Sample comprehension passages for practice

Start music   Oct 20 2016 || 6:25 PM

Comprehension is the most interesting and easiest part in UPSC civil services examination. This section requires the person to read the piece of given passage/article and arrive at the solution.

Some of the following tips before practicing the actual passage 

1. Practice reading editorials in news paper everyday to get a proper flow while reading.

2. Practice the same thing again and again 

3. practice the same thing again and again 

4.Practice the same thing and again and again.

Then you're all set to go and solve the passages!


Some of the following tips while solving the passages.

  • Read the passage completely 
  • Never assume anything 
  • Be alert and conscious while reading the passage 
  • keep the track of time

Now lets get started!

Read the following passage and answer the items that follow each passage your answers to these items should be based on the passage only.


Passage: 1

Much has been said and written about what foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail can do.  Depending on which side of the ideological divide is speaking, the assertions are either that it is a magic wand to fix many big problems or that it is a destroyer of honest  livelihoods, with little benefits of its own.  What is common to both sides is that they are mostly low on fact, high on opinion and generate enormous amounts of confusion.  Which is why, I think it is necessary to sift through all of the nose and look truth in the eye.  The facts, as I see it, tell us that it has become a symbolic issue, far beyond what reality demands it ought to be; and that there is no need for either great celebration or for deep despair over the idea that FDI in retail is now a reality.  My analysis tells a fairly straightforward story.

            The government has hugely exaggerated the quantum and immediacy of benefits it put on the table to sell the policy-that common man will benefit enormously, employment generation will be huge, the country’s supply chain will be transformed and large numbers of small producers and farmers will gain.  As things stand, even if modern retail were to take off on all cylinders, these arguments would still not  hold water for the next 10 years.

            For one, there is the fact that aside from very old markets like America and Europe, in most newly developed markets, modern trade accounts for only 20-25 percent of all retail.  India is already at 8 percent-which is significant – but the impact hasn’t been as dramatic as one would have assumed.

            Then there is the fact that the economics of the Indian market is such that it makes little sense for global retailers to focus on all consumers.  I am convinced they will focus their energies on the top 33 percent of urban Indian households (a mere 10 percent of all Indian households); investing in the others isn’t quite what they know how to do profitably yet.

            As for small manufactures, I don’t see that huge numbers of them will benefit.  Retailers across the world like to work with a small group of select vendors because it makes for better profitability.  So yes, a small number will benefit significantly.  And yes, employment will be generated.  But it won’t be anywhere close to the numbers now being touted.

            Then there is the argument that encouraging modern retail to invest will provide the much-needed booster shot for the country’s dismal supply chain infrastructure.  Here again, let’s  face it.  Retailers aren’t in the business of building national infrastructure.  About the only infrastructure they’d be interested in is their last mile.

            The only argument that holds true is that kiranas or the small, traditional shopkeepers who are now an Indian staple, will not die.  But that is a tribute to the small shopkeeper rather than prescience on the part of the government.


1.      According to the author, which of the following is not a common attribute of the arguments put forth by the pro-and anti-FDI ideologues?

1)     Likely to be false.

2)     Judgmental.

3)     Positive about FDI in retail.

4)     Strongly opposed to FDI in retail.

(a)  1, 2 and 3 only

(b)  2, 3 and 4 only

(c)   3 and 4 only

(d)  None of them

2.      With which of the following about the benefits of FDI in retail would the author agree?

1)     The common man may not benefit greatly.

2)     Employment generation may not be that huge.

3)     Farmers and small producers shall be benefitted greatly.

(a)  1 and 2 only

(b)  1 and 3 only

(c)   2 and 3 only

(d)  All of them


3.      Which of the following inferences cannot be drawn from the passage?

(a)  India’s market is not economically completely viable for global retailers.

(b)  Global retailers will not benefit anyone in India.

(c)   Global retailers are selfish, in general.

(d)  Profit is the primary motive of global retailers.


4.  The author would not agree with which of the following?

(a)  The small traditional shopkeepers in India will not be adversely effected by FDI in retail.

(b)  The rural households would be completely ignored by global retailers.

(c)   Global retailers would focus only on all the urban households

(d)  Only a few of the small manufactures in India will benefit from FDI in retail


5.      The author says, “My analysis tells a fairly straightforward story”.  Which of the following is the best description off the ‘straightforward story’?

(a)  While it acknowledges the few benefits, it is mostly against FDI in retail.

(b)  It is neutral about FDI in retail.

(c)   It is entirely against FDI in retail.

(d) it is completely positive about FDI in retail.




1 - C 

2 - A 

3 - B 

4 - C 

5 - A