeing than the meaning of “Sarve bhavantu sukhinah…”? This elementary prayer wishes happiness, goodness, and freedom from misery and pain for all.
There is even a prayer seeking not to hate each other. Add to it such simple but profound prayers like “Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” (May peace and happiness prevail) and Satyam param dhimahi (Let truth, divinity and knowledge shine through me). They unite the entire creation into a bond of divine blessing. Another one-liner that is mind boggling for its exclusiveness came to my knowledge when I heard Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inspire a huge gathering to say the prayer “Annadata shukhbava” before eating. It was different from the more traditional mealtime prayers like the “Brahma arpanam…” But when explained how this wish for happiness covers the entire food chain from the farmer to the miller to the trader to the cook to the waitress… I was awestruck.
It made me wonder why we haven’t made such deep prayers a part of our national consciousness. Who can have objections to praying for such divine attributes? They nowhere limit whom you should pray to. Allah, Jesus, Krishna, Ganesh or Shiva don’t seem to matter. Then, why are our children not being taught the essence of these rayers? Those who protest such prayers in the name of secularism not only expose their ignorance of their meaning, but also do the biggest disservice to the ideals of secularism. If everybody is blessed with these attributes, the essence of secularism will be a fait accompli.
It’s time to turn to the last word of the Rig Veda, another gem from the Indic region. This word is the ultimate essence of unity. It’s a commitment, a call to move together, not just at the physical level but at the levels of thoughts, feelings and consciousness. Sanghachadwam! Let’s progress together!
Question & Answer
Question. Why has India never invaded a country in her long history?
Ans. India has never invaded any country in her long history as it has her unwritten statement. It has always been a ‘giver’ and not a ‘taker’.
Question. What does the Gayatri Mantra invoke?
Ans. The ‘Gayatri Mantra’ doesn’t invoke God for small individual gains. It is a genuine cry for righteousness and well-being of mankind.
Question. How does the prayer “Annadata Shukhbava” cover the entire food-chain?
Ans. The prayer “Annadata Shukhbava” is a wish for happiness. It covers the entire food chain from the farmer to the miller, from the trader to the cook and the waitress.
Question. How is the last word of the Rig Veda the ultimate essence?
Ans. The last word of the Rig Veda is the ultimate essence of unity at both the physical as well as the levels of thoughts, feelings and consciousness. It invokes progressing together.
Question. Forms of spoken languages are called:
Question. Synonym for the word ‘harassment’ in the passage is:
Question. The correct noun form of the word ‘segregate’ is:
Question. The expression ‘fait accompli’ means:
(a) as already decided by fate
(d) fate will decide
as already decided by fate
Unseen Passage: Revision Of Green Laws May Hit Delhi
The ministry of environment and forests has asked for the public’s comments on reviewing five crucial environmental laws, including the Air and Water (prevention and control of pollution) Acts—any amendment to which will impact the city massively.
Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), the pollution watchdog that implements these acts in Delhi, will not comment. DPCC officials claimed MoEF hasn’t asked them to. “We are not sure if we are supposed to express our views. We may comment once the draft new law is ready. The state governments can’t do much when a committee to review the laws has already been set up,” said a senior official.
Sanjiv Kumar, environment secretary, Delhi, also said he has no idea if state governments are to make suggestions. The committee, however, said on MoEF’s website that it “desires” to engage in consultation with state governments.
Meanwhile, environmentalists are concerned they may not be able to articulate how these Acts can be strengthened given the ministry’s 1,000 character (a little over six text messages) limit. Many are worried the review has been commissioned to dilute environmental laws and penalties on polluters, especially industries.
Rahul Choudhury, advocate and NGT Bar Association member said, “There is no scope to dilute these laws because they are already very weak.” He cited the example of state pollution control boards that continue to renew no objection certificates to industries not conforming to norms. “There is no provision in the acts to review past conduct by pollution boards and revoke NOCs. The head of the board is usually a political appointee, often with no knowledge of environmental issues. Such loopholes make things easy for industries,” he said.
Comparing the country’s pollution control boards with the US Environmental Protection Agency, Choudhury said, “They have far more stringent parameters. In the last few years, more than 80% industries in Ghaziabad and Noida have not been complying with the Air Act”.
C R Babu, DU professor emeritus and chairman of the state-level expert appraisal committee, and Anumita Roychowdhury, head of Centre for Science and Environment’s clean air programme, said emissions from automobiles need to be brought under the Air Act from the motor vehicle (MV) Act. As of now, vehicular emissions are under MV Act.
