Chief Post
Opinion Must Be Heard

English Précis and Composition 2015





  • (i) Part-II is to be attempted on the separate Answer Book.
  • (ii) Attempt ALL questions from PART-II.
  • (iii) All the parts (if any) of each Question must be attempted at one place instead of at different places.
  • (iv) Write Q. No. in the Answer Book in accordance with Q. No. in the Q.Paper.
  • (v) No Page/Space be left blank between the answers. All the blank pages of Answer Book must be crossed.
  • (vi) Extra attempt of any question or any part of the question will not be considered.


Q. 2. Make a précis of the following text and suggest a suitable title. (20)
In studying the breakdowns of civilizations, the writer has subscribed to the conclusion – no new discovery! – that war has proved to have been the proximate cause of the breakdown of every civilization which is known for certain to havebroken down, in so far as it has been possible to analyze the nature of these breakdowns and to account for their
occurrence. Like other evils, war has an insidious way of appearing not intolerable until it has secured such astranglehold upon the lives of its addicts that they no longer have the power to escape from its grip when its deadlinesshas become manifest. In the early stages of a civilization’s growth, the cost of wars in suffering and destruction might seem to be exceeded by the benefits accruing from the winning of wealth and power and the cultivation of the “militaryvirtues”; and, in this phase of history, states have often found themselves able to indulge in war with one another withsomething like impunity even for the defeated party. War does not begin to reveal its malignity till the war-makingsociety has begun to increase its economic ability to exploit physical nature and its political ability to organize man- power; but, as soon as this happens, the god of war to which the growing society has long since been dedicated proveshimself a Moloch by devouring an ever larger share of the increasing fruits of man’s industry and intelligence in theprocess of taking an ever larger toll of life and happiness; and, when the society’s growth in efficiency reaches a point at which it becomes capable of mobilizing a lethal quantum of its energies and resources for military use, then war reveals itself as being a cancer which is bound to prove fatal to its victim unless he can cut it out and cast it from him, since its malignant tissues have now learnt to grow faster that the healthy tissues on which they feed.
In the past, when this danger-point in the history of the relations between war and civilization has been reached andrecognized, serious efforts have sometimes been made to get rid of war in time to save society, and these endeavourshave been apt to take one or other of two alternative directions. Salvation cannot, of course, be sought anywhere except in the working of the consciences of individual human beings; but individuals have a choice between trying to achievetheir aims through direct action as private citizens and trying to achieve them through indirect action as citizens of states. A personal refusal to lend himself in any way to any war waged by his state for any purpose and in anycircumstances is a line of attack against the institution of war that is likely to appeal to an ardent and self-sacrificingnature; by comparison, the alternative peace strategy of seeking to persuade and accustom governments to combine injointly resisting aggression when it comes and in trying to remove its stimuli before hand may seem a circuitous andunheroic line of attack on the problem. Yet experience up to date indicates unmistakably, in the present writer’sopinion, that the second of these two hard roads is by far the more promising.

Q.3. Read the following text carefully and answer the questions below: (20)
Experience has quite definitely shown that some reasons for holding a belief are much more likely to be justified bythe event than others. It might naturally be supposed, for instance, that the best of all reasons for a belief was a strongconviction of certainty accompanying the belief. Experience, however, shows that this is not so, and that as a matter of fact, conviction by itself is more likely to mislead than it is to guarantee truth. On the other hand, lack of assuranceand persistent hesitation to come to any belief whatever are an equally poor guarantee that the few beliefs which arearrived at are sound. Experience also shows that assertion, however long continued, although it is unfortunately withmany people an effective enough means of inducing belief, is not in any way a ground for holding it.

