DIRECTIONS (Q. 51-58) : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.
The great fear in Asia a short while ago was that the region would suffer through the wealth destruction already taking place in the U.S as a result of the financial crisis. Stock markets tumbled as exports plunged and economic growth deteriorated. Lofty property
prices in China and elsewhere looked set to bust as credit tightened and buyers evaporated. But with surprising speed, fear in Asia swung back to greed as the region shows signs of recovery and property and stock prices are soaring in many parts of Asia.
Why should this sharp Asian turnaround be greeted with skepticism? Higher asset prices mean households feel wealthier and better able to spend, which could further fuel the region’s nascent rebound. But just as easily, Asia could soon find itself saddled with overheated markets similar to the U.S. housing market. In short, the world has not changed, it has just moved placed.
The incipient bubble is being created by government policy. In response to the global credit crunch of 2008. Policy makers in Asi< slashed interest rates and flooded financial sectors with cash in frantic attempts to keep loans flowing and economies growing. These steps were logical for central bankers striving to reverse a deepening economic crisis. But there is evidence that there is too much easy money around. It’s winding up in stocks and real estate, pushing prices up too far and too fast for the underlying economic fundamentals. Much of the concern is focused on China where government stimulus efforts have been large and effective, Money in China has been especially easy to find. Aggregate new bank lending surged 201% in first half of 2009 from the same period a yea earlier, to nearly 51.1 turn on.

Exuberance over a quick recovery which was given a boost by China’s surprisingly strong 7.9% GDI growth in the second quarter has buoyed investor sentiment not just for stocks but also for real estate.

Former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan argued that bubbles could only be recognized in hand sight. But investor who have been well schooled in the dangers of bubbles over the past decade are increasingly wary that prices have risen too far
ant that the slightest bit of negative, economic news could knock markets for a loop. These fears are compounded by the possibility that Asia’s central bankers will begin taking stops to shut off the money. Rumors that Beijing was on the verge of tightening cred led to Shanghai stocks plunging 5%. Yet many economists believe that, there is close to a zero possibility that the Chines government will do anything this year that constitutes tightening. And without a major shift in thinking, the easy-money condition will stay in
place. In a global economy that has produced more dramatic ups and downs than anyone thought possible over the past two years. Asia may be needing for another disheartening plunge.

51. To which of the following has the author attributed the 2008 Asian financial crisis?
A. Reluctance or Asian governments to taper off the economic stimulus.
B. Greed of Asian investors causing them to trad stocks of American companies at high prices.
C. Inflated real estate prices in Asian countries.
(a) None (b) Only (A)
(c) Only (C) (d) (A) and (B)
(e) Only (B)

52. What does the author want to convey through the phrase “The world has not changed it has just moved places”?
(a) At present countries are more dependent on Asian economies than on the US economy
(b) Economies have become interlinked on account of globalization
(c) Asian governments are implementing the same economic reforms as developed countries
(d) All economies are susceptible to recession because of the state of the US economy
(e) None of the above

53. Which of the following can be said about the Chinese government’s efforts to revive the economy?
(a) These were largely unsuccessful as only the housing market improved
(b) The governments only concern was to boost investor confidence in stocks
(c) These efforts were ineffectual as the economy recovered owing to the US market stabilizing
(d) These were appropriate and accomplished the goal of economic revival
(e) They blindly imitated the economic reforms adopted by the US.

54. Why do experts predict that Asian policymakers will not withdraw fiscal stimulus?
A. The US economy is not likely to recover for a long time.
B. Stock markets are yet to regain their former levels.
C. Fear of revolt by greedy citizens.
(a) None of these (b) Only (C)
(c) (A) and (C) (d) Only (B)
(e) (B) and (C)

55. What do the statistics about loans given by Chinese banks in 2009 indicate?
(a) There was hardly any demand for loans in 2008
(b) The Chinese government has borrowed funds from the US
(c) China will take longer than the US to recover from the economic crisis
(d) The GDP of China was below expectations
(e) None of the above

56. Why has investor confidence in the Chinese stock market been restored?
A. Existing property prices which are stable and affordable.
B. The government has decided to tighten credit.
C. Healthy growth of the economy indicated by GDP figures.
(a) Only (C) (b) (A) and (B)
(c) All (A), (B) and (C) (d) Only (B)
(e) None of these

57. What is the author’s main objective in writing the passage?
(a) Illustrating that Asian economies are financially more sound than those of developed countries
(b) Disputing financial theories about how recessions can be predicted and avoided
(c) Warning Asian countries about the dangers of favoring fast growth and profits over sound economic-principles
(d) Extolling China’s incredible growth and urging other countries to emulate it
(e) Advising governments about the changes in policy to strengthen economic fundamentals
58. Why does the author doubt the current resurgence of Asian economics?
(a) Their economies are too heavily reliant on the American economy which is yet to recover
(b) Central banks have slashed interest rates too abruptly which is likely to cause stock markets to crash
(c) With their prevailing economic conditions they are at risk for a financial crisis
(d) Their GDP has not grown significantly during the last financial year
(e) None of the above


DIRECTIONS (Q. 59-65) : Read the following passage carefully and answer the questions given below it. Certain words have been printed in bold to help you to locate them while answering some of the questions.