“I am quite certain that this process has been started to weaken the acts but this will not help business in the long run. We will lose out tremendously on natural capital and ecological services. Can you imagine what’s going to happen if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed further in Delhi? People can’t survive in the city if that happens,” said Babu
Questions & Answer
Questions. Why has the ministry of environment and forests asked for public comments on environmental laws?
Ans. The ministry of environment and forests has asked for public comments on environmental laws to review them rationally and amending Air and Water Acts, if needed, in the changing circumstances.
Questions. Why are environmentalists worried?
Ans. Environmentalists don’t have genuine faith in the intention of the ministry of environment and forests. They are worried that the review has been commissioned only to dilute the laws regarding the prevention of pollution.
Questions. How do India’s pollution control boards compare with their counterparts in the US?
Ans. In the US, the US Environmental Agency has far more stringent parametres when compared to their counterparts in India. In the last few years, 80% of industries in Ghaziabad and Noida have not been complying with their Act.
Questions. What will happen if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed in Delhi?.
Ans. It will have a disastrous effect on the environment if air and water pollution control laws are relaxed in Delhi. People can’t survive in the city if that happens.
Question. The word ‘articulate’ means
(b) writing clearly
(d) expressing clearly
Question. Synonym for the word ‘harsh’ in the passage is:
Question. The noun form of the word ‘pollute’ is:
(d) none of these
expressing clearly 2. (c) stringent
Question. The opposite of ‘strengthening’ in the passage is:
Unseen Passage: Man Vs Nature
In 1999, sitting in the Srinagar Development Authority office with a team of planners to prepare the city’s 2000-21 master plan, I had not thought that it would stand gravely defied within its lifetime. Did the planners foresee Jhelum swelling up to breach the embankments, and water engulfing the whole city? Probably not.
Perhaps we were not so far-sighted, and driven only by the history of disasters in the city rather than their future possibilities. This is not a handicap exclusive to those of us who drew up what we thought was a forward-looking master plan for Srinagar.
Veteran planner G M Pampori was leading the team based on his experience of preparing the first master plan of the city (1971-91). At 78 years, he appeared impatient and twitchy, as the exercise had started late – almost a decade late. The last master plan had lapsed in 1991. For almost 10 years we lived without a master plan in one of the most rapidly
urbanising cities, and Srinagar in all probability was not an exception. The city grew at a fast rate, water bodies shrank, unauthorised colonies came up. Residents certainly took their land, nature, vegetation and water bodies for granted.
Stand on top of Shankaracharya hill in Srinagar overlooking the city, and you can tell that the centre of Srinagar city is Dal Lake. The city shares a unique relationship with water. Water bodies have played a huge role in its expansion and development. Geological evidence proves that Kashmir was once a vast lake, and this is also part of the many narratives on Kashmir, most famously Rajatarangini by Kalhana.
Meandering Vitasta — ancient name of river Jhelum — was the genesis of Srinagar city, which served as the main artery of transportation and as the nerve centre of its social and cultural life. People’s daily life revolved around the river and the numerous water channels linked to it. Today, old-age monuments situated on its banks are clustered with buildings of the modern city.
Dal, Nagin, Anchar lakes, river Jhelum, wetlands like Khushalsar, Hokarsar and many other water bodies make the city a picturesque sight, besides continuing to provide it vital means of sustenance. They have borne silent witness to ruthless modernisation, villages turning into towns, towns turning into cities. Modern concrete structures squeezed out
natural bodies, and master plans were repeatedly violated.
The city grew oblivious to its surroundings and expanded without showing any mercy to its water bodies and natural habitat. Encroachment on Dal Lake reduced its size to 15% of the original, shrinking it from 75 sq km to around 12 sq km.
The natural hydrology of this region connects its water bodies through small channels, to provide natural flow and even outflow of water within them. Rapid urbanisation and growth have cut off these connections between the water bodies and increased pollution in them. This has led to choking of several lakes — including Dal Lake — which earlier
formed a natural flood lung of Jhelum, and took in reverse flows when it flooded. A flood spill channel was also constructed in the early 20th century to take the strain of water in Jhelum when it passed through the city, but it hardly worked.
The early 20th century also witnessed the beginning of a continuous, ongoing process of migration from the inner, older core to city suburbs. New residential colonies came up and
Srinagar got its first motorable roads, leading to a decline of its traditional system of canal transportation. As a result, in the 1970s the famous Nallah Mar Canal (built in the 15th century) was filled in and a road-widening scheme was launched along its bank, cutting through much of the historical fibre of the city. This scheme also spelled ecological doom for the Brarinambal and Khushalsar water lagoons.
