Friday, January 18, 2013

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

The poor especially in market economics need the strength that collectivities offer for creating more economic, social and political space for themselves, for enhancing their socio-economic well-being and voice, and as a protection against free market individualism. It has been argued that a group approach to farming, especially in the form of bottom up agricultural production collectivities, offers substantial scope for poverty alleviation and empowering the poor as well as enhancing agricultural productivity. To realize this potential, however, the groups would need to be voluntary in nature, small in size, participative in decision making and equitable in work sharing and benefit distribution. There are many notable examples of such collectivities to be found in varied contexts, such as in transitions economies. All of them bear witness to the possibility of successful cooperation under given conditions. And although the gender impact of the family cooperatives in the transition economies are uncertain, the Indian examples of women-only groups farming offer considerable potential for benefiting women.

1. Agricultural collectivities such as group based farming can provide the rural poor

1. Empowerment

2. Increased agricultural productivity.

3. Safeguard against exploitative markets.

4. Surplus production of agricultural commodities.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

a) 1, 2, 3 and 4

b) 1, 2 and 3 only

c) 2 and 4 only

d) 1, 3 and 4 only

2. What does the author imply by “gender impact”?

a) Women are doubtful participants in cooperatives.

b) Family cooperatives may not include women

c) Women benefitting from group farming.

d) Women’s role in transition economies is highly restrictive.

3. Consider the following assumptions:

1. It is imperative for transition economies to have agricultural collectivities.

2. Agricultural productivity can be increased by group approach to farming.

With reference to the above passage which of these assumptions is/are valid?

a) 1 only

b) 2 only

c) Both 1 and 2

d) Neither 1 nor 2

Passage II

In a typical Western liberal context, deepening of democracy invariably leads to consolidation of ‘liberal values’. In the Indian context, democratization is translated into greater involvement of people not as ‘individuals’ which is a staple to liberal discourse, but as communities or groups. Individuals are getting involved in the public sphere not as ‘atomized’ individuals but as members of primordial communities drawn on religious or caste identity. Community-identity seems to be the governing force. It is not therefore surprising that the so-called peripheral groups continue to maintain their identities with reference to the social groups {caste, religion or sect} to which they belong while getting involved in the political processes despite the fact that their political goals remain more or less identical.  By helping to articulate the political voice of the marginalized, democracy in India has led to ‘a loosening of social strictures’ and empowered the peripherals to be confident of their ability to improve the socio economic conditions in which they are placed. This is a significant political process that had led to a silent revolution through a meaningful transfer of power from the upper caste cities to various subaltern groups within the democratic framework of public governance.

4. According to the passage, what does “deepening of democracy” mean in the Western context?

a) Consolidation of group and class identities.

b) Democratization translated as greater involvement of people.

c) Democratization as greater involvement of ‘atomized’ individuals in the public sphere.

d) None of the statements a, b and c given above is correct in this context.

5. Greater democratization in India has not necessarily led to

a) The dilution of caste and communal identities in the public sphere.

b) Irrelevance of community identity as governing force in Indian politics.

c) Marginalization of elite groups in society.

d) Relative unimportance of hereditary identities over class identities.

6. What is the “silent revolution” that has occurred in the Indian democratic process?

a) Irrelevance of caste and class hierarchies in political processes

b) Loosening of social strictures in voting behavior and patterns.

c) Social change through transfer of power from upper caste elites to subaltern groups.

 d) All the statements a), b) and c) given above are correct in this context.

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