Delays of several months in National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) wage payments and work sites where laborers have lost all hope of being paid at all have become the norm in many states. How are workers who exist on the margins of subsistence supposed to feed their families? Under the scheme, workers must be paid within 1 5 days, failing which they are entitled, to compensation under the Payment of Wages Act – up-to 3000 per aggrieved worker. In reality, compensation is received in only a few isolated instances. It is often argued by officials that the main reason for the delay is the inability of banks and post offices to handle mass payments of NREGS wages. Though there is a grain of truth in this, as a diagnosis it is misleading. The ‘jam’ in the banking system has been the result of the hasty switch to bank payments imposed by the Central Government against the recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council
which advocated a gradual transition starting with villages relatively close to the nearest bank. However, delays are not confined solely to the banking system. Operational hurdles include implementing agencies taking more than fifteen days to issue payment orders, viewing of work measurement as a cumbersome process resulting in procrastination by the engineering staff and non maintenance of muster rolls and job card etc. But behind these delays lies a deeper and deliberate ‘backlash’ against the NREGS. With bank payments making it much harder to embezzle NREGS funds, the program is seen as a headache by many government functionaries the workload has remained without the “inducements”. Slowing down wage payments is a convenient way of sabotaging the scheme because workers will desert NREGS worksites.

The common sense solution advocated by the government is to adopt the business correspondent model. Where in bank agents will go to villages to make cash payments and duly record them on handheld, electronic devices. This solution is based on the wrong diagnosis that distance separating villages from banks is the main issue. In order to accelerate payments, clear timelines for every step of the payment process should be incorporated into the system as Program Officers often have no data on delays and cannot exert due pressure to remedy the situation. Workers are both clueless and powerless with no provision for them to air their grievances and seek redress. In drought affected areas the system of piece rate work can be dispensed with where work measurement is not completed within a week and wages may be paid on the basis of attendance. Buffer funds can be provided to gram panchayats and post offices to avoid bottlenecks in the flow of funds. Partial advances could also be considered provided wage payments are meticulously tracked. But failure to recognize problems and unwillingness to remedy them will remain major threats to the NREGS.

59. What impact have late wage payments had on NREGS workers?
(a) They cannot obtain employment till their dues are cleared
(b) They have benefited from the compensation awarded to them
(c) They have been unable to provide for their families
(d) They have been ostracized by their families who depend on them for sustenance
(e) None of the above

60. Which of the following factors has not been responsible for untimely payment of NREGS wages?
(a) Communication delays between agencies implementing the scheme
(b) Improper record keeping
(c) Behind schedule release of payments by banks
(d) Drought conditions prevalent in the country
(e) Delays in work measurement

61. What has the outcome of disbursing NREGS wages through banks been?
(a) Theft of funds by administration officials responsible for the scheme has reduced
(b) Increased work load for local government officials
(c) Protests by workers who have to travel long distances to the nearest bank to claim their wages
(d) Time consuming formalities have to be completed by workers
(e) None of the above

62. According to the passage, which of the following has/have been the consequence (s) of delayed wage payments?
A. Compensation to victimized workers has amounted to crores.
B. Banks will no longer be entrusted with remitting wages.
C. Regulations to ensure punctual wage payments have come into force.
(a) None of these (b) Only (A)
(c) (A) and (C) (d) (A) and (B)
(e) (B) and (C)

63. To which of the following has the author attributed the delay in wage payments?
(a) Embezzlement of funds by corrupt bank staff
(b) Lack of monitoring by the Central Employment Guarantee Council
(c) An attempt to derai1 the NREGS by vested interests
(d) Overworked bank staff deliberately delay payments to protest against extra work
(e) Engineers efforts to wreck the NREGS because of low wages
64. Which of the following is NOT true in the context of the passage?
A. Workers are reluctant to open bank accounts as branches are not conveniently located.
B. Local officials often delay wage payments in drought prone areas to benefit workers.
C. The Government has not implemented ever)’ recommendation of the Central Employment Guarantee Council.
(a) Only (B) (b) (A) and (B)
(c) (B) and (C) (d) (A) and (C)
(e) All of these

65. Which of the following can be considered a deficiency in the NREGS?
(a) Lack of co-ordination among Program Officers
(b) Local officials are unaware of correct operational procedures
(c) Workers have no means of obtaining redressal for untimely wage payments
(d) Disbursing wages through banks instead of readily accessible post offices
(e) The Central Employment Guarantee Council is reluctant to award compensation to workers



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