The method which has proved effective, as a matter of actual fact, in providing a firm foundation for belief wherever it has been capable of application, is what is usually called the scientific method. I firmly believe that the scientificmethod, although slow and never claiming to lead to complete truth, is the only method which in the long run will givesatisfactory foundations for beliefs. It consists in demanding facts as the only basis for conclusions, and in consistentlyand continuously testing any conclusions which may have been reached, against the test of new facts and, wherever possible, by the crucial test of experiment. It consists also in full publication of the evidence on which conclusions are based, so that other workers may be assisted in new researchers, or enabled to develop their own interpretations andarrive at possibly very different conclusions.
There are, however, all sorts of occasions on which the scientific method is not applicable. That method involves slowtesting, frequent suspension of judgment, restricted conclusions. The exigencies of everyday life, on the other hand, often make it necessary to act on a hasty balancing of admittedly incomplete evidence, to take immediate action, andto draw conclusions in advance of the evidence. It is also true that such action will always be necessary, and necessaryin respect of ever larger issues; and this inspite of the fact that one of the most important trends of civilization is toremove sphere after sphere of life out of the domain of such intuitive judgment into the domain of rigid calculationbased on science. It is here that belief plays its most important role. When we cannot be certain, we must proceed inpart by faith—faith not only in the validity of our own capacity of making judgments, but also in the existence of certain other realities, pre-eminently moral and spiritual realities. It has been said that faith consists in acting alwayson the nobler hypothesis; and though this definition is a trifle rhetorical, it embodies a seed of real truth.

Answer briefly in your own words the following questions:

  1. Give the meaning of the underlined phrases as they are used in the passage. (04)
  2. What justification does the author claim for his belief in the scientific method? (04)
  3. Do you gather from the passage that conclusions reached by the scientific method should beconsidered final? Give reasons for your answer. (04)
  4. In what circumstances, according to the author, is it necessary to abandon the scientific method? (04)
  5. How does the basis of “intuitive judgment” differ from that of scientific decision? (04)


Q.4. Write a comprehensive note (250 – 300 words) on any ONE of the following topics: (20)

(i) Education should be for life, not for livelihood (ii) The art of being tactful
(iii) Human nature is seen at its best adversity (iv) Spare the rod and spoil the child

Q.5. (a) Use only Five of the following in sentences which illustrate their meaning (Extra attempt shall not be considered). (05)

(i) Itching palm (ii) The primrose path (iii) Break one’s fall (iv) Wash one’s hands of
(v) To become reconcile to (vi) To militate against (vii) To be cognizant of (viii) Wages of sin

(b) Explain the difference between the following word pairs by defining each word. (Do only Five) (05)
(i) Plaintiff, plaintive (ii) valet, varlet (iii) monitor, mentor (iv) complacent, complaisant
(v) penitence, penance (vi) crevice, crevasse (vii) beneficent, beneficial

Q.6. (a) Correct only Five of the following sentences: (05)

(i) Have either of you seen my pen?
(ii) On attempting to restore the picture to its original condition, almost irreparable change was discovered. (iii) The child is the prettiest of the two.
(iv) I was annoyed arriving late, also his rather insolent manner put me out of temper.
(v) He is anxious not only to acquire knowledge, but also eager to display it.
(vi) If he was here now, we should have no difficulty.
(vii) Due to unforeseen environments, we shall have to leave early.
(viii) People have and still do disagree on this matter.

(b) Rewrite One of the following passages, converting what is in direct speech into indirect, and what is in indirect speech into direct. (05)
(i) Just as we came in sight of the valley Jamil met us,–“yes, the valley is all very fine, but do you know there is nothing to eat?”
“Nonsense; we can eat anything here.”
“Well, the brown bread’s two months old, and there’s nothing else but potatoes.”
“There must be milk anyhow.”
“Yes, there was milk’’, he supposed.
(ii) Miss Andleeb said she thought English food was lovely, and that she was preparing a
questionnaire to be circulated to the students of the university, with a view to finding out their
eating preferences.
“But the students won’t fill up questionnaires,” said Miriam.
“Won’t fill up questionnaire?” cried Miss Andleeb, taken aback.
“No”, said Miriam, “they won’t. As a nation we are not, questionnaire-conscious.”
“Well, that’s too bad,” said Miss Andaleeb.

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