In the 15th century, when Sultan Zain ul Abidin (commonly known as Bud Shah) was building the Nallah Mar Canal as a main artery of communication between the old city in Srinagar and the villages near Dal Lake, was he ahead of his time in understanding and sensitively promoting the natural linkages of water bodies?
Questions & Answer
Questions. How and why were the city planners of Srinagar Development Authority caught unprepared by the unprecedented disaster that struck it recently?
Ans. The city planners of Srinagar were caught unaware by the unprecedented floods in September 2014. They were not foresighted and were driven only by the history of disasters in the past rather than their future possibilities
Questions. Name some of the causes that led to such a sorry state of affairs in Srinagar.
Ans. Unplanned urbanisation, shrinkage of water bodies, unauthorised colonies, encroachments on Dal Lake were the reasons that led to such a sorry state of affairs in the state. The Dal Lake shrank from 75 sq km to around 12 sq km.
Questions. How have rapid urbanisation and growth affected the natural hydrology of the region?
Ans. Srinagar continued expanding without showing any mercy to its water bodies and natural habitat. Encroachments, unplanned constructions and unauthorised colonies only worsened the situation and destroyed the hydrology of the region.
Questions. How was Sultan Zain ul Abidin ahead of his time?
Ans. Sultan Zain ul Abidin built the Nallah Mar Canal as the main artery of communication between the city of Srinagar and the villages near Dal Lake. He understood the sensitivity of promoting the linkages of water bodies and so was far ahead of his time.
Questions. Raised banks of a river are called:
Questions. The word related to the ‘earth’ in the passage means:
Questions. Synonym for the word ‘hub’ in the passage is:
Questions. Choose the most appropriate word for ‘natural water bodies and water’ in the passage is:
(d) none of these
Read the passage given below and answer the questions / complete the sentences that follow :
In India, as perhaps in many other countries of the world, trees have been held in veneration since ancient times. Our rishis of yore retired to forests to meditate and to do penance amidst trees “far from the madding crowd”. Our forefathers loved trees and forests so much so that, they even deified and worshipped them as abodes of Vrikshadevata and Vanadevata. Many of them were not cut without good reason. In ancient India, groves of trees and flower gardens were reared with loving care. In ancient Sanskrit literature, there are many references of young maidens kicking the Ashoka tree to make it flower. But in fact, the kick could be administered by anyone. The method seems to work, though nobody really knows why? Some say the kick interrupts the flow of water upwards, triggering a defence mechanism which causes the tree to flower. In western countries people beat their walnut trees to encourage them to bear fruit. It is believed that a good beating ensures a good crop of walnuts. Like the Ashoka, the Walnut too is a tall tree. Perhaps all tall trees benefit occasionally from a beating sound. In parts of Uttar Pradesh, they resort to another strategy to get mango trees to flower. If a tree has not given fruit in a particular year, the owner, accompanied by three or four friends, walks menacingly towards it with an axe and loudly announces his intention of cutting down the tree. His friends persuade him not to do so. When he has gone they berate the tree for not giving fruit and advise it to give plenty of fruit the next time if it wants to live. The method is said to give good results.
Question. Why did Rishis retire to forests?
Answer. Rishis retired to forests to meditate and to do penance
Question. Why are walnut trees beaten in Western countries?
Answer. Walnut trees are beaten in Western countries to encourage them to bear fruits.
Question. In Uttar Pradesh mango trees are caused to flower by __________.
Answer. advising them
Question. According to some people kicking __________ the upward flow of water.
Question. One similarity between Ashoka and Walnut trees is that both are
(a) thick trees
(b) strong trees
(c) weak trees
(d) tall trees
Question. The word ‘menacingly’ in the passage means
Question. Vrikshadevata and Vanadevata are referred to :
(a) The Sky
(b) The Sun
(c) The Earth
(d) The Trees
Question. In ancient times, young maidens used to kick which tree?
