Essay, Precis Writing and Reading Comprehension

Exam Name:

Assistant Commandant

Conducted By:

UPSC- Central Police Forces


October 2007

Type of Questions:

Subjective (Descriptive Type)


English Language


Essay, Precis writing and Comprehension

1. Write an essay in about 600 words on any one of the following topics:

(a) Sweet are the uses of adversity

(b) India's Foreign Policy Today

(c) The Future of Democracy in India

(d) Religion is no enemy of Science; it is rather its complement

(e) Globalization : Advantages and Disadvantages

2. Make a précis of the following passage in English in your own words in one-third of its length on the special précis- sheets provided.  Marks will be deducted for précis, not written on the précis-sheets.

Marks will be deducted if your précis is longer or shorter that the prescribed length.  The précis- sheets should be securely fastened inside the answer book.  State the number of words used by you in your précis

Culture is not mere learning.  It is discrimination, understanding of life.  Liberal education aims at producing moral gifts as well as intellectual, sweetness of temper as much as sanity of outlook.  Into the art of living, the cultured man carries a certain grace, a certain refinement, a certain distinction which redeems him from the sterile futility of a aimless struggle.  Culture is not a pose of intellect or a code of convention, but an attitude of life.  An education that brings up a young man in  entire indifference to the misery and poverty surrounding him, to the general stringency of life, to the dumb pangs of tortured bodies and the lives submerged in the shadows, is essentially a failure.  If we do not realize the solidarity of the human community, nor have human relations with those whom the world passes by as the lowly and the lost, we are not cultured.  The most depraved individual has his starting interest and the worst criminal is unique to his thumb-prints, as he knows to his cost.  Geat literature shames us out of our complacency and reveals to us something of the immense capacity of the human should for suffering and isolation.  We may suffer, we many fail, we may be forgotten, but we have succeeded in the true sense of the term if we refused to be vulgar, mean or squalid.  If anything justifies life, it is nobility, greatness.  Man notices our failings but God sees our strivings.

In our country today, we are suffering from want of understanding.  Whether it is between the Indian and the British or the Hindu and the Muslim, we are up against the same difficulty.  Even when we seem to understand each other, we suddenly reach a point where it becomes clear that we do not have a sufficient grasp of each other's meaning.  The trouble is not so much with regard to high philosophy and art as with practical affairs and political motives.  Understanding of human relations and motives is not a matter of scientific method which can be taught in a university.  It is a contagion of the spirit, not analyzable or demonstrable, and yet it is not incommunicable.  A good deal in this matter depends on the teachers and their outlook on life as distinct from their intellectual equipment.  The unique experience of pursuing common ideals within the walls of the university, in spite of differences of temperament and creed, has consequences of wider import.  The many pleasant friendships, many personal contacts, must not merely be vivid recollections but must remain with us to the end of our lives.  It rests with you to pledge yourselves to one another, that, when misunderstanding and disputes arise, you will be among those who will counsel patience and restraint and proclaim that reason, fair play and listening to both sides are the solvents of all differences.

(488 words)

3. Read the following passage and answer the questions that follow it (Comprehension)

Nearly nine years ago, on a warm autumn evening in 1945, I was driving over the mountains of Southern Japan to the city of Nagasaki.  I thought I was still in open country when all at once I realized that I was already crossing what had been the city.  The shadows which flickered past me in the dusk were not rocks and trees : they were crushed buildings; the bare and skewed ribs of factories, and two crumpled gasometers.

The scale of the damage of Nagasaki drained the blood from my heart then, and does so now when I speak of it.  For three miles my road lay through a desert which man had made in a second.  Now, nine years later, the hydrogen bomb is ready to dwarf this scale, and to turn each mile of destruction into ten miles.  And citizens and scientists share at one another and ask : ‘ How did we blunder into this nightmare?

I put this first as a question of history, because the history of this is known to few people.  The fission of uranium was discovered by two German scientists a year before the war.  Within a few months, it was reported that Germany had forbidden the export of uranium from the mines of Czechoslovakia which she had just annexed.  Scientists on the Continent, in England and America, asked themselves whether the secret weapon on which the Germans were said to be working was an atomic bomb.  If the fission of uranium could be used explosively (and this already seemed possible in 1939) it might in theory make an explosion a million times larger than hitherto.  The monopoly of such an atomic bomb would give Hitler instant victory, and make him master of Europe and the world.  The scientists knew the scale of what they feared very well : they feared first desolation and then slavery.  With heavy hearts, they told Albert Einstein what they knew of atomic fission.  Einstein had been a pacifist all his life, and he did not easily put his conscience on one side.  But it seemed clear to him that no scientist was free to keep this knowledge to himself.  He felt that no one could decide whether a nation should or should not use atomic bombs, except the nation itself; the choice must be offered to the nation, and made by those whom the nation has elected to act for it.  On August 2, 1939, a month before Hitler invaded Poland.  Einstein wrote to President Roosevelt to tell him that he thought an atomic bomb might be made, and he feared that the Germans were trying to make one.

This is how it came about that, later in the war, scientists worked together in England, in Canada and America, to make the atomic bomb.  They hated war no less than the layman does- no less than the soldier does; they, too, had wrestled with their consciences; and they had decided that their duty was to let the nation use their skill, just as it uses the skill of the solider or the expert in camouflage.  The atomic scientists believed that they were in a race against Germany whose outcome might decide, the war even in its last weeks.  We know now that the race was almost a walk-over.  The Germans were indeed trying to make an atomic explosion, and they thought that they were ahead of the allies.  But by our standar4ds, what they had done was pitiful ; they had not made a pile that worked, and they believed that the fast chain reaction of an atomic bomb was impossible.  The Nazis had made fundamental science a poor relation, and put it under second rate party men with splendid titles.  And more deeply, the Nazis had sapped the pith and power of research, the quizzical eye and questioning mind, the urge to find the facts for oneself.  There were not enough unconventional ideas in the German atomic projects, and when the younger men did put up some, their leaders always knew better.

a. What had drained the blood from the heart of the author? Describe in 50 words.

b. Describe the circumstances leading to the making of atom bomb.

c. When was the Hydrogen bomb ready for use?

d. What, according to the author, was the main reason of the failure of the German scientists?

e. What do you learn from the passage about Albert Einstein?

Share This

Share this post with your friends!