(a) The Ashoka
(b) The Walnut
(c) The Banyan
(d) The Neem
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :
During our growing up years, we as children were taught–both at home and school—to worship the photos and idols of the Gods of our respective religions. When we grew a little older, we were told to read holy books like the Bhagwad Gita, the Bible and the Quran; we were told that there are a lot of life lessons to be learnt from these holy books. We were then introduced to stories from our mythologies which taught us about ethics and morality—what is good and what is bad. I also learnt to be respectful towards my parents who made my life comfortable with their hard work and love and care, and my teachers who guided me to become a good student and a responsible citizen. Much later in life, I realised that though we learn much from our holy books, there is a lot to learn from our surroundings. This realisation dawned upon me when I learnt to enquire and explore. Everything around us—the sun, the moon, the stars, rain, rivers, stones, rocks, birds, plants and animals—teach us many valuable life lessons. No wonder that besides the scriptures in many cultures, nature is also worshipped. The message that we get is to save our environment and maintain ecological balance. People are taught to live in harmony with nature and recognise that there is God in all aspects of nature. Nature is a great teacher. A river never stops flowing. If it finds an obstacle in its way in the form of a heavy rock, the river water fights to remove it from its path or finds an alternative path to move ahead. This teaches us to be progressive in life, and keep the fighting spirit alive. Snakes are worshipped as they eat insects in the field that can hurt our crops, thus protecting the grains for us. In fact, whatever we worship is our helper and makes our lives easy for us. There are many such examples in nature, but we are not ready to learn a lesson. Overcome with greed, we are destroying nature. As a result, we face natural disasters like drought, flood and landslides. We don’t know that nature is angry with us. However, it is never too late to learn. If we learn to respect nature, the quality of our life will improve.
Question. What message do we get when we worship nature?
Answer. By worshipping nature, we get the message to save our environment and maintain ecological balance. People are taught to live in harmony with nature and recognise that there is God in all aspects of nature.
Question. How does a river face an obstacle that comes in its way ?
Answer. A river finds an obstacle in its way in the form of a heavy rock, the river water fights to remove it from its path or finds an alternative path to move ahead.
Question. What are we taught in our childhood and growing years ?
Answer. In our childhood and growing up years, we are taught to worship the photos and idols of the gods of our respective religions and also read the holy books like the Bhagwad Gita, the Bible and the Quran.
Question. Why should we respect our parents and teachers ?
Answer. We should respect our parents as they make our lives comfortable with their hard work, love and care; and teachers guide us to make us good students and responsible citizens.
Question. What does a flowing river teach us?
Answer. A flowing river teaches us to be progressive in life and keep the fighting spirit alive.
(d) moral philosophy
Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow :
THE FACE OF VILLAGE INDIA.
Thirteen years ago, when the then American President Bill Clinton drove down to Rampur Mani Haran village in western UP, he had come there to open a women’s polytechnic, funded by a prominent NRI. Today, the Bill Clinton school stands bright and shiny on the same campus, among low slung building that, house libraries and class rooms. According to the School President Raj Kamal Saxena, there are 565 students studying under CBSE of whom 234 are girls. Besides the local folk, the affluent families across the social spectrum sent their children to this institution. The success story of the school in the area has given rise to a spate of educational institutions along the road from Shamli to Saharanpur. All of them promise to unlock exciting career options especially for the landed class of the area. These schools carry trendy names and have sprung up in the years after the 42nd President of the US came calling. Sitting amidst sugar cane fields and mango orchards they present a picture of society trying to change. Despite such a positive social factor visible in the area, there is little evidence of all round changes in the area. The roads are battered and dusty. The dream of an all weather road remains a dream. Steady power supply is unthinkable and traditional industries are now on a decline. Added to these are the problems of governance such as law and order situation. According to locals, people in the region are looking for a change. The driving force behind this urge for change are the youth. Most of the young men who have returned to the area have been educated in Delhi and have returned to work in their home town and for them the development of the region overrides all other concerns. Among the semi agrarian middle classes, the call for a change is not through the region’s facilities, but through the ballot box. They are eager for a change in the very government of the state.
Question. What are the infrastructure drawbacks in the area?
Answer. Unsteady power, battered roads, decline of industries are the infrastructure drawbacks in the area.
Question. What changes are the local youth and middle classes looking for ?
Answer. They want the region to be developed.
Question. What is the origin of the Bill Clinton School?
What is its condition today ?
Answer. It was started by Bill Clinton. It has children from affluent families as well as local folk.
Question. How has the presence of this school affected the area ?
Answer. It has given rise to a spate of educational institutions.
Question. Find the word from the passage that means the same as ‘damaged’.
Question. What does the word ‘spate’ mean ?
Question. ‘Agrarian’ means ___________
(a) one who is born in Agra.
(b) one who belongs to Agra.
(c) one who works in Agra.
(d) one who respects Agra.
Question. Find the word from the passage that means the same as ‘well off’.
Question. Give the antonym of ‘new’.